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Upcoming Events

Defending the Absent Client at Trial Presented by: Haley Maglieri, Messner Reeves

June 4, 2020, 4:00 PM - 5:00 AM

It is rare for defense counsel to have to defend an absent client to verdict. During this presentation, we will discuss strategies and tactics for defending an absent client at trial, and all of the challenges associated therewith. The presentation will address pre-trial motions, the importance of unity with co-defendant counsel, jury instructions, voir dire, opening and closing.
To Learn More and to Register, Click Here


Bashor / Nunn Follow Up, Anticipating the Setup Attempts; Heather Salg, Messner Reeves

June 11, 2020, 12:00 AM - 1:00 PM

This CLE will address cases from Bashor through Stresscon and Hinajosa, focusing on how the law on consent judgments in Colorado has evolved and why there are keys to the defense found in some of the cases underlying the seminal Colorado cases.
To Learn More and to Register, Click Here


Protective Orders in First and Third Party Cases; Frank Patterson, Patterson Ripplinger

June 16, 2020, 12:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Educating opposing counsel and the court on protective order issues: this CLE will discuss the problems presented when plaintiffs ask for protective orders to limit use/dissemination/retention of plaintiff medical records; when carriers want institutional data to be protected; and concerns we should all be aware of in first and third party cases whenever anyone claims records need to be kept “confidential”. CLE will provide language for the Court’s consideration as well as consideration by other attorneys.
To Learn More and to Register, Click Here


A Panel Perspective on the Challenges of Defending Under a Wrap Policy, Ivan Sarkissian, McConaughy & Sarkissian; Brad Ramming, Sweetbaum Sands Anderson; Kate Strauss, Cotney Construction Law

June 18, 2020, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

In this moderated panel discussion, attendees will be provided information from various perspectives on the challenges of defending a construction defect claim under a wrap or owner-controlled insurance policy (OCIP). From the perspectives of developer defense counsel, subcontractor defense counsel, and mediator, the following issues surrounding wrap policies will be discussed:

Reasons wrap policies may be obtained for projects;
Coverages and exclusions to be mindful of with wrap policies;
Handling issues with SIRs/deductibles;
Tripartite relationship and notice of claim concerns;
Design professionals and other non-enrolled parties;
Groundwork necessary to ensure a successful mediation.
To Learn More and to Register, Click Here


Ethics CLE - Protecting Yourself and Your Client: Ethics for the Insurance Defense Lawyer; Kendra Beckwith and Katherine Otto, Messner Reeves

June 30, 2020, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Topics for this presentation will include best practices at the beginning of the attorney-client relationship, with particular focus on insurance defense counsel. Topics will include clearing conflicts, dos and don’ts for engagement letters, referral to personal counsel, and navigating coverage questions from your client.
To Learn More and to Register, Click Here


More events + details


CDLA Membership Application and Renewal

Our members are among the most elite defense attorneys in Colorado. CDLA is a statewide organization that is nearly 750 members strong who benefit from access to resources and tools for legal professionals who strive to provide superior and balanced service to their clients.

CDLA Membership Application and Renewal

Want to contact our legislative committee? Please direct those questions to:

Bo Donegan
Executive Director
Colorado Defense Lawyers Association


Covid-19 Resources

We rely heavily on in-person CLEs for our educational seminars, but the COVID-19 virus has changed our method of delivery. Therefore, the Colorado Defense Lawyers Association will conduct webinars and promote them until further notice. The July 2020 Conference has been cancelled but we are excited that in July 2021 two Past Presidents, Jan Spies and Rob Jones will be co-hosting their conference in Tamaya, New Mexico, right outside Santa Fe.

Here are some helpful links:

Click here for COVID-19 Resources.

Click here for COVID-19 Small Business Response Resources.

Click here for official State of Colorado COVID-19 website.

Click here for help and resources from the Colorado Lawyer Assistance program (COLAP).

Download tips for teleworking and staying calm during difficult and changing times.


COVID-19 Stay at Home Blues, by Scott Nixon




CDLA Officers

Christopher Reeves, President
Waltz / Reeves

Natalie Lien, Vice President
Stuart Jorgensen & Associates

Michele Choe, Treasurer & 2020 Conference Chair
Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell

Meredith McDonald, Secretary and 2022 Conference Chair
Hall & Evans

** Note 2021 Conference Chairs:

Jan Spies
Spies Powers & Robinson

Rob Jones
Paul Edwards and Associates

Full list of board members


CDLA's Diversity Statement

The Colorado Defense Lawyers Association has the goal of promoting diversity within the legal community and assisting charitable organizations with a relation to the civil defense community. Charity, outreach and diversity must be viewed as a perpetual practice rather than reaching certain numerical markers. Charity, outreach and diversity efforts require sustained commitment, leadership, innovation and financial support. Through the Colorado Defense Lawyers Association Foundation ("Foundation"), we are committed to leveraging our collective efforts through partnerships and alliances in order to foster leadership, awareness and communications enabling an environment of good will and inclusiveness within our Association membership. We also are committed to using the Foundation to advance charitable interests or organizations with a relation to the civil defense community, as determined by the Foundation.

Bo Donegan
Executive Director
Colorado Defense Lawyers Association
643 Dexter Street
Denver, CO 80220

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