New Partners 2021

Fifty new partners were added at Colorado law firms at the turn of New Year. The newly promoted attorneys practice in a range of practices, from complex commercial litigation to immigration and white collar crime. Congratulatons to all of this year’s new partners!

Chris Achatz- Koenig Oelsner Taylor Schoenfeld & Gaddis

Practice: Complex technology and data-related transactions

Achatz works with businesses ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies. He is a former in-house counsel for a leading data and analytics company and is also a certified information privacy professional. Prior to joining KO, he practiced in the data group of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. 

Joshua Amos- McDermott Stuart & Ward

Marijuana Law, Criminal Law, Civil Litigation, Personal Injury

Alma Mater: University of Denver Sturm College of Law Before his time at MSW, Amos worked in the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office and as a deputy public defender in Arapahoe County. He now focuses his practice in marijuana law. Most recently, Amos worked with his partner, Martin Stuart, to secure the dismissal of political prosecution for an individual protesting against police brutality in Aurora.

Amos Barclay- Holland & Hart

Practice: Mergers and Acquisitions, Venture Capital Alma Mater: University of North Carolina 

Barclay advises companies from small start-ups and venture-backed growth stage companies to public companies in the Fortune 500. His practice focuses on M&A, tender offers and other strategic exit opportunities. He also assists clients with venture capital financing and strategic growth, as well as corporate structure and governance.

Curtis Bankers-Sherman & Howard

Practice:Trusts & Estates Planning

Alma Mater: University of Iowa College of Law Bankers represents high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals, families and family offices. He partners with clients to offer comprehensive legal counsel and strategic planning on estate planning, business-succession planning, wealth-transfer planning, family office structuring and administration, estate and trust administration, U.S. federal transfer-tax planning, and U.S. federal gift and estate tax audits.

Robert Bliss- Robinson Waters & O’Dorisio

Practice: Franchise Law, Corporate Law

Alma Mater: Baylor University School of Law. Bliss handles general corporate work for businesses in industries including general corporate formation and transaction issues, intellectual property matters, secured transactions, real estate deals, commercial real estate, securities, and employment topics. In law school, he served as associate editor and executive editor of the Baylor Law Review. 

Cody Bourke- Snell & Wilmer

Practice:Complex Commercial Litigation
AlmaMater: University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Bourke focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation, with an emphasis on disputes involving real estate, construction, and oil and gas. He is a member of the CBA Young Lawyers Division, the DBA Natural Resources and Energy Law Section, the Rhone-Brackett Inn of Court, the Colorado Petroleum Association, and the Colorado Association of Home Builders. 

Kelsey Bowers- Moye White

Practice: Commercial Litigation

Alma Mater: University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Bowers is a member of the firm’s trial section, and her practice focuses on commercial litigation, specifically administrative and civil litigation. She is also active in the construction law space. 

Abby Brown-Moye White

Practice: Employment Litigation
Alma Mater: University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Brown represents clients ranging from individuals to small businesses to corporate clients. Her practice focuses on employment litigation, construction disputes and general business litigation. She serves as chair of the firm’s Colorado Pledge to Diversity program.

Darin Brown- Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton

Practice: Trademark and Copyright

Alma Mater: Yeshiva University Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Brown focuses his practice on counseling brand owners on the protection, maintenance, and enforcement of their trademark rights around the world. He partners with clients to identify and implement strategies to maximize the value and visibility of their brands. He has experience in the fields of entertainment and technology and regularly devises and manages customized clearance programs and portfolio management methods for his clients. 

Jordan Bunch- Holland & Hart

Practice: Real Estate Development and Finance 

Alma Mater: University of Colorado School of Law

Bunch represents clients in complex real estate transactions including acquisition, development, leasing, land use, licensing, renewable energy and affordable housing. Her extensive leasing practice includes ground leasing in addition to traditional office and retail leases.

Hannah Caplan- Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Practice: Litigation, Labor and Employment
Alma Mater: University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Caplan helps businesses navigate labor and employment law and works to mitigate the risk of future claims. In her transactional practice, she navigates employee transitions with confidentiality, non-compete and non-solicitation agreements as well as separation and release agreements. She also assists with due diligence support in corporate acquisition and merger transactions, including immigration compliance and other material issues.

