Debra Fortenberry is lead counsel and strategist. A graduate of The Ohio State College of Law, she has been continuously licensed and practicing law since 1989. She founded Fortenberry Law Group P.C. in 2001 with offices located in Colorado Springs, CO, envisioning the practice of law with an uncompromising commitment to ethics and professionalism. She counsels and represents individuals and businesses in real estate, business matters and litigation throughout the State of Colorado.
As an actively engaged community member, Ms. Fortenberry has provided pro bono legal services after the wildfires, planted trees in the burn area, taught attorney continuing education on various subjects and served on nonprofit boards of directors. She studies and practices a form of conflict resolution communication known as compassionate communication developed by Marshall Rosenberg, PhD.
Lawyering, motherhood, community engagement, meditation and urban farming are the means by which she cultivates patience, humor, gratitude, skill and equanimity.
Michelle McKenna is a former Army officer, mediator and arbiter, and current attorney licensed in Colorado. She received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver, a Master’s Degree from Duke University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgetown University.
Whether it has been as a Lieutenant in a peacekeeping force in the Middle East, a Captain doing humanitarian aid in Central America, a Commander of a logistics unit in an armored cavalry regiment, or as an attorney for the Fortenberry Law Group Ms. McKenna has spent her life working on small teams of professionals committed to excellence.
Known throughout Southern Colorado for her skill in settling difficult conflicts as a mediator or arbiter, Ms. McKenna also directed the largest dispute resolution program in Colorado for ten years. She has taught conflict resolution skills to attorneys, judges, and law enforcement in Southern Colorado.
Ms. McKenna enjoys the investigative side of the law – finding the evidence, documents, or law that leads to settlement. As she learned in the Army, “Always do your own reconnaissance.”
In addition to the real estate litigation work she does for Fortenberry Law Group, Ms. McKenna practices Colorado and Veterans’ Disability appellate law, and family law. Ms. McKenna regularly provides pro bono services through the El Paso County Bar Association.
Having travelled on five continents and lived on four, Ms. McKenna loves the open skies of the Mountain West. She also enjoys walking her basset hounds, gourmet cooking, and creative non-fiction.
Roni Reynolds joined Fortenberry Law Group September of 2019, as a part-time Paralegal. She is very excited to be a part of this team of talented professionals having never worked with a more caring group of people. "I truly loves my job," says Roni. Following her retirement, she was especially thrilled to find a part-time job where she could utilize the skills acquired over the past 40+ years.
Roni has worked in the fields of insurance defense, personal injury, probate, HOA matters and real estate litigation in the capacities as a Legal Secretary, Legal Assistant, Office Manager and a Paralegal. She brings not only versatility but familiarity with handling all aspects of various cases.
Besides managing day-to-day tasks, handling client intakes, and making appointments, as a paralegal her key responsibilities are legal research, management of deadlines, drafting pleadings, discovery documents and various correspondence, to include demand letters, confidential settlement statements, preparation of probate documents and real estate contracts. She especially enjoys organizing documents into notebooks for use at trial and mediations, feeling "one can never be too organized!"
Roni moved to Colorado Springs in 1976 from Jacksonville, FL, (with her roots originating in Peoria, IL), and considers herself “almost” a native of Colorado. She gives thanks daily for living in such a beautiful State. Her favorite pastimes are spending quality time with her daughter and her friends, hosting dinner parties, gardening, reading and, as a former Captain of a Pool League, shooting an occasional game of pool.
Most of Karen's background and training focuses on creative endeavors. She found she had inherited a leaning towards working with numbers that proved to be surprisingly satisfying.
For years she was able to balance gardening and landscaping design with tax work and now as bookkeeper and office manager at Fortenberry Law group she finds many opportunities both inside and out of the office to use her creative talents.
"There is a certainty with numbers that is not to be found when trying to grow a garden in Colorado or laying out a design for a work of art!"
Trees offer us teachings in their own quiet way: the importance of shelter; persistence and flexibility are strength; wellness includes cycles of growth, decline and renewal; and beauty begins beneath the surface and takes many forms. They invite us to listen and observe. Their service to humans is extraordinary. Our wellness depends upon their wellness and vice versa. Debra: as a child, the forest was my playground and my spirit’s temple. Now, when I need to refresh and center, the forests of the Pikes Peak region are here for me. They are here for all of us who have the good fortune to now call this Place home.
“The Nuche [the Ute people] are an anomaly among American Indians, as they have no migration legend. … [T]hey believe that they were created at Pikes Peak—that they have always been here.” American Indians of the Pikes Peak Region, Celinda R. Kaelin and the Pikes Peak Historical Society. The Introduction to Kaelin’s book includes the retelling of the Nuche creation legend by Clifford Duncan, Northern Ute elder. Pikes Peak is called the shining mountain and Tava (Sun), the natural springs in Manitou the “Creator’s breath” and the red soil in Garden of the Gods “dust of the grandfather’s bones”.
We hold the intention of becoming skillful and respectful stewards in gratitude and respect for the Nuche and other Native American peoples and their reverence for this Place.