Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe, PC is one of Colorado’s oldest and finest law firms, providing legal services since 1926. We are proud to offer our clients diverse and comprehensive legal services with an emphasis on bankruptcy, business, employment, environmental, energy, estate planning, litigation, real estate and special districts law. To learn more about the firm visit www.irelandstapleton.com.
Environmental, Energy & Natural Resources
Estate Planning & Business Transition
October 2022: Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe, PC (Colorado) announced that 20 of the Firm’s attorneys have been selected to the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®. New to the list this year: Kelley B. Duke acknowledged for Commercial Litigation, Sean Jennings for Cannabis Law, Mark E. Lacis for Corporate Law, Benjamin J. Larson for Commercial Litigation, James R. Silvestro for Land Use and Zoning Law, Erica L. Tarpey for Corporate Law, and Elizabeth P. Woodward for Environmental Law. The other Ireland Stapleton attorneys selected include: Rebecca L. Almon – Environmental Law and Real Estate; Timothy G. Atkinson – Commercial Litigation; Sarah W. Benedict – Corporate Law; James G. Benjamin – Real Estate; Tom Downey – Administrative and Regulatory Law; Michelle B. Ferguson – Employment Individuals and Employment Management; K.C. Groves – Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, and Real Estate; Mark E. Haynes – Litigation Insurance; Russell W. Kemp – Real Estate and Corporate Law; James J. Killean – Real Estate; William E. Tanis – Business Organizations and Corporate Law; Julie M. Walker – Commercial Litigation; Thomas J. Wolf – Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, and Real Estate.
July 2022: Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe, PC (Colorado) announced their Director of Litigation Kelley B. Duke has been elected to the Colorado Judicial Institute’s Board of Directors. As a member of the Board, Duke will play an active role in determining the direction, priorities, and projects for the organization, as well as helping to further and enhance the organization’s mission. The Colorado Judicial Institute, founded in 1979, is a nonprofit organization that is committed to protecting and defending the ability of the Colorado judiciary to decide cases fairly, impartially, and free from partisan politics; furthering the public’s understanding of Colorado’s judicial system; and supporting the excellence of Colorado courts, including through outreach and the funding of judicial education. Duke, in her practice, serves as a lead advocate to national and international clients in complex commercial litigation matters, and as a strategic advisor and outside general counsel to clients in diverse industries including public and closely held corporations, oil and gas, transportation, supply chain management banking, marketing, public relations, packaging and distribution, and public sector organizations including fire protection districts. She represents her clients in jury and bench trials before state, federal, and appellate courts, as well as before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. The firm also announced that in its 2022 guide, Chambers USA has once again ranked Ireland Stapleton as one of Colorado’s top litigation firms, and they have individually ranked Ireland Stapleton attorneys Rebecca L. Almon, James G. Benjamin, and K.C. Groves in their respective fields. Rebecca L. Almon, who leads Ireland Stapleton’s environmental practice group, has been ranked for environmental law. In her practice, she represents both public and private companies across the country and local governments in all aspects of environmental regulation. She represents her clients in federal, state, and local permitting; compliance matters; enforcement matters; water quality and wetlands protection; and the environmental aspects of real estate and corporate transactions. James G. Benjamin, a business and real estate attorney, is a repeat selection to the guide for his legal work in real estate. In his practice, he focuses on all aspects of commercial real estate transactions, particularly those involving office buildings, apartments, shopping centers, industrial property, and vacant land development. As a former President of the Denver Bar Association and senior member of the Bar, what he cherishes most is acting as a protecting steward of real estate law and a mentor to new lawyers. K.C. Groves, a commercial trial lawyer, has been ranked for commercial litigation. In his practice, he works with local and national companies, business owners, executives, and entrepreneurs to resolve complex business disputes and regulatory matters. He represents his clients in jury and bench trials, appeals, arbitrations, mediations, regulatory proceedings, and litigation-avoidance strategies.
May 2022: Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe, PC (Colorado) regulatory attorney Tom Downey has been appointed to Denver Film’s Board of Directors. Denver Film is the organization that produces film events throughout the year, including the award-winning Denver Film Festival and Film on the Rocks. Downey is one of five new board members to the group. Downey is a regulatory attorney with significant experience as both a government official and a private practice attorney. Downey helps his clients navigate all aspects of regulatory law and is well-known for untangling complicated issues that are regulated by local, state, and federal agencies. The majority of his practice consists of advising and representing corporate clients in the administrative, transactional, and disciplinary processes related to liquor licensing, legalized marijuana, and professional licenses governed by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies.
January 2022: Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe, PC (Colorado) welcomed two new Associate Attorneys: Harshwinder K. Badhesha and Paige J. Pashea. Harshwinder is a litigation attorney representing clients in a wide range of commercial and civil litigation matters including corporate, construction, contract, professional liability, regulatory, real estate, and insurance law. Paige is a real estate attorney representing clients in transactions involving letters of intent, contract drafting, contract negotiation, due diligence, and financing.
November 2021: Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe (Colorado) announced that commercial trial attorney K.C. Groves has been named to Project Sanctuary’s Board of Directors. Project Sanctuary, founded in 2007, is a national organization that serves thousands of at-risk military families across the country by providing therapeutic retreats, family support programs and destination resource weekend programs focused on helping military veterans and their families heal and move forward in life. Fourteen of Ireland Stapleton’s attorneys have been named to the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®. The firm also announced that Mamie Ling has joined their Litigation practice group. In her practice, Ling represents clients in retail and hospitality, real estate, construction, transportation, and public entities in matters involving contractual disputes, products liability, construction defect, governmental immunity, and premises liability.
June 2021: Ireland Stapleton (Colorado) named litigation attorney James Silvestro a Shareholder and Director. Silvestro’s practice focuses on land use, real estate, and business litigation matters. John “Sean” Jennings has been named a Shareholder and Director. In his practice, Sean focuses on representing businesses in matters involving regulatory law, government relations, and commercial transactions. Litigation and regulatory attorney Lidiana Rios has been named to the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association (“CHBA”) Foundation Board of Directors. Business and real estate attorney Russell W. Kemp has been elected to chair Community First Foundation’s Board of Directors. Community First Foundation is one of the largest foundations in Colorado and is most known for Colorado Gives Day, the statewide program that raised a remarkable $50 million in 2020 for nonprofit organizations throughout Colorado. Finally, the Chambers USA directory has again ranked Ireland Stapleton’s attorneys and litigation practice group in its annual guide and the Firm’s litigation practice group is ranked amongst the top litigation law firms in Colorado. Rebecca Almon is ranked individually for environmental law. Jim Benjamin is ranked for real estate law. K.C. Groves is ranked for general commercial litigation.
December 2020: Ireland Stapleton (Colorado) announced that David Manush has joined the firm. A litigation attorney, David’s practice focuses on construction law and professional liability matters. Additionally, Julie M. Walker has been elected to the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s Board of Directors.
October 2020: Ireland Stapleton (Colorado) attorneys, Tom Downey and William E. Tanis have been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America as “Lawyer of the Year”. This recognition is only awarded to one lawyer with the highest overall peer-feedback for a specific practice area and geographical region.
July 2020: Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe is pleased to announce Elizabeth P. Woodward has been named a Director and Shareholder. Woodward is a real estate and environmental law attorney. In her practice, she represents individuals, businesses, and special districts in navigating the complexities of real estate purchases and management and environmental compliance and due diligence. Click here to read the full announcement.
May 2020: Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe is proud to announce that Julie M. Walker has joined the firm as a Director. Ms. Walker has extensive experience as a trial lawyer representing individuals and businesses in federal and state courts as well as in arbitrations and mediations across the country. She has tried multiple jury and bench trials to verdict in Colorado and other jurisdictions. She has handled complex litigation for all types of businesses in a variety of matters involving construction, professional liability, product liability, qui tam, financial services, complex torts, employment and commercial litigation. Ms. Walker also has experience assisting licensed professionals in responding to regulatory inquiries or disciplinary matters.
