Practice areas

  • Water rights
  • Water quality
  • Environmental law
  • Public lands

Bar admissions

  • Colorado
  • United States District Court, District of Colorado
  • United States District Court, District of New Mexico (pro hac vice)
  • United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States 10th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States Court of Claims
  • United States Supreme Court


  • J.D., University of Colorado, 1983
  • B.S., Colorado State University, 1979

Legal Practice

Trout Raley, Colorado

Shareholder. Natural resources firm with emphasis in water and environmental
law and litigation. (Formerly Hobbs, Trout & Raley, P.C., Hobbs & Trout, P.C., Trout & Raley, P.C., Trout, Witwer & Freeman, P.C., and Trout, Raley, Montano, Witwer & Freeman, P.C.) (2004-present; prior 1992-2001)

Current work includes representation of Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District and its Municipal Subdistrict on a wide range of matters, including legal support for ongoing operation of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project and the Windy Gap Projects, permitting and negotiation of a Carriage Contract for the Windy Gap Firming Project, general Reclamation law matters, and interstate compact strategy development. Mr. Raley also represented the Colorado River Energy Distributors Association in Endangered Species Act and NEPA litigation regarding the operation of Glen Canyon Dam.

Special Assistant Attorney General, State of New Mexico (1998-2001). Counsel in federal court Endangered Species Act litigation; strategy related to federal and interstate issues on the Rio Grande.

Special Assistant Attorney General, State of New Mexico (2011-present). Counsel in federal court litigation relating to the operation of the Rio Grande Project; Counsel in Texas v. New Mexico, United States Supreme Court (2013).

Chief Counsel, United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Federalism and Property Rights. Leave of absence for 100 days of the Contract with America, 104th Congress (1995).

Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, Department of Interior

Responsible for United States Geological Survey and Bureau of Reclamation. Responsibilities included budget and policy for Reclamation and USGS; lead federal negotiator for Colorado River Water Delivery Agreement of 2003; finalization of Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Plan; Administration lead for CalFed Process; development and implementation of Water 2025; Grand Canyon Adaptive Management Program, including approval and implementation of 2004 Grand Canyon Experimental Flow Program; Reclamation response to 11 September 2001; initiation of NRC review of Construction Management and other functions of Reclamation; development of first Reclamation Section 7 Handbook. (2001-2004)

Staff Counsel, United States Senator Hank Brown, 102nd Congress

Responsibilities included preparation of analysis and questions relating to privacy, reproductive rights, and natural law issues for the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the nomination of Judge Thomas to the Supreme Court; preparation of analysis and questions for the Foreign Relations Committee hearings on matters related to BCCI; preparation of legal and political analysis and planning related to wilderness designations and negotiation of wilderness water rights provisions of 1993 Colorado Wilderness Act, Clean Water Act Reauthorization, Endangered Species Act, 1872 Mining Law, and western public lands and water issues. (1991–1992)

Attorney, Davis, Graham & Stubbs, Denver, Colorado.

Areas of practice included state and federal water quality and quantity issues, mining, real estate, commercial transactions, commercial lending, bankruptcy, and environmental permitting. Litigation experience included state and federal judicial and administrative proceedings, multi-week trials, complex federal court litigation involving over 50 parties and 6 interrelated matters, preparation of appellate briefs in state and federal courts, and oral argument before state and federal district courts, and the Colorado Supreme Court. (Partner, January 1990 – June, 1991. Associate, May 1983 – December 1989.)

Awards and acknowledgements