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In business, agreements often start with a handshake or a conversation. Many businesses operate on the principle of trust and verbal commitments. However, this leaves a crucial question: are these verbal agreements legally binding? At Downey Law PC, we provide guidance on both verbal and written agreements, helping our clients understand the legal standing of such commitments.

This blog delves into the nuances of verbal agreements in business transactions, highlighting when they are legally enforceable and the complexities involved in proving such agreements in a court of law.

Understanding Legally Binding Verbal Agreements

Verbal agreements, like their written counterparts, can be legally binding if they satisfy certain legal criteria. For an oral contract to be enforceable, it must include an offer, acceptance of the offer, a mutual intention to establish an agreement, and an exchange of value, known as consideration.

The primary challenge with verbal contracts is not their legality but proving their terms and existence. In the absence of written documentation, the specifics of the agreement can be challenging to verify, which can lead to potential disputes. To mitigate such issues, our team of business transactions attorneys strongly advises documenting significant agreements in writing.

Limitations of Verbal Contracts

Despite their potential validity, verbal agreements have limitations under the law. Certain types of transactions are required by the Statute of Frauds to be documented in writing to be legally enforceable. These include agreements related to the sale of real estate, contracts that are expected to last more than one year, and promises to pay someone else's debts, among others.

Additionally, verbal agreements may fall short in legal settings if they lack clear, agreed-upon terms, or if one party cannot provide evidence of the other party’s consent to those terms. Such conditions highlight the importance of having a written contract that can decisively prove the intentions and agreements between parties.

Challenges in Proving a Verbal Agreement

Proving the existence and specifics of a verbal agreement in court is often complex. However, certain types of evidence can support the credibility of a claimed agreement. These include emails, text messages, witness testimonies, and behavior from both parties that indicates a mutual understanding was in place.

Documentation like this can significantly bolster a case, yet the inherently ambiguous nature of verbal agreements often leads to uncertain legal outcomes. The credibility of the witnesses and the consistency of the stories shared by the parties involved play a critical role in court decisions.

Best Practices for Secure Business Transactions

While verbal agreements may suffice for informal or low-stakes agreements, formalizing significant business agreements in writing is prudent. Written contracts provide a clear framework and record of the agreed terms and can substantially ease the enforcement and resolution of disputes. They serve as reliable evidence should disagreements arise, facilitating a smoother legal review and decision-making process.

Moreover, drafting a contract with professional legal assistance ensures that all essential terms are clearly defined and legally sound. This not only enhances the enforceability of the contract but also minimizes the risk of future disputes.

Seek Professional Legal Guidance

If you're involved in business transactions, whether frequently entering into contracts or occasionally dealing with agreements, professional legal counsel is indispensable. Dealing with contracts without a solid understanding of the legal implications can expose your business to significant risks.

Whether you need help drafting a contract, understanding the legalities of verbal agreements, or resolving a dispute arising from a breach of contract, our experienced team is ready to assist. If you're considering entering into a business agreement or need help with an existing verbal contract, reach out to us today. Our team is committed to ensuring that your business transactions are protected and effective.

Embarking on a home renovation project in Denver is an exciting venture that promises to transform your living space into something uniquely yours. However, before you pick out paint colors or start dreaming of kitchen upgrades, it's critical to understand how local zoning laws could influence your renovation dreams. Denver's zoning regulations play a pivotal role in what you can and cannot do with your property, potentially impacting everything from building extensions to the height of your new fence.

Why are these laws so crucial for Denver homeowners to grasp? Zoning regulations ensure the city develops in an orderly and planned manner, protecting residential areas' integrity and ensuring that all modifications adhere to safety and community standards. Let's dive deeper into how these laws might affect your next home improvement project and explore strategies to navigate the zoning landscape successfully.

Understanding Zoning Restrictions

Zoning laws in Denver are a complex web of regulations that dictate land use and building activities within the city. These rules cover a wide range of aspects, from structural height limits to setback requirements and the percentage of land that can be covered by buildings. For homeowners, this means that seemingly straightforward projects like adding a new deck or converting an attic into a living space could require a thorough review of zoning ordinances.

