Caleb Durling focuses his practice on complex civil and commercial litigation and appeals. He is an experienced case manager and enjoys the strategy and problem solving involved in his litigation practice. Caleb is skilled at identifying and planning for issues that can arise in high stakes litigation. As he has been in case management roles early in his career, he has developed the knowledge necessary to manage personnel and coordinate strategy both at Reilly Pozner and with other law firms. Caleb’s legal abilities were recognized by the legal community in 2012 when he was named one of Law Week Colorado’s Up-and-Coming Lawyers. He had been a finalist for this designation in 2010 and 2011. Since 2013, Caleb has been named to the Rising Stars list published nationwide in Colorado Super Lawyers® magazine. He is also AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
He is also a devoted advocate for his clients and stays attentive to their needs through the resolution of their matter. In this regard, he serves as an objective counselor and advises individuals and businesses about cost-effective solutions while giving them realistic assessments about the benefits and disadvantages of strategic choices.
Caleb has an active pro bono practice and in 2013 was part of the RP team that was given an Award of Special Recognition from the Colorado Lawyers Committee for their work in the Center for Legal Advocacy v. Bicha matter. He has also served twice as Special Counsel for the State Public Defenders Office. He is committed to improving diversity in the Denver legal community and is actively involved in the Diversity & Inclusiveness Committee at Reilly Pozner LLP. He serves as the firm contact for the Colorado Pledge to Diversity.
Before joining the firm, he served as a law clerk for Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey of the Colorado Supreme Court where he gained valuable research and writing experience as well as exposure to diverse areas of civil and criminal law.
At Northwestern University School of Law, Caleb graduated with honors. He was a research assistant and a teaching assistant as well as executive editor of the school’s Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, winning that publication’s “Best Comment” award. While in law school, he served summer internships in the Colorado Attorney General’s appellate division, for a Judge on the Cook County (Illinois) Circuit Court, and with a boutique Denver law firm specializing in information security and civil litigation.
Prior to law school, Caleb taught for two years at an inner-city Atlanta elementary school through Teach for America, before teaching an additional year at an elementary school located on a housing project near London, England. A native of New Hampshire, Caleb earned his undergraduate degree with honors in American Studies (with a minor in French) from Northwestern University.
Matters that are representative of Caleb’s practice include:
- Prevailed on summary judgment for the Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association against a constitutional challenge to the Colorado general assembly’s modification of the pension benefits of retirees when necessary to preserve the financial viability of public pension funds. As one of the first cases to address pension reform through modification of retiree benefits it has garnered nationwide attention. The Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part. The Supreme Court granted certiorari and found for PERA, reversing the Court of Appeals and reinstating the trial court’s order. Justus v. State, 336 P.3d 202 (Colo. 2014); Justus v. State, 337 P.3d 1219 (Colo. App. 2012); Justus v. State, No. 2010-CV-1589 (Denver County, CO 2011).
- Prevailed on behalf of Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association on summary judgment in a $190 million dispute with the City of Colorado Springs and Memorial Hospital Authority. In February 2014, the trial court ruled that Memorial must comply with statutory mandates to leave PERA and must pay its withdrawal liability to fund the future benefits of its retirees and employees. In October 2014, the City and Memorial Hospital agreed to settle the case by paying $190 million to PERA.
- Reilly Pozner has been approved by the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy court to act as Lehman’s national coordinating and lead trial counsel in prosecuting claims against mortgage loan originators that sold Lehman defective loans, and to respond to billions of dollars in claims filed against the Lehman estate. This is a significant representation—involving several hundred cases in 26 states. Caleb served as national coordinating counsel for Lehman.
- Defended an insurance broker against claims for more than $100 million brought by a corporation alleging breach of contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and conspiracy. This case was settled on favorable terms for Reilly Pozner’s client.
- In a public racketeering case, Reilly Pozner attorneys represented Adams County, Colorado, in its suit against former public employees and government contractors in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.
- Caleb was a member of the Reilly Pozner team of attorneys who represented the non-profit Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People. On behalf of the Legal Center, they filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Colorado alleging that presumptively innocent men and women with serious mental illnesses languish in Colorado jails for months awaiting court-ordered mental health evaluations and mental health treatment to so that they can participate in their criminal proceedings. The lawsuit alleged that the excessive delays violate the United States Constitution. In some cases, pretrial detainees waited in jail for court-ordered mental health evaluations and treatment longer than they would have otherwise been confined for their alleged offense. The Colorado Department of Human Services and the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo were named as defendants in the suit.
- A group of automobile dealerships were facing a purported class action claiming that new cars were equipped in violation of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act and hired Reilly Pozner to defend its interests. After winning landmark reversals at the Colorado Court of Appeals and Supreme Court of the trial court’s initial approval of class treatment, RP team members were called on once again to defend against Plaintiffs’ renewed attempt at certification of two different proposed consumer classes. This five year battle for class certification recently culminated in an extensive four-day evidentiary hearing. Agreeing with Reilly Pozner and its client that individual examinations of each car purchase file were necessary and class wide inferences could not be made, the Jefferson County District Court (Tidball, J.) denied Plaintiffs’ Second Motion for Class Certification on Rule 23 superiority and predominance grounds.
- Prevailed in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals for AIG subsidiary VALIC that affirmed a significant damage award for VALIC against a former broker for breaching his non-competition covenant. VALIC Financial Advisors v. Gary Latuszewski, 393 Fed. Appx. 962 (3rd Cir. 2010).
- Reached a successful resolution on behalf of the Denver Broncos Football Club in a dispute with former players to determine whether the current owner of the Denver Broncos football franchise is responsible for cumulative trauma claims brought by players employed by a prior owner. PDB Sports Ltd v. George Goeddeke, et al., No. 11-CV-8097 (Denver County, Colo. 2013).
“I learned that, if you work hard enough, anything is possible. I bring that approach to my practice of law.”
| Practice Areas|
- Civil & Commercial Litigation
- J.D., Northwestern University School of Law
Executive Editor, 2006-2007, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology
Winner, 2006-2007 Lowden-Wigmore Award for the Journal’s Best Comment
- B.A., Northwestern University
- Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey, Colorado Supreme Court
- Intern, Judge Christopher J. Donnelly, Cook County Circuit Court, Markham, IL
| || Bar & Court Admissions|
- United States District Court for the District of Colorado
- United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
| || Leadership|
- Mentor, Teach for America
| || Recognition|
- AV® Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
- Rising Star by Colorado Super Lawyers® (2013, 2014, 2015)
- Award of Special Recognition from the Colorado Lawyers Committee (2013)
- Law Week Colorado's Up-and-Coming Lawyers (2012)
- Finalist, Law Week Colorado's Up-and-Coming Lawyers (2011)
- Finalist, Law Week Colorado's Up-and-Coming Lawyers (2010)
| || Presentations & Publications|
- Comment published: Never Going Home: Does It Make Us Safer? Does It Make Sense? Sex Offenders, Residency Restrictions and Reforming Risk Management Law, 97 Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology 317 (2006)
- The Pension Committee Decision: The Duty to Preserve Records, 40 The Colorado Lawyer 39 (January 2011)
- Speaker, "The Pension Committee Decision: The Duty to Preserve Records" CLE, Denver, CO (October 2011)
- Speaker, “Building a Diversity Initiative that Works” Workshop, CLI Legal Inclusiveness & Diversity Summit, Denver, CO (May 2015)
- Speaker, “Benefit Reform Litigation,” National Association of Public Pension Attorneys Legal Education Conference, Austin, TX (June 2015)
| || Professional Memberships|
- Colorado Lawyers Committee (Mental Health Task Force)
| || Media|