Christopher O. Murray

Chris Murray is a nationally recognized public litigator. His practice focuses on litigating high-stakes cases with significant policy or political implications, and he excels in matters involving novel or rarely litigated legal issues.

When the case is both controversial and has potentially significant impacts on the public, clients call Chris. His unique combination of experience in commercial and public law matters allows him to advise on and litigate high-stakes issues from emergency actions in elections and political matters to strategic commercial and public litigation involving issues of first impression or novel fact patterns. Chris represents a broad range of clients including businesses, political parties, trade associations, nonprofits, and even individuals in high-profile matters, both in trial and appeals. He advises on and regularly litigates federal and state constitutional issues touching on public policy, in contexts ranging from election recounts to strategic litigation against governments to preparing amicus briefs for appellate courts.

Chris also regularly advises clients on strategy for political participation and compliance with federal and state political disclosure laws.

Representative Matters
  • Representing Republican National Committee and Arizona Republican Party in challenge to Arizona’s 2023 Elections Procedures Manual. Chris’ clients are alleging that the Arizona Secretary of State impermissibly failed to follow the state’s Administrative Procedure Act in promulgating a 250+ rulebook for the 2024 election.
  • Representing intervenor-defendants alongside the Colorado Secretary of State in defending the constitutionality of Colorado’s signature verification requirement for mail-ballot elections. 
  • Republican National Committee v. Pelosi, 2022 WL 4349778 (D.C. Cir. 2022). Successfully represented the Republican National Committee in challenging a congressional subpoena issued by the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol. The case raised issues of first impression regarding the Congressional subpoena power and under the First Amendment. After winning an injunction pending appeal to the D.C. Circuit, and full briefing on the merits of the appeal, the Select Committee withdrew the subpoena. The RNC is the only entity to have successfully resisted a subpoena by the Select Committee.
  • Stencil v. Johnson, 605 F. Supp. 3d 1109 (E.D. Wis. 2022). Successfully represented a sitting U.S. Senator in Wisconsin against a challenge under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Disqualification Clause. The case raised first-impression issues over whether there is a private right to enforce the Disqualification Clause.
  • Ritchie v. Polis, 467 P.3d 339 (Colo. 2020). Successfully represented plaintiff-petitioners in a challenge to Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’s Covid-19 executive order that eliminated the in-person signature gathering requirement to qualify an initiative for the Colorado ballot. In a 7-0 decision, the Colorado Supreme Court reversed a lower court and held the executive order violated the Colorado Constitution.
  • Markwell v. Cooke, 482 P.3d 422 (Colo. 2021). Successfully represented a group of state legislators in state constitutional litigation challenging use of computers to “read” bills faster than any listener could understand them. Won a first-of-its kind injunction prohibiting the use of computers to speed-read bills.
  • In re Kemp, 894 F.3d 900 (8th Cir. 2018). Successfully defended a state supreme court justice in First Amendment litigation challenging her decision to discipline a state trial court judge who had violated state judicial rules by speaking at a rally protesting the state’s death penalty while death penalty litigation was pending before him. After a federal district court refused to dismiss the case, won emergency mandamus from the Eighth Circuit preventing discovery into judicial deliberations and mandating dismissal of the action.
  • Student Loan Servicing Alliance v. District of Columbia, 351 F. Supp.3d 26 (D.D.C. 2018). Successfully litigated preemption challenges to District of Columbia law requiring federal student loan servicers to apply for and obtain local license in order to service federal loans in the District on behalf of trade association. Devised national strategy to challenge similarly legally suspect laws in other jurisdictions.
  • Won complete defense jury verdict in favor of purchaser of marijuana business in first case to consider whether contracts not disclosed to state marijuana regulator are enforceable against third-party purchasers.

Election and Campaign Finance Law

  • Serve as outside general counsel to political campaigns and political parties.
  • Served as Deputy General Counsel to 2012 Romney-Ryan presidential campaign.
  • Routinely litigate ballot access issues for candidates and initiated measures.
  • Campaign Integrity Watchdog LLC v. Colorado Republican Party Independent Expenditure Committee, 395 P.3d 1192 (Colo. App. 2017). Won appeal vindicating right of state political parties to be treated as “persons” who may sponsor state-level super-PACs exempt from state campaign finance limits.
  • Successfully defended 2016 Colorado delegation to the Republican National Convention from challenge to their election and seating at the Republican National Convention.
  • Routinely provide counsel to candidates and campaigns on post-election planning and litigation. Have successfully litigated recounts in state and federal elections.

J.D., Harvard Law School
B.A., University of Washington, cum laude


Law Clerk, Judge Timothy M. Tymkovich, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Bar and Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court 
U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington

Professional and Community Involvement 
  • Colorado Bar Association, Member
  • Federalist Society, Member
  • Lincoln Club of Colorado, Past President
  • Colorado Secretary of State, Bipartisan Election Advisory Board
  • Second Judicial District Judicial Performance Commission, Former Member
  • Downtown Denver Partnership Leadership Program, Former Trustee 
  • Holy Ghost Catholic Church, Lector
Activities and Honors
  • Top Litigators, Law Week Colorado, 2021
  • 5280 Top Lawyers, 2016-2024
  • Jeffrey S. Rugg Pro Bono Award, 2020
  • Rising Star, Denver Post Top Attorneys in Colorado, 2015
  • Compleat Lawyer, Law Week Colorado, 2011
  • Executive Editor, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy
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