Project Description

Gwyneth Whalen

Member, Litigation Practice Group Leader

Gwyneth Whalen is the leader of Caplan & Earnest’s litigation practice group. She focuses on civil litigation, including commercial disputes, employment litigation, contested probate, and real property disputes. Gwyneth’s expertise in civil litigation, including her unique perspective as a former judge, has helped the firm expand its role beyond its core areas of education, employment, and health care law.

Gwyneth conducts workplace investigations on behalf of private and public employers. As a former judge and litigator, she brings a unique perspective and expertise to workplace investigations, including neutral, fair and independent fact-finding in high-profile matters. Her understanding of and responsiveness to these often time-sensitive issues have made her an invaluable resource to employers seeking impartial workplace investigations. Gwyneth is a member of and has attended the annual conference of the Association of Workplace Investigators.

Incorporating her Motivational Interviewing training and experience as a judge, Gwyneth also provides alternative dispute resolution services in family law matters. Her services include mediation and arbitration. Gwyneth has received training from Christine Coates, Esq. a renowned expert on family law mediation and arbitration. Gwyneth is sensitive to the special nature and challenges of family law disputes and is known for her pragmatic and compassionate approach to problem-solving. Gwyneth has attended the annual Family Law Institute through the Colorado Bar Association and is a member of the Boulder County Interdisciplinary Committee of legal and mental health professionals who work in the family law area.

Gwyneth rejoined the firm in September 2013 after serving as a judge for the 20th Judicial District of Colorado for seven years. In that capacity, she presided over numerous civil, criminal, and domestic relations dockets as well as the Integrated Treatment Court for high-risk felons. An exemplary leader on the bench, she was unanimously recommended for retention as a district judge by the 20th Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance in 2008. Prior to joining the judiciary, Gwyneth led Caplan and Earnest’s litigation practice group; she was with Caplan & Earnest for 10 years before joining the judiciary. She also practiced with the Boulder County Attorney’s office for four years, representing the Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services in child protection cases. Because of her high success rate she was named a Super Lawyer by 5280 magazine. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Colorado Bar Association, and the Boulder County Bar Association, and the Colorado Judicial Institute.

Gwyneth is an active member of the community. She currently serves on the Professionalism Committee of the Boulder County Bar Association and volunteers with the Bridge House’s Ready to Work program.  She has previously served on the board of directors for the Longmont Community Justice Partnership and as well on the board of directors for the YWCA of Boulder County. She has volunteered her time to numerous associations including Parenting Place, Joycare Infant Toddler Center at St. Aidan’s, the Department of Commerce Children’s Center, the Millennium Fund, and she was a member of the executive committee of the Our Courts Program through the Colorado Bar Association.

She received her bachelor’s degree in French Literature from Colgate University and her juris doctor from the University of Colorado Law School.


  • University of Colorado School of Law, J.D.
  • Colgate University, B.A. in French Literature

Seminars & Presentations

As an attorney and judge, Ms. Whalen has given numerous presentations to school district administrators, health care administrators, and attorneys regarding education law, risk management, and effective civil litigation strategies.

Associations & Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Colorado Women’s Bar Association
  • Boulder Bar Association
  • Faculty of Federal Advocates
  • Colorado Defense Lawyers Association
  • Boulder County Restorative Justice Project
  • Association of Workplace Investigators

Pro Bono & Volunteer Activities

  • Longmont Community Justice Partnership, Board of Directors, 2014 to present
  • Our Courts Executive Committee, member 2015 to present
  • Boulder County Interdisciplinary Committee, 2014 to present
  • YWCA of Boulder County, Board of Directors, 2005-2006
  • Parenting Place, Board of Directors, 1999-2001
  • Joycare Infant Toddler Center at St. Aidan’s, Advisory Board, 2002-2003
  • Department of Commerce Children’s Center, Advisory Board, 2003-2004
  • Millennium Fund, Citizens Advisory Board, 2000

Past Employment

  • 20th Judicial District of Colorado, Judge
  • Caplan and Earnest, Member and Chair of Litigation Section
  • Boulder County Attorney’s Office, Deputy County Attorney
  • 20th Judicial District of Colorado, Law Clerk to the Honorable Morris W. Sandstead Jr.