Chris Montville

Shareholder

Chris Montville

Chris devotes his practice to representing businesses and individuals in high-stakes commercial disputes and legal malpractice claims. He brings an aggressive but analytical approach to civil litigation, believing that effective communication, both with clients and with courts, is the surest path to accomplishing his clients’ goals.

Chris has tried a broad array of high-exposure commercial and professional liability matters, including on behalf of major automotive manufacturers, energy companies, real estate developers, and large law firms. He began his career as a technologist at Goldman Sachs & Company. After earning his law degree and clerking on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, Chris spent more than a decade as an associate then partner at a well-known Colorado-based litigation boutique. He joined Haddon Morgan and Foreman as a shareholder in 2021.

REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS

Obtained a defense jury verdict for a well-known real estate developer against claims of breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, and fraud arising from underlying litigation over a right of first refusal.

Successfully defeated a preliminary injunction motion alleging breaches of fiduciary duty and fraudulent transfers; subsequently obtained a no-payment voluntary dismissal of the lawsuit.

Prevailed at trial in El Paso County District Court on behalf of two estate creditors accused of colluding with an estate representative to defraud the primary beneficiary and obtained an award of attorneys’ fees.

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.

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 local dealers to prevent establishment of a new Las Vegas dealership and prevailed on appeal.

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.

LECTURES AND AUTHORED ARTICLES

Lecturer – “Why Good Lawyers do Bad Things: Behavioral Psychology and the Law,” Colorado Defense Lawyers Association (July 2022); CBA Employment Law Section (October 2019)

Lecturer – “Family Conflicts,” CBA-CLE Ethics Symposium (June 2022)

Lecturer – “Ethical Areas of Interest for Federal Practitioners,” 2021 Federal Practice Update (June 2021)

Lecturer – “Legal Advertising and Client Confidentiality,” CBA-CLE Ethics Symposium (June 2021)

Lecturer – “Dealing With Challenging Opposing Counsel in Depositions” (August 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).

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, with Honors

PRACTICE AREAS

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Lawyers Professional Responsibility

HONORS & DISTINCTIONS

  • Best Lawyers – Legal Malpractice (2021–2023)
  • Colorado Super Lawyers – Legal Malpractice (2020–2022)
  • Benchmark Litigation 40 and Under Hotlist – Future Star (2020)
  • Colorado Super Lawyers Rising Star – Professional Liability (2014-2018); Business Litigation (2013)

COURT ADMISSIONS

  • Colorado
  • 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 (2016–2022)
  • CBA Lawyers Professional Liability Committee
  • 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 (2007-2008)
  • Partner, Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP (2008–2021)
  • Programmer/Analyst, Goldman Sachs & Co. (2000–2004)