Kendall Burgemeister

Kendall Burgemeister joined the Firm as an associate in 2009, and became a member in 2013. He represents clients in water matters in the Arkansas, Rio Grande, Gunnison, North Fork, and Colorado River Basins. Among other activities, Kendall is a member of the Advisory Committee that is working with the Division of Water Resources to promulgate rules governing the use of groundwater in the Rio Grande Basin. In addition to water law, Kendall practices in the areas of real estate, business planning, civil litigation, and local government law. He has represented clients in residential, commercial, and agricultural real estate transactions across the Western Slope. He has also advised many local entrepreneurs in the establishment of new businesses. Prior to joining the Firm, Kendall graduated from the University of Colorado Law School, where he engaged in internships and research projects involving water law, real property law, and civil litigation, laying a foundation for what have become his most prominent practice areas with the Firm. Prior to law school, he attended Boise State University, where he graduated summa cum laude, with a 4.0 GPA, and was the outstanding graduate from the College of Business and Economics. When not at the office, you are likely to find Kendall skiing, mountain biking, golfing, hunting, or otherwise enjoying the outdoor recreational opportunities that the Gunnison Valley provides.

Legal Experience:

Law of the Rockies (and predecessor firms)
Member, 2013-Present
Associate, 2009-2012
Gunnison, Colorado
  • Advise and represent clients in transactions and civil litigation involving:
              Water Law
              Real Estate
              Business Law
              Estate Planning

The Sonnesyn Law Firm
Law Clerk, 2008-2009
Longmont, Colorado
  • Researched and drafted memoranda regarding various estate planning and federal taxation issues

Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP
Summer Associate, 2008
Denver, Colorado
  • Researched and drafted memoranda and motions relating to real estate, securities, bankruptcy, construction, and employment law.

Practice Areas


University of Colorado Law School
Juris Doctor, 2009

Boise State University
Bachelor of Business Administration (Economics) with minors in finance and applied mathematics, 2006
Summa cum laude
4.0 GPA


Honors, Awards, and Activities

Recipient of the John & Cynthia Schultz Scholarship

Recipient of the Sustainable Development Law Scholarship

Research assistant for professor Nestor Davidson, 2009

Research assistant for the Natural Resources Law Center, 2008

Research assistant for the Center for Energy and Environmental Security, 2006-2007

Top 10 Scholar

Outstanding Graduate from the College of Business & Economics (The “Wall Street Journal Award”)

Brown Scholar (Full tuition, room and board scholarship through the Honors College)

Professional Memberships

Colorado State Court

United States District Court for the District of Colorado



Representative Matters:

Representative Water Law Matters:

  • Represented the owner of senior irrigation water rights in the upper Gunnison River basin in the negotiation and closing of a sale of water rights to a municipal water provider
  • Represented a water conservancy district in the acquisition of water rights and storage rights
  • Rendered multiple legal opinions for various landowners regarding the legal status of water rights associated with their property
  • Counseled a prospective purchaser of a ranch in the Colorado River basin and rendered a legal opinion regarding the status of the water rights associated with the ranch property
  • Represented a shareholder in a mutual ditch company in negotiations with the ditch company and with a third party to allow the shareholder to lease water rights represented by ownership of shares in the mutual ditch company to the third party
  • Represented owner of water rights in negotiations of an express easement for an irrigation ditch
  • Represented a real estate developer in obtaining confirmation of new water rights and approval of a plan for augmentation for a proposed subdivision in the upper Gunnison River basin
  • Represented numerous developers and homeowners' associations in preserving conditional water rights by obtaining findings of reasonable diligence or making such conditional water rights absolute
  • Represented numerous water rights holders by filing statements of opposition in water rights cases to ensure that their water rights are protected
  • Participated in groundwater rulemaking proceedings in Water Division 3
  • Quieted title to irrigation water rights under the doctrine of adverse possession

Representative Real Estate Matters:

  • Represented numerous sellers and purchasers of agricultural and residential real estate in all aspects of the transaction including contract negotiation, title review, and due diligence
  • Represented multiple owners of commercial real estate in the negotiation and enforcement of lease agreements

Representative Business Planning & Commercial Transaction Matters:

  • Counseled and represented multiple business entities in the negotiation of various types of contracts
  • Represented multiple clients in the formation of new businesses, including the drafting of necessary governing documents for the newly formed entity such as articles of organization and operating agreements

Representative Estate Planning Matters:

  • Counseled rancher (whose assets included significant real estate holdings, decreed water rights, ranch equipment and other personal property, stock brands, and grazing permits) in various aspects of the estate planning process, and drafted all necessary estate planning documents including a will, revocable trust agreement, deeds, and bills of sale

Professional Lectures and Publications:

Water Rights Due Diligence, CLE International Water Law Institute Water Transfers Conference, July 25, 2013, Beaver Creek, Colorado
Adverse Possession of a Water Right: Unanswered Questions After Archuleta v. Gomez, Water Court Practice Program - Geographical Divisions Program Series: Water Resources, Issues and Administration of the Gunnison River, San Miguel River, Dolores River and San Juan River Basins, May 16, 2013, Denver, Colorado
Staying in the Current: Developments and Trends in Colorado Water Law (with Marcus J. Lock)
36th Annual Colorado Water Workshop
July 20, 2011, Gunnison, Colorado

Water Law 101 (with Marcus J. Lock)
Colorado Water Trust Water on the Land Workshop
June 30, 2011, Alamosa, Colorado

Water Law 101(with Marcus J. Lock)
Colorado Water Trust Water on the Land Workshop
March 31, 2011, Salida, Colorado

Water Law 101(with Marcus J. Lock)
Colorado Water Trust Water on the Land Workshop
February 4, 2011, Gunnison, Colorado

Colorado Water Law in the 21st Century (with Marcus J. Lock)
August 24, 2010, Crestone, Colorado