Complex commercial litigator and trial lawyer
- More than ten years of litigation experience in Colorado, Utah and Nevada
- Several complex commercial disputes tried to verdict with extremely high success rate
- Former Air Force officer
- Published author
Mr. Vail’s practice focuses on commercial litigation, specifically on business tort litigation and complex statutory causes of action including the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and the Sherman and Clayton Antitrust Acts. He has extensive experience in high-stakes, complex commercial litigation in Colorado, Nevada and Utah.
Prior to working as an attorney, Mr. Vail served as a special operations intelligence officer in the United States Air Force where he planned and executed over 210 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, including Operation GOPLATS (a joint SEAL Team 3, British 47 Commando, Polish GROM seizure of offshore oil platforms and infrastructure in Iraq’s al-Faw peninsula).
Mr. Vail has significant experience as lead attorney in numerous bench and jury trials in state and federal court, as well as multi-week arbitration proceedings, including:
- Lead counsel in major music-industry antitrust lawsuit Christou v. Beatport, LLC, et al., 849 F. Supp. 2d 1055 (D. Colo.), completed 13-day jury trial in federal court, managing five attorneys and seven experts/support staff; took 22 depositions; international discovery in Canada, UK, Netherlands; processed more than 500,000 pages of documents; defeated motions to dismiss, motions for summary judgment, and motions to exclude expert witnesses; awarded adverse-inference jury instruction for defendant failure to preserve cell phone text messages; obtained seven-figure net settlement in client’s favor.
- Obtained dismissal of $100 million+ reverse veil-piercing claim against client construction company.
- Successfully settled claims for client as lead counsel in Whittle v. Marley, et al., involving RICO and breach of fiduciary duty claims against estate of Bob Marley, international discovery and service of process in Canada and Jamaica.
- As lead counsel, obtained seven-figure settlement of breach of contract and fraud case against individual and entity defendants in Colorado, Florida, Washington, D.C, Spain, and France.
- Received $2 million judgment at trial for client as lead counsel in breach of fiduciary duty against Quizno’s franchisor; obtained alter ego judgment against main Quizno’s holding entities.
- Served as lead counsel in Brown v. A&E Television Networks, LLC, et al., represented bail bondsman Bobby Brown in lawsuit against Dog the Bounty Hunter television franchise, case settled favorably for client.
- Served as lead counsel in British Charter Holdings, LLC v. PM Operating, et al., complex, multi-venue litigation in Colorado (Routt County) and Texas (Travis County and S.D. Texas) concerning development of hotel and 40+ multi-million-dollar homes in Steamboat Springs, Colorado; asserted alter ego claims against holding companies of two billionaire families. Net settlement of $3.3 million to client.
- Won $630,000 in favor of client and defeated $4 million counterclaim as lead counsel in Monaco Dental LLC v. Manshadi, et al., a two-week AAA arbitration hearing on franchise and fraud claims; successfully obtained judgment against defendant’s owner through alter ego
- Obtained dismissal of all claims on motion to dismiss while representing defendant BP America in putative antitrust class action.
- Performed exotic risk mitigation engagements over seven years for high net-worth family office and individuals, including assistance in US, France, Spain, Cuba, Mexico, and Nigeria (K&R, surveillance, investigations, counter-intelligence, and security coordination).
- Successfully represented investors in technology start-up as lead counsel bringing fraud and alter ego claims against founders, secured judgment of $371k following AAA arbitration hearing.
- Prevailed at trial as lead counsel in ammunition product defect dispute; after court determined ammunition was not defective, obtained over $400k judgment to client manufacturer for non-payment; prevailed on alter ego claim against individual owner of defendant entity.
- Secured dismissal of medical monitoring class action against client hospital in high profile case of 4,000+ claims of Hepatitis C exposure.
- Appellate experience including first chair oral argument to United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, appellate briefing to the Colorado Court of Appeals, Colorado Supreme Court, Nevada Supreme Court.
