Ron Sandgrund is a well-known trial lawyer and Colorado’s most prolific author of articles and books on Colorado construction and materials defect law and related insurance coverage issues. Mr. Sandgrund has extensive experience litigating construction defect, construction materials, product liability, multi-family community, class action, and insurance lawsuits, and he has argued many cases before the Colorado Court of Appeals, Colorado Supreme Court, and U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Sandgrund has received the Best Lawyers in America© designation, including Best Lawyers© “Lawyer of the Year – Construction Litigation – Denver,” for 2013 and 2019. Mr. Sandgrund files friend-of-the-court (amicus) briefs expressing homeowner-advocacy groups’ views, and federal and state court opinions have referred to his writings many times.
Mr. Sandgrund also lectures to the public and teaches continuing legal education and graduate courses on insurance, construction, and civil liability matters. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado School of Law, where he teaches Philosophy of Entrepreneurship, and lectures on contracts, torts, professional responsibility, trial advocacy and consumer rights. He has written many articles on these same subjects, as well as new lawyer practice guidelines and topical essays for The Colorado Lawyer and the Denver Bar Association’s The Docket. Mr. Sandgrund co-authored with Scott Sullan and Leslie Tuft Residential Construction Law in Colorado, first published in 2005 and updated every two years. This book received the 2011 National Award of Professional Excellence from the Association for Continuing Legal Education. He co-wrote a chapter on residential construction in the multi-volume treatise The Practitioner’s Guide to Colorado Construction Law (Robert Benson, ed.), first published in 1999 and updated bi-annually. Mr. Sandgrund also co-authored with Scott Sullan and Leslie Tuft “Class Counsel’s Professional Responsibilities,” a chapter included in the legal ethics treatise Lawyers’ Professional Liability in Colorado: Preventing Legal Malpractice and Disciplinary Actions (Michael Mihm, ed.), which is updated annually.
Mr. Sandgrund has served on Colorado Bar Association committees regarding inter-professional relations, court reform and employment law. He is a member of The Colorado Lawyer’s advisory board, and was appointed in 2013 to the Colorado Supreme Court’s Committee on Civil Jury Instructions. He testifies frequently on behalf of homeowners before Colorado’s legislature, and he has participated significantly in drafting laws affecting homeowner interests, including Colorado’s Construction Defect Action Reform Act, Homeowner Protection Act and Construction Professional Liability Insurance Act. In 2010, Mr. Sandgrund testified before the Colorado legislature as an expert on construction defect insurance coverage issues in connection with the passage of House Bill 10-1394, a law he helped write and which extends insurance coverage to Colorado homeowners for construction defect damages. Mr. Sandgrund has worked as an expert witness regarding insurance policy compilation and interpretation, and insurance claims handling practices and standards; the reasonableness of class counsel attorney fees and costs; and, a construction litigator’s standard of care.
Mr. Sandgrund jointly wrote “When the Developer Controls the Homeowner Association Board: The Benevolent Dictator?”, a seminal article concerning multi-family development liability published in the January, 2003, The Colorado Lawyer, a Colorado law journal. Journal articles written or co-written by Mr. Sandgrund were selected in 2004-2007, 2009-2013, and 2014-2015 for republication nationwide in Thompson-Reuters’ Legal Handbook for Architects, Engineers and Contractors as reflecting “cutting-edge thinking” in construction litigation.
Mr. Sandgrund served as co-counsel with Scott Sullan in a class action trial resulting in a verdict on all liability issues presented to the jury, a case believed to be the largest residential home expansive soils case ever tried to a jury, and one of the few class lawsuits ever to reach trial in Colorado. Mr. Sandgrund helped negotiate Colorado’s largest homebuilder construction defect related settlement on behalf of more than 12,300 homeowners, and also reached a $32.5 million settlement on behalf of the owners of more than 12,000 homes with defective and leaking windows.
Mr. Sandgrund was managing partner of the Sullan Sandgrund law firm from 1990 until late 2007, became “Of Counsel” to the firm in October 2007, and continues in that capacity today after Sullan Sandgrund’s merger with Burg Simpson. He remains involved in select legal briefing, appellate work, and insurance coverage matters, as well as developing case strategies. Mr. Sandgrund resides with his wife, Cheryl, in Boulder, where, if he is not attending to his practice, he usually is found on a tennis or racquetball court, or on a hiking, skiing, or mountain biking trail (or in his orthopedic surgeon’s office).
