Carolyn Burr

Carolyn Burr

Main: 303-830-2500
Direct: 303-376-4496
Licensed in: Colorado, Wyoming

OverviewExperience & ResultsPractice AreasHonors & InsightsEducation & Admissions

Carolyn is among Colorado’s top water law lawyers according to Denver’s 5280 Magazine and U.S. News’ Best Lawyers in America. She represents some of the state’s largest water rights holders throughout Colorado in all seven of the state’s water divisions.

Her clients include large industrial clients, agricultural water users, and municipal water providers, individuals who own ground water and surface water rights, and land developers. She helps clients understand options and strategically meet their water rights requirements.

Carolyn has significant transactional experience in the water rights arena, ranging from stand-up title review to negotiating and drafting contracts and closing complex land and water rights acquisitions. She also litigates water matters at the trial court and appellate level.

She is knowledgeable about and has worked on all aspects of water court adjudications, including complex augmentation plans, changes of water rights, and exchanges. Carolyn has also actively participated in the state legislative process on behalf of clients, including drafting legislation and testifying before legislative committees.

Experience & Results
  • Represents a major public utility company on all matters involving water court applications, oppositions and appeals, and advise and participate in negotiating and drafting complex water-related transactions
  • Represents one of the largest municipal water systems in Northern Colorado;
  • Is general counsel for a nonprofit association comprised of tribes, state and local governmental entities, which operates a Bureau of Reclamation project in Colorado.
  • Works closely with a water district to identify, evaluate, acquire and adjudicate water supply for a large development in Douglas County
  • Represents a mutual ditch company in all water court matters, including negotiating leases and purchase agreements
  • Significantly involved in planning, drafting, and testifying in support of successful legislation to create a precipitation harvesting pilot program in Colorado
Practice Areas
  • Water Rights
  • Environmental Law
  • Real Estate and Ranching
Honors & Insights
  • Listed by Lawdragon as one of the “500 Leading U.S. Energy Lawyers”, 2023
  • Named Best Lawyers® 2023 Water Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Denver
  • Listed as one of Denver’s Top Lawyers compiled by 5280 Magazine in the practice area of Water, 2017 – 2024
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the field of Water Law, 2017-2019, 2021-2024 and Natural Resources 2023-2024
  • Author, The Water Court Team: An Introduction to the Roles of Clients, Engineers and Attorneys in the Water Court Process; The University of Denver Water Law Review, Volume ___ ǀ Issue ___ ǀ Spring 2019
  • Co-Presented: Celebrating the 1969 Act, Vignettes About Practicing Under the Act, The University of Denver Water Law Review’s 2019 Symposium, April 4, 2019
  • Co-Author, Water: The Fuel for Colorado Energy; The University of Denver Water Law Review, Volume 15 | Issue 2 | Spring 2012
  • Co-Presented: The Role of Natural Gas as a “Bridge” Fuel; Natural Resources Law Center’s Annual Clyde O. Martz Summer Conference, June 7, 2012
  • Appointed as counsel to Governor’s River Access Dispute Resolution Task Force, 2010
  • Appointed by Governor to Colorado Ground Water Commission 2009 and served as Chairwoman from 2015 -2018
  • Board of Directors, Colorado Open Lands Foundation
  • Board of Directors, Colorado Open Lands Trust
  • Board of Directors, Colorado Conservation Trust
  • Member, Colorado Water Congress
  • J.D., University of Michigan, 1995
Bar Admissions / Qualifications
  • Colorado, 1995
  • Wyoming, 1996
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit