Matthew L. Merrill

Of Counsel

Matthew Merrill represents public and private clients in all manner of water transactions and water court litigation, including adjudication of new surface and ground water rights, changes of water rights, augmentation plans, and related water quality matters.  In one of the largest change cases decreed in Colorado, Matthew handled interstate and federal law issues as well as expert testimony regarding permitting, water quality, and revegetation of formerly irrigated land.  He has also worked with municipal clients, negotiating agreements for water supplies, litigating and settling numerous recharge cases on the South Platte River where expansion of claimed water rights threatened to circumvent the priority system, and defending a water rotation agreement in the Colorado Supreme Court.  Matthew also represents individual farm and landowners in obtaining and protecting water rights for personal, farm and ranch uses.

Matthew joined White & Jankowski in 2006.  He worked as a partner in the firm between 2009 and 2016.  Currently, Matthew is of counsel and working a part time schedule.

Matthew studied environmental science at Colorado College and relies on his science and modeling background in his practice.  He works continuously with engineers, hydrologists, geologists and modelers to master the facts and translate technical and complex information into compelling and understandable testimony.  Matthew assists clients in making informed decisions by studying the numerous legal and technical factors at issue and distilling them into a summary of options, predicted outcomes, strengths and drawbacks.  He then works closely with clients to develop and execute their plan of action.

Areas of Practice:

  • Water Law
  • Water Quality
  • Natural Resources Law
  • Litigation

Bar Admissions:

  • Colorado, 2006


  • Lewis and Clark College Northwestern School of Law, Portland, Oregon, 2006
    – J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence
    – Cum laude
  • The Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 2003
    – B.A., Bachelor of Arts
    – Magna cum laude
    – Distinction in Environmental Science

Published Works:

Representative Cases:

  • San Antonio, Los Pinos & Conejos River Acequia Pres. Ass’n v. Special Improvement Dist. No. 1 of Rio Grande Water Conservation Dist., 270 P.3d 927 (Colo. 2011)
  • LoPresti v. Brandenburg, 267 P.3d 1211 (Colo. 2011)

Representative Clients:

  • Amity Mutual Irrigation Company
  • City of Sterling, Colorado
  • Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc.

Classes & Seminars Taught:

  • Lessons from the Tri-State Case, Water Rights and Water Resources of the Arkansas River Basin in Colorado, CLE in Colorado, Inc. (Mar. 2010)
  • Water Court Fundamentals, Colorado Water Laws and Regulations, HalfMoon LLC (Nov. 2009)

Professional Associations & Memberships:

  • American Bar Association, Natural Resources Section
  • Colorado Bar Association, Water Law Section
  • Denver Bar Association