Attorneys with Altitude

The official blog by the law office team of KT Law in Steamboat Springs, CO. Insights and anectdotes on and off the subject of law.

Elizabeth Roble admission to the Colorado Bar

Admin KTLaw - Monday, December 12, 2016

Attorney Elizabeth Roble, a member of the New York bar, recently received her formal admission to the Colorado Bar.  She was sworn in by Judge Michael O’Hara, the Chief Judge of the 14th Judicial District in Colorado.

Klauzuer's Pork Green Chili

Abbey Horn - Sunday, December 27, 2015

Winter evenings were made for enjoying great food with family and friends. Randy's Pork Green Chili is sure to be a favorite. It is here at KT Law!


2-3 pounds of country style pork ribs, cleaned, cut into bite sized pieces  (retain the trimmed pieces), can use pork shoulder roast, pork loin, etc.

1 medium yellow onion  diced

1 medium white onion, diced

15-20 Anaheim, Big Jim, or similar large green chiles, cut to size (one large can drained and cut will substitute)

Spicier chiles to taste (red Hungarian are great, can use jalapenos)

Several cloves of garlic, crushed and diced

About 1 teaspoon of ground Mexican oregano

One heaping tablespoon of Menudo seasoning

1/3rd bottle of Spice Islands chicken stock base (not boullion)

2 cans chicken stock

White pepper to taste [about ¼ teaspoon]

Approximately ¼ cup of flour for thickening

Salt to taste

Clean and cut the pork, put trimming pieces into heavy pot and render. Remove trimmings.

Sauté onions in the pork fat until almost translucent.  Add garlic and pork.   Sauté.

Add chopped chiles, 2 cans of chicken stock, oregano, menudo seasoning, chicken stock base, and pepper.  Heat over a medium burner until hot then turn down to low temperature and simmer for about an hour.

Make a roux of flour and water, using a tablespoon of flour.  Stir into chile mixture making sure that the flour mixture blends into the liquid until desired thickness is achieved.

Add salt to taste (be careful, there  is salt in the stock base. I usually use about a teaspoon, you should salt and taste in 10 minutes.)

Let the mixture simmer for 2 more hours.  Simmering for a long time will not hurt the mix.  Try not to let it boil.

Copyright 2002 Randall Klauzer

Cutting Down a Christmas Tree

Admin KTLaw - Friday, December 11, 2015

Christmas is just around the corner, and for many people that means it's time to go find that perfect Christmas tree. Here is some information regarding how to get the perfect tree in a legal way. 

How to get a permit:
  • -US Forest Service selling permits for $10
  • -Can be Picked up at Steamboat Forest Service off at 925 Weiss Dr. or 300 Roselawn St.
  • -Offices open Monday-Friday 8:00AM-5:00PM
-Contact the Douglas Ranger District, or Yampa Ranger District to purchase permits by mail. 

  • Rules of the permit:
  • -Expires December 31st of the year purchased in
  • -For personal use only; can't be sold or distributed
  • -Must be displayed clearly around stem of the harvested tree before leaving site
  • -Can only be used on National Forest Property

  • Rules of cutting down tree:
  • -Cannot be within 200 ft of campgrounds
  • -Cannot be within 100 ft of roads
  • -Maximum tree heigh=20 ft
  • -Maximum tree diameter=6 in (whichever one is lowest)
  • -Suggested not to cut trees that are standing alone

  • Safety Suggestions:

    -Check with local Forest Service for recent site and road information

    -Park safely on highway or pullout

    -Check maps to be sure of your location

    -Stay out of forest when there are strong winds

    -Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back

    -There may not be cell phone service

    -Dress warmly

    -Bring extra food, water, a blanket, and first aid kit

    It is illegal to cut down a christmas tree on national forest without a permit, so get yourself a permit and start chopping!

    Kathleen O'Connell

The True Story of the First Thanksgiving

Admin KTLaw - Thursday, November 19, 2015

The first Thanksgiving eventually represented peace between the Indians and the Pilgrims, but these two groups had to go through a lot in order to achieve the peace. When the Pilgrims arrived in America on the Mayflower, they came with the intentions of a better life. In that day and age, the way for a family to have a successful life was to own land, and cultivate the land for use and hunt on it.  

