Karl Kumli

Karl Kumli has been practicing law since 1981. Karl’s practice is limited to public utility law, water law and related areas of law, including renewable energy and utility planning and development matters. His clients range from State agencies and Colorado municipalities, business entities and ditch companies to individuals. Karl’s special interests include energy and water right portfolio acquisition, permitting and planning, renewable energy development, and water right litigation. Karl has been involved in water and energy matters for three decades. He has been involved in many federally permitted hydroelectric projects in Colorado. On the energy side, he has also worked for electric and natural gas utilities, trade associations and energy project developers and project opponents. In the water arena Karl has represented municipalities, ditch and reservoir companies and individual water right owners.

Karl served as President of the Boulder County Bar Association for 2009-2010. Karl was creator and program host for the legal affairs television program Law & Justice, which airs on public access Channel 8 in Boulder.


University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, J.D. 1981
Stanford University, Bachelor of Arts, 1978


  • Energy
  • Public Utilities
  • Water
  • Cultural Resource Law


State of Colorado
State of California
U.S. Court of Appeal for the 10th Circuit and the District of Columbia
Colorado District Court
Eastern District of California
United States Supreme Court

Awards and Honors

  • Colorado Bar Association: Inducted as a Fellow of the Colorado Bar Foundation (2009); also a Fellow of the Boulder County Bar Foundation (2007).
  • Colorado Bar Association Leadership Training (COBALT): Fellowship, (2007-08).
  • Bighorn Foundation for Public Policy (now Colorado Institute for Public Policy at Colorado State University): Fellowship for Sustainable Development (Energy, Water, Transportation and Land Use), 2005.  Admission to fellowships was by competitive application.
  • City of Boulder: Award “In Appreciation of Securing Boulder’s Water Supply through the Purchase of Barker Reservoir Facilities” (March 2001).
  • EcoCycle of Boulder: Award for Outstanding Voluntary Legal Service, 1986.

Reported Cases

Colorado Supreme Court:

  • ISG, LLC v. Arkansas Valley Ditch Association, 120 P.3d 724 (Colo. 2005).
  • City of Boulder v. Colorado Public Utilities Commission,  996 P.2d 270 (Colo. 2000).
  • Crystal Lakes Water and Sewer Association v. Backlund,  908 P.2d 534 (Colo. 1996).
  • Simpson v. Yale Investments, Inc.,  886 P.2d 689 (Colo. 1994).
  • Public Service Co. of Colorado v. Willows Water District,  856 P.2d 829 (Colo. 1993).

Colorado Court of Appeals:

  • Town of Parker v. Colorado Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation,  860 P.2d 584 (Colo. App. 1993).


University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, Sacramento, California: degree of Juris Doctor, 1981.  Outstanding Oral Advocacy Award, Moot Court.

Stanford University, Stanford, California, Bachelor of Arts, 1978, Political Science.  Honors program in Chemistry.