Meet our Attorneys

Diane Vaksdal Smith

Of Counsel

Diane Smith
Diane Vaksdal Smith-5280 Top Lawyer 2016 Diane Vaksdal Smith - Super Lawyers Diane Vaksdal Smith - Martindale Hubbell AV Professional Excellence

Ms. Smith focuses her practice on employment issues, representing both employers and employees, in cases involving claims of wrongful discharge, wrongful termination and infringement on civil employment rights. Ms. Smith also handles commercial litigation, involving claims for breach of fiduciary duty.  Ms. Smith previously directed appellate litigation for the firm, appearing before the state and federal appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court.

Ms. Smith joined Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C., in 1997. She has achieved the highest rating from her peers for quality of legal work, professionalism, and ethics and has received a preeminent “AV” rating by Martindale-Hubbell. Law Week Colorado named Ms. Smith as Barristers’ Best Employment Lawyer in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, and Barristers’ Best Appellate Lawyer in 2015.  In 2015, she was listed in Top 50 Women Lawyers in Colorado, by Colorado Super Lawyers®, and was also named to the Top 50 Women Lawyers list in Law Week Colorado in 2015. Law Week Colorado also selected her as one of the 2008 Top Women Lawyers of the Year. Ms. Smith has also been named a Top 100 Attorney by The National Trial Lawyers. Ms. Smith has been named to Benchmark Litigation’s Plaintiffs Top 150 Women Lawyers.

Ms. Smith served as a contract Magistrate Judge for the Seventeenth Judicial District, and handled small claims matters from January of 1996 to February 2002. She is the author of “The Small Claims Handbook.”

Ms. Smith received her license in 1984. Her past experience includes employment with Hall & Evans, LLC, the Kobayashi Law Offices, and Mountain States Legal Foundation. Ms. Smith also served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Karen S. Metzger, Colorado Court of Appeals.

Ms. Smith was a contributing author to The Practitioner’s Guide to Colorado Employment Law. Ms. Smith is a past chair and member of the Denver Bar Association’s Legal Fee Arbitration Committee and is a past member of the Colorado Bar Association’s Ethics and Attorney Regulation Committees. Ms. Smith also served on the CBA’s Colorado Lawyers for Colorado Veterans, where she participated in the Committee’s Clinics for Veterans as well as the Committee’s Executive Committee.

Ms. Smith previously served on the advisory board for Operation TBI Freedom. Ms. Smith continues to work on projects benefitting service members serving in the United States and abroad.  Ms. Smith adopted more than 1,000 Marines, and other service personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, providing all forms of personal support.

Employment Litigation

Appellate Law

$5,000,000 settlement for pension beneficiaries

$300,000 settlement for teachers injured by sex discrimination

$250,000 settlement for victim of sexual harassment

$250,000 verdict for victims of gender hate crime


  • Hynes v. Energy West, Inc. 211 F3d 1193 (10th Cir 2000)

  • Hildalgo v. Fagen, Inc. 206 F3d 1013 (10th Cir 2000)

  • Powers v. MJB Acquisition Corp., 184 F3d 1147 (10th Cir 1999)

  • Slack v. Farmers Ins. Exch., 5P3d 280 (Colo. 2000)

  • Titan Indem. v. Sch. Dist. No. 1., 129 P3d 1075 (Colo. App. 2005)

  • Moreland v. Alpert, 124 P3d 896 (Colo. App. 2005)

  • Lin v. City of Golden, 97 Ped 303 (Colo. 2004)

  • Abraham v. Great Western Energy, LLC, 101 P3d 446 (Wyo. 2004)

