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Jim Thomas
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Over 90% of Colorado companies are owned by people who work in them, people who daily balance business, community and life in one of the world’s great playgrounds. That’s perfect for Jim Thomas. A partner in Denver law firm Minor & Brown, Jim has over 25 years of experience trying to maintain that same balance himself while helping some of Colorado’s great “human-owned” companies. Jim blogs about law and business without giving actual legal advice, funny or otherwise, at No Funny Lawyers.

A graduate of Texas A&M University and The University of Texas School of Law (balancing Aggies with Longhorns), Jim married fellow law student Candace Wolhart and together they made Denver the hometown Jim lacked in his Air Force-brat upbringing. The resulting dedication to making Colorado vital and sustainable means that commerce, community and children are never far from mind.

Jim’s community involvements have included the Colorado Children’s Chorale, where he is currently President, Kempe Children’s Foundation, The Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Boy Scouts of America’s Denver Area Council, National Arts Strategies, Downtown Denver Partnership, and the Leadership Denver, Leadership Exchange, and Legacy Denver programs of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation. Jim is equally fond of his roles as an excitable goose, an abusive school teacher, a dog catcher and a Supreme Court Justice on the community theater stage of his church.

Photography is as important to Jim as is his writing, so all photos in his posts not credited to another source are his own.

Jim and his family try to enjoy everything Colorado has to offer, especially when it can be done from a trail, a bicycle or skis. Around town Jim can be identified by the “Caution: Driver Singing” bumper sticker on his car.

Blog Entries by Jim Thomas

Who Owns Your Business-Related Social Media?

(3) Comments | Posted May 18, 2012 | 3:15 PM

There is a time bomb in your company that you had better defuse. This is true whether you are employee or employer, because when it blows, both sides will be out lots of time and money, including plenty in attorney's fees. Not that we attorneys don't want your money; it's...

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The Persistence of Vision: Colorado Experience 2012.

(0) Comments | Posted May 16, 2012 | 12:08 PM

Leaving your day-to-day work and normal surroundings, even if only for two days 70 miles to the North, can be eye opening. Lessons learned, even important ones like the vitality of vision in successful communities, however, fade without persistent attention. Vision, and leaders who live the vision, were my takeaways...

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Law for Business, Hope for Artma

(0) Comments | Posted February 8, 2012 | 5:25 PM

Business is hard, but cancer in kids is harder. My Minor & Brown colleagues and I use legal skills to help remove roadblocks to business success. This week, however, we are also taking aim at cancer in kids. I've said it before: good businesses make money, but great businesses build...

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Four Ways to Get Out of Your Lease, Part 2

(1) Comments | Posted January 26, 2012 | 1:57 PM

Before my schedule bogged down in tinsel and year-end deadlines, I posted on a question that's been almost common: "I signed this lease before the economy tanked. How can I get out of it?" Typically, the business has contracted to a degree that it no longer needs, or simply can't...

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Four Ways to Get Out of Your Lease: Part 1

(0) Comments | Posted January 24, 2012 | 2:04 PM

The best time to think about getting out of a business lease is before you sign it. For the many companies with leases signed, perhaps too casually, before the economy tanked, that's little help. While their numbers are down from recent highs, businesses still come to my law firm looking...

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7 Keys to Indemnification in Business Sales, Part 4 of 3

(0) Comments | Posted November 2, 2011 | 12:40 PM

If you are buying or selling a business, the first thing you'll do when your lawyer sends the draft contract, if you're like my clients, is check the purchase price. Then you'll make sure they spelled your name right. Then, if you are my client or a regular reader of...

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Warranties & Reps in Risk Allocation in Business Sales, Part 2 of 3

(0) Comments | Posted October 19, 2011 | 10:36 AM

My last post cautioned against fixating on purchase price to the detriment of risk allocation in the sale of a company. I believe sellers should leave closing without a nagging concern about keeping the purchase price just paid to them. This second part of my series on risk allocation in...

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Keeping Your Hard-Won Purchase Price: Risk Allocation in Business Sales

(3) Comments | Posted October 10, 2011 | 1:37 PM

Purchase price is everything in business sale transactions. From the initial inquiries of a possible buyer to the heated battle over EBITDA in a letter of intent, purchase price is the primary, if not only, focus of many sellers of human-owned business. Investment bankers or business brokers who facilitate the...

