PRACTICE: HILLARY D. PATTERSON is an associate attorney specializing in insurance defense and insurance coverage. She handles both first-party and third-party cases representing individuals and corporations. While her primary focus areas are property damage and personal injury, she has successfully represented and advised clients in a wide array of claims, including: hail/wind/fire/water, uninsured/underinsured motorists, wrongful death, premises liability, dog bites, carbon monoxide, assault/battery, copyright/intellectual property, civil theft, ridesharing, defamation/slander, and civil rights.
EXPERIENCE: Hillary joined the firm as an associate attorney after admission to the Colorado Bar in November, 2015. Hillary has significant experience in civil litigation and insurance defense having worked at the firm since 1997. Prior to becoming an attorney, she filled many different roles within the firm, including archiving clerk, receptionist, legal assistant, paralegal, legal billing manager, and law clerk.
EDUCATION: Hillary is a Colorado native and the second of three daughters of the firm’s founding partner, Frank Patterson. Hillary received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, graduating with honors and distinguished membership in Phi Beta Kappa. Hillary received her Juris Doctor degree at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. She graduated in the top 14% of her class and received Scholastic Excellence Awards in Insurance Law and Contemporary Issues in Oil and Gas. While at the University of Denver, Hillary externed for an energy law firm and a private criminal defense attorney. She also served on the executive board of the law school’s chapter of Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society. She worked full time at PRPC during law school while also raising her two children.
ADMISSIONS: Hillary is admitted to practice in Colorado, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
MEMBERSHIPS: Her professional associations include the Colorado Bar Association (CBA), Colorado Defense Lawyers Association (CDLA), Colorado Women’s Bar Association (CWBA), the Arapahoe County Bar Association (ACBA), and the Denver Bar Association (DBA). Hillary presently serves as President of the CDLA Executive Board of Directors. She has previously served as the Vice President Treasurer, Secretary, and New Lawyers Chair of the CDLA Board; as a member of the New Lawyers Committee; and as the New Lawyers Chair to the CDLA Professionalism and Education Committee. Hillary has taught CLE seminars on various topics for the CDLA and the CBA.
HONORS: Hillary was nominated by her peers and rated as a Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2021 – 2024.
OTHER INTERESTS: Hillary is married and has two children. She enjoys spending time with her family and taking advantage of all the outdoor activities this beautiful state has to offer. She has also been a women’s lacrosse official for over twenty years and continues to enjoy officiating from youth through NCAA, as well as volunteering her time to the development of the sport and its officials in Colorado.
TRIAL HISTORY & NOTABLE RESULTS:
My Roofer, Inc. v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Company (Weld County District Court, 2015CV30425). July 13, 2016, attorneys Frank Patterson and Hillary Patterson obtained a directed verdict for the defendant. Prior to trial, attorney Hillary Patterson successfully argued a pre-trial motion regarding Plaintiff’s spoliation of evidence, and the Court issued an order for adverse inference instruction. On appeal, Hillary Patterson drafted the answer brief for the defendant/appellee State Farm and Frank Patterson presented oral arguments on September 6, 2017. The Colorado Court of Appeals affirmed the directed verdict in an unpublished opinion.
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Timika Thomas (Denver County District Court, 2016CV30578). December 9, 2016, Hillary Patterson obtained summary judgment against the defendant. Applying Michigan law, the Court agreed with State Farm that the defendant was required to reimburse State Farm for duplicative benefits she received from the federal government.
Patrice Fujisaki Sauter v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Company (Denver County District Court, 2017CV33275). August 1, 2018, attorneys Frank Patterson and Hillary Patterson obtained a directed verdict for the defendant. Prior to trial, attorneys Frank Patterson, Hillary Patterson, and Brian Kennedy successfully argued a Motion for Summary Judgment that Plaintiff lacked standing to pursue claims of breach of contract and common law bad faith.
