Sarah Smyth O’Brien, MEMBER
- University of Denver College of Law, J.D., 2002 Order of St. Ives
- University of Wyoming, B.S. in Political Science, 1997
- Admitted to the Colorado Bar in 2002.
- Admitted to practice before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.
Professional Affiliations and Activities
- Colorado Bar Association
- Faculty of Federal Advocates
- Colorado Defense Lawyers Association
- National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF)
Prior to joining the firm Ms. O’Brien clerked for Justice Gregory Hobbs, Jr., Colorado Supreme Court. Her practice areas include insurance coverage and defense, bad faith litigation, and construction litigation.
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University of Denver College of Law, J.D., 2002
Order of St. Ives
University of Wyoming, B.S. in Political Science, 1997
Colorado Bar Association
Faculty of Federal Advocates
Colorado Defense Lawyers Association
United States Circuit Courts of Appeal:
AE, Inc. v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 576 F.3d 1050 (10th Cir. 2009)
United States District Court:
Lust v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., No. 04-CV-2583-PSF-CBS, 2006WL240601 (D. Colo. Jan. 31, 2006)
Colorado Supreme Court:
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Holmes, 193 P.3d 821 (Colo. 2008)
AE, Inc. v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 168 P.3d 507 (Colo. 2007)
Dry Creek Crossing Homeowners Assn. v. Mountain View Homes, Casson Duncan Construction Inc. et al. v. AAA Waterproofing Inc.et al.
- Successful defense of multiple clients at trial and in arbitation
- Assisted in and co-authored briefing in successful defense of appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court resulting in the announcement of a new, defense-favorable legal standard governing the accrual date of prejudgment interest in cases involving claims of latent property damage, resulting in combined savings of over $1 million to client in two product liability cases.
- Co-authored motion to certify question of State law and achieved successful Colorado Supreme Court review of a certified question of state law about the choice-of-law rule applicable to prejudgment interest, overruling an 85-year-old precedent and avoiding a potential interest award of up to $6 million for product-liability client.
- Drafted motions and briefs in assistance of obtaining summary judgment on behalf of insurer in bad faith litigation.
- Handled successful mediations in insurance and construction cases.
- Preparation of complex motions in insurance litigation, including motions for summary judgment.
- Successfully argued motions before Court in both insurance and construction litigation.
- Conducted examinations under oath of insureds as part of investigation of coverage and claims in first-party actions.
- Authored numerous legal opinion letters on complex insurance coverage issues.
- Successful development of defenses with experts in construction defect litigation and insurance defense and bad faith litigation.
- Depositions of parties, fact witnesses and experts in construction defect and insurance defense and bad faith actions.
- Completed International Association of Defense Counsel Trial Academy.