Alan E. Schwartz

Representative Matters

  • Extensive experience in the areas of governmental relations, land use and environmental law, representing public and private sector clients, and non-profit organizations, throughout Colorado.
  • Extensive legislative lobbying experience in the Colorado legislature and U.S. Congress.
  • Represented Qwest in negotiating the settlement of a complex dispute with the State of New Mexico concerning the investment of approximately $750 million worth of telecommunications infrastructure.
  • Special Counsel to the City of Aspen, Town of Snowmass Village, Pitkin County, Colorado, and other local governments in the creation, implementation and successful defense of some of the country’s most innovative land use planning regulations.
  • Co-author of the “Danish Plan” in Boulder, Colorado, adopted by the voters as one of the first, and most widely-emulated, community growth management plans in the country.
  • Co-author of Colorado’s “Vested Rights Act,” C.R.S. §24-68-101, a model land use statute reflecting a consensus among development interests, environmentalists, and state and local governments.
  • Successfully defended the constitutionality of Colorado’s “minimum stream flow” statute in the Colorado Supreme Court, upholding one of the nation’s first attempts to protect instream flows for aesthetic and recreational purposes; pro bono representation on behalf of the National Wildlife Federation, Colorado Open Space Council, Trout Unlimited, and other non-profit organizations.
  • Represented Pitkin County, Colorado in federal court litigation pitting environmental concerns against agricultural interests in a dispute over Western water resources; with the assistance of U.S. Senator Tim Wirth, helped craft a legislative compromise that preserved an area of pristine wilderness (Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness).
  • Represented Summit County, Grand County and Northwest Colorado Council of Governments in federal court litigation raising important constitutional issues relating to the supremacy doctrine as applied to public lands, water quality and water resources development.
  • Represented the City of Louisville, Colorado before the Colorado Supreme Court in one of the leading cases on the constitutional right to initiative and referendum.
  • Represented private development interests in extensive negotiations with the City and County of Denver, leading to the creation of a model land use plan for several thousand acres surrounding Denver International Airport.
  • Appointed by U.S. District Court Judge John Kane to pro bono representation of state prisoners; negotiated a settlement with the State of Colorado guaranteeing prisoners’ constitutional rights to the free exercise of religion.

Areas of Emphasis


  • Juris Doctor, University of Texas School of Law, 1975
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Colorado, 1972

Professional Activities

  • Admitted Colorado, 1975
  • Board of Directors, Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund (GOCO)
  • Former Board Member, Colorado Conservation Trust
  • Former Board Member, Colorado Public Radio
  • Former Board Member, Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Environmental Defense Fund
  • Former Member, Board of Trustees and Executive Committee, Aspen Music Festival
  • Former National Governing Board Member, Common Cause

Contact Alan E. Schwartz

Contact Alan E. Schwartz

Sherman & Howard L.L.C.
633 17th St
Ste 3000
Denver, Colorado  80202-3622
Phone: (303) 299-8202
Fax: (303) 298-0940


Service Area

Statewide service provider in:
  • Colorado