Top Litigators 2020: Ghislaine Torres Bruner
Energy litigator brings a public health perspective to the industry

by Tony Flesor
Ghislaine Torres Bruner

Ghislane Torres Bruner brings a public health perspective to energy litigation.

In Colorado, where state law now gives local governments and municipalities more control over oil and gas operations and public health and the environment are considered top priorities in approving oil and gas leases, that kind of perspective is invaluable. Torres Bruner’s practice isn’t only focused on Colorado, but she said she brings that community- and health-focused perspective to all of her energy and regulatory work.

“I was primarily a health lawyer,” Torres Bruner said. “And when I came out to Colorado … I realized that there was a lot of opposition to the energy industry, and I wanted to find a way for all parties to be able to sit at the table.”

Torres Bruner, a shareholder at Polsinelli saw numerous wins in energy litigation last year — when public health concerns came to a head with the passage of Senate Bill 181 in May — and she said she has a long list of out-of-court wins as well that represent her work bringing opposing parties together. And although 2019 might have been a big year, her work takes years to bubble up.

She said she and her team help clients in all of the planning and permitting stages of oil and gas or energy projects.

“I’m building the record because most of these projects end up in litigation,” she said. “So when they come to me, it’s because they have a concern of whether they’re located near or within a community or if they have a concern with respect to environmental issues like a sensitive environmental area. By the time a case actually goes to court, most of my work has been done years before.”

To read this and other complete articles featured in the March 9, 2020 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.