Attorney

Merc
Pittinos

Attorney
Attorney

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Merc focuses his practice on helping clients resolve real estate disputes. He represents clients throughout Colorado.  

Merc works with developers, landowners, landlords, brokers, and homeowners. He has helped clients resolve disputes involving real estate transactions, loans, leases, easements, covenants, and boundaries. He has written and lectured extensively about Colorado adverse possession law.

In his practice, Merc has represented landlords in lease disputes; developers in breach of contract, construction, and foreclosure actions; property owners in title and boundary disputes; and oil and gas companies in title, lease, and joint operating agreement disputes.

Merc is a former member of the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board of Adjustment and Appeals for the City of Englewood. In 2013 and 2014, he was selected as a Rising Star in real estate by Colorado Super Lawyers.

Merc has represented clients in jury trials, bench trials, and arbitration proceedings and has argued cases before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Colorado Supreme Court, and the Colorado Court of Appeals.


Representative Matters

Contract Disputes

  • Assisted both clients and brokers to resolve commission disputes, represented buyers and sellers of real property litigating disclosure and breach of contract disputes, and helped clients resolve HOA covenant disputes.

Real Estate and Oil and Gas Lease Disputes

  • Trial court victory representing owner of industrial building in dispute over lease renewal option.
  • Successful resolution of dispute regarding replacement obligations under triple-net lease.
  • Frequent representation of landlords in eviction proceedings.
  • Assisted clients in oil and gas lease termination disputes involving option payments, shut-in royalty payments, and production sufficient to extend lease into secondary term.
  • Obtained dismissal of suit challenging constitutionality of Weld County ordinance related to the siting of oil and gas facilities.

Adverse Possession

  • Defended developer against adverse possession claim based upon use of property for rifle range in Steamboat Springs.
  • Represented clients in adverse possession case at ranch in Elbert County, Colorado.
  • Retained by ranching family to assist in appeal of adverse possession decision impacting property adjacent to Roaring Fork River near Aspen.

Easements

  • Successfully represented homeowner in trial and appeal to declare historical easement agreement void.
  • Assisted landowner in dispute to resolve whether access road was county road, private road, or public road by historic use.
  • Filed lawsuit to protect historic access to 1,200-acre ranch in Routt County.
  • Represented ditch company in suit over location and scope of ditch easement.

Boundary Disputes

  • Represented client in property dispute based on historic movement of Arkansas River.
  • Negotiated and drafted boundary agreement to address title problems on multiple sides of parcel in Boulder County.
  • Successfully settled dispute involving claims against seller for breach of real estate contract and two neighbors over boundaries and easements.

Real Estate and Mineral Rights Ownership

  • Filed quiet title action to protect client’s interest in property that was held in domestic partner’s name.
  • Filed and defended multiple suits to resolve claims related to reversionary interests, wild deeds, the historical conveyance of leasehold interests in multiple transactions, the quantification of non-participating royalty interests, and scrivener’s errors in deeds.

Reformation

  • Sued more than 150 defendants in deed reformation action to successfully recover oil, gas, and mineral rights mistakenly conveyed in sale of agricultural land in Weld County.

Lien Priority Disputes

  • Retained by bank to resolve dispute over priority of deeds of trust.
Publications and Articles

Author
“Is Adverse Possession in Colorado Real Estate Dead?”
Colorado Real Estate Journal, February 5, 2014

Author
“Allen v. Steele: Use Caution in Giving Legal Advice to Prospective Clients”

Author
“Adverse Possession after House Bill 1148”
37 Colo. Law. 73, November 2008

Authored chapter on adverse possession in Geoffrey P. Anderson Colorado Quiet Title Actions 
Gordon L. Allott, Sr., 36 Colo. Law. 29, July 2007

Speaking Engagements and Presentations

Presenter
“Timely Commercial Real Estate Issues Every Broker Should Know to Avoid Litigation, Lurking Legal Issues”
Denver Metro Commercial Association of Realtors, December 12, 2019

Presenter
“Understanding Adverse Possession, Land Laws for Civil Engineers and Land Surveyors”
Half Moon Education Seminar, May 17, 2019

Presenter
“Defining Adverse Possession and Trespass, Boundaries and Easements” 
Half Moon Education Seminar, January 13, 2017

Presenter
“Defining Adverse Possession and Trespass, Determining Land Ownership and Access Rights” Half Moon Education Seminar, November 17, 2015

Presenter
“Procuring Cause”
Colorado Association of Realtors Webcast, January 21, 2015

Presenter
“Legal Panel”
Colorado Association of Realtors 2016 Convention, September 22, 2016 

Presenter
“Legal Panel”
Colorado Association of Realtors 2014 Convention, October 21, 2014

Presenter
“Quiet Title Actions: The Basics Plus Selected Advanced Topics”
February 9, 2011

Presenter
“Quiet Title Actions: The Basics Plus Selected Advanced Topics”
August 20, 2008