Kathryn A. Starnella, Member

Ms. Starnella handles trial-level defense litigation and civil appeals in federal and state court in the areas of civil rights, employment law, election law, products liability, insurance defense, and other commercial litigation.

Ms. Starnella has practiced law since 2004. Before joining Wells, Anderson & Race, LLC, Ms. Starnella served as an assistant attorney general for the State of Colorado where she defended the Colorado Department of Corrections in a variety of state claims and federal suits brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, including claims regarding free exercise of religion, deliberate indifference to medical needs, outdoor exercise, accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and liberty interests in rehabilitative or education programs. While at the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, Ms. Starnella also defended the state’s top elected officials in cases involving constitutional challenges to Colorado’s laws, as well as election-related issues. She also defended county court judges in actions seeking review of county court decisions. Ms. Starnella has tried cases in federal and state courts and she has briefed and argued cases in the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and the state appellate courts.

Ms. Starnella began her career in private practice at law firms in New York City, where she worked on cases involving intellectual property, products liability, white collar criminal defense, and other commercial disputes.

From 2009 to 2011, Ms. Starnella was a law clerk for the Honorable Christine M. Arguello in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.

Ms. Starnella is 2021-22 President-Elect of the Colorado Women’s Bar Association (CWBA) and Chair of the CWBA’s Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Harassment and Sex Discrimination in the Judicial System. Ms. Starnella also serves as a coordinating editor and advisory board member for the Colorado Lawyer, and on the board of the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations and the Colorado Bar Association Joint Management Committee. She has been a mentor in the law school pipeline program, Law School…Yes We Can, and a member of the Northwestern University Alumni Admissions Council. Ms. Starnella is a past president of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association and a 2017 graduate of the Colorado Bar Association’s Leadership Training (COBALT) program.


Colorado Judicial Institute

Colorado Hispanic Bar Association

Colorado Women’s Bar Association

Colorado Bar Association

Sam Cary Bar Association

Arapahoe County Bar Association


Starnella, Kathryn and Smith, Chelsie, “Qualified Immunity Defense Has Its Limits: U.S. Supreme Court Rules Novel Facts Do Not Circumvent a Reasonable Person Standard,” Wells, Anderson & Race LLC Blog Post (December 1, 2020)

Starnella, Kathryn and Smith, Chelsie, “U.S. Supreme Court’s Ruling Upholds Religious and Moral Exemptions from ACA’s Contraception Coverage Mandate, but Remands Matter for Further Proceedings,” Wells, Anderson & Race LLC Blog Post (August 10, 2020)

Starnella, Kathryn and Chavez-Jaime, Iliana, “U.S. Supreme Court: Employers Who Fire an Individual for Being Gay or Transgender Violate Title VII,” Wells, Anderson & Race LLC Blog Post (August 5, 2020)

Continuing Legal Education in Colorado, Inc., “Chapter 18. False Imprisonment and False Arrest,” Colorado Civil Claims: Elements, Defenses, and Sample Pleadings (1st ed. 2019).

  • SCOTUS Update: Deep-Dive into Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, 2020 Employment Law Virtual Conference, co-presenter (September 2020)
  • Trending Claims and Litigation Strategies: Current Tactics for Keeping Would-Be Adversaries at Bay, 3rd Annual Colorado Litigators Virtual Summit, panel moderator (September 2020)
  • Qualified Immunity in the Post-George Floyd Era, Faculty of Federal Advocates, panelist (September 2020)
  • Criminal Courts, Our Courts Colorado, Jewish Community Center, Denver (March 2020)
  • State of Diversity and Challenges in Litigation, Colorado Bar Association Litigation Section Council Meeting, panelist (June 2019, March 2018)
  • Presidential Address, Colorado Hispanic Bar Association Annual Banquet (January 2018)
  • Witness Preparation, Colorado Department of Law, co-presenter (August 2017)
  • Our State Courts, Our Courts Colorado, Mi Casa Resource Center, co-presenter (April 2017)
  • Developments in CORA [Colorado Open Records Act], Colorado Department of Law (August 2013)
Kathryn A. Starnella

  • J.D., Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, 2004
  • B.S., Northwestern University, Communication Studies (Argumentation and Analysis Concentration), 1998


  • Colorado, 2011
  • New York, 2005
  • Washington, D.C., 2012 (inactive)
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Wells, Anderson & Race, LLC
1700 Broadway, Suite 1020
Denver, CO 80290

Maps & Directions