James G. Sawtelle


Denver, Colorado

Phone: 303.299.8265

Fax: 303.298.0940

[email protected]


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

Jim Sawtelle’s ability to offer clear guidance and sound judgment has been forged through years in the courtroom.

Jim is a trial attorney who leads the firm’s Intellectual Property practice group. For more than 30 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. 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.”


  • 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 multimillion-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.

Publications & Presentations



  • Litigating Media and Entertainment Matters (co-author)
    Thomson Reuters | 2013


  • A New Day for Non-Competition, Non-Solicitation, & Confidentiality Agreements
    Annual Colorado Labor & Employment Law Seminar | September 29, 2023
  • An Employer’s Guide to Protecting Intellectual Property: Legal, Contractual, and Practical Solutions
    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

Professional Activities

  • University of Iowa Law School Foundation
    • Board of Directors
    • Executive Committee
  • American Bar Association
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Faculty of Federal Advocates


  • Best Lawyers in America, Denver
    • Commercial Litigation (2020-2024)
    • Litigation: Intellectual Property (2013-2024)
  • Chambers USA, Band 4, Litigation General Commercial, Colorado (2013-2023)
  • Chambers USA, Band 3, Intellectual Property, Colorado (2018-2020)
  • Managing IP, IP Stars – Copyright Star and Trademark Star, United States and Colorado (2014-2023)
  • Martindale-Hubbell, “AV Rated” (2002-present)
  • American Bar Foundation, Life Fellow (2016-present)
  • Litigation Counsel of America, Senior Fellow (2012-present)
  • Super Lawyers, Intellectual Property Litigation, Colorado (2011-2023)
  • Super Lawyers, “Top 100 Lawyers,” Colorado (2018)