Theresa Lynn Sidebotham

Theresa Lynn Sidebotham

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Nonprofit Organizations Attorney in Monument, CO

Telios Law PLLC
 | 19925 Monument Hill Road, Monument, CO 80132
Phone: 855-748-4201
Fax: 775-248-8147
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2017 - 2021
Selected To Rising Stars: 2013 - 2015
Licensed Since: 2005
Practice Areas:
  • Nonprofit Organizations (40%),
  • Employment & Labor: Employer (20%),
  • General Litigation (10%),
  • Constitutional Law (10%),
  • Business Litigation (10%),
  • Appellate (10%)
    Attorney Profile

    Before settling in Colorado and going into the practice of law, Theresa Sidebotham lived in seven countries (including America),  and learned--and mostly forgot--seven languages (including English). Her four sons were born on three different continents. She had a satisfying first career homeschooling, being a military wife, and teaching in Sumatra and other places. 

    Theresa attended Wheaton College and the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. After four years clerking with two judges on the Colorado Court of Appeals, she spent two and a half years with (former) Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons LLP, before opening Telios Law PLLC in 2012.

     "Telios" means "complete," "whole," or "mature," and she selected that as the name of the law firm because excellent legal work is important, but wasted unless it makes your business, personal life or ministry more whole.  The law firm focuses on religious law issues, employment law and investigations, child protection, general litigation, and appellate work. 

    White Papers

  • Biblical Ethics and Responding to Child Sexual Abuse (2017) - This paper addresses Biblical ethics when the crime of child abuse (particularly sexual abuse) occurs in a Christian church, mission, or school. Download this white paper to learn more about responding to these situations, including: the general ethics undergirding investigation and punishment of child sexual abuse; ethics and a Biblical worldview about children; internal and governmental approaches in handling allegations of abuse; questions of grace and forgiveness; interpretation of Scriptures about managing conflict; and use of professionals in the internal investigation process.

  • Crisis Management for Non-Profits, NGOs, and Mission Organizations (2017) - Global missions work is increasingly dangerous, especially in certain parts of the world. Since 2003, there has been a worldwide spike in global kidnappings that more and more target faith-based workers such as missionaries, as well as other NGO workers. Real risks facing international mission organizations today include: injuries from suicide bombings, kidnappings, torture during hostage situations, threat of execution if captured, demands that ministry cease, and extortion. Agencies operating in this sphere must understand these risks and put systems in place to help ensure the security of those working abroad. Solid crisis management is essential to protecting the safety of people and ministry property, and, in the event of a tragedy, can also go a long way toward preventing legal liability for the organization.

  • Law Firms at Work: How Legal Services Are Delivered (2017) - Engaging a lawyer is often an intimidating experience. This white paper discusses how law firms work, what questions to ask when engaging a lawyer, and how to bring good stewardship to your legal services budget. Download this white paper to learn more about the pros and cons of services from large firms, small firms, and alternative providers, how lawyers commonly charge for their services and various billing models, and what to consider to meet your unique needs.

  • Appellate Law Practice Guide (2016) - This practice guide is an overview of appellate practice in Colorado state courts. It provides general information about the operation of the Colorado Court of Appeals and the Colorado Supreme court; a basic overview of appellate practice in Colorado; and practice guidance at the trial stage to help ensure a successful appeal.

  • The Blood of the Martyrs and Legal Liability (2016) - This paper addresses the precarious legal conditions that mission organizations in today’s legal landscape face and presents various solutions to those challenges. 

  • Misconduct Investigations: Principles Specifically for Religious Organizations (2015) - Religious organizations have certain freedom to set standards of conduct, and also to follow an investigative and disciplinary process when these standards are violated. Many things must be considered first, such as creating good documents and a good investigative process, and being aware of international law principles.

  • Protecting Children and Organizations from Child Abuse: An Overview of Legal and Practical Issues (2014) - For any religious organization that works with children, protecting them—and the ministry—from the risk of child abuse is crucial. Download this free resource to help equip and prepare your religious organization by learning more about abuse prevention, wise approaches to investigations, and the risks, process, and consequences of litigation.

