Messner Reeves Welcomes Jesús M. Vázquez as Partner in Denver Office
March 10, 2017
Messner Reeves LLP is pleased to welcome Jesús M. Vázquez as a Partner in our Denver office. Mr. Vázquez’ practice focuses on a variety of intellectual property, complex corporate, business and construction litigation, and international matters, including representation of companies in both federal and state courts. Mr. Vázquez has significant experience in arbitration and mediation proceedings, most often under the auspices of the American Arbitration Association. Mr. Vázquez received an undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering from Penn State University and his J.D. from University of Denver College of Law.
Messner Reeves Names Three New Partners
DENVER, CO (March 9, 2017) – Messner Reeves LLP is pleased to announce Aaron S. Motschenbacher, Mark B. Collier, and Renee M. Finch have been promoted to partner. Mr. Motschenbacher, Mr. Collier, and Ms. Finch are all members of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group.
Aaron S. Motschenbacher is a Nevada and California civil litigator having direct, practical experience advising and defending numerous entities and individuals involved in the hospitality and services industries, including hotels, resorts, restaurants, nightclubs, supermarkets, department stores, and others. In addition, Mr. Motschenbacher has advised and provided defense for contractors and subcontractors in construction defect related matters and has defended and represented professionals in a variety of industries including real estate appraisers, special inspectors, and others. Having adjusted commercial general liability and auto claims for larger insurance carriers and a third-party administrator prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. Motschenbacher scrupulously attends to detail in representing clients so as to ensure timely and accurate reporting and effective representation during all stages of litigation.
Mark B. Collier is a member of the firm's Litigation and Healthcare Practice Groups. His practice focuses on litigation counsel, advice, and risk management in medical, dental, and mental health care. Mr. Collier represents practitioners and health-related entities in malpractice cases and assisting professionals in front of licensing boards including the Colorado Medical Board, Board of Dental Examiners, Board of Nursing, and the mental health boards. In addition, Mark has represented clients with matters involving the Colorado Department of Public Health, Colorado Division of Civil Rights, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HIPAA complaints). Mr. Collier also assists clients with other care related matters and business concerns. Mr. Collier began his career representing patients in complex litigation, where he was involved in numerous high-value jury trials and depositions. He leans upon that previous experience to give his clients an honest and straightforward evaluation of their case or issue, including the likelihood of outcomes and possible resolutions of the case to effectively represent his clients’ interests.
Renee M. Finch is a member of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group. After graduating from South Dakota State University in 2005, Ms. Finch began her career as a claims employee with Farmers Insurance in 2006. Following her initial exposure to insurance defense as a claims professional, Ms. Finch enrolled in and attended law school at William S. Boyd School of Law. In 2013 Ms. Finch began her legal career as an in-house litigation attorney for Farmers Insurance and ultimately came to Messner Reeves in 2015. Given her background in claims investigation, Ms. Finch places a heavy emphasis on claims client satisfaction and fraud prevention. As every claims professional knows, attention to detail is the background of a successful defense. She specializes in sudden stops, staged commercial accidents and examinations under oath. Ms. Finch is a skilled advocate who regularly participates in defense of high-exposure personal injury cases from inception through trial.
Messner Reeves Welcomes Tanner J. Walls to the Litigation Practice Group
March 06, 2017
Messner Reeves LLP is thrilled to announce Tanner J. Walls has joined our Denver office as an Associate. Tanner Walls is a trial lawyer who focuses on complex civil litigation. Tanner primarily represents corporations and businesses in civil disputes, with an emphasis on product liability actions and commercial litigation. In this capacity, Tanner regularly represents large corporations and small businesses in contract disputes, premises liability cases, subrogation matters, business torts, trade secret actions, and consumer claims of all kinds. He has also served on national and regulatory counsel teams in large multi-district pharmaceutical litigation pending in federal courts as well as statewide coordinated proceedings across the country. Additionally, Tanner has defended professional liability claims and represented physicians and attorneys in regulatory and disciplinary matters.
Tanner's versatility as a trial lawyer and breadth of experience provides a unique background that informs his approach to every case and trial, as well as his role as a trusted advisor to his clients.
Tanner is a frequent lecturer and speaker on the role of trial lawyers sustaining the legal profession through mentorship on behalf of the Colorado Supreme Court's Attorney Mentor Program (CAMP) and the Colorado Defense Lawyers Association. He has also presented on issues related to legal malpractice at seminars and continuing legal education courses.