One common hurdle is the floor-area ratio (FAR), which limits the total square footage of all buildings on a lot relative to the lot size. Understanding these restrictions beforehand can prevent the frustration of having to modify your plans after the fact. It's a good idea to consult Denver's zoning code or speak with a zoning expert to clarify how these rules apply to your specific project.

Why Professional Advice Is Invaluable

The intricacies of zoning laws make professional guidance not just helpful, but often essential. A seasoned zoning issues and disputes attorney can provide the clarity and direction needed to ensure your renovation project doesn't hit legal snags. Whether it's interpreting the zoning code, applying for variances, or navigating the permit process, having legal expertise on your side can streamline your project and mitigate the risks of non-compliance.

Experts in zoning law can also assist in appealing decisions or representing your interests in disputes, such as objections from neighbors or enforcement actions by the city. Their advice can be the key to unlocking the full potential of your property within the framework of local regulations, ensuring that your renovations enhance your home's value and livability without violating zoning laws.

Planning Your Renovation with Zoning in Mind

Successful home renovations in Denver start with thorough planning, with a keen eye on zoning regulations from the outset. This preparatory step can illuminate opportunities and limitations, guiding your design choices to align with legal requirements. For example, understanding zoning can help you maximize your property's usable space by identifying permissible extensions or additions that won't infringe on setback requirements or FAR limits.

Moreover, considering zoning laws during the planning phase can inspire creative solutions that comply with regulations while fulfilling your aesthetic and functional goals. Whether it's designing a multi-level addition that respects height restrictions or a landscape project that enhances your property without violating green space requirements, zoning-aware planning is essential for a smooth renovation process.

Maximizing Property Value within Legal Boundaries

Zoning regulations, while often viewed as obstacles, can also serve as guides to enhancing your property's value and appeal. By navigating these laws skillfully, you can undertake renovations that not only meet your needs but also comply with city planning objectives. This careful balance can result in improvements that boost your home's market value, contribute to the neighborhood's character, and even set a positive precedent for future development in your area.

Adhering to zoning laws ensures that your renovations are sustainable and beneficial in the long term, adding value to your property and the community. It's about finding harmony between your vision and the collective vision of Denver's residents, as expressed through zoning codes. This approach fosters a cooperative relationship with the city and your neighbors, paving the way for a more seamless and enjoyable renovation experience.

At Downey & Associates, PC, we're committed to helping Denver homeowners navigate the complexities of zoning laws with confidence and ease. Our expertise in real estate and zoning laws means we're ideally positioned to guide you through every aspect of your renovation project, from initial planning to final execution. We understand the nuances of Denver's zoning regulations and can provide the legal support needed to ensure your project proceeds without a hitch.

If you're contemplating a home renovation and want to ensure it aligns with Denver's zoning laws, reach out to us today. Our team is ready to assist you in realizing your dream home renovation while staying within the bounds of local regulations. Let Downey & Associates, PC be your partner in bringing your vision to life, ensuring that every aspect of your project is in perfect harmony with Denver's zoning laws.

Considering a real estate transaction, or need assistance with property ownership issues in Denver, Colorado? Contact Downey & Associates, PC at 303-647-9399 for client-focused legal representation and guidance on property ownership complexities in Colorado.

Introduction to Property Ownership in Colorado

When it comes to property ownership in Colorado, there are various types of ownership structures to consider. Understanding these differences is important for anyone involved in real estate transactions or seeking legal guidance. In this blog post, we will explore the various forms of property ownership in Colorado, providing valuable insights to help you make informed decisions. Whether you are a homeowner, investor, or business owner, this knowledge will empower you to navigate the complexities of real estate in Denver, Colorado.

Colorado property ownership graphic
  1. Sole Ownership:

Sole ownership is the simplest form of property ownership, where an individual holds complete ownership rights to a property. This structure provides full control and decision-making authority over the property. While it offers simplicity, sole ownership also means assuming all the risks and obligations associated with the property.

  1. Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship:

Joint tenancy is a common form of property ownership among couples, family members, or business partners. In this structure, each owner has an equal share and right to the property. Importantly, joint tenancy includes the "right of survivorship," meaning that if one owner passes away, their share automatically transfers to the surviving owner(s) without going through probate.

  1. Tenancy in Common:

Tenancy in common is another form of shared property ownership, allowing multiple owners to hold unequal shares in a property. Each owner has the right to sell, lease, or mortgage their share independently. Unlike joint tenancy, tenancy in common does not include the right of survivorship. Upon an owner's death, their share is passed on to their heirs or named beneficiaries.

  1. Community Property:

Community property is a type of ownership structure available to married couples in some states, including Colorado. Under community property laws, property acquired during the marriage is considered jointly owned by both spouses, regardless of individual contributions. In the event of divorce or death, community property is typically divided equally between the spouses.

  1. Limited Liability Company (LLC) Ownership:

LLC ownership provides a popular option for real estate investors and businesses. An LLC combines the limited liability protection of a corporation with the flexibility and tax advantages of a partnership. Holding real estate within an LLC can help protect personal assets from potential liabilities and provide tax benefits.

  1. Trust Ownership:

Using a trust for property ownership offers numerous advantages, including privacy, asset protection, and estate planning benefits. A trust allows the property owner (grantor) to transfer ownership to a trustee, who manages the property for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries. Trusts can be tailored to meet specific goals, such as avoiding probate or minimizing estate taxes.

  1. Condominium Ownership:

Condominiums, or condos, involve owning individual units within a larger property complex, along with a shared interest in common areas like pools, gyms, and gardens. Owners are part of a condo association that manages the property and are responsible for monthly fees covering maintenance, shared utilities, and insurance. Condos offer individual ownership with the benefit of shared amenities but come with the responsibility of association fees and adherence to community rules.

  1. Cooperative Ownership (Co-op):

In a cooperative, or co-op, residents own shares in a corporation that owns the building, rather than owning their unit directly. The number of shares typically corresponds to the unit's size or value. Co-ops are managed by a board of directors, and residents pay monthly fees for maintenance and other expenses. The co-op structure emphasizes community decision-making and can involve a rigorous approval process for new residents, with more complex resale conditions compared to condos.

Navigating Property Ownership in Colorado

Understanding the different types of property ownership in Colorado is vital for anyone involved in real estate. Each structure has unique benefits and considerations, and the right choice depends on individual circumstances and goals. For expert guidance, consult with a knowledgeable real estate attorney in Denver like Downey & Associates, PC.

Considering a real estate transaction, or need assistance with property ownership issues in Denver, Colorado? Contact Downey & Associates, PC at 303-647-9399 for client-focused legal representation and guidance on property ownership complexities in Colorado.

Everyone gets their day in court. Even really strange folks and entities too. Well, it seems there’s a defamation lawsuit case in Boulder County District Court in which a famous UFO researcher has allegedly been saying humiliating and harmful things to the online community that could injure Gaia, Inc.’s professional reputation.

“Denver Luciferian coven equals CIA front” and “Satanists” are some of the accusations made by UFO and crop circle researcher, filmmaker and Nederland resident (who will remain un-named for this blog), the lawsuit alleges.1

Strange and Defamatory Accusations, Claims and Statements Made in the Gaia V. UFO Researchers Case

New Age Company Sues UFO Researcher for Defamation | Denver Business and Commercial Litigation Lawyer

New Age Company Sues UFO Researcher for Defamation | Denver Business and Commercial Litigation Lawyer

There’s no shortage of bizarre accusations and claims made by both sides in this stranger than fiction case:

What Must Gaia Prove to Win Their Defamation Case?

There are defamation laws in every state. The following are the four main things that must be proven by plaintiffs to win a defamation case:

  1. Plaintiff must prove that the defendant made a false and defamatory statement about them.
  2. Plaintiff must prove that the defendant published a defamatory remark about them with a third party without permission.
  3. Plaintiff must prove that the publisher of the defamatory material acted in a negligent manner with regard to the material.
  4. In Colorado, the plaintiff must also prove special damages.

Contact a Denver Business and Commercial Litigation Lawyer at Downey & Associates, PC

Has someone defamed your company or organizations by making false or contemptuous statements? If so, you need the expertise of the Denver Business and Commercial Litigation Lawyer with Downey & Associates, PC. Our goal is to find the most cost-effective resolution to your business dispute. We’ll seek to resolve matters through arbitration and private settlement meetings, but if an agreement can’t be reached we are aggressive in our litigation methods and strategies. To schedule an appointment, call us today at 303-647-9399 or send us an e-mail.


1“UFO filmmaker who called former client ‘Luciferian’ sued for defamation” published in Business Den, Aug. 2018.

2“Gaia sues Boulder UFO filmmaker for defamation” published in Daily Camera, Aug. 2018.

Both Uber and Lyft must feel a bit vulnerable following a decision by Washington’s Supreme Court decision to allow the government to disclose data on what Seattle neighborhoods they serve. The ruling overturns a lower court’s decision to grant an injunction that sided with the transportation companies right to keep data secret.

The state Supreme Court, while agreeing that the data qualifies as trade secret material, sent Uber and Lyft back to the lower court, where they must now prove that public disclosure of their data is “clearly not be in the public interest and would substantially and irreparably damage a person or a vital government interest.”1 If Uber and Lyft cannot prove their case in the lower court, they’ll both lose trade secret status for their data.

Details, Claims and Allegations Surround the Ride-Share Trade Secret Case

trade secrets notebook

The following details, claims and allegations surrounding the ride-share trade secret case were gathered from recent news reports:2

What’s Next for Uber and Lyft?

We’re not sure ourselves, but their legal teams might start looking at some legal precedents to apply in their next appeal, if any are made. What this case does do, however, is wake up small businesses and growing companies of the governmental bureaucracy at work. They should especially be wary of having to submit information deemed proprietary or trade secrets in nature.

Contact a Denver Trade Secrets and Intellectual Property Lawyer at Downey & Associates, PC

Did you have an employee or contractor steal company trade secrets? Or are you being asked to provide information to a government agency with material your company deems proprietary and company trade secrets? Then contact the Denver Trade Secrets and Intellectual Property Lawyer with Downey & Associates, PC. We specialize in helping clients with sensitive legal matters involving intellectual property law. To schedule an appointment, call us today at 303-643-9399 or send us an e-mail.


1“Uber and Lyft May Have to Disclose Seattle Data They Claim Secret, Supreme Court Rules” published in The Seattle Times, June 2018.

2“Ride-Sharing Services Lose Latest Trade Secret Battle” published in Labor Employment Perspectives, June 2018.

Oasis Brewing was once one of Colorado’s sweetheart microbreweries in Boulder – sporting an Egyptian motif with larger than life palm-leaf fans and hieroglyphs on the taproom walls. The brewery enjoyed a decade-long run in that famous location near the intersections of Broadway and Canyon. But as more and more microbreweries emerged, they pinched on Oasis’ success forcing the breweries’ closure. In 2014, Oasis’ owner George Hanna was talked into resurrecting the brewery by his son and son-in-law, banking on the microbrewery’s still notorious brand of beers.

That dream has taken nearly four years to realize, because Hanna hadn’t found a location suitable for the business’ relaunch. So, they spent the last few years creating contract brews for a few other breweries, such as Prost and Crazy Mountain. The search took Hanna back to Boulder, then back to Denver, and finally the West Highland neighborhood. That’s where he found the Beth Eden Church building (built in 1931) that has stood vacant since about 2007 and was supposed to have date with a wrecking ball. Caving to irate neighbors, RedPeak Properties decided to save the church, but not before a nasty court battle ensued over the zoning of the property the church was located on.

“We were anxious, but also patient, to find the right spot. I don’t think we could have done any better,” says Oasis co-owner and longtime Boulder restaurateur George Hanna. “I love the space. It makes me smile every time I walk in here.”1

Details Surrounding the Beth Eden Church Building Lawsuit & Rezoning

Oasis Brewery Rises from the Ashes after Zoning Dispute | Denver Zoning Issues and Dispute Attorney

Oasis Brewery Rises from the Ashes after Zoning Dispute | Denver Zoning Issues and Dispute Attorney

The following details about the long zoning dispute over the Beth Eden Church and Highlands Square were gathered from local news reports:2

The Oasis Brewer, which is located on the first two floors of the old church building, will include a seven-barrel brewhouse, a spacious taproom, and a patio for with space 50 people.

Contact a Denver Zoning Issues and Disputes Attorney at Downey & Associates, PC

If you have a development project that is hitting roadblocks because of zoning issues or constituents opposed to the project, contact the experienced Denver Zoning Issues and Disputes Attorney at Downey & Associates, PC. To set up a free, initial consultation, call us today at 303-647-9399 or use the message form on the right-hand side of the page.


1“Oasis Brewing Will Rise Again Inside Historic Highlands Square Church” published in Westword, April 2018.

2“The City Takes Blueprint Denver Back to the Drawing Board” published in Westword, March 2016.

3“The City Takes Blueprint Denver Back to the Drawing Board” published in Westword,




For decades, it seems the Denver skyline has remain unchanged, until recently that is. With a torrent of people flocking to live in the Mile High City, Denver has seen an unprecedented building boom for residential and now high-rise commercial space. There have a been a handful of new additions to the Denver skyline, but none as significant as the 1,000-ft. tall, 90 story, $400 million skyscraper planned for 650 17th Street, which is also the building’s proposed name. If approved Six Fifty 17 will become the most visible crown jewel of Denver’s downtown skyline.

“Transforming a skyline — especially in a city with as much history and progressive spirit as Denver — takes powerful collaboration between global and local talent. I can confidently say that GRC has accomplished this with 650 17th Street,” said Mike Ursini, managing director of Greenwich Realty Capital (GRC), which is a New York-based real-estate developer.1

Plans and Details about Six Fifty 17

Will Six Fifty 17 Be Denver’s Newest Mixed-Use Crown Jewel? | Denver Property Tax Appeal Attorney

Will Six Fifty 17 Be Denver’s Newest Mixed-Use Crown Jewel? | Denver Property Tax Appeal Attorney

The following details and plans about Six Fifty 17 were gathered from news reports and the building’s website at

Red Tape and Legal Hurdles Facing Six Fifty 17

The following are some of the municipal hurdles that Six Fifty must pass before it can become reality:

Contact a Denver Real Estate Lawyer at Downey & Associates, PC

The last thing a developer wants to happen with a large construction project of this magnitude, is to have it scrutinized by planning boards and possibly even not approved for some type of unforeseen zoning or building code violation. The Denver Real Estate Lawyer at Downey & Associates, PC. has the experience to oversee many of the legal and transaction hurdles facing large development projects of this size and scope. Our Denver real estate lawyer can also oversee:

To schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation, call 303-647-9399, or contact us via email using the online message form available on this page.


1“Massive Proposed Skyscraper Would Change Denver Skyline” published in Our Community Now, Oct. 2017.

To answer that questions, one only needs to look at real-life examples of the business world. Right here in Denver parent company of the Denver Post, MediaNews Group, put its neck out there and voiced its outright opposition to Randstad North America Inc.’s $429 million purchase of Monster Worldwide Inc.

MediaNews’s Senior Vice President Joe Anto wrote a letter to Monster stating that Randstad’s $429 million offer for the company was too low. MediaNews owns approximately 11.6 percent of Monster’s stock. Additionally, Anto claimed Randstad’s “$3.40 per share deal would represent the textbook definition of selling at the bottom.”

Additional Transaction Details and Allegations of the Monster Acquisition

business meeting

The following transaction details and allegations of the acquisition of Monster by Randstad were collected from media reports:1

When is it Appropriate to Sue a Board of Directors?

Obviously, board of directors of any company wield quite a bit of authority over the company operations, and they are beholden to shareholders. Shareholders represent partial ownership stake in those companies, and when the board of directors makes poor business decisions the shareholders have every right to display their disdain and possibly even take legal action to correct any infraction.

Here is a list of fiduciary duties that boards of directors are typically subject to:

Contact a Denver Business Attorney at Downey & Associates, PC

Has your board of directors taken an action that either profited its members or unknowingly hurt the bottom line of your company or corporation? If so, you can count on a Denver Business Attorney with Downey & Associates, PC. Since 1983, Thomas Downey and the legal team at Downey & Associates, PC, have been exhibited exceptional legal representation for their clients in all manner of business-related matters, including contract negotiations, workplace accidents, and corporate conflicts.

