2012 FIRM ACCOMPLISHMENTS

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1 2012 FIRM ACCOMPLISHMENTS

2 firm philosophy The Firm s philosophy is to understand and meet client needs and expectations while adhering to, and enhancing, the highest and best traditions of the practice of law. Hutchison & Steffen s attorneys pride themselves on their ability to provide effective, judicious representation at a cost-effective rate and it is with the values of honesty, integrity, and professionalism that the Firm approaches every legal matter. The 2012 Firm Accomplishments document is intended to share information about the Law Firm of Hutchison & Steffen, a Professional LLC. This document outlines examples of Firm accomplishments our attorneys have attained for clients in particular legal matters. For each case, the results were dependent upon case-specific facts. The attorneys of Hutchison & Steffen are not represented herein as specialists or experts in any particular area of the law. In addition, specific examples of matters outlined herein should not be construed to represent, guarantee, or predict similar results for future legal matters handled by the Firm. table of contents Firm Philosophy 2 Firm Growth/Partner Announcements 3-7 Firm Accomplishments/Firm Members in the Spotlight 8-22 Additional Client Resources 23 Community Involvement Campaign/Marketing 34 Attorneys/Personnel 35 Representative Clients 35 Areas of Practice Hutchison & Steffen, a Professional LLC a full-service, av-rated law firm peccole cole professional park west alta drive, suite 200, las vegas, nevada fax hutchlegal.com las vegas reno salt lake city phoenix

3 HUTCHISON & STEFFEN IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE CHRISTINA M. ALEXANDER AS PARTNER FIRM GROWTH / PARTNER ANNOUNCEMENTS Hutchison & Steffen managing partner John T. Steffen announced that Christina M. Alexander had been named a partner with the Firm. Alexander, who joined the Firm in 2007, practices primarily in medical malpractice and represents and counsels medical providers in defense of claims of malpractice. As an attorney for medical and dental providers, Alexander works on behalf of doctors, dentists, physicians-assistants, nurses, and their related medical practices in all areas of law involving patient care. This includes claims made regarding treatment by a patient, matters before licensing boards, and the general operation of medical and dental practices. We are pleased to have Christina join our ranks as a partner, Steffen said. She has been an invaluable part of the Firm since her arrival and is highly respected in her practice of defending medical providers in medical malpractice litigation. She is a great asset for our clients, who trust her professional skills and judgment. A native Floridian, Alexander has degrees in business administration and political science from the University of West Florida. She attended Emory University School of Law, later graduating from Pepperdine University School of Law after relocating to California. After beginning her practice of law in Los Angeles, Alexander joined the national law firm of Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard, and Smith in Los Angeles, where she began her practice defending medical providers. Alexander is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in Nevada and California. She has litigated matters before courts in both states, as well as before the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. CHRISTINA M. ALEXANDER H&S 3

4 HUTCHISON & STEFFEN EXPANDS LAS VEGAS OFFICE AND PRESENCE IN RENO AND SALT LAKE CITY FIRM GROWTH / PARTNER ANNOUNCEMENTS Over the past few years, Nevada residents have had front-row seats to view the repercussions of a troubled economy. In a state with one of the highest foreclosure and unemployment rates, Nevadans are used to hearing about failing businesses closing their doors for good. The Las Vegas Valley has been hit especially hard by the down economy, and although showing sparks of improvement, the area still has a lot of growing to do in order to reach its utmost potential. Throughout the economic downturn, the Firm has worked hard to maintain and build its client base by continuing to provide exceptional legal services, allowing the Firm to grow and prosper despite the general business climate. Hutchison & Steffen continued to grow during 2012, with eight additional attorneys joining the Firm. Each of the attorneys has a strong background, whether in school or in practice, and were hand-selected for their legal skill, knowledge of the law, and demonstration of stellar customer service and support. Hutchison & Steffen has the utmost respect for our clients and the trust they have in our team. We take pride in selecting attorneys who will put our clients first, says John T. Steffen, managing partner. This year s growth will have a continued positive impact on our Firm and our clients. Six of these attorneys are practicing in the Firm s Las Vegas office: Benjamin J. Comin is an associate in the Firm s corporate and commercial law department, practicing primarily in the areas of corporate, commercial, real estate, and technology related law. He received a Bachelor s Degree in Political Science from Brigham Young University, while working as a legislative aid in the Utah House of Representatives. Comin earned his Juris Doctor from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, where he was recognized as a Dean s Merritt Scholar. While in law school, Comin served as Managing Editor of the Entrepreneurial Business Law Journal and participated in the school s Law and Leadership Program. Since graduating from law school, Comin has been involved in business as both an advisor and owner, and has represented clients in a variety of business transactions and partnership disputes. BENJAMIN J. COMIN NANCY J. HEIMERLE Nancy J. Heimerle is an associate at the Firm, practicing primarily in business litigation and family law. She received her Bachelor s Degree from the University of Nevada, Reno. She then earned a Juris Doctor from the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. After graduating from law school, Heimerle became a staff attorney for the Children s Attorneys Project of Clark County Legal Services, where she practiced for years in civil litigation.

5 AVA M. BESSEL Ava M. Bessel is an associate at the Firm, practicing primarily in business and commercial litigation and family law. She attended Bates College in Maine and received a Bachelor s Degree in Rhetoric, magna cum laude and with departmental honors. She then earned her Juris Doctor from Boston University School of Law, where she served as articles editor for the Journal of Science and Technology Law and received a Dean s Award in Alternative Dispute Resolution. FIRM GROWTH / PARTNER ANNOUNCEMENTS Seth D. Oxborrow is an associate at the Firm, practicing primarily in the areas of commercial litigation, insurance defense, construction defect, and real estate. He attended Brigham Young University, graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Construction Management. During his time as an undergraduate, he represented his school at national construction competitions, placing in the top three of each event. Oxborrow then pursued a Juris Doctor at the J. Ruben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. He graduated magna cum laude and was a member of the Moot Court Team. SETH D. OXBORROW RUSSEL J. GEIST Russel J. Geist is an associate in the Firm s trust and probate litigation department, handling cases concerning will, trust, and probate disputes. Geist earned a Bachelor s Degree in Psychology from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. After moving to Las Vegas, he earned his Juris Doctor from the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Geist continued his legal education by obtaining his Master of Laws Degree in Taxation from the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Telia U. Williams is an associate in the litigation department, practicing primarily in business and commercial litigation, consumer rights, and trust and probate litigation. She received her Bachelor s Degree in English Literature from Yale University, and a Master s Degree in Theater Studies from Brown University. She attended Harvard Law School and earned her Juris Doctor in In law school, she served as the Articles Editor for the Harvard Negotiation Law Review. After law school, she clerked for the Honorable Jay S. Bybee of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She is also a part-time, pro tem judge in the Small Claims Department of Las Vegas Justice Court. TELIA U. WILLIAMS H&S 5

6 TIMOTHY T. HEATON JOINS THE FIRM S SALT LAKE CITY OFFICE Timothy T. Heaton joined the Firm as an associate attorney in the Hutchison & Steffen Salt Lake City, Utah, office. He practices in multiple areas of the law, including general business litigation and criminal defense. FIRM GROWTH / PARTNER ANNOUNCEMENTS Tim is a great addition to the Firm. We re pleased to expand our Salt Lake City presence, and Tim s diverse experience in multiple practice areas is a great fit for our clients, explained Firm managing partner John T. Steffen. Originally from Las Vegas, Heaton received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Brigham Young University. He then earned his Juris Doctor in 2003 from Brigham Young University s J. Reuben Clark Law School, where he was a top performer in trial advocacy competitions, representing the school nationally. While there, Heaton also served as teaching assistant to Michael Goldsmith, well known for his work in criminal law. After passing the bars in Nevada and Utah, he spent all his professional time in court over the next two years for criminal and other matters. Resuming his academic pursuits, he then studied several ancient and modern languages at the University of Utah. From there, Heaton attended Harvard University where he earned a Master s Degree in Theology in 2011 while studying his ninth language. Since re-entering law practice, Heaton has represented individuals and corporate clients in litigation and negotiation for business, employment, criminal, and other matters. TIMOTHY T. HEATON

