With a nearly three decades-long career in the public and private sectors, Cole Wist is a creative problem solver, a seasoned litigator and a principled, dedicated advocate. Cole has represented clients in complex litigation and policy matters across the US and has served his community and state as an elected official.

Cole represents employers in labor and employment matters, focusing on workplace safety and health and industrial crisis management. He is regularly called upon to defend clients on a wide range of matters following workplace accidents and emergencies. Over the course of his career, Cole has counseled clients following high profile incidents in a variety of industrial settings, including construction sites, surface and underground mines, oil and gas production and processing facilities, pipelines, electrical generation sites, smelters and chemical plants. Cole has litigated product liability and complex tort cases to verdict in state and federal courts.

In addition to his litigation practice, Cole represents clients in regulatory enforcement matters before administrative agencies, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) and Chemical Safety Board. Cole advises and trains employers regarding inspection strategies, liability prevention and crisis management. His experience also includes representation of employers on discrimination, retaliation and whistleblower claims.

Cole served two terms in the Colorado House of Representatives and was elected Assistant Minority Leader by his peers. Over the course of his legislative career, Cole earned a reputation as a productive, bipartisan lawmaker who was not afraid to take on tough issues. He sponsored and passed significant legislation, including Colorado’s sweeping data privacy and breach notification statute, a bill to reform the state’s construction defect litigation process, a law creating an alternative dispute mechanism for open records disputes and a civil rape shield statute. Cole also represented Colorado as a Commissioner on the influential Uniform Law Commission, which provides states with non-partisan, well-drafted legislation that brings clarity and stability to critical areas of state statutory law. Cole’s legislative accomplishments and policy work have been recognized by national and state organizations, including Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Colorado Civil Justice League and Mental Health America.

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  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1988
  • University of Denver, B.A., 1985


  • Colorado, 1991
  • Utah, 1989

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Denver and Colorado Bar Associations
  • Utah State Bar
  • American Bar Association
  • Colorado Mining Association
  • Industrial Minerals Association – North America
  • Uniform Law Commission
  • Colorado Mesa University Board of Trustees
  • Governor’s Task Force on Civil Justice Reform
  • Executive Committee, Colorado Lawyers Committee
  • Coach, Regis Jesuit High School Mock Trial Team
  • Moot Court Judge, University of Denver School of Law
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Employment Law – Management, 2014 – present
  • Colorado Super Lawyers, Employment & Labor, 2007 – Present
  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent Rating
  • American Bar Foundation Fellow
  • Colorado Bar Foundation Fellow

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Award Mouse thought multimedia interface book medal screen monitor