My focus is representing both landowners and land trusts in creating conservation easements, purchasing and selling ranches and other real estate, land use and zoning, municipal and local government law, mediation, and probate. Before my move to Westcliffe in 1996, I was a trial lawyer handling primarily commercial, family law and land use cases. I frequently served as a mediator.
I have been practicing law in Colorado, first starting in 1967 in Boulder, Colorado until 1996, and then in Westcliffe, Colorado from 1996 until now. The move to Westcliffe marked a transition away from litigation to real estate and the creation of conservation easements.
I handle conservation easements and real estate purchases and sales and land use issues.
PO Box 1279
Westcliffe CO 81252
Yes, for a half hour or so.
I attempt to charge fixed fees, depending on the issue. Handling a conservation easement is likely to range from $5,000 to $8,000.
Monday through Friday
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
It has mostly been accidental. I did not know I would be a trial lawyer until I worked at the knee of several wonderful, insightful trial lawyers. Although I have always been interested in land-use and land-preservation, I did not know that I would live in a place that offered the opportunity to help preserve the West that has been a part of my being for so many years. Trial law and real estate law seem so far apart, but both have brought great joy.
The ideal lawyer-client relationship is a partnership. They prosper best when the client works to understand the issues and legal principles involved, watches carefully over the process and questions my judgment. Legal issues are rarely clear, and most involve issues requiring judgment about what will work best. My job is to help make sure my client knows the issues enough to make smart decisions.
I welcome it.
The answer depends on the complexity of the issue. In some cases, lawyers think they are more important than they really are. A lawyer can sometimes help a client to be an effective advocate for him or herself. But it depends on the situation.
I have represented land trusts and landowners on approximately 200 conservation easements and keep regularly updated on the law and practice. My early years of general practice provide context to the more specialized work I do today.
I served as counsel for the Town of Westcliffe from 1996 to 2007. I was the litigation partner at Brauchli-Snyder, a firm of approximately 8 to 10 lawyers, from 1986 to 1996. Before that I was a trial lawyer with Martin and Snyder and with Snyder, Neuman and Enwall. I served as special counsel to the City of Boulder, Colorado to develop the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan, Colorado's first comprehensive plan created as an intergovernmental agreement between a city and a county, and I was special counsel to Boulder County representing the County in major land use litigation.
When I was a trial lawyer, I always considered it a loss if I could not negotiate a solution that brought people together outside the courtroom. To do that requires respectful listening and understanding. Although I rarely do courtroom work today, my years in the courtroom taught me the importance of problem-solving without rancor. That, today, is the skill that makes me the most proud.
I do not often play my cards close to the chest. I believe in negotiating openly. The process need not be hostile. One cannot be successful without understanding the other side. I work to find the right balance between flexibility and firmness. I know how to bring people together. I study and know the law in my subject areas.Personal interests:
The West. History. My community. My wife, children and dog. Books. The spectacular land where I live.
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