Dedicated Eminent Domain And Real Estate Lawyers

Carrie S. Bernstein

Practice Areas

  • Eminent Domain
  • Real Estate Litigation
Carrie S. Bernstein | Recognized Best Lawyers | 2024
Rated By Super Lawyers | Rising Stars | Carrie S. Bernstein |


For over twenty years, Carrie Bernstein has used her experience and expertise in the areas of eminent domain law and real estate litigation to advocate for her clients. Without excess drama, Carrie has a no-nonsense approach to helping her clients that people appreciate. At Alderman Bernstein, Carrie represents private landowners, quasi-municipal corporations, and public entities in eminent domain in both litigation and appeals. She has been designated as one of the Best Lawyers in America for Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law each year since 2016 and named a Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2013. Carrie has been a presenter at many continuing education programs regarding eminent domain topics. She has litigated numerous eminent domain, inverse condemnation, and takings cases. She represents clients in every stage of a condemnation case, including negotiating for the acquisition of property and commencing condemnation proceedings, immediate possession hearings, valuation trials, and appeals. Carrie has argued several cases to the Colorado Court of Appeals and Colorado Supreme Court.

Her recent representative eminent domain experience includes: representing landowners in CDOT’s widening of I-25 and I-70; representing a special district in many proceedings up to the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the issue of public use; representing landowners in threats of condemnation by RTD for its light rail and commuter rail expansion; representing landowners regarding the City of Arvada’s widening of Ralston Road; representing multiple landowners regarding Northern Water’s easement acquisitions for a water pipeline in Larimer County; representing a special district to acquire utility easements for a new development in the City of Brighton; representing a municipality to acquire easements for a sewer line project and a flood mitigation project; representing a ditch and reservoir company in a threatened condemnation of a reservoir and associated ditches; representing multiple landowners regarding the City of Thornton's water pipeline project in Weld and Larimer counties; representing a landowner in southwestern Colorado in an inverse condemnation case; representing landowners against Xcel in various Xcel infrastructure projects; representing mountain communities in their eminent domain efforts; and representing a landowner in Castle Rock’s new interstate interchange project.

Carrie also has considerable experience in other aspects of real estate and land use disputes, including those concerning title issues, lease and purchase agreements, Rule 106 appeals of land use decisions, quiet title cases, adverse possession, boundary line disputes, and easement disputes. Her recent representative real estate litigation experience includes: representing a large industrial private landowner in Eagle County in an easement ownership dispute with its neighbors in a quiet title case; representing private landowners in access easement disputes in Jefferson County; representing a group of neighbors in Eagle County regarding a Rule 106 appeal of a land use decision; representing a landowner in a Rule 106 case challenging a Town of Vail land use decision; and representing an industrial landowner in a trespass case.

Carrie also has been hired as an expert witness to opine on disputes involving eminent domain and title issues. Recently, her expert opinion about the condemnation process assisted in the settlement of a contract dispute involving the interpretation of the contract’s condemnation clause.

Carrie’s background is varied. After getting her bachelor’s degree in East Asian Studies and International Studies from Northwestern University, Carrie taught English in China for a year before returning to Denver to work in the foreign language translation industry. After five years she craved more intellectual challenge and subsequently enrolled in law school at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. During her time there, she served on the law review for two years, including on the board of editors. Upon graduation she clerked for Judge Arthur P. Roy at the Colorado Court of Appeals for a year, which gave her invaluable insight into the inner workings of the judicial system and appellate process. She started at the Denver law firm Grimshaw & Harring (now called Spencer Fane) in 2004, where she worked in eminent domain law; civil, commercial and real estate litigation; and water law.

Carrie worked at Grimshaw & Harring until 2009, when she and Jody Alderman left to start Alderman Bernstein. As a married mother of two girls, Carrie wanted to nurture her professional ambitions while being available and fully engaged with her family.

Carrie is a native of Vail, Colorado, and was raised in both Denver and Vail. Her knowledge and familiarity with Colorado’s resort communities has drawn clients from smaller communities around the state to the firm.

Outside of her practice of law, Carrie is involved in her daughters’ schools and activities. During the winter, Carrie coaches her daughter’s recreational ski racing team. When she isn’t working hard for her clients, she enjoys traveling as well as spending time with her family and sharing her love of the mountains with her children.


