Bar and Court Admissions
Clarissa Collier defends her clients in high-stakes medical malpractice, professional liability, products liability and commercial litigation matters. She is a strategic and effective advocate for clients, including at trial, where she has established skills to lead at any phase. Clarissa also has an active appellate practice, having argued and briefed several appeals in the Minnesota Court of Appeals and the Wyoming Supreme Court.
In addition to her litigation practice, Clarissa brings extensive experience handling white collar cases and investigations. She has conducted independent internal investigations to minimize clients’ legal exposure. She has also responded to federal and state government investigations, including investigations initiated by the U.S. Departments of State, Justice, and Treasury.
Clarissa is listed as a Colorado Rising Star and was the recipient of the prestigious Gary McPherson Award for Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year in 2016.
Medical Malpractice & Professional Liability
- Won a precedent-setting appeal in Minnesota affirming WTO's summary judgment victory in a $30 million alleged birth injury case involving cranial compression ischemic encephalopathy (CCIE), a heavily disputed causation theory agreed to be "junk science" by the scientific and medical communities.
- Won summary judgment for an obstetrician-gynecological practice in a high-exposure case in Minnesota involving an alleged birth injury and $30 million in damages.
- Called in two weeks before trial, won a defense verdict in a multimillion-dollar medical negligence trial in Utah for an orthopedic surgeon and physician's assistant accused of allowing a patient to slide off the operating table, allegedly leading to permanent brain and spine injuries. WTO demonstrated that the plaintiff's complaints were actually due to prescription drug overuse and that the plaintiff had lied under oath.
- Won a Frye-Mack hearing to exclude expert testimony and Cranial Compression Ischemic Encephalopathy (CCIE) causation theory in a Minnesota birth injury case involving issues of first impression. The resulting order will help defense attorneys nationwide against CCIE claims.
- Successfully represented a major nationwide health system as second chair in a negligence jury trial involving alleged patient-on-patient sexual assault in a mental health facility. The case settled favorably after close of the evidence and prior to closing statements.
- Defending a Washington D.C. hospital in a high-exposure case involving the care and treatment of a now-deceased patient's myasthenia gravis.
- Defending a full-service community hospital in Maryland in a high-exposure birth injury case.
- Defending a Washington state hospital in a high-exposure case involving the care and treatment of a stroke patient.
- Won a directed verdict in a $100 million insurance coverage arbitration involving a novel rectification coverage claim.
- Won a published opinion for Crestone Peak Resources, protecting strategically important aspects of the company's original $900M investment and affirming the trial court's summary judgment rulings for WTO's client after Boulder County sought to invalidate several of the company's oil and gas leases.
- Successfully negotiated de minimis settlements—prior to clients' depositions—for insurance companies facing bad faith denial and unreasonable delay of payment claims.
- Won summary judgment for Crestone Peak Resources against Boulder County in a case involving an attempt to invalidate a key oil and gas lease that would have materially impacted Crestone's $900 million investment, thereby clearing a major hurdle to significant future development.
- Obtained $2.3 million summary judgment in federal court in Utah for a Fortune 500 financial institution enforcing its rights as a creditor against a corporate debtor.
- Solo-chaired a fraud and negligent misrepresentation jury trial in federal court in Colorado arising from a business dispute.
- Successfully negotiated a de minimis settlements—prior to the client's deposition—for several automobile manufacturers facing a product liability claims.
- Defending an international automobile manufacturer in high-exposure product liability cases involving allegations of defective airbags and seatbelt pretensioners.
- Represented a franchisor of more than 350 restaurants in its premises liability litigation, favorably settling numerous cases for the client.
- Represented a ground shipping company in a slip and fall case and favorably settled the case for less than what was offered pre-litigation.
- Favorably settled several trucking accident lawsuits involving significant injury and death against a major brewing company.
Investigations & Compliance
- Represented an oil and gas developer in responding to a multi-agency securities investigation involving the Securities Exchange Commission and several state securities boards and divisions.
- Conducted an internal investigation for a Fortune 500 holding company for various life insurance companies and investment firms relating to a former employee's allegations of retaliation, discrimination and violations of the Securities Exchange Act.
- Represented a major defense service contractor in voluntarily disclosing potential export controls and trade sanctions violations to the Departments of State, Commerce, and Treasury.
- Represented a defense service contractor in response to a Department of Justice investigation involving alleged Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.
- Obtained a significant excessive force settlement payment for a pro bono client who survived an assault by police.
- Represented a school district on a pro bono basis in a high-profile lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Colorado school finance system.
- Successfully represented a terminally ill client in guardianship proceedings by obtaining appointment of guardians for the client's four minor children before his death.
- Favorably settled a negligence case for nuisance value for a state sanctioned rodeo. The settlement allowed the rodeo to remain in business.
Other Representative Experience
- Secured a zero-dollar walkaway settlement from a plaintiff in Boulder County who demanded $10 million in a civil case following a high-profile alleged criminal assault.
Publications & Speaking Engagements
Presenter, "From the Trenches: Fighting Junk Medicine," Claims and Panel Attorneys of American Excess Insurance Exchange, (April 11, 2023).
Co-presenter, "National Counsel, National Solutions," Medical Professional Liability Association's Claims Defense Forum, (October 2022).
Presenter, "The Unwavering Collateral Source Rule," Colorado Defense Lawyers Association's Annual Conference, (August 5, 2022).
Presenter, "Living With & Mitigating the Threat of Medical Malpractice," University of Northern Colorado School of Nursing, (December 2, 2021).
Presenter, "An Examination of the Collateral Source Rule," MedStar Defense Counsel's Virtual Retreat, (June 24, 2021).
"2014 Associates Campaign for Justice—"May I See Your ID?," The Colorado Lawyer, Vol. 43, No. 4, (April 2014).
"Exploring the Limits of the In Pari Delicto Defense," ABI Young and New Members Committee eNewsletter, Vol. 10, No. 2, (March 2012).
- WTO Urges Colorado Supreme Court to Revisit Standard for Post-Conviction Relief
- 5280 Names 8 WTO Lawyers to 2024 Top Lawyers List
- Law.com Features Clarissa Collier in "How I Made Partner" Series
- WTO Promotes Three Lawyers in 2023
- WTO Again Leads Top 100 in Colorado Super Lawyers
- "A Conversation with CBA Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Clarissa M. Collier," The Colorado Lawyer (April 2017).
Holland & Hart LLP
Legal Memberships, Activities, and Honors
Colorado Super Lawyers
Rising Stars, Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice Defense, 2022-2023
Rising Stars, Business Litigation, 2019-2021
Rising Stars, International, 2018
Gary McPherson Award for Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year, 2016
Colorado General Counsel Mentoring Program, 2015 and 2017
Colorado Lawyers Committee Team of the Year Award
Lobato Litigation, 2012
American Bar Association
Former Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates
Colorado Bar Association, Board of Governors, 2013-2019
Denver Bar Association
Faculty of Federal Advocates
Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado
Board of Trustees, 2017-2018
Associates Advisory Board, Co-Chair, 2015-2017
Personal Injury: Defense, 2024
Community Memberships, Activities, and Honors
Colorado Lawyer Trust Account Foundation
Member of Board of Directors
Ray of Hope Cancer Foundation
Ex Officio Member of Board of Directors
Downtown Denver Leadership Program
Spending time with family, enjoying the great outdoors, traveling, and watching the Denver Broncos