February 2020: John Jennings, III, of Colorado member firm Ireland Stapleton has been appointed to Denver’s Liquor Common Consumption Work Group. The work group is charged with developing agency rules and hearing procedures for the licensure of common consumption areas and the creation of entertainment districts in the City and County of Denver. In his practice, Mr. Jennings advises clients in regulated industries on licensing, permitting, zoning, compliance, government enforcement actions, and investigations. Prior to joining the firm, he was hearings manager for Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses.
December 2019: Real estate attorney James Benjamin has joined Colorado member firm Ireland Stapleton. Known for his legal work in real estate, banking and lending, Mr. Benjamin works with developers, landowners, banking and lending institutions, landlords, commercial tenants, lenders, borrowers, and sellers and purchasers of a variety of commercial real estate. His practice focuses on commercial real estate transactional work, including acquisitions, sales, commercial leasing, financing, condominium development, land development and condominium conversions. He also has a broad range of experience with institutional client lending, representing lenders and borrowers, including real estate secured and asset-based financing transactions. Mr. Benjamin is past president of the Denver Bar Association and a supervising lawyer for the Tribal Wills Project of the University of Denver Sturm School of Law.
October 2019: Colorado member firm Ireland Stapleton litigation practice head and SCG Legal vice chairman Kelley Duke and two other leading female Denver attorneys are featured in the Denver Business Journal‘s Table of Experts section on women in the law. The article highlights how these three practitioners go above and beyond for their clients. To read the article in its entirety, click here.
September 2019: Ryan Wilcox has joined Colorado member firm Ireland Stapleton as a member of its real estate practice group. Mr. Wilcox works primarily with developers and investors on acquisition, construction, leasing of commercial property, and entity formation. He also has experience litigating real estate disputes and conserving historic buildings through façade conservation easements. Mr. Wilcox is a graduate of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Also, firm attorney Charles Borgman has been named interim general counsel of the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority. Mr. Borgman currently focuses his practice on assisting developers, investors, lenders, housing authorities and nonprofits in the development, financing and operation of real estate projects in Colorado. As interim general counsel, he will serve as a member of CHFA’s executive management team, advising CHFA’s board of directors on corporate governance matters and overseeing legal, compliance, and internal audit functions. Mr. Borgman received his J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law.
April 2019: Nine attorneys at Colorado member firm Ireland Stapleton have been recognized in the 2019 Colorado edition of Super Lawyers magazine. New to the list this year is trial lawyer Kelley Duke. Ms. Duke, who was previously recognized as a Colorado “rising star,” has been advanced to the Super Lawyers list and is recognized for her business litigation work. She is also secretary of SCG Legal. Returning to the Super Lawyers list are Rebecca Almon, listed for environmental law since 2014, Michelle Ferguson, listed for employment and labor since 2015, K.C. Groves, listed for business litigation since 2006, and Russell Kemp, listed for real estate since 2009. Returning to the list of Colorado “rising stars” are Mark Lacis, listed for business litigation since 2013, Benjamin Larson, listed for business litigation since 2014, Lidiana Rios, listed for business litigation since 2017, and James Silvestro, listed for land use and zoning since 2017.
February 2019: Tom Downey of Colorado member firm Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe has been appointed to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee, which is composed of experts whose professional practices and activities are regulated or affected in some manner by the office of the Secretary of State. Its principal purpose is to advise Secretary of State staff about how to improve the services that are available to the public and to identify areas of interpretation or uncertainty in the statutory authority of the office that can be clarified or changed. Mr. Downey’s practice is focused on helping clients navigate all aspects of regulatory law including the administrative, transactional and disciplinary processes related to liquor licensing, legalized marijuana, gaming, sports betting, and licenses governed by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies. Also at Ireland Stapleton, Lidiana Rios has joined the firm as a commercial litigation associate. Ms. Rios focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation matters including corporate governance and contract disputes, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, business fraud and fraudulent transfers. She previously clerked for former Colorado Supreme Court Justice Allison Eid and at the municipal operations department of the Denver City Attorney’s Office. Ms. Rios is a graduate of the UCLA School of Law.