  • University of Denver College of Law, Denver, Colorado
    • J.D. - 2003
  • Northwestern University
    • B.A. - 1995
    • Major: East Asian Studies and International Studies
  • Duke University, Study in China Program
    • 1993

Bar Admissions

  • Colorado, 2003
  • U.S. District Court District of Colorado, 2006

Professional Associations

  • Denver Bar Association
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Mountain Terrace Homeowner Association in Eagle-Vail, Colorado, Board member, 2008 - 2015
  • Bonnie Brae Neighborhood Association, Zoning Committee Member, 2007 - 2012
  • United States Tennis Association & Colorado Tennis Association, Member

Appellate Cases

  • Town of Vail v. Reggie D. Delponte Residence Trust No. 1, 2023 WL 3794015 (Colo. App. 2023) (unpublished)
  • City of Thornton v. D & C Farms, LLLP, 2023 WL 2745094 (Colo. App. 2023) (unpublished)
  • CORE Elective Cooperative v. Freund Investments, LLC, 517 P.3d 697 (Colo. App. 2022)
  • Reggie D. Delponte Residence Trust No. 1 v. Town of Vail, 2020 WL 3482126 (Colo. App. 2020) (unpublished)
  • Carousel Farms Metropolitan District v. Woodcrest Homes, Inc., 442 P.3d 402 (Colo. 2019)
  • Carousel Farms Metropolitan District v. Woodcrest Homes, Inc., 444 P.3d 802 (Colo. App. 2017)
  • Regional Transportation District v. 750 West 48th Ave., LLC, 357 P.3d 179 (Colo. 2015)
  • Regional Transportation District v. 750 West 48th Ave., LLC, 369 P.3d 640 (Colo. App. 2013)
  • Moreland Properties, LLC v. City of Thornton, 559 F.Supp.2d 1133 (D. Colo 2008)
  • School District No. 12 v. Security Life of Denver Ins. Co., 185 P.3d 781 (Colo. 2008)
  • Droste v Board of County Comm’rs, 159 P.3d 601 (Colo. 2007)
  • School District No. 12 v. Security Life of Denver Ins. Co., 179 P.3d 1 (Colo. App. 2007)
  • Cherokee Metropolitan District v. Simpson, 148 P.3d 142 (Colo. 2006)
  • Gold v. Duncan Ostrander & Dingess, P.C., 143 P.3d 1192 (Colo. App. 2006)
  • Deutsch v. Kalcevic, 140 P.3d 340 (Colo. App. 2006)
  • Department of Transportation v. First Place, LLC, 148 P.3d 261 (Colo. App. 2006)
  • E-470 Public Highway Authority v. Revenig, 140 P.3d 227 (Colo. App. 2006)


  • Best Lawyers in America for Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law, Since 2016
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2013

Classes & Seminars

  • Speaker, Carousel Farms Metro District . Woodcrest Homes – Lessons Learned, CLE International Annual Eminent Domain Conference, Denver, 2020
  • Speaker, Inverse Condemnation – Assessing, Filing and Trying an Inverse Condemnation Case, CLE International Annual Eminent Domain Conference, Denver, 2019
  • Speaker, Eminent Domain Grab Bag, January 2019 IRWA Chapter 6 Meeting, Denver, 2019
  • Speaker, Eminent Domain Actions, NBI Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Attorneys’ Guide to Local Government Law, Denver, 2016
  • Speaker, Immediate Possession Hearings, Preparing for and Responding to Property Owner Challenges, CLE International Annual Eminent Domain Conference, Denver, 2016
  • Speaker, Hardship Acquisitions: What Are They and When Are They Available?, CLE International Annual Eminent Domain Conference, Denver, 2010
  • Speaker, Eminent Domain, Women In Real Estate (“WIRE”) CLE, 2009
  • Co-Author, Water Rights Acquisitions and Related Issues, CLE International Annual Eminent Domain Conference, 2006
  • Co-Author, Water Rights in Takings Litigation, CLE International Colorado Water Law Seminar, 2006

Past Positions

  • Grimshaw & Harring