Tanner also devotes his time to professional organizations and local charities through his involvement with the Colorado Poverty Law Project and represents indigent clients pro bono in housing-related matters, helping at-risk individuals and families stay in their homes.
When he is not in the office, Tanner is either on his bike or snowboard somewhere in the mountains of Colorado. He lives in Denver with his wife Alicia and their Bernese Mountain Dog, Barkley.
Bruce A. Montoya named President of American Board of Trial Advocates - Colorado Chapter
DENVER, CO (February 23, 2017) The American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) Colorado Chapter has named Messner Reeves' partner, Bruce A. Montoya, as President. He assumes the role from outgoing president Sonny Flowers. Mr. Montoya was sworn in at the chapter's annual business meeting on Wednesday, February 22, 2017.
Founded in 1958, ABOTA is a prestigious national organization of judges and civil trial lawyers dedicated to preserving the constitutional vision of equal justice for all Americans and our civil justice system. ABOTA is an invitation-only organization consisting of lawyers who have tried civil jury trials as lead counsel to conclusion.
Mr. Montoya manages the Litigation Practice Group at Messner Reeves and has over thirty years' experience as a trial lawyer. In 2006, Mr. Montoya was elected to the American Board of Trial Advocates and was named president-elect for 2016.
Messner Reeves Welcomes Johnathan M. Leavitt to the Litigation Practice Group
February 10, 2017
Messner Reeves LLP is pleased to welcome new attorney, Johnathan M. Leavitt, to the firm’s Las Vegas office. Mr. Leavitt is an associate in the firm's Litigation practice group. Mr. Leavitt is a fourth generation native of Las Vegas and grandson of the late Nevada Supreme Court Justice Myron E. Leavitt.Mr. Leavitt earned a Bachelor's in University Studies with dual Minors in Political Science and Business Law from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He attended the University of Idaho College of Law, where he fast-tracked to graduation in 2.5 years, earning his J.D. with an emphasis in Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution. While attending law school, Mr. Leavitt was granted a limited license to practice law in the school's Legal Aid Clinic, where he began gaining invaluable courtroom experience representing the rights of clients who could not afford legal representation.
Mr. Leavitt was admitted to practice law in the state of Nevada in October of 2013, and in November of 2013 he began directly handling client's cases and regularly appearing and arguing in court. In April of 2015, he founded the Leavitt Law Group, LLC; a firm dedicated to Civil, Criminal, and Family Law litigation. Mr. Leavitt has represented numerous clients in many different areas of the law. He has successfully litigated and negotiated many cases and obtained favorable results for his clients.
Mr. Leavitt enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons. He loves the outdoors, traveling, sports, lifting weights, mixed martial arts, and playing musical instruments.
Messner Reeves Welcomes Four New Attorneys
January 24, 2017
Messner Reeves LLP is pleased to announce the addition of four highly regarded attorneys to the firm, namely Michael M. Edwards, Nicholas L. Hamilton, JohnPaul Fortin and Jean E. Smith Gonnell. This exceptional team will contribute to the firm's litigation and corporate practice areas.
Mr. Edwards joins our Litigation practice group as a partner in our Las Vegas office. His practice focuses on the defense and trial of Professional Liability, Business and Commercial Disputes, Product Liability Matters, Environmental Litigation/Remediation, Construction Litigation, all areas of General Liability/CGL/Tort Litigation and Employment issues. He often lectures to insurance company claim departments, design professionals and corporate clients on risk prevention, contracts, insurance issues and related employment matters.
Mr. Hamilton joins Messner Reeves LLP as an associate and has practiced law for approximately ten years in both Nevada and Texas. He has been a member of the Nevada State Bar since 2008. Nick has represented clients in cases involving personal injury, premises liability, construction defect, business litigation and employment discrimination and has successfully argued before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Nick received his Bachelor of Science from Texas Tech University in 2002 and his J.D. from Drake University Law School in 2005.
Mr. Fortin joins our Litigation practice group as an associate. Mr. Fortin was admitted to Practice in Nevada in 2000, California in 2001 and Washington in 2003. Mr. Fortin practices in the areas of construction defect, community association law, business litigation and contract disputes. Mr. Fortin received his Bachelor of Science degree from Northern Arizona University in 1992 and his J.D. from the University of Arizona School of Law in 1999.
