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Elliott Hood


Elliott Hood represents school districts in complex civil litigation before state, federal, and administrative tribunals. He has significant experience handling disputes involving special education, civil rights, disability and accommodation, charter schools, torts, student discipline, employment, and constitutional claims. Elliott has a strong appellate practice and has appeared on behalf of clients in civil and administrative appeals before the Colorado Court of Appeals, the Colorado Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, and Colorado State Board of Education. Elliott has also represented public hospitals in complex civil litigation in state and federal court in matters involving personal injury and civil rights.

Before joining Caplan and Earnest, Elliott was an attorney with a large Denver-based litigation firm, where he handled a variety of complex civil matters and appeared before state and federal courts across the country. He also is honored to have clerked for two incredible judges, Judge A. Bruce Jones on the Colorado District Court and Judge Robert E. Bacharach on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit Court.

Before law school, Elliott taught fifth grade in Las Vegas, Nevada, as a corps member with Teach For America (TFA). During his second year of teaching, Elliott served as fifth-grade co-chair and received an excellence award for outstanding teaching and service to his school. Elliott left the classroom to become director of individual giving for TFA’s Chicago region, where he oversaw and grew a multimillion-dollar fundraising campaign.

When he is not practicing law, Elliott loves spending time with his wife, Caroline, and sons, Alden and Michael, having fun outdoors, cooking, and reading. Elliott is also very active in his community. Among other things, he serves on the Boulder Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, the governing board of the Colorado Bar Association-CLE, the board of directors of the I Have A Dream Foundation of Boulder County, and the Amicus Committee of the National School Boards Association. He previously served on the Colorado Disability Funding Committee, a state commission, including as Vice Chair of the Committee and Chair of both the Governance and Grants subcommittees.

In 2021 and 2022, Elliott was named to the Super Lawyers Rising Stars® list in the field of Schools & Education.


  • Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, J.D.
    Magna Cum Laude
    Public Service Distinction
    Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy, Articles Editor
  • University of Colorado Boulder, B.A.
    With Honors Distinction

Notable Representation, Verdicts and Settlements

  • Obtained precedent-setting and high-profile Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against a discriminatory public health order on behalf of large school district and nine district students.
  • Prevailed in precedent-setting special education appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit on behalf large school district (first-ever “child-find” decision by that court).
  • Prevailed at Colorado Supreme Court on behalf of large school district in precedent-setting case interpreting state’s charter school law.
  • Obtained summary judgment for Colorado school district against claims made under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a school district and school administrators against claims under Title IX and Section 504.
  • Obtained dismissal of Equal Protection (Section 1983) claims against Colorado school administrator.
  • Obtained dismissal of religious discrimination (Section 1983) claims against large school district.
  • Successfully defended several charter-school appeals on behalf of school districts across Colorado before the Colorado State Board of Education.
  • Successfully defended against a petition to revoke a large school district’s exclusive chartering authority before Colorado State Board of Education.
  • Prevailed in all due process hearings under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
  • Obtained reversal on appeal of order denying public hospital’s dismissal motion under Colorado Governmental Immunity Act.
  • Obtained favorable settlements on behalf of numerous school district clients in civil rights, special education, and Constitutional matters.

Admittances & Licenses

  • State Bar of Colorado
  • State Bar of Washington
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Professional Credentials & Activities

  • Member, Boulder Parks & Recreation Advisory Board (appointed by City Council)
  • Member, I Have A Dream Foundation of Boulder County Board of Directors
  • Member, Colorado Bar Association CLE Board (appointed by CBA President)
  • Member, Amicus Committee, National School Boards Association
  • Previous Member and Vice Chair of Colorado Disability Funding Committee (appointed by Governor)
  • Previous Board Member of Colorado Teach For America Alumni Board
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Boulder County Bar Association

Past Experience

  • Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP, Associate Attorney, 2015-2017
  • Judge Robert E. Bacharach, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, Law Clerk, 2014-2015
  • Judge A. Bruce Jones, Denver District Court, Law Clerk, 2012-2014
  • Judge Morton Denlow, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Legal Extern, 2012
  • United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington, Summer Law Clerk, 2011
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Legal Extern, 2011
  • Teach For America, Director of Individual Giving, Chicago Region, 2007-2009
  • Clark County (Nevada) School District Teacher, Teach For America, 2004-2006
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