Sullan, Scott F
Current Employment Position(s)
Attorney and Shareholder
Year Joined Organization: 1979
Scott Sullan has handled many of the largest and most important construction defect cases for Colorado homeowners since 1994. From 2006 through 2011 he was selected a "Colorado Super Lawyer" based on a survey of Colorado attorneys. In 2007, Mr. Sullan was the only Colorado lawyer who primarily represents homeowners and homeowner associations given Chambers & Partners' highest rating, which legal publisher described him as "the absolute best on residential construction defects." In 2009 alone, Mr. Sullan was instrumental in securing over $75 million in construction defect settlements for homeowner associations.
Leading Colorado newspapers have described Mr. Sullan as "one of those truly ethical and fair-minded attorneys who bring honor to an often maligned profession" and a "nationally-prominent litigator who is the scourge of the homebuilding industry". Another newspaper headlined Mr. Sullan as: "The Legal Bane of Homebuilders."
One Denver paper observed that: "Some builders settled quickly after watching Sullan at work in 1996. During the trial, officials with Richmond Homes told Sullan they wanted to settle a separate class-action case he had filed on behalf of 12,300 Richmond homeowners. He tried Mission Viejo by day and negotiated with Richmond by night. In June 1996, Richmond agreed to pay Sullan's firm $1.9 million and to spend tens of millions more to remedy problems."
Mr. Sullan's work led to the following news headlines in 2005:
Scott Sullan was born in Evanston, Illinois 1953. He attended the University of Colorado where he graduated cum laude in 1975. He then attended law school at the University of Southern Illinois , obtaining his degree and graduating cum laude in 1979. While in law school he was a member of the Board of Editors of the Southern Illinois University Law Journal and was President of the Moot Court board. He was also a member of the National Order of Barristers and National Client Counseling Team.
After graduating from law school, Mr. Sullan clerked for the Honorable Ralph H. Coyte of the Colorado Court of Appeals. He has practiced civil litigation law in Colorado since 1979.
Mr. Sullan focuses construction and materials defect (and related insurance coverage) litigation. He has been lead counsel in eleven different class action suits against some of Colorado's major home builders and product suppliers. He was lead counsel for a 1,600-person class of homeowners in a successful class action tried in Douglas County, Colorado in 1996. He also has handled hundreds of construction defect cases involving a variety of subjects including expansive and settling soils, landslides, faulty construction materials and products, architectural and engineering design defects and improper construction. Mr. Sullan is one of Colorado's best-known lecturers regarding construction litigation, and he has co-authored with Ron Sandgrund and Leslie Tuft the only books dealing exclusively with Colorado construction defect litigation, the most recent edition of which book received the 2011 National Award of Professional Excellence from the Association for Continuing Legal Education.. He also has co-authored with Mr. Sandgrund a chapter on a legal ethics and professional responsibility, last updated in 2011.
Mr. Sullan frequently presents continuing legal education courses to other lawyers. Mr. Sullan testifies often on behalf of homeowners before Colorado's legislature, and he has helped draft laws affecting homeowner interests. Mr. Sullan was one of the driving forces behind the Homeowners Protection Act of 2007, House Bill 1338. He met with legislators, citizens and newspaper editors to answer their questions regarding the blanket waiver of legal rights that much of the residential building industry has been putting in home purchase contracts. House Bill 1338 limits such waivers and preserves for homeowners the basic, legal rights the building industry agreed to when it lobbied for passage of the Construction Defect Action Reform Act in 2003. H.B. 1338 became Colorado law on April 20, 2007.
Mr. Sullan is married with three children. All five Sullans are avid skiers.
