Norman R. Mueller

Special Counsel
Norman R. Mueller

With his unique combination of trial and appellate skills, Norm Mueller has vigorously represented thousands of clients in state and federal trial and appellate courts around the country. He has handled hundreds of appeals, both civil and criminal. He is highly regarded for his meticulous and creative approach to his appellate cases.

After graduating from Yale Law School in 1974, Norm returned to Colorado (where he had worked one summer helping construct the Eisenhower Tunnel) to begin his legal career as a Deputy State Public Defender. He worked in both the Appellate Division and the Denver Regional Trial Office, serving as Chief Appellate Deputy from 1978-1980. Norm formed the firm of Allen, Foreman and Mueller in 1980 before joining Haddon, Morgan and Foreman in 1983.

Norm’s commitment to the legal profession is long standing. He has been appointed to numerous commissions and served on many committees and boards seeking to improve both the criminal justice system and the skills and knowledge of attorneys.

Commitment to community is just as important to Norm. After coaching youth sports for many years, Norm has served as a mentor at Denver’s East High School since 2004. He has also volunteered at Aurora Central High School, supporting the school’s CBA mock trial program. Norm is proud to be a board member of Together with the Children, a 501(c)(3) that raises funds for JUCONI (Juntos con los Niños), an organization that works with street-involved children and their families in Puebla, Mexico.


“Appellate Practice Update 2015,” Colorado Bar Association, Denver, November 2015

“Avoiding Ethical Lapses and Sanctions on Appeal,” Colorado Bar Association, Denver, July 2014

“How to Lose a Winning Appeal,” National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Aspen, January 2012 (with Ty Gee)

“Keeping Your Ticket: Some Guidance for Modern Ethical Dilemmas,” National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Portland, November 2009

“Special Considerations in Criminal Appeals,” Colorado Bar Association, Denver, November 2006

“What to do if you are Grieved,” American Immigration Lawyers Association, Denver, March 2006

“Investigation and Pre-trial Motions,” San Antonio Bar Association, San Antonio, November 2005

“Ethics and Getting Your Job Done,” The National Defenders Association, Boston, April 2004

“Ethics and Experts: Avoiding Traps for the Unwary,” National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Denver, August 2003

“Ethics and Appellate Practice,” Federal Judicial Center, Washington, D.C., May 1998


“Sabbaticals Off the Grid,” 42 Litigation, No. 3, Spring 2016, at 55

Chapter author, Colorado Appellate Handbook

“The (Absolute) Basics of a State Criminal Appeal,” Rap Sheet (newsletter of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar), summer 2005

“Grand Jury Abuse: The Remedy After Mechanik and Kilpatrick,”: 17 Colorado Lawyer 647 (1988)


People v. Wakefield, 2018 COA 37

McLaughlin v. BNSF Ry. Co., 300 P.3d 925 (Colo. App. 2012)

U.S. v. Burgess, 576 F.3d 1078 (10th Cir. 2009)

People v. Summers, 208 P.3d 251 (Colo. 2009)

Antolovich v. Brown Group Retail, Inc., 183 P.3d 582 (Colo. App. 2007)

People v. Stanley, 170 P.3d 782 (Colo. App. 2007)

Auman v. People, 109 P.3d 647 (as amicus) (Colo. 2005)

Coors Brewing Co. v. Cabo, 114 P.3d 60 (Colo. App. 2004)

Kohn v. Burlington Northern and Santa Fe R.R.,77 P.3d 809 (Colo. App. 2003)

People v. Jensen, 55 P.3d 135 (Colo. App. 2001)

Springer v. City and County of Denver, 13 P.3d 794 (Colo. 2000)

Osteguin v. Southern Pacific Transp. Co., 144 F.3d 1293 (10th Cir. 1988)

Sauer v. Burlington Northern R. Co., 106 F.3d 1490 (10th Cir. 1996)

Boatright v. Derr, 919 P.2d 221 (Colo. 1996)

Green v. Denver & Rio Grande Western R. Co., 59 F.3d 1029 (10th Cir. 1995)

Wilson v. Union Pacific R. Co., 56 F.3d 1226 (10th Cir. 1995)

Hill v. Boatright, 890 P.2d 180 (Colo. App. 1994)

Anderson v. Eby, 998 F.2d 858 (10th Cir. 1993)

Scholz v. Metropolitan Pathologists, P.C., 851 P.2d 901 (Colo. 1993)