2019 Best Lawyers® Lawyer of the Year, Litigation-Construction: Denver
Selected to Colorado Super Lawyers®, 2012 - 2018
Selected to Best Lawyers® in America 2012 - 2014, 2016 - 2019
2014, Awarded Order of the Coif honorarius by the University of Colorado School of Law
Finalist for 2013 William Richey Short Fiction Award
2013 Best Lawyers® Lawyer of the Year, Litigation-Construction: Denver
2011 National Award of Professional Excellence (Association for Continuing Education)
Assigned AV Preeminent® rating, Martindale-Hubbell (1990-present)
University of Colorado School of Law, Boulder, Colorado, 1982 (awarded honorary Order of the Coif)
State University of New York at Albany, June 1979, Bachelor of Arts
Magna cum laude
Member, Colorado Supreme Court Committee on Civil Jury Instructions, 2013 - Present
The Presidents Seminar (Boulder, CO), 2008-Present
Member, Bar Journal Advisory Board, The Colorado Lawyer, 2011-2016
"House Bill 17-1279: New Prerequisites to Homeowner Association Construction Defect Lawsuits," The Colorado Lawyer, vol. 46, no. 8 (August-September 2017), coauthored with Jennifer Seidman and Leslie Tuft.
"Construction Defect Municipal Ordinances: The Balkanization of Tort and Contract Law (Part 3)," The Colorado Lawyer, vol. 46, no. 4 (Apr. 2017), coauthored with Jennifer Seidman, Leslie Tuft, and Nelson Boyle.
"Construction Defect Municipal Ordinances: The Balkanization of Tort and Contract Law (Part 2)," The Colorado Lawyer, vol. 46, No. 3 (March 2017), co-authored with Jennifer Seidman, Leslie Tuft and Nelson Boyle.
"Construction Defect Municipal Ordinances: The Balkanization of Tort and Contract Law (Part 1)," The Colorado Lawyer, vol. 46, No. 2 (February 2017), co-authored with Jennifer Seidman, Leslie Tuft and Nelson Boyle.
Residential Construction Law in Colorado, (CLE-CBA, Denver 2016, 5th ed.), coauthored with Scott Sullan and Leslie Tuft. First published in 2005, this guide is updated every two years, with the most recent edition published in early 2016. This book won the national 2011 Award of Professional Excellence given by the Association for Continuing Legal Education.
"Residential Construction," Chapter 14 in the Practitioner's Guide to Colorado Construction Law (Robert Benson, ed. 2015, updating 1992-2013 editions, CLE in Colo., Inc., Denver 2013), coauthored with Scott Sullan and Leslie Tuft
"Class Action Counsel's Professional Responsibilities," Chapter 37 in Lawyers' Professional Liability in Colorado: Preventing Legal Malpractice and Disciplinary Actions, (Michael T. Mihm ed., CLE in Colo., Inc., Denver, 2016), co-authored with Scott F. Sullan and Leslie Tuft
Residential Construction Defect Litigation (Seattle 2000), coauthored with Scott Sullan
"The InQuiring Lawyer Dialogue: Can We Talk? Bias, Diversity, and Inclusiveness in the Colorado Legal Community"
Part I Colorado Lawyer Vol. 45, No. 1 (January 2016)
Part II Colorado Lawyer Vol. 45, No. 2 (February 2016)
Part III Colorado Lawyer Vol. 45, No. 3 (March 2016)
"The InQuiring Lawyer Dialogue: Does Popular Culture Influence Lawyers, Judges, and Juries?"
Part I 44 Colorado Lawyer 55 (January 2015)
Part II 44 Colorado Lawyer 63 (February 2015)
Part III 44 Colorado Lawyer 51 (March 2015)
Part IV 44 Colorado Lawyer 35 (April 2015)
"Homebuilders vs. Homeowners: Threats to Shift an Already Tilted Playing Field More in Favor of Homebuilders," The Trial Lawyer, Winter 2015 edition, coauthored with Jennifer Seidman.
"Deconstructing Construction Defect Fault Allocation and Damages Apportionments-Parts I and II", The Colorado Lawyer, coauthored with Jennifer Seidman, vol. 40, nos. 11 and 12 (2011)
Part I 40 Colorado Lawyer 37 (November 2011)
Part II 40 Colorado Lawyer 49 (December 2011)
"Recovering 'Actual Damages' Under Colorado's Construction Defect Action Reform Act," The Colorado Lawyer, coauthored with Mari Perczak and Leslie Tuft
Part I Colorado Lawyer Vol. 38, No. 5 (May 2009)
Part II Colorado Lawyer Vol. 38, No. 6 (June 2009)
"Crossing the Separation of Powers Threshold: Legislative and Regulatory Control of Expert Witness Testimony," The Colorado Lawyer, vol. 37, no. 5 (2008) coauthored with Leslie Tuft and Jennifer Seidman
"Useful Life Evidence in Construction Defect Cases," The Construction Lawyer, (Amer. Bar Assoc. Forum on the Construction Industry), vol. 27, no. 3 (2007), coauthored with Scott Sullan
"Another Perspective on Extrapolation Evidence," Mealey's Litigation Report: Construction Defects, vol. 7, no. 4 (2006), coauthored with Scott Sullan
"Yacht Club II: Charting the Shoals of the Economic Loss Rule," Trial Talk, (August-September, 2005)
"Theories of Homebuilder Liability for Subcontractor Negligence - Parts I and II," The Colorado Lawyer, vol. 34, nos. 6 and 7 (2005), coauthored with Scott Sullan and Joseph Smith
"Statutes of Limitations and Repose in Construction Defects Cases, Parts I and II," The Colorado Lawyer, vol. 33, nos. 5 and 6 (2005), coauthored with Scott Sullan
"The Inquiring Lawyer," a periodic article series for The Colorado Lawyer, discussing cutting-edge and edgy issues for lawyers of all stripes (2014-present)
"A Dialogue Between Generations," a seven-part article series discussing topics of mutual concern for new and experienced lawyers, The Colorado Lawyer, (November-December, 2012; January-June, 2013)
"Your First Expert Witness, Parts I and II," The Colorado Lawyer, vol. 40, nos. 5 and 6 (2011)
"Your First Deposition," The Colorado Lawyer, vol. 36, no. 11 (2007)
"(Your First Year) All I Really Needed to Know I Learned as a New Associate," The Colorado Lawyer, vol. 33, no. 7, 2004
"Duty to Disclose Latent Defects When Selling a Home," National Business Institute (2003)
"When the Developer Controls the Homeowner Association Board: The Benevolent Dictator?," The Colorado Lawyer, vol. 31, no. 1 (2002), coauthored with Joseph Smith
"Colorado Construction Law: Liability Insurance Coverage Issues Arising from Faulty Construction," Continuing Legal Education of Colorado (1999)
"The Insurer's Unreasonable Failure to Defend: Enough to Prove Bad Faith?," The Colorado Lawyer, vol. 23, no. 5 (1994)
"The Lost or Missing Insurance Policy," The Colorado Lawyer, vol. 22, no. 6 (1993)
"Effects of Violation of C.R.S. 11-43-101 on Out of State Savings and Loan," The Colorado Lawyer, vol. 16, no. 2 (1987), cowritten with Scott Sullan
"Explaining the Homeowner Protection Act of 2007," Common Interests Magazine, vol. 25, no. 8 (2007)
"The Construction Defect Action Reform Act," Common Interests Magazine, vol. 19, no. 8 (2001)
The Docket, Denver Bar Association, Contributor, 2004-2015
Guest Lecturer, University of Colorado Law School, 2012 - Present (Torts, Contracts, Consumer Empowerment, Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Construction Law, Legal Entrepreneurship, and Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Public Policy)
Guest Lecturer, Franklin L Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver, 2007-2009
"Residential Construction Defect Law Update: 2013," Continuing Legal Education of Colorado, 2013
"Recent Case Law and The Anatomy of a Construction Defect Lawsuit, 2012" Continuing Legal Education of Colorado, 2012
"Recent Case Law and The Anatomy of a Construction Defect Lawsuit, 2011," Colorado Bar Association and Continuing Legal Education, 2011
"Residential Construction Law: Construction Defect and Insurance Law Update and Trends," Continuing Legal Education of Colorado, 2010
"Residential Construction Law: Expert Testimony, Useful Life and Extrapolation Evidence, and Liability Insurance," Continuing Legal Education of Colorado, 2008
"Residential Construction Law in Colorado," Continuing Legal Education of Colorado, 2005
"How to Litigate Claims of Undisclosed Defects in Real Estate Transactions in Colorado: Liability Insurance Coverage for Misrepresentation and Nondisclosure Claims," National Business Institute, 2003
"When the Developer Controls the Homeowner Association Board: The Benevolent Capitalist?," Community Associations Institute Convention, 2001
"Colorado Construction Law and Liability Insurance Coverage Issues Arising from Faulty Construction," Continuing Legal Education of Colorado, 1999
"Minimizing the Risk of Loss to the Survey Professional," Professional Land Surveyors of Denver, 1995
"Insurer's Reservation of Its Rights," United States Fidelity & Guaranty Insurance Company, 1994
"Tort Liability and Liability Insurance," Boulder County Developmental Disabilities Center, 1988-1991
"Practical and Evidentiary Comments on the Use of a Biomechanical Engineer in the Defense of Personal Injury Claims," Otis Elevator Company (United Technologies), 1998
Adjunct Professor, University of Colorado School of Law