News

Meet Brett Kavanaugh Accuser Deborah Ramirez's Colorado Attorney

Attorneys John Clune and Stan Garnett.
Attorneys John Clune and Stan Garnett. hbcboulder.com/bhfs.com
Boulder's Deborah Ramirez says U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh "thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent" 35 years ago at a college party. And Colorado's Stan Garnett, who was initially identified as Ramirez's attorney by the New Yorker, which broke the story, and John Clune, to whom the case has been transitioned, are powerhouses with a long history of representing victims of sexual assault and misconduct on the local and national stage.

We've reached out to both Clune, to whom Garnett's representatives say all questions about the case should now be directed. If and when he gets back to us, we'll share his thoughts in this space.

Clune currently works for Hutchinson, Black and Cook, LLC, a Boulder-based firm he joined in 2013. According to his online bio, he started his career as a criminal prosecutor as chief deputy district attorney for Eagle County. In 2004, after he went into private practice, he repped the woman who accused basketball star Kobe Bryant of sexually assaulting her as co-counsel alongside L. Lin Wood, best known as the lawyer for JonBenét Ramsey's family.

Another of Clune's clients was Kristen Stillman, the subject of multiple stories in Westword circa 2011. Kristen was held hostage by a man named Eric Torrez, who terrorized her for a dozen years and began raping her at age twelve.


In recent years, the bio notes, Clune, who co-founded the Rocky Mountain Victim Law Center and the Victim Justice Initiative, has specialized in civil cases involving alleged Title IX violations and sexual assaults. For instance, he served as the attorney for a former Baylor University student who said she was raped by two football players and maintained that a "culture of violence" existed at the school; the case was settled last year. In addition, he currently represents a female Uber driver who says she was sexually assaulted by Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston in 2016.

click to enlarge Stan Garnett speaking at a fundraiser for Boulder's Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence earlier this year. - FACEBOOK
Stan Garnett speaking at a fundraiser for Boulder's Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence earlier this year.
Facebook
On Twitter, Clune jokes that he's also a "recovering and future CX racer."

Garnett, meanwhile, rejoined the law firm of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, where he'd worked previously, after serving for nearly ten years as the district attorney for Boulder County. In 2010, during the latter span, he was the Democratic nominee for Colorado attorney general, eventually losing to John Suthers.

While Boulder's DA, Garnett spoke frequently with Westword on a wide range of topics. Some examples: In 2009, he argued that Colorado had mishandled the issue of medical marijuana. In 2010, he advocated for a change in statute that would prevent participants in Boulder's Naked Pumpkin Run from being branded sex offenders. In 2015, he blasted what he saw as an "embarrassing" court decision in regard to juvenile lifers. In 2016, he decried what was widely seen to be a too-modest sentence for CU Boulder rapist Austin Wilkerson. And last year, he spoke about advising the administration of President Donald Trump about cannabis.

After rejoining Brownstein, Garnett has continued to support organizations working in areas of interest for him, including Boulder's Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, at whose annual fundraiser he spoke earlier this year.

Note that Ramirez once worked at Safehouse as a volunteer coordinator before taking a position with the Boulder County's Housing and Human Services department — yet another reason that Garnett and Clune were natural choices to work on her behalf as she reluctantly steps into the national spotlight.

Update: This post has been updated to reflect the transitioning of Deborah Ramirez's representation from Stan Garnett to John Clune.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts