David C. Hallford, Of Counsel

David C. Hallford

Of Counsel, Balcomb & Green, P.C.

Martindale-Hubbell Preeminent Attorney 2019

Water Law | Natural Resources & Environment | Local Government Law


David is Of Counsel at Balcomb & Green with an extensive water law background whose practice currently focuses within the Colorado River and Arkansas River basins. David’s work has been varied within the field of water law, including several significant water court trials and Colorado Supreme Court appeals.

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David attended law school at the University of Denver. He subsequently clerked at a small oil and gas law firm and then at a larger firm with a small water law practice where he developed an interest in property law and litigation. After graduation he worked as an associate attorney at Calkins Kramer Grimshaw & Harring and as a partner of Saunders Snyder Ross & Dickson (SSR&D) in Denver.

In 1993, David became in-house general counsel for the Colorado River Water Conservation District in Glenwood Springs. As CRWCD general counsel, he became familiar with Colorado’s Western Slope and its water users and issues. After returning to private practice in 2001, he became water attorney for Eagle County, Lake County, the City of Fountain, Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District, Fort Lyon Canal Company, and others. He also represented Public Service Company as a special counsel.

Born in Enid, Oklahoma and raised in New Mexico, David has been a Colorado resident since 1977.

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Client Results
  • Adjudicated area-wide (“umbrella”) augmentation plans for governmental suppliers in the Colorado, Yampa and Arkansas River basins.
  • Negotiated with numerous federal and state agencies and water suppliers for the “15-Mile Reach” Programmatic Biological Opinion regarding existing and future water use and the recovery of Colorado River endangered fish species.
  • Participated in the successful defense against Union Park Project trans-mountain diversion project water rights claims in state water courts and the Colorado Supreme Court.
  • Conducted mutual ditch company review for a major change of irrigation water rights in the Fort Lyon Canal Company system.
  • Participated in successful trial and appellate representation and arguments for Public Service Company in defense of FRICO changes of South Platte River water rights.
  • Represented Colorado River Water Conservation District in the acquisition of water facilities and water supplies and the creation of its water marketing policy and contracts.
Education & Admissions


  • University of Denver, Sturm College of Law (1980 J.D.)
    Order of St. Ives – Awarded the American Jurisprudence Award
  • Member, Denver Law Journal (1979 – 1980)
  • Oklahoma Panhandle State University (1977 B.A., Cum Laude, Alpha Chi, President’s and Dean’s Honor Roll

Bar Admissions

  • State of Colorado (1980)
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado (1980)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals,10th Circuit (1993)
Honors & Activities

Professional Experience:

  • General Counsel, Colorado River Water Conservation District (1993-2001)
  • Partner, Saunders, Snyder, Ross & Dickson, P.C. (1985-1993)
  • Associate, Calkins, Kramer, Grimshaw & Harring, P.C. (1980-1985)

Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • Member and Chairman, Ninth Judicial District Judicial Performance Commission (2005 – 2013)
  • Instructor, Colorado Water Law, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of Denver, Sturm College of Law (1984 – 1992)


  • Environmental Regulations as Water Rights Takings, Natural Resources & Environment, Vol. 6, No. 1 (American Bar Association) (1991)
  • Water Reuse and Exchange Plans, 17 The Colorado Lawyer 1083 (June, 1988)
  • Developments in Conditional Water Rights Law, 14 The Colorado Lawyer 353 (March, 1985)