Firm History

Raphael J. (Ray) Moses, John Wittemyer and David L. Harrison formed Moses, Wittemyer and Harrison in 1973 as a continuation of the already extensive practice of water law begun by Ray Moses in 1938. Charles N. Woodruff (1941-1996) joined them as a partner in 1974. The mission of Moses, Wittemyer, Harrison and Woodruff, P.C. is to provide its clients with ethical and effective legal counsel that echoes the zeal and accomplishment of Ray Moses. As John Sayre, a long-time water attorney and former Assistant Secretary for Water and Science with the Department of the Interior, pointed out,

Raphael J. Moses has served his clients and the State of Colorado in an exemplary manner -- with charm, zeal and accomplishment. He may not have caused the waters to be divided so that the children of Israel could escape, but he has led his clients to legal victories and successes in a most professional and ethical manner; and in the process, he has helped Colorado to realize its potential as a promised land.

Sayre, J. Biographical Note: A Tribute to a Great Lawyer from Water and the American West Essays in Honor of Raphael J. Moses, p. xi, 1988, Natural Resources Law Center, University of Colorado School of Law, University of Colorado at Boulder.

The firm's practice throughout its history has emphasized water-related fields of law, including water rights, water quality, environmental regulation and local government and special district law. The firm conducts both transactional work and litigation related to water rights adjudication, water rights title and conveyancing, interstate apportionment of water, water quality control and permitting, compliance with state and federal water quality regulations, standards and effluent limitations, design and construction of water collection, storage, treatment and distribution systems and wastewater treatment systems, the development of water and water rights master plans, state and federal permitting of natural resources and water development projects, and compliance with federal environmental laws, including the federal Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act and Clean Water Act. The firm also serves as general counsel for water and sanitation districts and water conservancy districts.