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Hoskins v. Industrial Claim Appeals office of State

Court of Appeals of Colorado, Third Division

April 10, 2014

David C. Hoskins, Petitioner,
v.
Industrial Claim Appeals Office of the State of Colorado and Division of Unemployment Insurance Customer Service/Benefits, Respondents

Industrial Claim Appeals Office of the State of Colorado. DD No. 18656-2013.

David C. Hoskins, Pro se.

No Appearance for Respondents.

Opinion by CHIEF JUDGE LOEB. Vogt[*] and Roy*, JJ., concur.

OPINION

Page 357

LOEB, CHIEF JUDGE.

[¶1] Petitioner, David C. Hoskins (claimant), appeals the Industrial Claim Appeals Office's (Panel) final order affirming a hearing officer's decision tat he was ineligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits during a specified period. We affirm.

I. Background

[¶2] Claimant has worked as a licensed attorney since 1981. For approximately twenty-one years, claimant had his own firm, offering general legal services. In 2003, he began working as an associate attorney for another firm, representing debtors in Chapters Seven and Thirteen bankruptcy proceedings. He was laid off from that position in November 2012.

[¶3] Claimant wanted to continue working in the bankruptcy field, but, because of the dearth of law firms hiring bankruptcy lawyers, claimant " knew that [he] was going to have to start [his] own firm." Although he contacted a few potential employers, claimant focused his efforts on building his own practice.

[¶4] A deputy in the division of employment issued a decision finding that claimant was ineligible for benefits for the week ending December 1, 2012, and for the entire period from December 15, 2012, through July 13, 2013, because he failed to supply the required listing of job contacts.

[¶5] Claimant appealed the deputy's decision. The hearing officer found that claimant had focused his " efforts on developing his own business." He further found that, although claimant had numerous meetings with individuals concerning his legal practice, only three of those contacts were with the " specific intention of obtaining employment," while the remainder were for business development for his own firm. Thus, the hearing officer concluded that claimant had not made a " reasonable and diligent effort to actively seek suitable work during the periods at issue." Accordingly, the hearing officer concluded that claimant was ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits and upheld the deputy's decision. The Panel affirmed on review.

II. Analysis

[¶6] On appeal, claimant contends that the hearing officer and the Panel erred by not finding that his efforts to establish his own legal practice fulfilled the requirement that he actively seek work. § 8-73-107(1)(g)(I), C.R.S. 2013. Claimant argues that by disregarding his efforts to establish self-employment, the hearing officer and Panel ...


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