7 GLADE L. HALL JOINS THE FIRM S RENO OFFICE Glade L. Hall joined the Firm as of counsel in the Reno office. His years of experience in business and commercial litigation, eminent domain, and administrative law add considerable value to the Firm s practice in Reno. He has practiced law in Northern Nevada for more than 35 years. FIRM GROWTH / PARTNER ANNOUNCEMENTS Glade is a tremendous addition to the Firm, explained managing partner John T. Steffen. He brings unparalleled experience across a wide range of legal areas, and we welcome him to our team. Hall served as Deputy Attorney General for the Nevada Public Service Commission before entering private practice. He also served on the Board of Litigation for the Mountain States Legal Foundation. Hall has been admitted to practice in all state courts in Nevada, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, the United States Court of Claims, and the United States Supreme Court. Hall has successfully handled numerous jury trials in his career in various Nevada district courts as well as Federal District Court. He has also argued numerous cases before the Nevada Supreme Court and the U.S. Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals. Hall received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science from Brigham Young University in He then earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Washington School of Law in When away from the office, Hall enjoys spending time with his wife and grandchildren. Hall is also an avid outdoorsman. He loves fishing, running, and hiking. In his past, Hall ran marathons competitively and at one time held the course record for the St. George Marathon in the Masters division. He has also climbed Mount McKinley, Mount Aconcagua, and Mount Kilimanjaro. These days, he enjoys leisurely hikes with his grandchildren and an afternoon of fishing for cutthroat trout in Pyramid Lake. GLADE L. HALL H&S 7

8 KUMEN L. TAYLOR WINS FIRM ACCOMPLISHMENTS / FIRM MEMBERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT At Hutchison & Steffen, earning a win for the client is the most important measure of a job well done. The Firm s attorneys know how to win for clients by producing first-rate legal work and aggressively pursuing clients interests. The attorneys work diligently to provide not only superior service to clients, but also carefully constructed and knowledgeable case strategy and compelling legal arguments that result in best outcomes for clients. In 2012, Kumen L. Taylor, working with other Firm attorneys, exemplified exactly what a Hutchison & Steffen attorney should be. Beginning in January 2012, Taylor defended the Firm s clients in multiple personal injury cases, including three jury and one bench trial. The four trials three car accidents and one restaurant slip-and-fall could have resulted in damages ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. During the course of each trial, Taylor successfully cross-examined each plaintiff using their prior deposition testimony (sworn statements taken under oath) and their own medical treatment records. He was able to show in each case that the plaintiff gave inconsistent testimony about their injuries and/or about the accident. As an attorney, it is important that you never do something that makes you look like you did something deceptive or underhanded, Taylor explained, when asked his personal philosophy on winning jury trials. You always make sure that you are accurate in what you are saying and that you have the documentation to back it up. Juries really like the credibility of documentation, and the more credibility an attorney has, the better for the client. In Taylor s first case of the year, he defended his client against claims that the defendant failed to exercise due care while operating his vehicle. Taylor successfully cross-examined the plaintiff on her prior deposition testimony and used school records and other documents to show that the plaintiff was not being truthful. By bringing to light the plaintiff s lack of truthfulness, coupled with his client s own credible testimony in his defense, Taylor was able to defeat the plaintiff s claim, in which she sought $1.1 million in damages. Raquel M. Sorenson v. Bodi Braithwaite, Case No Next, Taylor defended a Las Vegas Applebee s chain restaurant in a slip-and-fall case that could have cost the restaurant $3.2 million. Working alongside Christian M. Orme, Taylor KUMEN L. TAYLOR

