Senter Goldfarb & Rice LLC | Attorneys at Law | Richard A. Orona
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Richard A. Orona

Special Counsel

rorona@sgrllc.com
303-320-0509
303-320-0210

Practice Areas

General Insurance Law, Bad Faith Defense, Civil Litigation, Coverage/Declaratory Relief, SIU Investigation, Toxic Torts, Trucking Law, Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death, Commercial Litigation, Residential/Commercial Property Loss, Municipality/Government, Administrative Law

Employment & Labor Law, Appellate Law, Contracts, Native American Law

Experience

Mr. Orona represents a diverse group of clients including individuals, public entities, employers, insurance carriers, and fortune 500 companies before federal and state courts in Colorado and surrounding states.  He has extensive experience with complex commercial litigation, class action defense, breach of contract claims, employment law matters, insurance bad faith defense, personal injury defense, toxic tort claims, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and defense of Colorado Consumer Protection Act claims.  Additionally, Mr. Orona is well-versed in state and federal administrative procedure, including OSHA, EEOC and FRA actions.

In 2004, Mr. Orona began his career with a well-known insurance defense firm, splitting his time between its Denver and Colorado Springs offices.  As a Pueblo, Colorado, native, Mr. Orona is accustomed to diligently litigating cases in all Colorado jurisdictions, paying special attention to the intricacies of each potential jury pool.  Mr. Orona has litigated a multitude of first- and third-party insurance matters over the last decade.  He is also skilled in implementation of immediate response and early investigation of large-loss incidents as a method of mitigation of potential damages.  In addition, Mr. Orona provides non-litigation support to his clients by assisting with drafting of claims manuals, employee manuals, and other compliance-related documentation as well as providing on-site education and training.

Prior to law school, Mr. Orona studied Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and obtained his undergraduate degree in Technical Management.  He has co-authored several scientific articles regarding molecular biology and, specifically, dopamine transport in the brain.  Mr. Orona’s concentrated medical and technical background enables him to provide his clients a greater understanding of medical records and analysis related to injuries claimed by adverse parties.

Mr. Orona was nominated Colorado Super Lawyer Rising Star in the area of Insurance Defense from 2010 through 2014.

Representative Cases

  Insurance Litigation 

  • Third-Party representation of insureds in personal injury litigation related to auto accidents, slip and fall and other negligence claims.
  • Defended national insurance company in first-party litigation stemming from PIP/Extended PIP legislation resulting in Class Action lawsuit and subsequent individual lawsuits brought by 100+ insureds against the company in both U.S. District and Colorado State Courts.
  • Defense of national insurance company in first-party Class Action litigation stemming from UM/UIM coverage legislation which created a potential gap in coverage of insureds as a result of defective actuarial processes and improper policy language.
  • Defense of national insurance companies in multiple first-party bad faith lawsuits stemming from alleged failure to offer appropriate UM/UIM settlements.
  • Defense of national insurance companies in multiple first-party bad faith lawsuits related to property loss, including: hail; fire; wind; asbestos and methamphetamine contamination; arson; CAT; multi-unit claims; appraisal process and insurance fraud.
  • First response, early investigation of multi-vehicle trucking accidents resulting is serious bodily injury and multiple claims; including: early retention and coordination of accident investigation teams; preservation of evidence and witness testimony; mitigation of damages; early settlement negotiations; and monitoring of criminal investigation.  Maintain representation of Insureds from date of loss through disposition of litigation.
  • Litigation of wrongful death claims involving dram shop statute.
  • Litigation of wrongful death claims involving medical malpractice, including improper/inadequate records keeping and failure to diagnose.

  Administrative Law 

  • First-Party representation of heavy machinery owner/operator in relation to equipment failure resulting in train derailment, including handling of OSHA investigation, citation and appeal, as well as Federal Railroad Association investigation and subsequent claims.
  • Representation of Colorado municipality in discrimination/wrongful termination claim, including defense of civil litigation and EEOC claim.
  • Representation of various cab companies and drivers in relation to Public Utilities Commission claims.
  • Claims related to wrongful termination of detention facility employee due to claims of excess force/failure to follow protocol.

  Coverage/Compliance

  • Provide legal advice to national insurance companies and in-house and outside counsel regarding proper handling of litigation involving Nunn-Bashor agreements, including possible conflicts of interest and threats to coverage.
  • Provide legal advice to national insurance companies regarding coverage determinations arising out of a vast array of personal and commercial policies.
  • Provide legal advice and assist in revising claims handling manuals to incorporate legislative changes related to adjusting of PIP, UIM and Property claims.
  • Provide legal advice regarding revisions to company policy to avoid wrongful termination actions for international energy company.

Professional & Community Associations

Colorado Bar Association

Colorado Defense Lawyers Association

Colorado Hispanic Bar Association

Denver Bar Association

Hispanic National Bar Association

Defense Research Institute Diversity

Electronic Discovery & Young Lawyers Committees Conference of Minority Transportation Officials

Board President—St. Therese Catholic School: 2006-2012

Board Member—Non-Profit: Evolution P.C.

