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Legal Advocacy
Mr. Jones is an experienced legal advocate.  His litigation practice concentrates on water rights issues, with particular emphasis on groundwater matters and legal issues arising out of the interaction between surface and ground water systems. A graduate of Vermont Law School, one of the nation’s leading environmental law schools, he has extensive experience representing water districts, individuals, and corporate clients in litigation at trial and appellate levels in cases ranging in size from individual water rights matters to complex, basin-wide, multi-party litigation.  In the water court context, he has over 15 years of experience adjudicating augmentation plan applications, change of water rights applications, applications for absolute and conditional water rights, and applications for findings of diligence.  He appears frequently before the Colorado Ground Water Commission on designated ground water matters.

Transactional Representation
Mr. Jones has extensive experience advising clients in complex water rights transactions, including identifying opportunities, valuation of water rights, negotiation, contracting, due diligence and closing. Mr. Jones brings a collaborative, problem solving approach to water transactional matters. His experience in complex multi-party litigation and negotiation enhances his ability to facilitate creative, value added solutions in natural resources, environmental and land use settings.

Mr. Jones’ experience extends to legislative, administrative, and policy forums, where he participates in the development of water law and policy.  He is extensively involved in Colorado Water Conservation Board funded studies of developing alternatives to traditional “buy and dry” water transfers, including fallowing, deficit irrigation, and the use of reduced consumptive use crops. He is an appointed member of the Colorado Supreme Court Water Court Committee. He is an active member of the Colorado Water Congress, and is frequently called upon to testify before Colorado General Assembly committees regarding proposed water legislation.

Speaking Engagements
Mr. Jones teaches classes on water rights issues in public and private forums, and is a frequently requested guest speaker.  His book, Colorado Water Law for Non-Lawyers, written in cooperation with Thomas V. Cech, was published in 2009 by the University Press of Colorado.  Mr. Jones is available as a speaker for events or in-house training.

Substantive Areas of Practice

  • Water Rights
  • Water Policy
  • Real Estate
  • Appellate Practice
  • Special Districts and Mutual Water Organizations

Bar Admissions 
Colorado, 1997
U.S. District Court District of Colorado, 1997

Vermont Law School, South Royalton, Vermont, May, 1997, Juris Doctor
Honors: National Dean’s List: 1994-95, 1995-96
Honors: American Jurisprudence Award: Criminal Law
Honors: Class Rank: Top 1/3.
Focus of Specialized Course Work: Environmental Law
Law Review: Vermont Law Review, Notes Editor

University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Denver, Colorado
Visiting Student Spring 1996 – Focus on Water Law, Oil & Gas Law
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, May, 1994 B.A.
Major:  History

Colorado CLE 40 Hour Mediation Training
Instructor: Judy Mares-Dixon

Public Policy Dispute Resolution CDR, Boulder

Appointments and Awards
Nominated for District Court Judge vacancy, 19th Judicial District. June, 2009.
Water Court Committee, Colorado Supreme Court, December 2007- .
Appointed by Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary J. Mullarkey to serve on a Committee charged with reviewing Colorado’s Water Court process, identifying possible ways through rule and/or statutory change to achieve efficiencies in water court cases, and ensuring the highest level of competence in water court case participants.

Andrew Borg Pro-Bono Award, Weld County Legal Services, 2002.
Weld County Deputy Public Administrator, 2000-2003.

Colorado Water Markets, 2015 ABA Water Law Conference, June, 2015.

One Step Forward and Two Steps Back: The Prospects for Ditch-Wide Quantifications and Alternative Transfer Mechanisms, with Ryan M. Donovan and Alyson K. Scott, University of Denver Water Law Review, Volume 17, Issue 2, Spring 2014.

South Platte Well Crisis, 2002-2010, The Water Report, Issue #78, August 15, 2010.

Colorado Water Law for Non-Lawyers, University Press of Colorado, 2009.

Statutory and Rule Changes to Water Court Practice, co-authored with James Witwer, Colorado Lawyer, June 2009.

Water Court Case Management, co-authored with James Witwer, in Colorado Water Law Benchbook, Continuing Legal Education in Colorado, Inc., 2009.