Rachel Carnaggio- Holland & Hart

Practice: Patent Prosecution, Counseling and Opinions

Alma Mater: University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Carnaggio’s dual experience as a molecular and cellular biologist and intellectual property attorney bring unique value to her clients in the life sciences industry. She counsels clients in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device and digital health sectors, helping clients develop protective strategies for intellectual property rights.

Kara Lyons Chrobak- Sherman & Howard

Practice: Litigation – Family Law

Alma Mater: University of Colorado Law School Chrobak helps clients regarding divorce, child custody, child visitation, contested adoption, marital agreements, and alimony among other forms of support. She is a former commercial litigator and uses her experience to offer unique and creative approaches to litigation and mediation in family law. She is also a certified privacy professional.

David Clark- Snell & Wilmer

Practice:Banking and Commercial Finance

Alma Mater: Rutgers University School of Law Clark’s practice is concentrated in banking and commercial finance with an emphasis on loan originations focused primarily on real estate lending and other asset-based lending, syndicated lending, and loan workouts and restructures. He is currently on the firm’s hiring committee.

Laura DePetro- Woods Aitken

Practice: Commercial Litigation, Construction

Alma Mater: Creighton University School of Law DePetro represents construction companies on public and private jobs, whether it is a contract dispute, design deficiency, negligence claim or complex delay and schedule issue. Prior to joining Woods Aitken, DePetro was a judicial law clerk for Judge Gary Fenner, a senior federal district court judge for the Western District of Missouri. 

Brandon Dittman- Kissinger & Fellman

Practice: Public Utilities, Municipal Law

Alma Mater: University of Colorado Law School. Dittman focuses his practice on the areas of public utilities law, municipal law and telecommunications law. He has experience in assisting private and public clients in litigating and resolving disputes concerning public utilities; and he is the town attorney for both Lyons and Empire in Colorado. He is also the general counsel for the Colorado Association of Municipal Utilities.

Victoria Donovan- Kutak Rock

Practice: Business, Corporate and Securities

Alma Mater: University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Donovan works with companies, entrepreneurs, investors and individuals in issues concerning emerging and growing companies related to M&A, investment capital, licensing, IP, corporate and employment matters, and commercial contracts. She has a combination of general counsel and private practice experience and works with clients in a range of industries, including technology, media, entertainment, sports, advertising and business services.

Nicholas Dyer- Fairfield & Woods


Alma Mater: Harvard Law School Nicholas has represented clients in more than $4 billion of transactional value across multiple industries. Currently, Nicholas’ practice focuses on serving clients in real estate and development deals across the Rocky Mountain region.

Diana Fields- Kutak Rock

Practice: Employment Law Litigation

Alma Mater: University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Fields returned to the partnership this year after having been a Kutak Rock partner from 1991–2000. She specializes in employment law and has represented corporate clients and senior management in federal and state courts and in alternative dispute resolution and administrative agency proceedings involving employment-related disputes. Her experience includes representing business clients in general and complex litigation in a variety of industries. 

Andrew Freyer- Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Practice: Intellectual Property

Alma Mater: Santa Clara University School of Law

Freyer applies an insider’s knowledge of large and small technology companies‚ operations and objectives and his expertise in electrical engineering and software development to his work on patent preparation, prosecution and portfolio development. By providing data-informed counsel and unique industry insight, his work ensures clients realize the full value of their intellectual property rights.

Shane Griffin- Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Practice: Real Estate

Alma Mater: University of Colorado Law School Griffin represents clients in the acquisition, development, financing, leasing and disposition of various commercial properties, including office buildings, shopping centers and hotels. Griffin also has experience in performing due diligence in all phases of real estate transactions such as title and survey.

Justin Hahn- Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Practice: Corporate and Business

Alma Mater: University of Denver Sturm College of Law Hahn focuses on M&A transactions in the middle markets and lower middle markets and is known for his ability to effectively and efficiently get deals done for his clients. Working primarily in the consumer products, health care and energy services industries, he represents private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies, private companies and public companies in connection with complex business transactions.

Leslie Hansen- Griffiths Law

Practice: Family Law

Alma Mater: University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Hansen has over 17 years’ experience as a district attorney prior to working in family law. She handled hundreds of criminal cases and conducted dozens of jury trials, including 10 first degree murder trials. Her strong background in litigation continues to serve her and her clients.

