Michael R. Johnson

(303) 292-7808
Of Counsel
(303) 292-7799 Fax

Mr. Johnson is a public finance lawyer in Kutak Rock’s Denver office with over 40 years of experience serving as bond counsel to state and local governments and as counsel to lenders, underwriters and developers in connection with a wide range of public and public-private financings. Mr. Johnson continues to actively practice public finance law but in recent years has devoted increasing amounts of time to volunteer work as a member of the Board of Education and Treasurer of Denver Public Schools. Some of Mr. Johnson’s notable legal experience is described below:

  • Bond counsel for Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) GARVEEs, Colorado Bridge Enterprise and Colorado High Performance Transportation Enterprise.
  • Bond counsel for Colorado State Treasurer’s Building Excellent Schools Today K-12 capital construction program, Federal Mineral Leasing Royalties Higher Education capital construction program and Unemployment Compensation Special Revenue Bonds (issued through Colorado Housing and Finance Authority).
  • Bond counsel for most major Colorado highway financings in the last 15 years, including the CDOT and CDOT enterprise financings mentioned above, the E-470 Public Highway Authority and the Northwest Parkway Public Highway Authority.
  • Public-private partnerships: counsel for state and local government P3 financings in Colorado – bond counsel for Colorado Bridge Enterprise for the Central 70 project (Interstate 70 through Denver) and for Colorado High Performance Transportation Enterprise for the U.S. 36 project, counsel to the private developer/concessionaire for the Regional Transportation District’s $3 billion Eagle P3 rail project and bond counsel for the Northwest Parkway/Brisa concession.
  • Counsel to the nation’s largest military housing lender for more than 66 transactions aggregating in excess of $7.8 billion throughout the United States.
  • School finance counsel for a variety of Colorado school districts for financings aggregating more than $5 billion.
  • Bond counsel to Boulder, Pueblo, Larimer and Pitkin Counties, the Cities of Aspen and Pueblo, Roaring Fork Transportation Authority and other Colorado governments.
  • Expert on Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, representing Colorado governments and bondholders in the following major TABOR cases: Mesa County Bd. of County Comm’rs v. State of Colorado, 203 P.3d 519 (Colo. 2009); In re Interrogatories on House Bill 99-1325, 979 P.2d 549 (Colo. 1999); Bickel, et al. v. City of Boulder, Boulder Valley School District and Boulder County, 885 P.2d 215 (Colo. 1994); Boulder County v. Dougherty, Dawkins, Strand & Bigelow Incorporated, 890 P.2d 199 (Colo. App. 1994); Bolt, et al. v. Arapahoe County School District Number Six a/k/a Littleton Public Schools, et al., 898 P.2d 525 (Colo. 1995); Nicholl v. E 470 Public Highway Authority, et al., 896 P.2d 859 (Colo. 1995).
  • Legal counsel (pro bono) for the Colorado Governor’s Transportation Finance and Implementation Panel and a principal draftsman of a wide variety of Colorado statutes, including many of those authorizing the financings for which he served as bond counsel and the Colorado Recovery and Reinvestment Financing Act of 2009 (implementing the special financing programs in the federal stimulus legislation).
  • Author of articles for periodicals and law reviews regarding public finance, including a law review article co-authored with Boulder County Attorney H. Lawrence Hoyt and his California law partner Scott Beck, entitled “State Constitutional Tax Limitations: The Colorado and California Experiences,” The Urban Lawyer, Fall 2003, Volume 35, Number 4, p. 817.