Marcus J. Lock

Marcus is currently the firm’s managing member.  He represents a variety of clients, primarily in the areas of civil litigation, real estate and development, construction, and water law.  Marcus  was named a Lawyer of the Year by Law Week Colorado in 2014, and he has been recognized repeatedly by Colorado Super Lawyers Magazine.  Marcus clerked for the Colorado Supreme Court and the United States District Court for the District of Colorado after graduating first in his law school class at the University of Colorado.  Before relocating permanently to the beautiful Gunnison Valley, Marcus worked on numerous high-profile cases while practicing law in Denver at one of Colorado’s preeminent litigation and trial firms. 

Legal Experience:

Member 2007-Present
Law of the Rockies (and predecessor firms)
Gunnison, Colorado
  • Provide representation to various clients in all aspects civil litigation, including trials and appeals in state and federal courts.
  • Provide representation to various clients in real estate matters, land use planning, and commercial transactions.
  • Provide representation to various clients in all aspects of water rights litigation, water rights transactions, water supply planning, changes of water rights, implementation of exchanges, development of augmentation plans, and related matters.

Associate Attorney 2004-2007
Reilly Pozner & Connelly, LLP
Denver, Colorado
  • Represented clients in all aspects and types of civil and administrative litigation, including complex commercial litigation, real property litigation, franchise disputes, trade secrets litigation, professional malpractice litigation, bar admission and disciplinary litigation, and litigation concerning various other tort and contract disputes.
  • Spearheaded firm’s participation in Colorado Pledge To Diversity and other efforts to increase hiring and retention of minority candidates.
  • Acted as an ethics consultant to management on compliance with the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct.

Attorney 2003-2004
Bratton & McClow, LLC
Gunnison, Colorado
  • Represented clients in commercial and construction litigation, appellate litigation, real property litigation, acquisition and sale of real property, commercial transactions, water rights litigation, water rights transactions, and business formation and planning.

Law Clerk to the Honorable Zita L. Weinshienk 2002-2003
United States District Court for the District of Colorado
Denver, Colorado
  • Drafted opinions, orders, and jury instructions pertaining to various areas of the law for Judge Weinshienk’s consideration.
  • Assisted in the management and adjudication of trials, motions for summary judgment, motions to dismiss, and various other procedural and substantive pleadings and motions.
  • Responsible for the administration of a docket of approximately 150 cases.

Law Clerk to the Honorable Nancy E. Rice 2001-2002
Colorado Supreme Court
Denver, Colorado
  • Drafted opinions of the Colorado Supreme Court pertaining to civil, criminal, constitutional, and many other areas of the law for Justice Rice’s consideration.
  • Drafted multiple memoranda analyzing whether the Colorado Supreme Court should grant certiorari review in cases or issues decided by the Colorado Court of Appeals or Colorado District Courts.

Assistant Legislative Liaison (Lobbyist) Jan. 1997-May 1997
Arizona Game and Fish Department
Phoenix, Arizona
  • Acted as a legislative proponent of departmental policies by analyzing, introducing, supporting, or opposing legislation in the Arizona State Legislature.

Practice Areas

Water Law
Civil Litigation
Real Estate Law and Development 
Business Law
Land Use Planning
Construction Law
Agricultural Law


University of Colorado School of Law.
Juris Doctor, 2001 / Class Rank: 1

Arizona State University.
Bachelor of Science, 1997 / Summa cum laude

Honors, Awards, and Activities

Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America 

Inclusion in Colorado Super Lawyers Magazine 2009-2016

Barrister’s Best Water Lawyer,
Law Week Colorado 2016

Member, Supreme Court Pattern Civil Jury Instructions Committee 2012-2016

Colorado Lawyers Committee Special Recognition Award 2015

Lawyer of the Year, Law Week Colorado 2014

Colorado Lawyers’ Committee, Special Recognition Award 2013

Co-Chair, Water Transfers Conference, CLE International, Beaver Creek, CO 2013

Colorado Bar Association Ethics Committee, Member 2007-2011

Board Member, KBUT Community Radio 2015-Present

Professional Memberships

All Colorado State Trial Courts

Colorado Court of Appeals

Colorado Supreme Court

United States District Court for the District of Colorado

Pro Hac Vice Admission in Arizona Superior Court, County of Maricopa

Pro Hac Vice Admission in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey

Colorado Bar Association

Seventh Judicial District Bar Association


Representative Matters:

