Duke is the Managing Partner of the firm’s Colorado office. Duke brings humor, creativity and efficiency to the practice of law, emphasizing substance and results over process and unnecessary complexity. Serious lawyers don’t have to take themselves too seriously. As a seasoned transactional lawyer with a litigation and appellate background, Duke understands the value of properly documenting a deal, the hazards of not doing so, and the risks of not getting the deal done. With his varied background in all facets of ski resort operations and real estate development ventures in Durango, Colorado and Lake Tahoe, California, our clients now have access to Duke’s unique skill set…whether to resolve a current problem, or avoid a future one.
- Entity/Partnership Formation, Governance, Financing and Asset Protection
- Business Sales, Negotiations and Dispute Resolution
- Litigation and Appeals
- Contract Drafting and Interpretation
- Real Estate Purchases/Sales, Land Use, Development and Construction
- Homeowners’ Association Compliance and Governance
- Outside General Counsel to Durango Mountain Resort/Kirkwood Resort Development - Present
- In House General Counsel/Senior Vice-President for Durango Mountain Resort/Kirkwood Mountain Resort from 2004 - 2012. During his tenure, Duke supervised or handled numerous litigation matters, including resort related injuries, construction disputes/defects, employment disputes and contractual/real estate related matters. He also acted as the primary attorney and a principal negotiator in the following major transactions:
- Sale of Kirkwood Mountain Resort to Vail Resorts.
- Sale of Kirkwood Mountain Utilities Electrical Generation/Propane Facilities to the Public Utility District.
- $18.7 million Multi-Resort Real Estate Development Joint Venture
- Construction of $35.5 Million Purgatory Base Lodge, Commercial and Residential Condominium Project at Durango Mountain Resort.
- $27 Million, 20 Year Infrastructure Payment/Acquisition and Finance Plan Agreement – Purgatory Metropolitan District
- 50 Year Snowmaking Water Rights Agreement – Public Service Company of Colorado
- Eight Figure Kirkwood Power Plant Fire Insurance Settlement
- Numerous Resort and Development Company Financings
- Numerous Resort/Builder-Developer Project Agreements
- Taos Ski Valley Joint Development Venture
- All courts in the state of Colorado
- U.S. District Court in Colorado
- 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
- Vanderbilt University, J.D., 1991; Associate Editor, 1990-1991, Vanderbilt Law Review. Recipient: American Jurisprudence Book Award, Criminal Constitutional Law; Moore & Peterson Academic Recognition Award for Highest G.P.A., Contracts I & II.
- Vanderbilt University, B.A., Latin American Studies, cum laude, 1988; Omicron Delta Kappa; Mortar Board Society.
- Schoen v. Morris, 15 P.3d 1094 (Colo. 2000)(argued case of first impression – Credit Agreement Statute of Frauds – obtained grant of writ of certiorari and unanimous Colo. Supreme Court decision); Lang v. Bank of Durango, 78 P.3d 1121 (Colo. App. 2003) (Related Case); Holiday Acres Property Owners v. Wise, 998 P.2d 1106 (Colorado App. 2000)(successfully tried and argued on appeal association covenant dispute to keep low income clients’ homes from being removed from subdivision); Durango Transp., Inc. v. Colorado Public Utilities Comm’n, 122 P.3d 244 (Colo. 2005)(successfully defended PUC regulated monopoly decision).
- Partner - Crane, Leake, Ehlers & Eggleston, P.C. – 1994-2004 – Private Practice emphasizing Real Estate, Land Use, Business Law and Civil Litigation/Appeals
- Law Clerk - to the Honorable Gilbert S. Merritt, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 1993-1994; to the Honorable Jose A. Gonzalez, Jr., U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Florida, 1991-1993.
Southwest Colorado Bar Association (Vice President, 1999-2000; President, 2000-2001)
- Colorado Bar Association
- Colorado Bar Association Real Estate Council (2003-05)
- Four Corners Inns of Court
Community Service / Other Interests
- Habitat For Humanity (Pro Bono Counsel)
- Durango School District 9-R Board Member
- Founding Board Member - Durango Winter Sports Foundation
- Purgatory Ski Team Board of Directors
- Instructor, Business Law, Fort Lewis College.
- Continuing Legal Education Instructor – Law in the Trenches