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University of Colorado Denver legal defense costs to grow in wake of Aurora theater shooting by suspected gunman James Holmes

6:07 PM, Aug 23, 2012   |    comments
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Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes attended the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus about five weeks before prosecutors say he killed 12 people during a movie premiere. The incident left 58 other people injured.

"When university employees are involved in a legal process, we regularly retain counsel for them even when their actions are entirely appropriate so that they can have independent legal advice," Jacque Montgomery said.

She says the hiring of defense attorneys does not mean the university believes it has done anything wrong.

Dr. Lynn Fenton, who worked in Student Mental Health Services and was named as Holme's psychiatrist in court paperwork, is being represented by attorneys at Hall and Evans. Another psychiatrist and at least one other employee in Student Mental Health Services is being represented by attorneys at Wheeler, Trigg, O'Donnell.

At least one campus police officer will be represented the law firm Senter, Goldfarb and Rice.

One employee within the Office of Dean of Students and one employee within the Community Standards and Wellness offices will be represented by Wells, Anderson and Race, LLC.

Montgomery says a court-ordered gag order prevented her from saying exactly how many people will be represented from each campus department.

The University released documents detailing what each law firm will pay. Legal representation will be covered by the university.

• Hall and Evans will charge a maximum rate of $250 per hour.

• Wheeler, Trigg, O'Donnell will charge a maximum of $300 an hour.

• Senter, Goldfarb and Rice will charge a maximum of $225 an hour.

• Wells, Anderson and Race will charge a maximum of $225 an hour.

Each law firm will offer greatly reduced rates for less senior staff at the firms.

The documents do not estimate the time or total defense costs.

Have a comment or tip for investigative reporter Jace Larson? Call him at 303-871-1432 or e-mail him

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