Matter of Estate of Rienks, 844 P.2d 1295 (Colo. App. 1992)

Mumford v. Hughes, 852 P.2d 1289( Colo. App. 1992)

Morgan v. Board of Water Works, 837 P.2d 300 (Colo. App. 1992)

Matter of Title, Ballot Title and Submission Clause, and Summary Pertaining to Campaign and Political Finance Initiative Adopted on Feb. 12, 1992, 830 P.2d 954

Resolution Trust Corp. v. Cruce, 785 F.Supp. 147 (D.Kan. 1992)

Faucett v. Hamill, 815 P.2d 989 (Colo. App. 1991)

U.S. v. Gahagan, 881 F.2d 1380 (6th Cir. 1989)

U.S. v. Gahagan, 865 F. 2d 1490 (6th Cir. 1989)

Moland v. People, 757 P.2d 137 (Colo. 1988)

People v. Drake, 748 P.2d 1237 (Colo. 1988) (as amicus)

Vista Village Mobile Home Park v. Basnett, 731 P.2d 700 (Colo. 1987)

Qureshi v. District Court In and For Second Judicial Dist., 727 P.2d 45 (Colo. 1986)

People v. Mares, 705 P.2d 1013 (Colo. App. 1985)

People v. Curtis, 681 P.2d 504 (Colo. 1984)

People v. Lee, 630 P.2d 583 (Colo. 1981)

People v. Botham, 629 P.2d 589 (Colo. 1981)

People v. Martinez, 628 P.2d 608 (Colo. 1981)

People v. Marcy, 628 P.2d 69 (Colo. 1981)

People v. Cohen, 617 P.2d 1205 (Colo. 1980)


  • 1971-1974 Yale University, J.D.
  • 1967-1971 University of Kansas, B.A., with distinction


  • Appeals
  • Criminal Defense
  • Professional Discipline
  • Civil Litigation


  • Best Lawyers in America: Appellate Practice, Criminal Defense: General Practice, Criminal Defense: white Collar and Commercial Litigation
  • Best Lawyers in America: Lawyer of the year 2020, Criminal Defense: General Practice in Denver, Denver Appellate Practice Lawyer of the Year 2011, 2017
  • Colorado Super Lawyer: Appellate
  • Gubernatorial appointment, Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, 2012-2018
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Fellow Emeritus, Colorado Bar Foundation


  • Colorado, 1974
  • United States District Court, District of Colorado, 1974
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, 1976
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 1988
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, 1989
  • United States Supreme Court, 1977


  • Colorado Supreme Court Committee on Appellate Rules, 1986-present
  • Colorado Supreme Court Committee on Rules of Evidence, 2014-present
  • Colorado Supreme Court Committee on Rules of Criminal Procedure, 1984-1990
  • Judicial Performance Commission, Second Judicial District, 2010-2019; Chair 2016-2019
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (Board of Directors, 2011-2019; Task Force on Federal Indigent Defense, 2013-2015; Public Defense Committee; 10th Circuit Co-Chair for Amicus Committee)
  • Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, (Board of Directors, 1980-1982; 1985-1986; Treasurer, 1983; President, 1986-1987, Amicus Committee, 2004-2010)
  • Colorado Bar Association (Executive Council, Criminal Law Section, 1985-2018; Chair, 1990-1991)
  • Denver Bar Association (Co- President, Criminal Law Section, 1984-1985)
  • Colorado Hispanic Bar Association
  • Criminal Pattern Jury Instruction Committee for the Tenth Circuit, 2009-present
  • Tenth Circuit Criminal Justice Act Standing Committee, 2006-2012
  • Criminal Justice Act Panel
  • The Colorado Lawyer, Board of Editors, 1994-2002
  • American Civil Liberties Union, Legal Panel, numerous years
  • Master, Rhone-Brackett Inn of Court
  • Colorado Lawyers Committee, past member of Board of Directors
  • Colorado Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Bar Association


  • Volunteer, CBA Mock Trial Program, 1999, 2010-2012
  • Mentor, A+ Angels program, Denver East High School (2004-present)
  • Co-Chair Denver East High School Community Forum (multiple years) Awarded Angel Award by East High PTSA
  • Board member, Together with the Children (“TWC”), a nonprofit that raises funds for JUCONI (Juntos con los Niños), an organization that works with street-involved children and their families in Puebla, Mexico.