  • About Theresa Sidebotham

    Admitted: 2005, Colorado

    Professional Webpage: https://telioslaw.com/our-team/theresa-lynn-sidebotham

    Honors/Awards:

    • Honored by the Colorado Supreme Court for pro bono service every year since 2012, Pro Bono Achievement Award, Colorado Supreme Court, 2019
    • Selected to Superlawyers since 2017., Selected to Superlawyers, Superlawyers, 2020
    • Received rating from Martindale-Hubbell's peer evaluation since 2017., AV Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell, 2020
    • Voted within the Top Attorneys of 2019 in Constitutional Law by the Colorado Springs Style Magazine. Voted within the Top Attorneys in Church Law in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. Voted within the Top Attorneys in Appellate Law in 2016 and 2017., Top Attorneys in Colorado Springs Style Magazine, Colorado Springs Style Magazine, 2019
    • Selected to Superlawyers since 2013, Rising Star in Nonprofits, Superlawyers, 2015
    • Selected as one of 12 up-and-coming lawyers in Colorado (in practice 6 years or less), Up and Coming Lawyer, Colorado Law Week, 2010
    • Award for highest rank (#1) in the law school class, Faculty Prize, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, 2005
    • Graduated # 5 1/2 in the class, Summa Cum Laude, Wheaton College

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • Member of Christian Legal Society since 2003, Board member 2012-2014.  Organized regional conferences, 2006-07, 2008-09, 2020
    • President of Colorado Springs chapter of the Christian Legal Society, 2020

    Pro bono/Community Service:

    • Advisor-at-Large, Church Law & Tax Advisors Board, Christianity Today, 2020
    • Chair of Expert Panel for Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention since 2019., 2020
    • Took children's civil rights case to the Tenth Circuit, alleging violation of Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment when government workers strip searched and photographed our client (2016-2018), 2018
    • Accepted plaintiff in civil rights case through the Pro Bono Panel of the federal district court of Colorado and achieved a satisfactory solution for plaintiff., 2017
    • Serves as pro bono General Counsel for the Child Safety Protection Network, 2020
    •  Board member of Homeward Pikes Peak 2013-2016; assisted with pro bono legal work, 2015
    • Christian Leadership Alliance Board, President, 2015
    • Chair, Wheaton College Alumni Club Committee, Colorado Springs from 2006 to present, 2015
    • Due process special education hearing, 2013
    • In 2009, wrote the section on "Serving Children with Disabilities" in the Juvenile Law Benchbook for the State of Colorado, found at www.cobenchbook.com (The primary author of the Benchbook is the Honorable David Furman.) In 2011, revised this section, 2011

    Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

    • Shepherd Church, CA, March 2020. Perimeter Church, GA, November 2019. Fruit Cove Baptist Church, FL, November 2019. Church at the Cross, FL, November 2019., Presenter, "Beyond Secure Check-In: A Child Safety Workshop", Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention, 2020
    • To curb the spread of the COVID-19, many states have banned large gatherings. What does this mean for churches? Can the government force churches to cancel services? What are the legal consequences if churches refuse?, Writer, "Legal Considerations for Coronavirus Guidance and Church Gatherings", Christianity Today: Church Law and Tax, 2020
    • Presented in September 2019., Presenter, "Steering Through the Storm: Employment Law Issues", Missio Nexus, 2019
    • Presented in October 2019., Presenter, "Managing the Crisis of a Misconduct Allegation", Christian Legal Society National Conference, 2019
    • Live speaking engagement in April 2019, Presenter, "Social Liability Related to Allegations and Investigations", CSPN, 2019
    • Conference in November 2018, Presenter, "Psychoeducational & Spiritual Needs of MKs: Duty of Care, Child Harm, & Legal Issues", Psychology and Law, 2019
    • Speaking Engagement in February 2019, Presenter, "Steering Through the Storm: Legal and Spiritual Issues in a Rapidly Changing Culture", CCCA Rocky Mountain Section, 2019
    • CLA, August 2019. CCU EMS Employer Congress, February 2019., Presenter, "Avoid #YouToo—Preventing and Addressing Sexual Harassment", CLA, CCU EMS Employer Congress, 2019
    • Live speaking engagement in April 2019, Presenter, "Child Safety—Creating or Avoiding Legal Liability", CSPN, 2019
    • Live Presentation in April 2018, Presenter, "Defining Abuse in Difficult Cases: Handling the Not-so-Clear-cut Scenarios", CSPN, 2018
    • Published in October 2018 Issue, Author, "International Crisis Situations: Preparing and Responding", EMQ, 2018
    • Presented in September 2018, Presenter, "Trends and Trials in Employment Law", Missio Nexus, 2018
    • Presented with Paul Winter in September 2018, Presenter, "Complaints, Cybersecurity, and Currency", Missio Nexus, 2018
    • Published in Fall 2018 Issue, Author, "Religious Liberty for Public School Teachers: Rights and Limitations", The Christian Lawyer, 2018
    • How to create an organizational culture that is safeguarded from problems with sexual harassment by adequate prevention and response, Panelist, "Creating a Safe Culture", Christian Legal Society; Evangelical Christian Financial Accountability, 2018
    • Discussing the intersection between child abuse, sexual harassment and bullying, along with appropriate responses, Presenter, "Defining Abuse in Difficult Cases", Child Safety Protection Network, 2018
    • Webinar on legal issues related to international crisis management, Presenter, "Crisis Management in Global Missions", Missio Nexus, 2018
    • Presented at conference in November 2017, Presenter, "Legal Issues in Setting up Psychological Evaluations", Psychology and Law Seminar, 2017
    • Helping audience understand what bullying is, possible legal issues, and how to handle situations involving bullying, Presenter, "Bullying 101: Defining, Responding, Preventing", Child Safety Protection Network, 2017
    • Spoke on international crisis management, Presenter, "Legal Issues with Crisis Management", Risk Management Network, 2017
    • Engaged in public debate on constitutional law, Panelist in Debate, "Religious Liberty in the Public Square", 2017
    • Co-presentation on how to help organizations with member care during the abuse investigation process, Co-Presenter, "Caregiving for Those Involved in Abuse Investigations", Missio Nexus, 2017
    • Update on current employment law issues, Presenter, "Yes, They Changed the Rules Again: Updates on Employment Law", Missio Nexus, 2017
    • Presenter of legal theory before hands-on seminar on doing investigations, Presenter, "What Your Mission Needs to Know About Internal Employment Investigations", Missio Nexus, 2017
    • "Religious Liberty or Discrimination? Two Views," as part of the "Experts in Controversies" series of the Academy Town Hall in Denver, March, 2016
    • Spoke as Panel member at the Christian Legal Society National Conference, Panel Member, "Women in the Law", 2016
    • "Avoiding the Quicksand: Sticky but Common Problems in Child Safety Investigations", Child Safety Protection Network, 2016
    • Scholarly article analyzing legal protections for religious expression for both employers and employees, and suggesting how to balance them, Co-author with Ms. Jessica Ross, "Peace at Work: Balancing Religious Exercise Rights of Employers and Employees", The Colorado Lawyer, 2015
    • Practical steps that an organization should take in order to handle properly an allegation against an organizational leader, Author, "Handling an Allegation of Leadership Misconduct", The Christian Lawyer, 2015
    • Co-presented with CFO of major organization on principles for executives in handling child safety issues, Co-Presenter, "Safety of Children in Missions--The Executive View", Missio Nexus conference, Religious Organizations, 2015
    • "The Importance of Preservation to Winning a Civil Appeal" (with Jessica Ross), El Paso County Bar Journal, 2015
    • Published in Evangelical Missiological Society annual publication, Author, "Getting it Right, Healing the Wrong: Legal Issues in Protecting Children and Organizations from Child Sexual Abuse", 2014
    • An article on the interaction of the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause in determining religious expression in public schools, author, "Expression of Religion in Public Schools", Colorado Lawyer, 2011
    • Two articles summarizing special education law, both in general and as applied to children in foster care and the juvenile justice system, Author, "An Overview of Special Education Law, Parts I and II", The Colorado Lawyer, 2009

    Verdicts/Settlements:

    • Defended appeal of due process verdict against school district, with result that it dropped appeal, 2019
    • Filed state level complaint on behalf of parents and disabled child and received favorable finding, 2018
    • Went to four-day trial on behalf of parents and disabled child in special education case and won against school district, 2018
    • As plaintiff's counsel, settled a disability discrimination case in the federal district court of Colorado a month before trial with a favorable result to the plaintiff, 2016
    • Defended free speech case against the Department of Justice in the federal district court of Kansas and obtained a favorable jury verdict for my client, 2016
    • Filed Motion to Show Authority in corporate lawsuit in Texas, alleging that opposing counsel did not have authority to represent the company. Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed lawsuit, 2015
    • Filed motion to dismiss in church property dispute case in Texas, arguing that my client as the national organization was not properly in the lawsuit. Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed us from the lawsuit, 2015
    • Represented corporate tenant in lease dispute over construction fees and negotiated favorable settlement, 2014
    • Represented individual in financial dispute against national medical organization, successfully resolving dispute and receiving attorney fees, 2014
    • Prevailed on core issues regarding promissory notes and deeds of trust on appeal to Colorado Court of Appeals (limited remand on factual issue), 2014
    • Achieved favorable settlement in federal lawsuit for statutory attorney fees, recouping all fees paid to date by client and satisfactory fees for firm, 2014
    • Prevailed on appeal to Colorado Court of Appeals in business real estate matter, 2014
    • Prevailed in special education due process hearing (4-day administrative hearing) on two out of three issues, representing parents and child against school district, 2013
    • Negotiated favorable settlement in employment dispute on behalf of mission organization, avoiding litigation and bringing significant healing to the situation, 2013
    • Arranged for mediation and negotiated peaceful resolution on behalf of religious organization in serious employment dispute, 2013
    • Negotiated settlement with charter school on behalf of child with autism, resolving disability issues under Section 504, 2012
    • Negotiated favorable settlement on behalf of respondent parents in juvenile dependency and neglect case that involved significant constitutional issues with accompanying briefing, 2012
    • Defended personal injury slip and fall case through discovery, deposition, and mediation, at which point it settled, 2011
    • Lead associate on defense of personal injury case against large company, which eventually settled, 2011
    • Won summary judgment for homeowners' association by interpreting statutory provisions governing disclosure of personal information, 2011
    • Defended personal injury auto accident case.  Part was resolved on a motion to dismiss, and the rest on summary judgement, both granted in our client's favor, 2011
    • Negotiated confidential settlement in special education due process dispute, obtaining retroactive services for high school student, 2011
    • J.C. v. Dungarvin Colorado, LLC, 252 P.3d 41 Primary counsel in case of first impression applying statutory civil liability immunity provisions for developmental disability providers, winning a decision for our client, 2010

    Transactions:

    • Coordinated completion of historic abuse investigation into a situation in Paraguay, 2019
    • Through Telios Teaches, an affiliated business, provide online training on sexual harassment, child protection, and crisis management, 2020
    • Carried out sexual harassment investigation for large educational institution, 2018
    • Carried out major workplace investigation into workplace allegations at a large nonprofit organization, producing detailed reports for client that included factual findings and recommendations, 2018
    • Carried out sexual harassment investigation for inner city ministry, 2017
    • Coordinated or advised on major historic and current child abuse investigations on several continents and for a number of organizations, 2017
    • Carried out major workplace investigation for mid-size nonprofit into allegations of sexual harassment, creating lengthy reports including factual findings and recommendations, 2017
    • Coordinated the completion of major historic child abuse investigations in Panama and Bolivia, publishing Summary Reports found at ihart.care, 2016
    • Carried out internal investigation on sexual harassment claim for large international organization, which was later settled at the EEOC level in the organization's favor, 2015
    • Assisted international headquarters (in Asia) of large organization on corporate liability analysis and corporate restructuring project, 2015
    • Assisted large international mission organizations and other religious organizations with child abuse or other misconduct investigations as outside defense counsel, or at times as investigator, 2014
    • Assisted and advised nonprofit and educational organizations in handling sexual misconduct and employment investigations, 2012
    • Assisted large church with a series of contractual issues, including legal advice and drafting contracts, 2012
    • Assisted church to resolve employment dispute, 2012
    • Assisted numerous religious organization clients with child safety protection policies, 2011
    • Assisted client to negotiate a very favorable result on a loan with the Small Business Administration, 2011
    • Drafted extensive client legal review for major religious organization and assisted in managing related legal team for a six-month period, 2011

    Representative Clients:

    • Advise numerous mission organizations and churches, on implementing child protection policies and investigating sexual misconduct and sexual harassment issues, 2020
    • Serve a coalition of mission organizations on coordinating an investigation into historical abuse issues at a boarding school, 2020
    • Advise large international mission organizations and other religious organizations on policies, employment issues, and religious liberties, 2020
    • Litigate property dispute for mission organization client, 2015
    • Litigate contentious employment disability discrimination case against large corporation, 2015
    • Litigate corporate governance/shareholder dispute for start-up corporation, 2015
    • Defend religious organization against employment discrimination claims, 2015
    • Litigate childrens' and families' Fourth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment rights in Section 1983 cases, 2015
    • Brief appellate cases on business and constitutional issues, 2014
    • Assist parents and children in disputes with public schools, particularly around special education and other disability issues, 2012

    Other Outstanding Achievements:

    • Created website to support Telios Law investigations, at www.teliosinvestigations.com, 2019
    • Developed sexual harassment, child protection, and crisis management training for ministries, found at www.teliosteaches.com, 2020

    Newsletters:

    Educational Background:

    • Wheaton College
    • University of Denver Sturm College of Law, 2005

    Industry Groups

    • First Amendment
    • Non-Profit
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    Office Location for Theresa Lynn Sidebotham

    19925 Monument Hill Road
    Monument, CO 80132

    Theresa Lynn Sidebotham:

    Last Updated: 9/10/2020

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