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Law Firm Updates
National firm Spencer Fane announced on May 31 that John Peckler joined the real estate practice as an associate in the firm’s Denver office. Peckler, a graduate of Lewis & Clark Law School, has a practice with an emphasis on helping clients navigate land use and real estate issues for complex construction and development projects. He has significant experience in water law, including water rights, water transactions and regulatory water matters in complex real estate projects.
On June 2, national firm Lewis Roca announced Kendra Beckwith joined as a partner in its litigation practice group. Beckwith, University of Denver Sturm College of Law graduate, will be based out of the firm’s Denver office where she’ll continue her diverse practice that includes work on employment issues, liability matters, real estate law and class action suits, to name a few. Beckwith brings extensive appellate experience to Lewis Roca, arguing and briefing nearly 60 cases in both federal and state appellate courts across the country and boasting an amicus curiae practice as well.
Regional firm Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP announced on June 3 that it hired two new associates, Lauren Gulley and Johnnie Nguyen. Gulley, a University of Tennessee College of Law graduate, works on a variety of commercial real estate matters including advising developers, investors, lenders, purchasers and sellers on matters including commercial financing, land use and development, construction, commercial loans and more. Prior to joining DGS, Gulley worked at two South Carolina real estate firms. Nguyen, a University of Colorado Law School graduate, has a practice with a broad emphasis on litigation matters and brings a wealth of political experience as well. He has worked as a legislative aide in the Colorado General Assembly, a White House intern and a constituent advocate for U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper. During law school, Nguyen completed externships and clerkships at the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, with federal Magistrate Judge Reid Neuriter, with Colorado Supreme Court Justice William Hood III and at the U.S. Attorneys’ Office in Colorado.
The Fourth Judicial District Nominating Commission announced on June 1 an upcoming vacancy for an El Paso County judge. The vacancy will be created by the appointment to the District Court of Judge Monica Gomez, effective July 1. Applications are due June 15 for consideration and nominations must be received by June 8.
Gov. Jared Polis on June 2 appointed LaQunya Baker to the Arapahoe County Court in the 18th Judicial District. The vacancy is created by the July 1 resignation of Judge Anne Ollada. Baker, a Charlotte School of Law graduate, has been the partner and co-owner of Baker Oliver Simpson Law PLLC since 2019 where she practices criminal defense. Since 2021 she’s been a visiting assistant professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and previously practiced civil litigation at Senter, Goldfarb and Rice, LLC, litigation at Whitcomb Selinsky, P.C. and worked as a state public defender in the First Judicial District. She was selected over two other finalists, Christina Apostoli and Michael Carter, nominated by the 18th Judicial District Nominating Commission.
Movers and Shakers
Regional firm Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP announced June 2 that it will move its Denver office in 2024 to Paradigm River North, a new development that will be located at 3400 Walnut Street in Denver’s River North neighborhood. The new 80,000 square foot office will take up the top three floors of Paradigm River North. For about 20 years, DGS has had offices on 17th Street near Denver’s Union Station in the Lower Downtown neighborhood.
The 2022 edition of Chambers USA ranked Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP first in Colorado in the areas of banking and finance, bankruptcy/restructuring, corporate/M&A, employee benefits and executive compensation, energy and natural resources and environment and tax. Gary Meade, Cindy Birley, Brian Boonstra, Elizabeth Temkin, John Jacus, Brett Painter, Kenzo Kawanabe, Catherine Hance and Michael Snider were ranked as Band 1 lawyers in their respective areas of practice.
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck was ranked first in Colorado in the 2022 edition of Chambers USA in the practice areas of banking and finance, bankruptcy and restructuring, corporate/M&A, employee benefits and executive compensation and real estate. Jay Spader, Michael Pankow, Gino Maurelli, Nancy Strelau, Lisa Hogan, Bruce James, Carolynne White, Albert Kovacs, Ellen Schulhofer, Kirk Lenhard and Marc Lampkin were ranked as Band 1 lawyers in their respective areas of practice.
Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell announced on June 3 that it was recognized as a 2022 top litigation firm by Chambers USA both nationally and in Colorado. The firm was listed as a top 14 U.S. firm for class action defense and multiple attorneys were highly ranked for their practices.
Co-managing partner Carolyn Fairless was ranked in Colorado’s Band 1 for general commercial litigation
Partner Frederick Yarger was ranked in Colorado’s Band 1 for general commercial litigation and, for the second year in a row, was one of five Colorado attorneys selected for the publication’s Appellate Spotlight Table
Partner Hugh Gottschalk was ranked in Colorado’s Band 1 for general commercial litigation
Partner Katie Reilly was ranked in Colorado’s Band 2 general commercial litigation category
Co-managing partner Michael Williams was ranked in Colorado’s Band 4 general commercial litigation category and Band 2 for nationwide product liability and consumer class actions
Firm chair Michael O’Donnell was named as an eminent practitioner in Colorado’s general commercial litigation category and ranked in Band 4 of nationwide product liability and consumer class actions
Counsel Emeritus Malcolm Wheeler was named as a senior statesperson in Colorado’s general commercial litigation category
Partner Peter Herzog was ranked in Band 3 for nationwide product liability and consumer class actions
Partner Raymond Martin was ranked in Band 1 for labor and employment litigation in Colorado
Partner John Fitzpatrick was ranked in Band 4 of nationwide product liability and consumer class actions
Partner James Hooper was ranked in Band 4 of nationwide product liability and consumer class actions
John Moye, a longtime pillar in Colorado’s legal community, died on May 31. Moye was one of the founders of local firm Moye White and a longtime faculty member at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law. In 2005, Moye helped found DU’s Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System.