Interstate Testimony by Child Protective Agency Workers in the Child Custody Context, 21 VT.L.Rev. 633, 1996

Selected Presentations

“Why ATMs:  Common Denominators & Obstacles,” Panelist, Agriculture Water Summit, Inter Basin Compact Committee and Colorado Agriculture Water Alliance, November 2016.

“Water Disputes:  Alternative Dispute Resolution Approaches,” CLE, Colorado Bar Association, October 2016.

“Groundwater Law,” Interdisciplinary Water Resources Seminar, Colorado State University, October 2016.

“Don’t Sell the Ranch:  Alternatives to “Buy and Dry” in the South Platte River Basin,” Panelist, The Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute, 25th Annual RMLUI Conference, March 2016.

“FLEX Water Market,” Colorado State University, Guest Lecture, February 2016.

“Use it or Lose it?  OR Use it and Keep it!” Panelist,  2015 Colorado Ag Water Summit, December 2015

“Compensation for Post-Pumping Depletions:  Legal Perspective about the Requirement to Add Water to Aquifers that are Full,” American Ground Water Trust, Colorado Ground Water Issues Conference, December 2015.

“Use it or Lose it,”  Conflict Resolution in Colorado Water Rights Proceedings, CLE in Colorado, Inc., Colorado Bar Association CLE October 2015.

“Front Range Water Issues,” Guest Speaker, Johnstown-Milliken Rotary Club, September 2015.

“Colorado Water Markets,” American Bar Association 2015 Water Law Conference, June 2015.

“Flexible Water Markets,” Colorado Water Congress 2015 Webinar, June 2015.

“Here Today but Gone Tomorrow?:  Buying and Selling Water in the Poudre Basin,” Panelist, Poudre River Forum 2015, January 2015.

“Water Law and Colorado’s Water Plan,” Panelist, Colorado Water Congress Workshop, January 2015.

“A Water Court Case in Three Acts,” Engineering and Water Practice Under the “NEW” Rules: From All Perspectives, Colorado CLE, October 2014.

“FLEX Water Market,” Colorado Ag Council Summer Meeting, July 2014.

“Alternatives to Buy and Dry,” Colorado Water Law Conference CLE February 2014.

“The Devil’s in the Details: Reducing Cost and Complexity in Water Rights Transactions,” Ditch and Reservoir Company Alliance Annual Conference, February 2014.

“FLEX Markets,” Water Rights Transfers Conference, CLE, July 2013.

“The Next Three Things,” Leadership Northern Colorado, April 2013.

“Critical Issues in Colorado Water Law,” Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance Regional Issues Summit, September 2012.

“Water Court Training Series – South Platte River Basin Program,” Colorado CBA/CLE, 2011.

“Key Concepts in Colorado Water Law,” Water and Poudre River Public Education Series, Fort Collins, Colorado 2011.

“Colorado Water Law for Non-Lawyers,” Colorado Housing Now! Conference, 2010.

“The Nuts and Bolts of Complex Augmentation Plans,” 2009 Steamboat CLE Conference.

“Colorado Water Law for Non-Lawyers,” 19th Judicial District Nuts & Bolts CLE, 2009.

Children’s Water Festival, Greeley, 2008-2010.

“Law Hydrology, and Reality” AIMS Community College, Greeley, Colorado; 2005 to 2008.

“Well Augmentation Subdistrict Augmentation Plan Trial” Colorado Bar Association CLE, 2008.

Guest Lecturer: Colorado State University, University of Northern Colorado, Colorado Ground Water Association.

Representative Legislative Support

HB16-1228 Agricultural Water Protection Water Right

HB15-1013 South Platte Aquifer Study Recommendations
HB15-1166 South Platte Alluvial Aquifer Monitoring Network
HB15-1178 Emergency Well Pumping Damaging High Groundwater
SB15-055 Return of Water from Tail Ditch
SB15-183 Quantify Water Rights Historical Consumptive Use

HB14-1052 Ground Water Management District Enforcement Authorization

SB13-074 Irrigation Water Right Historical Use Acreage

SB09-147 Water Supply Plans Pre-2003 Depletions

Associations, Boards and Memberships
Colorado Bar Association Weld County Bar Association
Southgate Church, Board of Elders
Life for the Innocent, Board of Directors
Windsor Charter Academy, Windsor, Colorado: Former President, Board of Directors
Weld County Legal Services, Former Director