January 2019: Thomas Wolf of Colorado member firm Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe has been recertified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a civil trial advocate. All NBTA-certified attorneys undergo a rigorous review process requiring them to demonstrate that they have substantial trial experience and provide judicial and peer references to attest to their competency. Approximately 3% of American attorneys are board-certified. Mr. Wolf has been an NBTA-certified civil trial advocate since 1993 and NBTA-certified in civil pretrial practice since 2012. An experienced trial attorney, Mr. Wolf has been involved in more than 100 trials over the course of his legal career. He is a graduate of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.
December 2018: Litigation attorney Benjamin Larson has been named a shareholder and director at Colorado member firm Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe. Mr. Larson’s practice is focused on antitrust, business dissolution, breach of contract, construction defects, product defects, employment law, intellectual property, business professional liability and securities claims. He joined the firm after earning his law degree at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Prior to law school, he worked in banking and spent two years teaching English in Japan
November 2018: Colorado member firm Ireland Stapleton has been ranked by Best Lawyers® in seven practice areas. The list, which recognizes professional excellence and legal experience with ratings from clients and peers, listed the firm in corporate law, administrative/regulatory law, real estate, employment – individuals, employment – management, environmental law, and mergers and acquisitions law. Rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer reviews from leading attorneys, and review of information provided by law firms. To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must have a lawyer recognized first in Best Lawyers®. Ten of Ireland Stapleton’s lawyers are ranked first by Best Lawyers®.
October 2018: Charles Borgman and Jennifer Gilbert have joined Colorado member firm Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe. An experienced real estate attorney, Mr. Borgman assists developers, investors, lenders, housing authorities and nonprofits in the development, financing and operation of real estate projects in Colorado, with an emphasis on affordable housing projects. He previously served as general counsel of the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, where as a member of the executive management team he advised the board of directors on corporate governance matters and oversaw the legal, compliance and internal audit functions. He received his J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law. Ms. Gilbert previously served as an assistant attorney general in Colorado, handling revenue and utilities matters, and as a deputy district attorney in Colorado’s 18th Judicial District, where she was primarily responsible for litigating criminal, regulatory, administrative, and appellate matters. An accomplished trial attorney, Ms. Gilbert now focuses her practice on representing businesses and individuals in complex commercial litigation and appellate matters. She is a graduate of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.
September 2018: Ten attorneys from Colorado member firm Ireland Stapleton have been listed in the 2019 edition of Best Lawyers® in America. They include Rebecca Almon, for environmental law; Timothy Atkinson, for commercial litigation; Tom Downey, for administrative/regulatory law; Michelle Ferguson, for employment law (individuals) and employment law (management); Mark Haynes, for litigation (insurance); John Lewis, who’s appeared on the list since 1989, for mergers and acquisitions law and corporate law; Russell Kemp, for real estate law; Michael Miller, for corporate law; William Tanis, for business organizations and corporate law; and Thomas Wolf, for real estate law.
April 2018: SCG Legal past chairman and Colorado member firm Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe director K.C. Groves has been named to this year’s Super Lawyers® list of the top 100 lawyers in Colorado. Eight other lawyers from the firm were also named Super Lawyers or Rising Stars. A commercial litigator, Mr. Groves handles complex business disputes and regulatory matters, representing companies and individuals in jury and bench trials, appeals, arbitrations, mediations, regulatory proceedings and litigation avoidance strategies. This is his second appearance on the list of Colorado’s top 100 lawyers. Also listed among the top-rated lawyers from the firm are Rebecca Almon, for environmental; Michelle Ferguson, for employment and labor; and Russell Kemp, for real estate. Among the firm’s Rising Stars are Kelley Duke, who is a member of SCG Legal’s board of directors, for business litigation; Mark Lacis, for business litigation; Benjamin Larson, for business litigation; and James Silvestro, for land use and zoning.
