I consult on law, liability and risk management issues with those who provide sport, recreation, adventure and experiential services to the public. My understanding of both regional and national case law and ongoing writing and speaking in the industry, provides me with a perspective that assists clients in their most important endeavor: running a quality operation.
My goal is to provide my clients with a constructive, enlightened and informed perspective on legal and risk management issues, as they deliver these services to the public and make business decisions in their ongoing operations. Among other important issues, we assess activities and risks, and – in the risk management equation – consider the risk of loss to both participants and to the client’s operation, in the event of an incident, injury or other loss.
I emphasize clear, accurate and informed information exchange – whether that information is flowing between my client and its participants, staff, contractors or others.
In assisting clients, some of my goals include:
- To identify and connect what the client intends to deliver on the ground with what the client is saying in its content;
- To assist the client in addressing its readiness and preparedness for certain activities, locations or endeavors;
- To assist the client in providing a balance of information to its participants and parents – on the nature of the program, the inherent and other risks, and importantly, participants’ and parents’ responsibilities;
- To remind the client of the value in aligning its activities and programs with its mission;
- To inform the client of applicable law relevant to its operation and programming;
- To carefully consider the application of the law – in terms of the general operation, program development, and in the crafting of any contracts or written documents;
- To emphasize that the client’s ‘front line’ – in the field, should be accurately communicating with and informed by its ‘back line’ operations, regarding legal, risk management, crisis response, insurance and other critical matters.
In regard to my client’s participants, I am interested in what I term a client’s “external” materials – the content and documentation an organization intends for the public to see. External information includes, for example, a website or other marketing materials, application, participant agreement or other program information, etc., and the process that goes with it – phone, e-mail, Facebook or other contact. This is the overall “picture” the organization has painted for the public to see. I am also interested in what I term a client’s “internal” materials – the content and documentation an organization does not intend for the public to see, but which is often discoverable in the event of litigation. Internal information includes staff manuals, policies and procedures, a risk management or emergency/crisis response plan, incident or trip logs, etc. Importantly, I review this internal and external information from a legal and informational perspective – and not from a field perspective.
I have concentrated my practice solely on this area of law for 22 of my 29 years of law practice. I went to The Colorado College for my undergraduate degree in Political Economics, and to the University of Wyoming for my Juris Doctor degree. I see now that the unique and excellent education I received at both of these institutions was formative for my subsequent decision to focus in this practice niche. Just as important are my life passions of which, in addition to my wonderful family, include swimming, biking, hiking, skiing, yoga, and spending time in the backcountry. As a result, I personally value the services my clients are providing to the public. I am licensed to practice law in both Colorado and Wyoming.
I work with clients on the cutting edge – those that understand the value of the Great Outdoors, as well as the value of adventure, risk and reward in our society and the critical importance of its role in youth development.
Clients include camps and outdoor, adventure and experiential programs and educators; public and private schools; hunting, horse pack or river outfitters and guides; dude ranches; science and environmental programs; ropes and challenge course builders and facilitators; resort owners or developers; therapeutic programs; competitive event sponsors; trade associations and others. I also work with those who provide adventure products in this industry, including product manufacturers, retailers and lessors.