Clayton E. Wire
Clayton “Clay” Wire is a trial lawyer who works with whistleblowers to expose illegal conduct, collect government rewards, and protect them from retaliation. Clay believes that whistleblowers are people with the moral, ethical, and personal fortitude to speak up when they see illegal conduct and that without them our society would crumble. He has represented individuals in whistleblower retaliation and bounty cases, including in unique Qui Tam cases and in complex retaliation cases brought by in-house counsel. He also represents employees in discrimination and harassment cases, as well as contract disputes. Clay works tirelessly to earn the respect of his clients, adversaries, and peers and has been recognized through awards such as the 2018 Barristers Best for Plaintiff-side Employment Lawyer (Peoples’ Choice), as well as the 2018 Plaintiffs Employment Lawyers Association Case of the Year.
- University of Denver Sturm College of Law, J.D., Order of St. Ives
- Colorado State University, B.A. in Editorial Journalism and Political Science
Between 2016 and 2018, Clay and his team successfully represented an executive at a publicly traded medical device company when he sued his former employer’s CEO for retaliation in violation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and achieved a precedent setting appellate victory that expanded the protections for corporate whistleblowers, Genberg v. Porter, 882 F.3d 1249, 1255–56 (10th Cir. 2018)
When a police officer was shot and killed by a fellow officer in 2012, Clay represented his widow and estate in a civil rights case against the City of Lakewood Police Department, eventually obtaining a $3.5 million settlement, Davies v. Lakewood
In 2018, Clay was trial counsel for a former CEO who was terminated in violation of his contract, not paid the severance he was owed, and not given the ownership interest he was promised, achieving a $1.2 million jury verdict, Kruel v. ART
Clay and his team represented a physician who was retaliated against for raising concerns regarding Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law violations, and achieved a successful result
Clay and his team represented Relators in Qui Tam actions brought against mortgage originators and vendors under the False Claims Act, for fraud relating to government backed loans
Clay and his team, along with co-counsel, represent a CRNA in a non-intervened Qui Tam lawsuit under the False Claims Act relating to fraudulent certifications and attestations required for Medicare and Medicaid anesthesia reimbursement
Clay represented former in-house attorneys who reported violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in a retaliation lawsuit alleging violations of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Consumer Financial Protection Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, fraudulent luring, and wrongful discharge, and achieved successful outcomes
Clay was lead appellate counsel for a courageous woman who sued the Grand Junction Police Department for civil rights violations arising from a rape committed by a Grand Junction Police Officer, Schneider v. Grand Junction
When an executive in a start-up company was terminated without compensation or the stock grants he was promised, Clay represented him through litigation and a favorable confidential mediated settlement
Holding corporations, healthcare facilities, and the government responsible for illegal conduct that violates the social contract that we all rely on – this is what Clay Wire strives to do with every client he represents.
Clay is an advocate for those who engage in the selfless and difficult act of whistleblowing, and those who want to see fraudsters held accountable. The core of Clay’s practice is representing whistleblowers when they suffer retaliation or when they choose to report illegal conduct. He is committed to protecting clients and earning their trust through hard work and dedication. He engineers successful outcomes for clients in state, federal, and administrative trials and appeals.
Clay prides himself on successfully and strategically litigating and trying complex cases. As a result, he often represents professionals, such as doctors, nurses, in-house counsel, corporate executives, and accountants, when they blow-the-whistle on illegal conduct, are wrongfully terminated from their position, or are not paid what they are owed. Oftentimes, when a high level executive or professional decides to blow-the-whistle on illegal conduct, many complicated ethical, fiduciary, contractual, and regulatory issues arise. Clay and his team have in-depth experience in addressing such complicating and risky issues.
Clay is one of the few attorneys who has represented in-house General Counsel and Associate General Counsel who have suffered retaliation for reporting their employer’s illegal conduct. Such cases present a complex web of statutory, regulatory, and ethical issues. For example: How do the ethical rules limit or affect an in-house attorney’s ability to bring a claim? When and to whom may an in-house counsel report illegal conduct? What documents and information can an in-house attorney take to prove up her claim? Clay has addressed these issues in many cases and successfully navigated the ethical and legal minefields involved to achieve favorable outcomes for in-house attorneys at some of America’s largest companies. He and his team have also addressed similar issues for physicians and executives who expose illegal conduct.
