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Gerald A. Caplan

Co-founder; Of Counsel

Gerald Caplan co-founded Caplan & Earnest in 1969. He and his partner, G. Lane Earnest, envisioned a law firm that embodied the values they shared – respect for clients, well-researched legal solutions, a team approach to problem solving and fair pricing. Caplan & Earnest serves as a model for law firm-client relationships, and as an enduring legacy for the two founders.

Mr. Caplan earned his bachelor’s and J.D. degrees from Syracuse University and served three years as a first lieutenant in the Judge Advocate Generals Corps of the Army before starting his law practice in Boulder in 1961. His expertise in education law came in part from his role as general counsel for the Boulder Valley Schools, and he went on to represent more than 60 school districts throughout Colorado. He served as lead attorney in the case of Lujan v. Colorado State Board of Education, a landmark school finance case that established the foundation for local control of schools in Colorado. He was the founding president of the Colorado Council of School Attorneys and president of the National School Boards Association Council of School Attorneys.

Mr. Caplan also served as Boulder County public trustee, assistant Boulder municipal judge, and as special assistant attorney general for Colorado. Originally a member of the board of trustees for the State Colleges of Colorado, he later became chairman of the board of trustees for the University of Northern Colorado. He served as president of the Boulder County Bar Association, the Boulder County Bar Foundation and the Penfield Tate American Inn of Court. Mr. Caplan was selected by his peers as a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and has received numerous professional awards and recognitions.


  • Syracuse University College of Law, J.D.
  • Syracuse University, B.A.

Professional Credentials & Activities

  • Admitted to practice law in Colorado
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Fellow, Colorado Bar Foundation
  • Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, National Council of School Attorneys
  • Blaurock Silver Piton Award Recipient, Colorado Mountain Club
  • Member, 20th Judicial District Nominating Commission
  • Former Chairman of the Board of Trustees, University of Northern Colorado
  • Former President, Boulder County Bar Association
  • Former President, Boulder County Bar Foundation
  • Former President, Penfield Tate American Inn of Court
  • Former President, National School Boards Association’s Council of School Attorneys
  • Former President, Colorado Mountain Club
  • Former President, Colorado Mountain Club Foundation
  • Member, American Alpine Club
  • Former Director, Rocky Mountain National Park Associates
  • Former Chairman, Boulder County Planning Commission
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