Melissa is a founding partner of Hailey | Hart. She is a respected trial and appellate attorney committed to pursuing justice on behalf of her clients while promoting integrity in the legal profession. Melissa is regularly recognized by her peers as a leading plaintiff’s attorney. She was named as a Colorado Super Lawyer in 2020 and 2021, as a Colorado Super Lawyer Rising Star in 2016 and 2018, among the Top 40 Under 40 of the National Trial Lawyers Association in 2017, and was included in the 2020 and 2021 lists of Best Lawyers in America.
Melissa is licensed to practice in Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. She routinely appears in state and federal appellate courts, and has litigated in the Tenth, Ninth, Fifth, and D.C. Circuit Courts of Appeal. Recent highlights of her appellate work include wins at both the Colorado Court of Appeals and Colorado Supreme Court in the case of Boustred v. Align, which set the new standard for determining specific personal jurisdiction in product liability litigation.
Melissa is an active member of the Colorado Trial Lawyers’ Association (CTLA), the Colorado Women’s Bar Association (CWBA), and the Colorado Women’s Trial Lawyer Network (WTLN). She serves on the CTLA Board of Directors and is a part of CTLA’s bad faith and amicus committees. Since 2018, Melissa has served as a mentor to new attorneys through the State of New Mexico’s Bridge the Gap program.
Melissa is a two-time contributing author to Trial Talk magazine and has co-authored two books: Keating Wagner Polidori Free, P.C., Colorado Pretrial Civil Litigation (LexisNexis Practice Guide, 2019); and Reading et al., Awakening Spirits: Wolves in the Southern Rockies (Fulcrum Press, 2010). Melissa has been a guest lecturer at the University of New Mexico’s School of Law, presented to the U.S. Counsel on Environmental Quality, and regularly speaks at Colorado CLE seminars. Recent seminar topics include: tips for successful mediation; developing pre-litigation settlement packages; maximizing recovery against landowners; holding out-of-state defendants accountable for defective products; and recent changes in insurance laws.
Melissa began her practice in the non-profit sector and remains engaged in the environmental community. Since entering private practice, she has served as the President of the Board of Directors of the Southern Plains Land Trust and as Vice President of the Board of Directors for WildEarth Guardians. Melissa currently serves as pro bono legal counsel to the Board of Directors for High Country News.
Elizabeth (Liz) Hart is a founding partner of Hailey | Hart. She spent her first years of law practice defending insurance companies and large corporations in cases involving personal injury, wrongful death, and catastrophic loss. Liz shielded insurance companies and corporations from paying out millions of dollars in personal injury claims. In some of her landmark cases, she was responsible for the complete dismissal of an $11,000,000 default judgment entered against her corporate client and obtaining defense verdicts at trial.
Years ago, Liz switched sides, bringing to bear the valuable insight gained as a defense attorney to effectively represent injured people and their families in federal and state court. This shift in focus has been the most rewarding change of her career. She is excited to continue representing real people, with real problems and losses at Hailey | Hart.
“The decision of selecting an attorney for your case is the process of selecting someone who will act as an extension of yourself. Insurance companies are for-profit companies that generally perceive claimants as opportunists. In turn, the insurance companies’ goals involve paying out as little as possible and searching for ways to deconstruct and devalue a claim. It is essential to hire a lawyer who is uniquely qualified to gain the trust of the other side and defeat the unfair stigma attached to personal injury claimants. I know how to present you as a human with legitimate damages and losses whose life has been permanently altered. As someone who has experience on both sides of the fence, I am uniquely qualified to grab the defense’s attention to leverage the best possible outcome.”
Having long gravitated to hard work and leadership, Liz was a college athlete at the University of Saint Mary, where she was a starting guard and three-year team captain. After graduating magna cum laude, she attended law school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law where she was inducted into the Order of Barristers, was awarded Dean’s List status, and competed on Trial Advocacy regional and national teams.
Randy Barnhart is of counsel at Hailey | Hart. He is a well-known trial lawyer who has extensive experience with matters involving catastrophic personal injury, insurance bad faith, product liability, and professional negligence. He is regularly retained by other attorneys in different states and jurisdictions to co-counsel auto defect
Randy Barnhart is of counsel at Hailey | Hart. He is a well-known trial lawyer who has extensive experience with matters involving catastrophic personal injury, insurance bad faith, product liability, and professional negligence. He is regularly retained by other attorneys in different states and jurisdictions to co-counsel auto defect cases, and his career has led him to practice nationwide. Over his 40+ years of practice, Randy has secured many substantial verdicts and settlements for deserving clients.
Randy is well-respected by his peers and has received numerous awards and recognitions. Notably, he is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association (CTLA), an organization for which he was a member of the board for many years. Randy has been consistently named to the Super Lawyers list since 2006 and repeatedly recognized in The Best Lawyers in America for his work in insurance law, plaintiff’s personal injury, product liability litigation, and professional malpractice law. Best Lawyers named him Lawyer of the Year in 2014, 2015, 2017-2019, and 2021 for his achievements in these practice areas. He has often been, and is currently, listed by 5280 Magazine as part of their annual Top Attorney list in the areas of personal injury and insurance law.
Randy is a member of the Colorado Bar Association, the American Board of Trial Advocates, CTLA, and the Attorney Information and Exchange Group (AIEG), a nationwide association of product liability lawyers. He is the past Chair of the Colorado Lawyers Committee, the largest pro Bono organization in the state, and currently serves as a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers.