Forman, Wayne F.

Wayne Forman is highly regarded for his expertise in water law, advising on both contentious and non-contentious mandates. Peers say: "He's a good lawyer with good judgment and a broad practice. He has lots of experience and knowledge." - Chambers USA, 2018

Wayne Forman's practice encompasses land and water issues including water law, land use litigation, condemnation and environmental law and litigation.

He represents private and public clients throughout Colorado on water rights matters and has extensive experience in land use litigation and water quality and wetlands matters. Throughout his 30-year career, Wayne has helped navigate a number of complex water and land use issues for energy companies throughout the Rocky Mountain region. His case work has established important precedents concerning the primacy of state authority to regulate Colorado's oil and gas industry in the face of conflicts with local regulations.

Wayne has also been a leading spokesman on the risks of taking claims associated with bans, moratorium and setbacks on hydraulic fracturing, having presented on that issue to the Governor's Oil and Gas Task Force and other organizations.

Previous Experience

Wayne Forman is highly regarded for his expertise in water law, advising on both contentious and non-contentious mandates. Peers say: "He's a good lawyer with good judgment and a broad practice. He has lots of experience and knowledge." - Chambers USA, 2018

Representative Matters
  • Won a major ruling in Adams County District Court on behalf of client, Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA) and the American Petroleum Institute (API). A Colorado District Court ruled that the City of Thornton illegally passed oil and gas regulations last year that conflicted with state and federal law. COGA and API jointly filed suit in October to overturn the regulations. Colorado District Court Judge Edward Moss relied on the 2016 state Supreme Court rulings which culminated in the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling striking down Longmont’s ban and Fort Collin’s five-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing as preempted by state oil and gas law. This was an impressive victory on behalf of COGA and its 90-plus member companies.

  • Represented the Colorado Oil and Gas Association in litigation against Lafayette, Fort Collins, and Longmont regarding bans or moratoria on hydraulic fracturing activities, prevailing on summary judgment in each matter. This litigation involved precedent-setting issues pertaining to state versus local preemption of oil and gas activities.

  • Defended court challenge to the rezoning of Sterling Ranch development in Douglas County.

  • Represented metropolitan district in five-day trial in Division Water Court over a change of ditch company shares.

  • Represented a sand and gravel operator in a state court challenge to the denial of a county special use permit, in its defense against a challenge to its MLRB permit, and in obtaining a water augmentation plan to offset evaporative depletions.

  • Represented an energy company in a challenge on state and federal preemption grounds to County regulations governing oil and gas operations.

  • Represented a national homebuilder in defense of a nationwide enforcement action concerning alleged violations of construction storm water requirements under the Clean Water Act. Successfully negotiated a consent decree entered in federal district court in Virginia which resolved all claims.

  • Defended the Town of Minden, Nevada in federal and state courts against challenges to its change of water rights mounted by the Pyramid Lake Piute Tribe of Indians.

News & Events
Community

Board Member, Colorado Water Trust

Chairman, Jefferson County Open Space Advisory Committee

Board Member, Jeffco Outdoors Foundation

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Rocky Mountain Chapter

Green Circle Volunteer, National Sports Center for the Disabled

Board Member, Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute Regional Advisory Board

Publications & Presentations
Education
  • J.D., 1984, University of Colorado Law School, Order of the Coif
  • B.S., 1980, Cornell University
Admissions
  • Colorado
  • Wyoming
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
Recognition

5280 Top Lawyers, Natural Resources – Water, 2015-2018

Who's Who in Energy, Denver Business Journal, 2014

Chambers USA, 2005-2018

Colorado Super Lawyers, 2009

University of Colorado Law Review, University of Colorado School of Law

University of Colorado School of Law, American Jurisprudence Book Awards: Contracts, Torts, Criminal Procedure, Property, Civil Procedure

University of Colorado School of Law, William Arthur Award

University of Colorado School of Law, Wolf Law Review Scholarship

Membership

American Bar Association

Colorado Bar Association

Denver Bar Association

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