Top 50 Women Colorado Lawyers, Colorado Super Lawyers®, 2015

Top 50 Women Lawyers, Law Week Colorado, 2015

Selected to Colorado Super Lawyers®, 2014-2016

Denver's Top Lawyers, 5280 Magazine, 2015-2016

Benchmark Litigation, Plaintiffs, Top 150 Women Lawyers, 2014

Local Litigation Star, Benchmark Litigation, Colorado – Plaintiffs, 2013

Barrister’s Best People’s Choice Employment Lawyer, Law Week Colorado, 2010-2014

Barrister’s Best "Best Appellate Lawyer," Law Week Colorado, 2015

Top-Rated Lawyer in Labor & Employment Law, FORTUNE Magazine, 2013

Highly Recommended by Benchmark Litigation Guide, 2012

Fellow, Colorado Bar Association Foundation

Top 100 Attorney, the National Trial Lawyers (NTL)

Top Women Lawyers as rated by Law Week Colorado’s comprehensive selection process (2008)

AV Preeminent® Rating, Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review is an outstanding achievement and demonstrates that a lawyer has earned the highest rating available for their legal ability and professional ethics.

Colorado, 1984

U.S. Claims Court

U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit, 6th Circuit, 7th Circuit, 9th Circuit, 10th Circuit

U.S. District Court, District of Colorado

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan

U.S. Supreme Court

J.D., The University of Denver Sturm College of Law, 1984

B.S., University of Wisconsin-Superior, summa cum laude,1980

Colorado Bar Association

Member of Operation TBI Freedom’s Advisory Board, providing services for service members who have returned with a traumatic brain injury or PTSD.

Executive Board Member of the Bar Association’s Military & Veterans Affairs

Active "adopter" of American servicemen and women, providing supplies for those stationed abroad and in harm’s way.

Involvement in Colorado Bar Association High School Mock Trial Competition

“Standards of Review 101” – Trial Talk Magazine, Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, April/May 2013

9NEWS: 9Wants To Know with Jace Larson – Customers Fight Back Against Littleton Business

Contributing author – “The Practitioner’s Guide to Colorado Employment Law.”

The Colorado Lawyer, The Common Law Employee Versus the Independent Contractor: A Legal Primer (Feb., 2010)

Trends Regarding Housing Issues (Diane Vaksdal Smith)
© 2001 Diane Vaksdal Smith, Esq.

Hostile Workplace Claims: The New Battleground
© 2006 Diane Vaksdal Smith

Ethics and Professionalism Issues in Employment Law Cases (Diane Vaksdal Smith)
© 2001 Diane Vaksdal Smith, Esq. and Kathryn E. Miller, Esq.

Finality of Judgment – Issue Preclusion, Claim Preclusion, and Law of the Case
© 2006 Diane Vaksdal Smith, Esq.
This Article was originally published in The Colorado Lawyer, Vol. 35, Issue No. 7 (July 2006)

Small Claims Handbook – A Guide for Non Lawyers (Diane Vaksdal Smith)
© 2001 Diane Vaksdal Smith, Esq.

 February 20, 2019

Mike Burg, Named Best Lawyer in 2019!

Michael S. Burg, founder and shareholder of Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C., has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America and by his peers in the legal community as a “Best Lawyer” every year since 2007. Mike Burg says, “When you’re dealing with insurance companies and you are dealing with large corporations, they… Read more »

 February 19, 2019

The Community Associations Institute – Rocky Mountain Chapter – Presents Spring Showcase and Trade Show

The Community Associations Institute – Rocky Mountain Chapter – Presents Spring Showcase and Trade Show The Community Associations Institute – Rocky Mountain Chapter is hosting their Spring Showcase and Trade Show on March 15, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Denver.  Burg Simpson is proud to be a sponsor of this event. CAI is an international… Read more »

 February 18, 2019

Ronald M. Sandgrund is Featured in the February Edition of the Colorado Lawyer

Ronald M. Sandgrund is Featured in the February Edition of the Colorado Lawyer Ronald M. Sandgrund, Of Counsel at Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, was recently featured in the Member Spotlight section of the February edition of the Colorado Lawyer.  Mr. Sandgrund is a well-known trial lawyer and Colorado’s most prolific author of articles and… Read more »

 February 13, 2019

Biker Swallowed By Sinkhole

Burg Simpson Attorneys Win Second Appeal to Protect $7.3 Million Verdict On September 3, 2008, Mr. James Nelson suffered severe and life-changing injuries, including a permanent brain injury, when his bicycle was swallowed by a large sinkhole on a bike path located on the property of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. … Read more »

 February 15, 2019

Sunset Mesa Body Broker Case on One-Year Anniversary of FBI Raid.

