Advocate for environmental stewardship, the arts, and progressive causes
Paul concentrates his practice in the areas of water law, climate change, and representation of artists. A member of the New Mexico and Colorado bars, his experience and expertise span complex civil trials and appeals, water, election, and copyright law, and public policy advocacy regarding water and water-related impacts of climate change.
A seasoned advocate
Paul spent 38 years as a civil trial lawyer and was a founding partner of Denver-based Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell, a nationally recognized litigation boutique. Named Denver Lawyer of the Year in 2010, he served as lead trial counsel trying products liability, tort, contract, banking, real estate, environmental, and intellectual property cases in federal and state courts in 13 states.
A progressive leader
In 2006, Paul established Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell's pro bono practice. Among his pro bono victories was Conroy v. Dennis, the first successful court challenge to the use of easily hackable electronic voting machines in the United States. The decision affected the administration of elections nationwide and led to Colorado’s legislative replacement of electronic voting machines with a scanned paper ballot system that served as a model for many other states.
In 2013, Paul served as counsel for the Santa Fe Charter Review Commission. The following year he led a successful campaign to reform the City Charter, which won 58 percent of the vote and resulted in much-needed reform of Santa Fe's city governance. In 2017 Paul was appointed as Chair of the Independent Salary Commission, which set the salary for Santa Fe’s first full-time mayor.
A catalyst for change
Since relocating to Santa Fe in 2012, Paul has become involved in several major water and environmental cases. He was lead trial counsel for more than 300 homeowners in Aquifer Science v. Verhines, defeating a groundwater application for a highly speculative 8,500-acre luxury golf course development near Albuquerque. In addition to protecting the water rights of the homeowners, the Court’s opinion made important new law regarding how the Office of the State Engineer must address water conservation and climate change. Paul also wrote an Amicus Curiae Brief on Climate Change on behalf of the City of Santa Fe and 37 nonprofit organizations from around the country in the New Mexico Supreme Court.
An advocate for the arts
A lover of the arts and advocate for creative artists and arts institutions, Paul served on the Board of the Center for Contemporary Arts from 2013-2018, including three years as Chair. Paul represents a number of international artists including Ricardo Mazal, Laura Anderson Barbata, Erika Blumenfeld, Raphaelle Goethals, and the Estate of Dale Chisman. He was also legal counsel and Associate Producer of Sembene!, an award-winning documentary film about the life and work of Ousmane Sembeme, the father of African cinema.