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Commercial Litigation

As a go-to litigation team for leading businesses in the Rocky Mountains and across the nation, DGS trial lawyers regularly handle and successfully resolve complex and sophisticated business disputes. Our trial attorneys are battle tested. We try state and federal, civil and criminal cases for clients of all sizes before juries, courts, arbitrators, and administrative hearings officers โ€“ in Colorado and throughout the country.

Clients frequently entrust DGS trial attorneys with high-stakes and high-value business disputes across a range of industries and subject matters, including energy and natural resources, environmental/toxic tort, catastrophic personal injury, technology and telecommunications, white collar defense and investigations, property rights, securities, bankruptcy, and intellectual property. With a team of more than 40 trial lawyers, clients benefit from our bench strength and the specialized knowledge each individual attorney carries.

DGS trial teams combine the sophistication and expertise usually only found at much larger firms with the adaptiveness and efficiency-mindset gained from serving clients of all sizes on cases across a range of values. Far different than the one-size-fits-all approach found in many trial practices, DGS teams develop with their clients a strategic approach tailored to each case to maximize the clientsโ€™ business objectives.

The DGS litigation team is frequently recognized for its trial achievements and has been ranked as a top commercial litigation team in Colorado by Chambers & Partners for 20 years. Over 90% of DGS trial partners have been recognized and honored for their excellence with rankings in Chambers & Partners, Benchmark Litigation, Colorado Super Lawyers, or Best Lawyers in America.

Representative Experience

  • Represented an independent energy company in a putative class action brought on behalf of royalty owners seeking the recovery of royalties on all gas flared from North Dakota wells. We served as lead counsel of a joint defense group in approximately 10 related cases making similar allegations against all major North Dakota producers. All of these cases were dismissed.
  • Obtained a complete defense verdict for a major manufacturing company after a 10-day jury trial in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado against allegations of design and warning defects resulting in traumatic brain injury and claimed damages of $47 million.
  • Regularly handle environmental and natural resources claims valued in excess of $100 million for several major oil and gas companies.
  • Represented two of the top five gold producers in the world in a dispute against a global engineering firm that had been engaged to provide engineering and related professional services as part of a $100 million project to design and construct a high-grade ore processing mill in Colorado. After a three-week arbitration hearing that included testimony from more than 20 witnesses, numerous technical experts, and 250 exhibits, the arbitrators issued an award affirming the claims brought by the gold producers.
  • Led defense team in 13-year lawsuit brought by over 100 landowners claiming their properties had been contaminated by historical smelter operations. DGS developed a novel defense to these common-law claims based on the federal CERCLA statute. DGS argued this defense without success four times in lower courts, including the Montana Supreme Court but convinced the United States Supreme Court, which reversed the lower courts and upheld in large part the CERCLA based defense developed by DGS.
  • Defended a company facing multi-million-dollar damage claims by a group of Nevada property owners who claimed their land and water had been contaminated by the companyโ€™s Superfund site. After a three-week trial in federal court, the jury returned a complete defense verdict.
  • Brought a lawsuit on behalf of our client against the United States concerning the past and future costs of environmental cleanup at four phosphate mines. Cleanup costs were estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars. DGS successfully obtained summary judgment on the liability of the government on all asserted groundsโ€”CERCLA owner, operator, and arrangerโ€”at all four sites.
  • Obtained a $309 million judgment for a natural gas production company in dispute regarding the design and construction of a water treatment facility in West Virginia.
  • Obtained a $96 million jury judgment for a natural gas production company in a contract dispute, and successfully defended judgment on appeal.
  • Successfully defended major public service company in one of the largest personal injury cases tried in Denver District Court in recent history. Case arose from third-party contractor-caused explosion, resulting in one death, other injuries, and property damage. Plaintiffs requested $700 million in compensatory and punitive damages. Jury returned that public service company liable for only $2.2 million in damages.
  • Represented a private exploration company, resulting in one of the top five jury verdicts in the state in 2021 in lawsuit related to damaged oil and gas well drilled by well servicing company. Jury rejected well servicing companyโ€™s argument, awarding Plaintiffs $15 million in cost of drilling well and attorneyโ€™s fees. DGS successfully prevailed in initial appeal.
  • DGS serves as national coordinating counsel for a major hospitality services company for its portfolio of litigation stemming from its Host Liability Insurance program. DGS oversees and coordinates dozens of cases at any given time in which our client has been named as a defendant for accidents and injuries that have occurred on or around a property booked through the online marketplace platform.

