Hugh Gottschalk has handled a myriad of cases in his 30-year litigation career, including contract disputes, franchise matters, environmental torts, professional and product liability cases, and trade secret, patent, copyright, and trademark infringement cases. He employs his decades of litigation experience, accumulated knowledge, and science education background to effectively present complex and technical information at trial.
Hugh's experience in commercial litigation is particularly extensive. He has represented clients in numerous commercial disputes involving alleged breaches of contracts, fraud and misrepresentation, securities, franchise matters, and intellectual property infringements. Hugh has served as national or regional trial counsel to several large and well-known companies in industries as diverse as information technology, energy, manufacturing, and consumer and professional services.
In 2010, Hugh co-led the WTO team that managed the response to 418 dealer arbitration requests and the litigation of 187 of the Section 747 arbitrations for Chrysler Group. WTO was one of only two law firms in the country representing Chrysler in these matters. Over a four-month period, Hugh himself tried nine of these arbitrations and won eight of them.
Chambers USA, the international guide to America's leading business lawyers, describes Hugh as, "an excellent strategist and trial lawyer," and one of the top commercial litigation lawyers in Colorado. He has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the business litigation category in Colorado Super Lawyers since its inception in 2006 and has appeared multiple years in a row on its top 50 list. He has also been selected for inclusion in Benchmark Litigation, Chambers USA, Best Lawyers, Legal 500 U.S., and is an elected fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
Won an arbitration award for future oil and gas royalties valued between $70,000,000 and $100,000,000 in a David v. Goliath case against a multinational oil company.
Represented Chrysler in a case in which several Chrysler dealers asserted Chrysler failed to comply with obligation to provide new dealerships following its bankruptcy. Following a trial, E.D.N.Y. Court entered judgment for Chrysler. Eagle v. Chrysler.
Defended Chrysler Group against an automobile dealership's allegations of oppressive and unreasonable terms in a letter of intent to enter into a franchise agreement after Chrysler's bankruptcy in a franchise case of national significance. Star Chrysler-Jeep v. Chrysler Group LLC (C.D.Cal. Apr. 9, 2012).
Defended an investment advisory firm in Cook County, IL against a $10 million professional negligence claim. After a two-week trial, the jury found for the defendant. Quintas v. AMG.
Represented plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality of increasing copyright protection by 20 years and Section 514 of Uruguay Round Agreements Act extending copyright protection to foreign works. The United States Supreme Court ruled the statutes were constitutional. Golan v. Holder, 132 S.Ct. 873, 181 L.Ed.2d 835 (2012).
Represented a managing partner in a $5 million suit between law firm partners with respect to claims of fraud and mismanagement. After a two-week trial, WTO's client prevailed on fraud and mismanagement claims, and the Court ordered an accounting and liquidation of the firm.
Briefed an appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, resulting in full affirmance of a verdict in favor of WTO's client, Chrysler Group, on a federal statutory issue of first impression stemming from Congress's enactment of Section 747 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010.
Represented PCH in claim asserted by Banner that a merger between PCH and another healthcare entity triggered a termination clause in a lease of PCH's neonatal ICU. Following two-week trial, arbitrator terminated the lease. Banner Healthcare v. Phoenix Children's Hospital.
Co-managed with one other law firm the response to requests from 418 dealers for arbitration relating to the bankruptcy of Chrysler Group LLC and following Chrysler's termination of those dealerships. WTO litigated 187 of these Section 747 arbitrations, and, as directed by Congress, resolved all of the litigation within seven months.
Defended franchisor against fraud claims made by franchisees, who sought tens of millions of dollars in actual and punitive damages. After five-week trial, judgment entered for franchisor. Court awarded $2MM+ in attorneys' fees against franchisees. Colorado Coffee Bean, LLC v. Peaberry Coffee, Inc..
Won a jury defense verdict for a limited liability company whose members claimed the distribution of funds made in 2001 violated the company's operating agreement. Unger v. St. Vrain Partners.
