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David Jelsma represents clients in all phases of general and complex litigation in federal courts, state courts, and arbitration proceedings.

David has significant experience representing plaintiffs and defendants alike. He has played a lead role pursuing and defending breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contractual representations and warranties, and fraud-based claims, including claims in complex, consolidated cases involving multiple parties. David has brought affirmative claims in federal court under the Administrative Procedure Act, has successfully defended against substantive and procedural challenges to governmental action in state court, and has pursued and defended declaratory judgments in state courts across the country. David has also helped to obtain favorable settlement agreements in contentious, highly-sensitive arbitration proceedings, including by bringing aggressive counterclaims.

David has experience conducting direct examinations of lead witnesses, as well as cross-examinations of hostile defendants. As a result of these examinations he has successfully obtained seven-figure pre-judgment writs. He has played lead roles drafting complaints, motions to dismiss, motions to compel, motions for protective orders, motions for summary judgment, and appellate briefs. He also has experience preparing for and participating in depositions. David has significant experience arguing at the trial level, and has also argued on appeal.

David's pro bono practice includes litigating claims in federal court on behalf of veterans seeking benefits from the U.S. government, as well as First Amendment claims on behalf of the citizen press.

David graduated Order of the Coif and second in his class from the University of Colorado Law School, where he completed judicial externships with the Honorable Timothy M. Tymkovich of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and the Honorable Scott T. Varholak of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. While in law school, David was an articles editor for the University of Colorado Law Review, a teaching assistant for first-year legal writing students, vice president and student bar association representative for the Food Law Society, and a law school student ambassador.

Before pursuing the law, David spent nearly a decade in the agriculture and food and beverage industries, working as a waiter, cook, supervisor, and farmhand. This service-based background informs his practice of law, animates his appreciation for hard work, and guides his approach to team-oriented problem solving. David takes great pride in achieving favorable results for his clients through the creative, vigorous, and zealous practice of law.



  • J.D., University of Colorado Law School, 2019, Order of the Coif
  • B.A., English, University of Colorado Boulder, 2010, National Merit Scholarship Commended Student


  • Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit