Russell R. Hatten

Russell R. Hatten was born in Garland, Texas, earned his B.A. from University of Texas and his J.D. from Texas Tech University School of Law. He began his legal career in 1986 in Dallas, Texas with a large commercial litigation firm. He began his own plaintiff’s litigation practice in 1988. In 1993, he was appointed to the bench as Assistant Municipal Judge for the City of Rowlett, and as a County Magistrate for Dallas and Rockwall Counties, Texas. In these positions, Russell presided over criminal, domestic, and civil matters, while maintaining his litigation practice.

Fulfilling his dream of living in the Rocky Mountains, Russell moved his family to Denver in 1999 where he continued his plaintiffs’ personal injury practice with Chalat Law Offices, P.C., Denver, Colorado. Russell is now a partner of the firm, acting as lead attorney on auto accident cases, medical and legal malpractice cases, and ski accident cases. His experience on the bench enhances his ability to litigate effectively for the firm’s clients, preparing him for the trial work for which the firm has developed such a strong reputation. 

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Professional Overview

Russell Hatten is a partner of Chalat Hatten & Banker and has practiced Colorado law with the firm since 1999. He began his legal career as a litigator in Texas in 1986. He started his own plaintiff’s personal injury law firm in 1988 and, in 1993, he was appointed to the bench as Municipal Judge for the City of Rowlett, Texas and as a County Magistrate for Dallas and Rockwall Counties, Texas. While on the bench, Mr. Hatten heard criminal, domestic, and civil matters. He continued his plaintiffs’ personal injury practice when he moved to Colorado and joined the Chalat Law firm.

Evan Banker

Evan Banker joined Chalat Hatten & Banker as an associate after his admission to the Colorado Bar, and became a partner in 2012 after four years with the firm. Evan has secured numerous successful settlements for his clients, and where settlement was not possible, verdicts in his clients’ favor. His notable trial experience includes one of the largest auto/pedestrian verdicts in Colorado history – an $18.1 million verdict – and a defective product case against Ford Motor Co. which resulted in a $7 million judgment for his client.

His practice with the firm emphasizes personal injury cases, skier collisions, and professional malpractice. Mr. Banker earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, where he represented low-income plaintiffs in the school’s legal clinic and competed in ABA sponsored national appellate advocacy competitions, receiving special recognition for his writing. Before graduating, he gained experience working with the Hon. Robert S. Hyatt and with a major Denver civil defense firm.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Mr. Banker is an avid skier and is grateful to be able to incorporate his love of Colorado’s mountain sports with his passion for representing his clients. His excellence as an advocate has been recognized by Colorado Super Lawyers, being placed on the 2009 through 2014 list of Rising Stars, and the Colorado Super Lawyers list since 2015.

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Professional Overview

Evan has secured numerous successful settlements for his clients, and where settlement was not possible, verdicts in his clients’ favor. His notable trial experience includes one of the largest auto/pedestrian verdicts in Colorado history – an $18.1 million verdict – and a defective product case against Ford Motor Co. which resulted in a $7 million judgment for his client. He also has developed an area focus in representation of botched gallbladder surgeries.

Linda Chalat

About Linda

Linda Chalat, a partner of Chalat Hatten & Banker, has over twenty-five years of experience as a Colorado personal injury lawyer.

As a partner with Chalat Hatten & Banker, Denver, Colorado, Linda Chalat concentrates her practice on medical malpractice cases, defective product claims and recreational accidents. Before law school, Linda worked in industry as a chemical engineer, and brings her understanding of the technical aspects of an accident to effectively advocate for her clients. Linda also oversees the technology used by the firm to best serve our clients, including maintaining the firm’s online platforms which provide current legal information for Colorado consumers and personal injury victims. She has published articles and spoken at professional seminars about ski litigation, attorney ethics and malpractice, and general practice tips.

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Professional Overview

Linda has always practiced as a trial lawyer, exclusively personal injury claims. As a matter of policy, Chalat Law does not accept a case unless we can commit to pursuing the claim through trial. As a pragmatic matter, many cases resolve during pre-litigation and for those that are filed, very few go to trial. Linda has successfully handled all types of catastrophic injury cases including motor vehicle accidents, ski accidents, premises liability claims, defective product cases and professional malpractice. 

Jim Chalat

credentials, experience, results

Since 1977, Jim Chalat has been a practicing trial lawyer specializing in plaintiffs’ personal injury, motor vehicle accidents, and wrongful death cases. Jim’s dedication to improving the lives of his clients and his focus on achieving the best outcome for the clients he represents is reflected in his recognition as one of the best personal injury lawyers in Colorado and the United States.

