James M. Lyons

James M. Lyons

jlyons@lrrc.com vCard
303.628.9546 office
303.623.9222 fax
1200 Seventeenth Street
Suite 3000
Denver, CO 80202

"Retains his reputation as a go-to lawyer for a range of issues including insurance disputes, IP litigation and securities litigation." - Chambers USA

Jim Lyons focuses his practice on complex business ‎litigation mediation and arbitration of all types, including corporate, securities, ‎and insurance law. He has more than 40 years of courtroom ‎and jury trial experience in state and federal courts. Jim also has ‎extensive government relations, and international trade and ‎diplomatic experience from his work in Ireland and the United ‎Kingdom as Special Advisor to the President, and Secretary of State ‎for Economic Initiatives in Northern Ireland and the border counties ‎of the Republic of Ireland.

Representative Matters

Arbitration and ADR Experience. In the past five years, Mr. Lyons has served as a sole arbitrator or arbitration panel chair or member in 25 major arbitrations, including international commercial disputes. These have included disputes over intellectual property, royalties, commissions and other distributions, as well as insurance coverages, shareholder rights and claims and real estate development interests. Mr. Lyons also has served as a court-appointed mediator and has been selected by the AAA or by counsel for private litigants facing imminent trial.

Recent Litigation Experience. Recent clients include The Anschutz Corporation, the City and County of Denver, HealthOne, Presstek Corporation, Rocky Mountain Health Care (Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Colorado and New Mexico), Qwest Communications, Tracinda Corporation. 

  • Representation, advice and strategic counseling to boards of directors, independent directors, and board committees of public companies in connection with securities litigation, class actions, and regulatory and compliance investigations. Also representation of hospital boards and non-profit health care insurance entities in connection with asset sales, conversion to for-profit status, and formation of foundations to receive proceeds. Related representations include matters involving D&O liability and D&O insurance carriers
  • Served as independent counsel and lead litigation counsel to members of the Board of Directors of Qwest Communications in civil and regulatory matters and for the merger Qwest/Century Link
  • Served as independent counsel to the Board of Trustees of Colorado State University and as Acting General Counsel to Colorado State University
  • Lead counsel for a major Denver metropolitan school district in defense of a statutory and constitutional challenge to a school “voucher” program (pending on appeal)
  • Lead counsel for the City and County of Denver in federal court litigation brought by the ACLU and organizations claiming infringement of First Amendment rights for parade routes, permits and public demonstration areas for the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Case was tried to judgment in favor of the City on all issues
  • Lead trial counsel for the principal defendant in one of the largest CERCLA/Superfund cases in the United States, United States and State of Colorado v. Friedland et al., Civil Action No. 96-N-1213, United States District Court for the District of Colorado (Summitville Mine, Del Norte, Colorado). Case was favorably settled with the U.S. and Colorado state governments
  • Lead defense counsel for the City and County of Denver in multiple securities class actions involving the public issuance of more than $3 billion of Denver International Airport bonds (case dismissed)
  • Lead litigation counsel for D&O insurer of certain defendants subject to $200 million in claims in FDIC v. Silverado Savings, et al
  • Co-lead counsel for a group of Colorado state prisoners with untreated hepatitis C. Federal court settlement resulted in a state of the art treatment protocol

Related News

83 Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie attorneys named in ‘Best Lawyers'
11 partners also honored as ‘Lawyer of the Year' in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017
Chambers USA recognizes Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie attorneys
Annual rankings reflect law firm's focus on client service, value, commitment to excellence
33 Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie attorneys selected for 2016 Colorado Super Lawyers list
Inclusion acknowledges peer recognition and professional achievement
5280 Magazine recognizes top lawyers
Annual list includes seven attorneys from Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie
Lewis Roca Rothgerber earns accolades in Benchmark Litigation rankings
Law firm ‘Highly Recommended' with 20 ‘Star' attorneys in guide of top U.S. litigation firms
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Attorney James M. Lyons Authors Book on the Northern Ireland Peace Process
Peace Meets the Streets: On the Ground in Northern Ireland, 1993-2001 Chronicles the Work of Lyons during a Critical Period in Irish History


Mr. Lyons is a frequent lecturer on the Northern Ireland peace process.

Related Publications

Mr. Lyons has published numerous articles in areas of trial practice, complex litigation and expert witnesses. Most recently, his article, "Representing Independent Directors after Sarbanes-Oxley”, was published in the 2010 January/February issue of the ABA’s Business Law Today.

Other Publications


  • University of Ulster, Belfast, Northern Ireland - Honorary Doctorate of Law (LL.D.) - In recognition of his service to the people of Northern Ireland, 2002
  • The Best Lawyers in America - “Bet-the-Company Litigator of the Year” for Denver - Arbitration, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Criminal Defense–White Collar, and Mediation, 2010, 2016-2017
  • St. Thomas More Award - Catholic Lawyers Guild of Colorado - Northern Ireland peace process, 1998
  • Learned Hand National Award - American Jewish Committee, 1998
  • Law Week Colorado - "Best Arbitrator", 2011 "Lawyer of the Decade", 2010-2011
  • Corporate INTL Magazine - "Alternative Dispute Resolution Attorney of the Year" in Colorado, 2014
  • Colorado Super Lawyers Cover - Featured cover story - "The Gold Standard - How Jim Lyons Helped Bring Peace to Northern Ireland.", 2007
  • Colorado Super Lawyers - Top Ten, 2006-2008, 2016; Top Vote Getter, 2012, 2006-2016
  • Chambers USA Annual Client’s Guide to Business Lawyers - 2013 Top Band - Commercial Litigation, 2013-2016
  • Benchmark Litigation - "Local Litigation Star" in Colorado, 2016
  • Archbishop Charles J. Chaput (Inaugural) Leadership Award, 2010

Other Info


J.D., DePaul University College of Law, 1971
B.A., College of the Holy Cross, 1968

Bar Admissions

Colorado, 1971
Illinois, 1971

Court Admissions

U.S. District Court, Colorado
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
Colorado State Judicial District Courts
Colorado Supreme Court
Colorado Court of Appeals
U.S. Court of Federal Claims
U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
U.S. Court of Claims

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Appointed Ireland's Honorary Consul for Denver Metropolitan Area, 2009-present
  • Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors, 2011-2012
  • Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System IAALS University of Denver, Advisory Board
  • Colorado Denver and Illinois Bar Associations, Member
  • Member of the AAA and ICDR Roster of Neutrals, Panel of Arbitrators, and Panel of Mediators
  • Doyle's Inn Chapter of the American Inns of Court, Master Barrister
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, Member
  • Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers, Fellow
  • Colorado State Chair, 2004-2006
  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow