Appeals


At the Martinez Law Group, our passion for excellence extends to our appellate practice as well.  Successful representation at the appellate level requires mastery of the law, outstanding written advocacy, and comprehensive knowledge of the rules of the appellate system.  Our appellate lawyers are skilled in each of these areas and have won favorable decisions in both state and federal courts of appeals.

For the past several years, our appellate team has been at the forefront of developing employment law related to employees’ use of medical and recreational marijuana.  Martinez Law Group defended an employer in a case of first impression, Coats v. DISH Network, L.L.C., in which the Colorado Supreme Court held unanimously in favor of the employer.  The Petitioner, a former employee, alleged that his termination for failing a drug test was a violation of Colorado’s lawful off-duty activities statute.  The Court of Appeals found for the employer, holding that the former employee’s marijuana use is not a lawful activity because it violates federal law.  Coats v. DISH Network L.L.C., 303 P.3d 147 (Colo. App. 2013).  The Colorado Supreme Court affirmed in a 6-0 decision on June 15, 2015, that because medical marijuana use is illegal under federal law, it is not a lawful activity under the statute.  Coats v. DISH Network L.L.C., 350 P.3d 849 (Colo. June 15, 2015).  This cutting edge decision has preserved Colorado employers’ ability to have and enforce drug-free policies.

Other appellate successes include:

  • Meyers v. DISH Network Services, 2014 WL 3749775 (Colo. App. July 31, 2014) (a former employee, discharged for failing a drug test, brought six claims against the employer; our attorneys succeeded in getting all claims dismissed and obtaining an attorney fees award for the employer, with all relief affirmed on appeal);
  • Geyen v. Level 3 Communications, LLC, 2012 WL 966487 (Colo. App. Mar. 22, 2012) (a breach of contract case in which the Court found that the employer’s open door policy does not constitute a contract);
  • Watson v. Public Service Co. of Colorado, 2011 WL 1195947 (Colo. App. Mar. 31, 2011) (a wrongful discharge and breach of contract case in which our attorneys successfully defended the employer on two separate appeals; the Court found that Colorado’s lawful off-duty conduct statute applies to lawful, off-duty conduct whether or not work-related);
  • DISH Network Corp. v. Altomari, 224 P.3d 362 (Colo. App. 2009) (a non-compete case in which the Court interpreted and defined the “management personnel” exception to Colorado’s statute voiding covenants not to compete, finding in favor of the employer);
  • Barfoot v. Public Service Co. of Colorado, 2010 WL 1784663  (10th Cir, May 5, 2010) (a former employee sued the employer under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Age Discrimination in Employment Act; the District Court granted summary judgment in favor of the employer, and the Tenth Circuit affirmed).