Colorado values public access to public records in order to ensure transparency and accountability in government. However, for a variety of reasons, there are certain types of records that cannot be disclosed, or that may be disclosed, but only under certain circumstances or to certain individuals. Our attorneys help our local government clients navigate the complexity of the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) to ensure that their responses to public records requests are in full compliance with state law.
Transparency and accountability is not just about public records. It is also about governmental decision-making. Our attorneys understand the “Sunshine Law” (open meetings), and provide advice and counsel to local governments with respect to ensuring compliance with its requirements. From public notice of public meetings to the technical requirements of executive sessions, we help local governments and special districts understand and comply with the Colorado Sunshine Law.
Our attorneys also have extensive experience in the arena of “quasi-judicial” procedure, which is used, for example, when an application for development approval is considered by a Planning and Zoning Commission or a local governing body. While these procedures are subject to the Sunshine Law, they are also governed by constitutional “due process” requirements and a nuanced line of case law. We help our clients understand the contours of the constitutional framework of quasi-judicial procedure, including but not limited to issues of ex parte (off-record) communications, disclosures, conflicts of interest, and record-keeping.