To stand side-by-side with an individual accused of a crime, and to guide them through this process – this is an experience by which Katie is continually humbled. Katie’s love for her work and dedication to her clients is evident every single time she steps into the courtroom. She oftentimes hears from courtroom bystanders: “If I ever get in trouble, I want you as my attorney.”
Katharine “Katie” is a Colorado native and she grew up on the Western Slope. After graduating from Fruita Monument High School, Katie moved to Durango to attend Fort Lewis College. Katie graduated from Fort Lewis with a degree in International Relations in 1997. After college, Katie spent several years working in the non-profit sector in Denver, Colorado.
Katie attended law school at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, where she graduated in the top 16% of her class. Katie’s passion for defending the accused was ignited when she participated in the nationally renowned Student Law Clinic at DU. Katie’s work in the clinic and her dedication to her clients was recognized when she was honored with being the recent-graduate keynote speaker at the Clinic’s 100 Year Gala in 2004.
Katie began her professional legal career at the Denver Trial Office of the Colorado State Public Defender. Katie defended thousands of clients, including those charged with serious felonies such as homicides, sex assaults, and crimes of violence in the Denver District Court. Katie gained important trial experience as a public defender, which she eventually transferred into her work as a private practitioner.
In 2007, Katie founded The Whitney Law Firm, LLC in Denver, Colorado and she practiced exclusively in criminal defense on the Front Range. Katie moved her practice to her college town-Durango, Colorado in 2009. In 2015 Katie and Brian, who are also husband and wife defense attorneys, founded Whitney and Schowalter, LLC.
Katie continues to focus on defending individuals accused of crimes of all levels, from DUI’s, traffic offenses and misdemeanors to serious felonies, including sexual assault, aggravated assault, homicide, financial crimes, property crimes and drug offenses. Katie takes cases in Durango, Cortez, Dove Creek, Pagosa Springs, Silverton, and Telluride.
Katie is not intimidated by her adversaries. Over the years, Katie has tried almost 50 felony and misdemeanor cases to verdict. She also has a successful track record of obtaining outright case dismissals and countless other successful case resolutions.
Katie views each case as a unique challenge, and she implements her client-centered approach to achieve not just results that sit well with her clients, but also results that are right in the big picture of the criminal justice system. Katie has never been about the status quo, and she wouldn’t be doing her job if she took the government’s case at face value. Katie routinely works with defense investigators and paralegals and develops a defense-oriented viewpoint of the case while road-mapping for each client how to obtain a successful resolution, whether its through a jury trial or a plea bargain.
Katie truly cares about her clients, and that is obvious in the representation she provides. Katie has always taken pride in showing up; in being more prepared; in working harder. She possesses grit and compassion and she uses those tools in working tirelessly toward a better result for each and every client. You not only have an attorney-you have a true and committed ally dedicated to your case.
When she’s not in the courtroom, Katie enjoys spending time with her husband and two small children, and exploring the lands of the ancient indigenous people, in the canyons of Southeast Utah.
Fort Lewis College, 1997
Bachelor of Arts, International Relations
University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, 2004
Highest Student Honor-Jurisprudence
Student Law Office, Indigent Criminal Defense
Ranked top 16% of graduating class
Licensed in Colorado, 2004
Licensed in United States District Court, District of Colorado, 2009
Member, Colorado Criminal Defense Bar (Current Southwest Bar Chapter Head)
Member, Colorado Bar Association