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15 Years of Fuicelli & Lee: Then and Now

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May 24, 2023 Firm News, Practice News

Fuicelli & Lee is proud to be celebrating 15 years of serving clients with fierce and compassionate legal representation. Over the years, we have built a reputation as a trusted advocate for those who have suffered harm due to the negligence of others, helping countless clients receive compensation for their injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

One thing is certain: we measure our success not by the number of cases we carry but by the difference we make in our clients’ lives. We are dedicated to seeking justice for our clients and holding responsible parties accountable. Our commitment to making a difference is a testament to our core values and is a legacy that will continue for years to come. 

Sit down with us as we reflect on 15 years of service with co-founders Keith Fuicelli and John Lee to chat about their history, dreams, most memorable cases, and predictions for the next 15 years.


What Inspired you to start your own law firm? 

Keith: I’ve always been a huge entrepreneur. I had a great first job out of college – I was a mortgage broker. You learn about money, and how everything works. Very quickly – within a couple of months – I was managing the office and I was thinking … this is silly. Let’s go start our own mortgage company. So, I started a mortgage company with 5 friends out of college.  

Later, I was working at [a prominent Denver personal injury law firm], and I saw how they did things and I thought … this is ridiculous. Then, I actually took a business class through the Chamber of Commerce where I wrote a business plan on starting my own law firm. I remember telling a few friends, “I think I can make more money on my own, and I think I can do it better!” 

John: I had been a prosecutor for about a decade and felt like I had done pretty much everything that I could: Murder cases, a statewide grand jury, organized crime, and I figured the next step was to go out on my own and into a private practice. 


Tell me more about how this partnership formed. 

John: We knew each other from the DA’s office. There were actually two other guys we were going to start with, but Keith & I were the only two that had the guts to take the leap! 


What challenges did you face when starting out? 

Keith: Figuring out systems! 

John:  Trying to provide a consistent product for clients while adding new staff and trying to figure out how we want to run cases. 


How has the firm evolved in the past 15 years? 

Keith: Well, the systems have improved dramatically.  We always were sort of paperless from early on, but the systems and remote work abilities in the last few years have really gone through the roof and improved dramatically.  Client experience has improved, thanks to our incredible staff. And I would say that our skill set as a firm, and my skill set as a lawyer, has dramatically improved from when we first started, as far as trial skills and best practices on how to present cases to a jury.

John: We started out in a one-room, windowless office, just the two of us in Cherry Creek at one of those shared office spaces. I remember we would have to rent or schedule time for the conference room whenever we met with clients. Now we have an entire building that we’re growing out of! 


You mentioned that you’ve always leaned towards being paperless. How do you think that prepared you for when the pandemic hit? 

John: When COVID hit, we were poised to make that step into the virtual world.  We were just reluctant to take that step – to let employees work remotely full-time – and COVID forced us to do that. We did improve a lot of our systems in communication, but I think we had the key pieces in place that allowed us to adapt pretty quickly. 


What have been some of your biggest successes in the past 15 years? 

Keith: I can still remember the first time I was able to resurrect a case had been dismissed by the court – it was one of the first cases I handled.  I got the court to reinstate the case, and then obtained policy limits immediately. I will never forget that early success. A case that we took to trial last year in 2022 was a memorable win as well – we got a $3M verdict for a young woman who was injured in a car accident back when she was 9 years old. We got to try some new trial techniques and they paid off! It was a righteous win for a well-deserving client.

John: There’s one case that will always stick with me. He was a young man who was murdered by the police.  We represented his girlfriend and their child.  I still think about their case all the time. 

Keith: To add to that, there was one case I can still remember that we did pro bono where a nine-year-old boy was run over while on a tricycle and ended up having his lower leg amputated. I can still remember because when I got the call, I went to Children’s Hospital right away. I walked into the room and he was just screaming in pain. I was a new father at the time, and it took all my ability not to just break down right there. In good news, we actually just got word this year that he is thriving and he’s going to college next year after graduation!  He is living life with a prosthetic leg; he can run and do all kinds of stuff, and he’s really living his best life. In this field, we often see people at their absolute worst, but now we’ve been around long enough to see how people can make pretty amazing recoveries, which is becoming one of the coolest things about the job. So that’s a huge joy. 

