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Jessica Yates appointed as new attorney regulation counsel for Colorado

Monday, April 30, 2018

DENVER – The Colorado Supreme Court announced today it has appointed Jessica Yates, a partner at Snell & Wilmer, LLP, as the state’s new attorney regulation counsel. She will replace James C. Coyle, who is retiring from the position effective June 30, 2018, after 28 years of service in the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel including serving the past five years as regulation counsel.

“We wish Jim all the best in his well-deserved retirement after nearly three decades of dedicated service to the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel,” said Supreme Court Chief Justice Nancy E. Rice. “We are confident Jessica will maintain the excellence and efficiency the office is known for throughout the country.”

The Supreme Court Attorney Regulation Advisory Committee interviewed applicants and nominated three finalists for consideration by the Supreme Court.

“We’re thankful for the committee’s work in the difficult task of selecting nominees from a broad field of highly qualified candidates,” said Supreme Court Chief Justice-designate Nathan B. Coats, liaison justice to the committee. “Jessica’s leadership qualities and experience in legal ethics will serve the office well in continuing its important work.”

Yates’ legal practice focuses on litigation and appeals in federal and state courts, as well as business issues and negotiations. She is head of Snell & Wilmer’s Ethics Committee in Denver, where she is responsible for ethics compliance and providing guidance to attorneys on matters involving ethics and professional responsibility.

“The work of the Office of Attorney Regulation is extremely important, and I’m excited to lead its efforts,” Yates said. “Being an attorney is more than a job. There are overarching responsibilities in being part of our system of law. I’d like every attorney in Colorado to embrace those responsibilities.”

Yates earned her undergraduate degree in 1992 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree from the University of York in England in 1994. Yates graduated in 2006 from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Before she became a lawyer, Yates served as special assistant to the assistant secretary, Office of Budget, Technology and Finance, in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for three years ending in 2003. Before joining Snell & Wilmer in 2007, she spent a year in a clerkship for Judge David Ebel of the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

“Selecting a new leader for this office truly was difficult, but we believe Jessica’s experience and character will be a great fit with a devoted staff whose work is highly respected by similar offices around the world,” said Supreme Court Justice Monica M. Márquez,” liaison justice to the Attorney Regulation Advisory Committee. “Coloradans should be proud of the quality of work done by this office.”

The Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel oversees attorney admissions, attorney registration, mandatory continuing legal and judicial education, attorney discipline and regulation of the unauthorized practice of law. Additional information on the office may be found at

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