Practice areas

  • Water law
  • Real property
  • Natural resources
  • Municipal corporations

Bar admissions

  • Colorado
  • United States District Court, District of Colorado
  • United States 10th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States Federal Court of Claims
  • United States Supreme Court


  • J.D., University of Colorado, 1980
  • B.A., Colorado Women’s College

Legal Experience

Trout Raley, Colorado

President and Shareholder. Natural resources firm with emphasis in water and environmental law and litigation. General counsel; represents Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District in general policy and numerous matters before agencies of the Department of Interior including transfer of title to facilities, environmental consultations and safety of dams.

Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, P.C., 1997-1999.

Natural resources law, water rights and development, public lands.

Parcel, Mauro, Hultin & Spaanstra, P.C., Of Counsel, 1994-1997.

Practice in natural resources law, water, environmental, zoning and land use.

Saunders, Snyder, Ross & Dickson, P.C., 1989-1994.

Shareholder, team leader for major water development cases; federal water rights litigation.

Assistant Attorney General - Colorado, 1986-1989.

Natural Resources Section, First Assistant - Water; advised Division of Wildlife, State Parks, Division of Water Resources, Water Conservation Board. Advised agencies in the promulgation of rules and regulations, represented agency staff in technical administrative hearings, and litigation. Also advised various Boards and Commissions within the Department of Natural Resources on the legal requirements concerning state action and requirements for the conduct of government business. Briefed and argued numerous cases before the Colorado Court of Appeals and the Colorado Supreme Court.

Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Denver, Staff Attorney, 1981-1985.

Practiced in the litigation of consumer, housing, elder law and utilities matters. Staff supervision.

Awards and acknowledgements


  • Non-Indian Federal Reserved Rights Since the Rio Mimbres Decision, 37th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (1991).
  • Co-author, Acquiring, Using, and Protecting Water in Colorado (2nd ed. 2005).

Representative cases

  • Texas v. New Mexico, United States Supreme Court, 2013

Additional experience

  • Special Assistant Attorney General, State of New Mexico (2001 – present)
  • Chairman, Colorado State Parks Board (1996 – 1998); member (1994 – 1999)
  • First Assistant Attorney General, Colorado (1988)
  • Federal Representative, Presidential Appointment, Louisiana/Texas Sabine River Commission
  • Advisor, University of Colorado Natural Resources Law Center

Professional memberships

  • Member, Denver, Trustee, 1997 – 1999, Colorado and American Bar Associations
  • Member, Colorado Hispanic Bar Association; Past President, 1995


  • Spanish