As I was preparing my article for this quarter’s FGMC newsletter, I was looking forward to updating all of you about the new and exciting modernization of our law firm’s land use and real estate practice (more on this news in the coming weeks). Unfortunately, as if on cue, we in Colorado suffered yet another mass murder and shooting spree up in Boulder, the home of my beloved CU Buffs. Ten innocent lives were taken, including the life of a brave police officer who rushed in to help stop the violence. This occurred just hours before the CU Buffs tipped off in their March Madness game, which seemed far less important considering the timing and the events that had recently occurred. The Buffaloes captain, during the post-game press conference, spoke about the heinous act and how the entire team couldn’t shake the recency and severity of the situation. Just as we are starting to spring from our year of nothing normal to something resembling normal, and excitement is in the air, we are reminded of one of the many “normal” events of our pre-COVID world, senseless acts of violence. If COVID was a pandemic, surely senseless acts of violence are an epidemic, something worthy of curtailing.
In the summer of 1990, fresh from graduating from Boulder, I made my way to Washington DC to change the world. I was a legislative assistant working for the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism. I was working with 6 other “LAs” who also arrived in DC to change the world. I was immediately thrown into some of the most important issues of the day. Of the many issues I worked on, nothing was more meaningful to me than working on The Brady Bill. Working tirelessly on this legislation from day 1, I was able to witness its introduction onto the floor of the US House of Representatives in March of 1991. Over the many months of working on the legislation, I did have several occasions to meet Jim Brady and work with his amazing wife, Sarah.
The following was written by President Ronald Reagan in an editorial in The New York Times on March 29, 1991, two days before introduction of The Brady Bill:
“Every year, an average of 9,200 Americans are murdered by handguns, according to Department of Justice statistics. This does not include suicides or the tens of thousands of robberies, rapes and assaults committed with handguns. This level of violence must be stopped. Sarah and Jim Brady are working hard to do that, and I say more power to them. If the passage of the Brady bill were to result in a reduction of only 10 or 15 percent of those numbers (and it could be a good deal greater), it would be well worth making it the law of the land.”
I don’t want anyone to believe that I know how to combat these acts of terror nor do I believe that gun control is a “silver bullet” to solving this epidemic. But, re-examining our assumptions about everything we do should be worthy of this moment in time. As expected, within minutes of this crime, there were simultaneous calls for gun control by some and reinforcement of our 2nd amendment rights by others; predictable political “lines in the sand” were drawn just as we ought to be putting our collective heads together and solving this calamity.
The Jewish holiday of Passover (Pesach) just completed a week ago. It is our annual reminder of the 400 years that Jews were slaves in the land of Egypt and ultimately freed from bondage. It is not lost on me the timing of Passover this year and the COVID chains that are breaking, giving us all a new sense of freedom and renewed optimism. It is my hope that the lessons we will learn about this pandemic are truly understood and that our children and grandchildren will be able to speak many generation hence about the many lessons learned and how our civilized society was able to evolve. May this be true of the COVID pandemic as it is true of this gun violence epidemic.
FGMC is pleased to announce the addition of our newest associate attorney Marcus Johnson. Marcus is graduate of Texas A&M School of Law in Fort Worth, Texas and was most recently a Deputy Public Defender at the City and County of Denver Office of the Municipal Public Defender. Marcus’s practice will focus on criminal defense.
FGMC Welcomes Newest Memeber of the Land Use & Real Estate Team - Kristin Sullivan
FGMC is pleased to announce Kristin Sullivan has joined the firm in the newly created role of Senior Advisor, Land Use & Infrastructure. Kristin will join the Land Use & Real Estate practice and will support clients throughout all phases of local government development entitlement processes. As a former Planning Director and Public Works Director, Kristin brings expertise in land use, transportation, infrastructure planning, public finance and P3s, economic incentives, affordable housing, construction, and asset management.
Please Join Us for FGMC’s 2021 High School Boot Camp!
All too often the lawyers in our practice handle cases for good kids who have found themselves in trouble. Whether it be school discipline or contact with law enforcement, the best way to protect your children is to understand how the laws work in Colorado and create a dialogue about how to help your kids make good decisions. We invite you and your child (or grandchild) to attend this two-hour seminar to discuss the pitfalls teenagers face in Colorado. We hope our collective experience can help your children avoid mistakes that can have lifelong consequences.
Danny Foster Ranked as Top 100 Super Lawyer in Colorado
FGMC is honored that Danny Foster was selected by his peers as one of the Top 100 Super Lawyers in the state of Colorado in 2021! Colorado lawyers who receive the highest point totals during the Super Lawyers selection process are further recognized in Colorado Super Lawyers Top Lists.
FGMC would like to congratulate our 2021 Super Lawyers – seven FGMC lawyers were counted among the best in Colorado in the latest edition of Thomson Reuters’ Super Lawyers magazine. Six partners were named Colorado Super Lawyers and one was recognized as a Rising Star. Colorado lawyers who receive the highest point totals during the Super Lawyers selection process are further recognized in Colorado Super Lawyers Top Lists – Daniel Foster received the Top 100 designation
Mallory Revel Interviews Danny and David Foster on the Our Voices Podcast with the CBA
FGMC attorney Mallory Revel co-hosts the Our Voices podcast with the Colorado Bar Association. She recently managed to cajole her buddies (bosses), Danny and David Foster, into appearing on the podcast. They shared their story and advice on growing a successful legal practice.
When and What Changes Can We Expect To the Estate and Gift Taxes?
The recent results of the Georgia Senate runoffs effectively handed control of the U.S. Senate to the Democratic Party. The shifting control of the Senate, along with Democratic Party control of the House of Representatives, makes it more likely that the incoming administration of President Joe Biden will pursue ambitious legislative goals. As it relates to taxation, this potentially includes reducing the estate and gift tax exemption from $11.7 million per person to $3.5 million, raising the estate and gift tax maximum rate from 40% to 45%, and eliminating the rule allowing for a tax-free step up in the basis of assets upon death. How likely these changes are to occur and wheen are speculatory at this point. Consideration of the legislative process, particularly in the Senate, may provide some insight.
Danny Foster & Lara Marks Baker Named to 5280 Top Lawyers in 2021
Foster Graham Milstein & Calisher would like to congratulate Partners Danny Foster and Lara M. Baker for being recognized in 5280 Magazine’s list of Denver’s Top Lawyers in 2021.
For the past several years, 5280 has conducted a survey of all licensed attorneys in the Denver metro area. Their goal is to find the best lawyers in 50 different practice areas.
Congratulations Danny and Lara!
What You Need to Know About Colorado’s Police Accountability Legislation: SB-217
On June 19, 2020, Governor Jared Polis signed The Police Integrity Transparency and Accountability Act, also known as Senate Bill 217 (“SB217”) into law. SB217 was one of the country’s earliest police reform bills signed into law following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota and the ensuing protests across the nation. This new law will have far-reaching effects in Colorado. While both sides can argue the merits and ethics of this new law, it is here to stay and something that will inevitably impact policing in our state for many years to come.