For a free, no-hassle consultation about our legal services, please call our Denver business attorney today at (303) 647-9399 or by emailing us using the contact form on this page.

From our law offices in Englewood, we serve clients throughout Colorado and the U.S.


1“Denver Post parent company vehemently opposes Randstad’s purchase of Monster” published in Denver Business Journal, Sept. 2016.

If you have been a Denver Metro area resident for more than five or ten years, you can attest to the fact that Denver’s housing situation has become a big issue. Well, it seems everyone and their dog wants to move to Denver from all corners of the nation, which begs the need for high-density, affordable housing in the downtown area. At the center of this issue is how Denver will spend $150 million in funds approved in 2016.

The Denver City Council put together an extensive plan called "Housing an Inclusive Denver," which details how some of that funding will be allocated.1

What are the Different Funding Plans?

building on the corner

The following Denver Council has driven affordable housing project plan funding information was gathered from local news stories:2

Can the Public Sue the City for Mismanaging a Public Housing Project?

Well, anything is possible in terms of impending lawsuits against the City of Denver over the affordable housing plan. Below is a list of valid concerns citizens have raised over the affordable public housing plan:

Contact a Denver Business Attorney at Downey & Associates, PC

Do you have a group of concerned citizens that want to sue a government entity? Is so, perhaps you should consult with Denver Business Attorney Thomas E. Downey. Since 1983, Thomas Downey and the other legal professionals at Downey & Associates, PC, have been providing legal representation to clients for all kinds of business-related matters, including government litigation, contract negotiations and corporate conflicts.

To set up a meeting with our Denver business attorney today, call (303) 813-1111 or email us using the contact form on this page.

From our law offices in Englewood, we serve clients throughout Colorado and the U.S.


1"Denver's New Affordable Housing Plan Details How It Might Spend Its $150 Million Fund" published in the Denver Post, Sept. 2017.

2“Denver’s $150M tax-and-fee plan for affordable housing heads to full City Council for debate” published in the Denver Post, August 2016.

Everyone knows there’s big money in black gold (oil) and companies’ eager to get at this natural resource don’t take too kindly to the roadblocks they hit along the way. In this particular case (State of Wyoming et al v. Jewell et al [No. 16-8068]), a federal judge in Wyoming is getting a little bit of push back from the federal government as well as some legal professors about one of his controversial rulings blocking federal rules surrounding hydraulic fracturing on government ground.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) disclosed rules in 2015 that mandated that drilling companies disclose the materials they inject into the ground to free up oil and gas. The rules were put together as a result of public concern that fracking could pollute or contaminate underground water.

Details and Claims Concerning the Wyoming Federal Judge’s Controversial Ruling

laborer working on pipes

The following details and claims were gathered from local news reports:1

What is Next for Wyoming’s Fracking Regulation Ruling?

Many legal pundits thought that since Obama personally filed a brief, along with that of a large number of reputable law professors, that it would have ensured an overturning of the ruling. However, new developments could redirect the ruling, including:2

Contact a Denver Business Attorney at Downey & Associates, PC

Has your corporation or industry been hindered by a wrongful court ruling? If so, contact Denver Business Attorney Thomas E. Downey. Since 1983, Thomas Downey and his legal team at Downey & Associates, PC, have aggressively sought justice for all kinds of business-related matters, including contract negotiations, workplace accidents, and corporate conflicts.

Our Denver business attorney is experience handling complex corporate matters and un-judicious court rulings. We are up to the challenge of filing court appeals and fighting out long-drawn courtroom battles to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients.

Why wait, call our Denver business attorney today to find out how we can assist you at (303) 813-1111 or by emailing him using the contact form on this page.

From our law offices in Englewood, we service clients in Colorado as well as throughout the U.S.


1“Feds, law professors say judge wrong to block fracking rules” published in The Denver Post, August 2016.

2"Former DOI Honchos Urge 10th Circ. To Hear Frack Rule Case" published in 360 Law, June 2017.

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