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Gwyneth Whalen

Member, Litigation Practice Group Leader

With over 30 years of experience, Gwyneth Whalen has dedicated her legal career to all forms of civil litigation. In 2022, she was named Colorado’s Best Civil Litigator by Barrister’s Best after obtaining the highest jury verdict award ever against the City of Boulder for police misconduct. She leads Caplan & Earnest’s litigation section and focuses on complex civil cases, including insurance defense, civil rights, and employment litigation.  

After serving as a district judge for the 20th Judicial District of Colorado (Boulder) for seven years, Gwyneth rejoined Caplan & Earnest in September 2013. 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, she led Caplan & Earnest’s litigation practice area. Gwyneth returned to the firm because she missed being a strong advocate for clients and collaborating with her colleagues.  

Gwyneth is an active member of the community and has served on many boards and commissions. Currently, by appointment of the Colorado Supreme Court, she serves on the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel Character & Fitness Committee. By appointment of the President of the Colorado Senate, she serves on the Twentieth Judicial District Judicial Performance Commission. She is a member of the Boulder County Bar Association Professionalism Committee and a board member of the Colorado Judicial Institute. Following the King Soopers shooting in March 2020, she served on the Community Foundation Boulder County Crisis Fund Advisory Committee.  

In her free time, Gwyneth loves flying down any mountain on skis and camping with her husband, adult son and daughter, and their two standard poodles. She is a dedicated bike commuter and enjoys riding anything on two wheels—whether it is mountain, road, or gravel. With an empty nest, she has taken up golf again and looks forward to lowering her handicap in 2023! She also enjoys literary fiction, museums, and travel. 


  • 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
  • Law Week Colorado Barrister’s Best Awards – Best Civil Litigator, 2022
  • 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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