Russell Hedman- Hogan Lovells

Practice: Corporate and Finance

Alma Mater: Harvard Law School Hedman leads and negotiates complex M&A and investment transactions around the world, with a particular focus on sports teams and entertainment venues. Hedman sits on the board of directors of the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce and chairs its policy committee. He is also engaged in Denver’s music and artist communities through his role as a director at Youth On Record.

Lauren Hirt- Kutak Rock

Practice: Real Estate

Alma Mater: University of Colorado Law School Hirt focuses her practice on the financing, acquisition, disposition and leasing of commercial real estate and serves as counsel to real estate investment trusts, corporations and other entities in a variety of transactions. She also works with clients on a variety of corporate transactional matters including corporate governance and compliance, intellectual property and third-party contracts.

Linda Knight- Spencer Fane

Practice: Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Alma Mater: University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Knight helps insurers and their insureds resolve complicated first- and third-party litigation to minimize potential exposure when stakes are high. She has experience defending insureds in catastrophic loss cases and insurers in coverage and bad faith litigation.

Jason Larkin- Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Practice: Corporate and Business

Alma Mater: New York University School of Law. Larkin’s practice focuses on secured and unsecured corporate finance transactions, including complex private equity-backed and strategic acquisition financings, project financings, asset-based financings and other borrower- and lender-side commercial financings. Larkin also has significant experience with cross-border transactions, specifically in Latin America, doing capital market and project finance transactions.

S. Jex Lawrence- Kutak Rock

Practice: Real Estate, Corporate Law, Commercial Finance

Alma Mater: University of Denver Sturm College of Law Lawrence represents commercial lenders, project borrowers, community development entities, tax credit investors and other investors in a variety of transactions throughout the country, including commercial lending, tax-exempt bond financing, real estate development projects, sales and acquisitions, and leasing.

Ann Lee- Ogletree Deakins

Practice: Immigration

Alma Mater: University of Colorado Law School Lee provides strategic counseling on employment-based non-immigrant, immigrant, and compliance matters to major multinational corporate clients in the information technology, financial services, healthcare, research, mining, and hospitality industries. 

Tiffany Lu Leichman- Sherman & Howard

Practice: Public Finance

Alma Mater: Fordham University School of Law Leichman focuses her practice in the area of public finance and has acted as bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel, special disclosure counsel and placement agent’s counsel in a variety of matters relating to the issuance of tax-exempt debt by state and local governments. Prior to joining Sherman & Howard, Leichman served as a legal and compliance manager for Morgan Stanley in New York City.

Andrea Leider- Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath

Practice: Securities and Corporate Law

Alma Mater: Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law Andrea Leider practices securities and corporate law. She advises public companies on SEC reporting requirements, stock exchange rules, proxy regulation, executive compensation issues and corporate governance matters.

Douglas Link- Lathrop GPM

Practice: Intellectual Property

Alma Mater: Thomas Jefferson School of Law Link is a member of the firm’s high-tech patent prosecution team, and his clients benefit from his legal experience paired with his electrical engineering background. Link has experience handling electrical- and software-related patents, including IoT devices, autonomous vehicles, RF antennas and Industry 4.0 technology. Link has aided in the drafting, filing and prosecution of more than 55 inter partes review petitions related to high-tech systems and processes. 

Kevin McAdam- Holland & Hart

Practice: Commercial Litigation 

Alma Mater: University of Colorado Law School McAdam represents individuals and corporations in federal and state courts and before international arbitration tribunals. His practice focuses on complex commercial disputes in the areas of financial services, securities, and commercial real estate. Kevin chairs the firm’s summer clerk committee.

Kate Mercer-Lawson – Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell

Practice: Commercial Litigation, Mass Torts, Product Liability

Alma Mater: Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Mercer-Lawson’s practice involves high-stakes asbestos and stray voltage claims. She has won for Foster Wheeler in the 4th Circuit in multiple asbestos failure to warn cases involving the government-contractor defense. 

Corey Moore- Otis & Bedingfield

Practice: Business, Real Estate, Estate Planning

Alma Mater: Pepperdine University School of Law Moore is a key member of the firm’s transaction team and focuses his practice on business and estate planning. He advises business owners on all types of general business matters, from routine questions about formation, management, or contracts to large acquisitions. Corey is a member of the Weld and Larimer County Bar Associations as well as the CBA, including the trust and estate and business sections.

