Blair E. Kanis

(303) 292-7850
Of Counsel
(303) 292-7799 Fax

Ms. Kanis is of counsel in the litigation group of Kutak Rock LLP's Denver office. She represents both plaintiffs and defendants in complex business litigation, with a focus on intellectual property disputes including patent, trademark and copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation. She also has experience advising and representing clients on employment, health care and regulatory matters. Additionally, Ms. Kanis has dedicated significant time to academic and practical contributions in the area of corporate social responsibility through pro bono activities and as an adjunct professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

Representative Engagements:

  • Represents and counsels clients in pre-litigation disputes and civil litigation proceedings in both state and federal courts related to complex intellectual property issues including patent, copyright and trademark infringement and trade secret misappropriation.
  • Advises clients on licensing transactions relating to intellectual property protection and other business concerns.
  • Represents and counsels a broad spectrum of corporate clients, including many start-up technology-based businesses, on matters arising from breach of contract and other business claims. Clients include companies in a diverse range of industries including software, Internet security, semiconductor and alternative energy.
  • Represents hospitals and other health care providers in defending civil rights and employment actions at both the trial and appellate levels and advises health care providers on internal policy development, risk management and confidentiality issues.
  • Represented utilities in regulatory matters concerning right-of-way disputes and franchising matters.

    Co-author of "The Bramble Bush: The Classic Lectures on the Law and Law School," as published in the December 2008 edition of The Colorado Lawyer.

    Teaches a class on litigating human rights in U.S. courts under the Alien Tort Statute as an adjunct professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and contributes in a pro bono capacity to nonprofit think-tank organization, NomoGaia, on issues related to business and human rights.

Ms. Kanis is an attorney in the Denver office of Kutak Rock LLP. In addition to her litigation practice, in which Ms. Kanis focuses on advising and representing clients on a range of complex commercial and intellectual property matters, Ms. Kanis also has the academic and practical experience required to advise clients interested in developing robust corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs in response to market demands. Through her work with the Denver-based think tank organization, NomoGaia, Ms. Kanis has contributed to the international dialogue on issues of corporate social responsibility, including through development of corporate human rights due diligence policies and procedures. She also has participated in the implementation of human rights due diligence methodologies in case studies with companies across a broad range of industries, including agriculture, fisheries, manufacturing and oil and gas. Ms. Kanis’ experience in both corporate social responsibility and litigation enables her to assist clients with disclosure obligations and avoidance, mitigation and response to disputes related to sufficiency of corporate practices, including formal litigation claims.

Representative Engagements:

  • Develops company policies, requisite disclosures and due diligence procedures related to avoidance, reporting and mitigation of human rights impacts of company operations and those within supply chains.
  • Performs due diligence to assess and analyze areas of potential risk of such impacts and makes recommendations on how companies can address perceived or identified impacts. 
  • Lectures as an adjunct professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law on litigation brought under the Alien Tort Statute and emerging legal and business standards in the area of corporate social responsibility.

Publications and presentations:

  • "Mobilizing the private sector to improve land governance: The NEPA Model," to be presented at the World Bank Land and Poverty Conference, April 2013 (co-authored with Kendyl Salcito, NomoGaia).
  • "The Role of the United Nations in Providing Legislative Guidance on Human Rights Due Diligence," submitted to the Office of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights in response to the United Nations’ 2012 call for input on the United Nations’ role in implementing the business and human rights agenda.