Christopher A. Taravella

Email : ctaravella@montgomerylittle.com

Educational Background

1976    J.D.
University of Colorado School of Law
with honors

1973    B.S.
United States Air Force Academy
Engineering Mechanics

1996    Advanced Management Program: International Senior Management Program
Harvard Business School

Professional Experience and Areas of Concentration

Christopher A. Taravella was a judge advocate (JAG) in the United States Air Force for twenty-one years. While on active duty he was an Air Force prosecutor, having more than one hundred trials. He was designated a Special Assistant United States Attorney for civil litigation as the Chief of the Constitutional Torts Branch of The Judge Advocate General’s Office in Washington, D.C. In the Air Force Reserves he was the Staff Judge Advocate of an airlift and refueling wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan. His tours of duty include Special Operations at Hurlburt Field, Florida, a tactical fighter training wing in Zaragoza, Spain, and the Pentagon in Virginia.

Chris left active duty with the Air Force to join Chrysler Corporation in 1985, where he was the Litigation Department head under Lee Iacocca. He has extensive experience with commercial and employment litigation, including class actions. He was Chrysler’s Chief Patent Counsel for seven years and was responsible for all intellectual property transactional and litigation matters, including patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secrets. As such, he was responsible for the defense of the intermittent windshield wiper patent infringement litigation filed by Robert Kearns against the auto industry and the bar code/synthetic voice/machine vision patent infringement litigation filed by Jerome Lemelson against the auto and other industries. He was also responsible for all of Chrysler’s commercial contracts.

Chris became the General Counsel of Chrysler Financial Corporation in 1997 and then of the merged Chrysler Financial/Mercedes-Benz Credit unit, a position he held for nine years. He was responsible for the legal, audit, and process management activities of the $95 billion in receivables captive finance unit. This responsibility included sales finance licensing, corporate matters, the defense of class action, lender liability, contract, and employment litigation, the formation of a Utah Industrial Loan Corporation, securities and funding matters, securitization of receivables, and retail and wholesale auto financing.

Since joining the firm Chris has been lead counsel in seven preliminary injunction hearings in both state and federal court and has tried several bench and jury matters to conclusion. In April 2013 he won a preliminary injunction in a trademark matter for a Denver-based client in a San Antonio, Texas federal district court.

A Colorado native born and raised in Pueblo, Colorado, Chris is admitted to the Bars of Colorado, Michigan, and Wyoming. Since December 1983 he has been licensed to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He is an instrument-rated, commercial airplane pilot: multi-engine, land. He is a certified open water SCUBA diver.

Chris holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering Mechanics from the United States Air Force Academy, a Law Degree from the University of Colorado, and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program, International Senior Management Program, of the Harvard Business School.

Chris has served on United States Senator Mark E. Udall’s Service Academies Merit Selection Panel (2010, 2013, 2014). Chris is a regular soup server at the St. Francis Center, 2323 Curtis Street in Denver (since 2008). He is an Executive Committee Member for the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, 2111 Champa Street, also in Denver (since 2010). He has served as a guest faculty member for: (a) the Law and Management Departments at the U. S. Air Force Academy (since 2006); and (b) J.J. Strossmayer University Faculty of Law, Osijek, Croatia (March 2013). Chris spoke at the Center for International Studies Employment and Business Immigration Conference in Salzburg, Austria (June 2011). He is a member of The Judge William E. Doyle Inn of Court (since 2010).

Chris has served as a director of: RouteOne LLC, a credit application aggregation joint venture of GMAC, Ford Motor Credit, Toyota Financial Services, and DaimlerChrysler Financial Services Americas; the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit; the Bloomfield Hills, Michigan Baseball League; Oxlo Systems, Inc., a provider of automotive retail integration networks; the American Financial Services Association; and has served on the Governing Committee of the Conference on Consumer Finance Law.

He retired from DaimlerChrysler in 2006 and is a shareholder with the Greenwood Village, Colorado law firm of Montgomery Little & Soran, P.C .