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Coats v. Network

Supreme Court of Colorado, En Banc

June 15, 2015

Brandon Coats, Petitioner:
v.
Dish Network, LLC, Respondent:

Certiorari to the Colorado Court of Appeals. Colorado Court of Appeals Case Nos. 12CA595 & 12CA1704.

SYLLABUS

The supreme court holds that under the plain language of section 24-34-402.5, C.R.S. (2014), Colorado's " lawful activities statute," the term " lawful" refers only to those activities that are lawful under both state and federal law. Therefore, employees who engage in an activity such as medical marijuana use that is permitted by state law but unlawful under federal law are not protected by the statute. We therefore affirm the court of appeals' opinion.

For Petitioner: Michael D. Evans, The Evans Firm, LLC, Denver, Colorado; Thomas K. Carberry, Thomas Karel Carberry, Denver, Colorado; John E. Campbell, Campbell Law, LLC, St. Louis, Missouri; Adam B. Wolf, Wolf Legal, PC, San Fransisco, California.

For Respondent: Meghan W. Martinez, Ann Christoff Purvis, Elizabeth Imhoff Mabey, Martinez Law Group, P.C., Denver, Colorado.

For State of Colorado, Amicus Curiae: Cynthia H. Coffman, Attorney General, David C. Blake, Deputy Attorney General, Michael Francisco, Assistant Solicitor General, Michelle Brissette Miller, Assistant Attorney General, Colorado Department of Law, Denver, Colorado.

For Colorado Mining Association, Amicus Curiae: Laura E. Beverage, Meredith A. Kapushion, Jackson Kelly PLLC, Denver, Colorado; Michael D. Moberly, Charitie L. Hartsig, Ryley Carlock & Applewhite, Phoenix, Arizona.

For Colorado Civil Justice League, Amicus Curiae: Christopher L. Ottele, Mary H. Stuart, Carrie Claiborne, Husch Blackwell LLP, Denver, Colorado.

For Colorado Defense Lawyers Association, Amicus Curiae: Andrew D. Ringel, Hall & Evans, L.L.C., Denver, Colorado.

For Colorado Plaintiff Employment Lawyers Association, Amicus Curiae: Kimberlie K. Ryan, Ryan Law Firm, LLC, Denver, Colorado.

For Patient and Caregiver Rights Litigation Project, Amicus Curiae: Andrew B. Reid, Springer and Steinberg, P.C., Denver, Colorado.

EID, JUSTICE delivered the Opinion of the Court. MÁ RQUEZ, JUSTICE does not participate.

OPINION

Page 850

EID, JUSTICE.


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