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Iris Eytan is a founding partner of Eytan Nielsen. For 21 years, Iris has been aggressively defending individuals accused of committing crimes. Iris has tried more than 50 serious criminal cases. Iris is relentless in pursuit of justice and fairness for all of her clients. She achieves results for her clients – successfully obtaining dismissals and acquittals in the most difficult of circumstances.


Iris began her legal career in California working as a legal advocate for people with disabilities and then for children and youth. She moved to Denver, and became the Senior Attorney at the Legal Center for People with Disabilities. Iris continued her fight for justice when she became a Deputy State Public Defender in Arapahoe County. Iris honed her trial skills defending the criminally accused in hundreds of felonies and misdemeanors, including homicide, vehicular homicide, assault, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, theft, child abuse, and domestic violence cases.


In 2001, Iris joined Reilly Pozner LLP in the criminal defense division. As a partner at Reilly Pozner for most of her time there, Iris protected her clients by delivering them unparalleled legal representation. In 2015, along with her criminal defense partner, Dru Nielsen, Iris formed Eytan Nielsen LLC with the goal of providing the most premier level of representation to those facing the worst circumstances in their lives. Iris’ compassion for people in difficult situations is topped only by her unrelenting spirit to achieve a just result. To that end, Iris successfully defended many high profile cases in trial. She has represented physicians, lawyers, teachers, social workers, police officers, financial advisors, government employees, and many others who a criminal conviction would paralyze their careers and families. Equally important to Iris are the many people who Iris has helped outside of the courtroom before a case is filed and being investigated, where she has convinced law enforcement that criminal charges are not warranted.


Iris has also represented numerous college students in disciplinary proceedings at the University of Denver. She has studied Title IX and knows how it affects male college students who are wrongly accused of sexual misconduct. Iris has been a frequent lecturer at schools and Universities on the topic of sex on campus. Consistent with her style and personality, Iris’ “Sex, Booze, and the Law” lecture provides a no holds barred account to students about the perils involved in navigating sexual relationships.


Iris’ passion for the law crystalized in college when she wanted to use the power of the U.S. Constitution to de-criminalize and treat people with mental illness and intellectual deficits fairly and justly. Due to Iris’ extensive experience in representing people with mental illness, she has been hired as an expert and consultant for other attorneys, judges and experts on cases involving competence to stand trial and insanity. Using attorneys fees earned from a federal lawsuit against the State Department of Human Services for its mistreatment of people with mental illness in the jails, Iris organized and hosted the first ever national forum on forensic mental health.


 Iris focuses her practice on high-profile criminal defense litigation, with a special emphasis on cases that involve homicide, assault, sexual offenses and mental health issues.  She handles criminal cases that have been filed or are being investigated by law enforcement in all of Colorado’s judicial districts.  In addition to representing clients in criminal proceedings, Iris is extremely knowledgeable in the area of Title IX as it affects male college students.  She often represents students accused of sexual misconduct in the University disciplinary process.


 Iris is listed as a “Top 100 Trial Lawyer” by the highly selective American Trial Lawyers Association and was a “2008 Top Woman Lawyer” by Law Week Colorado.  She has been selected for inclusion on the Top 50 Women list since 2012 and the Top 100 list since 2014 in Colorado Super Lawyers®.   She has been recognized by this publication since 2006.  Since 2011, Iris has been selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in the specialty of Criminal Defense: Non-White Collar.


Due to her focus on sexual offenses and the criminalization of the mentally ill, Iris is often asked to consult with other attorneys, judges and experts on cases involving these issues. She lectures before the Colorado Judicial Conference and other groups of criminal defense lawyers, and she vigorously advocates at the Colorado State Legislature.


Iris' blog, Criminal Defense: Insanity, Incompetency, and Mental Impairment, can be found at: http://www.criminaldefensementalhealth.com

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Practice areas

Licensed

  1. Criminal Defense: 100%

Attorney endorsements

1 total 

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  • Jeffrey Larkin Wertz

    Upon consultation with Larry P, I brought Iris in to take the lead in a complicated white-collar embezzlement case under investigation in Aspen and was very impressed with her work and the client and I were very, very pleased with the outcome of no charges filed. I endorse this lawyer.

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    Jeffrey Wertz Car Accidents Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

