The legal dispute surrounding the trust serving as stewards of the Denver Broncos will drag out in 2021.
According to Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post, the trial surrounding the trust had been scheduled to begin on Sept. 1 before Arapahoe County Court Judge John Scipione issued a continuance to an unspecified date next year. The challenges of an in-person trial due to COVID-19 were part of the justification for moving the trial back to a later date.
The root of the dispute is over whether former Broncos owner Pat Bowlen had the legal capacity in 2009 to put control of the Broncos into a trust managed by Broncos president/CEO Joe Ellis, team counsel Rich Slivka and Denver attorney Mary Kelly. The lawsuit was filed by Beth Bowlen Wallace challenging the validity of the trust last year.
The trust has been tasked with determining which, if any, of the Bowlen children will take over ownership of the Broncos franchise into the future. A list of criteria had been put in place for any of the children that sought to take over controlling ownership of the franchise. Brittany Bowlen has appeared to become the leading candidate to assume that position from the trust and rejoined the organization last year.
Pat Bowlen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s but continued in his position leading the Broncos until 2014. He would eventually die in June, 2019.