Peter G. Koclanes

Partner
Koclanes Peter

Peter Koclanes is a nationally recognized and highly regarded trial lawyer who clients trust with their most important business disputes involving, among other matters, securities and class actions, patents and intellectual property, corporate governance and business torts, corporate investigations, special litigation committees, trusts and estates, and real estate. Peter has more than 35 years of experience guiding plaintiffs and defendants in complicated matters pending in federal and state courts in Colorado and New York and throughout the United States.

Peter is a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and has repeatedly been recognized by Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, and 5280 magazine. He is described as “exceedingly intelligent, methodical, innovative and an excellent interrogator of witnesses,” “extremely thoughtful and careful—someone to think of for any complicated matter in the Colorado courts,” and having “been in the industry a long time and it is very clear that he was built to be a litigator,” in Chambers guides.

Following law school, Peter clerked for more than two years for the Honorable Edward S. Smith and then for the Honorable Paul R. Michel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He then spent more than six years as a litigation associate in the New York City office of a large international law firm, followed by more than 28 years trying complex commercial cases for clients to juries, judges, and arbitrators as a partner in a Denver, Colorado-based law firm. Several of those cases resulted in the largest recoveries of the kind at the time in Colorado for the clients, including a $12 million judgment following an arbitration award for civil theft and other wrongdoing at an ethanol production plant; a $6 million judgment following a top-ten Colorado jury verdict and successful appellate defense in the Colorado Court of Appeals and the Colorado Supreme Court on behalf of a medical device distributorship when an international medical device manufacturer and a sales director raided the distributorship’s sales force; and a $4+ million recovery by a real estate agency under the Lanham Act for the wrongful use of its trademarks.

Peter regularly gives back to the bar, having served as the president of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, the chair of the Colorado Judicial Institute, president of the Colorado Association of Corporate Counsel, a member since 1997 of the Colorado Bar Association’s Ethics Committee, and a repeat lecturer and author on various trial and litigation topics. He also volunteers time to the community, including serving as president of St. Catherine Greek Orthodox Church.

Insights

Credentials
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Education

  • J.D. with honors George Washington University Law School 1987
    • Executive managing editor, George Washington Journal of International Law & Economics
  • B.S. Chemical and Petroleum-Refining Engineering Colorado School of Mines 1984

Bar Admissions

  • Colorado
  • New York

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • 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

Clerk Experience

  • The Honorable Edward S. Smith U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • The Honorable Paul R. Michel U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Former president, Colorado Trial Lawyers Association
  • Former chair, Colorado Judicial Institute
  • Former president, Colorado Association of Corporate Counsel
  • Member, Ethics Committee, Colorado Bar Association
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Fellow, Colorado Bar Foundation
  • Member, Colorado Bar Association
  • Member, Denver Bar Association

Recognition
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  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers, Fellow
  • Chambers USA, Litigation: General Commercial, Colorado, 2016 – 2024
  • Best Lawyers in America
    • Lawyer of the Year, Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law, Denver, CO, 2022
    • Commercial Litigation, Denver, CO, 2013 – 2024
    • Litigation – Intellectual Property, Denver, CO, 2013 – 2024
    • Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law, Denver, CO, 2021 – 2024
  • Super Lawyers
    • Top 100 Lawyers in Colorado, 2024
    • Business Litigation, Colorado, 2007 – 2024
  • 5280 Magazine, Top Lawyer, Commercial Litigation, 2015 – 2022
  • Colorado Trial Lawyers Association
    • Volunteer of the Year Award, 2006
    • Volunteer of the Year Award, 2004
    • Volunteer of the Year Award, 2003

Community
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Personal Activities

  • Former president, St. Catherine Greek Orthodox Church