303-722-2810

Licensed to practice law in the following courts:

State of Colorado

U.S. District Court, Colorado

Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals

State of Pennsylvania (inactive)

United States Claims Court

U.S. District Court, Northern District of California

U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan

U.S. District Court, Arizona (inactive)

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin

U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas

Education:

University of Denver College of Law, Juris Doctor.

Fort Lewis College, Bachelor of Arts.

Mr. Yates' national litigation practice has established him as one of the top trial lawyers in Denver today. During his 42 years of law practice, Mr. Yates has tried in excess of 85 civil cases in a broad spectrum of disputes involving toxic torts, environmental litigation including electromagnetic field defense, insurance coverage disputes, construction claims, design/build contract disputes, and a wide variety of complex commercial disputes in the United States and abroad.

Mr. Yates has extensive experience in insurance coverage and bad faith insurance litigation, trying cases throughout the western United States. He has handled matters in insurance coverage and bad faith insurance law in Colorado, Texas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, California, New Mexico, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arizona and Washington State. In 1997, he first-chaired a successful trial defense of a $9 million coverage and bad faith claim against a Lloyd's of London syndicate. In January 2000, Mr. Yates successfully defended Protection Mutual Insurance Company in Illinois state court in a $5,000,000 insurance bad faith case brought by a large metal manufacturer. The bad faith claim was dismissed on the eve of trial and, following a two-week trial, the jury found in favor of Protection Mutual on Plaintiff's claim for additional business interruption losses.

Mr. Yates leads the firm's representation of Factory Mutual Insurance Company and FM Affiliated Insurance Company in the first-party property area, handling subrogation claims, coverage defense, and bad faith defense. He has also represented insurance companies in E&O claims as well as MAI appraisals. In the first-party property area, Mr. Yates has handled significant matters concerning business interruption calculations, as well as business valuations. He has also participated in appraisals where business valuation and losses were in dispute.

In 1994, Mr. Yates successfully represented the General Assembly of the State of Colorado (Colorado's state legislative branch) against an injunctive claim action brought by several members of the disabled community in Colorado under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). The plaintiff group attempted to halt a special legislative session due to the State's alleged failures to comply with the ADA in the State Capitol building. Following a several-day, emotionally charged hearing in federal court, Mr. Yates successfully brought the plaintiff's group and the State Legislature to terms on corrective measures in the State Capitol building, thereby allowing the participation of the citizen's group in the special session.

For many years, Mr. Yates has been involved in the litigation and trial of construction disputes and claims. He is a member of the United States Claims Court of Washington, D.C., where he successfully litigated a case of first impression on the interpretation of 48 C.F.R. § 52.212-11, Variation of Estimated Quantity Clause, in federal contracts. Mr. Yates is a past member of the Colorado Contractor's Association and has litigated several major cases in both state and federal courts, as well as the Federal Board of Contract Appeals.

Mr. Yates also has significant experience in environmental litigation. He was lead counsel on behalf of the City of Denver in City and County of Denver v. Adolph Coors, Inc., et al. (U.S. District Court, District of Colorado). The City brought the case under the provisions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. § 9601, et seq., commonly known as Superfund. In that matter, Mr. Yates led a team of lawyers against 38 potential responsible parties (PRPs) in seeking the costs of cleanup of the Lowry Landfill site. This matter was settled one day prior to trial with the defendants agreeing to pay the City for over eighty percent (80%) of the cost of cleanup. Over 20 expert witnesses were effectively used in this case.

Mr. Yates first-chaired another CERCLA matter on behalf of the City of Denver in City and County of Denver v. Alumet, et al. (U.S. District Court, District of Colorado). In that case, the City of Denver brought an action for costs of cleanup of a Superfund site against 23 defendants.

In conjunction with attorneys from other firms, Mr. Yates has participated in the litigation of other environmental cost recovery actions including the settlement of a Superfund case in western Michigan, OCI PRP Group v. Total Petroleum, Inc., 58 F. Supp. 2d 755 (W.D. Mich. 1999), that resulted in a substantial settlement on behalf of a multi-party PRP Group.

Mr. Yates has had extensive first-chair trial experience in federal and state courts in both bench and jury trials. He has litigated numerous cases throughout Colorado and the West. His bar admissions include the State of Colorado, State of Pennsylvania, United States District Courts for the District of Colorado, Northern District of California, Northern District of Illinois, Southern District of Indiana, District of Arizona, Western District of Michigan and Eastern District of Wisconsin, Southern District of Texas, District of Nebraska, as well as the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth and Tenth Circuits. He has also been specially admitted for specific cases in Arizona, California, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Washington, Wyoming and Utah.

Mr. Yates successfully represented Newmont Mining Company in a products liability case, achieving a substantial settlement, following two unsuccessful appeals by the defendants to the Supreme Court of Nevada.

