Melissa Hailey

Melissa Hailey

Title: Attorney

Phone/Direct Dial: 303-534-0401


About Me

Melissa Hailey represents clients in state and federal courts on matters involving a wide range of areas, including catastrophic personal injury, insurance bad faith, and environmental protection.  Licensed in 2006, Melissa has worked in both the non-profit sector and in private practice. She carries active law licenses in the States of Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.  She has been selected by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star for 2016.

Melissa has a passion for advocacy is motivated both by helping people find justice in their individual cases, and by utilizing the practice of law to help shape public policy.  Melissa joined Keating Wagner Polidori Free in 2015.  She came to our firm with Randy Barnhart, with whom she has been working since 2010.  Prior to joining Mr. Barnhart, Melissa was the first Staff Attorney employed by the national non-profit organization, WildEarth Guardians.  She has achieved success for her clients through the use of administrative proceedings, bench and jury trials, the appellate process, arbitration, and mediation.

Outside of the office, Melissa enjoys hiking and cycling with her husband, step daughter, and two black labs.  She is a member of the Colorado Trial Lawyers’ Bad Faith Committee, as well as the Animal Legal Defense Fund, and serves as the President of the Board of the Southern Plains Land Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to setting aside land for the benefit of native wildlife.



Catastrophic Personal Injury
Insurance Bad Faith
Products Liability
Public Interest Environmental Law



Colorado (2010)
New Mexico (2006)
Arizona (2010)



U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico
U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona
U.S. Circuit Court for the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
U.S. Circuit Court for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
U.S. Circuit Court for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
U.S. Circuit Court for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals



Seattle University School of Law, Juris Doctor, cum laude, 2006
University of Denver, Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, 2001



Colorado Trial Lawyers’ Association
Attorneys’ Information and Exchange Group



Center for Biological Diversity v. Otter, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3958 (D. Idaho).
Plaza Ins. Co. v. Lester, 110 F.Supp. 3d 1041 (D. Colo. 2015).
WildEarth Guardians v. Salazar, 741 F.Supp.2d 87 (D.D.C. 2010)
WildEarth Guardians v. Salazar, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105253 (D. Ariz.).




Author, with Randy Barnhart, “Protective Orders: Weighing Claims of Trade Secrets Against the Public’s Right to Safety Information,” in Trial Talk, December/January 2012, Volume 61, Issue 1.

Author, with Jay Tutchton, Chapter 7, “The Legal Framework for Wolf Recovery in the Southern Rockies,” in Awakening Spirits: Wolves in the Southern Rockies (2010), eds., Richard P. Reading, et. al.


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