Jefferson-Western Corp. v. Chefas, JEFFERSON-WESTERN

Decision Date16 June 1983
Docket NumberNo. 81CA0074,JEFFERSON-WESTERN,81CA0074
Citation670 P.2d 431
PartiesCORPORATION and Ranch America Corporation, a partnership, doing business as R.J. Cattle Corporation, a general partnership, Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. Spiros J. CHEFAS and Regas Chefas, Defendants-Appellants. . I
CourtColorado Court of Appeals

Philip A. Rouse, Philip A. Rouse, Jr., Denver, for plaintiffs-appellees.

Tallmadge, Tallmadge, Wallace & Hahn, P.C., C. Thomas Bastien, Denver, for defendants-appellants.

KELLY, Judge.

Defendants, Spiros J. Chefas and Regas Chefas, sublessees of the Hidden Valley Ranch, appeal a judgment entered on a jury verdict awarding $26,000 to sublessors, a partnership consisting of Jefferson-Western Corporation and Ranch America Corporation, d/b/a R.J. Cattle Corporation. In this action, the partnership sought to recover unpaid rent, lost profits, and property damage. The defendants assign error to the trial court's actions (1) in failing to exclude witnesses pursuant to Colorado Rules of Evidence 615, (2) in improperly allowing the jury to consider loss of gross profits in making its damage award, and (3) in denying defendants' motion for a new trial based on jury misconduct. We affirm.

Defendants assert that requests to exclude witnesses made pursuant to Colorado Rules of Evidence 615 are mandatory and that, therefore, the trial court should have excluded two of the plaintiffs' witnesses from the courtroom. We disagree.

Colorado Rules of Evidence 615 does not authorize exclusion of "an officer or employee of a party which is not a natural person designated as its representative by its attorney." Here, both witnesses were officers of the two partner corporations. Although these witnesses were not formally designated as representatives, because the trial court retains a degree of discretion in the application of the rule's exceptions, we conclude that the trial court properly allowed the witnesses to remain. Cooper v. United States, 594 F.2d 12 (4th Cir.1979).

We also do not agree with the defendants' contention that the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury to consider only loss of net profits in making its damage award. The argument is premised upon the assumption that the testimony concerning loss of an alfalfa crop was a "lost profit" item. We do not so interpret the record.

The testimony related to a 10% reduction in a crop of alfalfa which resulted from defendants'...

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1 cases
  • Walter v. Hall
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals
    • September 26, 1996
    ... ... See Jefferson-Western Corporation v. Chefas, 670 P.2d 431 (Colo.App.1983) (where there was no ...         Similarly, in Vitolo v. Dow Corning Corp., 166 Misc.2d 717, 634 N.Y.S.2d 362 (Sup.Ct.1995), the statute gave "any ... ...
3 books & journal articles
  • Chapter 6 - § 6.1 • EXCLUSION OF WITNESSES
    • United States
    • Colorado Bar Association Colorado Courtroom Handbook for Civil Trials (CBA) Chapter 6 Conduct of Trial
    • Invalid date
    ...who, though not formally designated as "representatives," were officers of the party corporation. Jefferson-Western Corp. v. Chefas, 670 P.2d 431, 432 (Colo. App. 1983). ➢ Witnesses Not to Discuss Testimony. The trial court may direct witnesses not to discuss the case with one another, but ......
  • Chapter 6 - § 6.1 EXCLUSION OF WITNESSES
    • United States
    • Colorado Bar Association Colorado Courtroom Handbook for Civil Trials (2022 ed.) (CBA) Chapter 6 Conduct of Trial
    • Invalid date
    ...who, though not formally designated as "representatives," were officers of the party corporation. Jefferson-Western Corp. v. Chefas, 670 P.2d 431, 432 (Colo. App. 1983). ➢ Witnesses Not to Discuss Testimony. The trial court may direct witnesses not to discuss the case with one another, but ......
  • Rule 615 EXCLUSION OF WITNESSES
    • United States
    • Colorado Bar Association Colorado Rules and C.R.S. of Evidence Annotated (CBA)
    • Invalid date
    ...as representatives, the trial court may still allow the witnesses to remain in the courtroom. Jefferson-Western Corp. v. Chefas, 670 P.2d 431 (Colo. App. 1983). Rule prohibits the sequestration of an officer or employee of a nonnatural party who has been duly designated as its representativ......

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