Daniel C. Himelspach
Attorney/mediator with Dispute Management, Inc. for thirty years.
Law: University of Denver College of Law, Denver, CO, Juris Doctorate, 1976 Harvard Law School, Program on Negotiations, Cambridge, MA 1990 - Summer Program - Courses in negotiations, mediation, arbitration and conflict management 2004 - Advanced course work in negotiation 2018 - Master in Negotiation Certificate Additional Legal Education: Numerous legal education courses in mediation, negotiation, arbitration, litigation, natural resources, real estate, corporate, international, securities, tax and environmental Undergraduate - SD School of Mines, Rapid City, SD, BS Chemistry, 1970, Honor Roll Student
In 2020 I ran for the Colorado House of Representatives from House District 6. The primary was a hard fought campaign among three Democratic candidates including the incumbent. I was not successful in the primary; however, I gained direct and valuable experience and understanding of the political process in Colorado. I served on the Rotary International Council of Legislation for three year, from 2017-20. I proposed and engineered the passage of one of the most significant pieces of legislation for Rotary International in the last 50 years. I have donate money to the campaigns of: President-elect Joe Biden, Senator-elect John Hickenlooper, Congresswoman Diana DeGette, AG Phil Weiser, Senator Branden Schaffer, Senator Chris Hanson, CU Regent-elect Ilana Spiegel, Denver Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer, and small amounts of money to other Democratic and Independent candidates that I don't recall at this time.
Alamo Placita Park Neighborhood Association – CHUN – Capitol Hill United Neighbors Association Denver and Colorado Bar Association House District 6 Denver Democrats Denver Mile High Rotary Club, Rotary International Trustee of the SD School of Mines Foundation for eight years.
Over the years I have been a strong advocate for every organization I was a part of and have contributed an tremendous amount of time and effort in pursuing the goals of these organizations or groups. I was one of two pro bono legal counsel for the Alamo Placita Park Neighborhood Association that successfully litigated a zoning issue from Denver Zoning and Planning to the Colorado Supreme Court and back to the Denver District Court under a Writ of Mandamus over a span of seventeen years. I also represented, pro bono, Alamo Placita Park Neighborhood Association in multiple liquor license hearings. I served on the Colorado Bar Association Board of Governors and as Chair of the Denver Bar Association Dispute Resolution Committee. I was one of the pioneers that advocated for and implemented dispute resolution processes in Denver and Colorado. I co-founded Dispute Management, Inc. which is one of the first organizations to offer a full service dispute resolution services in Colorado. We grew Dispute Management into a successful business that conducts mediations, arbitrations and other dispute resolution processes throughout Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming and Montana. I have been a Rotarian for almost thirty years. I served as President of the Denver Mile High Rotary Club in 2005-06. In 2013-14 I served as District Governor for Rotary International District 5450, which included sixty three Clubs throughout central and eastern Colorado including the metro Denver area. I also served as the RI Foundation Coordinator for Zone 27, covering Montana to Texas. I was instrumental in the Rotary Foundation grants program and organized and facilitated multiple projects internationally and locally. When I was District Governor I expansion the District Native American Committee to include involvement with the Native American community in Colorado and surrounding states. As a Trustee of the SD School of Mines Foundation, I was a strong advocate for acquisition of real estate to expand the campus, which was successfully accomplished during my tenure. For many years, my wife and I have funded a scholarship for Montana high school students in financial needs who wish to attend the SD School of Mines to become engineers and scientists.
I am passionate about confronting gerrymandering. I strongly believe that a healthy democracy must, as a foundational principle, demand fairness in the voting process and recognize the sanctity and weight of every person’s vote. Redrawing Colorado’s Congressional Districts is incredibly important and absolutely instrumental to ensure our elections are fair and reflect our citizen’s needs and opinions. It would be an honor of a lifetime to serve on the Congressional Redistricting Committee. I will dedicated my utmost effort to ensure District maps are well balanced, fair and acceptable to all. All of us need to work diligently to ensure Colorado is a model that offers opportunity for all, exquisitely demonstrates fair treatment of its citizens, and is a highly functional successful governmental institution. A necessary component to achieve these goals is to eliminating gerrymandering.
To guide others to consensus and achieve agreements among others and with others it is necessary for you to be fair and impartial. The key to being fair and impartial is critical listening to others. You must also understand and believe deep within yourself that every person has the right to an opinion and that each feels their positions and opinions are fair and well founded. Even if you disagree you need to strive for understanding and respect others positions. You can understand without agreeing. Once you truly understand you can move to collaboration and discussion the rational and underlying facts versus assumptions. You also need to build credibility and trust with the other person. That is primarily about showing respect and demonstrating your own integrity. My experience has shown me that most disagreements spawn from invalid assumptions often conflated with or confused for facts. Once you have established credibility and trust with the other person you can collaborate to explore differing conclusions and positions. Meaningful collaboration means you must also be open to exploring your own facts versus assumptions. While you can and should be firm in your own convictions you must show respect and understand that no position is complete or 100% correct. You can be hard on your position but you must be soft on the people. Listen with an open mind and you positions usually will be modified and improved. My experience has taught me to how to take the best shot at being fair and impartial. But I also know that I am still learning. I have practiced law in Colorado for forty-four years. For fourteen years I worked as legal counsel with major corporations, as an associate at a large downtown Denver law firm, and in a law firm that I founded. While working as an advocate I represented clients involved in a wide variety of business activities and litigation, including natural resources, real estate, agriculture, and securities. This work gave me a deep appreciation for the variety of issues life can bring and the wide variety of approaches individuals take to resolving those issues. In 1990 I co-founded Dispute Management, Inc. a full service dispute resolution firm. Since then I have been a neutral and my law practice has exclusively focused on dispute resolution work. I have handled over 6,000 mediations, and served as sole or lead arbitrator on almost 100 arbitrations including several lasting multiple weeks. These cases have covered a wide range of legal issues. I have reached settlement in approximately 93% of the cases I mediated. I have served as a Special Master for the Denver District Court on multiple matters. I have served as a certified arbitrator for claims managed by FEMA, as a certified arbitrator (chairman status) and mediator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and a certified arbitrator and mediator for the American Arbitration Association (AAA). I have spent over 10,000 hours in direct formal negotiations. I have received the AV Rating – highest possible in both Legal Ability & Ethical Standards – from Martindale Hubbell every year since 1987. I have also been listed in Best Lawyers in America for many years. I have published several articles in professional periodicals dispute resolution law and ADR processes. I have organized and conducted several extensive training programs in mediation and dispute resolution.
Growing up on a ranch and attending a technical college taught me analytical skills. My entire professional experience has been honing my analytical skills to critically problem solve through logic and reason that are relevant to this Commission's work. Without mature analytical skills you would not be able to be a successful mediator or rule on cases. I have served as the sole or lead arbitrator on nearly 100 cases, and mediated over 6, 000 cases some lasting several weeks. Most were complex and detailed. This experience has developed my analytical skills to properly discern relevant facts and apply those facts to the law to render a thoughtful and fair decision. During my service in the military I received considerable leadership training and was in leadership positions most of the time. On many occasions I was forced to quickly analyze dangerous situations and make correct decisions. The fact that I and other survived is testimony to the accuracy of those decisions. After collage and before attending law school I worked as a chemical engineer in an operational management position in a titanium dioxide (paint pigment) plant for DuPont. As a rising young manager quickly placed on front line management, I was confronted almost daily with difficult problems to solve and I found myself in stressful positions forcing me to quickly develop and exercise my analytical acumen and people handling skills. This was particularly challenging since I was just out of college from a rural Montana background and the plant was just outside of Wilmington, Delaware. I was a clashing experience of vastly different cultures - Montana ranch hand mixing with unionized east cost working America. I had never been east of Chicago before and I quickly learned a tremendous amount.