Theresa Wardon Benz Receives Annual Richard Marden Davis Award
WTO litigator recognized for her relentless courtroom fighting and community service

by Julia Cardi

On Jan. 16, Theresa Wardon Benz received the Richard Marden Davis Award, given each year to a lawyer under 40 who is accomplished professionally and in civil service. The award is sponsored by the Davis family, Davis Graham & Stubbs and the Denver Bar Association.

Edward Stewart, a partner at Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell and one of Wardon Benz’ mentors who spoke at the award presentation, said she seems to receive a new award for her professional or civic accomplishments every few months.

“It seems somewhat cruel that they keep reminding me how much more successful my mentee is than I will ever be, and then they always add to it that she did it at an age under 40,” he joked.

Wardon Benz has spent her career at WTO after clerking for then-Judge Neil Gorsuch on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. She has emerged as a star of the firm’s defense litigation practice. In 2017, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled in favor of WTO’s client, Ford, in a case Wardon Benz argued. A jury had found in favor of a man injured in a car crash who claimed Ford designed a defective car seat. The Supreme Court decided the trial court made a mistake when it instructed the jury to apply two tests separately in figuring out whether the car seat design was defective.

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