from the United States District Court for the District of
Colorado (D.C. No. 1:13-CV-01761-CMA-MJW)
McNulty, Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLP, Denver, Colorado
(Darold W. Killmer and Mari Newman, Killmer, Lane &
Newman, LLP, Denver, Colorado, with him on the briefs), for
Geoffrey Klingsporn, Denver City Attorney's Office,
Denver, Colorado, for Defendant-Appellee.
KELLY, MURPHY, and BACHARACH, Circuit Judges.
BACHARACH, Circuit Judge.
Philip White obtained a judgment for $100, 000 in
compensatory damages and moved for an award of prejudgment
interest. The district court denied the motion, viewing the
bulk of the award as compensation for noneconomic damages.
White argues that we should
. overrule earlier opinions and find that
prejudgment interest is always available for compensatory
awards under § 1983 or
. conclude that the district court abused
its discretion in disallowing prejudgment interest.
second argument, Mr. White suggests that we could award
prejudgment interest on the entire compensatory award ($100,
000) or at least on the amount of his economic damages.
reject Mr. White's arguments. The first argument is
invalid because we cannot overrule published opinions by
other Tenth Circuit panels. Under those opinions, our review
is confined to the abuse-of- discretion standard. In applying
that standard, we conclude that the district court
. had the discretion to deny prejudgment
interest on the award of noneconomic compensatory damages and
. could reasonably decline to speculate on
the amount that the jury had regarded as economic damages.
I. Mandatory Award of Prejudgment Interest
White urges a "bright-line rule" requiring the
addition of prejudgment interest whenever a claimant prevails
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Appellant's Opening Br. at
7. But this bright-line rule would conflict with our
published opinions. Under those opinions, prejudgment
interest "is not recoverable as a matter of right."
Zuchel v. City & Cty. of Denver, 997 F.2d 730,
746 (10th Cir. 1993). Those opinions cannot be overruled by a
panel. Thompson v. Weyerhaeuser Co., 582 F.3d 1125,
1130 (10th Cir. 2009). Thus, our panel must apply those
opinions and reject Mr. White's argument for a
bright-line rule requiring prejudgment interest in all §
reply brief, Mr. White contends that under 42 U.S.C. §
1988, the federal law on prejudgment interest should
incorporate Colorado law, which mandates prejudgment
interest. Mr. White waived this contention by waiting to
present it for the first time in his reply brief. See
Wheeler v. Comm'r, 521 F.3d 1289, 1291 (10th Cir.
2008) ("[I]ssues raised by an appellant for the first
time on appeal in a reply brief are generally deemed ...