James G. Sawtelle
James G. Sawtelle


Phone: 303.299.8265

Fax: 303.298.0940


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Legal Secretary

Roberta Neal

Areas of Emphasis

Litigation, Trials and Appeals

Intellectual Property


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

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
  • Admitted Iowa 1991; Colorado 1998
  • Admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court; the United States Courts of Appeals for the Federal, Second, Eighth and Tenth Circuits; and the United States District Courts for the District of Colorado, and the Northern and Southern Districts 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 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
  • Member of the Board of Directors, University of Iowa Law School Foundation 2017-2019
    • Governance and Nominating Committee, 2018-2019
  • Member, American and Colorado Bar Associations
  • Member, International Trademark Association
Honors and Awards
  • Band 3 – Intellectual Property (Colorado)
    Chambers USA
  • Band 4 – Litigation General Commercial
    Chambers USA
  • Top 100 Lawyers (Colorado)
    Super Lawyers
  • Best Lawyer – Intellectual Property Litigation
    Best Lawyers in America
  • Super Lawyer – Intellectual Property Litigation (Colorado)
    Super Lawyers
  • IP Star (Colorado)
    Managing Intellectual Property
  • Senior Fellow
    Litigation Counsel of America
  • Fellow
    American Bar Foundation
  • AV Preeminent, 5.0 out of 5.0
    Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating


Publications and Presentations



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


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