Defended Silverton Mountain against claims brought by adjacent landowner/competitor. Plaintiff sought damages and injunction to shut down ski area based on allegations of trespasses caused by client's avalanche control work. WTO won defense verdict. Silverton Mountain, LLC v. Core Mt. Enterprises.
Represented Conoco in cost-recovery and cost-allocation litigation relating to the parties' environmental clean-up of adjacent properties. Conoco v. Valero.
Represented Conoco in breach-of-contract litigation between the parties relating to the environmental clean-up of the parties' contaminated property. Total Petroleum v. Conoco.
Defended Conoco against claims by the town of Castle Rock, Colorado that a leaking Conoco underground storage tank had contaminated the town's municipal drinking water. Following a six-week trial, the jury returned a defense verdict for Conoco.
Represented BDO Seidman in shareholder suit that claimed securities fraud and a negligent audit by the company's accountants. Persuaded the plaintiffs the audit process could not have uncovered the manipulation, and plaintiffs dismissed their claims. Laser Tech v. BDO Seidman LLP.
Won Fifth Circuit affirmation of the lower court's granting of summary judgment in a case alleging unfair monopolization against FMC Corporation and involving the company's airplane-passenger boarding bridges. Stearns v. Jetway.
Represented Conoco in the favorable settlement of toxic tort litigation brought by the City and County of Denver regarding the contamination and cleanup of Denver's former airport.
Represented Coors in the settlement of CERCLA litigation brought by the City and County of Denver regarding the Lowry Landfill.
Settled trademark/antitrust litigation regarding nationwide market for distribution of greeting cards. Rieder v. Hallmark.
An oil refinery brought toxic tort litigation against our client, Conoco, relating to the joint remediation of their adjacent refineries.
Plaintiff brought personal injury claims relating to an accident at a Conoco refinery. Plaintiff prevailed in a seven-day jury trial, but the case was later reversed by the Colorado Court of Appeals. Scott v. Conoco.
Settled accounting malpractice litigation relating to the embezzlement of $10 million by company's president. Cornerstone v. BDO Seidman LLP.
Newark brought trade secret claims against defendant asserting that Sonoco and its employee had misappropriated trade secrets from Newark. After a three-week trial, Court found defendant had misappropriated Newark's trade secrets. Sonoco Products Company v. Newark Paper Products.
- U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court
Otten, Johnson, Robinson, Neff & Ragonetti, P.C.
Holland & Hart LLP
Town of Bow Mar
National Institute for Trial Advocacy
University of Colorado Trial Advocacy Program, 1985-1986
American College of Trial Lawyers
American Board of Trial Advocates
Law Week Colorado
"People's Choice" Best Intellectual Property Lawyer, 2010
Lawyer of the Year, 2010
Denver Intellectual Property Litigation Lawyer of the Year, 2014
Bet-the-Company Litigation, 2008-2015
Commercial Litigation, 2008-2015
Intellectual Property Litigation, 2015
Product Liability Litigation, 2008-2015
Commercial Litigation - Colorado, 2005-2014
The Legal 500 United States
Litigation: Product Liability and Mass Tort Defense, 2009-2011
Commercial Litigation - Colorado, 2011-2015
Colorado Super Lawyers
Business Litigation, 2006-2014
Top 10, 2008
Top 100, 2012-2014
Top 50, 2008-2011
International Who's Who of Product Liability Defense Lawyers, 2010
Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated
Colorado Corporate Counsel Black Book
Product Liability, 2007
Best of the Bar, Denver Business Journal, 2005
American Bar Association
Colorado Bar Association
Patent, Trademark, and Copyright Section
Denver Bar Association
National Institute for Trial Advocacy
Product Liability Advisory Council
Sustaining Member, 1988-1992
Executive Committee, 1991-1992
American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado
Board of Directors
Legal Aid Foundation
Rothgerber Moot Court Competition
University of Colorado School of Law's National Moot Court Team