 

Publications & Speaking Engagements 

Legislative Testimony:

Orona, Richard A. on behalf of Colorado Defense Lawyers Association; Colorado General Assembly, SB 17-181 Collateral-Source Rule Evidence Of Insurance & SB 17-182 Uninsured Motor Vehicle And Medical Coverage. 71st General Assembly, Denver, Colorado, April 19, 2017.

Legal:

Stoner, Kelly; Orona, Richard A.; Full Faith and Credit, Comity or Federal Mandate? A Path that Leads to Recognition and Enforcement of Tribal Orders, Protection Orders, and Child Custody Orders. University of New Mexico Law Review, Volume 34, No. 2, Summer 2004.

Orona, Richard A.; Taxation in Indian Country. The Second Annual “Doing Business in Indian Country” CLE. The Muscogee (Creek) Nation District Court, Fall 2004.

Orona, Richard A.; Diversity Within Diversity: Distinctly different obstacles face racial minorities versus women in practicing law. Law Week Colorado, Vol. 14, No. 12, March 21, 2016.

Orona, Richard A.; Will diversity in the legal profession survive the new political landscape? Law Week Colorado, Vol. 15, No. 12, March 20, 2017.

 Scientific:

Orona, R.A., et al; Repeated Intravenous Cocaine Administration to Rats Produces Behavioral Sensitization without Changing Brain Cocaine Levels. Neuroscience Letters, Vol. 167, 1994. 

Orona, R.A., et al; Modulation of Endogenous GABA Release from Discrete Regions of the Rat Basal Ganglia by Adenosine A2a and Dopamine D2 Receptors. Drug Development Research, Vol. 31, No. 4, April 1994.

Orona, R.A., et al; Adenosine A2a Receptor Stimulation Blocks Dopamine D2 Receptor-Mediated Inhibition of GABA Release in Slices of Rat Globus Pallidus. The Society for Neuroscience, 24th Annual Meeting, 1995.

Orona, R.A. et al; Opposing Actions of Adenosine A2a and Dopamine D2 Receptor Activation of GABA release in the Basal Ganglia: Evidence of an A2/D2 Receptor inactivation in Globus Pallidus. Synapse, Vol, 22, #2, February 1996.

Presentations

Orona, R.A., et al; Adenosine A2a Receptor Stimulation Blocks Dopamine D2 Receptor-Mediated Inhibition of GABA Release in Slices of Rat Globus Pallidus. The Society for Neuroscience, 24th Annual Meeting. Miami, FL, 1995.

Orona, R.A.; Full Faith and Credit, Comity or Federal Mandate? A Path that Leads to Recognition and Enforcement of Tribal Orders, Protection Orders, and Child Custody Orders. The New Mexico Law Review Symposium at the University of New Mexico School of Law, 2005.

Orona, R.A.; Proper Adjustment of Insurance Claims in Colorado — How to Avoid Bad Faith. Bi-Annual Regional Meeting, Fortune 500 National Company, Denver, CO, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.

Orona, R.A.; Colorado Bad Faith Law: Recent Developments. Annual Regional Meeting, Fortune 500 National Insurance Company, Kansas City, KS, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2014.

Orona, R.A.; Teaching Through War Stories (Addressing Colorado bad faith claims related to hospital liens, made whole statute and Nunn-Bashor agreements). Colorado Defense Lawyers Association, Denver, CO, 2016.

Orona, R.A.; Colorado – Bad Faith Claims:  Latest Developments and Keys for Proper Adjustment of Claims. Bad Faith Symposium, National Insurance Company, Phoenix, AZ, 2016.

Orona, R.A.; Colorado – Bad Faith Claims:  Adjusting Claims and Surviving Depositions. Employee Training Lectures; Fortune 500 National Company, Denver, CO, 2016.

Orona, R.A.; Colorado – Bad Faith Claims:  Latest Developments and Keys for Property Adjustment of Claims. Employee Training Lectures; Fortune 500 National Company, Denver, CO, 2016.

Orona, R.A.; Colorado – Latest Developments in Third-Party Bad Faith Litigation. Employee Training Lectures; Fortune 500 National Company, Denver, CO, 2017.

Bar Admissions

Colorado, 2003

U.S. District Court District of Colorado, 2003

U.S. District Court of Appeals 10th Circuit, 2006

Education

J.D., Oklahoma City University School of Law, 2003

Honors:  Outstanding Law Student Award, 2003, Presented by the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma

B.S. Technical Management, Oklahoma City University, 2003

Military

United States Navy, Petty Officer 3rd Class, E4, 1987 – 1991

Honors:  Navy Achievement Metal, July 1991

Honorable Discharge

Three Letters of Commendation

Hospital Corps School

U.S. Marine Corps School of Infantry

Camp Pendleton Hospital

Area 59 Medical Clinic

EMT/Ambulance Team

Combat Medic – Support U.S. Marine Corps Infantry Units

Paralegal: Christina Carroll: ccarroll@sgrllc.com