Adam Mueller- Haddon Morgan and Foreman

Practice: Appellate

Alma Mater: Boston College Law School Mueller has briefed nearly 100 appeals in federal and Colorado appellate courts. He has presented over 20 oral arguments in the Colorado Supreme Court, the Colorado Court of Appeals, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. He also practices in the areas of criminal defense: civil litigation, and civil rights.

Nathan Mutter- Holland & Hart

Practice: Patent Prosecution, Counseling and Opinions 

Alma Mater: University of Colorado Law School Mutter focuses on patent prosecution and counseling for sophisticated clients with international IP portfolios spanning wireless communications, cloud infrastructure, artificial intelligence, and medical device technologies. Advising on a range of IP due diligence and clearance projects, he helps clients navigate IP issues related to acquisitions, product development and launch, and defensive strategies.

Habib Nasrullah- Davis Graham & Stubbs

Practice: Litigation

Alma Mater: Georgetown University Law Center Nasrullah’s counsels individual and corporate clients on a variety of federal and state compliance issues in the health care, technology, aviation, and financial institution sectors. He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and serves as the college’s vice-chair of the Federal Rules of Evidence Committee. He is also a founder of and advisor to the Colorado Association of Leaders in Educational Technology and is a member of the Defense Research Institute, the International Association of Defense Counsel and the International Bar Association. 

Nora Passamaneck- WilmerHale

Practice: Litigation/Controversy, IP Litigation

Alma Mater: Boston University School of Law Passamaneck focuses her practice on IP disputes at the pre-litigation, trial and appellate levels. Passamaneck has also counseled clients and assisted with matters before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, including inter partes review proceedings. Her cases span a broad range of technological fields, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, microprocessors, telecommunications networks, and internet technologies. 

Kendria Pearson- Sheridan Ross

Practice: Copyright, IP Litigation, Patent Prosecution

Alma Mater: University of Colorado Law School Pearson has nearly a decade of experience helping clients in all aspects of patent, trademark and copyright law, including a depth of experience with patent prosecution and intellectual property litigation. She has passion for helping clients protect and defend their intellectual capital. Pearson has a background in aerospace engineering and works with clients to develop and implement IP strategies tailored to their businesses. 

Koby Polaski- Elkind Alterman Harston

Practice: Immigration

Alma Mater: University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Polaski has been practicing immigration law exclusively since 2009. While attending law school, she worked as a law clerk for a firm specializing in family immigration and removal defense as well as with a corporate law firm focused on employment-based immigration. She also spent several months as an intern with a law firm in Caracas, Venezuela.

Julia Rhine- Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Practice: Energy and Natural Resources

Alma Mater: University of Michigan Law School Rhine helps her clients traverse Colorado’s complex oil and gas landscape, and she focuses her practice on cases involving state and local government regulatory frameworks, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other matters subject to review under state and federal administrative procedure statutes. She frequently handles enforcement proceedings and rulemakings before the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

Kevin Selzer- Holland & Hart

Practice: Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation 

Alma Mater: University of Kansas School of Law Selzer counsels clients on employee benefit matters, including the design and implementation of qualified retirement plans, health and welfare plans, and equity compensation arrangements. He advises clients on executive compensation issues and helps employers ensure compliance with the Internal Revenue Code, ERISA and related laws.

Kristofer Simms- Caplan & Earnest

Practice: Estate Planning

Alma Mater: University of Wyoming College of Law Simms counsels clients on estate planning, trust administration, probate, taxation and real estate issues. He also advises clients on general business matters, including business set up and succession planning for closely held companies. He is a member of the Colorado Bar Association’s trusts and estates section  and the Boulder County Estate Planning Council. 

Karen Shimonsky- Gordon Rees

Practice: Health Care, Professional Liability

Alma Mater: Stetson University College of Law Shimonsky has experience in trying multiple cases to verdict both as trial counsel and as the retained appellate attorney. Her trial and appellate experience includes handling cases in both state and federal jurisdictions around the country.

Eliza Steinberg- Griffiths Law

Practice: Family Law

Alma Mater: University of Denver Sturm College of Law Steinberg’s practice is focused exclusively on family law related matters including divorce, allocation of parental rights, post-decree disputes and child support matters. Prior to becoming an attorney, she worked as a senior paralegal at Griffiths Law on high asset, high conflict divorce cases.

