Meet Our Attorneys


Fischer, Brown, Bartlett and Gunn P.C.
1319 East Prospect Road
Fort Collins, Colorado 80525

A native of Fort Collins, William R. Fischer is currently “of counsel” of Fischer, Brown, Bartlett & Gunn, P.C. After receiving his Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Management from Colorado State University and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, Bill returned to Fort Collins in 1983 to practice law. He has argued before the Colorado Supreme Court, the Colorado Court of Appeals, the United States District Court for the Tenth Circuit and is admitted to practice before the United State Supreme Court. He is a member of the Colorado Bar Association and the Larimer County Bar Association.

Mr. Fischer’s practice included water and water rights matters, serving the needs of municipalities, mutual ditch and reservoir companies, industries, irrigation districts and other governmental entities, protective associations, domestic water providers and individuals. While emphasizing matters involving water and water rights, he is fond of saying that the practice of “water law” is, in a sense, a misnomer; perhaps more accurately described as one concentrating on clients with an interest in acquiring, using and protecting water in Colorado, but which requires knowledge in a variety of other areas of practice including real property, contracts, environmental law, administrative law, tort law, and other fields.


Mr. Fischer currently serves as a director of the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District and its Municipal Sub-district. He taught a course on Colorado Water Law at the Larimer County Vocational/Technical College (now Front Range Community College) in 1986, 1987, 1988 and 1990. Bill has served as a member of a variety of boards and commissions including:

  • The Fort Collins Water Board
  • The Fort Collins Natural Resources Board
  • The Water Quality Advisory Committee of the Larimer-Weld Council of Governments
  • The Poudre River Trust
  • The Executive Committee of the Larimer County Bar Association
  • The Larimer County Bar Association’s Professionalism Committee


Mr. Fischer, and his wife have two grown sons. During his school years, he received a practical knowledge of irrigation while working many summers on his family’s cattle and hay ranch near Walden, Colorado. Additionally, he was a seasonal employee with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service. He enjoys spending time with his family, as well as woodworking, fishing, hunting and other outdoor activities.


  • The Appropriation Doctrine, Water Rights of the Fifty State and Territories, American Water Works Association (co-author), 1990
  • Title and Valuation of Water Rights, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (co-author), 1984


Mr. Fischer has been invited to speak on topics involving water law at Colorado State University, various clubs, institutions and schools. Some of his presentations include the following:

  • March, 2005. Speaker at 4th Annual Colorado Water Law Conference sponsored by the Water Law Institute, CLE International. Topic: “Bypass Flows: A Survey of Competing Interests”
  • June, 2004. Speaker at Water Law Conference sponsored by the Colorado Bar Association. Topic: “Title Issues”
  • August, 1997. Speaker at Annual Convention of the Colorado Bar Association (Agricultural and Rural Law Section/Water Law Section). Topic: “The Operation of Mutual Ditch Companies and Carrier Ditch Companies”
  • November, 1996. Presentation at the Winter Seminar of the Colorado County Attorneys Association, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Topic: “Water Aspects of the 1996 Cluster Development Bill”
  • May 1002, 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1996. Presenter at Fort Collins Children’s Water Festival sponsored by the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, City of Fort Collins Water and Wastewater utility, Poudre R-1 School District and Colorado State University
  • August, 1992. Presenter at the Annual Colorado Water/Wastewater Training Conference, sponsored by the Colorado Professional Operations Division of the Rocky Mountain Water Pollution Control Association, Inc., Leadville, Colorado. Topic: “Water Law”
  • March 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1992. Instructor at Rocky Mountain Water and Wastewater Plan Operators Standard School held at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado. Topic: “Water Law”
  • October, 1991. Speech at symposium entitled “Water and Economics” sponsored by the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce, Fort Collins, Colorado. Topic: “Water and the Free Market”
  • October, 1990. Presenter at “The People’s Law School,” sponsored by the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, Fort Collins, Colorado. Topic: “Water Rights”
  • February, 1990. Speech at American Water Resources Association (Colorado Section) an the Metro Water Conservation, Inc. Symposium (Water Conservation: Potential and Limitations), Lakewood, Colorado. Topic: “Water Reuse”
  • September, 1988. Speaker at Joint Meeting of the Rocky Mountain Section of the American Water Works Association and the Rocky Mountain Pollution Control Association, Snowmass Village, Colorado. Topic of speech and paper: “Water Quality and Water Rights”