Jim Johnson

Correen Crocker, 303.575.7541


Jim Johnson assists real estate owners and developers in complex land use and development matters, including disputes regarding entitlement approvals and eminent domain. As part of Jim’s practice, he often represents clients in the acquisition of real property, in securing annexation, zoning, subdivision or other local governmental approvals and in the negotiation of construction and design contracts. Jim’s litigation practice includes representing land owners in Rule 106 actions challenging local government decisions surrounding annexation, zoning and subdivision issues. Jim also represents land owners facing the threat of eminent domain, in pre-condemnation planning, valuation issues and condemnation proceedings.

Before commencing his legal career with Otten Johnson, Jim was a judicial clerk for the Honorable Gregory Hobbs of the Colorado Supreme Court. Prior to starting law school, he was an engineer with an international environmental consulting firm. In addition to  his client work, Jim serves as the firm’s Managing Director and on the firm’s Executive Committee. Jim is a frequent contributor to the firm’s blog, www.rockymountainrealestatelaw.com, where his posts cover a variety of land use and development issues.

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Practice Areas

Industries Served



Representative experience includes:

  • Negotiated annexation and development agreement for 3500-acre master-planned community in Denver metropolitan area
  • Represented developer in connection with construction and sale of mixed use building in downtown Denver
  • Assisted client in entitlement of large downtown Denver redevelopment project, including general development plan and affordable housing covenants
  • Represented international construction material company in connection with numerous land use and real estate matters, including CLOMR and LOMR applications, mining permits and regulatory disputes
  • Assisted client in negotiation of urban renewal project and entitlement documents in Denver metropolitan area
  • Represented land developer in entitlement and sale of lots to home builder in northern Colorado
  • Represented client in successful multi-million dollar eminent domain action, including trial court and arguments before the Colorado Court of Appeals and Colorado Supreme Court


  • Frequent speaker at Land Use Planning CLE and Colorado Real Estate Journal Conferences
  • Otten Johnson Alert: Hot Topics in Land Use: Land Development in Colorado Today (September 2013)
  • Otten Johnson Alert: DevelopDENVER - The Vision to Make the City's Development Services Office a "One-Stop Shop" for Developers (February 2012)
  • Otten Johnson Alert: Colorado Restricts Private Transfer Fees (June 2011)
  • Otten Johnson Alert: Colorado Amends "Agricultural Land" Classification (May 2011)
  • Author: Limits Imposed on Colorado Urban Renewal Areas (May 2010)
  • Author: Xcel Shifting Environmental Liability (May 2009)
  • Co-author: Legislation Prohibits Covenants for Transfer Fees Upon Conveyance, Colorado Real Estate Journal, September 7-20, 2011
  • Contributing Author: Colorado Land Planning and Development Law, Ninth ed.; Bradford Publishing (2008)
  • Author: Treaty Fishing Rights and Indian Participation in International Fisheries Management, 77 Den. U.L. Rev. 403 (1999)
  • Issue Editor: Natural Resources Symposium, Denver University Law Review

Awards & Involvement

  • Urban Land Institute Community Development Product Council
  • Denver Metro Chamber Transportation Council and Water Task Force
  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): Pro Bono Counsel
  • Urban Peak: Pro Bono Counsel
  • Best Lawyers (2014-2019)
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star (2010); Super Lawyers (2012-2019)
  • Denver Metro Chamber's Leadership Denver (2005)
  • Clerk for Justice Gregory Hobbs, Colorado Supreme Court (2000-2001)
  • William Doyle Inn of Court


  • State of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • American Bar Association
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Denver Bar Association


  • J.D., University of Denver College of Law (2000); Order of St. Ives 
  • B.S., University of Virginia (1991)


"I support Urban Peak, because every teenager deserves an opportunity to be educated and have a safe and secure place to live and thrive."