Contact info

Eytan Nielsen LLC

3200 Cherry Creek South Drive
Suite 720
Denver, CO, 80209

Resume

License
StateStatusAcquiredUpdated
COActive199801/07/2016
CAActive199411/19/2015
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Awards
Award nameGrantorDate granted
"Top Lawyers" List in Criminal Law52802015
Listed under Criminal Defense: Non-White CollarBest Lawyers in America2015
Top 50 Women Colorado Super LawyersColorado Super Lawyers2015
Top 100 Colorado Super LawyersColorado Super Lawyers2015
Listed under Criminal Defense: Non-White CollarBest Lawyers in America2014
Top 50 Women Colorado Super LawyersColorado Super Lawyers2014
Top 100 Colorado Super LawyersColorado Super Lawyers2014
Top 50 Women Colorado Super LawyersColorado Super Lawyers Magazine2013
Award of Special RecognitionColorado Lawyers Committee2013
Listed under Criminal Defense: Non-White CollarBest Lawyers in America2013
Top 50 Women Colorado Super LawyersColorado Super Lawyers Magazine2012
Listed under Criminal Defense: Non-White CollarBest Lawyers in America2012
Colorado Super LawyerColorado Super Lawyers Magazine2011
Listed under Criminal Defense: Non-White CollarBest Lawyers in America2011
Colorado Super LawyerColorado Super Lawyers Magazine2010
Colorado Super LawyerColorado Super Lawyers Magazine2009
Top Woman LawyerLaw Week Colorado2008
Colorado Super LawyerColorado Super Lawyers Magazine2007
Colorado Super LawyerColorado Super Lawyers Magazine2006
Community Contribution AwardColorado Lawyers Committee2005
Top 100 Trial Lawyers in AmericaAmerican Trial Lawyers AssociationN/A
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PartnerEytan Nielsen LLC2015 - Present
PartnerReilly Pozner LLP2004 - 2015
Senior AttorneyLegal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People2003 - 2004
Deputy State Public DefenderOffice of the Public Defender1998 - 2003
Associations
Association namePosition nameDuration
Colorado Lawyers CommitteeSecretary/Treasurer2014 - Present
National Criminal Defense Forum on Forensic Mental Health & the LawCo-Chair2013 - 2013
Colorado Criminal Defense Bar AssociationBoard Member2013 - Present
18th Judicial District Mental Health Court ProjectLegal Co-Chair2008 - 2008
Capitol Hill Community ServicesBoard Member2007 - 2007
Department of Human Services' Competency CommitteeTask Force Member2006 - 2006
Colorado Lawyers CommitteeExecutive Committee Board MemberN/A
Arapahoe County Mental Health CourtChair of Law and PolicyN/A
Goodwill IndustriesVolunteer-teach criminal law principles to high school studentsN/A
Colorado Lawyers Committee, Mental Health Task ForceChairN/A
Colorado Criminal Defense BarMemberN/A
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Legal Center v. Bicha, et al.Settlement
People v. Eugene ZunigaSettlement
People v. Tyler SanchezDismissal
See all legal cases 
Education
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of San Diego School of LawN/AJD - Juris Doctor1994
University of Arizona College of LawPsychologyB.A., with Honors1991
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
8th Annual Forensic Science and the Law ConferenceUnderstanding Forensic Mental Health2015
University of Denver Sturm College of LawCharacter & Fitness in the Bar Admission Process2014
University of Denver Sturm College of LawPresentation re: Tyler Sanchez Case2014
University of Denver Fraternities and Greek Life OrganizationSex, Booze and the Law2014
University of Colorado School of LawTrial Tactics, Openings and Closings of Trial2014
University of Colorado Denver School of Public AffairsInsanity Defense and Mental Competency in the Colorado Courts2014
Tulane University 2014 Forensic Psychiatry ConferenceCase of False Confession and Incompetence to Waive Miranda: Language and Learning Disabilities in Criminal Defense2014
Kent Denver SchoolSex, Booze and The Law2014
Colorado Criminal Defense Bar AssociationChallenging the State's Competency Mental Health Expert (with Larry Pozner)2014
Capital Case Litigation Training Conference for the Office of the Public Defender of the State of DelawareFalse Confessions and Competency Issues to Waive Miranda2014
Annual MeetingDemonstrative Evidence: Pictures of Winning2014
Annual CLE TrainingThe Truth is: Individuals with Mental Impairments Falsely Confess2014
Wisconsin State Public Defender’s ConferencePolice & Doctors & Judges Oh My! Representing Clients with Mental Impairments2013
University of Colorado School of LawTrial Tactics: Openings and Closings of Trial2013
Presentation for Grand RoundsA Case of False Confession and Incompetence to Waive Miranda: Language and Learning Disabilities in Criminal Defense2013
National Criminal Defense Forum on Forensic Mental Health & The LawOpening Remarks2013
Metropolitan State University of DenverMental Health Defenses2013
Kent Denver SchoolSex, Drugs, and the Law2013
Elizabeth Kelly Blog Talk RadioCelebrity Court Radio Show2013
East High SchoolStreet Law: In Re Gault2013
USA TodayInsanity Defense Looks Likely in Holmes Case2012
University of Denver Sturm College of LawPro Bono Practice at Law Firm2012
University of Colorado School of LawTrial Tactics: Theory2012
MSNBCThe Insanity Defense with Joe Scarborough2012
Kent Denver SchoolSex, Drugs, and the Law2012
Colorado Public Defender Annual Fall ConferenceWhat I’ve Learned From Representing the Incompetent in an Incompetent System2012
Winter ConferenceDemonstrative Evidence2009
Colorado Judicial ConferenceCompetency Statutes Post Zuniga2009
Colorado Criminal Defense Bar (CCDB)Competently Representing the Incompetent2008
Probate Court PanelCompetency Statutes2000