February 2018: Eric Benson of Colorado member firm Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe has been named a shareholder and director of the firm. In his practice, Mr. Benson advises clients on business structure and formation, mergers and acquisitions, leases, contracts, employment, compensation and incentive plan issues, matters related to equities and debt, and general corporate matters. He joined the firm in 2013 after working with Partners Healthcare in Boston where he implemented a project using technological innovations and patient-entered data to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery. Mr. Benson is a graduate of Harvard Law School.
December 2017: Kira Suyeishi of Colorado member firm Ireland Stapleton has been presented the University of Denver Sturm College of Law’s Bruce B. Johnson Outstanding Recent Graduate Award in recognition of the petition for clemency she filed on behalf of a pro bono client to whom she had been assigned by Clemency Project 2014. Her client, who had been serving a 30-year sentence for a non-violent drug offense, ultimately had his clemency request granted by President Barack Obama. Ms. Suyeishi serves on the associates’ advisory board for the Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado, as a member of the board of directors of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Colorado, and as a mentor for Law School Yes We Can. The Outstanding Recent Graduate Award is awarded to a graduate of the Sturm College of Law less than ten years out of law school who is committed to Denver Law’s mission, dedicated to upholding the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct, and known for his or her outstanding contributions to the legal or greater community. Ms. Suyeishi is the youngest person ever to receive the award.
November 2017: Eric Benson of Colorado member firm Ireland Stapleton has been named to the Dartmouth Association of the Rocky Mountains board of directors and will lead the group’s charitable and community service initiatives. Dartmouth Association of the Rocky Mountains connects Dartmouth alumni living in the Rockies and provides educational and community service opportunities. Mr. Benson is a business law attorney, advising clients on entity formation, employment, compensation and incentive plan issues, mergers and acquisitions, leases, contracts, and general corporate matters. He earned his undergraduate degree at Dartmouth and his law degree at Harvard Law School.
October 2017: Colorado member firm Ireland Stapleton partner and SCG Legal board member Kelley Duke missed last Tuesday’s board of directors meeting. But she had a good excuse. She was busy delivering a new baby boy. Ms. Duke, who chairs the firm’s litigation practice group, and her seven-pound, two-ounce newborn Andrew Jones (AJ) are both doing fine. The entire SCG Legal family extends Ms. Duke and her family hearty congratulations on their new arrival, who last week also earned the distinction of becoming the world’s youngest Broncos fan.
September 2017: Rebecca Almon, Tom Downey, Michelle Ferguson, Russell Kemp, John Lewis, Michael Miller and William Tanis of Colorado member firm Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoehave been named to the 2018 list of The Best Lawyers in America®. Inclusion on the list of The Best Lawyers in America® is based solely on peer reviews and represents the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical region and area of legal practice. Ms. Almon has been recognized in environmental law; Mr. Downey, in administrative/regulatory law; Ms. Ferguson, in employment law; Mr. Kemp, in real estate law; Mr. Lewis, in corporate and M&A law; Mr. Miller, in corporate law; and Mr. Tanis, in corporate law.