John: I can think of clients that, when I first talked to them on the phone, they were in tears because they had no idea what was going to happen, and there were so many weird things going on with their body and they didn’t know what to do.  And then we get involved, and a year and a half or two years later, you’re hearing about how they’re going to the gym again, and things are great in their world again, and all these other things that, you know, are thanks to, in some parts, our intervention but also due to some very talented medical professionals who were able to help them recover. That’s kind of what keeps me going – that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for everyone involved. 


What sets your firm apart from other personal injury law firms in the area? 

Keith: I would say what sets us apart is that we look for reasons to try cases, not just reasons to settle. And what that ends up doing is getting a full, fair and complete compensation for our clients every time – both in and out of the courtroom. That maybe sounds like just like a catchphrase, but it’s not. We really do strive for the best we can on every single case, so that we can get tremendous results for our clients. It’s probably in the results, frankly, that sets us apart. 


What do you believe are some key factors in your success? 

John: I think it’s been our drive to constantly improve both as individuals and as a firm, and try to expand our network and our web, if you will, to find more people that we can help.  And yet, at the same time, trying to maintain a high level of performance and client satisfaction. 


How do you ensure that you provide the best possible service to your clients and what steps do you take to build strong relationships with them? 

Keith: I think ensuring an exceptional client experience is one of the huge challenges of any law firm. The legal work is easy, but ensuring your clients are happy and feel heard is its own set of skills. The question is how do you ensure that positive client experience happens throughout the firm, and comes from everyone who works on that case?  I think the answer is, number one, your core values have to align with that, so that everybody you work with all have the same vision of ensuring that exceptional client experience. Communication is always critically important. Number two is that you have to have exceptional systems and you have to utilize technology any time you can to be as efficient as possible to get the best result as fast as you can.  


What advice do you have for young attorneys who are just starting out in personal injury law? What qualities do you believe are essential for success?  

Keith: The very first thing is to never, ever stop learning at every opportunity that you can. Attend every webinar, listen to every podcast, and do every single thing that you can possibly do to improve your skill set. It’s an investment in yourself that you carry with you for the remainder of your career.  


What role do you believe your law firm plays in the community, and how do you give back to the community through your work? 

Keith: Giving back to the community is very, very important. We’re very involved in the Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado. We sponsor events throughout the year and give a portion of every fee that we earn on brain injury cases to the Brain Injury Alliance. We encourage everyone to at the firm to volunteer to give back to the community.  

John: We realized that supporting volunteering was something we needed to vocalize more in the office, so this year we added 2 PTO days dedicated to providing opportunities for our employees to volunteer at organizations close to their hearts.


What are some of the major differences between Year One and Year Fifteen?  

John: The most obvious difference is that we’re a lot bigger.  We have better systems and better technology … we’ve just improved so much over those 15 years.  The other main difference is that I go days without seeing Keith, whereas we used to share an office, so I’d see him every day! I would also say that our reputation has improved in these 15 years because we’ve been able to show not only clients, but also our colleagues and our peers, what we can do. 

Keith: I would say the biggest difference for me personally is just the skillset.  Just looking back, in Year One I thought it was a great trial lawyer, when really, I was not a great trial lawyer. In Year One, I was okay. I could do some things, but I was not a great trial lawyer, and I’m sure in 15 years from now, I’ll look back at me now and think you weren’t a great trial lawyer then either.  So, the improvement in how we represent our clients now versus then really is night and day. Back then, we were just happy to have a client and keep the lights on. Now, we’re really able to fully understand the injuries that they’ve suffered from a medical standpoint and understand how to present that to a jury in a more effective way. 


Where do you think you’ll be in another 15 years? 

Keith: I think we will continue to be leaders in the trial community, and we’ll do that by trying a lot of cases. I think we will continue to grow at a healthy speed and improve on our best practices so we can always be better tomorrow than today. I expect we will be more selective about what cases we take because there’s only so much time in the day and we want to make sure that give ourselves enough bandwidth to fully advocate for every client and not overcommit ourselves. 


Who you hire matters- A LOT. 

Thank you, Keith and John, for sharing your knowledge and expertise with us. If you or someone you know has been injured due to the negligence of others, it can be a traumatic and overwhelming experience. At Fuicelli & Lee, we understand the challenges you’re facing – we have been representing personal injury clients for over 15 years! Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to providing compassionate and personalized legal representation that helps our clients achieve the best possible outcome. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation and let us help you on the legality of your case, so you can focus on your journey toward healing and recovery.