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Chris Montville
303.831.7364

EDUCATION

Duke University School of Law, J.D., 2007, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, Duke Law Journal, Executive Editor

Rutgers College, Rutgers University, B.S., 2000, Computer Science

PRACTICE AREAS

Commercial Litigation

Professional Liability

Appellate Matters

HONORS & DISTINCTIONS

Benchmark Litigation 40 and Under Hotlist, 2020 Future Star, 2020

The Best Lawyers in America Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants, 2021

Colorado Rising Stars Professional Liability - Defense, 2014-2018 Business Litigation, 2013

COURT ADMISSIONS

Colorado State Court

United States District Court, District of Colorado

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

Board of Trustees, Colorado Legal Aid Foundation

Colorado Bar Association

Denver Bar Association

PRIOR EXPERIENCE

Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Carlos F. Lucero, United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Partner, Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP

Programmer/Analyst, Goldman Sachs & Co.

Chris Montville devotes his practice to representing businesses and individuals in high-stakes commercial disputes. He also represents clients in professional liability matters that implicate virtually every area of law, such as patent and intellectual property disputes, mass tort actions, protracted business litigation, and complex real estate transactions.

In addition to his extensive trial and arbitration experience, Chris recognizes the value of methodical case planning from the earliest stages of a lawsuit, focusing on novel arguments and strategies that foster early case resolution. To facilitate this approach, Chris approaches legal writing by presenting complex factual and legal issues in persuasive but plain language. easily understood by judges and parties alike.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Chris spent four years at Goldman Sachs & Company as a technologist. Chris then earned a J.D. from Duke Law School, graduating magna cum laude and serving as an executive editor of the Duke Law Journal.

Following a judicial clerkship for the Honorable Carlos F. Lucero of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, Chris joined the Denver-based litigation boutique Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP in 2008. He became a partner in 2014. While at Wheeler Trigg, Chris tried a broad array of high-exposure commercial and professional liability matters, including on behalf of major automotive manufacturers, energy companies, and Amlaw-100 firms. He joined Haddon Morgan and Foreman in 2021.

Although now a tenacious litigator, Chris continues to pursue his fascination with all things digital—both in service of his legal practice and in his off hours. When he finds the time, Chris escapes to the mountains with a bike, a set of Nordic skis, or a pair of hiking boots

TEACHING POSITIONS AND AUTHORED ARTICLES

Lecturer-“Dealing With Challenging Opposing Counsel in Depositions”, August 2019

Lecturer-“Why Good Lawyers do Bad Things: Behavioral Psychology and the Law,” CBA Employment Law Section, October 2019

Lecturer-“Document Preservation Obligations,” CBA Family Law Update, 2019

Lecturer-“Preventing Legal Malpractice,” Presentation to various groups

Author-“Behavioral Ethics and the Practice of Law,” ALAS Loss Prevention Journal, Vol. XXX, No. 2, Winter 2019

Author-“New Strategies for Defending Professional Liability and Malpractice Cases,” Best Practices for Addressing Professional Liability Claims (2015).

Author-“Keeping the Lights on for Colorado Legal Services,” The Colorado Lawyer (March 2013).

Author-“Reforming the Law of Proprietary Information,” 56 DUKE L.J. 1159 (2007).

REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS

Won a trial in El Paso County District Court for two estate creditors accused of colluding with an estate representative to defraud the primary beneficiary. The presiding judge entered judgment for Chris’s clients, concluding that the plaintiff had failed to prove virtually every necessary element of her claims. She also awarded fees after finding that the claims were frivolous and groundless.

Won a landmark federal case in Illinois defining the obligations of lead and liaison counsel in multidistrict litigation.

Obtained Rule 12 dismissal for an AmLaw 200 firm facing claims exceeding $500 million in state court in Kentucky, which was affirmed on appeal.

Won a complete defense jury verdict in a $12 million legal malpractice case and a damage award on his client’s counterclaim. The jury found in favor of Chris’s client on all claims and also awarded unpaid legal fees owed by plaintiffs.

Won a complete defense jury verdict in federal court for a large international law firm accused of malpractice. The plaintiff hired Chris’s client to handle a complex patent infringement matter, then sued the firm for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.

Won a complete jury verdict for a contractor who claimed a Canadian software company failed to pay him amounts due under a contract. The jury, in Douglas County, Colorado, returned a verdict in favor of Chris’s client after 22 minutes of deliberation, awarding all the damages the client requested.

Successfully defended Chrysler against a protest filed by two local dealers to stop Chrysler's establishment of a new Las Vegas dealership. This successful establishment was viewed as a test of Chrysler's ability to expand its dealership network following the economic downturn and termination of almost 800 dealers in Old Chrysler's 2009 bankruptcy. Chris then prevailed against the dealers’ appeals.

Briefed an appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, resulting in full affirmance of a verdict in favor of Chrysler on a federal statutory issue of first impression stemming from Congress's enactment of Section 747 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010.

Co-managed with one other law firm the response to requests from 418 dealers for arbitration relating to the bankruptcy of Chrysler Group LLC and following Chrysler's termination of those dealerships. Chris was a primary drafter of model briefing used in these arbitrations across the country. Chris also personally arbitrated several of the arbitrations to a final decision, and his team at his prior firm also litigated 187 of these Section 747 arbitrations, and, as directed by Congress, resolved all of the litigation within seven months—with a 96% success rate.

Obtained partial summary judgment in federal court for a large national law firm that had been sued for malpractice, aiding and abetting, conspiracy, and violations of RICO. The ruling reduced the damage claim from over $150 million to less than $2 million and paved the way for a favorable settlement of the case.


EDUCATION

Duke University School of Law, J.D., 2007, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, Duke Law Journal, Executive Editor

Rutgers College, Rutgers University, B.S., 2000, Computer Science

PRACTICE AREAS

Commercial Litigation

Professional Liability

Appellate Matters

HONORS & DISTINCTIONS

Benchmark Litigation 40 and Under Hotlist, 2020 Future Star, 2020

The Best Lawyers in America Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants, 2021

Colorado Rising Stars Professional Liability - Defense, 2014-2018 Business Litigation, 2013

COURT ADMISSIONS

Colorado State Court

United States District Court, District of Colorado

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

Board of Trustees, Colorado Legal Aid Foundation

Colorado Bar Association

Denver Bar Association

PRIOR EXPERIENCE

Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Carlos F. Lucero, United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Partner, Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP

Programmer/Analyst, Goldman Sachs & Co.