F. Brittin Clayton III

Shareholder

emailbclayton@rcalaw.com
phone303.813.6713
fax303.595.3159
Legal Secretary: Ann Palius
emailapalius@rcalaw.com

Biography

In his 30 years as a litigator, Britt has helped hundreds of clients successfully resolve personal and business disputes through negotiation, mediation, arbitration, trials, and appeals. Britt is a well-rounded "Renaissance" lawyer, having an exceptionally broad range of experience that enables him to handle cases from the mundane to the unique with a rare combination of creativity, intellectual aggressiveness, perspective, and professionalism.

Britt's philosophy as a litigator is to achieve superior and cost-effective results for his clients through hard work, excellence in written and oral persuasion, unwavering integrity, and courtesy toward opposing parties and counsel. Britt is a highly effective team-builder and a leader who guides his clients through even the most contentious and complex of conflicts—maximizing client outcomes while reducing the costs and misery of litigation.

Experience in Wide-Ranging Fields of Law. Practicing in state, federal, and bankruptcy courts throughout the Rocky Mountain region, Britt has achieved outstanding results in cases involving myriad different fields of the law including:

  • Breach of Contract: Britt has represented plaintiffs and defendants in hundreds of different breach of contract cases. He was the prevailing party in a Colorado Supreme Court case that limited the reach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing that exists in every contract.
  • Business Torts: Many of Britt's business cases have also involved tort claims such as fraud, negligent misrepresentation, defamation, abuse of process, tortious interference, and conspiracy. He successfully defended a $5 million fraud case by persuading the plaintiff to voluntarily dismiss the case without Britt's client paying anything in settlement—a complete victory through negotiation that averted a costly trial.
  • Real Estate: Britt has handled numerous real estate disputes involving purchase and sale transactions, development agreements, easements, encroachments, options, and title disputes among other matters. He was the prevailing party in a Colorado Supreme Court case establishing that a Colorado deed of trust encumbers unadjudicated non-tributary water lying below the encumbered land.
  • Creditor-Debtor Relations: Britt has handled innumerable collection actions, foreclosures, receiverships, and other proceedings to collect sums owed to lenders, including the defense of lender liability counterclaims. He has also represented lenders and borrowers in work-outs of troubled loans—achieving win-win agreements that enabled the borrowers to satisfy their obligations.
  • Bankruptcy: Britt has helped debtors and creditors in numerous disputed bankruptcy claims, adversary proceedings, and liquidation and reorganization proceedings. He achieved confirmation of a hotly disputed $55 million creditors' plan of liquidation for an insolvent resort hotel developer—thereby generating the funds to settle and pay millions of dollars in claims held by his clients.
  • Insurance: Britt has successfully represented insurance policy holders in coverage, bad faith, and garnishment litigation—obtaining policy benefits that the insurance companies resisted paying.
  • Shareholder and Partner Disputes: Britt has assisted minority stakeholders in obtaining redress for breaches of fiduciary duty by majority stakeholders, and in achieving advantageous business "divorces" when partnerships are irretrievably broken.
  • Securities: Britt's practice includes representation of securities sellers and purchasers in cases involving securities fraud and illegal sales activities by unlicensed brokers.
  • Probate: Britt has represented trust and estate beneficiaries and fiduciaries in disputes involving the validity of wills, alleged breaches of fiduciary duty, and disputed ownership of assets. In a recent probate court trial, Britt prevailed in asserting the relatively unknown doctrine of "equitable adoption"—obtaining an inheritance for adult children from their "father" despite the absence of any biological relationship or formal adoption.
  • Property Taxation: Britt has achieved several multi-million dollar commercial property valuation reductions in contested hearings before the Colorado Board of Assessment Appeals. He recently prevailed in an appeal to the Colorado Court of Appeals, establishing that a membership in a non-equity golf club is not a taxable interest in land.
  • Landlord-Tenant Relations: Britt has represented numerous landlords in enforcing their rights under commercial leases, including contested eviction proceedings resulting in termination of the tenants' rights of possession.
  • Construction Defects: Britt has represented property owners and contractors in construction defect cases involving HVAC, paving, plumbing, and other trades.
  • Intellectual Property: Britt has represented plaintiffs and defendants in cases involving claims of copyright infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets, and non-competition agreements.
  • Class Actions: Britt has represented consumers, borrowers, and employees in class action proceedings.
  • Racketeering: Several of Britt's cases have involved claims under state or federal racketeering statutes.
  • Environmental: Britt has been involved in environmental remediation actions brought by government entities as well as environmental fraud and breach of contract actions between business entities.
  • Injury and Professional Malpractice: Britt has achieved substantial settlements for persons injured in accidents, the families of deceased victims, and those harmed by the negligence of dentists, physicians, and lawyers.
  • Personal Affairs: Britt has represented plaintiffs and defendants in non-business cases involving highly personal and private subject matters, where absolute confidentiality, sensitivity, and diplomacy are necessary.

Exposure to Numerous Different Businesses and Industries. In the course of handling these diverse matters and others, Britt has been exposed to the workings of many different types of entities, businesses, and industries including:

  • Real Estate Development
  • Real Estate Investment
  • Real Estate Brokerage
  • Banking and Lending
  • Private Equity
  • Hospitality
  • Restaurants
  • Construction and Renovation
  • Resort Timeshares
  • Cattle Feed Lots
  • Cattle Financing
  • Haunted House Attractions
  • Farming
  • Mining
  • Internet Data Mining
  • Greeting Cards
  • Book Publishing
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Medical Device Development
  • Consumer Product Development
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Billboards
  • Insurance
  • Public Accounting
  • Assisted Living
  • Scuba Instruction
  • College Fraternity
  • Schools
  • Special Districts
  • Ski Areas
  • Golf Clubs
  • Prisons
  • Oil Field Services
  • Auto Manufacturing
  • Auto Sales Financing
  • Auto Parking
  • Airlines
  • Software Development

Law Firm Leadership. Britt is a member of Ryley Carlock & Applewhite's Ethics Committee, Compensation Committee and Contingent Fee Committee. Before joining the firm, Britt was a shareholder at Isaacson Rosenbaum P.C., where he served on the Executive Committee and as Chair of the Litigation Department.

Personal Interests. When not practicing law, Britt enjoys hiking, camping, outdoor photography, and running marathons.

Publications

While earning his J.D., Britt served as Articles Editor of the University of Colorado Law School's Law Review.

Speaking Engagements

  • "Real Estate Defaults: Drafting and Litigation Issues for Defaults on Loans, Leases, and Purchase and Sale Contracts," Continuing Legal Education Seminar, March 2010

Memberships

  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Colorado Trial Lawyers Association

Distinctions

Britt is the recipient of the University of Colorado's "The Law School Award."

Profile Information

Offices

Solutions

Education

  • University of Colorado Law School, J.D., Order of the Coif, 1986
  • Bucknell University, B.A., Philosophy and Psychology, 1981

Admissions

  • All State, Federal, and Bankruptcy Courts in Colorado
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. Supreme Court

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