Related Attorneys

Jennifer S. Allen

Partner, Commercial Litigation, Class & Consolidated Actions, Antitrust, Construction & Real Estate Litigation, Appellate, White Collar Defense & Investigations

Kristin Arthur

Associate, Appellate, Commercial Litigation

Thomas C. Bell

Senior of Counsel (Retired),

Theresa Wardon Benz

Partner, Appellate, Class & Consolidated Actions, Commercial Litigation, Mass Torts, Personal Injury Defense, Products Liability

Jonathon D. Bergman

Partner, Commercial Litigation, Securities Enforcement & Litigation, Construction & Real Estate Litigation, Class & Consolidated Actions, Midstream Services, Natural Resources

William A. Bianco

Senior of Counsel, Commercial Litigation, Construction & Real Estate Litigation

Amy Bowles

Senior Associate, Commercial Litigation, White Collar Defense & Investigations, Trial, Appellate, Arbitration

Katie Brown

Associate, Employment Law, Commercial Litigation

Kyler K. Burgi

Partner, Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights, Mergers & Acquisitions, Commercial Litigation, Crisis Management

Charles L. Casteel

Senior of Counsel, Commercial Litigation, Products Liability, Class & Consolidated Actions

Mark Champoux

Partner, Commercial Litigation, Crisis Management, White Collar Defense & Investigations, Natural Resources, Securities Enforcement & Litigation, Products Liability, Toxic Tort Litigation, Construction & Real Estate Litigation, Privacy & Data Security

Grace Diamond

Associate, Employment Law, Commercial Litigation, Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights, Class & Consolidated Actions

John A. Francis

Of Counsel, Antitrust, Commercial Litigation, Intellectual Property & Technology Transactions

Tess Hand-Bender

Partner, Commercial Litigation, Appellate, White Collar Defense & Investigations

James R. Henderson

Partner, Appellate, Arbitration, CERCLA & State Equivalent Programs, Class & Consolidated Actions, Commercial Litigation, Environmental Law & Litigation, Natural Resources, Oil & Gas, Toxic Tort Litigation, Trial

Thomas P. Johnson

Senior of Counsel, Class & Consolidated Actions, White Collar Defense & Investigations, Commercial Litigation, Securities Enforcement & Litigation, Toxic Tort Litigation, Intellectual Property & Technology Transactions

Aditi Kulkarni-Knight

Senior Associate, Commercial Litigation, Arbitration, Environmental Law & Litigation, Safety & Health, White Collar Defense & Investigations, Securities Enforcement & Litigation, Public Utilities

Sterling J. LeBoeuf

Partner, Employment Law, Commercial Litigation

Molly Kokesh

Senior Associate, Commercial Litigation, Appellate, Oil & Gas Litigation, Natural Resources, Environmental

Andrew M. Low

Senior of Counsel (Retired),

Nick Moskevich

Associate, Commercial Litigation

Claire E. Mueller

Senior Associate, Commercial Litigation, Personal Injury Defense, Products Liability, White Collar Defense & Investigations

R. Kirk Mueller

Partner, Commercial Litigation, Appellate, Natural Resources, Environmental Law & Litigation, Coal Mining Related Litigation, Toxic Tort Litigation, NEPA, CERCLA & State Equivalent Programs

Brett C. Painter

Partner, Employment Law, Arbitration, Commercial Litigation

Nicholas R. Peppler

Senior Associate, Commercial Litigation, Construction & Real Estate Litigation, Intellectual Property & Technology Transactions, Products Liability

Jonathan W. Rauchway

Partner, Environmental Law & Litigation, Oil & Gas Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Toxic Tort Litigation, Natural Resources, Appellate

Daniel A. Richards

Partner, Antitrust, Appellate, Arbitration, Class & Consolidated Actions, Commercial Litigation, Intellectual Property & Technology Transactions, Products Liability, Securities Enforcement & Litigation

Jacqueline V. Roeder

Partner, Commercial Litigation, Securities Enforcement & Litigation, White Collar Defense & Investigations, Toxic Tort Litigation

Nicole K. Rushovich

Associate, Environmental Law & Litigation, Natural Resources, Air Quality & Regulatory Compliance, Public Lands, Solid & Hazardous Waste, Environmental, Clean Energy & Sustainability, CERCLA & State Equivalent Programs

Madeline J. Smart

Associate, Commercial Litigation, Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights, Internal & Government Investigations

Emily L. Wasserman

Partner, Appellate, Commercial Litigation, Intellectual Property Litigation, Intellectual Property & Technology Transactions, Trial

Chad D. Williams

Partner, Commercial Litigation, White Collar Defense & Investigations, Class & Consolidated Actions, Arbitration, Securities Enforcement & Litigation, Crisis Management

Kehinde Winful

Associate, Commercial Litigation

News & Events

DGS Ranks Among 2023 Best Law Firms

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP was named among the 2023 U.S. News โ€“ Best Lawyersยฎ โ€œBest Law Firmsโ€ by publisher...

