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Sarah Hartley is a partner in the Boulder office practicing in the Commercial Litigation and Antitrust groups. She is the head of the firm’s Outdoor Industry team and a member of the Sports and Entertainment Group.

Sarah has worked with sports clients in the Olympic movement, professional sports, and collegiate sports, and is regularly consulted on Safe Sport matters, governance, and ethical issues. Her practice includes representing NGBs in connection with investigations and disciplinary proceedings involving allegations of sexual misconduct and physical abuse, governance issues, sponsorships, and employment agreements. She has handled numerous contentious disputes regarding allegations of sexual misconduct by coaches, athletic personnel, and others, and has assisted in the development of Safe Sport policies and arbitration procedures for the new U.S. Center for Safe Sport.

Sarah also serves as an advisor to universities on Title IX compliance, including preparing and reviewing policies and procedures, training, and consulting on the handling of allegations of Title IX violations.  She is well-situated to help universities update their policies and procedures as the regulatory environment changes, and to help institutions complete objective and timely investigations and disciplinary proceedings regarding alleged violations of Title IX.

She has significant experience in complex commercial litigation and antitrust disputes, representing local, national and multinational companies in all stages of their dispute resolution process. She has represented clients in disputes related to oil and gas development, financial products, first amendment, intellectual property, government procurement, trade secrets, and contract matters. Sarah has developed expertise with clients’ most complex disputes in the oil and gas industry, the insurance and financial services industries, and the telecommunications industry, among others. She has taken lead roles in a broad range of litigation matters, including second-chaired multiple arbitrations, state and federal court trials, and jury trials.

In addition to her experience in private practice, Sarah serves as adjunct professor for a course focusing on governance, sexual misconduct, doping, and other sports topics for the University of Colorado Law School. Previously, she worked with a non-profit environmental law firm, gaining experience with diverse aspects of public interest environmental advocacy, including litigation under the Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act, FLPMA and NEPA, with a specific focus on climate change issues.


Civic Involvement & Honors

    • Board of Directors, Colorado Outward Bound School
    • Board of Directors, Positive Coaching Alliance
    • Board of Directors, Mile High Squash (2011-2014)
    • Articles Review Editor, Virginia Environmental Law Journal
    • Board of Directors, Mile High Squash (2011-2014)
    • Articles Review Editor, Virginia Environmental Law Journal
    • Articles Review Editor, Virginia Environmental Law Journal
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Professional Affiliations

    • Sports Lawyers Association
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Representative Experience


  • Developed policies and procedures for investigation and arbitration of Safe Sport complaints for new U.S. Center for Safe Sport.
  • Works with various NGBs on Safe Sport issues.
  • Handles Safe Sport complaints, including evidentiary hearings.
  • Works with various NGBs and leagues on governance issues, sponsorship deals, and employment matters.
  • Successfully represented professional football team in litigation over use of trademarks.


  • Represented telecommunications manufacturer in a seven-month jury trial and subsequent appeal regarding numerous antitrust issues.
  • Represented state university in defense of antitrust claims regarding on-campus student housing.
  • Won dismissal in Federal Court in Denver in a Section 1 and Section 2 gas transportation antitrust case seeking more than $100 million.  Briefed the appeal in the 10th Circuit.

Commercial Litigation

  • Won trial in Colorado state court, involving control of a $90 million natural gas pipeline.  Briefed and won appeal in Colorado Court of Appeals.
  • Won arbitration involving attempts to shut down a natural gas pipeline.
  • Represented telecommunications manufacturer in $30 billion patent licensing dispute regarding cell phone technology.
  • Obtained favorable settlement for natural gas exploration and development company in royalty dispute.
  • Represented insurance company to develop global strategy for managing and resolving multi-district and international litigation regarding defective Chinese drywall.
  • Represented parties in arbitration contesting ownership of major social media platform.
  • Obtained favorable settlement for transgendered Federal inmate on claims of failure to protect and failure to provide necessary medical treatment.
  • Represented direct sales company in dispute regarding supply of ingredient for cosmetics line.
  • Represented outside directors in indemnification action against former bank.
  • Represented major retail company in trademark suit regarding parody on company marks.