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Terence Ridley Named 2019 Law Week Colorado Top Litigator

Date: 03.15.19

Denver: Law Week Colorado has named Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell (WTO) partner Terence Ridley a 2019 Top Litigator. The newspaper honored five Colorado attorneys for their exceptional trial, litigation, and appellate work in the past year.

Law Week publishes the Top Litigator awards annually to “identify the leading trial attorneys in the state who had the biggest wins (and saves) in the courtroom last year.”

“Terence is an incredibly effective trial lawyer,” said WTO Chair Michael O’Donnell. “Time and again he takes complex issues of insurance law and communicates them simply to judges and juries. Terence makes this difficult area of law clear and concise, and his clients win.”

Ridley is recognized for several noteworthy recent victories. In March 2018, he won two related, published Tenth Circuit opinions with more than $11 million at stake (Auto-Owners v. Summit Park). The opinions and underlying case drew national attention because of the rulings’ impacts on issues of insurance fraud and property appraiser impartiality.

Also in 2018, Ridley won summary judgment for an insurance client facing bad faith claims (Sunflower Condo Assn. v. Owners Ins. Co.). He and his client then took the rare step to pursue counterclaims against the plaintiffs on the basis that the plaintiffs knowingly made fraudulent claims. Ridley demonstrated that the plaintiffs had intentionally misrepresented relevant facts in the claims process. As a result, a jury of insurance consumers issued its verdict in favor of the insurance company—a tremendous win.

In 2019, Ridley argued for and won $1.6 million in attorneys’ fees in one of the largest putative insurance class actions in Colorado history (Snyder v. ACORD, et al.). Ridley served as liaison counsel in this sprawling case in which plaintiffs claimed they were systematically underinsured in a "monumental" conspiracy, in violation of federal RICO and antitrust laws, and involving virtually all property insurers and industry trade groups in Colorado.

The Best Lawyers in America, Colorado Super Lawyers, and 5280 magazine annually recognize Ridley for his insurance defense practice. Ridley has served on the board of directors of the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel. He holds a J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell lawyers have taken more than 1,300 trials, arbitrations, and appeals to verdict, award, or opinion in 45 states and Washington, D.C., with exceptional results for our clients. Established in 1998, WTO currently numbers more than 100 lawyers in three offices. The firm represents sophisticated clients in high-stakes civil trials, appeals, and related litigation ranging from complex commercial to class actions to multidistrict litigation.

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