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Due Diligence: A Smart Spin in Risk Allocation, Part 2.5 of 3

(0) Comments | Posted October 4, 2011 | 2:51 PM

I finished the 1990 Bob Cook Memorial Mount Evans Hill Climb on the wheel of that year's winner, Olympic road cycling gold medalist Alexi Grewal. The "hill" climbs 7000 feet in altitude in only 27 miles from Idaho Springs to 14,130 feet near the summit of Mount Evans, the mountain...

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Fraud Targets Business... Law Firm

(1) Comments | Posted June 15, 2011 | 2:23 PM

That firm is mine, Minor & Brown, and I'm not talking the spammy stuff everyone gets. This was sophisticated, carefully planned, big bucks ($250,000) crime. It didn't work, and the story of what happened and why it didn't work could be helpful to your business, and certainly should...

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Denver Leaders See Over Monument Hill: Colorado Experience

(0) Comments | Posted May 24, 2011 | 1:23 PM

"One cannot be pessimistic about the West. This is the native home of hope. When it fully learns that cooperation, not rugged individualism, is the quality that most characterizes and preserves it, then it will have achieved itself and outlived its origins. Then it has a chance to create a...

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Your Voice Required: Rebuild Colorado's Economy From the Bottom Up

(4) Comments | Posted February 24, 2011 | 1:18 PM

The opposite of too big to fail is not too small to matter. Growing our own did not become obsolete with medical marijuana. Home-grown, human-owned businesses of fewer than 50 employees make or break the Colorado economy. Luring much larger companies to relocate to Colorado, however, traditionally dominates our economic...

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Time Is Running Out on Second Chance to Fix Employee Plans

(0) Comments | Posted November 9, 2010 | 11:48 AM

Colorado businesses that offer any kind of deferred incentives or compensation to their employees need to know that while hell has not frozen over, something almost as unusual has occurred. The IRS is giving you a second chance to be sure your plans qualify with Section 409A of the Internal...

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Skip 'em or Guess? Voting on Colorado Judges

(7) Comments | Posted October 25, 2010 | 12:52 PM

Election Day is coming fast and some of you are already voting under Colorado's early voting, so I have a question for you. What do you do with the judges on the ballot? Skip 'em? Guess?

My work as a lawyer is all about effective negotiations, understandable contracts and landmine...

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Changing a Law to Do the Right Thing: An Example of Government Helping Business

(0) Comments | Posted October 14, 2010 | 4:13 PM

If you knew your customers had overpaid your business, you would return the excess payment without the customer having to ask for it, wouldn't you? It's the right thing to do; besides, it's also great customer service. Until recently, however, it was against the law for the State of Colorado...

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16 Brilliant Business Minds on Twitter

(9) Comments | Posted October 13, 2010 | 6:52 PM

This is the latest post in our series, Twitter Powerhouses, which focuses on the contributions of people who've helped to expand, influence, and redefine how we view social networking.

Ideas can be powerful, and when they are combined with a strong will and a sense of optimism, they can become...

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A Last Chance for Charity: 300,000 Non-Profits Risk Losing Tax-Exempt Status

(2) Comments | Posted September 20, 2010 | 5:14 PM

Charities and other tax-exempt, non-profit businesses, though distinct from the human-owned for-profit companies I represent, do play a vital role in the humanity of our society. Since stewardship of our Colorado community is one of my concerns, I wanted to add my voice to the warnings to small non-profits that...

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Labor Day: We've got work to do.

(0) Comments | Posted September 7, 2010 | 4:40 PM

The slow recovery continues to press, and depress, America. In my world of the human-owned business, far from Wall Street, labor (organized and not) and management are suffering alike. The announcement of 67,000 new private sector jobs -- coming, as they always do, mostly from human-owned companies --...

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What's Next for Business Owners? Focus on Key Employees

(0) Comments | Posted August 26, 2010 | 12:59 PM

Double dip or bumping-along-the-bottom to slow growth? The debate about the economy continues and I have no ability to predict the future, but I know a couple things that were true before the Great Recession that will certainly be true after: Demographics is one; entrepreneurs are usually terrible delegators is...

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Business Identity Thieves Attack in Colorado

(0) Comments | Posted July 16, 2010 | 11:05 AM

We all know about protecting our personal identities, and credit, from thieves, but the same issues and devastating outcomes impact businesses, too. ID thieves are targeting Colorado companies, Secretary of State Bernie Buescher and Attorney General John Suthers announced today as they rolled out a program to combat the problem...

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