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.
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.
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.
The University of Denver College of Law, J.D., 1977
The University of Michigan, B.G.S. with distinction 1974
Jim Chalat's Cases
$303K Settlement in Copper Mountain Ski Collision Case
Both Mr. Hatten and Mr. Chalat were amazing to work with. Very personable, caring, understanding. Their knowledge and experience was of utmost help to me. I highly recommend them. Not only they are the best lawyers but also good hearted people. Thank you very much!
Jim Chalat is an excellent attorney. Very professional and very knowledgeable in all aspects of the law. His experience and intuition helped me achieve a very favorable settlement in a ski accident. I am very pleased with Jim Chalat and the staff in his law firm. I would highly recommend Jim Chalat.
I am so grateful for Chalat Law. I was involved in a terrible ski collision, and suffered for months. I had a very positive experience working with Jim Chalat. I was comfortable and confident with his expertise concerning my injury and my case.
Jim did an excellent job! He communicated the process and timeline very well. Always kept us informed!