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Thomas W. Snyder

Partner

Tom has more than 25 years of extensive commercial litigation experience in the telecommunications and energy industries. He has served as lead trial attorney for several telecommunications carriers in lawsuits concerning right-of-way, traffic pumping, inter-carrier compensation, billing, franchising, breach of contract, and local taxation practices before courts and utility commissions throughout the country. He also has served as lead trial counsel for oil companies, ethanol producers, wind farm developers, coal companies, natural gas processors, and several high net-worth industry individuals in the energy industry, mainly in breach of contract-related claims. 

Tom also has significant experience in public finance litigation. He was lead counsel in successfully defending the City of Aurora, Colorado in several highly publicized legal challenges seeking to enjoin the financing of the Gaylord of the Rockies Convention Center and Hotel. He has represented other cities, counties, urban renewal authorities, school districts, and bondholders against challenges to the financing of hundreds of millions of dollars intended for public development projects. He also has defended several of these entities against challenges concerning public financing ballot issues and election results.

Tom has tried more than 50 cases to decision. He has obtained several multimillion-dollar judgments and settlements, and he has successfully defended several companies against multimillion-dollar breach of contract, statutory, and tort claims. In 2013, Law Week Colorado named Tom a “Lawyer of the Year." 

Active in his community, Tom co-founded and serves on the board of the Colorado Poverty Law Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit which, through its founders, has sponsored monthly legal clinics in Denver since 2005, and which has directly placed over one hundred indigent individuals with attorneys. Tom has represented dozens of indigent and homeless individuals in district and county courts. He received awards for pro bono work from the Colorado Lawyers Committee in 2007 and 2010. He serves as the pro bono management partner for the firm’s Denver office. 

 

 

Publications
  • "Putting A Price On Dirt: The Need For Better-Defined Limits On Government Fees For Use Of The Public Rights-Of-Way Under Section 253 Of The Telecommunications Act Of 1996," Vol. 64, FED. COMM. L. J., 137.
  • "Green Building Regulations Duel in Court," Law Week Colorado, April 2010 (author)
Speaking Engagements
  • "Broadband Market Analysis, Franchising and Antitrust Issues – Regulatory, Legal and Industry Challenges," CLE International Telecommunications Law Seminar, Denver, CO, December 2012
  • "Franchising and Rights-of-Way – Regulatory Issues," CLE International Telecommunications Law Seminar, Denver, CO, December 2011
Community Involvement
  • Colorado Poverty Law Project, Founder and boardmember, (2015-present)
  • Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, Boardmember, (2008-2015)

Telecommunications
  • Obtained a defense verdict for a telecommunications carrier following a jury trial on a $193 million breach of contract claim filed by a city in New Mexico federal court. 
  • Obtained an injunction on behalf of a telecommunications carrier following a bench trial in New Mexico federal court, permanently enjoining a city from enforcing unlawful telecommunications ordinance pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 253. 
  • Obtained an injunction on behalf of a telecommunications carrier against a city following a bench trial in Iowa federal court, and appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, permanently enjoining the city from enforcing unlawful telecommunications ordinance pursuant to state law.
  • Received agreements from cities in Oregon, Iowa, and New Mexico, following separate lawsuits, to rescind ordinances imposing unlawful requirements, fees, and taxes on telecommunications carriers.
  • Obtained judgments for a large telecommunications carrier following bench trials in Maryland and Oregon, refunding overpaid franchise fees and taxes.
  • Obtained a dismissal of a breach of contract claim filed against a large telecommunications carrier with the Nebraska Public Service Commission.
Energy
  • Obtained full defense awards, and a large award on counterclaims, for a Colorado ethanol producer following two successful arbitrations of breach of contract claims brought by a railroad carrier. 
  • Obtained dismissal of oil company from class action challenging drug testing.
  • Obtained a full-dollar settlement payment for a natural gas processor in a measurement dispute concerning natural gas liquid.
Public Finance
  • Successfully defended the City of Aurora, Colorado in several lawsuits and appeals challenging the public financing of the $820 million Gaylord Hotel project.
  • Obtained decision from Colorado Supreme Court in favor of bondholder in taxpayer case challenging TABOR election for metro district taxes.
  • Successfully defended the City of Loveland, City of Aurora, and the Poudre School District in ballot issue and election contests to public financing ballot issues. 
 

  • Law Week Colorado, Lawyer of the Year
  • Colorado Lawyers Committee, Task Force of the Year, 2010
  • Colorado Lawyers Committee, Task Force of the Year, 2007