Jim Chalat holds a national ranking by Best Lawyers in America which lists him in the fields of malpractice and plaintiffs’ personal injury. Twice, Best Lawyers has named Jim as “Lawyer of the Year.” Statewide, Colorado Law Week has named Jim as the “Barristers’ Best Plaintiffs’ Personal Injury.” Since 2013, and in each subsequent annual poll, 5280 The Denver Magazine names Jim as a top lawyer in Denver in the field of Plaintiffs’ Personal injury. 

But those aren’t the rankings of which Jim is most proud. More importantly to him, his firm is consistently named by the Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado as a “Leadership Law Firm.” Moreover, under Jim’s transformative leadership, the firm has earned a ranking with U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers in America as a “Tier 1” ranked law firm in Plaintiffs’ Personal Injury Litigation. And, most importantly to Jim, he has been named by Colorado Law Week as the “People’s Choice” in Plaintiffs’ Personal Injury. The “People’s Choice” recognition resonates because Jim represents people, not corporations, and not insurance companies; he represents individuals and their family members.

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Jim has dedicated his career to representing clients who have sustained life-changing catastrophic injuries or have wrongfully lost family members. When Jim takes on a case, his clients immediately realize the benefit of his experience, intellect, and intense personal investment. He devotes his 40+ years of experience, extensive resources and acute understanding of mechanics and medicine to ensure every detail is addressed to build a strong case. Jim is an expert in investigating his clients’ cases and innovative in his development of strategies that are carefully designed to protect their personal and legal interests. His passion for justice and unwavering resolve for defending the rights of injured or wronged individuals has resulted in millions of dollars in jury verdicts, negotiated settlements, arbitration awards, and mediation results, including numerous high-profile cases and several record-setting verdicts and awards on behalf of his clients.

Jim believes that a lawyer’s role in society extends beyond his or her own professional and financial success. For its pro bono commitment, the firm has been recognized consistently by the Colorado Supreme Court’s Pro Bono Achievement Award. The Award requires each attorney in the firm to volunteer 50+ hours annually to matters benefiting financially disadvantaged clients. Jim represented the Blind Vendors in the State of Colorado in a lengthy precedent setting case which led to the blind vendors having greater rights and freedoms in the operation of their facilities. He has also volunteered for the Colorado State Bar Association’s high school mock trial program.

Jim takes pride in his trial skills, and case preparation. From this dedication he earned very early in his career, board certification as a civil trial lawyer from the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA). NBTA requires its applicants sit for a “bar-exam” type written examination as well as to submit recommendations from co-counsel with whom he has tried cases, from adverse counsel against whom he has tried cases, and judges before whom he had appeared.

Similarly, Jim is a member of the prestigious American Board of Trial Advocacy, the American Association for Justice, and the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association. His leadership, innovation, and energy have been recognized by numerous leadership positions, including president of the American Inns of Court, Marsh Inn of Court, officer and board member on the Faculty of Federal Advocates, and as a driving force in committee work with the American Board of Trial Advocacy, Colorado chapter.

To practice law at the highest level, requires scholarship, academic ability, and superlative speech and writing ability. Jim’s strength in these critical skill sets is evidenced by his academic record. Early in his career, Jim found time to teach at the University of Denver School of Law in the Research and Writing classes offered to first year students.

Jim is also noted for his mentoring skills. As a result, he was asked to develop a lecture for the Harvard Law School, which although it centered on the facts of a skier accident case, had at is core difficult ethics questions, tough legal decisions, and ethics guidance for first year law school. Jim has been asked to update and present the same lecture at Denver Law, usually to first year law students at the beginning of the academic year. In his own words: “I never turn down an opportunity to lecture, teach, challenge, and to be challenged by law students.” Additionally, Jim has presented numerous certified continuing legal education lectures, each of which required a peer reviewed outline and supportive written material and classroom visuals.

A father of four, grandfather and husband to fellow law partner, Linda Chalat, Jim enjoys spending time with his family when he is not working. Jim is also an avid skier, cyclist, art collector, history buff and loves to read.

Jim Chalat loves the practice of law and would welcome the opportunity to help you.

practice areas

Motor Vehicle Accidents; Car, Truck, Bus, Pedestrian, Bicycle, Motorcycle Accidents, and Bus/RTD accidents; Wrongful Death; Catastrophic Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury, Severe Orthopedic Injury; Professional Negligence, Medical Malpractice, Legal Malpractice; Premises Liability; Skiing and Ski Lift Accidents; Recreational Accident Cases.

EDUCATION

The University of Denver College of Law, J.D., 1977
The University of Michigan, B.G.S. with distinction 1974

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American Board of Trial Advocates badge. Jim Chalat has been a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates since 2013
Super Lawyers Badge. Jim Chalat has been listed among the Top 100 Personal Injury Lawyers in the state of Colorado.