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Gwyneth Whalen

Member, Litigation Practice Group Leader

Gwyneth Whalen is the leader of Caplan & Earnest’s litigation practice groupShe focuses on civil litigation, including commercial disputes, employment litigation, contested probate and real property disputes. Her 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.

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.

She 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. Prior to joining the judiciary, she led Caplan & Earnest’s litigation practice group; she was with Caplan & Earnest for 10 years before joining the judiciary.


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

Professional Credentials & Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • Association of Workplace Investigators, certificate holder as a workplace investigator
  • Boulder County Bar Association Professionalism Committee
  • Boulder County Restorative Justice Project
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Colorado Judicial Institute
  • Colorado Women’s Bar Association
  • Faculty of Federal Advocates
  • Super Lawyer, 5280 magazine
  • Appointed to serve on the 20th Judicial District Judicial Performance Commission

Past Experience

  • 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.

Pro Bono & Volunteer Activities

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