Messner Reeves partner Deanne Stodden has been selected by the Colorado Mortgage Lenders Association to receive the Aksel Nielsen Award, presented annually to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding performance and commitment to the association through committee work or service on the board of directors. Deanne has been a dedicated member of the CMLA Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Committee for nine years.

In recent years, Deanne helped the committee by taking the lead on drafting an amicus brief on the Obduskey case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court involving a Colorado foreclosure and the applicability of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to law firms conducting non-judicial foreclosures. The SCOTUS opinion in favor of the law firm was hailed as a victory for the entire mortgage lending industry.

Additionally, in 2020, Deanne assisted the committee in discussing, negotiating, and ultimately defeating legislation in Colorado that would have conflicted with the CARES Act, thus preventing mortgage lenders in Colorado from having to attempt to comply with differing state and federal laws.

We proudly congratulate Deanne on this outstanding achievement.

To learn more about the Aksel Nielsen Award, please visit:


DStodden Award 1

Messner Reeves is proud to announce partner Michelle Harden has been recognized by the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association and will be receiving the 2020 CTLA Professionalism Award at the CTLA & CDLA Annual Legal Professional CLE on Thursday, Oct. 29.

Each year the Colorado Defense Lawyers Association and Colorado Trial Lawyers Association recognize members of the opposing bars for setting high standards of professionalism and conduct, even when fighting fiercely on behalf of their clients in trial.

During the event, award recipients Michelle and Anthony Viorst of The Viorst Law Offices PC will present on “Communicating Professionally in the Heat of the Moment.” Please visit the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association Website for more information and to register to attend the event.

MHarden Award

Jefferson County is providing up to $10,000 in legal services to businesses to assist them in complying with Public Health Order 20-35, which requires written plans for indoor events of up to 100 attendees and outdoor events of up to 175 attendees. 

Jefferson County and its commissioners, in coordination with Messner Reeves’ Denver office, is providing up to $10,000 in legal services to Jefferson County businesses to assist in developing and submitting compliance plans to obtain variances to existing gathering size restrictions. This collaboration and funding mechanism administered by the county has been designed to support businesses as they reopen and hold events, while still complying with public health orders.

Businesses interested in benefitting from this program should contact Caleb Meyer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Phoenix Office is Firm’s 11th Location Nationwide

DENVER — Messner Reeves LLP, the full-service law firm with offices in California, Colorado, Nevada, New York and Utah, has expanded its geographic footprint to include Arizona with a new office in Phoenix, the firm’s 11th location nationwide. The Phoenix office will be managed by new Partners Greg Sitrick and Benjamin Tietgen, both of whom specialize in intellectual property, and will support the firm’s full range of business legal services.

In addition to its new office in Phoenix, Messner Reeves operates offices in Denver; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Newport Beach, Calif.; New York; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; Reno, Nev.; Salt Lake City; and San Jose, Calif.

The addition of Sitrick and Tietgen will expand Messner Reeves’ intellectual property team, expertise and reach. Prior to joining Messner Reeves, both were partners at national law firm Quarles & Brady LLP.

Sitrick is an experienced intellectual property litigation attorney who brings valuable courtroom and real-world business experience to patent, trademark and copyright prosecution and enforcement. He assists his clients with all aspects of intellectual property-related rights, from procurement, enforcement and maintenance of patents, trademarks and copyrights, to protection, enforcement and defense against infringement, trade dress, trade secret misappropriation, unfair competition and unfair trade practices.

Sitrick graduated from Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law in 2003 after earning his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at Northern Arizona University in 2000. As an electrical engineer, he prosecuted patents on behalf of his employers even before becoming an attorney.

Tietgen has vast experience prosecuting patents, negotiating intellectual property agreements and managing intellectual property portfolios for clients of all sizes and in a variety of industries.

He advises on filing, pursuit, maintenance and enforcement strategies for patents, trademarks, copyrights, publicity rights and trade secrets, and licenses and contracts that arise in the intellectual property arena. His technical expertise is in computer hardware and software, including cloud computing architecture, internet of things, artificial intelligence, machine learning and data security including blockchain applications. Tietgen’s clients have created and commercialized products and services across a broad range of high and low technologies, including software, computer hardware, proprietary circuits, medical devices, consumer goods and industrial machinery.

Tietgen earned his law degree from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University in 2007 and was a three-time scholar at the Center for Law, Science & Innovation and a Willard H. Pedrick Scholar with a certificate in law, science and technology. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Missouri.

“We’re thrilled to grow Messner Reeves’ national presence and couldn’t have asked for a better team in Greg and Ben to launch our new office in Phoenix,” said Jim Smith, president of Messner Reeves. “Our strategic growth, both in terms of geography and team, is a commitment to our clients to ensure they receive the best possible counseling and comprehensive protection of their intellectual property rights and assets.

