Darin is a Wyoming native who concentrates his practice on natural resource-related matters and general commercial litigation. In addition to his litigation practice, Darin represents clients in a wide variety of business transactions, negotiating agreements to acquire and divest oil and gas assets and other commercial properties worth tens of millions of dollars.

Over the course of his career, Darin has represented clients in mediation, administrative hearings, arbitration, litigation, and appellate proceedings related to lease priority disputes, surface use agreements, farmout agreements, joint operating agreements, unit operations, royalty disputes, drilling contracts, joint interest accounting, NEPA compliance and various other aspects of oil and gas operations in the Rocky Mountain Region, in addition to general commercial litigation. He has participated in briefing to district courts in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah, the Colorado Court of Appeals, the Colorado and Wyoming Supreme Courts, the U.S. District Courts for the Districts of Wyoming and Utah, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.

As lead trial counsel, Darin’s experience includes a successful defense against a contract claim for more than $90 million, securing a zero verdict on behalf of his client after a six-day jury trial in 2013. As lead appellate counsel, he successfully defended the verdict before the Wyoming Supreme Court in 2014. In 2011, Darin obtained breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty judgments against a federal unit operator after a five-day trial in Utah. As trial counsel for a Wyoming industrial company in 2009, he helped defeat a speculative railroad condemnation action after three weeks of trial in Wyoming federal district court.

As trial co-counsel, Darin’s experience includes the defense of existing oil and gas interests in a lease priority dispute with a major coal company in 2016, resulting in a judicial order directing the coal company to pay nearly $800,000 in compensation and to escrow more than $13 million with the court to pay for the contingent relocation of those oil and gas activities. In 2008, Darin assisted in the successful defense of a $45 million arbitration claim regarding midstream issues in Texas. In 2006, he served as co-counsel in obtaining a $3 million verdict from a Wyoming jury for damages in connection with the purchase of an Alaskan fishing lodge, and successfully defending that verdict on appeal to the Wyoming Supreme Court.

In his free time, Darin enjoys a variety of outdoor activities with his kids, including skiing, rafting, hunting, fishing, and camping. He is also a private pilot who loves to explore backcountry airstrips throughout the western United States.

Practice Areas

Bar Admission

Wyoming
Colorado
U.S. District Court, District of Wyoming
U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals

Education

2000 – J.D., with honors – University of Washington

1997 – B.S. in Political Science, with honors – University of Wyoming

Prior Experience (Employment)

15 years with Bjork Lindley Little PC, a Denver-based natural resources firm

Law Clerk to Justice Richard Sanders, Washington Supreme Court

Honors & Awards

Martindale Hubble Rating: AV
Phi Beta Kappa, University of Wyoming School of Law
Order of the Barristers, University of Washington

Community Involvement

Chairman, Wyoming Board of Law Examiners, 2017
Wyoming State Co-Chair, Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, 2017
NCBE National Committee Member, Special Committee on the Uniform Bar Exam, 2017
Wyoming Board of Law Examiners, 2014-Present
Wyoming State Bar Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates, 2014-Present
NCBE National Committee Member, Multistate Essay Exam/Multistate Performance Test, 2016
Editorial Committee, Wyoming Lawyer Magazine, 2015-present
Fellow, American Bar Foundation, 2014-present
Volunteer Firefighter, Farson, Wyoming, 2007-Present
School Advisory Board, Farson, Wyoming, 2012- Present
Board of Directors, Central Wyoming College Foundation, 2006-2008

Professional Affiliations

Wyoming Bar Association
American Bar Association
American Bar Foundation
Fellows of the American Bar Foundation
ABA Section of Litigation
ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources
Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
National Conference of Bar Examiners

Presentations & Publications

“ABA Resolution 109: ‘A Speech Code for Lawyers,’” Wyoming Lawyer, December 2016

“The Rule of Law: A Discussion with Two of Wyoming’s Elder Statesmen,” Wyoming Lawyer, October 2016

“Would You Pass the Morality Test?” Wyoming Lawyer, April 2016

Presenter, “Innovation in the Legal Profession,” Wyoming State Bar Pathways to Professional Practice, Spring 2016, Fall 2016

“A Change is Gonna Come: Is the Legal Profession Up to the Challenge?” Wyoming Lawyer, October 2015

“Why the ABA Matters to Me,” Wyoming Lawyer, April 2014

Presenter, “The Nuts and Bolts of Surface Use Agreements,” 2014 Wyoming State Bar Annual Convention

Presenter, “The Wyoming Split Estate Act: More Questions Than Answers?” 2005 AAPL Santa Fe Land Institute

“Drill First, Ask Questions Later: The Remedies Available to Non-Operators Under Joint Operating Agreements,” 20 DAPL Rocky Mt. Landman 8 (2002)

“Rogers v. Westerman: ‘At the Well’ Just Ain’t What it Used to Be,” AAPL Landman, (March/April 2002)

Reported Decisions / Cases

Black Diamond Energy, Inc. v. Encana Oil and Gas (USA) Inc., 2014 WY 64, 326 P.3d 904 (Wyo. 2014)

Veys v. Applequist, 2007 WY 60, 155 P. 3d 1044 (Wyo. 2007)