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DGS Forms Property Rights Practice, Welcomes New Partners to the Firm

February 1, 2023

Davis Graham and Stubbs LLP is pleased to announce that Brandee Caswell, Sarah Kellner, and Katharine (Katie) McDermott, formerly partners in the Denver office of an international law firm, have joined the firm’s partnership this month.

Their arrival is the catalyst for establishing the firm’s new Property Rights Practice. The Property Rights Practice specializes in resolving complex, high-value real estate disputes involving land use, eminent domain, leases, special districts, urban renewal, and the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (CCIOA). Collectively, Ms. McDermott, Ms. Kellner, and Ms. Caswell bring over 50 years of specialized experience in these areas to DGS. Their addition marks a surge in the firm’s capability to assist clients with a comprehensive range of real estate needs.

“We are thrilled to welcome Katie, Sarah, and Brandee to the firm. They are the cornerstones of our new Property Rights Practice, and I am confident they will lead it to become one that is unparalleled in the Western region,” said DGS Co-Managing Partner Chad Williams. “This team of exceptional attorneys is well-known for their considerable expertise in eminent domain and skillful real estate advocacy in Colorado and across the country for landowners of all types and in all industries. They will enhance our ability to serve existing and prospective clients in their most critical real estate needs.”

Katie McDermott is an accomplished trial lawyer joining DGS’ partnership with a focus on eminent domain, special district finance disputes, and other complex real estate-related dispute resolution and litigation. In eminent domain matters, Ms. McDermott is an advocate for landowners through all stages of the condemnation process, from the notice of intent to negotiations and, when necessary, condemnation litigation. Over the years, she has defeated condemnation actions on behalf of landowners and negotiated complex agreements to help her landowner clients minimize project impacts. She has obtained several multi-million-dollar verdicts for her clients in valuation trials across the country. Ms. McDermott also has over a decade of experience unraveling district finance disputes. Ms. McDermott received her J.D. from the University of Colorado Law School and her B.A. from Arizona State University. She is admitted to practice law in Colorado and has helped clients resolve real estate-related matters across the country.

Sarah Kellner, also joining DGS as a partner, brings a combination of trial and project management experience spanning over fifteen years as a real estate litigator. Her practice focuses on advocacy involving land use, condemnation, property tax appeals, and complex landlord-tenant litigation. In her eminent domain work, Ms. Kellner advises both condemnor and landowner clients in a broad range of disputes. This experience gives her clients a balanced perspective, whether she is acquiring land rights necessary for energy projects or representing landowners in multi-million-dollar takings. Ms. Kellner’s practical and conscious business acumen extends far beyond the courtroom. She counsels and advises her condemnor clients in all aspects of their project and negotiation management from pre-acquisition permitting all the way through good faith negotiations and, ultimately, condemnation trials. Similarly, in her land use practice, Ms. Kellner assists developers in multiple industries to navigate development hurdles by finding creative solutions to problems and driving projects forward with municipalities and other government entities to achieve favorable results both before as well as in litigation. Finally, Ms. Kellner provides legal support to companies challenging their real property tax assessments and valuations. With her substantial property valuation background, she advocates for her clients through all levels of the tax appeal process, including in proceedings before the Colorado Board of Assessment Appeals (BAA). Ms. Kellner received her J.D. from the University of Colorado Law School and her B.A. from Wake Forest University. Ms. Kellner is admitted to practice in Colorado.

Brandee Caswell joins DGS as a partner and the leader of the Property Rights Practice. Ms. Caswell brings decades of experience in complex real estate advocacy and eminent domain to DGS. Delivering a unique blend of real estate expertise and litigation prowess to solve the most challenging property disputes is Ms. Caswell’s specialty. From the outset of private practice, real estate has been Ms. Caswell’s focus. She understands horizontal and vertical land development over a wide range of property and product types. Ms. Caswell leverages her real estate expertise and acumen as an advocate to resolve complex disputes rather than proliferate them. She formulates creative and common-sense solutions while providing formidable advocacy on behalf of her clients. A seasoned trial lawyer, Ms. Caswell has litigated in state and federal court in diverse jurisdictions, including Colorado, California, Illinois, Florida, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming. Ms. Caswell is a distinguished authority in eminent domain and a frequent lecturer on eminent domain subjects in Colorado and nationally for the American Law Institute. She is well-known for her representation of both landowners and condemning authorities in eminent domain proceedings involving highway expansions, urban renewal, utility projects, and mixed-use/retail development projects. She earned her J.D. from the University of Kansas School of Law and her B.A. from Colorado State University. She is admitted to practice in Colorado, Kansas, and Minnesota.

About Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, one of the Rocky Mountain region’s preeminent law firms, serves clients nationally and internationally, with a strong focus on corporate finance and governance, mergers and acquisitions, natural resources, environmental law, real estate, and complex litigation. Our lawyers have extensive experience working with companies in the energy, mining, technology, hospitality, private equity, manufacturing, asset management, and aviation industries. As the exclusive member firm in Colorado for Lex Mundi, the world’s leading network of independent law firms, DGS has access to in-depth experience in 100+ countries worldwide.