TOP LITIGATORS: Sean Connelly

Experienced on both sides of the bench

If your attorney just won your appeal so that your case can proceed to trial, you might as well see if he can win the trial, too.

That’s what Sean Connelly did in Leone v. Owsley, where he was retained to get a summary judgment overturned in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in November 2015 and then stayed on to try the case to a nearly $2 million jury verdict for his client in July.

Connelly is best known in Colorado’s legal community as an appellate practitioner with experience on the bench for the Colorado Court of Appeals. Being back in the trial courtroom “was a different process” from Connelly’s appellate bread and butter.

“So many unexpected things can happen” in trial with all of its variables, from choosing the jury to preparing witnesses to preparing cross-examinations, Connelly said. “Whereas in appeal there are usually fewer surprises, the record’s already contained and developed, and it’s about marshaling the strongest arguments.”

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the March 13, 2017 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.