Debra K. Sutton
Debra K. Sutton
Debra Sutton founded the firm in 1993 and is the managing shareholder. Known as a skilled litigator with a powerful courtroom presence, Ms. Sutton has tried more than 70 jury trials and is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Ms. Sutton is responsible for supervision of the firm’s litigation, ensuring that all matters are handled with exceptional client service and at the appropriate skill level and fee structure depending upon the needs, goals and risk tolerance of the client.
- Representative Practice
- Honors & Distinctions
- Published Opinions
Debra Sutton has spent her career in direct representation of corporations and insurance companies in matters of general liability, coverage and bad faith. She is among the attorneys who pioneered the defense of extra-contractual tort claims in Colorado. Ms. Sutton also handles premises liability, products liability, automobile and personal injury liability claims.
Ms. Sutton is a graduate of Arkansas State University and the University of Arkansas, School of Law. She clerked for Chief Justice Erickson of the Colorado Supreme Court before beginning her civil practice. Ms. Sutton became a partner in a mid-sized firm where she handled a broad range of litigation matters from insurance to products liability. Ms. Sutton has served on Colorado Supreme Court Committees and the board of the Colorado Defense Lawyers Association and has been a lecturer on topics such as trial practice, insurance bad faith and premises liability.
Ms. Sutton’s professional memberships include the American Bar Association, Law Practice Management and Litigation, Tort and Insurance section, the Colorado Defense Lawyers Association (former Board Member) and the Defense Research Institute, Law Practice Management steering committee. She has been elected to the American Board of Trial Advocates, recognizing the many jury trials she has handled during her career. She is a member of Claims Litigation Management, RIMS, the National Restaurant and Retail Defense Association, and The Gavel.
- Drafted the appellate briefing along with Ashley Larson and argued the issues at Oral Argument for insurer client dismissing a statutory delay/denial claim. The Colorado Court of Appeals affirmed a directed verdict for the insurer client dismissing the statutory delay/denial claim under C.R.S. § 13-21-115 finding that an offer of benefits by the insurer is not a “denial” and the evidence at trial did not support any delay. The Court held that the insurer was not required to include pre-judgment interest in its offers to settle because there is no right to interest when the underlying case was settled.
- Obtained judgment in favor of an insurance company in U.S. District Court, prevailing on plaintiff’s claims of breach of contract, and statutory and common law bad faith claims. The District Court held plaintiff forfeited his right to recover under the contract, after the jury found plaintiff failed to cooperate with the insurer.
- Achieved a defense verdict for retailer in a premises liability case tried in Denver County.
- Obtained a defense verdict for insurer in Pueblo County, prevailing on claims for breach of contract, bad faith, and unreasonable delay/denial of benefits under C.R.S. § 10-3-1115/1116.
- Obtained defense verdicts throughout Colorado in cases ranging from traumatic brain injury, wrongful death, premises liability, auto liability, dram shop and insurance bad faith.
- Defense of commercial client in complex litigation involving over 40 parties.
- Obtained dismissal of all claims in favor of retail shopping center owner based upon contractual language, upheld on appeal.
- Obtained defense verdict on behalf of insurer in action alleging violation of Colorado’s delay/denial statute, C.R.S. § 10-3-1116.
- Assisted in defeating motion for class certification in federal court.
- Prevailed on summary judgment in favor of Fortune 500 client on Colorado Consumer Protection Act and negligence claims.
- Provided oral argument before Colorado Court of Appeals resulting in reversal of bad faith judgment against insurer.
- Obtained verdict for insurance company limiting exposure for alleged bad faith denial of insurance coverage and finding the plaintiff comparatively at fault.
- B.S.E., Arkansas State University
- J.D., Arkansas School of Law
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4949 S. Syracuse Street
Denver, Colorado 80237