Ms. Smith Gonnell joins the Denver office as Of Counsel and is one of the nation's leading cannabis practitioners. where she practices cannabis commercial/administrative litigation, specializing in all facets of Colorado marijuana law. Ms. Smith Gonnell also routinely provides advice to cannabis industry businesses about medical/retail/recreational marijuana, licensing, regulatory compliance, general business transactional law, and the intersection of state and federal law. Ms. Smith Gonnell's clients include a number of businesses both in and out of the marijuana industry, as well as individuals and those facing a variety of legal proceedings at the District level. She has served the cannabis industry full time since 2012.
Messner Reeves’ Bruce A. Montoya, Douglas C. Wolanske, and Michelle L. Harden named 2017 Top Lawyers by 5280 Magazine
DENVER, CO (January 05, 2017) – Messner Reeves LLP is pleased to announce partners Bruce A. Montoya, Douglas C. Wolanske, and Michelle L. Harden have been named Denver’s Top Lawyers 2017 by 5280 Magazine. The three attorneys from Messner Reeves were selected for inclusion as Top Lawyers in Medical Malpractice: Defense. The list is in its third edition and is made up of more than 400 of the best attorneys across 50 legal specialties in the Denver metro area. The ranking is based on a peer-review process, as well as the magazine’s own research.
This is the third consecutive year Mr. Montoya and Mr. Wolanske have been selected to the Top Lawyers list, and the second consecutive year Ms. Harden has been selected. For more information on the Denver’s Top Lawyers 2017 list, please visit 5280.com.
Michelle L. Harden Becomes Equity Partner at Messner Reeves LLP
DENVER, CO (January 03, 2017) – The law firm of Messner Reeves LLP is pleased to announce Michelle L. Harden has been named equity partner.
Ms. Harden joins founder Bryant S. “Corky” Messner, John Shunk, David Reeves, Bruce Montoya, Robert B. Hinckley, Jr., Douglas C. Wolanske, Mark B. Schellerup, Caleb Meyer, Torben Welch, Jeremy Wysocki, and J.C. Mazzola as an owner of the firm.
Ms. Harden represents individuals and businesses, large and small, striving to identify common sense solutions for difficult problems. Having worked as a nurse prior to attending the University of Colorado Law School, Ms. Harden brings a unique perspective and expertise to her practice. She has an active litigation and trial practice, appearing in state, federal and administrative courts. She serves as a trusted advisor to many clients on a wide variety of topics and serves as outside counsel for several businesses, including a large publicly traded company overseeing litigation throughout the United States.
Martindale-Hubbell has certified Ms. Harden as AV-Preeminent, a testament to the fact that her peers rank her at the highest level of professional excellence. She was recognized as a Colorado Super Lawyer – Rising Star in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and in 2017 was recognized as a Colorado Super Lawyer. She’s also been named to the 5280 Magazine Top Lawyers list in 2016 and 2017.
Messner Reeves believes in letting lawyers build the practice that’s right for them. The result is a firm of dedicated lawyers doing what they love, practicing law and helping their clients achieve their goals. Founder Bryant S. “Corky” Messner expressed, “Ms. Harden is a brilliant attorney who embodies the Messner Reeves culture in all respects; she is hardworking and an incredibly loyal team player.”
Messner Reeves LLP is honored to add Ms. Harden to our distinguished group of shareholders.
Happy Holidays From Messner Reeves LLP
Messner Reeves’ Caleb Meyer Elected to the American Board of Trial Advocates
DENVER, CO (October 21, 2016) – Messner Reeves LLP is pleased to announce Caleb Meyer has been elected to the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), an exclusive and prestigious national organization of judges and civil trial lawyers with the primary mission of preserving the constitutional vision of equal justice for all Americans and our civil justice system. ABOTA’s membership is by invitation only, and constitutes one of the most prestigious organizations of trial lawyers in the United States. To be considered for ABOTA candidacy, the applicant must possess a wealth of trial experience few attorneys achieve, and be approved by votes of the local Chapter and National Board. Acceptance constitutes peer recognition of trial acumen and professionalism. Mr. Meyer joins Messner Reeves’ Bruce Montoya and Douglas Wolanske as members of ABOTA.
As part of the firm's Litigation Practice Group, Mr. Meyer focuses on trial advocacy and the representation of individuals, insurance companies, and business entities in courts of law, arbitration, mediation, and other regulatory proceedings. He has litigated and tried numerous cases including matters involving complex commercial litigation, medical/healthcare claims, insurance coverage, insurance bad faith, construction defect, employment, catastrophic personal injury, general liability and contract.
Mr. Meyer also takes an active role in the legislative process on behalf of the civil defense industry by helping to craft and amend proposed legislation to protect individual and business interests in the community and enhance the ability of clients to successfully litigate civil claims.