Sheila Gutterman, co-founder and senior counsel of Gutterman Griffiths, PC, is known in the Denver community as an outstanding leader, dedicated to resolution of family disputes and giving back to the community. Sheila’s greatest skill lies in her ability to meet with each client and formulate a plan, in association with the client, as to which process from litigation to collaboration to mediation is best suited to that client’s individual needs. As recognition of her numerous achievements in the legal field and the administration of justice, Sheila just received the Denver Bar Association’s Award of Merit, the highest recognition given by the Denver Bar. Sheila’s expertise ranges from analysis of financial assets, in both large and small estates; evaluation of family dynamics involving children’s rights and responsibilities; valuations of marital and non-marital holdings; analysis of client’s needs and a focus on the client’s ability to heal and move forward after the divorce. Sheila has chaired the Colorado Bar Association Family Law section and is presently part of the executive committee. She has led task forces on maintenance/alimony and child support and was instrumental in restructuring how family law is practiced in Colorado. She has chaired the Colorado Judicial Institute and continues to be active in maintaining merit based selection of judges in Colorado. Sheila taught the Barbri Bar Review in family law for 19 years and many new attorneys keep her outline on their desks for reference in family law. Sheila has practiced for 30 years and helping clients through the difficult transition of divorce is her passion.
Honors & Distinctions
2017 Award of Merit, Denver Bar Association
Lifetime Achievement – America’s Top 100 Attorneys
10 Best in Client Satisfaction, American Institute of Family Law Attorneys, 2016
Colorado Super Lawyer, 2009 – 2017, including in the list of Top 50 Women Lawyers.
Top Denver Lawyer in Family Law and Divorce by 5280 Magazine and The Denver Post, 2015
Athena Award, Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, 2014.
Top 100 Lawyers by The National Advocates, 2014; 2015
10 Best in Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys (AIFLA).
Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, 2012
Best Family Law Attorney (People’s Choice) by Law Week Colorado, 2010 – 2012
Best Family Lawyer (People’s Choice) in the Barrister’s Best publication of Law Week Colorado, 2011 – 2012
Pioneer Award, Colorado Collaborative Law Professionals, 2008
Outstanding Businesswoman of the Year, Denver Business Journal, 2008
Entrepreneur of the Year, Women’s Vision Foundation, 2001
Best of the Bar finalist, Denver Business Journal
Outstanding Women in Business Finalist, Denver Business Journal, 2006
“Very Important Person”, Intermountain Jewish News
Volunteer Lawyer of the Year, Denver Bar Association, 1994
“Outstanding Woman in Business” award, National Council of Jewish Women
AV rating from Martindale Hubbell, 1990 – present
10 out of 10 rating on AVVO
BARBRI Bar Review National Lecturer/Video/Outline – Family Law, 1990 – 2009
Supreme Court Commission on Families and Children in Colorado
“The break-up of the family is one of our nation's biggest crises; we must help individuals choose the process that fills each person's case specific needs.”
Colorado Bar Association, Family Law Section Past Chair, Secretary, Treasurer
Colorado Judicial Institute, Planning Committee for the 50th Anniversary Merit Selection celebration, Past Chairperson, Board Member, and Membership Chairperson
Denver Bar Association 1st Vice President and Budget Director
American Bar Association Foundation Fellow
Colorado Bar Association Board of Governors (6 years)
Colorado Bar Association Foundation Fellow
Colorado Collaborative Law Professionals (CCLP), Founder and Former Chair
Academy for Collaborative Practice, Founder and Chair (10+ years’ experience)
Colorado Domestic Violence Advisory Steering Committee
Association for Conflict Resolution, Advanced Practitioner (200+ mediated cases)
Colorado Women’s Bar Foundation Fellow
Supreme Court Commission on Families and Children in Colorado
Barrister’s Benefit Ball Chairperson (2 years); Fundraiser – Low Cost Legal Services
Authorships & Presentations
Founder of Collaborative Law in Colorado: conducted 27 formal workshops on this process including sponsoring national presenters as well as numerous informal educational sessions. 2002 to present.
Featured in the national ABA Journal publication in honor of her role as the “Mother of Collaborative Law” in Colorado, and her importance in the landscape of Colorado family litigation and alternative dispute resolution as a result.
Family Law Faculty for “Our Courts,” a joint project between the Colorado Judicial Institute and the Colorado Bar Association.
Featured in “Model Program Brings Holistic Solutions to Divorce,” American Bar Association(ABA) Journal, February 2015, by G.M. Filisko.
“Divorce Corp: An Endorsement of the Merit Based Selection of Judges”, Sheila M. Gutterman and Margot F. Alicks Colorado Bar Association Family Law Section Newsletter, Spring 2014
BARBRI Bar Review National Lecturer/Video/ Outline – Family Law, 1990-2012
“Our Courts: Family Law” Presentation, Academy of Lifelong Learning, March 2013 to present.
“Collaborative Law: A New Model for Dispute Resolution”, 2002, a textbook used in Law Schools nationally.
“Collaborative Family Law – Part II” (Vol. 30 No. 12; pp57-59) The Colorado Lawyer
“Collaborative Family Law – Part I” (Vol. 30 No. 11:pp57-60) The Colorado Lawyer
Basic Outline on Family Law in Colorado (ongoing)
Colorado Continuing Legal Education (ongoing lectures)
Training workshops in Alternative Dispute Resolution
Minimizing the Emotional Trauma of Divorce (Ongoing Lecture Series)
The Good Divorce, Channel 9 Relationship Series
“Jewish Divorce and the Get”, Intermountain Jewish News
“Wanted: Market Values in Divorce Cases”, Colorado Real Estate Journal
“Back to Basics: 10 Fundamental Concepts in Family Law”, Workshop and Lecturer
“In Court and Out of Court Options” in Divorce (ongoing)
“Divorce Experts”, Colorado Expression, April / May 2009
“Executive Edge”, ColoradoBiz Magazine, April 2009
“It is in the best interests of parents going through a divorce to minimize conflict and to work collaboratively towards peaceful resolutions.”
University of Denver, Juris Doctorate, 1987
University of Michigan, M.A., Guidance and Counseling, 1967 (cum laude)
University of Michigan, B.A., pre-law, 1965 (cum laude)