Deals, Wins & Successes

Attorneys at Durham Jones & Pinegar provided legal counsel in the following transactions:

D|J|P Attorneys Obtain $647,090 Judgement

June 2017: Following a 9 day jury trial, Shareholder Jim Gilson, assisted by DJP Associates Tayler Fox and Lyndon Bradshaw, obtained a $647,090 judgment on June 29, 2017 for plaintiff Gregory Jones against Mr. Jones’ former employer, the law firm Mackey Price. Mr. Jones worked on contingency fee cases involving the diet drug Fen-Phen from 2002 to May 2005, when he abruptly developed a mental disability called dissociative amnesia, which prevented him from remembering anything prior to that date. Mr. Jones’ work at Mackey Price on those cases generated over $1 million in fees for the firm, yet the firm only paid him about 15% of those fees, instead of the 80% that he claimed he was owed. The 2017 jury trial in Utah Third District Court was after remand from Jones’ successful appeal to the Utah Supreme Court, where the Court held that Jones was entitled to a trial by jury for his unjust enrichment claim. Jones v. Mackey Price, 2015 UT 60 (2015).

TRO in Utah’s Third District Court

In fall 2016, Kelly Nash and Jordan Cameron obtained a TRO in Utah’s Third District Court enforcing non-disclosure, non-compete and non-recruitment provisions of a contract, which resulted in a favorable settlement for a large contractor.

Partial Summary Judgment

In spring 2016, Evan Schmutz (former DJP shareholder) and Kelly Nash obtained a partial summary judgment in Utah’s Fourth District Court barring alter ego and several fraudulent transfer claims against principals of a technology licensing and development company in a multi-million dollar matter.

Red Butte Creek Settlement

August 2015:  Durham Jones & Pinegar represented 58 affected homeowners along Red Butte Creek in Salt Lake City, Utah in connection with their claims against Chevron Pipe Line Company and Rocky Mountain Power as a result of more than 33,000 gallons of crude oil released into Red Butte Creek in June, 2010 and deposited onto the homeowners’ property.  After substantial discovery, and a mediation which extended for over one month, Durham Jones & Pinegar reached a settlement on behalf of their clients with Chevron Pipe Line Company which was acceptable to all concerned.  (Paul Durham, Phil Ballif, Bret Randall, Ryan Pahnke, and Matt Orme)

Three Key Expert Witnesses Excluded

March 2015: Blake Hamilton, Ashley Gregson, and Chris Wade successfully moved to exclude three expert witnesses that the United States Department of Justice intended to use at trial, one of whom the Department of Justice spent over $150,000 to retain. In this federal fair housing and unlawful policing lawsuit, the Judge agreed with the D|J|P team that one of the experts’ opinions were not relevant to the issues in the case, and that the other two experts were improperly identified as part of an unfair litigation tactic on the part of the Department of Justice. The exclusion of these witnesses from trial will substantially limit the issues the Department of Justice can present to the jury.

Public Roadway Settlement

February 2015: Blake Hamilton and Ashley Gregson successfully resolved a dispute involving a public thoroughfare by assisting their municipal client in securing a deed to the road.

Following resolution of the lawsuit Blake Hamilton argued that the Court should order sanctions against the Defendants for withholding evidence that should have been disclosed in discovery. The Judge ordered sanctions in the form of attorneys’ fees for our client.

D|J|P Uses Innovative Procedure to Shut Down Corporate Espionage

February 2015:  When D|J|P’s corporate client became concerned that a former employee may have removed confidential information and was attempting to use it to benefit himself and his new employer (a competitor of our client), DJP litigators David W. Tufts and Z. Ryan Pahnke moved quickly to obtain judicial relief by devising and employing an innovative procedure. Before the complaint was served, our litigators petitioned the court on an emergency ex parte basis to obtain an order requiring the former employee to turn over all of his electronic communication and data for preservation and use in seeking an injunction.

When this order was executed on the faithless former employee, he and his new employer could see that their scheme was about to be exposed, and they immediately discontinued their wrongful conduct and stipulated to a significant period of non-competition so that our client was able to repair the harm done, and thereby avoid the time and expense of protracted litigation. This innovative approach, devised and executed by our litigators, demonstrates D|J|P’s commitment to obtaining success using procedures that are quicker and less expensive than traditional methods.

