August 2021 - Volume 9, Issue 38
The Time Has Come for COVID-19 Vaccination Mandates

More than 340 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the United States. Although in many ways that is a remarkable achievement, the fact remains that half of the total US population (including 40% of the vaccine-eligible population) is still unvaccinated. Colorado and other states have introduced various incentive programs to increase the percentage of vaccinated residents, but initial data suggests that those programs enjoyed limited success. In the meantime, the widespread prevalence of the more infectious Delta variant has caused government agencies that had removed mask requirements to reinstitute masking under certain circumstances. According to public health experts, the United States is now facing a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” and virtually every serious case of COVID-19 is preventable. That begs the question: can governments legally mandate vaccines? The answer is unambiguously yes.

The states’ general “police power” to promote public health and safety encompasses authority to mandate vaccination. Every time the Supreme Court has considered constitutional challenges to state vaccination mandates, it has held that vaccination mandates fall within the states’ police power and do not impermissibly violate a citizen’s liberty interests. All fifty states and the District of Columbia have instituted laws compelling vaccinations under specified circumstances—most notably requiring vaccination for children as a condition of attending public schools and for adult health care workers. The federal government, too, has imposed vaccination mandates under specified circumstances, including in the military and immigration contexts. Most recently, President Biden signed an executive order mandating that millions of federal employees be vaccinated for COVID-19.

Having established that it can be done lawfully, the question remains: should it? Once again, the answer is unequivocally yes. We have spent two years watching horrible scenes unfold in Colorado, in other states, and across the globe. Overcrowded ICUs unable to care for sick patients. Otherwise healthy people on ventilators. Millions of deaths that wouldn’t have happened but for the pandemic. The collateral consequences have been awful as well. An entire generation of children has missed substantial periods of schooling. Businesses have shuttered. Countless personal and professional lives have been upended. The vaccines represent a safe and certain means of putting all that behind us. We expect governments to provide for the general welfare. Right now, there is no better or more immediate way to do that than to mandate COVID-19 vaccination as broadly as possible. 


We are Thrilled to Announce the Addition of Two New Associates to the FGMC Team: DeAnna Hamilton and Matthew Hinrikus
DeAnna joins us from a legal background of complex contractual, compliance, and litigation issues for large companies nationwide; she will be an excellent addition to our growing Land Use & Real Estate practice at FGMC.
Matthew will be another valuable asset to our Land Use & Real Estate practice, coming from a background focused almost exclusively on every aspect of both commercial and residential real estate, including development, leasing, financing, acquisitions, and dispositions.
We are eager to see DeAnna and Matthew contribute to amplifying our Land Use & Real Estate reach. Welcome aboard to our two newest associates

Learn more about DeAnna and Matthew..
Chambers USA has released its 2021 list of law firm and attorney rankings in the United States. This year, two attorneys from FGMC – Gary Lozow and John Chanin – were again ranked on this exclusive and prestigious list for their practice in White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations related litigation. The firm was also honored with a ranking, reflecting its deep experience and resources in this practice area. Chambers USA ranks America’s leading attorneys who have been identified as the best in their field by their peers and clients based on interviews with attorneys and clients.

FGMC is honored to represent K.R. Swerdfeger Construction, Inc. (“KRS”) in its business sale to Artera Services, LLC (“Artera”), one of the nation’s industry-leading providers of integrated infrastructure services to natural gas and electric industries. KRS will operate as a new Mountain region within Miller Pipeline, LLC (“Miller”), an Artera gas distribution business unit. FGMC attorneys Evan Husney and Nate Bartell counseled KRS throughout the acquisition process, enabling KRS to integrate with its new ownership while protecting its interests and identity as a family-owned business operating out of Pueblo West, Colorado. FGMC is thrilled for Keith Swerdfeger, Raymond Swerdfeger, Darryl Stephens, and the rest of the KRS team, and is looking forward to the success of their partnership with Artera and Miller.

FGMC is proud to also represent Iron Ox Development Corporation and its subsidiary, Iron Ox Pipeline, LLC (“Iron Ox”) in its acquisition of JBS Pipeline, LLC, a subsidiary of JBS Pipeline Holdings, Inc. (“JBS”), a reputable general contracting company for civil construction and infrastructure projects based in Commerce City, Colorado. FGMC attorneys Evan Husney and Nate Bartell provided legal counsel to Iron Ox, from initial negotiations through closing. FGMC is tremendously happy for J.W. Rust and the Iron Ox team, and looks forward to JBS’s future success under its new ownership.

The American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan (collectively the “Plan”) announced by President Biden on April 28, 2021, includes many tax proposals that have potentially significant tax changes to our readers. The following is a brief summary of certain provisions of the Plan that may be relevant to many readers. The provisions of the Plan are generally effective starting in 2022. However, there is one major exception for the changes to capital gain rates which is proposed to be effective at the Plan announcement date of April 28, 2021 (i.e., it is proposed to be retroactive notwithstanding the actual effective date of the Plan). Undoubtedly, there will be major changes to the Plan as proposed by the Biden Administration as it is negotiated in the legislative process. But, here are highlights as now proposed. 

Foster Graham Milstein & Calisher, LLP has been awarded a Top Workplaces 2021 honor by The Denver Post for the third year in a row. The list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by research partner Energage, LLC. The anonymous survey measures several aspects of workplace culture, including alignment, execution, and connection, just to name a few. The list will be announced this fall in a special section of The Denver Post. We’re thrilled to have been included on the list, and thankful to our employees, who made this happen. More info is available at
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