9 FIRM ACCOMPLISHMENTS / FIRM MEMBERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT was able to attack the plaintiff s credibility based on multiple inconsistent statements concerning the cause of the accident, her alleged injuries, her educational and employment history, and her damage claims. After a hotly contested trial, the judge returned a defense verdict in favor of Taylor and Orme s client on all counts. The plaintiff was seeking $3.2 million dollars in damages. The plaintiff claimed the defendant failed to exercise due care in maintaining the restaurant in a reasonably safe condition and that this failure led to her back injuries. Taylor and Orme successfully argued over the period of two weeks that the plaintiff was not credible in her description of the accident, cause of the accident, injuries, or claims for damages. The Court further found that Taylor and Orme s client made every effort to keep its premises reasonably safe, and to warn its patrons. Kori Wiggins v. Apple Nevada, LLC, Case No. A C. CHRISTIAN M. ORME Taylor s third trial of 2012 was a personal injury claim arising out of a low-impact, rearend collision. The plaintiff claimed that she experienced significant neck injuries, lingering pain, and spinal issues. Using the plaintiff s own medical records, Taylor was able to show that the injuries the plaintiff complained of were the result of pre-existing conditions, not from the accident. Exposing the plaintiff s inconsistencies and untruthful statements, both about her injuries and concerning the severity of the accident, persuaded the jury that this was truly a low-impact, rear-end collision, that the plaintiff was not injured, and to find for the defendant. The jury awarded the plaintiff nothing on her claims. Tamara Barkdull v. Tiffany Rupe, Civil No (Ogden, Ut. 2012). Taylor s final case of the year was another case involving a low-impact, rear-end car collision. In this case, the plaintiff claimed that she suffered injuries that would require long-term and constant medical attention from an accident involving Taylor s client. Through aggressive and methodical effort, Taylor was able to discredit the plaintiff s claims of serious injury and prove to the jury using past records that her injuries, if any, were actually caused by a completely different automobile accident that occurred after this accident. The jury agreed and awarded her nothing. Michelle Stephens v. Adam Cleghorn, Case No. CV (Dept. 10, Reno, Nev. 2012). We are extremely pleased to have Kumen at the Firm, says John T. Steffen, Firm managing partner. His trial record has been impeccable, but to have won all of the trials that he has argued this year is quite impressive. He absolutely embodies the type of skilled attorney that we employ at the Firm, and look forward to seeing what he will do in the future. After the impressive year that Taylor has had in 2012, there is no time for rest in 2013, which will include a case involving damages that will be larger than all four of the cases he tried in While his trial philosophy and techniques will remain the same, he has advice for litigants that may come in handy. Don t lie about your case. I ve been trying cases for more than twenty years. Every case I ve ever tried has come down to integrity, and I go through all of their inconsistent statements. No judge or jury will reward those who do not take their oath to tell the truth seriously. H&S 9

10 FIRM ACCOMPLISHMENTS / FIRM MEMBERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT PARTNER JAMES H. RANDALL AND ASSOCIATE JARED R. OWENS OBTAIN DEFENSE AWARD AT ARBITRATION TRIAL In Taylor v. California Plaza et al., Firm partner James H. Randall and associate Jared R. Owens obtained a defense award at arbitration. The plaintiff was a pharmaceutical sales representative who was visiting a medical provider. He slipped and fell as he was coming out of the medical office and walking down a ramp. The Firm argued that the plaintiff was not looking where he was going, was walking too abreast down the ramp, and was wearing shoes that did not have adequate traction on them. Moreover, the Firm argued that the ramp s condition was appropriate and that even if it was not, it was open and obvious to the plaintiff who had been in the area over sixty times. The plaintiff underwent surgery to his knee and claimed injury to his shoulder with medical expenses approaching $50,000. The arbitrator agreed with the Firm s position and issued an award in favor of the Firm s client and against the plaintiff. Taylor v. California Plaza et al., Case No. A C (Dept. 22, Las Vegas, Nev. 2012). JARED R. OWENS PARTNER JAMES H. RANDALL AND SHANNON R. WILSON ENFORCE SET TLEMENT AGREEMENT After the parties in a contested divorce matter agreed to a full and final settlement, one of them refused to sign. Firm partner James H. Randall and associate Shannon R. Wilson sought to enforce the agreement on behalf of its client. The Court found an enforceable agreement existed and awarded Hutchison & Steffen s client attorney s fees and costs from the day the opposing party refused to sign the agreement until the decree and agreement were filed. Consequently, Hutchison & Steffen s client was reimbursed the fees and costs incurred to enforce the settlement. James R. Moore v. Rebecca Jean Kelley Moore, Case No. D D (Dept. L, Las Vegas, Nev. 2012). SHANNON R. WILSON JAMES H. RANDALL

