Elizabeth (Liz) Hartsel

Elizabeth (Liz) Hartsel


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As a commercial litigator, Liz counsels clients in disputes concerning contract-based issues, securities, fraud and other business torts, breach of fiduciary duty, employment law, and CBD law.

Liz counsels individuals and companies of all sizes, from family-run businesses to multi-national corporations. She has experience litigating complex commercial disputes involving breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of trust, fraud, alter ego, and civil theft. She has tried bench and jury trials in Colorado and New York.

Prior to joining Fortis, Liz practiced law in New York City and at another Denver law firm, and served a law clerk to the Honorable William J. Martinez at the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.

Practice Areas

  • Contract and Commercial Litigation

  • Employment Litigation

  • Government Investigations

Bar Admissions

  • Colorado

  • New York

  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado

  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York


  • Juris Doctorate, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2009)

           -         Notes Editor of the Journal of Law & Technology

           -         Staff Writer of the Carolina Law Review

  • Bachelors of Science & Bachelors of Arts, The Pennsylvania State University (2004)

Professional Affiliations

  • Colorado Bar Association

  • Colorado Lawyers Committee – Children’s Task Force; Immigration Subcommittee

Community Activities & Personal Interests

Liz currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts.  She also is a member of the Leadership Arts Alumni Association. 

Liz also enjoys giving back to the community through her pro bono practice. Liz often represents non-profit cultural institutions. She has also represented asylum seekers and minors seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, and has assisted domestic violence victims in obtaining civil protection orders. 

In her free time, Liz enjoys running and cycling, and is a coach for the Colorado Harriers running team.


  • The Economic Impact of Cultural Events in Denver, Brownstein Client Alert, November 1, 2016.

  • CPAs in the Spotlight: SEC Focus on Auditors and Auditing, Law360, October 17, 2016.

  • June Marks Upsurge in SEC Whistleblower Awards, Brownstein Client Alert, June 15, 2016.

  • Sandusky Meets Upjohn: A Reminder to In-House Counsel, Brownstein Client Alert and February 9, 2016.

  • Court Rejects “Merger Tax” Litigation Settlements That Benefit Primarily Plaintiffs’ Attorneys and Plaintiffs Who Do Not Represent Shareholder Interests, Brownstein Client Alert, February 10, 2015.

  • Revisiting Reasonable Reliance in Credit Fraud Cases, NEW YORK LAW JOURNAL, February 25, 2013.

 Representative Matters

  • Represented an electronics accessory company in antitrust cases brought by former distributors alleging violations of Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act in connection with distribution agreements and an alleged group boycott. The case also involved allegations breach of contract, trade disparagement, and tortious interference with contract. Foreign Trade Corp., d/b/a Technocel v. Otter Products, LLC, et al; Otter Products, LLC v.H.L. Dalis, Inc., Otter Products, LLC v. Wireless Xcessories Group, Inc. (D. Colo.)

  • Represented a software company in pursuit of damages for copyright infringement and trademark infringement. (C.D. Cal.)

  • Represented a cosmetics company against claims for violation of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) alleged by a blind individual who was unable to use the company’s website.

  • Successfully represented an entertainment company through the collective bargaining voting process.

  • Successfully represented an individual in breach of trust action. (CO District Court)

  • Represented a solar panel company and its board members in three consolidated cases in the Southern District of New York against fraud claims arising out of a private placement of securities. (S.D.N.Y)

  • Represented a dialysis management company in arbitrations arising out of a buy-out of the company’s dialysis centers. (AHLA)

  • Represented a white collar crime defendant against claims of municipal bond bid rigging and witness tampering in connection with municipal bond offerings in five-week jury trial. United States v. Heinz, et al. (S.D.N.Y.)

  • Successfully defended a corporation against claims of breach of contract and fraud in an eight-day jury trial. Greenman-Pedersen, Inc. et al. v. Berryman & Henigar, et al. (NYS Supreme Court)

  • Defended a private equity company in multiple causes of action arising out of management of foreign airline company. Pegasus Aviation I, Inc., et al. v. MatlinPatterson Global Advisers LLC, et al.; Atlantic Aviation Invs. LLC v. MatlinPatterson Global Advisers LLC (NYS Supreme Court)

  • Defended a limited liability company and its members against judicial dissolution by disgruntled member of the limited liability company. (NYS Supreme Court)

  • Represented non-profit art house in breach of contract action arising out of a sale from an art exhibit. (NYS Supreme Court)

  • Defended broker-dealers accused of collusion in credit default swap transactions. Dept. of Market Regulation v. GFI Securities, LLC (FINRA Disciplinary Proceeding)

  • Successfully represented landlord in eviction hearing. 

  • Successfully represented employer in bench trial against claims of breach of contract and promissory estoppel.