One day, there was a group of Pilgrims hunting for turkey. They had followed their dogs, who followed their noses, all the way to Indian territory. The Pilgrims were unaware of their whereabouts, and when an Indian jumped out at them and told them to get off his land, they were very startled. Luckily one of the Pilgrims, Henry, was able to have a sign-language conversation with the Indian. Henry then told the other Pilgrims that they had crossed the boundary of the Indian's land. The Pilgrims disagreed and believed they were still on their land, and they all began to argue. Joe, another Pilgrim, saw how this argument was going badly, and interjected with the idea that they come up with an official way to end this dispute. And because the Pilgrims were such moral people, they felt it would be wrong if they fought over or gained the land in any way other than peaceful; they wrote down a set of rules they called Real Estate law.

In this document were regulations and rules regarding the ownership of property, how property can be transferred, who can own it, and what they can do with it. Once the Pilgrims had finished writing the book of Real Estate law, they presented it to the Indians, with the help of Henry the translator of course. The Indians were convinced that the Pilgrims had found and eaten a large patch of loco weed. They starred sharpening their hatchets to scalp all of the Pilgrims…Suddenly, Meg woke up. Her law school exam for property law was coming up in the late morning and she'd had a nightmare.

She knew, like the attorneys at Klauzer and Tremaine that the roots of Real Estate law are found in the English Common law and that the Pilgrims were only a harbinger of how Real Estate law would work out in North America. Come in and test out their skills.

The Ghost Without a Plan

Admin KTLaw - Sunday, October 25, 2015

Halloween is the perfect time to tell ghost stories, and perhaps the scariest of them all is the story of Samuel Allen Crane. Crane was a very wealthy man.  He enjoyed the riches of many friends, a fulfilling career, but most importantly, Old Man Crane was the sole proprietor of an enormous candy closet. Legend had it that Samuel Allen Crane had carefully collected and inventoried every piece of candy from all the Halloweens of his long life. But Crane was an old man, and he knew his time was coming…

"What will I do with all this candy? Who will get what? Maybe I should just eat it all," he thought, but eating all the candy himself was clearly not the best option. 

Now here is where the story gets scary. It was a dark and stormy night, and Old Man Crane was walking home alone. The path through the cemetery was darker than he remembered, and the gnarled black trees danced in the cold October wind.  Nobody knows what happened that night, and I’ll spare our readers the grisly details, but when Old Man Crane was was found, no life remained.

The entire community mourned the death of Samuel Allen Crane, but whispered rumors of his candy estate soon flew like bats in the night. 


“They say he has Snickers™ the size of cinderblocks”

”Mounds of Mounds™!”

“Daddy-O’s™ for days!”

”Gallons of gummi bears!”


“I heard Old Man Crane never designated a fiduciary to manage his fudge, nor a beneficiary of his bonbons!”


“Let’s get that candy!!!!”


Before long, the townspeople descended upon the Crane mansion armed with torches, pitchforks, each with a mighty sweet tooth.  What ensued was gruesomely gooey, spine-tinglingly sugary, monstrous marshmallow-y madness.  Before long, the candy was gone, and the townspeople were sprawled across the caramel-covered lawn groaning with tummy aches.  A gruesome sight, indeed.

All of the sudden, a ghostly voice belonging to none other than Samuel Allen Crane bellowed above the crowd.


“This behavior is not at all in accordance with my final wishes!  I spent my entire life collecting candy only to have it squandered?  Nooooooooooooooooo-ooooo!!”


And with this final ghastly wail, a spell was cast upon the town, and all of the people remained suspended in a sugar coma for all eternity.


Let this tale be a lesson to you!  Let the knowledgeable guardians of the pumpkin patch at Klauzer & Tremaine help prepare your affairs.  We have years of experience in preparing wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and living wills.  Come in to speak with an attorney, and sample our candy jar… if you dare!

Have a Safe Labor Day!

Admin KTLaw - Friday, September 04, 2015
Routt County DUI Stats 2014

Labor day marks the end of the summer; many of us like to celebrate with family and friends. Celebrations some times involve drinking, but by no means should it lead to drinking and driving. Data from the Persistent Drunk drivers Committee within the Colorado Department of Human Resources helps us see the impact. In Routt County last year there were 170 cases filed for Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) and Driving Under the Influence (DUI), with an average Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.157. With the BAC threshold of .08 for a DUI, the county average is almost double the legal limit. As much fun as it is to celebrate please celebrate responsibly.

DUIs’ are not a laughing matter. They are expensive and could cost you for years after the incident. It is estimated by the Colorado Department of Transportation that a DUI charge in Colorado will cost $10,270, once you consider all the fines and professional fees. Those ten thousand dollars would buy you a nice vacation, 2,000 five-dollar McDonald’s gift cards to give to the needy, or about 700 boxes of Pixy Stixs. In the long run it could cost you a job and could hurt your credit score. There is some much better ways to spend your money other than on a DUI, that you could have avoided too start with.

