Todd M. Starr
Todd Starr prides himself in being the kind of lawyer who avoids telling his clients, “no.” Because when you think of it, there’s little value in that.
Instead, he makes it his job to find a way for his clients to get where they want to go. And he uses all of his skills and experiences to help get them there.
After all, that’s what they’re paying him for.
And he understands that, the paying part. Todd like to say he’s a business person who just so happens to be a lawyer. It’s an approach that helps him see matters from his client’s point of view.
Todd has a unique perspective on the practice of law. He understands litigation because he has been in the courtroom, plenty of times; commercial real estate development, because as a county official he has had to tackle those issues from the government side of the equation; banking and business, because he has been a bank director; and administration, because he has run both a county government and a law firm.
In short, in one lawyer, his clients get the kind of knowledge and experience you ordinarily find only by assembling a team of people.
Todd received his B.S. Degree in Business Administration from Graceland College, his law degree from Creighton University and his LL.M. (Masters in Letter and Numbers of Law) from Boston University.
Todd practiced law in Nebraska for nine years before returning to Colorado. In Colorado, he primarily practiced in Cortez where he served as President of Dyer, Dilts & Starr, P.C., one of the oldest law firms on the western slope, before forming The Starr Law Firm.
Most recently, he served as the County Attorney for Archuleta County, Colorado, where he also twice served as Acting Administrator, leading a staff of 158 and having primary responsibility for an annual budget of approximately $35 million.
Todd's practice emphasizes commercial litigation, real estate litigation and the representation of local governments and quasi-utilities. Todd's clients included the Montezuma Water Company, Dolores County, The Citizens State Bank, Four Corners Community Bank, The Dove Creek State Bank, Alpine Bank, The Ken Caryl National Bank and many large ranches. Todd's victories against General Steel Corporation received the attention of the Wall Street Journal.
Todd was elected by his peers to serve two terms on the Executive Committee of the Colorado Bar Association representing all of Western Colorado. He has also served on the Board of Directors of First Bank, N.A. and The Lamoni National Bank.
He has been recognized by both the Omaha, Nebraska and the West Jeffco (Lakewood, Colorado) Chambers of Commerce for his leadership skills.
Currently, Todd serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Region 9 and the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation Serving Southwest Colorado.
Todd has extensive experience in all areas of financial institution operations. He has served in almost every role a bank has to offer, from check filer, to proof operator, teller, marketing officer and loan officer. Todd's experience has included daily balancing of the general ledger of a $25 million-dollar bank, collecting loans, making multimillion-dollar loans involving participation certificates and leading staff. In addition, Todd has served on the Board of Directors of First Bank, N.A. and The Lamoni National Bank.
Naturally then, when Todd graduated from law school he was accepted to the Morin Center for Banking Law Studies at Boston University where he ultimately received his LL.M. in American Banking law. The LL.M. is considered an advanced law certification that has global credibility.
Todd's litigation experience is varied by both topic and jurisdiction. He has represented clients in trials in the United States District Courts of Iowa, Nebraska and Colorado, as well as state courts in those jurisdictions plus Missouri, Kansas and Arizona. In addition, Todd has represented commercial clients in the Ute Mountain Ute CFR Court; Southern Ute Trial Court, the Southwest Inter Tribal Court of Appeals and in arbitration forums.
While much of Todd's litigation work has been commercial or real estate-centric, it would be misleading to represent his background as limited to such cases. Todd's successes against General Steel Corporation to enforce consumer protection laws drew the attention of the Wall Street Journal and clients from coast to coast. In addition, Todd has been involved in a plethora of family law cases involving child custody or the division of high-dollar estates and has played a key role in defending against a first degree murder charge.
His diverse litigation experience and his command of the procedural rules were cited among the many reasons that his peers submitted his name to the Governor of Colorado for a judicial appointment.
In his six years as the Archuleta County Attorney, the County did not suffer a single adverse final ruling. And while Todd is quick to give credit to the county staff and management team for conducting themselves appropriately, this record clearly evidences Todd's trial prowess. Perhaps that is why he is prone to pronounce that if he couldn't go to court he wouldn't be a lawyer.
Todd's public service career began early, when at the age of 16 he was researching and writing speeches for members of the Lakewood, Colorado, City Council.
While practicing law in Nebraska, he served as special counsel to the City of Fort Calhoun, advising it on election and planning issues. During this period, he also represented numerous Sanitation Improvement Districts and Local Improvement Districts.
In 2000, Todd was appointed to serve as the contract County Attorney of Dolores County, Colorado, and served in that role for nine years. In addition to his duties for the county Todd represented many private clients in their struggles with local governments ranging from tax appeals to major land use issues.
Beginning in 2009 he was appointed County Attorney for Archuleta County, Colorado, a position which he has held until joining Rose Walker Starr. In his tenure as Archuleta County Attorney, Archuleta County has not suffered on adverse final order and cases involving alleged abuses by sheriff's deputies, wrongful termination based on age discrimination and alleging violations of the Colorado Sunshine law have all been determined in favor of Archuleta County. In addition, Todd has defended the County's tax assessments in arbitration and judicial hearings, and before the State Board of Assessment in appeals, obtaining favorable results in excess of 85% of the time.