Rob Zavaglia has been with TAM his entire career, with a broad practice that includes acting as personal and corporate counsel, as well as being first-call litigation counsel in the areas of business and employment, aviation, construction, and professional liability disputes.
In professional liability litigation Rob regularly represents attorneys, medical professionals and institutions, financial planners, securities brokers, and appraisers in claims arising out of the full spectrum of their professional duties. This experience carries over into the construction world, where he defends architects and engineers, as well as contractors and sub-trades, in both residential and commercial defect cases. As lead counsel he has tried to verdict cases involving conflicts and breach of fiduciary duty, specialty financial products, real property defects and disclosures, aviation losses, and civil and structural design and engineering.
Rob’s products liability defense includes extensive experience in the medical and aviation fields, defending manufacturers in the range of industries from implants to state-of-the-art surgical devices, multi-district pharmaceutical litigation, aircraft and certificated add-ons manufacturing, as well as maintenance and service providers involved in aviation incidents and investigations. His aviation practice is informed through years of single engine general aviation piloting.
In addition to his defense work, Rob acts as outside general counsel to a number of private corporations, and as personal counsel to high net worth individuals, for legal needs on a variety of issues, including business partnerships and due diligence, commercial leasing/real estate acquisition and divestiture, distribution and employment contracts, employment actions, protecting confidential business practices, contract enforcement, personal liability issues, and risk avoidance and mitigation strategies.
Rob maintains an active and successful appellate practice in both the Colorado appellate courts and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He has been specially admitted to numerous jurisdictions around the country as litigation counsel for his clients, and has tried cases to verdict in both Colorado and Wyoming. He also served for two years as the Defense Research Institute’s Colorado legislative liaison to track and nationally report on state initiatives affecting business and litigation interests.
First published in 5280 Magazine’s April 2009 edition, Rob was selected to Colorado Super Lawyers inaugural “Colorado Rising Star” class for his body of professional work, and has been recognized by that publication in successive editions since.
Washington University School of Law
Order of the Barristers
University Judicial Board, Sitting Member
University of Denver
B.A., M.B.A. (2000)
Graduate Student Association Council
Co-Chair, University Honor Code Adoption Committee
United States District Court, Colorado (2003)
United States District Court, Montana (2005)
Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals (2004)
United States Supreme Court (2007)
National Retail and Restaurant Defense Association
Aviation Insurance Association
Defense Research Institute
Member, Professional Liability Committee
Young Lawyers Legislative Subcommittee, Colorado legislative liaison 2012-2013
Claims and Litigation Management Alliance
The Harmonie Group
Colorado Vice Liaison
Colorado Bar Association
Denver Bar Association
Colorado Defense Lawyers Association
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
Represented fixed base operator in multi-fatality fixed wing aviation incident.
Represented second largest municipality in state in environmental case setting new, favorable precedent for governmental immunity.
Represented public school district in nationally reported First Amendment suit concerning free association and free exercise claim.
Represented supplemental type certificate holder in claim of inherent products defect leading to mechanical failure of general aviation fixed wing aircraft.
Represented A&P in claim of maintenance error leading to catastrophic mechanical failure of general aviation fixed wing aircraft.
Represented principal architect and design team in multi-issue construction defect claims on $100 million mixed use development.
Represented fixed base operator in multi-fatality helicopter incident.
Represented civil engineering team in multi-million dollar design defect case concerning 350-parcel high end, single family subdivision development, tried to defense verdict.
Represented surgical device manufacturer on multi-million dollar design defect case involving leading edge scientific and medical processes.
Represented closely held manufacturing business in million dollar consumer fraud case, tried to defense verdict.
Represented principal architect and design team in multi-issue, multi-million dollar construction defect claims on public use development.
Represented target MEP engineering team on multi-million dollar high tech manufacturing and testing facility construction defect suit.
Represented health industry software automation developer in multi-million dollar licensing and patent dispute.
Represented online services provider in multi-million dollar licensing and trade secret misappropriation dispute.
Represented national trucking company in multi-fatality, multi-million dollar negligence suit, tried to defense verdict.
Several times represented financial advisor groups in high net worth financial products structuring/professional negligence claims.
Represented financial institution in multi-million dollar factored accounts receivable insurance fraud suit.
Represented insurance professionals in financial and insurance underwriting and fraud suit involving more than $65 million in economic damages and criminal exposure.
Regularly represents school districts and public entities in employment discrimination claims.
Represented elected and appointed state officials in multiple official acts claims.
O Charting, Where Art Thou? Patient Charting Perspectives From a Litigator
The Physician Apology: An Intersection of Poor Results and Civil Liability
Legal Landmines: Key Project Concerns from Start to Finish, accredited by the American Institute of Architects
Legal Marijuana: Ethical and Strategic Considerations to Managing Litigation, accredited for insurance professional CE in AZ, CO, IL, TX*; attorney CLE in IL, NY, NJ*, TX* (* pending)
Smokebrush Foundation et al. v. City of Colorado Springs, 410 P.3d 1236 (Colo. 2018).
Smokebrush Foundation et al. v. City of Colorado Springs, 418 P.3d 530 (Colo. App. 2015).
DISH Network Corp. v. Arch Specialty Ins. Co., 659 F.3d 1010 (10th Cir. 2011)
Qwest Services Corp. v. Blood, 253 P.3d 1071 (Colo. 2011)
Green v. Qwest Services Corp., 155 P.3d 383 (Colo. App. 2006), cert. denied March 19, 2007.
Von Loh v. Synthes, Inc., 106 Fed.Appx. 665, 2004 WL 1730361, Prod.Liab.Rep. (CCH) P 17,085 (10th Cir. 2004).