11 FIRM ACCOMPLISHMENTS / FIRM MEMBERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT FIRM PARTNER JAMES H. RANDALL OBTAINS DEFENSE AWARD AT ARBITRATION James H. Randall obtained a defense award at arbitration in an action arising out of a rear-end bump that occurred in the left-hand turn lane from the Fashion Show Mall to northbound Las Vegas Boulevard. The turn arrow illuminated green and the plaintiff pulled forward as the cab driver followed. Suddenly and without warning, the plaintiff slammed on her brakes. The cab was unable to stop in time and made contact with the plaintiff s bumper. The plaintiff went on to run up her medical expenses to over $16,000. The Firm argued that the plaintiff was at fault for the accident and that she should not recover anything. The arbitrator agreed and issued an award in favor of the defendants and against the plaintiff. Thomas v. Watkins, Case No. A (Dept. 30, Las Vegas, Nev. 2012). FIRM OBTAINS DISMISSAL OF ALL CLAIMS FILED AGAINST CLIENT IN A RENO LAWSUIT SEEKING $1.5 MILLION Partner Joseph Sid Kistler and associate Jeffrey R. Hall obtained dismissal of a complaint alleging fraud and negligent misrepresentation in connection with the sale of stock in a corporation. The plaintiffs brought suit in Reno, arguing that they were fraudulently induced by the corporation s board of directors into purchasing shares of the company. More than $1.5 million in damages were sought against the Firm s client. The dispute between the parties also involved active litigation in both Chicago and Canada. Kistler and Hall moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that the plaintiffs filed their complaint in Nevada to unnecessarily burden the defendants and duplicate the cost of litigation. The Court agreed and dismissed the complaint against the corporation. Hampson, et al. v. Live Current Media, Inc., et al., CV , Washoe County, NV. JEFFREY R. HALL ASSOCIATE JEFFREY R. HALL OBTAINS ARBITRATION AWARD IN CONTRACT DISPUTE Associate Jeffrey R. Hall obtained a substantial award for a client in a contract dispute. The Firm s client was initially sued for an alleged breach of contract by the plaintiff seeking large monetary damages. The client counter-claimed against the plaintiff also seeking damages. After a hotly contested arbitration, the arbitrator awarded the Firm s client monetary damages and dismissed the plaintiff s claims against the client. The suit was especially contentious because the plaintiff and the defendant were brothers. Bieniek v. Bieniek, Case No. A633385, Clark County. JOSEPH SID KISTLER H&S 11

12 FIRM ACCOMPLISHMENTS / FIRM MEMBERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT PARTNER SCOT T A. FLINDERS OBTAINS COMPLETE DEFENSE VERDICT Firm partner Scott A. Flinders obtained a complete defense verdict, successfully defending the Firm s clients against the plaintiff s personal injury claim. Liability in the automobile accident case was hotly contested. The plaintiff argued he had the right of way through an intersection when the Firm s clients turned left in front of him. Flinders argued that the plaintiff failed to meet his burden of proof, and that it was just as likely that the Firm s clients turned left on a green arrow as they claimed, and that the plaintiff improperly proceeded through the intersection. A defense verdict was returned in favor of Flinders and his clients, and the plaintiff was awarded no damages. Serge Cooltschinski v. Katherine M. Derequito and Lolita D. Galang (State Court Case Number A623307) (Eighth Judicial District, NV 2010). SCOT T A. FLINDERS AND JARED R. OWENS PREVAIL FOR CLIENTS IN PROPERTY DAMAGE CASE Partner Scott A. Flinders and associate Jared R. Owens obtained a damage award on behalf of a client in Pyles v. Nguyen, et al., by successfully defeating the claims asserted against the Firm s clients and prevailed on its counterclaims against the opposing party. The Firm represented a well-known transportation company and its driver involved in an automobile accident at an intersection. Both the plaintiff s and the Firm s clients claimed that the other party ran a red light and caused the accident. The plaintiff and the driver of the transportation company claimed substantial damages for personal injuries and the transportation company claimed substantial property damage. Both Flinders and Owens argued that the plaintiff had grossly misrepresented her prior automobile accident history and that she had, in fact, been involved in multiple automobile accidents, including similar accidents at traffic signals. Moreover, Flinders and Owens argued that the plaintiff misrepresented her prior medical history and prior injuries. The arbitrator awarded the plaintiff no damages and ordered that the plaintiff compensate (1) the transportation company for its property damage, and (2) the transportation company s driver for his personal injury claims. Pyles v. Nguyen, et al., Case No. A C (Las Vegas, NV 2012). JARED R. OWENS SCOT T A. FLINDERS