Mr. Lock focuses his practice on commercial and construction litigation, real estate, land use planning and development, business formation, planning, and transactions, and water rights adjudication and transactions.  A summary of representative matters follows:
  • Routinely act in a general counsel capacity for longstanding clients by providing both proactive and reactive legal advice concerning liability avoidance, assessment, and mitigation, business planning, negotiating strategy, asset protection, employment law, legal compliance issues, and adherence with corporate formalities.
  • Successful prosecution and defense of venture capital fund in multiple litigation matters concerning employment law, theft of trade secrets, fraud, and breach of contract.
  • Obtained multi-million dollar judgment on the pleadings for collection of a debt on behalf of an oil and gas investor.
  • Successful representation of multiple construction companies and homeowners in construction defect actions.
  • Successful collection of hundreds of thousands of dollars owed to construction company in mechanic’s lien foreclosure action.
  • Successfully closed multiple real estate transactions of all types: residential, commercial, and agricultural.
  • Regularly responsible for the negotiation and execution of complex commercial leasing arrangements.
  • Obtained numerous land use changes on behalf of clients in Gunnison County, Colorado.
  • Routinely assist small businesses with formation, planning, and legal compliance issues.
  • Regularly represent clients such as water conservancy districts and water and sanitation districts with water supply planning and administration.
  • Representation of both sellers and purchasers in complex transactions concerning the transfer of water rights worth millions of dollars.
  • Experienced in, and regularly responsible for, representing clients in obtaining various decrees in water court and opposing various water rights applications.

Professional Lectures:

CLE International’s 4th Annual Conference, Water Transfers
Beaver Creek, CO, 2013
Water Rights Case Law: An Update
Western State Colorado University
Gunnison, CO, 2013
Understanding The Scope of Ditch and Pipeline Easements
CLE in Colorado, Inc., Sponsored by the Colorado Supreme Court and the Colorado Bar Association
Denver, CO, 2013

Water Law 101: The Basic Principles of Colorado Water Law
Colorado Open Space Alliance Annual Conference
Crested Butte, CO 2013

Storage Rights Water Law
Ditch and Reservoir Company Alliance, Annual Convention
Colorado Springs, Colorado, 2012

Staying in the Current: Developments and Trends in Colorado Water Law (with Kendall K. Burgemeister)
36th Annual Colorado Water Workshop
Gunnison, Colorado, 2011

Water Law 101 (with Kendall K. Burgemeister)
Colorado Water Trust, Water on the Land Workshops
Various Locations, 2010-2011

Colorado Water Law in the 21st Century (with Kendall K. Burgemeister)
Crestone, Colorado, 2010

Character and Fitness in the Bar Admission Process (with Larry S. Pozner) (2006)
University of Colorado School of Law
Boulder, Colorado, 2006


Increasing Access to Justice for Colorado’s Poor: Expanding the Role of Nonlawyers in the Delivery of Legal Services to Colorado’s Indigent, 72 Colo. L. Rev. 459 (2001).

Braving The Waters of Supreme Court Takings Jurisprudence: Will the Fifth Amendment Protect Western Water Rights From Federal Environmental Regulations, 4 U. Denv. Water L. Rev. 76 (2000).

Personal Statement:

“Throughout my career, I have focused on identifying, and implementing, creative and innovative solutions to complex disputes.  I am not intimidated by new areas of the law or issues of first impression, and instead, welcome the opportunity to use hard work and careful research to solve a new problem.  I enjoy working with my clients, and I recognize that they are valuable members of my team.  Though I have litigated matters across the state, and I am comfortable and capable in both state and federal courtrooms, I treat trial as an option of last resort.  Accordingly, I work hard to identify opportunities to negotiate resolutions of disputes in accordance with my client’s goals and without the expense of trial.  However, in my experience, I am an effective negotiator because I am always prepared to go to trial and capable of succeeding once I get there, and sometimes trial is the only viable option to achieve the client’s goals.”


Devoted father of five children, loving husband, avid cook, and amateur triathlete.