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Christopher D. Yvars


hris Yvars, a Firm shareholder, brings a variety of litigation and risk management experience to The Hustead Law Firm. His practice ranges from personal injury, product liability, and wrongful death, to construction and oilfield-related claims. He is experienced in all forums as well – mediations, arbitrations, trials, and appeals. He began his law practice participating in a broad range of civil practice with an emphasis in litigation, including medical and legal malpractice defense and construction defense related matters. Thereafter, he became associated with the firm of Higgins, Hopkins, McLain & Roswell, LLC, where his practice was almost exclusively devoted to civil litigation with an emphasis on construction defect litigation for large construction and development companies, personal injury and general casualty defense. During his time there, Chris was actively engaged in all aspects of litigation, including court appearances and negotiating large multi-party settlements.

In 2003, Chris took his enthusiasm and proficiency in personal injury defense, his love of the mountains and his personal experiential background as a ski racer, avid mountain biker and outdoor enthusiast, to Dillon, Colorado, where he joined The Rietz Law Firm, LLC. His practice involved defense litigation representation, inception through mediation and/or trial, in a wide variety of matters for numerous ski resorts and corporations nationwide. He also represented several other recreational activity outfitters, sports product manufacturers, shops, and insurers. He has handled large personal injury, wrongful death, and civil assault cases, and he has further been involved in overseeing & consulting on cases for national insurance broker & carrier programs. In 2004, on behalf of Colorado’s ski industry, and in conjunction with their local and national trade organizations, Chris assisted in drafting the revisions to The Colorado Ski Safety Act, a statute that has served as a model for similar legislation enacted in other states.

Chris’ experience also extends to risk management matters. He has taught, advised and worked with corporate risk management programs regarding claims handling, policies, procedures, manuals, and operations for private and publicly traded companies. He has presented and consulted on Crisis Management/Emergency Response Plans, as well as served as counsel in crisis/emergency situations, with the primary goal of minimizing potential claims and exposure, while also seeking to prevent and/or minimize OSHA or other regulatory agency citations. He has also been involved with and assisted in media releases, media exposure, police investigations, and matters involving Colorado regulatory agencies and the National Forest & Park Services.

Chris was born in 1971 in Philadelphia, PA. He was raised in the Northeast in Pittsfield, MA. Chris started skiing at the age of three, and took up ski racing at the age of eight. Growing up he competed in USSA racing throughout the United States. Throughout his racing career, he has competed in USSA races on a national level, in the Junior Olympics, and in collegiate conferences and Nationals.

Chris received his undergraduate degree in History from Boston College in 1993. Following college, he moved to Vail, CO where he worked for the Vail Race Department as a ski racing coach and the Nastar Racing Coordinator. He also worked on, among other things, various World Cup ski and mountain biking events.

Following his work in Colorado, Chris attended Syracuse University College of Law. During law school, he was a member of the Syracuse Journal of Legislation and Policy, he won the Trial Advocacy - Best Lawyering Skills Award in 1997, and he participated in moot court competitions. Chris was on the Dean’s list each of his three years at Syracuse, and he graduated cum laude in 1998, and was in the top 25% of his class.

Chris is admitted to the Colorado State Bar (1998). He is also admitted to practice in the Federal District Court of Colorado and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He has also been admitted pro hac vice and worked on matters in Wyoming, Utah and New Jersey. He has also consulted on sports and recreation cases in a variety of other jurisdictions. He is a member of the Colorado Bar Association, the Association of Ski Area Defense Attorneys, and is a graduate of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, Rocky Mountain Deposition Program. He has been published and has contributed to publications in the National Ski Area Association Journal.

In addition to his skiing background, Chris is an avid mountain and road biker. He also enjoys windsurfing, wakeboarding, and backcountry skiing. He is always up for outdoor adventure. Over the years, Chris’ other excursions have involved 24-hour mountain bike races, sky diving, running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, and cage diving with great white sharks off the coast of Mexico.

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