Scott M. Browning

Scott M. Browning

Partner
sbrowning@lrrc.com vCard
303.628.9540
303.623.9222 fax
1200 Seventeenth Street
Suite 3000
Denver, CO 80202

"Scott Browning is said by peers to be just incredible regarding the quantity of these cases he’s dealing with, acting for Jewish entities, Roman Catholics, Mormons, all manner of dioceses all over the country." - Benchmark Litigation

Scott Browning is a member of the firm’s Litigation practice. As a highly experienced trial lawyer and crisis manager, Scott has represented a diverse group of clients in various industries, including well-known entities such a AT&T, ESPN, and Honeywell. In business-to-business disputes, he has tried cases against companies such as Vail Resorts and Target.  Scott has served as lead counsel for media companies, aerospace & technology companies, construction companies, financial institutions, educational institutions, and religious organizations.

A substantial part of Scott’s practice is advising religious institutions. In addition to accolades from the legal community for this work, Scott received the single highest honor the Pope can bestow on an individual. Pope Francis named Scott to the Order of St. Gregory the Great as a Knight of St. Gregory for his extraordinary, decades-long service to the Church.

In 2019 and 2020 Scott helped six Catholic dioceses in California resolve hundreds of personal injury claims. Part of that work involved retaining Ken Feinberg, the nationally famous claims administrator who handled the 911 Fund work and the BP Oil Spill claims process.

Scott has defended multiple entities facing Federal Investigation, including clients subject to grand jury subpoenas, and has defended clients under investigation by various States’ Attorneys General.

Scott has tried many cases in bankruptcy court and for more than two decades he represented the fiduciary entity Educational Credit Management Corporation (“ECMC”) that acts on behalf of the federal government to collect Federal debt. For that client, Scott has tried many federal court cases and established important precedent through a number of Tenth Circuit opinions.

Personal Approach

Scott is respected and trusted by his peers and clients. He has a natural ability to immerse himself in organizations and learn how legal issues affect overall objectives. Often asked for assistance when an entity is in crisis or facing harsh opposition and what appears to be overwhelming odds, Scott assembles facts and works closely with his client to develop a comprehensive strategy to overcome the challenges and win.

Before starting his legal career Scott graduated from business school in 3.5 years, with honors, and obtained his CPA.  Scott’s business knowledge and experience allows him to aide clients in the area overlapping legal and business challenges in his clients’ face.

In his free time, Scott enjoys spending time with his family, woodworking, practicing archery, and fishing.

Memberships & Affiliations

  • The Jefferson Foundation, Largest Colorado School District, Public School Board Foundation, 2009-2018
  • Board of Leadership Evergreen, Chairperson, Director, 2005-2010
  • SafeHouse Denver, Director, 2006-2011
  • First Judicial Nominating Commission, Commissioner, 2008-2013
  • United States Supreme Court Historical Society
  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Order of the Coif Legal Honor Society
  • Faculty of Federal Advocates
  • Doyle's Inn of Court, Barrister
  • Denver Colorado and American Bar Associations, Member
  • Certified Public Accountant

Representative Matters

  • Over the last 20 years, Scott has defended a variety of dioceses and archdioceses across the United States in more than 100 court cases and has resolved more than 1000 claims, including using creative tools and administrative mechanisms to settle mass action and class action cases. Scott’s successful verdicts and settlements have occurred in a wide range of industries such as construction matters, religious liberty and constitutional issues, employment issues, contract disputes and defense of personal injury claims.
  • As lead counsel to the Archdioceses of Denver, he litigated and successfully resolved more than 40 individual cases-one of the largest groups of cases against a single client to be litigated in the state of Colorado. He subsequently settled more than 100 claims for all three Colorado dioceses.
  • Scott served as outside general counsel for one of the largest religious organizations in the country during a crisis arising from CFO theft, complex financial problems, grand jury indictments and resulting criminal prosecutions of a key manager and employees, more than 20 civil law suits, all occurring at the same time. The work entailed living out-of-state for 18 months to aid in correcting the structure and course of the entity. Years later Scott would be asked by this same organization to help it settle more than 800 cases, which he did successfully with more than a 95% settlement rate across the group of cases.
  • Scott serves as an advisor to Archbishop Gomez and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in legislative matters related to various religious liberty and litigation based legislation issues.
  • Scott currently serves as outside general counsel to the Archdiocese of Denver, special counsel to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, trial counsel to the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and an advisor to Archdiocese of Los Angeles, as well as an advisor to a number of other archdioceses, dioceses, bishops, and religious organizations. He has the honor of being personal counsel to Archbishop Charles J. Chaput.
  • Scott serves as counsel for various secular schools, including his role as outside general counsel, for Fountain Valley School and Vail Mountain School.
  • As lead trial counsel for the Arrabelle HOA, made up of 66 owners of multi-million dollar condominiums, Scott was successful in highly contested litigation against Vail Resorts. In the multi-phase litigation, he obtained a court-ordered reformation (re-writing) of the contract between the HOA and the developer to correct VR's overreaching by taking too much control in various decisions and also VR's overcharging the HOA for millions of dollars in expenses.
  • As lead trial counsel, Scott successfully defended AFSB, a large local brokerage firm, in the Delaware Court of Chancery against an injunction proceeding initiated by Bankers Life.
  • As lead trial counsel, Scott obtained a $2 million dollar verdict for his client, Augusta Software Design Inc., against Shepard's/McGraw Hill. The jury's verdict was sustained by the Colorado Court of Appeals and the certiorari was denied en banc by Colorado Supreme Court.
  • As lead trial counsel, on behalf of a large commercial landlord, AHM Properties, and after a one-week trial, Scott successfully evicted the defendant, Target, from a 100-year ground lease based on a non-monetary default.
  • As lead appellate counsel, Scott reversed a trial court's dismissal of claims by more than 1000 Peruvian citizens who were poisoned by a mercury spill. As a result of the appellate success, these individuals retained their right to sue.

Publications

Distinctions

  • Benchmark Litigation - "Local Litigation Star" in Colorado, 2016-2021
  • The Best Lawyers in America - Commercial Litigation, 2021
  • Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great - Knight of St. Gregory, 2018
  • Martindale-Hubbell - "AV/Preeminent Attorney" Rating, 1998-2017
  • Colorado Super Lawyers - Business Litigation, 2009-2018
  • Denver Business Journal - "Forty Under 40", 2007

Other Info

Education

J.D., William & Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law, 1993
B.S., Trinity University, 1989

Bar Admissions

Colorado, 1993
Pennsylvania, 2013

Court Admissions

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