Notre Dame Law School, J.D. 2003, Notre Dame Scholar, graduated top half of class;
University of Kansas, B.G.S. 1999, with honors
Explain why you were drawn to the practice of law:
I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be an lawyer. I grew up in a small town where people believe in hard work and business done on a handshake basis. I began working at twelve-years-old in a variety of jobs, including farming and construction, and worked my way through high school and college. I left my home state after graduating college to obtain my law degree at Notre Dame. Along the way, I've had the pleasure of meeting a large variety of people from all walks of life, and I enjoy interacting with people from many different backgrounds.
I decided to enter the legal profession because I noticed that many people that I cared about were not getting treated fairly from the companies they were counting on to look after them. I wanted to be someone who understood how the system functioned, so I could help people to not get taken advantage of and to get treated fairly.
Describe defining moments in your career:
I spent some time as an insurance defense attorney, and I learned a lot about how insurance companies minimize the human aspect of personal injury cases, which was very upsetting to me and lead me to change the side that I was fighting on. However, my time working for the insurance companies was invaluable to me in becoming a skillful Plaintiff's attorney. It was very instructive regarding knowing what strategies insurance companies will use against my clients. I strive to know each and every one of my clients and every aspect of his or her case, so I can help a jury to see my client as a PERSON, not as a claim, the way the insurance companies want to present you.
Tell us about your approach:
I love working as a Plaintiff’s lawyer and enjoy representing people, not the insurance companies. I especially like the chance to meet people from all different backgrounds and help them to understand and navigate a system that I believe is intentionally made confusing and difficult by the insurance companies. I try hard to be accessible to my clients, to answer questions, and provide advice. I want to not only take away the burden of handling all legal aspects of their case, but also to help my clients to understand their case and the options that they have.
Discuss how you relate to clients:
I believe it is of utmost importance that clients be treated as people. I am a big believer in meeting all of my clients in person, preferably at the beginning of the case. I think too many Plaintiff’s firms talk about caseloads and “inventory” and risk starting to see clients the same way insurance companies do. Especially in this day and age, with all the electronic ways to communicate, it is so easy to lose the ability to meet and understand people. Meeting my clients face to face and looking them in the eye reminds me why I first pursued this profession.
Describe the personal and legal skills that make you great at your job:
I’ve been told that I’m good at taking a complicated process and making it more understandable to people who have never gone through this experience. It is not my job to tell clients what they should do, but rather to educate them about the options that they have and to empower them with the information they need in order to decide how they should best move forward with their case.
Tell us about yourself, i.e. where you grew up, went to school, hobbies & other non-work activities, etc.:
I grew up in a small town in Western Kansas. I worked to pay my way through a private, well-regarded college prep high school in Hays, Kansas. From there, I attended the University of Kansas and obtained a dual degree in Political Science and History. I went on to graduate from the University of Notre Dame Law School and became licensed to practice in Colorado in 2003.
When I am not working, I love hiking with my wife and three kids. We try to spend as much time as possible in the mountains and enjoy skiing, rafting, and camping. I also love reading, hockey, and teaching my kids a variety of sports and outdoor activities.