Mr. Yates also has significant public service experience, having served as the La Plata County Attorney and as a member of the Colorado State Highway Commission, serving two terms as chairman. He has served on the Committee on Conduct for the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. Mr. Yates was also appointed by the Colorado Attorney General as a Special Assistant Attorney General to represent the Colorado Department of Highways in a product liability case against a major chemical manufacturer. He has also been appointed as a Special Assistant Attorney General to represent Colorado State University in several lawsuits relating to a fire that occurred at CSU’s Equine Reproduction Laboratory.

Mr. Yates is an associate member of the Loss Executives Association and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

A graduate of Ft. Lewis College and the University of Denver College of Law, Mr. Yates also frequently authors and lectures on litigation skills and environmental law. Mr. Yates served as an Adjunct Professor in the Business College of the University of Denver from 2001 to 2006.

Reported Cases:

Reddick v. Durango Herald, et al., 719 P.2d 340 (Colo. Ct. App. 1986); Burnett Constr. Co. v. United States, 26 Ct. Cl. 296 (1992); City and County of Denver v. Adolph Coors., et al., (D. Colo. 1992); City and County of Denver v. Alumet, et. al., (D. Colo. 1994); Organic Chemical Site PRP Group v. Total Petroleum Inc., 6 F. Supp.2d 660 (W.D. Mich. 1998); Organic Chem. Site Group v. Total Petroleum Inc., 58 F. Supp.2d 755 (W.D. Mich. 1999); Lyon Metal Prod., LLC v. Prot. Mut. Ins. Co., 254 Ill.Dec. 455, 747 N.E.2d 495 (Ill.App.Ct. 2001); Agritrack, Inc. v. DeJohn Housemoving, Inc., 25 P.3d 1187 (Colo. 2001); Wausau Bus. Ins. Co. v. U.S. Motels Mgmt., Inc., 341 F.Supp.2d 1180 (D. Colo. 2004); Cont’l Cas. Co. v. Landmark Hotels, LLC, 184 Fed.Appx. 649 (2006); CWCapital Asset Mgmt. LLC v. Wausau Bus. Ins. Co., No. 04-08-00457-CV, 2009 WL 1900413 (Tex. App. San Antonio July 1, 2009, no pet. h.)(mem. op.).

Selected Activities:

Author

“Interpretation of 48 CFR 52.212-11, Variation in Estimated Quantity Clause,” Construction Law Advisor, No. 7, July 1992.

“Defense Against Toxic Torts and Citizen Suits for Federal Facilities and Contractors,” Environmental Management Review, Government Law Institute, No. 30, 4th Quarter 1993.

“Mitigating Construction Claims—Build It and the Claims Will Come,” Preventive Law Reporter, National Center for Preventive Law, Vol. 14, No. 4, Winter 1995.

Chapter on Colorado Law, “Design/Build Deskbook,” American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry, Dallas, Texas, May 1996.

Chapter on Colorado Law, “Design/Build Deskbook,” American Bar Association Construction Law Section, 2nd Edition, 2000.

Chapter on Colorado Law, “Design/Build Deskbook,” American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry, Dallas, Texas, 2002 Update.

Chapter on Colorado Law, “Design/Build Deskbook,” American Bar Association Construction Law Section, 4th Edition, 2010.

Lecturer

The New Defense Mission – Defense Against Toxic Torts and Citizen Suits, Federal Facility 1993 Environmental Update Seminar, Government Institutes, Inc.

The New Defense Mission – Defense Against Toxic Torts and Citizen Suits, Fundamentals of Colorado Environmental Law Compliance Course 1994, Government Institutes, Inc.

Rule 11, Ethics and Sanctions, The Impact of Recent Changes in Federal Civil Procedure, April 1994, sponsored by The Practicing Bar of the Unites States District Court for the District of Colorado.

“Build It and the Claims Will Come,” Claims Mitigation for the Project Owner Seminar presented by URS Consultants, Inc., 1995. La Plata County Attorney, 1977-79.

“Overview of the Problem, Handling Mold Infestation Scenario, and Ways to Minimize or Avoid Risk of Mold Claims,” The Mold Challenge in Colorado, June 2003, National Business Institute.

“Overview of the Problem, The Present State of Mold Litigation, and Insurance Coverage for Mold Claims,” The Mold Challenge in Colorado, April 2004, National Business Institute.

Member

Denver, Colorado and American Bar Associations; Million Dollar Advocates Forum; Associate Member of the Loss Executives Association.

Colorado Highway Commission: Vice Chairman (1985-90) and Chairman (1988-90).

Committee on Conduct, United States District Court District of Colorado: Panel Chairman (1990-1993).

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Contact Russell E. Yates

Denver

Yates Law Firm, LLC
1819 Denver West Drive, Suite 225
Golden, CO 80401
Phone: 303-722-2810
Fax: 303-722-2890
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Yates Law Firm, LLC’s primary office is in Denver, Colorado. Meetings with lawyers at the firm’s other offices are by appointment only. Yates Law Firm, LLC maintains its offices in Chicago, Illinois through the law firm of BatesCarey LLP which has attorneys licensed in Illinois.
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