J. Scott Lasater

J. Scott Lasater is one of the most experienced civil trial attorneys in Colorado, and one of only a very small handful of lawyers in Colorado who has tried 100 or more civil, district court, jury trials to verdict or directed verdict.

Scott has tried cases for over 25 years. In the last five years, Scott defended and tried 20 jury trials with aggregate jury demands totaling over 100 million dollars. Those cases resulted in 13 defense verdicts; three directed verdicts (cases that Scott asked the judge to throw out after the plaintiff’s evidence, and were thrown out); two verdicts that the judge threw out due to the opposing lawyer’s gross misconduct during trial; and in three cases where Scott’s clients admitted fault, and only argued about the compensation due the plaintiff, one resulted in an award that was exactly what was offered to settle the case before trial started, one resulted in a $66,000 verdict where Scott’s client offered $100,000 to settle over a year before trial (and the plaintiff asked the jury for over 10 million dollars) and one, a highly mismanaged case by the opposing counsel, resulted in a verdict just 26% of the plaintiffs last, take it or leave it demand for settlement.

Scott’s trial experience is vast, and he has tried cases involving death, catastrophic injury (burns, electrocutions, amputations, paralysis and severe incapacitating brain injury), product liability, fire and explosions, auto and trucking liability, employment discrimination, professional liability (including physicians, lawyers, dentists and veterinarians) and disputes over intellectual property. Scott’s success comes from his experience in courtrooms, with juries, and his relentless need to research, learn and understand the case better than anyone involved.

Scott’s clients and their insurers have gained huge confidence in Lasater & Martin’s courtroom and pre-trial results. Because of that, Scott and the law firm have been asked by other lawyers, judges, insurance professionals, church members and their friends, colleagues and neighbors to represent them when injured or wronged. Scott and his partner Janet have obtained millions of dollars in compensation and enforced contractual and other rights for these good people.

Scott and his firm are known for taking “crisis” cases handled by other law firms, and transferred to them when settlement cannot be reached or when the case has gotten out of control.

In addition to obtaining verdicts, in the last five years, Scott handled cases that had initial settlement demands aggregating over 10 million dollars, and obtained summary judgments (dismissals of the case based on motions) or walk-away agreements that resulted in no payment by the law firm client or the client’s insurer. Scott and his law firm have consistently obtained similar results for over 25 years.

In two recent trials, one for The Pepsi Center in Denver, and one for a Whole Foods commercial shopping complex, Scott relied on cross-examination only, and introduced no evidence, and called no witnesses, and in fact, rested his case before the opposing counsel sat back in their chairs after resting their cases. The juries took just minutes in both cases to find in favor of the Lasater & Martin clients. Scott frequently tries cases against lawyers from other states, including a recent case that Scott and his partner Janet Martin tried against a Los Angeles attorney who boasted himself as being an expert in “brain injuries.” Despite a catastrophic brain injury (an injury so bad that necrotic brain tissue had to be debrided from the fracture sites in the skull) and 10 days of trial and 12 experts testifying for the plaintiff, the jury quickly found in favor of Lasater & Martin’s client.

Scott has litigated cases in every county in the state of Colorado; and has tried jury trials in over half of the counties in Colorado and in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. Scott’s federal court experience is diverse, and includes discrimination and retaliation cases for various municipalities. Scott has successfully defended and prosecuted trademark and IP cases, and has litigated federal suits involving constitutional issues, catastrophic injuries and multi-million dollar property losses. Scott has appeared before virtually all of the United States District Court Judges and Magistrate Judges, and he has argued in front of the Colorado Court of Appeals, the Colorado Supreme Court and the United States Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Education

  • Juris Doctor: University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, 1986
  • Bachelor of Arts: Colorado State University, 1983
    Major: Economics

Bar Admission

  • State of Colorado
  • United States District Court
    District of Colorado
  • United States Court of Appeals
    10th Circuit

Professional Associations

  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Denver Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI), platinum member
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
  • Colorado Defense Lawyers Association

Special Distinctions

  • The International Legal Honor Society of Phi Delta Phi, Past President, Merit Award
  • University of the Pacific Gary V. Schaber Scholarship
  • Colorado State University, Department of Economics, Academic Achievement