Firm Profile

Trout Raley Montaño Freeman Sinor Thompson, P.C.


1120 Lincoln Street, Suite 1600
Denver, CO 80203-2141
United States
(303) 861.1963

Firm Details

Trout Raley is one of the leading small law firms in the Rocky Mountain region specializing in water rights, environmental, natural resources and infrastructure law.  The shareholders regularly publish, present, and advocate on cutting edge issues in water and environmental law.  Trout Raley has 4 partners who have been awarded the highest possible “AV Preeminent” rating in the Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ .  The AV Preeminent status of our firm's attorneys helps distinguish our firm as a leader in water, environmental and infrastructure law.


BENNETT W. RALEY, admitted to bar, 1983; Colorado, U.S. Court of Claims.  His practice specializes in state and federal court litigation, and federal administrative and legislative strategy.  Mr. Raley has practiced in the fields of water law and related federal environmental laws since 1983.  He served as the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, Department of the Interior, for the years 2001-2004.  His responsibilities as Assistant Secretary included the development and execution of legal strategies relating to the operation of federal water projects throughout the West.  He has both state and federal court experience, as well as extensive experience in working with state and federal agencies.  PRACTICE AREAS: Water Rights, Water Quality, Environment, and Public Lands. 

PEGGY E. MONTAÑO, admitted to bar, 1981, Colorado and U.S. District Court, District of Colorado; U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit (1989) and 11th Circuit (2011); U.S. Supreme Court (2002); U.S. Court of Claims (2008).  Her practice specializes in state and federal court litigation, and federal administrative and legislative strategy.  Ms. Montaño has practiced 30 years including defense against massive federal water right claims in Colorado by the U.S. Forest Service, numerous water rights adjudications, interstate water issues including compact issues, and water-related administrative and federal and state legislative matters.  She is General Counsel to the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District; a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of New Mexico; and, was also a Presidential Appointee and the Chairman of the Sabine River Commission.  Ms. Montaño has practiced water and environmental law, including time at the Colorado Attorney General's and has represented major clients, including Denver Water in complex litigation with 17 suburban entities, and numerous county and district governments in Colorado in water right protection and defense.  PRACTICE AREAS: Natural Resources, Water, Real Property, Municipal Corporations.

DEBORAH L. FREEMAN, admitted to bar, 1982, Colorado.  Her practice is concentrated in the fields of water and natural resources law and environmental and regulatory compliance.  She represents a number of governmental and corporate clients in the acquisition and defense of rights to surface and ground water, and assists resource users in the process of negotiating permits and securing agency approvals under a broad range of federal, state and local environmental laws.  The majority of Ms. Freeman’s work involves federal permitting and compliance under the Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and Clean Water Act.  She has also served as environmental and water counsel for Snowmass Water and Sanitation District in connection with its recently-completed Ziegler Reservoir water storage project and mastodon dig.  PRACTICE AREAS: Natural resources and environmental law, with emphasis on federal Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, public lands management, and NEPA compliance. 

DOUGLAS M. SINOR, admitted to bar, 1999, Colorado.  Mr. Sinor has experience in all aspects of water rights litigation and transactions, including trial and appellate work, title work, due diligence, and contract drafting. He also has extensive experience with litigation of applications and statements of opposition in Colorado water courts, as well as experience with administrative proceedings in front of the Colorado Ground Water Commission and the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission. He has filed briefs and made oral arguments in the Colorado Supreme Court concerning a variety of water matters. He represents private individuals, companies, municipalities, and water districts in water matters. PRACTICE AREA: Water.

LISA M. THOMPSON, admitted to bar, 2004, Colorado, U.S. District Court for Colorado, 2004.  Ms. Thompson has practiced water and environmental law for 7 years including federal reclamation litigation and state water rights adjudications.  Ms. Thompson has significant experience representing the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District and the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District before the state and federal courts on issues ranging from water adjudications, to federal standing, and contractual repayment obligations.  Ms. Thompson also represents other public clients including a Colorado ground water management district, with extensive experience in administrative proceedings before the Colorado Ground Water Commission.  PRACTICE AREAS:  Water, Ground Water, Environmental, Land Use. 

MICHAEL A. KOPP, admitted to the bar 2011, Colorado.  Education: Eastern Illinois University (B.A. 2000 cum laude); St. John’s College, Santa Fe (M.L.A. 2003); University of Colorado (M.S. 2010); University of Colorado Law School (J.D. 2010).  Order of the Coif; University of Colorado Law Review, Associate Editor (2008-2010); Outstanding Student Note (2008-2009).  Experience: Judicial Clerk for the Hon. Timothy M. Tymkovich, Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals (2012); Judicial Clerk for the Hon. Laurie Booras, Colorado Court of Appeals (2011).  Member: Colorado and Denver Bar Associations.  PRACTICE AREAS: Water, Natural Resources, Environmental.  

APRIL H. KILLCREAS, admitted to bar, 2012, Colorado; 2013, Mississippi; 2013, Alabama.  Education: Millsaps College, Jackson, Mississippi (B.A., 2009, summa cum laude, with Honors in English Literature); University of Mississippi School of Law (J.D., 2012, summa cum laude). Legal Publications: The Power of Community Action: Environmental Justice and Participatory Democracy in Mississippi, 81 Miss. L.J. 769 (2012). PRACTICE AREAS: Water, Natural Resources, Environmental, Land Use.


  • Martindale-Hubbell "AV Preeminent" Peer Review Rating for all rated shareholders)
  • Tier One Best Law Firm - Colorado Water Law by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers

About Our Clients

Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District
State of New Mexico


Peggy E. Montaño
Denver, Colorado
Recognized For:
Water Law
Bennett W. Raley
Lawyer of the Year:
Water Law (2017)
Denver, Colorado
Recognized For:
Water Law, Environmental Law

Firm Practice Areas

  • Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Water Law