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Erica Payne

Senior Counsel


Commercial and civil litigation, construction defect, premises liability, insurance defense and appeals.
Nonprofit organizations.


Boston University, B.A.
University of Colorado – Boulder School of Law, J.D. (Law Review; Environmental Law Society)


My practice focuses on civil litigation defense; appeals; and insurance coverage. I have experience litigating a variety of issues, including contract disputes, bad faith, construction defect, and premises liability. I have significant appellate experience and have drafted briefs for the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Colorado Supreme Court, and the Colorado Court of Appeals. I am a tenacious and prepared advocate. I enjoy developing effective risk management strategies for my clients.

My work has led me to represent a wide array of clients including individuals, companies, homeowners, business owners, owners’ associations, commercial building owners, and nonprofits. I rely on my background in the natural sciences and my experience with expert witnesses when it comes to complex matters. At trial, through meticulous deliberation and preparation, I am able to effectively cross-examine expert witnesses on nuanced issues. This can often make the difference between success and failure for clients where both parties retain qualified and articulate experts to represent their position.

Outside of work, I enjoy exploring new places by participating in trail and road races both nationally and overseas. I love living in Colorado and—as an avid mountaineer who has summitted all of Colorado’s 14ers—I am especially fond of hiking, rock climbing, and ski touring.

My passion for mountain climbing and endurance running drives and informs my law practice. When presented with a challenge, I analyze it from multiple angles and then attack it with the mindset of “it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” I envision a positive outcome and implement a plan to achieve it. I am a problem solver, and I'm known for my ability to think outside the box, finding solutions where conflict seemed intractable.

Recognitions and Accolades

- 5280 Magazine – Top Lawyers – Civil Litigation (2022)

- Colorado Super Lawyers (2023)

- Best Lawyers Colorado (2024)


Where I Studied

Boston University, B.A.

University of Colorado – Boulder School of Law, J.D. (Law Review; Environmental Law Society)

Bar Admissions


Oregon (by examination)

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

Global Experience

Where I’ve Been

For two years following law school, I lived overseas and managed a consultancy practice specializing in nonprofit issues. I worked with organizations in Australia, Singapore, Brunei, and the U.S. on such diverse projects as risk management, 501(c)(3) certification, communications and networking strategies, grant writing, Board member recruitment, and capacity-building. Exposure to such multicultural environments has honed my ability to assess and resolve complex situations.


My Papers and Press

  • Featured Attorney: "Summit Place," Primerus Paradigm, Spring 2023 Read
  • “Coffee? Yes, I’d Love One”: On Being Mistaken for an Admin Assistant and Other Conundrums,” CWBA The Advocate, Fall 2016.
  • Co-author: “Life Cycle of A Law Firm Attorney,” CWBA The Advocate, Winter 2015.

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