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Diane Vaksdal Smith

About Diane Smith

About me

          I focus my practice on employment issues, representing both employers and employees, in cases involving claims of wrongful discharge, wrongful termination and infringement on civil rights.  I am a member of the Firm's Commercial Litigation group where I handle business related cases. Finally, I direct the appellate litigation for the firm, appearing before the state and federal appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court.

          I joined Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C., in 1997. I also served as a contract Magistrate Judge for the Seventeenth Judicial District, and handled small claims matters from January of 1996 to February 2002. I wrote "The Small Claims Handbook" to help individuals who represent themselves in Small Claims Court.

          I received my law license in 1984. Prior to joining Burg Simpson, I worked at Hall & Evans, LLC, the Kobayashi Law Offices and Mountain States Legal Foundation. I also served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Karen S. Metzger, Colorado Court of Appeals.

          I often lecture in the Denver community on a variety of topics. I am a contributing author to The Practitioner's Guide to Colorado Employment Law, published by Continuing Legal Education in Colorado.  I am a past chair and current member of the Denver Bar Association's Legal Fee Arbitration Committee and a past member of the Colorado Bar Association's Ethics and Attorney Regulation Committees.

          For many years, I have been active in adopting and supporting American servicemen and women who have been stationed abroad and in harm’s way. Over the years, my family, friends and I have adopted more than 1,000 people – at which point, I just stopped counting. We’ve sent everything from cameras and MP3s to beef jerky and razors. If they want it, we find a way to get it. 

          I also work with kids at the high school level. For 15 years, I have participated in Colorado’s High School Mock Trial competition, sponsored by the Colorado Bar Association. I am always invigorated when I have the chance to watch our future lawyers start to find their voices, while still in High School. I also volunteer at my children’s school, by chaperoning trips, lecturing classes, and generally providing help wherever I can. 

          Finally, I support several causes through my knitting needles. I participate in Burg Simpson‘s effort to support Kaps for Kendall and have provided dozens of hats in support of their program. I've also donated to the Soldier's Squares Project. Most recently, I’ve become involved in supporting The Recovery Buddies Project, which provides knitted pillows that are donated to people who are in some form of a recovery program and need just a little bit of support to keep moving along the path to wellness.