Somach Simmons and Dunn, Attorneys at Law Somach Simmons & Dunn | Attorneys at Law

Areas

Education

  • Lewis & Clark Law School (J.D., 2010)
  • Whitman College (B.A., 2002)

Admissions

  • Colorado

Leila C. Behnampour
Associate

Leila Behnampour is a water rights attorney with nearly a decade of experience in litigation and on transactional matters involving water law, administrative law, real property, and local government law.  Her clients range from municipalities and special districts, to ditch companies, non-profit entities, private companies, and individuals.

Leila’s leadership skills underscore her success as a lead litigator in numerous complex water resources cases.  Always settlement-minded given the uncertainty of trial in water court, Leila has demonstrated success in working collaboratively to reach agreeable solutions, having negotiated numerous settlements, often involving multiple parties and complex water resources engineering issues.

While in law school at Lewis & Clark, Leila received special recognition for an Honors Appellate Brief in the First Year Moot Court Program, in addition to completing the Pro Bono Honors Program.  Upon graduation, she was chosen out of 84 candidates to serve as the law clerk for the Water Judge and Chief Judge of the 19th Judicial District in Colorado.  Three years later, she served as lead trial attorney in a water court case defending a large Front Range municipality’s water rights and successfully argued a motion to dismiss.

Leila has been actively involved in efforts to develop policy to conserve designated groundwater in eastern Colorado.  She organized outreach efforts between members of the Ogallala Water Coordinated Agricultural Project (OWCAP) team and water users in eastern Colorado to provide tools and strategies effective at improving water use efficiency, water conservation, and farm operation profitability.  She also participated in a panel with the Colorado State Engineer to discuss water policy opportunities and constraints related to water conservation with members of the Water Preservation Partnership, a group in eastern Colorado concerned about the declining Ogallala Aquifer.

Outside of work, Leila enjoys spending time with her husband and two young children, preferably outdoors. Some of her favorite activities include mountain biking, skiing, and wildflower hikes in Colorado’s high country.

Representative Matters

  • As first chair, won a multi-day water court trial defending the water rights of a large Front Range municipality.
  • Prosecuted numerous water court applications, which involved leading a team of clients, engineers, and consultants through a years-long process of motions practice, settlement negotiations involving complex water resource engineering issues, and preparation for trial.
  • Successfully defended an appeal in the Colorado Supreme Court of a decision in water court protecting designated groundwater rights in the Ogallala Aquifer.
  • Represented groundwater management districts in state agency rulemakings involving designated groundwater.

Insights and Activities

  • Reforming a Western Institution:  How Expanding the Productivity of Water Rights Could Lessen Our Water Woes, 41 ENVTL. L. 1 (2011)
  • American Ground Water Trust Conference, Conference Speaker, 2017, 2018
  • Northwest Water Law Symposium, Content Subcommittee Chair, 2009
  • Boulder County Bar Association, Natural Resources Section Co-Chair, 2018
  • Colorado Water Congress, State Affairs Committee, 2017-2018
  • Colorado Bar Association, Water Law Section, 2010-Present

Education

  • Lewis & Clark Law School (J.D., 2010)
  • Whitman College (B.A., 2002)

Admissions

  • Colorado