Before joining Chipman Glasser in 2019, Mr. Barnes served as the Vice President of Litigation and Assistant General Counsel for Vail Resorts, Inc., where he managed all of the publicly traded company’s litigation. Before his time with Vail Resorts, Mr. Barnes was a shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck in Denver where he practiced in the commercial litigation group. These experiences allow Mr. Barnes to see litigation from both sides—from the position of outside counsel and from inside a business.

Mr. Barnes specializes in complex commercial litigation, as well as real estate, construction, class action, environmental, and employment disputes. He represents corporations and individuals in local, state, and federal courts and helps clients interface with government agencies around the country. In addition to his litigation practice, he has expertise in governmental licensing and compliance in the heavily-regulated industries of gaming, liquor, and cannabis. He has also served as an effective spokesman and lobbyist for various industries, including oil and gas companies, outdoor advertisers, and non-profit organizations.

Before joining Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schrek, Mr. Barnes practiced with national law firms Kirkland & Ellis and Freeborn & Peters.

Representative Matters


  • Defended national airline in both individual and class action employment discrimination trials in federal court, including organized labor dispute in first-ever trial under FAA whistle-blower provisions
  • Defended recreational providers in a series of personal injury and wrongful death cases involving enforcement of liability waivers in conjunction with various recreational statutory schemes in both the U.S. and Canada
  • Represented international vaccine manufacturer in numerous pharmaceutical product liability lawsuits
  • Defended purchaser of a large resort in complex commercial arbitration with seller involving accounting dispute regarding profit-sharing terms of purchase and sale agreement
  • Represented winning bidder in lawsuit regarding the state RFP award of the largest ever state child services contract
  • Represented large public company in a contract dispute with website developer contractor that involved complex IT and data privacy issues
  • Defended national Real Estate Investment Trust in a lawsuit brought by investors in a large shopping mall development in Florida
  • Represented foreign telecommunications company in a dispute with U.S. investors involving international law and complex jurisdictional disputes
  • Represented national gaming company in both individual and class action employment discrimination and harassment lawsuits
  • Defended petroleum company in employment discrimination claims brought in connection with workforce reductions following the merger of large companies
  • Defended patent infringement claims against maker of advanced-optic rifle scopes
  • Successfully challenged property tax valuation for a large hotel in a trial to State Board of Assessment Appeals

Construction, Real Estate, and Environmental

  • Defended asphalt paving company in litigation involving alleged construction defects in large road and construction projects for state and local governments
  • Represented international mining company in a dispute with insurers regarding insurance coverage for environmental contamination issues
  • Represented luxury hotel owner in a construction defect lawsuit involving the renovation of a historic landmark hotel in Houston
  • Represented Department of Energy in a class action involving alleged environmental contamination at large nuclear facility
  • Represented national airline in a dispute regarding construction of an international airport
  • Defended builder of a shopping mall in construction defect lawsuit involving soil and engineering issues
  • Represented contractor in a construction defect lawsuit regarding the campus-wide heating system for large state university
  • Represented national retailer in obtaining local zoning approvals for construction of multiple stores
  • Represented developer in negotiating construction contracts with a contractor for large residential developments and commercial buildings
  • Defended landowner in class action litigation involving California environmental and water regulations
  • Defended mining company in class action trial and appeal involving alleged environmental contamination from a uranium mine
  • Defended landowner in groundwater contamination lawsuit brought by home owner’s association adjacent to a large stormwater drainage system

Regulatory Licensing and Lobbying

  • Represented national gaming company in licensing and compliance matters with state gaming regulatory body
  • Represented private equity firm in conjunction with the purchase of a national gaming company licensed in multiple jurisdictions
  • Represented potential investors interested in state licensing issues for the newly-legalized cannabis industry
  • Obtained changes in Colorado liability law lobbying for a nonprofit provider of athletic programs for athletes with intellectual disabilities
  • Represented large refinery in connection with proposed changes to state statute governing contractual indemnity provisions
  • Represented national outdoor advertising company in connection with proposed revisions to laws governing construction and operation of billboards

Other Professional Experience

  • Vail Resorts, Inc., Vice President of Litigation and Assistant General Counsel (2015-2018)
  • Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, Associate (2000-2003), Shareholder (2003-2015)
  • Freeborn & Peters, Associate (1995-2000)
  • Kirkland & Ellis, LLP, Associate (1993-1995)

Professional and Community Activities

  • Special Olympics Colorado – Emeritus Board Member and Trustee
  • Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation’s Leadership Denver
  • Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, Leadership Arts
  • The Metro Denver Health and Wellness Commission – Executive Board Member
  • Alfred A. Arraj Inn of Court
  • Member, Colorado Bar Association
  • Member, Denver Bar Association


  • Colorado

Education and Honors

  • J.D., University of Chicago, The Law School, 1993
  • B.S. Iowa State University (Economics and Minor in Philosophy), 1990