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Todd M. Starr


Pagosa Springs, CO




Todd Starr is the kind of lawyer who, instead of telling his client’s  “can’t” or “no”,  talks about how to get them to success.  Todd uses all of his experience and skills to help his clients achieve their goals.

Todd is often heard explaining that he is an entrepreneur and business person who happens to be a lawyer. Because of this, he is able to 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 and a law firm.

In short, in one lawyer, his clients get the kind of knowledge and experience you ordinarily find only 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 Interim 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 have 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, Vectra Bank and many large ranches. 

Todd was elected twice by his peers to serve two terms on the Executive Committee of the Colorado Bar Association representing all of Western Colorado.  He has been recognized by both the Omaha Nebraska and 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 Economic Development District and the Shanta Foundation.

In his roles as County Attorney and County Administrator Todd has gained experience in both the management and legal side of airport operations.  Todd has experience representing airport clients in FAA matters,  with Airport contractors, FBO’s, issues arising out of the construction, maintenance and operation of hangars and the multitude of other issues that arise in the operation of airports.  This experience together with Todd’s work representing insurers and corporate aircraft owners is a perfect match for the Cunnigham Swaim, LLP aviation practice.

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 the 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 in 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 his clients in trial in both federal and state court systems throughout the United States from Florida to California and multiple states in between.  In addition, Todd has represented clients in the Ute Mountain Ute CFR Court; Southern Ute Tribal Court, the Southwest Inter Tribal Court of Appeals and in arbitration and administrative forums.

While much of Todd’s work has been in the defense of governmental, quasi-governmental and commercial entities or real estate centric, it would be misleading to represent his background as limited to such cases.  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 almost ten years as the Archuleta County Attorney, the County did not suffer a single adverse final ruling resulting in the payment of a claim.   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 announce that if he couldn’t go to court he wouldn’t be a lawyer.

Public Service
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.



Bar Admissions

  • Nebraska, 1989
  • U.S. District Court District of Nebraska, 1989
  • Colorado, 1996
  • Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Court, 1997


  • Boston University School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts
    • LL.M. - 1990
  • Creighton University School of Law, Omaha, Nebraska
    • J.D. - 1989
  • Graceland College, Lamoni, IA
    • B.S. - 1986
    • Major: Business Administration

Representative Cases

  • Board of County Commissioners of Dolores County v. Shell Western E&P, Inc., 12 P. 3d 1219, 2000, Colo. App., 2000169736
  • Kassmeier v. Willey Constructo Co., 1992 WL 90013, Neb. App., 1992085415
  • Sanderson v. Sanderson, 239 Neb. 291, 475 N.W. 2d 909, 1991, Neb., 1991179504

Representative Clients

  • Citizens State Bank
  • Mancos Valley Bank
  • Montezuma Water Co.
  • Dolores County
  • Vectra Bank
  • Amigo Petroleum


  • Citizens State Bank