Velvet Entz v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (Pueblo County District Court, 2016CV030960). October 5, 2018, attorneys Frank Patterson and Hillary Patterson obtained a defense verdict. Plaintiff claimed a minor motor vehicle accident caused serious cervical injuries including a herniated disc. Plaintiff claimed past medical expenses of $160,000 and an anticipated future cervical surgery at a cost of $140,644.00 – $244,430. The liability carrier had previously paid its $100,000 in limits. Plaintiff demanded the full UIM policy limits of $500,000 from the defendant State Farm. The last and lowest offer to settle by Plaintiff was $350,000. The jury awarded her $4,300. The Court issued an order off-setting the $100,000 Plaintiff received from the liability carrier, reducing the verdict to $0.00. Mr. and Ms. Patterson argued successfully at a hearing on the defendant’s bill of costs and obtained a cost award of over $70,000.
Kent Vu Phan v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company et al. The plaintiff filed numerous lawsuits against numerous parties in Colorado District Courts and in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado related to personal injuries from a car accident in 2012 (among other things). The majority of cases and claims were dismissed on various grounds. Mr. Phan appealed to the Colorado Court of Appeals, Colorado Supreme Court, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States. Hillary Patterson briefed a Motion to Dismiss and obtained dismissal of Mr. Phan’s claims by the Arapahoe County District Court. All defendants sought, and the trial court ordered, an injunction forbidding Mr. Phan from proceeding pro se without the court’s permission. Mr. Phan appealed to the Colorado Court of Appeals. On appeal, Hillary Patterson drafted the answer brief for the defendant/appellee State Farm. The Colorado Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal and upheld the injunction in an unpublished opinion.
Timothy Bradney, Ashley Lessig Bradney, and Hunter’s Precision Construction & Roofing Inc., d/b/a Precision Construction & Roofing v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company (USDC District of Colorado, 20-CV-02708-RBJ). On January 7, 2022, Hillary Patterson obtained partial summary judgment. The Court dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims of unreasonable delay where the plaintiffs delayed reporting a hail damage claim for nearly two years and demanded appraisal. State Farm paid the award but declined to pay withheld depreciation because repairs were not completed. The Court dismissed all claims by the Bradneys, who lacked standing due to their assignment to the roofing contractor.
Irene Pittman v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company and Restoration Services, Inc. (Denver County District Court, 2020CV33352). March 10, 2022, Hillary Patterson obtained a directed verdict on Plaintiff’s claims against State Farm for bad faith and unreasonable delay at the close of Plaintiff’s case in chief, and a defense verdict on the remaining breach of contract claim. Plaintiff sought over $100,000 in damages from State Farm related to a claim for property damage resulting from a fire. The defendant State Farm paid benefits under the policy, but denied certain damages were owed or caused by the fire. The jury agreed State Farm did not breach the contract and did not owe any further benefits.
Robert Carraway v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company (United States District Court, District of Colorado, 1:21-CV-03201-PAB-SKC; Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, 22-1370). September 26, 2022, Hillary Patterson obtained dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims, with prejudice, for failure to state a claim. Plaintiff asserted claims of breach of contract, common law bad faith, and unreasonable delay/denial of benefits related to State Farm’s handling of his homeowners insurance claim for hail damage. The trial court held that Plaintiff failed to plead sufficient facts that State Farm breached the contract when it paid an appraisal award, but denied payment of depreciation because repairs were not completed within two years of the date of loss. The trial court also held that Plaintiff failed to plead sufficient facts that State Farm acted in bad faith or that it unreasonably delayed or denied payment of benefits. The trial court dismissed the case with prejudice, citing Plaintiff’s failure to amend the complaint after multiple opportunities.
Plaintiff appealed the trial court’s order to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Hillary Patterson and Rae Hintlian submitted briefing on behalf of State Farm, and Hillary Patterson presented oral arguments on May 16, 2023. On August 22, 2023, the appellate court issued an opinion affirming the trial court’s judgment insofar as it dismisses the case, but vacating the dismissal with prejudice and remanding to the trial court to further explain the basis for dismissing with prejudice.