July 2017: Rebecca Almon and K.C. Groves of Colorado member firm Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe have been ranked in the 2017 Chambers USA guide. For the fifth consecutive year, Ms. Almon has been recognized in the natural resources and environment listing. In reviews given by clients and colleagues, she is credited with being “a collaborative professional with an engaging personality.” In her practice, Ms. Almon represents private and public entities in all types of environmental regulatory matters. For the sixth consecutive year, K.C. Groves has been listed for litigation. Mr. Groves is well-versed in all aspects of complex commercial litigation matters, representing a broad range of clients in jury and bench trials, appeals and regulatory matters. In reviews given by clients and colleagues, Groves is considered “a statesman in negotiation who provides well-timed surgical strikes.” Also at Ireland Stapleton, the firm last month announced its opening of an office in Grand Junction, Colorado. The office will be led by Jeffrey Hurd, who recently joined the firm as a director. Raised in Grand Junction, Mr. Hurd has experience working on complex litigation and regulatory matters as well as internal investigations and appeals. His practice focuses on rural electric cooperatives and representing various corporate entities, special districts and municipalities.
June 2017: Colorado member firm Ireland Stapleton attorney Kira Suyeishi has been presented the Governor Ralph Carr Award by the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Colorado. The Governor Ralph Carr Award is given to a young attorney who has exhibited a commitment to public service through public sector work or a substantial commitment to community service. Earlier this year, Ms. Suyeishi filed a petition for clemency on behalf of a pro bono client to whom she had been assigned by Clemency Project 2014. Her client, who had been serving a 30-year sentence for a non-violent drug offense, ultimately had his clemency request granted by President Barack Obama. Ms. Suyeishi was also named to APABA Colorado’s board of directors, where she will serve on its judicial nominations committee. APABA Colorado is a voluntary bar association committed to promoting and supporting the personal and professional development of Asian American and Pacific American lawyers, judges, other legal professionals, and law students, serving as an advocate for the Asian Pacific American community in Colorado, and promoting equal access to justice.
May 2017: Colorado member firm Ireland Stapleton’s managing director Erica Tarpey has been named to the Rocky Mountain MS Center’s board of directors. She will serve as an at-large member. The Rocky Mountain MS Center works to improve the quality of life for individuals and their families living with multiple sclerosis and related neurological diseases through care, support, education and research. Ms. Tarpey is a long-time supporter and past development committee member of the Center. Her practice at the firm is focused on corporate governance, business formation, SEC compliance and corporate finance.
March 2017: Emily Powell has been named a shareholder and director at Colorado member firm Ireland Stapleton. Ms. Powell is a special districts attorney working as general and special counsel to fire protection, park and recreation, and municipal districts on issues involving contracts and intergovernmental agreements, special district organization, authority formation and boundary realignments, as well as advice and assistance on all aspects of statutory compliance, board meeting procedures, elections and personnel matters. Also at Ireland Stapleton, Walt Lemanski has joined as a director. Mr. Lemanski is a corporate transactional attorney who advises clients on recognizing risks and opportunities in business transactions and assists them in structuring deals to identify and allocate those same risks and opportunities in a manner acceptable to all the parties. Finally, litigation practice head Kelley Duke has been named an American Arbitration Association panel member. An experienced trial attorney, Ms. Duke prosecutes and defends companies in a variety of industries including real estate development and construction, accounting, marketing and public relations, state-legal marijuana, franchising, snow sports, oil and gas, special districts and ranch properties. She is also a member of the SCG Legal board of directors.
February 2017: Litigation attorney Kira Suyeishi of Colorado member firm Ireland Stapleton, through her pro bono work with Clemency Project 2014, recently was notified that President Barack Obama granted clemency to her client, Steven Rayford Moore, who had been serving a 30-year sentence for a non-violent drug offense. With the commutation from President Obama, Mr. Moore’s sentence has been reduced significantly, moving up his release date by over seven years. In his official letter granting commutation, the President wrote, “I am granting your application because you have demonstrated the potential to turn your life around. I believe in your ability to prove the doubters wrong, and change your life for the better.” “It was surreal to be able to tell my client and his family that he received clemency. I am thrilled for my client and his family and grateful to President Obama and his administration for granting record numbers of clemencies to deserving individuals,” said Ms. Suyeishi, whose practice involves defending and prosecuting complex commercial disputes and advising clients on all aspects of regulatory law.