The value of another person’s property or life cannot be factored in to the above costs. Replacement of damaged property caused by drunk driving cost you thousands of dollars on top of all those fees. Injuring or even killing others while driving under the influence affects not just their family and friends, but whole communities. These debts could be hard or impossible to completely repay. 

One way to avoid all those expenses is to always have a ride home. If it’s a friend or a service have a plan before you head out to your fun. If everyone is enjoying drinks, there are plenty of options for you to get home safely. There are taxi services, hotel shuttles, and public transportation. Check out the links below before you go. There really is no excuse for not having a ride.Have a plan before, drink responsibly, choose not to drive, get home safely, and oh, have fun! Enjoy time with family and friends this Labor Day weekend!

Data Sources:


Transportation information:



Keeping or Losing your Marbles

Abbey Horn - Saturday, August 15, 2015

Written by Randy Klauzer 

Four couples came to the marathon marble tournament.  Shooter and amber had been a team for a long time and had competed for their marbles which they kept in one large canister and although each competed, Shooter entered more tournaments and contributed many more clearies than Amber’s cat’s-eyes.

Dusty and Precious had been a team almost as long as Shooter and Amber but Precious didn’t like what marbles did to her manicure and almost never competed or won a round. Since Dusty travelled and competed he kept almost all of the marbles in his traveling case while Precious received a few choice orbs from Dusty which she kept in her favorite music box.

Lucky and Nott were neighbors of Shooter and Amber and had been in almost as many competitions. Almost all of their marbles were kept in a shoe box that they had found when they first met. A few competitions ago Lucky was given a coffee can full of Aggies when his father retired from marble competitions. Although Nott didn’t much like the coffee can and encouraged Lucky to use the shoe box, Lucky kept those Aggies in his coffee can. Shortly after Lucky’s dad retired, Nott’s mom sent her a large UPS package with her substantial collection of blue clearies. Nott didn’t like the cardboard UPS box and put the clearies in the shoe box with the other marbles the team had accumulated.

Biz and Ness were first attracted to each other because each was proficient in the marble ring and each had accumulated a significant bag-o-marbles. Biz kept his in a leather bag with a drawstring and Ness kept hers in a silk sack that smelled of perfume. Before going to the tournament they talked with their marble coaches and decided to write up a “pre-tournament agreement” so that they would know what would happen with the marbles they intended to win at the tournament. To make sure that there were no misunderstandings between the two they made lists of their Aggies and steelies and all of the rest of the spheres in their bags. Sometimes Biz would let Ness use some of his marbles but, their respective marbles always went back into his leather bag or her perfumed silk sack after the competition.

The marathon marble tournament was long, tiring and tempestuous. All of the couples were worn out and they each decided their marble competition partnerships were irretrievably broken. What else was there but for each of them to take their marbles and go home.

Shooter told Amber he should get the more numerous clearies because he put them in the canister. Dusty claimed the travelling case and insisted that Precious could only have the marbles in the music box. After all, Precious had never won any marbles. Nott insisted that he and Lucky were a team and needed to divide up all of the marbles even if Lucky got the first pick. Biz and Ness got out their copies of the “pre-tournament agreement”.

Unfortunately, Shooter and Amber, Dusty and Precious, and Lucky and Nott couldn’t agree how to divide up their marbles. Since they were each at odds, they petitioned the tournament referee to divide the marbles. After the referee heard from each couple, he made decisions for Shooter and Amber, Dusty and Precious, and Lucky and Nott, but not Biz and Ness.

Shooter and Amber each got one half of the clearies and cats eyes. Precious got her music box contents and half of the traveling case while Dusty got the other half of the travelling case, but nothing from the music box. Lucky got one-half of the shoe box and her coffee can of Aggies while Nott bid goodbye to half of the clearie collection nestled in the shoe box. Biz and Ness already had an agreement. Biz kept the marbles in his leather bag, and Ness kept the marbles in her silk sack. They didn’t need the referee.

What happened next? Biz and Ness went onto compete in many more tournaments each summer, spring and fall. Shooter gave up competitions, and went onto skeet shooting. Amber took Shooter’s unused marbles and gave half to their grandchildren. Precious and Dusty continued fighting with the referee about the quality of marbles that each were allotted at each subsequent marble tournament for many years. Lucky sold her marbles on e-bay and moved to American Samoa. Nott was never seen or heard from again.

Wine with Randy

Abbey Horn - Saturday, August 08, 2015

Summer in Steamboat always means that there is something to do outside, even if it is raining. With our amazing summer time comes come great events. A favorite event to locals and visitors alike is the Steamboat wine festival. Our own Randy Klauzer answered a few questions about wine and the wine festival.

