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Patrick J. Bernal



Patrick navigates highly complex cases, providing his clients with services including trial and appellate advocacy, and pre-litigation dispute resolution. He provides businesses of all sizes with employment-law and construction-law advice, and also helps his clients resolve disputes with insurance companies. Patrick regularly handles class-action and multi-party lawsuits.

Patrick previously worked with several east coast law firms, gaining experience with a range of legal areas including employment, insurance coverage, environmental claims, eminent domain, securities fraud, and qui tam suits. He has appeared in state and federal proceedings in California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont.


  • Achieved a trial victory and subsequent affirmance on appeal in a craft brewery’s dispute with its landlord over significant unauthorized charges under a commercial lease. See Crooked Stave, LLC v. Freight on the River, LLC, 2021 Colo. App. LEXIS 706 (May 13, 2021).
  • Recovered a $1 million jury verdict for a property-owner client in an appeal of an eminent domain decision by a public utility board. The board had originally awarded Patrick’s clients only $25,000.
  • Represented an insurance company client in successfully appealing a trial-court decision, which had required it to pay the entirety of a judgment against a contractor held responsible for significant head injuries to a high-school basketball star. The appellate court reversed, agreeing with Patrick’s client’s argument that the insurance policy should be found void ab initio based on the insured’s fraud in its insurance application.
  • Secured reversal of a default judgment entered against a real-estate developer, on grounds that the lower court had erred by authorizing defective service of process while Patrick’s client resided abroad, based on a technical interpretation of the relevant procedural rule. See Namaste Judgment Enforcement, LLC v. King, 2020 COA 43.
  • Successfully prosecuted an insurance-coverage claim through all stages of litigation, including appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court. The Supreme Court agreed with Patrick’s municipal client that its insurer was required to cover the full value of money embezzled by a former treasurer, including the interest that the town had lost from being deprived of its money for decades.
  • Helped a manufacturer client secure a dismissal with no cost, after it was alleged to have caused the fatality of a truckdriver burned to death by molten mulch. The court agreed with Patrick’s client’s argument that it was not proximately responsible for the fatality. Instead, the action was settled by other defendants for an eight-figure amount.

Professional Activities

  • Member, Federal Bar Association





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