In 2012 the Colorado Supreme Court made effective the Civil Access Pilot Project in six counties: Jefferson, Gilpin, Denver, Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas.  The alteration to the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure is monumental.  No sensible lawyer will practice in those counties on business actions including those based on contracts, most torts,derivative actions, product liability cases, intellectual property and non-competes including theft of trade secrets without paying careful attention to the CAPP rules as they are called.

CAPP has been extended through June 30, 2015 and may be extended beyond that time and beyond the counties to which it is now applicable. However, the Colorado Supreme Court is considering amendments to the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure which may be effective July 1, 2015 which incorporate certain aspects of the CAPP rules but otherwise allow CAPP to expire.

CAPP is not practice as usual.  The required pleadings must be based on material facts.  Notice pleading has been superseded in the six metro-Denver counties.  The disclosure rules are greatly altered for both Plaintiff and Defendant and require full disclosure of witnesses and facts known to the party.  The assigned Judge may rule on the sufficiency of the disclosures if requested to do so.

The Case Management Conference  is required within 49 days of the last filed pleading and the Judge’s Order will control the management of the case from that point on.  While the parties may agree to expanded discovery, the Judge may limit discovery based on his or her appraisal of the needs of the case.

Without discussing in detail the many modifications of the Colorado rules of Civil Procedure by the CAPP rules, both clients and attorneys will suffer greatly if they fail to recognize the effects of the CAPP rules at least until June 30, 2015. Most likely the newly revised Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure when adopted will incorporate many of the elements of the CAPP rules.

Clients and counsel must plan their case in advance of filing including the listing of witnesses and documents to be disclosed at the time of filing of the case if the Plaintiff wants to force Defendant to react promptly.  Plaintiffs who want to delay disclosure or to build their case solely on discovery are courting trouble.

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