Ann Gushurst Announces her Retirement from Griffiths Law

Ann joined Griffiths Law as a shareholder in 2005. Ann has been a dedicated pioneer in collaborative divorce and promotes advocacy for families, children, and Colorado’s LGBTQ community. Ann was an integral part of Griffiths Law and was dedicated to ensuring the firm’s commitment to providing the highest level of services to its clients and consistently contributing to the Colorado legal community.

Ann was born in Colorado, but moved to Canada at age 10, splitting the remainder of her childhood between Colorado, where her father lived, and Canada, where her mother lived. She studied law at the University of New Brunswick as a single mother of three children under age 8, graduating in 1994, and returned to Colorado in 1995 to care for her elderly father. Since Ann began practicing family law, she has committed herself to serving families going through challenging transitions.

Before Griffiths Law

Before joining Griffiths Law (formerly Gutterman Griffiths) as a shareholder in 2005, Ann achieved such notoriety as a fearless attorney and was featured on the Dr. Phil Show in 2004 as a part of the “Anatomy of a Divorce” series.  At Gutterman Griffiths, Ann served as President of the firm, which employed over 37 individuals.   Ann has worked tirelessly to ensure that Griffiths Law provides the highest level of services to its clients, while also being a law firm that greatly contributes to the Colorado legal community and to the economic prosperity of the State.

As a tireless family advocate in Colorado, Ann has influenced the law in Colorado and U.S. federal law to extend the benefits of marriage and parentage to same-sex families.  Because of Ann’s vigorous advocacy, the case of McDaniel-Miccio v. Hickenlooper was brought, which resulted in the Colorado Supreme Court striking down Colorado’s Defense of Marriage Act and extending marital and parentage rights to same sex families.  This ground-breaking Colorado case created part of the fabric upon which the US Supreme Court, a year later, extended these same rights to all Americans in the Obergefell case.  Ann was proud to have a role in letting Colorado lead the nation in extending the benefits of marriage and parentage.  Ann provided this ground-breaking work in much of her work—mainly on a pro bono basis.

Before the McDaniel-Miccio case, Ann was a champion for parental rights for same-sex parents, and was the attorney responsible for first case in Colorado extending Title 19’s paternity statute to include same-sex couples.  Before Ann’s victory, same-sex parents could be entirely cut-out of their children’s lives upon separation from the other parent, simply because they were not the children’s biological parent.  Ann also completed this ground-breaking work on a pro bono basis.  At the time, this case was only the second of its kind nationwide and has served as a template for thousands of families.

Ann’s notable work in same-sex parentage is a natural result of her lifetime of commitment to advocacy on behalf of families of all types.  Whether in her brilliant appellate work, in mediation, or in her collaboration and litigation practice, Ann seeks resolutions that will not only meet her clients’ needs and expectations, but also will help their entire families move forward to best meet the needs of children.  Ann is a recognized leader in collaborative law, a method whereby families commit to resolving disputes without litigation.  She is also a former President of Colorado Collaborative Divorce Professionals.

Contributions to the Legal Community

Ann regularly contributes to publications for the betterment of the legal profession in Colorado and Colorado families.  Ann was the editor of the Colorado Bar Association’s Family Law Section newsletter for six years and has served on the Executive Council of the Family Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association since 2009.  She has contributed to many publications, including the Colorado Lawyer, Law Week Colorado, and the Practitioner’s Guide to the Colorado Domestic Relations Law.  Ann volunteers as a guest speaker for organizations and conferences including the Colorado Bar Association’s Annual Family Law Institute, the American Bar Association and the LGBT Bar, the Metropolitan Denver Interdisciplinary Committee, as well as numerous other professional and civic organizations.  She was a Director on the Board of Directors for Colorado Chapter of the Association of Family Conciliation Courts, was on the IACP task force on ethics, and has served on numerous Colorado committees dedicated to family law.

Ann served as President of Maria Droste for two years, and was on their Board of Governors for over 20 years.  Maria Droste is a charitable organization that provides free and low-cost counseling services to low income clients and families in turmoil. These services are offered at the Maria Droste center and in multiple offices in low income housing developments, low income medical clinics, as well as in over twenty Denver inner city schools.

Ann regularly contributed an excess of 300 hours of pro bono legal services for indigent Colorado families per year and is a leader in helping newer lawyers understand that an obligation to serve the community is part of the privilege to hold a law license.  Ann’s pro bono cases help families in transition meet their children’s needs and her commitment to pro bono clients is unwavering, including appeals to the Colorado Supreme Court, if necessary.

Ann was honored with several awards throughout her career, including being recognized by The Best Lawyers in America, 2018-2021, Family Law, and 2017 “Alumni Award of Distinction,” University of New Brunswick, Colorado’s Top 50 Women Lawyers and Top 100 Lawyers by SuperLawyers from 2012 to 2021, having been selected as a Colorado SuperLawyers from 2007 to 2021, and the Special Recognition Award from the Colorado Lawyer’s Committee in 2015.  In 2015, Ann was named “Ally of the Year” by the Colorado LGBT Bar Association and was named an “Attorney of the Year” in 2014 by Colorado Law Week.

Ann regularly contributes to the future of the legal practice and the legal industry. Her leadership of bar and community organizations is significant, as are her engagements to speak and write on behalf of Colorado families through contributed articles and her participation in several organizations including: the Colorado Bar Association (executive council member since 2009 and editor of the Newsletter for six years), Colorado chapter of the Association of Family Conciliation Courts (board member), the Metropolitan Denver Interdisciplinary Committee, the Catholic Lawyer’s Guild, Maria Droste Counseling Services (former board President), the Academy for Collaborative Law Practice (fellow since 2014), the Colorado Collaborative Law Professionals (board member and former Chairperson), the International Academy of Collaborative Practice.  Ann is admitted to practice in both Colorado and Federal Courts.

In her personal life, Ann has shown the true strength of a woman. She put herself through law school as a single mother of young children. In fact, her student ID showed the bald head of Hannah, her daughter, who was in a baby pack when the picture was taken.  She excelled and earned the Ludlow Hall Faculty Law Prize upon graduation.  During law school, Ann organized a national “Women in Law” conference, competed in the Laskin national moot court, won the Administrative Law prize for her year, and received top marks, all while caring for her young children and working part-time to support her family.  She raised all four of her children while helping to create a successful firm, paving the way for others like her. Ann Gushurst has never shied away from a challenge.

Ann is a trained mediator, offering mediation services to families going through domestic relations conflicts, and is also a leading practitioner in Collaborative Law.