            Randy’s favorite are a red wines, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Caernet being his top 3 favorites. When it comes to local wines Chardonnay from the Grand Valley Winery out of the Grand Junction area is a local favorite. However, an all time favorite local is a homemade wine. From 1974-1985 Mr. Russell and Randy would buy Colorado wine grapes, then they would make everything from Slovak la Blonk to Cabernet.

            When it comes to the Steamboat Wine and the Wine festival there are quite a few options. One of the local favorite wine festival events is the Stroll of Steamboat. Which is a tour that meanders through down town that offers tastings of food and beverages at local businesses. When it comes to ordering wine at local restaurant’s Randy says that L'apogee has the best selection. If a nice dinner at home is more your style Randy suggests shopping at Central Park because they have a large selection with knowledgeable staff and representatives. He would pair any heavy red meat, like a steak, with a cabernet.

            Before we know it the aspen leaves will be changing and the first snow will be hitting the ground. Many people will not mind that, however these beautiful Rocky Mountain summer evenings were made for good friends and good wine.  So enjoy all that the area has to offer with these suggestions!     

Goodbye Jessica!

Abbey Horn - Friday, July 31, 2015

On the behalf of the family at Klauzer and Tremaine, thank you for your time with us. We wish you the best of luck with your future endeavors!


Contracts Spell out all Terms Clearly

Abbey Horn - Friday, June 26, 2015

Steamboat Pilot, May 14, 1992

By Ed Miller and Deborah Ward

At a meeting of home builders, local attorney rich Tremaine pointed out that one of the major problems we face, as builders or homeowners, is that when we listen to the other side we tend to focus on our own interest.

 For example, the contractor asks, "Am I going to be paid on Friday?"

The homeowner responds, "Are you working on Saturday?"

Any time a homeowner sets out to complete a remodeling project and hires professional help, communication is the key to a successful business relationship.

One of the best ways to ensure a positive experience is to talk with the contractor, and then put your final agreement in writing. although many homeowners may be intimidated by the legal sound of the word "contact" it is always a good idea to write one.

That doesn't mean anyone hiring a contractor, even for a minor project, must also hire an attorney. Contracts can be simple statements of a verbal agreement between a homeowner and a contractor.  

Steamboat Springs attorney Rich Tremaine shared his observations with the builders about contracts and communications. Much of what he told the group is applicable to contracts for home-improvement projects, too. Writer Ed Miller summarized Tremaine's remarks at the meeting. With permission of Muir's Original Log Home Guide, Fall 1991 Edition, a summary is reprinted for the readers of our 1992 Home Improvement Guide.

Any written home building contract needs to address the following provisions:

1. Documents- There may be many documents in the course of a building project, including blue prints, construction manuals, specification sheets, zoning restrictions, etc. These define the scope of the work.

2.Concealed Conditions- There are situations where information is simply incomplete at the time of contract preparation. For example, underground rock formations can cause construction costs to rise considerably.

3. Schedule- This is simply states in calendar time, the target dates for completion time of the project. Without getting lengthy on the subject, be aware that the benefits of finishing on time are generally realized by both the buyer and the builder. Delays can be caused by either party and I'd have to say that it's evenly split. Invariably, the best course is get it right the first time, a re-do later is usually more costly in terms of the time and money. 

4. Payment- It is necessary to establish the amounts to be paid, the frequency of the payments and the objectives which warrant payments. Clauses which may stop payment of the work should be clearly defined. Both the owner and builder must respect the fact that the owner may be operating with high interest construction loan and the builder may be operating on a tight cash flow.

5. Changes in work- Almost invariably, changes take place during the course of construction. Frequently, contracts for the projects fail to address this adequately. 

6. Dispute Resolution- Provisions should be made to resolve differences that might arise between parties. This should also cover the site of arbitration and how costs for arbitration are to be handled.

7. Responsibility for and to the Subcontractors- Often, in a building project, owners and builders split the responsibility for hiring, firing, and paying subcontractors such as carpenters, plumbers, heating and air conditioning people, electricians, etc. This is a sticky situation if some of the subs happen to be relatives of the buyer.

8.Warranty- Like it or not, the builder legally assumes the liability for a construction project, weather the contract is in writing or not. It's best to not only define the conditions but also to attach stipulated time limits to the warranty.

9. Insurance- This defines the responsibility and the amount of coverage for personal liability, property damage, material loss and workmen's comprehensive insurance during the course of the project. the homeowner will inevitably absorb these costs, but the coverage needs to be indicated.         



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