Elizabeth J. Hyatt

Of Counsel

Betsy Hyatt’s legal malpractice and business dispute litigation cases frequently involve some of the most complex issues many lawyers see. Betsy represents a wide-array of clients, from individuals to international companies. She couples her passion for finding practical, effective, and lasting resolutions with her extensive experience to provide her clients with straightforward counsel and tireless advocacy for their interests.

Areas of Practice

  • Business Torts & Fraud
  • Commercial & Contract Litigation
  • Corporation, Partnership & LLC Disputes
  • Legal Malpractice

Education

  • University of Colorado, J.D.
  • Colorado State University, B.A. in Economics, Minor in Mathematics, cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
Experience

Betsy‘s client, a multi-national oil and gas company, was sued in a complex federal lawsuit where the plaintiffs sought in excess of $400 million associated with the plaintiffs’ sale of assets to a company her client later acquired. Betsy and her co-counsel successfully defended the plaintiffs’ claims of breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, fraudulent concealment, and civil conspiracy, both at the trial court and on appeal. Spring Creek Exploration & Production Company, LLC, et al v. Hess Bakken Investments II, LLC, et al, Case No. 14-cv-134-PAB-KMT (D. Colo.) and 887 F.3d 1003 (10th Cir. 2018).

Experience

Betsy represented an amputee in a lawsuit against his former attorney for mishandling his underlying podiatry malpractice case.  After an eight-day trial, the jury found the attorney negligent and liable for breach of the contingency fee contract and awarded Betsy’s client $1.15 million in damages.

Experience

Betsy was part of the Ogborn Mihm trial team that obtained a $12.8 million legal malpractice jury verdict against one of the nation’s largest law firms, alleging the lawyer mishandled a land-use application for the development of one of the largest swaths of undeveloped land in Summit County, Utah. 910 Cattle Company v. Thomas A. Ellison, Esq. and Stoel Rives, LLP, Civil No. 100907407, Third District Court, Salt Lake County, Utah.

Experience

Betsy, Clayton Wire, and Michael Ogborn represented the former president of a health services provider against his former employer in connection with his termination from the company. Kruel v. Active Release Techniques, LLC, et al, Case No. 2017cv30919, El Paso County District Court, Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Ogborn Mihm trial team obtained for its client a jury verdict and advisory jury verdict in excess of $1.26 million on claims of breach of contract, promissory estoppel, conversion and intentional interference with contract.

Experience

When the senior management of a start-up business that had grown to more than $1 billion in annual sales in less than five years squeezed out the minority investors, Betsy represented the minority investors in a lawsuit alleging breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, securities fraud and other claims. The case resulted in a $3.4 million settlement for the clients before trial. Monarch Health Sciences, Inc. v. Corkin, et al, 2:06-cv-440, U.S. District Court for the District of Utah.

In business and legal malpractice litigation, Betsy’s clients include small and large businesses, as well as individuals seeking to protect their business and personal interests. She represents clients before state and federal trial courts, in arbitration, and on related appeals. Betsy’s trial practice focuses on high-stakes business and legal malpractice litigation in disputes involving claims of breach of fiduciary duties, fraud, negligence, breach of contract, dissolution and receivership.

In her business dispute cases, Betsy represents individuals in disputes against their company or its owners, as well as entities in disputes with other companies and individuals. Her cases involves claims of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, promissory estoppel, and receivership. From closely-held partner and LLC member disputes to multi-party contract disputes, Betsy has successfully handled a wide-variety of matters including those involving business divorces, owner squeeze-outs and freeze-outs, and tortious interference with business relations. Among the companies involved in some of Betsy’s business dispute matters are family-owned land interests, closely held retail businesses, marketing companies, law firms, healthcare service providers, and international oil and gas companies.

Betsy handles legal malpractice cases on behalf of individuals and companies seeking compensation for the injuries caused by their lawyers. Her legal malpractice matters have involved a myriad of underlying matters, including land use planning, Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, estate planning, property rights litigation, corporate fundraising and securities law, and personal injury litigation.

Betsy handles matters both in Colorado and as pro hac vice counsel in other state and federal courts. Betsy also has served as a consulting expert on matters involving legal malpractice and ethical issues. She speaks for state and national organizations on legal malpractice and the practice of law. Betsy also has written for several publications on the topics of legal malpractice, civil trial practice, and the practice of law.

Articles

  • Chapter 6, “Conduct of Trial,” in Colorado Courtroom Handbook for Civil Trials, 2014 Ed. and Fourth Ed. (Lorraine E. Parker Ed., CLE in Colorado Inc. 2014, 2016, 2018).
  • Co-Authored with Michael T. Mihm, Chapter 29, “Statutory Legal Malpractice Claims by Clients,” in Lawyer’s Professional Liability in Colorado, Third Ed. (Michael T. Mihm ed., CLE in Colorado, Inc., 2005, Supp. 2011, 2013).
  • Co-Authored with Michael T. Mihm, Chapter 31, “Damages for Injuries or Losses Caused by Legal Malpractice,” in Lawyer’s Professional Liability in Colorado, Third Ed. (Michael T. Mihm ed., CLE in Colorado, Inc., 2005, Supp. 2011, 2013).
  • Contributor, “Rantings of a Partner…and Pushback from the Associate” (Bart L. Greenwald, Ed., American Bar Association Section of Litigation and First Chair Press, 2011).

Presentations

  • Panel Speaker, “Common Mistakes 101: Avoiding Legal Malpractice,” American Bar Association Webinar (October 2018).
  • Panel Speaker, “Conflicts of Interest: Guidelines for Every Lawyers’ Success,” American Bar Association Webinar (July 2017).
  • “Beginning and Ending the Client Relationship; Engagement Letters and Withdrawal,” Colorado Bar Association Preventing Legal Malpractice Seminar (February 2015).
  • “Perry Mason, Arnie Becker or Denny Crane: To What Generational Beat Do You March and Does It Make a Difference in Your Legal Practice? (Panelist),” American Bar Association Section of Litigation Committee on Corporate Counsel CLE Seminar, Scottsdale, Arizona (February 2008).
  • “Common Law & Statutory Claims,” Colorado Bar Association Preventing Legal Malpractice Seminars, Colorado Springs and Denver, Colorado (January and February, 2007).

Associations

  • Member, Litigation Section of American Bar Association
  • Member, Colorado Bar Association Lawyers’ Professional Liability Committee
  • Member, Colorado Bar Association
  • Member, Denver Bar Association
  • Member, Colorado Trial Lawyers Association

Awards