Erica Payne

Senior Counsel



Overview EducationPublications


“The practice of law is truly a practice: there is always something new to learn.”

Erica Payne focuses her practice on complex civil litigation and appeals. She has significant experience in a variety of fields including insurance bad faith, breach of contract, business disputes, and construction defect. She is a tenacious, empathetic, and prepared lawyer when advocating for her clients.

Erica’s passion for mountain climbing and endurance running drives and informs her law practice. When presented with a challenge, she analyzes it from multiple angles and then attacks it with the mindset of “it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” She envisions a positive outcome and implements a plan to achieve it. Erica is a problem solver and is known for her ability to think outside the box, finding solutions where conflict seemed intractable.

Erica’s work has led her to represent a wide array of clients including individuals, companies, homeowners, business owners, owners’ associations, commercial building owners, and nonprofits. She relies on her background in the natural sciences and her experience with expert witnesses when it comes to complex matters. At trial, through meticulous deliberation and preparation, Erica is able to cross-examine expert witnesses on complicated and nuanced matters, often understanding the substance as well as, or better than, the witnesses themselves. This can often make the difference between success and failure for clients where both parties retain qualified and articulate experts to represent their position.

In having resolved numerous high-value cases, Erica’s track record has a significant value for her clients, who can have confidence that she will zealously represent their interests and obtain the best possible outcome whether through settlement or trial.

Erica is admitted to practice before the Colorado State and Federal Courts; Oregon State Courts (by examination); and the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. Erica has tried multiple civil jury trials to verdict.
Prior to joining Zupkus & Angell, Erica managed a consultancy practice in Southeast Asia focused on sustainability nonprofit work.

Outside of work, Erica enjoys exploring new places by participating in trail and road races in countries on her “must visit” list. She loves living in Colorado and—as an avid mountaineer who has summitted all of Colorado’s fifty-eight 14,000-foot peaks—she is especially fond of hiking, rock climbing, and ski touring.


University of Colorado – Boulder School of Law, J.D.

Boston University, B.A.


Author: “”Coffee? Yes, I’d Love One”: On Being Mistaken for an Admin Assistant and Other Conundrums,” CWBA The Advocate, Fall 2016.

Co-author: “Life Cycle of A Law Firm Attorney,” CWBA The Advocate, Winter 2015.

Erica Payne