James G. Sawtelle
James G. Sawtelle

Member

Phone: 303.299.8265

Fax: 303.298.0940

jsawtelle@shermanhoward.com

vCard | Print Page

Legal Secretary

Donna Fouts
303.299.8154

Areas of Emphasis

Litigation, Trials & Appeals

Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property Litigation

Media & Publishing

Education

  • Juris Doctor, with distinction, University of Iowa College of Law, 1991
    • Associate Editor, University of Iowa Law Review
  • Bachelor of Arts, with distinction, University of Iowa, 1988
    • Phi Beta Kappa

James “Jim” Sawtelle is a trial attorney who leads the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice Group. For over twenty-five years, clients have turned to him for advice on their most complex commercial and intellectual property needs. Those clients range from individuals, small businesses, and other law firms, to Fortune 500 companies. Jim’s ability to offer clear guidance and sound judgment has been forged through years in the courtroom. He has tried to verdict more than 50 civil jury and bench cases in State and Federal Courts throughout the country, with a track record of notable victories. In addition, he has briefed and argued more than a dozen appellate cases, many of which have resulted in refinements to existing law.

A trusted advisor and advocate, his experience enables clients to achieve the results they seek, whether through risk analysis and counseling, litigation avoidance, dispute resolution by settlement, or victory at trial. In recognition, Chambers USA writes that Jim is known for being “…adept at handling all areas of commercial litigation…extremely thorough and very communicative. He is also recommended for his ability to combine legal sense with awareness of business objectives.”

Representative Matters
  • Winning a jury verdict of $16.7 million, including a record-setting $15 million in punitive damages, as lead counsel for an investor group in an action against a multinational corporation
  • As lead trial counsel, negotiating a settlement valued at $13.5 million for 79 small business clients in a commercial dispute against a governmental entity
  • On behalf of a closely held marketing firm, developing a multi-state litigation program to address losses arising from recurring contract disputes, winning more than $4.2 million in judgments for the client
  • Co-trial counsel in a trademark infringement lawsuit brought on behalf of a family-owned real estate brokerage against a national franchise, resulting in a $4 million settlement in favor of the client
  • Co-trial counsel in the successful defense of a Digital Millennium Copyright Act and Lanham Act case, involving claims against a software development client in excess of $56 million
  • Negotiating a pre-trial, no-payment dismissal and release as defense counsel for a nationwide television broadcasting group, eliminating multi-million-dollar damages claims asserted by a terminated chief executive
  • Winning a defense verdict in an arbitration hearing on behalf of a veterinary education provider with global operations, against claims of copyright infringement and breach of license agreement involving the use of teaching materials
  • Since 2001, Jim has also served as outside counsel to one of the nation’s largest media companies, overseeing a variety of legal matters including Commercial Litigation, Intellectual Property, Employment Counseling and Litigation, Contract Negotiations, Data Privacy / Security, Class Action Defense, Consumer Protection, Executive Compensation and Benefits, Brand Licensing Agreements, Mergers and Acquisitions and Joint Ventures.
Professional Activities

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • Colorado
  • Iowa
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa
  • Admitted to practice Pro Hac Vice before the United States District Courts for the Eastern, Western, and Northern Districts of Texas; the District of Delaware; the Northern District of Illinois; the District of Minnesota; the District of Wyoming; the District of Nebraska; the Central District of California; the District of Arizona; the District of Connecticut; the District of Columbia; and the Southern District of New York

 

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • Member of the Board of Directors, University of Iowa Law School Foundation
    • Member, Governance and Nominating Committee
  • American Bar Association
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Faculty of Federal Advocates
Honors and Awards
  • Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation (2020)
  • Best Lawyers in America, Litigation: Intellectual Property (2013-2020)
  • Chambers USA, Band 3, Intellectual Property, Colorado (2018-2020)
  • Chambers USA, Band 4, Litigation General Commercial, Colorado (2013-2020)
  • Managing Intellectual Property, “IP Star,” Colorado (2014-2021)
  • Martindale-Hubbell, “AV Rated” (2002-present)
  • American Bar Foundation, Life Fellow (2016-2020)
  • Litigation Counsel of America, Senior Fellow (2012-2020)
  • Super Lawyers, Intellectual Property Litigation, Colorado (2011-2020)
  • Super Lawyers, “Top 100 Lawyers,” Colorado (2018)

 

Publications and Presentations

PRESS

 

PUBLICATIONS

  • Co-Author, Litigating Media and Entertainment Matters
    Thomson Reuters
    2013

 

PRESENTATIONS

  • An Employer’s Guide to Protecting Intellectual Property: Legal, Contractual, and Practical Solutions
    Sherman & Howard Annual Colorado Labor & Employment Law Conference, Denver, CO
    2017
  • Effective Use of Expert Witnesses in a Trademark Case
    LCA Intellectual Property Institute Summer Conference, Park City, UT
    2016
  • Data Security / Data Privacy
    Alliance of Area Business Publications Summer Conference, Nashville, TN
    2013
  • Intellectual Property and Copyright Law for the Magazine Media Publisher
    MPA-IMAG Independent Magazine Conference, New Orleans, LA
    2013
  • Delivering Maximum Value Through Expert Witnesses
    Renaissance Symposium VI at the Harvard Club, New York, NY
    2012
  • Privacy and Social Media in the Workplace
    11th Annual Advanced Employment Law, Cheyenne, WY
    2012