- Plaintiff’s counsel for startup disease management company in business tort lawsuit against major health insurance company; settled for $2.25 million payment to client.
- Founder and former manager of numerous operating and holding companies in the venture capital, technology, and oil & gas sectors; Coordinated multiple patent applications in US, Canada, UAE, and Argentina; as general counsel for custom investment vehicle, coordinated seven-figure secured debt/equity investment in oil & gas technology start-up and achieved successful exit with over 2x return.
Vail is an American Sailing Association certified bareboat captain and has captained sailboats in the Aeolian Islands (Italy) and Sea of Cortez (Mexico). He has traveled to nearly 50 countries, and is proficient in German, French, and Italian.
- Juris Doctor, 2008, University of Denver Sturm College of Law.
- United States Air Force Intelligence Officer School, 2000.
- Bachelor of Science in Engineering and History, 1999, United States Air Force Academy:
- Top 15% of class
- John A. Rupp Award winner for Multidisciplinary Studies Related to History.
- American Institute for Political and Economic Systems (AIPES) 1998 Program in Prague, Czech Republic.
- Exchange Student, Offizierschule der Luftwaffe (German Air Force Academy), Fürstenfeldbruck, Germany,1997.
State and federal court
- Colorado (All State and Federal Courts)
- Texas (pro hac vice in Travis County and S.D. Tex.)
- Nevada (pro hac vice in Clark County)
- United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
Memberships & Professional Affiliations
- American, Colorado, Denver, and Arapahoe County Bar Associations
- Faculty of Federal Advocates
- Graduate, Colorado Bar Association Leadership Training program (COBALT), 2013.
Articles & Publications
- Presentation to Colorado Bar Association Leadership Training program (COBALT), 2011, entitled “Open Source Legal Knowledge Management”
- The New Map: Terrorism and the Decline of the Nation-State in a Post-Cartesian World
- Presentations to over 500 members at the annual meetings of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas; presentations entitled Rescuing Suburbia, 2010 (Washington, D.C.); The Renewables Gap, 2009 (Denver, CO); Geopolitical Feedback-Loops in Global Resource Production, 2008 (Sacramento, CA).
- Presented paper “The New Map: Terrorism and the Decline of the Nation-State in a Post-Cartesian World” at the Yale Journal of International Law 2006 Symposium (New Haven, CT).
- Visiting Instructor, 2006, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), “Introduction to Domestic and Eco-Terrorism.”
- Presentation to 2005 meeting of FBI’s Arizona/Nevada Joint Terrorism Task Force (Hoover Dam).
- Presented paper “All Roads Lead to Rome: Processes of Hierarchy, Subsidy and Control in the Evolution of Empire” to Mediterranean Studies Assoc. 2005 conference (Messina, Italy).
- “Rhizome Networks: Asymmetric Politics” in Politics To-Go (Geo. Wash. U. Press) 2005.
- Board member of The Institute for the Study of Energy and its Future; regular contributor (48 articles from 2005-2010) on geopolitics and energy supply issues at its website www.theoildrum.com.
- Invited to present to 300 energy-industry executives at FERC 2006 Security Conference entitled “Lessons Learned from Nigeria.”
- Author of “A Theory of Power” (2004), called “Fascinating” by Noam Chomsky
- Former USAF Captain, Chief of Intelligence for special operations unit.
- Chief of Targeting Branch for $3.2 Billion development of AGM-158 JASSM missile program.
- Former TS//SCI//SI-G/TK-B/HCS and SAR/SAP clearances.
- 480th Intelligence Group Company Grade Officer of the Year, 2001.
- Company Grade Officer of the Month for Camp Snoopy (classified forward-deployed location in Persian Gulf) for February, 2003, the month before invasion of Iraq.
- Awarded Air Force Commendation Medal three times for combat leadership.
- Provided primary mission brief for 500+ pilots, intelligence personnel, and aircrew at RED FLAG/Coal Warfighter Exercise, 2003.