In addition to representing whistleblowers in reward and retaliation cases, Clay also litigates and tries employment, civil rights, complex commercial, business torts, restrictive covenant and non-compete, and legal malpractice cases.
Those who care about supporting and promoting the American system of justice take pride in being elected to leadership positions by their peers. Clay has dedicated much of his professional time to leading organizations who support and promote the rights of and protections for individuals who shine a light on civil rights abuses, discrimination, retaliation, and illegal conduct. He is also active in the Colorado Bar Association.
Clay attended law school at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, where he graduated in the top 10% of his class. While attending law school, he served as Editor-in-Chief of the globally recognized Denver Journal of International Law and Policy. After graduation, Clay clerked for the Honorable Nancy J. Lichtenstein of the Colorado Court of Appeals.
Before law school, Clay grew up in Colorado’s northwestern mountains. His childhood was anything but typical, growing up on his family’s subsistence farm and ranch, which has equipped him with problem solving skills and a tenacity for getting the job done. He is an avid, but erratic, golfer, and still snowboards when he can. Clay and his wife Rachael have two boys, Jackson and Cole, and a rescued mutt named Burton.
- Co-Authored with Anna N. Martinez, Chapter 18, “Social Media and Professional Liability,” in Lawyer’s Professional Liability in Colorado, 2018 Ed. (Michael T. Mihm ed., CLE in Colorado, Inc.).
- Chapter 36, “Employment Issues,” in Lawyer’s Professional Liability in Colorado, 2018 Ed. (Michael T. Mihm ed., CLE in Colorado, Inc.).
- “In-House Counsel as Whistleblowers: The Thorny Issues Surrounding an Increasingly Common Event,” Paradigm, International Society of Primerus Law Firms, Spring 2017.
- “When Your Client Takes an Employer’s Documents: How to Keep Claims Alive and Protect Your Client,” Trial Talk, Vol. 63, Issue 4, June/July 2014.
- “Corporate Whistleblower Retaliation Claims,” Trial Talk, Vol. 61, Issue 4, June/July 2012.
- “Avoiding Becoming the Victim of Malpractice: How to Select Competent Outside Counsel,” New York State Bar, 2013.
- “Confidentiality Clauses: Enforceability, Consequences, Cosby, and Ethics,” Plaintiffs Employment Lawyers Association Retreat, Genesee, Colorado (August 2019).
- “The New Generation of Law (Panelist),” International Society of Primerus Law Firms Young Lawyers Conference, Denver, Colorado (March 2019).
- “Corporate Whistleblower Claims After Digital Realty,” Colorado Bar Association Labor & Employment Conference, Vail, Colorado (October 2018).
- “Corporate Whistleblower Claims,” Plaintiffs Employment Lawyers Association Retreat, Genesee, Colorado (August 2018).
- “Wrongful Discharge in Violation of Public Policy Claims,” Plaintiffs Employment Lawyers Association Retreat, Genesee, Colorado (August 2016).
- “Litigating Retaliation Claims Through OSHA,” Plaintiffs Employment Lawyers Association Retreat, Genesee, Colorado (August 2015).
- “Whistleblower Retaliation Claims,” Plaintiffs Employment Lawyers Association Retreat, Genesee, Colorado (August 2012).
- “How to Increase Your Damages in Civil Rights Cases,” Colorado Trial Lawyers Association Civil Rights Committee (2017).
- “Lincoln’s Law: The Basics of False Claims Act Qui Tam Claims,” Colorado Trial Lawyers Association Business Law Section (2014).
- “Whistleblower Litigation” Denver Bar Association Young Lawyer Division, Denver, Colorado (April 2017).
- Co-Chair, Colorado Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Section, 2017-2019
- Co-Chair, Colorado Trial Lawyers Association Employment Law Section, 2017-Present
- President and Officer, Colorado Plaintiffs Employment Lawyers Association, 2014-2017
- Member, Colorado Trial Lawyers Association
- Member, Plaintiffs Employment Lawyers Association
- Member, National Employment Lawyers Association
- Member, Colorado Bar Association
- Member, Denver Bar Association
- Member, American Association for Justice