Peter G. Koclanes
Peter G. Koclanes

Member

Phone: 303.299.8353

Fax: 303.298.0940

pkoclanes@shermanhoward.com

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Legal Secretary

Lynn Tumey
303.299.8158

Areas of Emphasis

Litigation, Trials & Appeals

Securities Regulation & Compliance

Corporate Governance & Investigations

Intellectual Property

Oil & Gas, Energy & Natural Resources

Education

  • Juris Doctor, with honors, George Washington University Law School, 1987
    • Executive Managing Editor, George Washington Journal of International Law and Economics
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemical and Petroleum-Refining Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, 1984

Peter Koclanes has represented public and private companies in complex business disputes for more than 30 years in trials, arbitrations, hearings seeking expedited remedies, corporate internal investigations, risk avoidance, and ethics. Peter has counseled clients and tried and obtained verdicts, judgments, and arbitration awards in a wide variety of business cases in the areas of securities & class actions, business torts & corporate governance disputes, intellectual property & non-competition, general commercial litigation, oil & gas and natural resources, real estate, and trusts & estates, among others. He spent two years as a judicial clerk on the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Peter is past president of both the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association and the Colorado Association of Corporate Counsel. He has been a member of the Colorado Bar Association Ethics Committee since 1997 and serves on the Board of Directors for the Colorado Judicial Institute.

Representative Matters

Trials, Arbitrations, Hearings Seeking Expedited Remedies, and Corporate Internal Investigations

  • Successfully tried and obtained verdicts, judgments, and arbitration awards in a wide variety of business cases in the areas of complex commercial litigation; securities and class actions; business torts and corporate governance disputes;  intellectual property and non-competition; oil & gas and natural resources; real estate; trust and estate; and, consumer law
  • Won favorable rulings on motions for temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions, receivership, replevin, and other hearings involving expedited remedies
  • Represented clients in corporate investigations evaluating and reporting on suspected misconduct, including under the FCPA, and addressing potential claims

Securities and Class Actions

  • Successfully represented business entities, shareholders, members, and partners in pursuing securities and class action lawsuits alleging securities and common law fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, corporate governance violations, and business torts involving privately held and publicly traded companies in state and federal courts
  • Colorado counsel for Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. in defending class action securities law claims arising from the going private transaction involving a prominent international data and technology corporation headquartered in Colorado
  • Colorado counsel for several directors of HealthSouth named as defendants in class action securities lawsuit arising from alleged wrongdoing by HealthSouth
  • Colorado counsel for Segal Advisors in defending class action claims arising from investments managed by Capital Consultants, LLC based in Portland, Oregon
  • Colorado counsel for Best Buy in obtaining dismissal of class action complaint alleging failure to disclose and warranty claims

Business Torts and Corporate Governance Disputes

  • Successfully litigated and obtained settlement for co-owner of one of Denver’s leading telecom hotels in complex litigation of alleged business torts involving the management, operation, and ownership of the facility and related businesses
  • Defended former senior executive of international airline in bankruptcy litigation on claims arising in connection with the airline’s financial failure and bankruptcy, obtaining dismissal of all principal claims on summary judgment
  • Obtained favorable settlement for majority interest owners of financial consulting company part way through trial on claims brought by minority interest owner for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and other business torts.  In doing so, presented portion of case to special litigation committee and obtained dismissal of derivative claims
  • Won arbitration award in favor of optometrist as a result of ophthalmologist’s wrongful business conduct, which included an award of treble damages and attorneys’ fees under the Colorado Civil Theft Statute
  • Represented general partner in defeating limited partner’s attempts to seize control of general partnership
  • Won trial court judgment in favor of lawyer after he was terminated by his co-counsel immediately following his work on trial team obtaining a $14 million jury verdict
  • Obtained dismissal of lawsuit against senior executive and director following proceedings before a special litigation committee relating to derivative claims brought on behalf of wind power generation business
  • Obtained dismissal of claims against a founder and principal of a Montana power plant and recovery of his litigation costs in a lawsuit alleging tortious interference and conspiracy claims
  • Represented countless consumers in pursuing contract and business tort claims

