Brownstein Creates Crisis Management Group

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck announced on Sept. 19 the formation of a crisis management group. 


The group will assist in crisis management matters ranging from legal and regulatory to financial and communications matters including privacy breaches, cyberattacks, regulatory inquiries, litigation, labor and employment issues, criminal investigations, bankruptcies and restructurings, defamation matters or community controversies, according to an announcement from the firm.

Shareholder Mitch Langberg and Chief Culture and Communications Officer Lara Day will lead the group, which also includes former chief of staff to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi Nadeam Elshami and presidential speech writer Ken Khachigian as well as Greg Brower, Marc Lampkin, Drew Littman and Will Moschella.

Lateral Watch

Airbnb announced Tuesday that Rich Baer will join the company as Chief Legal Officer. 

“As someone who has served as the general counsel for fast-scaling, large, complex, globally branded and publicly traded companies, Rich will be an incredible advocate for all our stakeholders, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Airbnb team,” said Airbnb Chief Operating Officer Belinda Johnson.

Baer has led the legal teams at Qwest Communications, United Health and most recently, Liberty Media. Liberty is a set of five public companies which own or hold large stakes in companies such as SiriusXM, Formula 1, LiveNation Entertainment, TripAdvisor, Qurate, Zulily, the Atlanta Braves, Charter Communications and GCI, among others.  

In addition to his legal work, Baer is chairman of the Board at National Jewish Health and has served as a board member of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, the Colorado Legal Aid Foundation, the Daniels College of Business Executive Advisory Board and the Colorado Campaign for Inclusive Excellence. 

Baer received a law degree from Duke University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University. He will start at Airbnb in early October and will be based in San Francisco.

Holland & Hart announced that Shaun Kennedy has joined the firm’s government contracts practice as of counsel in Denver and Washington, D.C. Kennedy has experience in federal and state government contracts matters, guiding clients in general counseling, complex internal investigations and representation in high-stakes bid protests and claims litigation.

Kennedy has experience working in private practice and in-house for aerospace and defense contractors. His practice includes counseling clients in every facet of contract claims and disputes, bid protests, contract formation and administration matters, internal investigations and government subpoenas.

Prior to joining Holland & Hart, Kennedy practiced nine years as corporate counsel and in private practice. He also served as a Law Clerk to Judge Loren Smith of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

He received a law degree from American University, Washington College of Law and received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky. He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and Colorado.

Associate Watch

Moye White announced Tuesday that Allison Hester joined the firm as an associate in the litigation section.

Prior to joining Moye White Hester worked as a law clerk to Chief Judge Steven Bernard at the Colorado Court of Appeals. 

Hester received a law degree from the University of Colorado Law School and received a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University in 2012.

Shook Hardy & Bacon on Wednesday added Elisabeth Hutchinson to the Denver office where she will serve the firm’s health, science and technology clients with business litigation matters. 

Hutchinson brings a wealth of experience as a law clerk for state and federal courts including the Colorado Court of Appeals, the Colorado Supreme Court, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Hutchinson most recently served as a staff attorney at the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming, where she specialized in post-conviction relief and federal civil rights claims. Additionally, she practiced as a staff attorney and pro bono coordinator for Equal Justice Wyoming, where she addressed access-to-justice issues and oversaw the expansion of pro bono programs serving low-income people across Wyoming. 

She received a law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Davis. 

Davis Graham & Stubbs announced that Sarah Rice Carlson has joined the firm’s trial department as an associate. 

Carlson’s practice will focus primarily on general commercial litigation. In her previous role, she clerked for Judge Gilbert Román of the Colorado Court of Appeals and assisted with the research and writing of various appellate opinions. She also previously clerked for Justice Allison Eid during her tenure on the Colorado Supreme Court.

She received a law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara. 

Holland & Hart added two attorneys to its energy and natural resources practice group.

Michelle Seares provides counsel to energy clients on litigation matters including royalty disputes, surface access problems, and issues with working interest owners. 

She received a law degree from The George Washington University Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Colby College. She is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and her practice in Colorado is temporarily authorized pending admission under C.R.C.P. 205.6.

Utsarga Bhattarai represents energy and natural resources clients on complex litigation and regulatory compliance matters. He practices primarily in the areas of environmental and natural resources law and commercial litigation. 

Prior to joining Holland & Hart, Bhattarai served as a clerk for Justice Monica Márquez of the Colorado Supreme Court. During law school, he interned for Judge Christine Arguello of the U.S. District Court in Denver. He received a law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and a bachelor’s degree from Colorado College.

Lathrop Gage announced Thursday that Sarah Govea recently made the transition from paralegal to associate within the firm. 

Govea is a member of the firm’s energy team in the Denver office. Her practice primarily focuses on the preparation, drafting and review of oil and gas title opinions for mineral interests. She also worked with the firm’s energy department when she was in the paralegal role.

Prior to joining Lathrop Gage, Govea worked as an in-house legal extern for a Denver-based boutique energy law.

Govea received her law degree from the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law and received a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University.

Armstrong Teasdale added Ashleigh Kaspari as an associate in its litigation practice group in Denver. Kaspari was previously a criminal defense investigator for the Colorado Public Defender’s Office. She received a law degree from the University of Colorado Law School and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. She is also a licensed private investigator in Colorado.

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