Areas of Practice
- Construction and Material Defect
- Insurance Coverage Litigation
West Practice Categories
Housing & Construction Defects, Insurance Law, Litigation & Appeals, Residential Real Estate
Classes and Seminars
- Recent Developments In Colorado Residential Construction Law, Continuing Legal Education of Colorado, 2008
- "Construction Defect Litigation", CAI Fall Conference, 2004
- "Construction Defect Claims in Colorado", Lorman Education Services, 2004
- "Expansive Soils: Beyond the Basics", Construction Law Conference, CLE of Colorado, 2004
- "Consumer Arbitration", University of Denver, College of Law, 2004
- "Construction Defect Claims in Colorado", Lorman Education Services, 2004
- "Construction Defect Action Reform Act of 2003", Colorado Municipal League, 2003
- "Annual Spring Real Estate Update: Overview of Mold in Colorado", CLE of Colorado, 2003
- "Construction Law and Litigation, Expansive Soils: Understanding the Risks, Litigation Strategies and Case Studies", CLE International, 2003
- "Residential Construction, A Brave New World", CLE of Colorado, 2003
- "New Construction Purchase Agreement: Getting Burned by the Boilerplate - Warranties, Disclaimers, Arbitration Clauses and Other Hot Spots", 19th Annual Real Estate Symposium, 2001
- "From Construction Defects Through Reconstruction,", CAI Fall Conference, 2000
- "Sifting Through Soils Reports: How to Identify Issues Concerning Expansive Soils and Slope Stability", CLE of Colorado, 2000
- "Getting the Best Results for Construction Litigants Through the Smart Use of ADR", CLE of Colorado, 1999 - Present
- "Colorado Construction Law", 1999
- "The Real Truth About Mediation: A Mock Mediation with Commentary", CAI, 1999
- "Residential Construction Defects Attributable to Geologic Hazards", Colorado Defense Lawyers Association, 1998
- "High Stakes Games - Construction Defect Claims", CAI Spring Conference, 1998
- "Expansive Soils Cases", CAI, 1997
- "Shifting Sands", 15th Annual Real Estate Symposium, 1997
- "Expandable Soils: A Primer for Real Estate Lawyers", Real Estate Topical Luncheon, 1996
- "The Mission Viejo Class Action: A New Perspective on Trying Mass Tort Claims", 1996
Past Employment Positions
- Hon. Ralph H. Coyte, Colorado Court of Appeals, Clerk
- Southern Illinois University School of Law, Carbondale, Illinois,
Honors: President, Moot Court Board
Honors: Member, National Order of Barristers and National Client Counseling Team
Honors: Member, National Client Counseling Team
Law Journal: Southern Illinois University Law Journal, Member, Board of Editors
- University of Colorado,
Honors: cum laude
Offers Free Initial Consultation
- Colorado Residential Construction Law (Denver 2008, 2nd edition) (updating 2005 1st edition), co-author with Ron Sandgrund
- Lawyers' Professional Liability in Colorado: Preventing Legal Malpractice and Disciplinary Actions (Michael Mihm, editor) (Denver, 2009 Supp), Class Action Counsel's Professional Responsibilities (Chapter 37), co-author with Ronald M. Sandgrund
- Robert Benson, Practitioner's Guide to Colorado Construction Law, Residential Construction (Chapter XIV) (Denver 2007) (replacing 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2005 editions), co-author with Ron Sandgrund
- Residential Construction Defect Litigation (Seattle 2000), co-author with Ron Sandgrund
- House Bill 10-1394: New Law Governing Insurance Coverage For Construction Defect Claims, The Colorado Lawyer, Vol. 39, No. 8, 2010
- Crossing the Separation of Powers Threshold: Legislative and Regulatory Control of Expert Witness Testimony, The Colorado Lawyer, Vol. 37, No. 5, 2008
- Useful Life Evidence in Construction Defect Cases, The Construction Lawyer (Amer. Bar Assoc. Forum on the Construction), Vol. 27, No. 3, 2007
- The Homeowner Protection Act of 2007, The Colorado Lawyer, Vol. 36, Iss. 7, 2007
- Yacht Club II: Charting the Shoals of the Economic Loss Rule, Trial Talk, August-September, 2005
- Homebuilder Liability for Subcontractor Negligence - Part II, The Colorado Lawyer, Vol. 34, No. 7, 2005
- Homebuilder Liability for Subcontractor Negligence - Parts I, The Colorado Lawyer, Vol. 34, No. 6, 2005
- Statutes of Limitations and Repose in Construction Defect Cases - Part II, The Colorado Lawyer, Vol. 33, No. 6, 2004
- Statutes of Limitations and Repose in Construction Defect Cases - Part I, The Colorado Lawyer, Vol. 33, No. 5, 2004
- The Construction Defect Action Reform Act of 2003, The Colorado Lawyer, reprinted nationally in Mealey's Litigation Reports (Construction Defects), Vol. 32, No. 7 ,2003 and Vol. 20, p.205, 2004
- Duty to Disclose Latent Defects When Selling a Home, National Business Institute, 2003
- The Construction Defect Action Reform Act, The Colorado Lawyer, Vol. 30, No. 10, 2001
When viewing a listing, consider the state advertising restrictions to which lawyers and law firms must adhere, as well as our West Legal Directory disclaimers. Some lawyers publish comparative information regarding the services that they provide which may be subject to specific comparative communications restrictions.