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About me

I have been a state and federal prosecutor, and the first Federal Public Defender for the District of Colorado. The emphasis of my private practice has been white collar criminal defense.  I have represented lawyers, judges, public officials, corporate executives and private persons during the investigative stages of criminal inquiries, and during trials after charges have been lodged, primarily at the federal level.  Criminal investigative pursuits have been by various agencies, including the FBI, SEC, DEA, FDIC, OSHA, EPA, Colorado Securities Commissioner, Colorado Attorney General, etc.  I have appeared in a number of high profile cases involving alleged corporate corruption, securities violations, bank fraud, terrorist activities arising out of the 9/11 attack on the U. S. Pentagon, and a habeas corpus class action against the U. S. Bureau of Prisons and the U. S. Parole Commission. I successfully obtained reversal of a perjury conviction by the U. S. Supreme Court after beifing the issues and arguing the case before the High Court in 1979.


I have been listed in Best Lawyers in America for over twenty-five years in the categories of white collar criminal defense and nonwhite collar criminal defense, and in Super Lawyers in white collar criminal defense since the inception of the publication in 2006.  My firm has also been listed among the best law firms in the United States by U. S. News and World Report.  I have been a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers since 1900, and served as Colorado State Chair from 1992-1994. 


Practice areas


  1. Criminal Defense: 80%
    37 years, 500 cases
  2. Appeals: 20%
    47 years, 120 cases


Payment types:


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Contact info

1801 Broadway
Suite 1100
Denver, CO, 80202


NMSuspended for non-payment of dues196903/11/2013
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
best in white collar and nonwhite collar criminal defenseBest Lawyers in America2013
best in white collar criminal defenseSuper Lawyers2013
FellowAmerican College of Trial Lawyers1990
Special Citation for organizing Federal Public Defender's OfficeU. S. District Court for District of Colorado1979
Special CommendationU. S. Department of Justice1973
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Attorney at LawDaniel J. Sears, P. C.1979 - Present
Federal Public Defender for the District of ColoradoAdministrative Office of the U. S. Courts1975 - 1979
Assistant U. S. AttorneyU. S. Attorney for the District of Colorado1973 - 1975
Speical AttorneyU. S. Department Of Justice, Criminal Division1972 - 1973
Deputy District Attorney and Special ProsecutorPueblo County District Attorney's Office1968 - 1972
Association namePosition nameDuration
Faculty of Federal AdvocatesPresident, 2001-2002; Board of Directors, 1999-20021996 - Present
Colorado Bar AssociationMember1968 - Present
Faculty of Federal AdvocatesPresident2002 - 2004
Denver Bar AssociationConciliation panel member1999 - 2005
Criminal Justice Act CommitteeBoard member1999 - 2001
Denver Bar AssociationCo-Chair, Speaker's Bureau1996 - 1998
American College of Trial LawyersColorado State Chairman1992 - 1994
Denver Bar AssociationMember, Legal Fee Arbitration Committee1983 - 1991
U.S. District Court, District of ColoradoFederal Court Liaison Committee1980 - 1991
Committee on Certification of Lawyers to Federal PracticeMember1979 - 1980
Colorado Bar AssociationMember, Colorado Jury Reform Committee1977 - 1979
Pueblo County Bar AssociationTreasurer1971 - 1972
Governor's Council on Crime ControlBoard member1966 - 1972
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Dunn v. United States, 442 U.S. 100 (1979)reversal of conviction
Watts v. Haddenhabeas corpus relief granted
United States v. Haggertyprosecution dismissed
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
The Colorado LawyerFederal Sentencing Guidelines - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly1997
The Colorado LawyerDefense Practice Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines: Bargaining For Freedom1993
Federal ProbationDefense Practice Under the Bail Reform Acts and the Sentencing Guidelines1991
The Colorado LawyerDefending the Federal Drug and Racketeering Charge1987
Colorado Trial Lawyer Association publication (CTLA)Securibng A Reasonable Bond (or any bond at all) In Federal Cases1986
Colorado Trial Lawyer Association publication (CTLA)RICO and CCE: The Lawyer As A Witness1986
The Colorado LawyerA Synopsis of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 19841985
The Colorado LawyerRelease Determinations by the U. S. Parole Commission - an enigma1982
The Colorado LawyerCertiorari Review in the U. S. Supreme Court1980
Colorado Trial Lawyer Association publication (CTLA)Sentencing Alternatives - Federal Court1979
National Association of Criminal Defense LawyersUninvited Ear in the Defense Camp1978
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Colorado School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1968
Colorado State UniversityN/ABachelor of Science1965
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Federal practice seminarPros and Cons of Entering Into a Joint Defense Agreement2007
Professionalism in prosecution and defenseCriminal Law: Ethics and Professionalism2004
Fall Federal Practice SeriesHow to Play Well With Others: Lessons from the Multi-Defendant Case2004
Media and Bar RelationsMedia and the Bar: Whose Ox Is Being Gored2001
Investigations: How To Deal With and Do ThemWhen the Investigator Has A Law Enforcement Badge1999
Ethics and Experts in the Federal Criminal CaseWhither Expect Witnesses After Kumho Tire1999
Practice in the U. S. Tenth Circuit Court of AppealsThe Appellate Brief1993
Seizure of PropertyFederal Aspects of Property Forfeiture1992
Federal Court Practice: The CJA, Pretrial Services, Probation and Sentencing GuidelinesPractical Tips for Practitioners Under the Criminal Justice Act1992
Seminar for newly appointed judgesSentencing in the federal courts1982
Hearings on 1984 Omnibus Crime Control and Sentence Reform ActLegislation to Revise and Recodify Federal Criminal Laws1979