13 FIRM ACCOMPLISHMENTS / FIRM MEMBERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT JAMES H. RANDALL PARTNER SCOT T A. FLINDERS AND ASSOCIATE JARED R. OWENS OBTAIN DEFENSE AWARD AT ARBITRATION In Hawes v. Magic Touch Lawn Maintenance, et al., Firm partner Scott A. Flinders and associate Jared R. Owens obtained a defense award at arbitration. The plaintiff was an owner of a condo who slipped and fell on ice on the sidewalk within the common area of the condominium development. The Firm argued that the plaintiff failed to exercise due caution by not looking where she was going despite having seen water on the sidewalk multiple times before and having slipped on the same sidewalk previously. Moreover, the Firm argued that the plaintiff was not wearing appropriate footwear at the time of the accident and that she had a prior history of falling. The plaintiff underwent surgery on her elbow and claimed medical expenses approaching $50,000. The arbitrator agreed with the Firm s position by awarding the plaintiff no damages and issuing an award in favor of the Firm s client. Hawes v. Magic Touch Lawn Maintenance, et al., Case No. A C (Las Vegas, NV 2012). FIRM SUCCESSFULLY DEFENDS JACOB TRANSPORTATION AGAINST THIRD-PARTY COMPLAINT Firm partner James H. Randall and of counsel Erin Lee Truman successfully defended Jacob Transportation against a third-party complaint for contribution and indemnity filed by Metlife in federal court. On behalf of Jacob Transportation, the Firm filed a Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. The motion was based on the legal argument that Metlife, an insurance carrier, had no legal basis to seek contribution and indemnity from an alleged thirdparty tortfeasor. Arguably, Metlife s only tenable legal right against Jacob Transportation and/or its driver would be for subrogation. Metlife filed its third-party complaint for contribution and indemnity after the applicable two-year statute for a subrogation action expired. The Firm was successful in having the federal action dismissed with prejudice. The Firm was also successful in obtaining a judgment against Metlife for the taxable costs. Met Life v. Jacob Transportation, Case No. 2:09-cv RCJ-RJJ (Las Vegas, Nev. 2012). JARED R. OWENS ERIN LEE TRUMAN H&S 13

14 FIRM ACCOMPLISHMENTS / FIRM MEMBERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT HUTCHISON & STEFFEN SECURES VICTORIES FOR NEIGHBORHOOD PHARMACIES AGAINST LARGE PHARMACEUTICAL, CARDINAL HEALTH Firm partner Joseph Sid Kistler and associates Jeffrey R. Hall and Jessica S. Taylor helped local pharmacies Farmacia Del Pueblo and Well Care Pharmacy obtain injunctive relief to prevent their distributor and billion-dollar pharmaceutical giant, Cardinal Health, from precipitously terminating the shipment of pharmaceuticals. Cardinal Health sought to terminate the shipment of certain pharmaceuticals to these pharmacies without notice and without valid justification. Cardinal Health s actions would have had the effect of putting these neighborhood pharmacies out of business unless injunctive i relief was obtained. Hutchison & Steffen obtained the temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction on behalf of Pharmacia Del Pueblo from Judge Nancy Alf. Well Care Pharmacy s injunctive relief was obtained from Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez. Well Care Pharmacy II, LLC v. Cardinal Health 110, Inc. and Cardinal Health 411, Inc., Case No. A C (Las Vegas, Nev. 2012). JEFFREY R. HALL JESSICA S. TAYLOR PARTNER MARK A. HUTCHISON AND ASSOCIATE TIMOTHY R. KOVAL OBTAIN ARBITRATION TRIAL AWARD OF APPROXIMATELY $1 MILLION FOR THE FORMER MANAGER OF MIXED MARTIAL ARTS FIGHTER Firm senior partner Mark A. Hutchison and associate Timothy R. Koval obtained an arbitration award totaling approximately $1 million for the former manager of a world-renowned mixed martial arts fighter for, among other things, breach of a management agreement. The fighter initiated the arbitration, arguing that he overpaid his former manager and that he was entitled to various reimbursements. Hutchison and Koval countered that the fighter failed to pay promised commissions to his former manager and failed to reimburse her for various expenses. At trial, the arbitrator agreed that the fighter owed his former manager various commissions and reimbursable expenses and awarded the Firm s client nearly $1 million in damages, interest, costs, and fees, as well as various stock warrants and future commissions. This award far exceeded the final settlement offer that the fighter made shortly before trial. Further, the client s award far exceeded her offer of judgment, entitling her to payment from the fighter for costs, interest, and attorney s fees, which the arbitrator awarded following the trial. St-Pierre, et al. v. Strategic Leadership Services, Inc., et al., JAMS Arbitration, (Las Vegas, NV). MARK A. HUTCHISON JOSEPH SID KISTLER TIMOTHY R. KOVAL

