Member Firm Profile

The 100+ trial lawyers and litigators of Denver-based Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell (WTO) are known for trying precedent-setting cases in difficult jurisdictions nationwide. In the past decade, WTO attorneys have won 83 trials, 68 significant appeals, and 41 complex arbitrations. We don’t know of any similarly sized firm in our region that has achieved more trial and litigation success for its clients.

WTO serves as national resolution and trial counsel for many of the nation's best-known companies, including Advanced Bionics, Electrolux, FCA, Foster Wheeler, Ford, General Electric, McKesson, Mercedes-Benz, Michelin, Pfizer, USAA, and Whirlpool.

Recent Outcomes:

  • Michelin: Won complete defense jury verdicts following a nine-week trial with an $80 million demand and three-week trial with a $20 million demand.
  • CollegeAmerica: Won a complete defense verdict against the EEOC, frustrating the agency’s national campaign to limit employers’ language in severance agreements.
  • Pfizer: Excluded all of plaintiffs’ general causation experts to help win summary judgment in a Zoloft birth defect MDL.
  • Whirlpool: Won a complete defense jury verdict as co-trial counsel in a $66 million certified federal consumer class action trial.
  • Appeals: Won 5 fully argued opinions from the Colorado Supreme Court in 2.5 years and won 15 more appeals before state and federal appellate courts nationwide during the same period.

WTO lawyers are admitted to practice in 22 states and Washington D.C. We have served as lead trial counsel in all 50 states and have tried cases to verdict in 45 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia. Our attorneys have appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court and at least 65 of the 94 U.S. District Courts. 77% of WTO associates have served a state or federal trial or appellate judicial clerkship.

Recent Recognitions:

  • The National Law Journal named WTO to its Midsize Hot List for the second consecutive year in 2016. Only 20 firms nationwide make the list.
  • Chambers USA 2016 ranks 6 WTO lawyers for nationwide product liability and mass torts defense—more than any firm in the country.
  • Chambers USA also ranks 8 WTO lawyers for commercial litigation in Colorado—twice as many as the next closest firms.
  • 7 WTO partners are Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Firm chairman Mike O’Donnell served as an ACTL Regent.
  • 3 WTO partners are Fellows of the International Academy of Trial lawyers.
  • 2 WTO partners (Mike O’Donnell and Hugh Gottschalk) have served as chairs of the Network of Trial Law Firms.
  • Vault ranked WTO #5 in the nation in its 2015 Best Midsize Law Firms to Work For.
  • The Denver Business Journal ranked WTO the #2 Best Place to Work in Denver in the extra-large company category and #1 among all law firms in Denver.

Beyond the courtroom, the WTO Foundation has facilitated donations of over $1.6 million and thousands of volunteer hours to more than 100 local and regional nonprofit and community organizations. Over 84% of WTO personnel have engaged with the Foundation through contributions of time or money.

Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell Website


Office Location

Denver, CO | St. Louis, MO



Network Contacts


Mike O'Donnell
Denver, CO
Bio | E-Mail | 303-244-1850


Hugh Gottschalk
Denver, CO
Bio | E-Mail | 303-244-1858


Carolyn Fairless
Denver, CO
Bio | E-Mail | 303-244-1852


John Fitzpatrick
Denver, CO
Bio | E-Mail | 303-244-1874


Mike Williams
Denver, CO
Bio | E-Mail | 303-244-1867