Daniel J. Sears - Daniel J. Sears, P.C.
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Daniel J. Sears

Listed in Best Lawyers since 1987
Phone: 303-953-5265

Daniel J. Sears started his career in June, 1968, as an attorney for the Navajo Tribe of Indians in Window Rock, Arizona.  After leaving New Mexico/Arizona, he became a deputy district attorney in Pueblo, Colorado, prosecuting everything from driving offenses to first degree murder. The Chief Judge of the Pueblo District Court appointed him special prosecutor to run state grand jury investigations and to prosecute public corruption. He successfully prosecuted and sent to prison the head of Colorado organized crime and sixteen fellow mob members. 

In 1972, he was appointed Special Attorney for the Office of Drug Abuse Law Enforcement for the U. S. Department of Justice and ran the drug strike force in Denver. He was thereafter appointed Assistant U. S. Attorney for the Distict of Colorado and prosecuted all federal offenses ranging from postal and secret service violations to complex white collar crimes.

In 1975, the Colorado federal judges appointed him to be the first Federal Public Defender for the District of Colorado. He established the Colorado office and was one of the first seven federal public defenders in the United States. During his tenure as federal public defender, he appealed an inconsistent declarations perjury conviction to the U. S. Supreme Court in 1979 and, in Dunn v. United States, 442 U.S. 100 (1979), won an 8-0 reversal of the conviction and subsequent dismissal of the charges. 

He has been named in Best Lawyers of America (white collar criminal defense and nonwhite collar ciminal defense) every year since 1987.  In 2006, he was named one of the top fifty lawyers in Colorado in Super Lawyers, and has been listed as one of the top lawyers in white collar criminal defense since the inception of the publication.

He has been a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers since 1990, and served as State Chair of the Colorado Chapter from 1992-1994.

University of ColoradoJ.D. 1968

Case History

Dunn v. United States, 442 U. S. 100 (1979) — Successfully appealed and won reversal by an 8-0 vote an inconsistent declarations perjury conviction after briefing and arguing to the U. S. Supreme Court.
Watts v. Hadden, 469 F. Supp. 223 (D. Colo. 1979), 651 F.2d 1354 (10th Cir. 1981) — Won class action habeas corpus action brought on behalf for all youthful offenders confined in the federal prisons across the United States.  The federal judge ruled, after extensive evidenitary hearings, that Griffin Bell, the Attorney General of the United States, was violating the federal Youth Corrections Act by failing to segregate and treat youthful offenders in institutions separated from regular adult offenders in accordance with their federal sentences, and that the U. S. Parole Commission was violating federal law by refusing to conditionally release said offenders after they had successfully completed their treatment and programming.
United States v. Winner, 641 F.2d 825 (10th Cir. 1981) — Won dismissal of federal fraud charges against a defendant who also served as a confidential informant for the U. S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York in the Robert Vesco-Libyan plane bribe scheme.  The federal judge dismissed the case after the Asisistant Attorney General and the Deputy Attoney General of the United States refused to appear pursuant to subpoenae commanding their presence for testimony in support of a motion to dismiss based upon prosecutorial misconduct.  Defendant, James Feeney, subsequently appeared for testimony before the U. S. Senate Judiciary which resulted in the publication of a white paper outlining federal governmental abuses in the conduct of federal undercover operations.
In the Matter of E. James Ujaama, Case No. 02-Y-167 (D. Colo. 2002) — Represented alleged Al Qaeda sympathizer who had been arrested on a material witness warrant in connection with the government's investigation of the 9/11 attack on the U. S. Pentagon.  Challenged the propriety of detaining a person on a material witness warrant when no federal charges had been lodged against him, and no probable cause has been established to belive that he had violated any laws.  The case was one of the first in the United States to challenge the legality of various provisions of the newly-enacted Patriot Act.
United States v. Grant Graham, Case No. 03-cr-89-REB (D. Colo. 2003) — Defended mid-level executive of Qwest Communications charged with various securities fraud offenses in one of the first corporate corruption cases brought by Attorney General John Ashcroft.  After an eight-week trial and two weeks of deliberations, the jury acquitted the Defendant of three counts and deadlocked of the remaining counts.
Alexander v. U. S. Parole Commission, Case No. 04-cv-1935-RPM (D. Colo. 2004) — Won habeas relief on behalf of the last federal youth offender confined in the federal prison system.  The Defendant has committed a heinous murder of a family of four on federal lands at the age of 16, and had been committed to serve an indeterminate sentence under the federal Youth Corrections Act.  After forty-four years of confinement, and successive refusals by the U. S. Parole Commission to consider his conditional release on parole, the presiding federal judge ruled that the U. S. Parole Commission was violating federal law by refusing to consider the recommendations of the warden of the correctional institution where Alexander was confined that he had completedd his treatment and programming and was ready for release.  Respondent U. S. Parole Commission appealed the decision to the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.  The Solicitor General, however, refused to authorize the appeal and habeas relief was granted.

Client Comments

"When I was interviewing attorneys to represent me, I was very impressed by Dan's enthusiasm and knowledge of the law. He invited me to watch his closing argument the next week before making a decision on whether to engage him. After listening to Dan's presentation and listening to the comments of the people around me, I knew immediately that he was the attorney that would best represent me. Dan's judgment gained from years of experience enable him to know just what to do when legal challenges arise. While others ponder and speculate, Dan's total focus is on what is best for his client and he doesn't get distracted by antics of the opposing side. Dan is the consummate professional. My observation is that he is well respected by everyone he comes in contact with in the legal community. "

-Jack Grace

Office Location

1900 Grant Street, Suite 580
Denver, CO 80203
United States

Practice Areas

Criminal Defense: General Practice (Appellate, Criminal Investigations, Drug Offenses, Grand Jury, State and Federal)
Criminal Defense: White-Collar (Appellate, Environmental Crimes, Federal, Government Investigations, Tax-Evasion Defense)

Other Information

Gender: Male