Colorado Initiative 104 (2008)

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Initiative 104 or the Jury Trial in Civil Cases Initiative would have, if approved, added civil cases to the existing section of the Colorado Constitution that ensures the right to trial by jury, and would instruct the general assembly to enact, amend, or repeal any laws in 2009 as necessary to further the purpose of the amendment.

The Colorado Trial Lawyers Association agreed to withdraw this measure on May 6, 2008—as well as the eight others it filed in response to a measure to limit attorney fees—when proponents of that measure (the Attorney Fees Initiative) agreed to also withdraw.[1]

This measure was a citizen-initiated constitutional amendment.


The measure was filed by the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, as part of a group of nine initiatives that are intended to "improve the lives of working families and consumers in Colorado," according to John Sadwith, executive director of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association.[2]

"For too long corporate interests have been put ahead of consumer interests in this state," Sadwich said. "The initiatives filed shift the balance of fairness back to the consumer. Real people in this state deserve a break."[2]

The proposals are believed to be a response to a ballot measure filed earlier this year by former State Legislator Mark Hillman and what Hillman calls a coalition of business interests and grass roots activists. Hillman's proposed initiative would limit attorney's contingency fees in civil court judgments.[2]

One of the measures filed by Sadwith and attorney Scott Wolfe imposes increased state taxes on federal farm subsidies, of which Hillman is reportedly a recipient.[2]

The nine initiatives that were filed as a group target doctors, real estate brokers, corporate executives, and homebuilders. The other eight initiatives are:


Douglas Friednash, a Denver lawyer who has been critical of the ease with which such measures can make it on the ballot, called the measures "Draconian and disengenuous." He said the measures "go far beyond what the trial lawyers ought to be concerned about."[2]


The measure did not make the ballot.

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