About Messner Reeves LLP:

With offices in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New York and Utah, Messner Reeves provides the full range of legal services to a diverse group of clients—from Fortune 500 companies to individual entrepreneurs—delivering effective legal counsel with quick response and professional integrity. The attorneys at Messner Reeves represent the highest standards in the legal profession. For more information, visit

Messner Reeves LLP is proud to announce that Partners Simone Montoya and Allison Dodd in the Firm’s Denver office, have been selected for the 2020 Colorado General Counsel Mentor Program.

The Colorado General Counsel Mentor Program is designed with the intent of building and strengthening relationships between talented and qualified law firm attorneys and Colorado’s senior in-house legal community. The goal of the Program is to provide mentees access to General Counsel and senior in-house lawyers throughout the Denver Metro Area with the hopes of helping attorneys to successfully grow their practice and expand their networks. The Program will also give participants insights on how to effectively build and manage client relationships, sell legal services, and develop relationships with chief legal officers (CLOs).

The Program is open to all current law firm attorneys who have a minimum of eight years of practice experience and a maximum of fifteen years of practice experience.

Simone Montoya is a Partner in the firm's Litigation Practice Group. She is a seasoned trial attorney who has tried over 30 jury trials and numerous bench trials. Simone has a broad range of experience in criminal defense and corporate defense litigation. Her legal career began as a Deputy District Attorney in Denver, where she served in the Family Violence Unit, prosecuting felony crimes against children and domestic violence cases. After serving seven years with the District Attorney’s office, Simone transitioned into an in-house legal counsel position with a Fortune 100 Insurance Company, where she gained experience in civil practice and insurance defense. Simone currently represents individuals and corporations in the areas of general liability, professional liability, foodborne illness, criminal defense, and medical negligence.

Allison Dodd is a partner in the firm’s Litigation, Crisis Management, and Labor and Employment Groups. She has an active litigation and trial practice in a variety of areas, including wage and hour, employment, foodborne illness, personal injury, premises liability, false advertising, class actions, and complex civil litigation. In addition to her litigation practice, Allison counsels her clients in crisis prevention and crisis management on matters ranging from food safety and regulatory compliance to external and internal investigations and audits. She works actively to not only to prepare clients for potential crises but also to help them foresee crisis before it occurs.

The City and County of Denver is allowing for temporary extension of outdoor eating areas to accommodate for social distancing on either private property or within the public right-of-way.  The following types of businesses may be eligible for this program: restaurants, cafes, fast food outlets, coffee shops, bars, taverns, brew pubs, breweries, microbreweries, distillery pubs, wineries, tasting rooms, and other similar places of public accommodation offering food, beverages, or alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption.

Click here for a full list of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources and Guidance from Messner Reeves LLP. 

On April 27, 2020, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment updated its rules that mandate employers in certain industries to provide paid leave for employees who have COVID-19 (coronavirus) symptoms. The Colorado HELP Rules became effective March 11, 2020 by executive order of Governor Jared Polis and remain in effect through May 27, 2020, or the duration of the State of Disaster Emergency declared by the Governor, up to July 11, 2020.

Please do not hesitate to contact Messner Reeves attorneys John Shunk or LaRona Kitzinger if you have further questions or would like assistance complying with these laws.  

View our full alert here.

Click here for a full list of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources and Guidance from Messner Reeves LLP. 

On April 26, 2020 Colorado Governor Jared Polis adopted Executive Order D 2020 044 Safer at Home Guidance and Executive Order D 2020 045 permitting the limited recommencement of voluntary or elective procedures in Colorado. In conjunction with these Executive Orders, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) issued Public Health Orders 20-28 and 20-29 which outline required protocol and procedures to be implemented for businesses that are reopening. This article addresses these regulations and guidance for re-opening for med spas.

Note, proper compliance will require a highly fact-intensive inquiry with respect to applicability and implementation. As such, we highly recommend consulting a lawyer before reopening to ensure compliance and proper procedures are implemented.

Please do not hesitate to contact Messner Reeves attorneys Michelle Harden, LaRona Kitzinger, or Maria Bock if you have further questions or would like assistance complying with these laws.  

View our full alert here.

Click here for a full list of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources and Guidance from Messner Reeves LLP. 

On April 26, 2020, Executive Orders D 2020-009 and 027 requiring cessation of elective procedures expired, and Governor Polis issued a new Executive Order D 2020 045, permitting the limited recommencement of voluntary or elective surgeries and procedures. 

For questions on compliance with PHO 20-28, Governor Polis’ Executive Orders, or otherwise making a decision regarding your practice, please contact Katherine Otto, a Partner at Messner Reeves LLP, who has extensive experience advising Colorado chiropractors.

View our full alert here. 

Click here for a full list of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources and Guidance from Messner Reeves LLP. 

Even before the current COVID-19 pandemic, several California cities had already enacted ordinances providing for paid sick leave more generous than that provided by state law. In response to COVID-19, some of those same cities have implemented emergency measures to increase the paid sick leave benefits to certain workers. For employers with employees working in those cities, it is important to know whether the new laws apply to your business and, if so, what is required. Below is a summary of those new laws.

View our full alert here.

Click here for a full list of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources and Guidance from Messner Reeves LLP. 

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