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Ronald M. Sandgrund

Of Counsel

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 Valerie 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 Valerie 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 was a member of The Colorado Lawyer’s bar journal advisory board from 2011-2017,  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 developer liability published in 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, 2014-2015, and 2020-2021 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 Valerie 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).

Honors & Accolades

  • 2019 Best Lawyers® Lawyer of the Year, Litigation-Construction, Denver
  • Selected to Colorado Super Lawyers®, 2012-2023
  • Selected to Best Lawyers® in America 2012-2014 and 2016-2024
  • Awarded Order of the Coif honorarius by the University of Colorado School of Law, 2014
  • 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)
  • AVVO®, Highest Distinction of Superb 10.0 Attorney Rating

Bar Admissions

  • Colorado, 1982

Education

  • 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
    Regents Scholarship

Professional Affiliations

  • 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

Publications & Media

Lectures & Seminars

  • “Residential Construction Defect Law Update 2021,” Continuing Legal Education of Colorado, August 2021
  • 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: 2018,” Continuing Legal Education of Colorado, 2018
  • “Hot Topics in Commercial General Liability Insurance Coverage – Liability Coverage for Rip and Tear Damages,” Continuing Legal Education of Colorado, 2018.
  • “Residential Construction Defect Law Update: 2016,” Continuing Legal Education of Colorado, 2016
  • “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

Teaching Positions

  • Adjunct Professor, Principles of Entrepreneurship, University of Colorado School of Law (2014-2018)
  • Instructor, Trial Advocacy, University of Colorado School of Law (1994-2004)