Kris A. Zumalt

Kris A. Zumalt

Location:
Denver, Colorado
Phone:
303-731-3986
866-745-6359 (Toll Free)
Fax:
303-757-4570
Email:

Kris practices in the areas of criminal defense, civil protection order litigation, fiduciary representation, elder exploitation and abuse, contested guardianships and conservatorships, trust and estate planning, and probate administration and litigation.  She also serves as court-appointed guardian ad litem for respondents in protective proceedings and probate matters.  Kris brings to her practice extensive litigation experience, having conducted over 50 trials as a Deputy District Attorney for the First Judicial District of Colorado (Jefferson and Gilpin counties), as well as civil trial practice in the private sector.


Criminal Defense: A person accused of a crime is always presumed innocent unless the prosecution can prove the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt. Everyone accused of committing a crime is entitled to a professional, comprehensive legal defense.  Good people make mistakes or unwise decisions and then find themselves entangled in a complex and seemingly daunting legal system.  Good people are also wrongly accused.  Police and witnesses make mistakes, too.  No one has to bear the burden of a criminal prosecution alone.  Kris’s criminal defense practice addresses all categories of criminal allegations including felonies, misdemeanors, DUI/DWAI, and traffic violations. Many criminal cases are resolved through steadfast negotiations and plea bargains, but when a trial is necessary, Kris has the criminal trial experience to provide you with a zealous and comprehensive defense.
 

Civil Protection Order Litigation: Civil protection (restraining) order litigation can provide temporary or permanent relief and protection for petitioners in particular circumstances such as domestic violence, stalking, sexual abuse or unlawful sexual contact, non-domestic physical assaults or threatened bodily harm, and emotional abuse of elders or at-risk adults.  Such litigation may have ramifications in related criminal matters, protective proceedings, and domestic relations cases, and affect temporarily or permanently an individual’s right to possess or purchase firearms.  Significant changes to Colorado’s civil protection order statute occurred in 2013, and these changes affect the elements required to succeed on a petition for a civil restraining order and the ability to defend against their imposition.  Because these proceedings typically move quickly, time to adequately prepare is usually limited.   Whether you are a petitioner seeking to obtain a civil protection order or a respondent defending against its imposition, you need to be prepared as the outcome of these proceedings may have significant or even lifelong ramifications on you and third-parties.  Whether you are the petitioner or the respondent, Kris has the necessary skills and trial experience to zealously represent you in fast-paced protection order proceedings.

Fiduciary Representation: Family members and professional fiduciaries serving as agents under powers of attorneys or as guardians, conservators, trustees or personal representatives, may find themselves facing a claim for breach of fiduciary duty or other misconduct.  Such allegations may lead to removal proceedings which could result in the revocation of the fiduciary’s authority and /or the imposition of sanctions by the court.   Kris assists her clients to navigate through the allegations and investigative process and defend against false or misguided accusations.  If a breach has occurred, Kris works with her clients to resolve the problem as promptly and effectively as possible, and where appropriate, develop a plan to avoid future noncompliance.  If a trial is necessary, Kris has the trial experience to zealously represent her client.

Guardianships / Conservatorships: When a family member, friend or other interested person reasonably believes a loved one no longer has the capacity to appropriately care for themselves or the ability to manage their property or financial affairs, the concerned party may petition the court for the appointment of a guardian or a conservator or both.  These undertakings are often emotionally draining and mentally exhausting for all involved parties.  Kris recognizes and appreciates the stresses these proceedings have upon her clients, and counsels them throughout the process.  Kris assists her clients in navigating through the guardianship and protective proceedings process, preparing the petitions, and in contested proceedings, responding to objections and preparing for court hearings.


Elder Exploitation: Our senior citizens can face various physical and mental challenges as they reach their golden years.  Such challenges may leave these citizens vulnerable to financial exploitation and abuse.  Kris's practice includes investigating the concerns of elder exploitation raised by family members or other interested persons, and bringing civil claims where appropriate or assisting in developing a case for presentation to local law enforcement or the DA's Office for criminal prosecution.Guardian ad Litem. 

Guardian ad Litem: In Colorado, a guardian ad litem is a person appointed by the court to represent the best interests of a party in legal proceedings.  Kris has served as court-appointed Guardian ad Litem to represent the best interests of respondents and incapacitated adults in contested guardianship and conservatorship proceedings and other matters before the probate court.


Probate Administration and Litigation: When a person dies and leaves a will, what does one do?   How does one navigate through probate?  Kris assists personal representatives through the probate process from opening the estate, notifying creditors, collecting assets, paying claims, disposing of personal property through closing and final distributions.   And, should someone contest a will, Kris can represent the personal representative in defense of the will through the investigative and discovery process, settlement negotiations, and ultimately trial, if needed. 


Estate Planning: Estate planning involves more than addressing the distribution of one’s personal assets upon death.  It also involves providing for one’s family, putting into place powers of attorney to provide for medical and financial decision-makers in the event of illness or disability, and addressing end-of-life decisions.  Kris carefully listens to her clients’ needs and then describes the tools and options available to achieve their goals.    

Areas of Practice

  • Criminal Defense
  • Felonies
  • Misdemeanors
  • DUI/DWAI
  • Traffic
  • Protection (Restraining) Order Litigation
  • Fiduciary Representation
  • Elder Exploitation and Abuse Issues
  • Guardianship and Conservatorship Proceedings
  • Guardian ad Litem for Adults in Probate Matters and Protective Proceedings
  • Estate Planning
  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Powers of Attorney
  • End of Life Directives
  • Probate Administration and Litigation

Litigation Percentage

  • 50% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Colorado, 2001
  • U.S. District Court District of Colorado, 2004

Education

  • University of Denver College of Law, Denver, Colorado
    • J.D. - 2001
    • Honors: Recipient: American Jurisprudence Awards in Criminal Trial Practice, Evidence, and Alternative Dispute Resolution
    • Honors: Order of St. Ives
    • Law Review: Water Law Review, Editor-in-Chief, 2000 - 2001
  • University of Central Florida
    • B.S. magna cum laude - 1988
    • Major: Computer Science
  • Colorado School of Mines
    • M.S. - 1996
    • Major: Environmental Science & Engineering

Honors and Awards

  • Colorado DeMolay Advisor-of-the-Year Award - Co-Recipient, 2011
  • Cryptic Masons Humanitarian Service Award for outstanding service in work with youth, 2013
  • International Order of DeMolay Cross of Honor, 2013
  • Colorado DeMolay Advisor-of-the-Year Award - Co-Recipient, 2015

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Colorado Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Colorado Bar Association, Member (Elder Law, Trusts & Estates, and Criminal Law Sections)
  • First Judicial District Bar Association, Member
  • Colorado Criminal Defense Bar

Past Employment Positions

  • Zumalt Law Firm, LLC, Denver, Colorado, Founder and Attorney and Counselor at Law
  • First Judicial District Attorney's Office, Golden, Colorado, Deputy District Attorney
  • Hollant & Hart, LLP, Denver, Colorado, Associate Attorney - Litigation Division
  • The Honorable Henry A. Politz, United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, Judicial Clerk

Pro Bono Activities

  • Colorado Order of DeMolay, Broomfield Chapter, Advisor and Member of the Advisory Council, 2009 - Present
  • Senior Law Day Volunteer, 2014 - Present