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Solem Woodward & McKinley, P.C.



A brief portfolio of notable cases

 Scales of Justice

Sandstead-Corona v. Sandstead, - 415 P.3d 310

Colorado Supreme Court, 2018

Defined how and when statutory displacement occurs

One of the most important trust and estate litigation cases decided by the Colorado Supreme Court in the last decade, this cautionary tale illustrates the volatility created when poor estate planning and simmering sibling rivalry mix, Sandstead changed in the law in Colorado, making it more difficult for those who would manipulate their parent’s estate plan through use of multi-party (“POD”) accounts to do so; confirming the breadth of the probate court’s jurisdiction to monitor for and correct such abuse; limiting a bad actor's ability to weaponize certain types of estate planning provisions intended to safeguard a decedent's wishes; and, most importantly, as far as we’re concerned, delivering justice for our client, Shauna Sandstead-Corona. Read more about it in this feature article published by the Colorado Bar Association.

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Monez v. Reinertson, - 140 P.3d 242

Colorado Court of Appeals, Div V, 2006

Due process safeguards for home and community based Medicaid clients

Marjorie and Mary were approved for Home and Community Based Services for the Elderly, Blind, and Disabled (HCBS), a Medicaid program administered by the Department. In 2003, the Colorado Medical Services Board adopted a new screening instrument to determine eligibility for HCBS benefits. Based on reevaluations using the new instrument, Marjorie and Mary were determined to be ineligible for benefits. Our firm represented Marjorie and Mary, protecting their benefits.

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State v. S.P.356 P.3d 1033

Colorado Court of Appeals, Div. VII, 2015

Medicaid lien rights for personal injury cases

S.P. was severely injured in a snowboarding accident at a Colorado ski resort when she was 22 years old. As a result of her injuries, S.P. is a paraplegic and will require ongoing medical care and assistance for the rest of her life. She applied for Medicaid assistance and was accepted. She received a lump sum settlement from the ski resort, but it did not specify allocation between past medical expenses, future medical expenses, home services, past and future lost earnings, and non-economic losses. Our firm brought S.P. to a favorable settlement with Medicaid regarding amount owed for past services.

Patient and Nurse

Houghton v. Reinertson, - 382 F.3d 1162

United States Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit, 2004

Preservation of retirement benefits for spouse of Medicaid nursing home recipient

Charles and Doris Sellers had been married since 1953. On August 20, 1996, Mrs. Sellers was admitted to Elms Haven Care Center.  She applied for and was granted Medicaid benefits. In 2001, the State of Colorado revised its Medicaid-eligibility guidelines used to calculate a married couple's resources when a spouse enters a nursing home and changed the way it classified self-funded retirement accounts such as IRAs, 401(k)s, and 403(b)s. Our firm's representation assured that Doris would continue to receive the benefits for which she had originally been approved.


Ramey v. Reinertson,268 F.3d 995

United States Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit, 2001

Protecting special needs trusts for SSI recipients

In 1986 Congress passed an MQT (Medicaid Qualifying Trust) statute that was then repealed and made even more strict in 1993. This case addressed the eligibility of three persons for Medicaid benefits who were in possession of certain trusts established before August 10, 1993. The Colorado Department of Medicaid contended that the trusts were MQTs, which therefore disqualified them from receiving Medicaid benefits.  Our firm proved that Ms. Ramey and Ms. Shupe were SSI recipients, and thus entitled to Medicaid benefits from the State of Colorado. 

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