Peter D. Willis

(303) 292-7709
Senior Of Counsel
(303) 292-7799 Fax

After a long career with a background in civil and criminal law, trial, insurance, and complex commercial litigation, Mr. Willis is Senior of Counsel in Kutak Rock LLP’s Denver office in the litigation department. He now concentrates on service as an arbitrator on the National Panel of the American Arbitration Association in a significant number of commercial and large complex business cases. He is also actively practicing and experienced in nonprofit law, nonprofit issues and corporate governance. Mr. Willis provides advice on insurance issues, insurance contracts, including captive insurance company practices, corporate compliance and risk management litigation. He continues to practice litigation and counseling in partnership lawsuits, health care, senior living, and assisted living care matters, trademark, trade name and intellectual property counseling and litigation. He also has experience in a broad range of telecommunications and cable matters.

He currently serves as general counsel to Mountain States Employers’ Council, Inc; general counsel and Ex Officio Board member to Christian Living Campus, LLC.; Board Emeritus member of the Griffith Centers for Children; Board Emeritus member of the Iliff School of Theology; and Ex Officio member of the Board of Directors of the Colorado Judicial Institute.

  • Formerly was General Counsel, Litigation/Risk Management for U.S. West, Inc, the former Bell system regional telecommunications company, where he tried, managed and supervised complex telecommunications and civil suits for the company and all its subsidiaries.
  • Former officer and President of the captive insurance company of U.S. West, Inc., the former Bell system regional telecommunications corporation, where he created, developed and counseled on corporate governance and insurance issues, including claims loss analysis, setting premiums and experience with actuaries.
  • Member of the trial team in the antitrust matter Department of Justice v. AT&T where he participated in the trial and subsequent counseling in the divestiture of the Bell system. He served on the contingent liability committee managing major former Bell system antitrust, contract, employment, tort and telecommunications cases, including major EPA and environmental matters.
  • Represented several complex class action lawsuits involving telecommunications practices and procedures.
  • Represents a significant variety of clients on intellectual property, business tort, employment-related matters, commercial litigation, and general corporate advice and counseling.
  • Mr. Willis was voted by his peers as one of the Top Colorado Super Lawyers® for 2006 through 2017.
  • Was one of 10 people featured in the 2006 Denver Business Journal’s Power Book as one of the leaders in the field of law for his contribution to the business community and his commitment to excellence of the Colorado judiciary.
  • Was the recipient of the 2007 DU Law Stars Outstanding Alumni Award.
  • Was inducted into the American Bar Foundation, and is Emeritus Fellow of the Colorado Bar Foundation.

Mr. Willis, who has been practicing law for more than 49 years, has served as an arbitrator in approximately 50 arbitrations. He has served as the sole arbitrator, and also as a panel member or panel Chair. For an extensive list of Mr. Willis’ arbitration and litigation experience, please click here. Many of the arbitrations were with alleged damages in the multimillion-dollar range. They include:

  • an alleged infringement of a patent and license contract
  • several insurance coverage matters
  • a dispute between telephone company carriers over network facility installation conduits in five cities (damages $28 to $35 million)
  • an alleged trademark and trade dress dispute over a manufacturer product (damages $1 to $5 million
  • dispute over software license contract and misappropriation of confidential material (damages alleged over $2 million)
  • unlawful theft claims involving an inventor and a sales agreement
  • a dispute between insurance company and reinsurer over alleged payments and terms of agreement (damages over $1 million)
  • an alleged breach of insureds claim services agreements
  • a dispute between telephone carriers over employment contract services (damages undisclosed amount, multimillions)
  • a contested sales agreement dispute for interconnect and broadband services
  • a shareholders dispute over stock ownership and terms of shareholders agreement
  • a contract dispute over terms of operating agreement and sale of computer modems
  • a breach of duty and negligence over handling of an IRS account
  • breach of contract and claims insurance involving the Katrina disaster
  • an antitrust and unfair pricing dispute over terms of a franchise agreement

Mr. Willis also has served as a mediator in a variety of commercial disputes.

Mr. Willis’ alternative dispute resolution training includes:

  • AAA Conducting Research & Investigations, 2014
  • Colorado State Bar, Annual Statewide ADR Conference, 2011, 2009
  • AAA Arbitration Awards: Safeguarding, Deciding & Writing Awards (ACE001), 2007, 2005
  • AAA Chairing an Arbitration Panel: Managing Procedures, Process & Dynamics (ACE005), 2007
  • AAA Pro Se: Managing Cases Involving Self-Represented Parties (ACE002), 2004
  • AAA Arbitrator Update, 2003
  • CDR Mediation Process Training, 2002
  • AAA Commercial Arbitrator II Training, 2002
  • AAA Arbitrator I Training-Fundamentals of the Arbitration Process, 2002
  • AAA, Techniques in Mediation Advocacy, 1995
  • AAA Beyond the Basics Corporate Dispute Management 2000
  • meeting the AAA continuing legal education requirement each year for service on the national panel by attending a variety of arbitration related seminars or presentations.