Intellectual Property and Non-Competition

  • Represented numerous businesses and individuals in patent, trademark, copyright, and other intellectual property disputes involving various industries
  • Represented founder of proprietary muscle activation therapy program and his company in successfully prosecuting and obtaining injunctions against unauthorized uses of therapy program
  • Represented national and international companies, as well as executives and employees, on claims and counterclaims alleging non-compete and non-solicitation violations, trade secret theft, and breach of fiduciary duties
  • Colorado counsel for manufacturer of brick form liners and construction mold devices in Colorado patent and trade dress litigation

Oil & Gas and Natural Resources

  • Represented various publicly traded and privately held domestic and international oil and gas companies in lawsuits concerning operational, carried and overriding interests, net pay, leasehold, joint venture, intellectual property, and other issues
  • Represented a large utility and a coal purchaser in fraud claims against coal mine and New York investors. Dispute involved 38 year coal contract and purchase of 74 million tons of coal
  • Represented western slope domestic water company in trial with another domestic water company arising under an 1889 water decree and a 30 year-old water contract

Real Estate

  • Represented prominent nationwide homebuilder in multiple lawsuits and arbitrations involving a developer, its related companies, metropolitan districts, and a water district
  • Won jury verdict awarding substantial real estate commission to a commercial real estate broker following a 2½ week trial
  • Represented residential real estate developer in arbitration with nationwide homebuilder over a purchase and sale agreement
  • Represented former owners of a 700+ unit apartment complex in lawsuit arising from events occurring following the sale of the complex

Trust and Estate Controversies

  • Successfully represented beneficiaries in multi-million dollar trust, estate and probate disputes
  • Represented co-personal representative and co-trustee in complex trust and estate dispute involving privately-held limited liability companies, general partnership, and corporation simultaneously pending in multiple state courts
  • Represented surviving spouse in action against estate’s special administrator on claims of breach of fiduciary duty and tortious interference with inheritance rights
  • Defended widow in action brought by deceased husband’s children from first marriage alleging claims of breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference with inheritance rights, and constructive trust.  Successfully defeated children’s claims and favorably settled counterclaims
Professional Activities
  • Board Member, Colorado Judicial Institute, 2012-present
  • Member, Sherman & Howard’s Executive Committee, 2016-present
  • Chair, Sherman & Howard’s Trial and Litigation Group, 2012-2016
  • President, Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, 2010-2011
  • President, Colorado Association of Corporate Counsel, 2008-2009
  • Ethics Committee of the Colorado Bar Association, 1997-present
  • Admitted in Colorado, 1987; New York, 1990
  • Admitted to practice before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Second Circuit, and Tenth Circuits
  • Admitted to practice before the U.S. District Courts for the District of Colorado, the Southern District of New York, and the Eastern District of New York
  • Judicial Clerk, the late Honorable Edward S. Smith, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 1987-89
  • Judicial Clerk, Honorable Paul R. Michel, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 1989
  • Member, American Bar Association, American Association for Justice, Federal Circuit Bar Association, Faculty of Federal Advocates, Colorado Bar Association, Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, Colorado Association of Corporate Counsel, Denver Bar Association
Honors and Awards
  • Chambers USA, Band 4, Litigation: General Commercial, Colorado (2018-2019)
  • Chambers USA, Recognized Practitioner, Litigation: General Commercial, Colorado (2016-2017)
  • 5280 Magazine, Top Lawyer – Commercial Litigation (2015-2019)
  • Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, (2013-2020); Litigation – Intellectual Property (2013-2020)
  • Super Lawyers, Colorado (2007-2019)
  • Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, “Volunteer of the Year Award” (2003, 2004, 2006)
  • Martindale-Hubbell, “AV Preeminent”
  • Colorado Bar Association, Fellow
Publications and Presentations

Recent Media

 

Publications

  • Colorado’s ‘Special Injury’ Test for Distinguishing Between Derivative and Personal Claims in Business Disputes: It May Be Time for a Change
    Trial Talk
    August/September 2004
  • Special Litigation Committees in Business Disputes
    Trial Talk
    April/May 2004
  • Insider Trading – A State of Mind?
    22 Colorado Journal, Corporate Counsel Supplement
    October 1998
Previous Experience
  • Repeat Lecturer at the Colorado Bar Association Annual Business Law Institute
  • Repeat Co-Chair of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association Annual Convention, Business Torts Program
  • Repeat Lecturer at the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association Annual Colorado Law Update on Commercial Law