BURG SIMPSON Files Suit for 64 Grieving Families in Sunset Mesa Body Broker Case on One-Year Anniversary of FBI Raid. On February 4, 2019, the firm filed a lawsuit in Montrose, Colorado on behalf of sixty-four grieving families against Megan M. Hess, the owner of both Sunset Mesa Funeral Home and the Donor Services body-donation… Read more »

Bad Faith Insurance – When Your Insurance Claim is Denied or Delayed | Tom W. Henderson

 February 14, 2019

Bad Faith Insurance – When Your Insurance Claim is Denied or Delayed | Tom W. Henderson

When you purchase an insurance policy, it is expected that your insurance company will provide the policy coverage in case of an accident.  Unfortunately, insurance carriers frequently fail to pay the benefits they promised they would, or they fail to pay promptly and in the proper amounts. These actions by the insurance company could be classified… Read more »

What Makes A Good Medical Malpractice Case? | Scott J. Eldredge

 February 14, 2019

What Makes A Good Medical Malpractice Case? | Scott J. Eldredge

Medical errors are increasing in this country. Medical malpractice typically takes place when a surgeon, hospital, or other health care professional strays from the standard practices of their profession, which then results in the serious harm or death of a patient. While patients place trust and their lives in the hands of these medical professionals, medical… Read more »

Business / Commercial Litigation Trial Attorneys  | Michael S. Burg

 February 14, 2019

Business / Commercial Litigation Trial Attorneys | Michael S. Burg

Business and commercial law are typically lumped together because they go hand-in-hand so often. Most attorneys experienced in one type of law are usually experienced in the other as well.  The business and commercial litigation attorneys at Burg Simpson have the experience in successfully handling a variety of both business and commercial law cases. With… Read more »

Bad Faith Insurance – When Your Insurance Claim is Denied or Delayed | Tom W. Henderson

 February 14, 2019

Bad Faith Insurance – When Your Insurance Claim is Denied or Delayed | Tom W. Henderson

When you purchase an insurance policy, it is expected that your insurance company will provide the policy coverage in case of an accident.  Unfortunately, insurance carriers frequently fail to pay the benefits they promised they would, or they fail to pay promptly and in the proper amounts. These actions by the insurance company could be classified… Read more »

What Makes A Good Medical Malpractice Case? | Scott J. Eldredge

 February 14, 2019

What Makes A Good Medical Malpractice Case? | Scott J. Eldredge

Medical errors are increasing in this country. Medical malpractice typically takes place when a surgeon, hospital, or other health care professional strays from the standard practices of their profession, which then results in the serious harm or death of a patient. While patients place trust and their lives in the hands of these medical professionals, medical… Read more »

Business / Commercial Litigation Trial Attorneys  | Michael S. Burg

 February 14, 2019

Business / Commercial Litigation Trial Attorneys | Michael S. Burg

Business and commercial law are typically lumped together because they go hand-in-hand so often. Most attorneys experienced in one type of law are usually experienced in the other as well.  The business and commercial litigation attorneys at Burg Simpson have the experience in successfully handling a variety of both business and commercial law cases. With… Read more »

We Are The Trial Lawyers | Michael S. Burg

 February 14, 2019

We Are The Trial Lawyers | Michael S. Burg

When selecting a trial attorney, it is important to select an attorney with the experience and resources to handle every aspect of your case.   What defines and differentiates Burg Simpson is we are prepared to fight for our clients. Our highly skilled trial lawyers, know the only way we are going to obtain an excellent… Read more »

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