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Lori Dawkins is the Managing Member of the Denver office and focuses her practice on litigation and regulatory issues for energy companies.  Lori has more than twenty-five years of litigation experience and has tried more than fifty cases in front of juries in state and federal court. Lori is the co-leader of Steptoe & Johnson’s Oil & Gas Emergency Response Team, and she serves as a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee. 

A former officer in the United States Air Force, she was appointed as the lead search and recovery officer at a major Strategic Air Command base and she served in Saudi Arabia for a year during Desert Storm.  She was named Strategic Air Command’s Military Manager of the Year and received the Medal of Commendation, the Air Force Achievement Medal, and the Southwest Asia Service Medal. 

Lori is a former Drum Major of the West Virginia University Marching Band (“The Pride of West Virginia”).  She enjoys camping, classical guitar, and trail riding on her horse (“Henry”) in the mountains of Colorado.

Memberships & Awards

The Best Lawyers in America®, Commercial Litigation (2018-Present)
Who’s Who In Energy
Top Women in Energy selected by the Denver Business Journal and Women in Energy
Member, Colorado Energy Coalition
Super Lawyers®
The Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law
Energy & Mineral Law Foundation
Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association
Advisory Committee, Institute for Energy Law
Western Energy Alliance
Women in Energy
Denver Petroleum Club
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Adjunct Professor, West Virginia University College of Law
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Key Experience

As lead counsel, represented several of the nation’s largest interstate natural gas pipeline companies in eminent domain proceedings in federal court
Represented oil and gas operators in contested administrative hearings in front of the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission and the Wyoming Oil & Gas Conservation Commission
As lead counsel, prosecuted a claim in excess of $24 million on behalf of a coal operator in an eminent domain matter that went to verdict in a jury trial

Work Experience

2005 Steptoe & Johnson PLLC
2000-2005 Klett Rooney Lieber & Schorling
1995-2000 Steptoe & Johnson PLLC
1989-1993 Commissioned Officer, United States Air Force

Speaking Engagements

"Surface Use in the Age of Horizontal Drilling," North Dakota Law Review (2013)

"Surface Use in the Age of Horizontal Drilling," North Dakota Energy Symposium (2013)

"Surface Use in the Age of Horizontal Drilling," Texas Wesleyan Law Review Energy Symposium (2013)

"Shareholders' Preemptive Rights," West Virginia Law Review

"Litigating Title Disputes," AAPL

Litigation Updates, Steptoe & Johnson Second Annual Appalachian Oil & Gas Roundtable - Shaping the Law We Need