Rory L. Francis, JD

Senior Counsel

Meet Rory

Rory is a highly skilled and respected trial lawyer having tried over 50 cases to verdict (with only two adverse results), with nearly 40 having been tried to a jury in nearly a dozen jurisdictions throughout Colorado and the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. A former colleague and mentor commented, “Rory is that extremely rare example of the breed of lawyer who seems to have been born to practice law. He is unmatched in his passion, attention to detail, knowledge of the law, and sheer tenacity.”

Rory has successfully represented businesses and individuals as both plaintiffs and defendants in prelitigation disputes through trial and appeals. He has a broad civil practice encompassing a wide spectrum of litigation cases, alternative dispute resolution, construction, commercial, personal injury, premises liability, wrongful death, fraud investigation, pre-litigation dispute resolution, estate planning and advising, prenuptial agreements, comprehensive business advising, employment, and expert witness services. He strives to develop effective and efficient dispute resolution strategies based on clear understanding of the nature of underlying disputes, detailed understanding of specific facts involved in each individual case, clear and comprehensive understanding of applicable law, and delivering compelling effective communication focused on reaching the optimal result for his clients.

In addition to advising and representing clients, Rory provides Expert Witness services in cases involving disputes related to Insurance Coverage, allegations of Insurance “Bad Faith”, Claims Handling Practices and Procedures, and Attorney Conduct and Billing Practices.

Firm Service/History

Rory joined CCRJ’s litigation practice in 2022 as Senior Litigation Counsel. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in litigation management, case evaluation, and trial planning and practice. After working for over a decade in various management positions, including Litigation Manager and Fraud Investigation Department Manager for a major US insurance company, Rory pursued his law degree at the University of Denver – Sturm College of Law where he graduated with Honors in 2008. After working as Associate Regional Counsel and Claims Litigation Counsel for the insurance company, he went on to hold positions in Private Practice successfully handling complex litigation representing businesses and individuals.  Rory has served as General Counsel for several “start-ups” and small companies, Special Litigation Counsel, Personal Counsel, and provides Expert Witness services in cases involving Insurance Coverage, Insurance Bad Faith, and Attorney Conduct and Billing Practices. 

Professional Activities

Rory is licensed in the State of Colorado and the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.  He is a member in good standing of the Colorado Bar Association (CBA), Denver Bar Association (DBA), and Colorado Defense Lawyers Association (CDLA). He is a former member of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association (CTLA), Rhone-Brackett Inn of Court, Colorado Claims Association (CCA), Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM), and the International Association of Special Investigation Units (IASIU).

Rory has been a Guest Lecturer at DU Law School and a Featured Presenter, Panelist, and Speaker at State and National Conferences in the insurance and risk management industries. He has presented on topics related to insurance coverage, tort liability, risk management, claims handling, and Colorado Bad Faith law among others.

Education

University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, Bachelor of Science – Political Science, Minor(s): English Literature & Japanese Language – 1985 with High Honors

University of Denver-Sturm College of Law, Denver, Colorado, Juris Doctor – 2008 with Honors

Publications and Representative Cases

Cummings v. McCaskill, Jefferson County District Court – 2018CV31341
Personal Injury Plaintiff – moderate speed intersection accident with Counterclaim: Bifurcated Trial on Liability Only. Defendant was the left-turning vehicle at a controlled intersection and collided with Plaintiff’s vehicle. 70% Liability charged to Defendant. 

Hayward v. Pham & Bui, Arapahoe County District Court – 2014CV32304
Premises Liability Defense – Piano teacher slipped and fell on ice at a private residence resulting in objective injuries (ankle fracture) requiring surgery. Disputed Liability.  Plaintiff sought over $350K in damages at trial. 50% Liability charged to Plaintiff. Verdict for Defendant.   

Lysaker v. Drive Train Industries, Weld County District Court – 2014CV30161
Personal Injury Defense – Five-car chain reaction accident with minor damage on freeway exit ramp. The 17-year-old Plaintiff alleged injuries requiring multiple surgeries with claimed medical expenses of $200K. Admitted Negligence and Disputed Damages. The jury found Plaintiff’s medical complaints and expenses related to a genetic condition as opposed to the auto collision. Plaintiff sought over $1M in damages at trial. $16K Judgment was below the Statutory Offer of Settlement. 

Medina v. Bird, Pueblo County District Court – 2013CV030722
Personal Injury Defense – rear-end auto collision resulting in rollover. Disputed Liability and Damages. The jury found Plaintiff “cut off” Defendant and slammed on his brakes in a “road rage” incident causing Defendant to rear-end Plaintiff who lost control of his pick-up and rolled into the center median.  Plaintiff alleged $12K in medical expenses plus non-economic damages. Plaintiff sought the liability limits of $25K. 100% Liability charged to Plaintiff. Verdict for Defendant.      

Pyfrom v. Heinz, Denver County District Court – 2013CV33616
Personal Injury Defense – auto collision on highway in a construction zone. Disputed Liability and Damages. Plaintiff rear-ended Defendant on the interstate in an active construction zone and alleged Defendant “cut her off”. The jury found Plaintiff and her mother, who was in the vehicle immediately behind Plaintiff, had been texting and Defendant did not change lanes. The 20-year-old Plaintiff alleged $31K in past medical expenses, $31K in future medical expenses and sought over $90K in damages at trial. 100% Liability charged to Plaintiff. Verdict for Defendant.   

Tram v. Laman, El Paso County District Court – 2009CV6833
Personal Injury Defense – Three-car rear-end collision. Admitted Liability and Disputed Damages. Plaintiff alleged aggravation to a pre-existing neck injury from a prior auto collision she had been actively treating for over 7 years. Plaintiff alleged nearly $40K in medical expenses and over $40K in wage loss. Plaintiff sought over $100K in damages at trial. The jury agreed Plaintiff’s injuries predated this accident and awarded $0 in damages. Verdict for Defendant.

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