DGS Ranks Among 2022ย Best Law Firms

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP was named among the 2022 โ€œBest Law Firmsโ€ by publisher Woodward/White, Inc. in the latest...

Emily Mendoza Joins DGS As an Associate

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP is pleased to announce that Emily Mendoza has joined the Trial Group as an associate...

Colorado Supreme Court Clarifies Time Requirements for Asserting Third-Party Claims in Construction Defect Litigation

A recent Colorado Supreme Court case has clarified the statutory tolling provision concerning third-party construction defect claims. In Goodman v...

Denver Area Attorneys Shortlisted for Chambers Diversity Awards

DENVER - May 31, 2016 - Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP partner Kenzo Kawanabe and Xcel Energy assistant general counsel...

DGS Hires Three New Trial Attorneys

DENVER - June 1, 2016 - Ericka Houck Englert, Tess Hand-Bender, and Michelle Steinfeld have joined the Trial Department of...

Chambers USA Ranks DGS at the Top for Corporate/M&A and Natural Resources & Environment Practices

DENVER - May 27, 2016 - The 2016 edition of the Chambers USA ranked Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP first...

Kenzo Kawanabe Admitted to American College of Trial Lawyers

DENVER - MARCH 15, 2016 - Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP partner Kenzo Kawanabe has been named a Fellow of...

Erin Murphy Joins DGS

DENVER - JANUARY 7, 2016 - Erin Murphy has joined the Trial Department of Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP as...

DGS Names Two New Partners

DENVER - DECEMBER 8, 2015 - Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP has elected two new partners. Mark Champoux and Sam...

DGS Adds Four New Attorneys

DENVER โ€“ November 16, 2015 โ€“ Laura Cerezo and Anna Minkinow have joined the Finance & Acquisitions Department, and Kyler...

DGS Adds Two New Lawyers

DENVER - August 21, 2014 - Jacqueline V. Roeder and Emily L. Wasserman have joined the Trial Department of Davis...

Whatโ€™s in the Package: Food, Beverage, and Dietary Supplement Law and Litigation โ€“ Part 1

This two-part article discusses the regulatory framework applicable to the food, beverage, and dietary supplement industries. It also addresses Colorado...

Compliance with FDA Labeling Guidelines No Defense Against Federal Unfair Competition Claims

In a highly-anticipated decision, the United States Supreme Court announced today that compliance with the Food and Drug Administrationโ€™s food...

The In-house Checklist of Steps for New Litigation

In the first few days after a company is served with a new lawsuit โ€” or receives a threat of...

DGS Expands Trial and Natural Resources Departments with the Addition of Three New Lawyers

DENVER โ€“ MARCH 14, 2014 โ€“ Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP has added three new associates across two of its...

DGS Elects Three New Partners

DENVER โ€“ December 12, 2013 โ€“ Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP has elected Radcliffe Dann IV, Lamont Larsen, and Kristi...

Surface Access & Disputes

Please join us for this seminar that will focus on surface owner notice, negotiation, agreement, and dispute issues related to...

From a Legal Perspective: Mineral Lessee's Rights to Conduct Seismic Operations

As the seismic work in Colorado has both increased and moved into more populated areas, we are seeing an increase...

DGS Partner Chad Williams Named Trial Department Chair & Executive Committee Member

DENVER โ€“ JULY 25, 2013 โ€“ Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP has appointed Chad Williams as chair of the firmโ€™s...

DGS Partner Jeffrey R. Pilkington Appointed District Court Judge For Colorado's First Judicial District

DENVER โ€“ JULY 12, 2013 โ€“ Gov. John Hickenlooper announced today that he has selected Davis Graham & Stubbs partner...

When Choosing Pleaded or Pled, Grammar Pitted Against Popular Usage

Since law school, I've been engaged in what seems to be a never-ending debate over the use of "pleaded" versus...

Sidestepping Preemption: Generic Drug Litigation in the Aftermath of Mensing

PLIVA, Inc. v. Mensing was an enormous and, by some predictions, unexpected victory for generic drug manufacturers (โ€œthe Genericsโ€). The...

Chambers USA Ranks DGS at the Top Corporate/M&A and Natural Resources & Environment Practices

DENVER โ€“ MAY 24, 2013 โ€“ The 2013 edition of the Chambers USA ranked Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP first...

DGS Attorney Terry Miller Honored as an Individual of the Year by the Colorado Lawyers Committee

DENVER โ€“ MAY 22, 2013 โ€“ Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP attorney Terry Miller was recently honored by the Colorado...

Associate Lauren Merrell Joins DGS

DENVER โ€“ APRIL 4, 2013 โ€“ Lauren Merrell has joined the Finance & Acquisitions Department of Davis Graham & Stubbs...

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