$2M Lawsuit Dismissed

January 2015: Blake Hamilton and Ashley Gregson successfully defended a lawsuit against their client, a Dairy, wherein Plaintiffs had alleged Breach of Contract, Unjust Enrichment, Breach of Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing and Conversion of Chattel claims. Plaintiffs sought damages in an amount exceeding 2 million dollars. Hamilton and Gregson got the case dismissed and $0 damages were awarded or paid.

$10M Dissolution Dispute Resolved

September 2014: Blake Hamilton and Ashley Gregson successfully defended a corporation in a lawsuit arising out of a dispute regarding the dissolution of the corporation. Former members of the corporation raised claims regarding $10M allegedly invested or loaned to the corporation. Hamilton and Gregson successfully moved to dismiss several of the claims in the Complaint on a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, and negotiated a favorable settlement on the remaining claims without the need for protracted litigation or trial.

Large Construction Defect Case

May 2014: In a large construction defect case involving numerous parties and claims, Terry Wade and Eli Milne successfully obtained an order summarily dismissing all claims against our client with prejudice and on the merits. Because of this success, other defense attorneys in this case have since adopted our arguments verbatim in hopes of obtaining a similar order in favor of their clients.

D|J|P Victorious Over Three Day Bench Trial

December 2013: David Tufts and Matt Orme were successful in obtaining entry of a judgment reflecting a complete defense victory following a three day bench trial.  In addition to dismissing with prejudice and on the merits all of the plaintiffs’ various fraud, contract and statutory claims, the court awarded our clients the full amount of attorney fees and costs incurred by DJP.  The plaintiffs had been seeking to recover more than $2 million. 

Fair Housing Act

February 2014: Stephen Quesenberry and Jessica Anderson obtained a substantial reasonable accommodation for clients opening a treatment/rehabilitation facility in Alpine under the Fair Housing Act. The limit in Alpine for unrelated individuals living in the same residence is four, and the clients sought to have 16-18 individuals housed at their facility (a large residential house purchased for the facility). D|J|P represented the clients through an administrative appeal and initiated a district court review of the administrative proceedings.  After the filing of the opening briefs before the district court, the parties engaged in settlement discussions, resulting in the reasonable accommodation of 16 residents. 

RESPA Settlement

February 2014: David Tufts and Adrienne Mckelvey obtained a six figure settlement for our client with minimal negotiations undertaken in advance of mandatory arbitration.  When the client came to DJP he was frustrated because his two prior attorney had only been able to obtain an offer to settle for $15,000.  The dispute involved a complicated application of the Federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (or RESPA).  DJP analyzed the relevant authorities and presented them to the defendant in a way that successfully persuaded the defendant to agree voluntarily to pay compensation so as to avoid litigation.  The client praised DJP for having obtained this result so quickly and inexpensively when his two prior attorney had been unable to obtain such an outcome.

Windygates LC.

March 2014: Stephen Quesenberry and Aaron Harris were victorious in a construction arbitration (before Arbitrator David Slaughter) arising from the building of a commercial property in Lindon. D|J||P represented Windygates LC, the owner who hired a contractor to construct the commercial building in question. The contractor was paid about $700,000 for their work in constructing the building. The arbitration judgment awarded against the contractor (for construction defects and attorneys fees) was for $534,456.83.

Domestic and International Patents

March 2014:  David Tufts and Ryan Pahnke obtained dismissal with prejudice of claims and counterclaims for breach of a technology license agreement involving domestic and international patents.  The firm represented a technology company that was being threatened with litigation by the licensor.  The firm devised and successfully executed a strategy of striking first by asserting our client’s unique defenses in a lawsuit for declaratory relief in a forum that was convenient to our client.  

Rule 11

March 2014: David Tufts and Matt Orme obtained a Rule 11 sanction in litigation for our clients who were being sued on claims that were unsupportable.  At our urging, the court recognized that the plaintiffs had failed to conduct objectively reasonably research and inquiry before asserting claims against our clients, and because of this the plaintiffs were ordered to reimburse our clients’ attorney fees and costs.  This followed the ruling in the same case that DJP obtained in February 2014, whereby the court had dismissed all the plaintiffs’ claims against our clients with prejudice on a motion to dismiss before the clients had to file an answer in the case.