Damian J. Arguello
January 2021Download This Article (.pdf)
Hometown: Englewood, ColoradoLaw School: University of Denver Sturm College of LawLive in: WestminsterWorks at: Colorado Insurance Law Center, Adjunct at DU Sturm College of Law, Adjunct at CU Law School Practice Areas(s): Insurance Coverage Litigation and Counseling, Insurance Expert Witness WorkCBA Member Since: 2003
Damian is the founder and principal attorney at Colorado Insurance Law Center, a private law firm helping businesses, insurance brokers, and other lawyers with insurance matters. He’s a new member of the Colorado Lawyer board.
What inspired your enthusiasm for Colorado Lawyer?
Colorado Lawyer provides an invaluable way for lawyers to stay informed and stay connected. I learn so much every time I read it. I wanted to be part of that and to help it be more inclusive.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Are you going to be killed and eaten today? No? Then you’re gonna be ok. Second best: shut up and listen!
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
I can’t stand closed-minded people. The world, indeed the universe, is constantly changing. Not adapting one’s thinking is, in my opinion, the stupidest thing one can do.
What do you like best about your practice area?
Insurance is confusing and insurers can be maddeningly unfair. I love helping my clients obtain the benefits they were promised to protect their livelihoods. There’s also that “David beating Goliath” kind of satisfaction.
What organizations are you involved in?
I’m on the board of the Denver Urban Debate League, which fosters academic skills and resiliency for students of color and low-income students through debate. DUDL has a strong record of great educational outcomes for participating students.
Favorite Denver restaurant:
D’Corazon, on Blake between 15th and 16th streets. Authentic, fast, and inexpensive Mexican food. I love how the owner, Eddie Aguirre, takes care of his employees, closing the restaurant around holidays to facilitate family time.
Please share a positive experience you’ve had as a lawyer.
Telling a room full of insurance executives that me suing their companies made them better. I analogized myself with the title character in The Last Samurai, a samurai leading a rebellion against the Emperor. He saw his rebellion as serving the Emperor because he sought to preserve Japan’s identity against Western influence. In the same fashion, I explained, I and others like me make the insurance industry better by helping them keep promises to policyholders and develop new insurance policies to cover risks they thought were excluded under existing policies (but the courts decided otherwise). I’m not sure they bought my argument, but we all had some fun with it.
What sport do you love to play or watch or both?
Football, aka soccer. I miss playing it, but my knees don’t.
Who is your hero and why?
My parents, but especially my mother. She and my father faced terrible discrimination when they moved to Colorado as children in the 1930s, which persisted well into the 1970s. Only 4’11” and 95 lbs., my mother never let anyone bully her or her family. She taught my siblings and me that we’re as good as anyone, that with hard work and education we can achieve anything, and that we must never accept discrimination. My Spanish ancestors settled in what is now New Mexico in the 1700s, and my indigenous ancestors settled there centuries before that. My parents taught us to be proud of our heritage and to resist the notion that we’re outsiders in this nation.