Douglas Stevens- Caplan & Earnest

Practice: Litigation

Alma Mater: Yeshiva University Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law Stevens focuses his practice on civil litigation matters, including construction, outdoor recreation, personal injury, commercial and contract disputes, chiropractic and medical malpractice, and insurance bad faith and coverage. He has also developed a practice advising outdoor recreation providers on various aspects of their legal and risk management needs. 

Ryan Sugden- Stinson

Practice: Business Litigation, Commercial Real Estate

Alma Mater: Washington University School of Law Sugden is a trial lawyer who represents landowners, developers and lenders in commercial real estate matters, construction disputes, and insurance coverage claims. He also frequently represents health and workers’ compensation insurers in ERISA and premium dispute litigation.

Melissa Sullivan- Keating Wagner

Practice: Personal Injury, Product Liability, Medical Malpractice

Alma Mater: University of Denver Sturm College of Law Sullivan focuses her practice on representing plaintiffs who have been seriously injured as a result of motor vehicle collisions, defective products, or medical malpractice.  She also has a background in trusts and estates and probate administration. Melissa has become an active member of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association. 

Paul Swanson- Holland & Hart

Practice: Commercial Litigation, Antitrust and Trade Regulation 

Alma Mater: Cornell Law School Swanson’s commercial litigation practice focuses on complex contract and antitrust disputes. With a client base in technology and logistics, Paul manages state and federal lawsuits and arbitration for Fortune 500 companies and regional clients. He engages in all stages of dispute-resolution, from pre-litigation assessment and negotiation to trial and appeal.

Gregory Szewczyk- Ballard Spahr

Practice: Litigation

Alma Mater: Harvard Law School Szewczyk advises clients on a variety of privacy, data use and information security issues. He has assisted corporations with privacy and information security matters, ranging from negotiating privacy provisions of complex transactions to collecting personal information to ensuring vendor agreements afford the necessary level of protections. 

Jake Tiernan- Moye White

Practice: Real Estate Law

Alma Mater: University of Denver Sturm College of Law Tiernan’s practice focuses on real estate and transactional matters, such as reviewing commercial and residential loan documents, negotiating commercial and residential purchase and sale agreements, lease agreements, demand letters, and contracts. Tiernan also currently serves as co-chair of the firm’s real estate section.

Colin Walker- Fairfield & Woods

Practice: Employment Law

Alma Mater: The George Washington University Law School Walker was promoted to equity shareholder in 2021. He provides strategic counsel for clients facing complex employment and commercial problems. He has tried many bench and jury trials as a former criminal prosecutor with the State’s Attorney Office for Baltimore County, Maryland.

Kevin Walton- Snell & Wilmer

Practice: Commercial Litigation, Real Estate

Alma Mater: University of Wyoming College of Law Kevin Walton focuses his practice in complex commercial litigation, including class action lawsuits and real estate litigation. He represents clients in a range of industries, including oil and gas companies, financial institutions, secured and unsecured creditors, general contractors and other construction professionals. Walton is the vice-chair for the board of directors of the Aurora Public Schools Foundation and a member of Impact.

Joshua Weiss- The George Washington University Law School

Practice: Litigation

Alma Mater: Weiss has built a practice pairing litigation with high-level government relations work along with a broad appellate practice. He represents clients in federal and state courts across the country, administrative and regulatory enforcement proceedings and informal dispute resolution processes. He also advises on business strategy, regulatory compliance, licensing, internal investigations and corporate governance in heavily regulated industries, including cannabis and hemp, banking, finance, gaming and construction.

Brad Williams- Holland & Hart

Practice: Labor and Employment, Litigation

Alma Mater: University of Colorado Law School Williams litigates labor and employment disputes on behalf of employers before administrative agencies and state and federal courts. In addition to his employment-related work, Williams also arbitrates labor grievances, defends unfair labor practice charges, and counsels employers on traditional labor law matters.

Rachel Yeates- Moye White

Practice: Commercial Litigation

Alma Mater: University of Denver Sturm College of Law Yeates’ practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, as well as regulatory and enforcement defense. She has experience developing strategy, trying cases, and handling appeals, especially in the financial services and capital markets. Yeates is active in the Colorado Symphony Crescendo Society for Young Professionals.

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