Messner Reeves LLP Names Eight New Partners for 2024

Messner Reeves is pleased to announce that they have named eight attorneys to the position of partner in 2024. These partners will help to further support the firm’s clients by providing in-depth knowledge and diverse legal insights. The new partners have been promoted from across several practice groups and locations, including corporate, appellate, commercial real estate and civil litigation. Their promotion to partner is a testament to their impressive contributions to the firm’s success. Messner Reeves President Jim Smith shared, “We have built a team we are proud of, and promoting these eight attorneys to partnership reflects just that. Each of our new partners is dedicated to providing exceptional counsel to our clients while upholding the values of our law firm.”

The newly named partners are listed below by the locations in which they are based:

Denver, Colorado

Darren Alberti focuses on appellate and complex litigation. He has worked on cases involving constitutional law, corporate law, class and collective action labor disputes and property law. He has developed argument strategies and drafted appellate briefs for clients in both federal and state appellate courts across multiple jurisdictions. He’s known for having a versatile and dynamic practice that helps him achieve the best possible results for clients.

Mr. Alberti graduated from Georgetown University and attended the University of Colorado Law School. Before joining Messner Reeves, he served as a law clerk intern to Justice Richard Gabriel of the Colorado Supreme Court.

Austin Gemmell is a member of the firm’s corporate group and focuses his work on advising clients on business transactions primarily in the hospitality industry. This includes business entity formation and restructuring or buyouts, asset sales and leasing, and other general compliance matters, specifically for regulatory licensing and permitting. Mr. Gemmell regularly assists restaurants, hotels and resorts, and retailers in navigating the regulatory framework for licensing and permitting in several different states.

Mr. Gemmell attended Northern Arizona University. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif.

Matthew George is a member of the firm’s litigation group who focuses his practice on civil defense, including in the areas of professional negligence, personal injury, and complex commercial litigation. His clients include healthcare providers, hospitals, medical practices, attorneys, and businesses in a variety of industries. His ability to analyze legal issues from various perspectives and select a path that maximizes his clients’ interests make him an effective trial attorney with a consistent track record of positive results.

Mr. George earned his undergraduate degree and Juris Doctor degree from the University of Colorado. He has been named to the Colorado Super Lawyers, Rising Stars list in Healthcare Law in 2022 and 2023.

Margaret Gray focuses her practice in the areas of healthcare, compliance, professional liability, and complex litigation. She defends medical and mental health providers against licensure grievances as well as health information privacy and security complaints. Ms. Gray also advises clients navigating complicated healthcare fraud and abuse, patient privacy, and data concerns.

Ms. Gray also assists healthcare clients as they establish and restructure medical and mental health practices. She provides guidance on matters of credentialing, peer review, and regulatory compliance.

Ms. Gray graduated from Bates College and earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Colorado Law School. She’s a member of the Colorado Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Boulder County Bar Association, and the Denver Bar Association.

Greenwood Village, Colorado

R.J. Ertmer represents clients in a wide range of matters related to real estate and corporate transactions. Many of his clients are in the retail, restaurant and hospitality industries. Mr. Ertmer has extensive experience in issues related to leasing, providing value to both commercial landlords and tenants in transactions.

Mr. Ertmer earned his Juris Doctor degree at Florida Coastal School of Law. Before joining Messner Reeves, he spent seven years at a national broker-dealer and registered investment advisor. He holds his FINRA Series 7, 63 and 24 licenses.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Steven Knauss focuses on complex civil litigation, bad faith insurance claims, and effectively resolving business disputes. He’s known for his calm, strategic approach to high-conflict situations. Clients appreciate his great attention to detail, as well as the in-depth experience he brings to all he does.

Mr. Knauss graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara and earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver. He then worked for nearly a decade in corporate project management before joining Messner Reeves. There, he became highly involved in the firm’s insurance defense and litigation practice.

Orange County

Edwin Schwartz handles matters of business and commercial litigation, labor and employment law, product liability, and other civil litigation in California and federal courts. Over the years, he has prosecuted and defended clients in disputes ranging from residential landlord-tenant habitability to trade secret actions.

Mr. Schwartz graduated from the University of Southern California. He obtained his Juris Doctor degree from California Western School of Law, where he graduated Cum Laude. He has been listed as a Super Lawyer Rising Star from 2018 to 2023.

Aaron Soleimani is a member of the firm’s Litigation and Labor and Employment Practice Groups. He focuses his practice on civil defense, including defending clients from a wide range of liability claims in all phases of insurance defense litigation in limited and unlimited jurisdictions. Mr. Soleimani has also defended clients facing employment-related claims of wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, and wage and hour violations. Mr. Soleimani has also served as second chair in several jury trials and private arbitrations.

Mr. Soleimani graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, and earned his Juris Doctor degree from Pepperdine School of Law. Before joining Messner Reeves, he worked as a judicial extern to the Honorable Barry Russell, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California.

Recognizing Messner Reeves’ New Partners for 2024

Messner Reeves offers its sincerest congratulations to its new partners. The achievement recognizes their commitment to the best possible results for each and every client, as well as their dedication to the firm’s values: exceptional counsel, integrity, accountability and an entrepreneurial spirit.

It is these core values that drive the firm’s business and have helped earn the trust of countless clients across the United States and internationally.

Michelle L. Harden, Chief Operating Officer and Managing Partner of Messner Reeves commented, “The promotion to partnership is a career milestone that reflects years of hard work. Our new partners are accomplished leaders and will strengthen our client-focused services now and in the future.”

About Messner Reeves, a Leading Law Firm

Founded over two decades ago, Messner Reeves is a full-service business law firm focused on providing legal services to clients ranging from individual entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies. Thanks to their extensive legal experience at the local and national level, Messner Reeves brings a unique perspective to the legal matters they handle.

The firm is proud of its growth over the past few years and stays true to its culture with a focus on leadership, accountability, and integrity. Lawyers at Messner Reeves maintain the highest possible personal and professional standards in all they do.

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Messner Reeves LLP
1550 Wewatta St. Suite 710
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: (303) 623-1800.