15 FIRM ACCOMPLISHMENTS / FIRM MEMBERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT CHRISTIAN M. ORME CHRISTIAN M. ORME RECEIVES UNANIMOUS JURY VERDICT IN HARRAH S LAS VEGAS PERSONAL INJURY MATTER Firm associate Christian M. Orme received a unanimous jury verdict in defending Harrah s Las Vegas in a recent personal injury matter. After listening to the arguments and testimony from both the plaintiff and the defendant, a jury returned a complete defense verdict in favor of the Firm s client on all counts. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant failed to exercise the requisite ordinary care and prudence to render the poker room at Harrah s reasonably safe for the visit of a person invited on his premises for business purposes. The jury members unanimously sided with Orme s arguments that Harrah s policies and procedures were reasonable and that the plaintiff s own actions were a contributing factor in the accident. Joseph Picataggio v. Harrah s Las Vegas, LLC, Case No. A C (Eighth Judicial District, NV 2012). FIRM ASSOCIATE CHRISTIAN M. ORME SUCCESSFULLY DEFENDS CLIENT IN SIGNIFICANT INJURY CASE In Montgomery v. Harrah s Imperial Palace, Corp., Christian M. Orme successfully defended the Firm s client in a claim relating to significant back and hip injuries caused when the plaintiff slipped in the elevator lobby at a local casino. The arbitrator returned a defense verdict in favor of Orme and his client. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant failed to exercise the requisite ordinary care and prudence to render the premises reasonably safe for the visit of a person invited on his premises. Orme successfully argued that the casino had no actual or constructive notice of the spill and that the plaintiff s injuries preexisted the accident. (State Court Case Number A C). CHRISTIAN M. ORME SECURES DISMISSAL OF STRICT PRODUCTS LIABILITY CASE In Callaway v. Skyjack, Inc. and Ahern Rentals, Inc., Firm associate Christian M. Orme secured dismissal of the plaintiff s cause of action for strict products liability for the Firm s commercial lessor client. Orme argued, and the district court agreed, that the Nevada Supreme Court has never extended the doctrine of strict products liability to apply to commercial lessors. Further, the district court held that the decision on whether to expand the doctrine of strict products liability to commercial lessors is a decision best made by the Nevada Supreme Court. Consequently, the cause of action for strict products liability against the Firm s commercial lessor client was dismissed. This is a critical decision for the Firm s commercial lessor client in not only this case, but could potentially have an impact in all future cases involving strict products liability and commercial lessors. (State Court Case Number A602229). H&S 15

16 FIRM ACCOMPLISHMENTS / FIRM MEMBERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT SHANNON R. WILSON OBTAINS IMPORTANT VICTORY IN FAMILY COURT Hutchison & Steffen associate Shannon R. Wilson obtained an important victory in Family Court. The Firm s client was a foster family that had a child removed from their home after almost a year to be placed with relatives. Shannon articulately showed why the foster family has standing and why it is in the child s best interest to go back to the foster family rather than be placed with relatives. She was successful in convincing the hearing master that the child needs his own Children s Attorney Project (CAP) attorney, that the Department of Family Services has been unreasonable, and that at least temporarily the child should remain with the client. In the Matter of K.J., a minor child, Case No. J P1 (Dept. O, Las Vegas, Nev. 2012). SHANNON R. WILSON STEPHEN J. MAYFIELD AND TODD L. MOODY WIN In the matter of Guardianship of Larry Druss, Firm associate Stephen J. Mayfield appeared with Firm partner Todd L. Moody and prevailed in a case against Marva Kaywood. The case was for annulment, return of Ward s property, and appointment of proper guardian. Marva had married Larry in July 2011, two years after he had been initially diagnosed with dementia. She married him unbeknownst to his friends and family and began to immediately misappropriate his funds and assets. The court found by clear and convincing evidence that Larry had substantial diminished capacity as of 2010 and certainly lacked the understanding and contractual capacity to marry in July STEPHEN J. MAYFIELD The court s ruling was bolstered by the expert witness, Dr. Louise Sherk, who testified that the Ward did not have capacity as of the marriage date and likely was incapable of marrying as far back as early to middle of The court ruled for the annulment of the marriage and awarded a return of property in the amount of $66,008 plus attorney s fees. The court also confirmed the Firm s clients as the proper guardians and confirmed them as general guardians for the person and estate of the Ward. In the Matter of the Person and Estate of Lawrence Druss, an Adult Ward, Case No. G A (Dept. E, Las Vegas, Nev. 2012). TODD L. MOODY

17 FIRM ACCOMPLISHMENTS / FIRM MEMBERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT MICHAEL K. WALL JOSEPH R. GANLEY, CAMI M. PERKINS, AND BENJAMIN J. COMIN OBTAIN SIGNIFICANT VICTORY FOR CORPORATE CLIENTS Firm partner Joseph R. Ganley and associates Cami M. Perkins and Benjamin J. Comin obtained a significant victory for corporate clients by securing extraordinary equitable relief in a case involving breaches of fiduciary duty, corporate governance, and intentional misrepresentation. They successfully brought an emergency motion to prevent the looting of corporate assets by the defendants, saved the corporation from dissolution, and compelled the defendants to explain their illicit conduct to an Eighth Judicial District Court judge. The favorable ruling on the motion gave the clients enough leverage to resolve the dispute quickly and prevent dire losses to the company. Munaf Virji, et al. v. Vacation Priority Rewards, et al., Case No. A (Las Vegas, Nev. 2012). BENJAMIN J. COMIN MICHAEL K. WALL, CAMI M. PERKINS, AND TANYA S. GAYLORD OBTAIN FAVORABLE ORDER FROM THE NEVADA SUPREME COURT Partner Michael K. Wall and associates Cami M. Perkins and Tanya S. Gaylord successfully obtained an order from the Nevada Supreme Court affirming Eighth Judicial District Court Judge Jesse Walsh s order granting summary judgment in favor of the Firm s clients and awarding the plaintiff nothing. The appeal involved two consolidated actions in which the plaintiff alleged breach of contract under personal guarantees secured by real property. In its eight-page Order, the Nevada Supreme Court analyzed Nevada s one action rule, which requires creditors to first foreclose on the secured property as a means to satisfy the borrowers debt, and the circumstances cu ces when borrowers can waive the protections of the one action rule. The Supreme Court s Order also delineated how the plaintiff failed to properly articulate grounds for its requested continuance at the District Court level. The Nevada Supreme Court agreed with all arguments presented on behalf of the Firm s clients and affirmed the decision of the District Court. The plaintiff asked the Supreme Court for reconsideration of its Order, which the Supreme Court rejected. Eli Applebaum IRA v. Arizona Acreage, LLC, Case No. A C (Las Vegas, Nev. 2012). CAMI M. PERKINS TANYA S. GAYLORD JOSEPH R. GANLEY H&S 17

18 FIRM ACCOMPLISHMENTS / FIRM MEMBERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT HUTCHISON & STEFFEN AT TORNEYS NAMED AS MOUNTAIN STATES SUPER LAWYERS AND RISING STARS 2012 The Firm is pleased to announce that partners Mark A. Hutchison, John T. Steffen, Joseph R. Ganley, and James H. Randall have been named to the 2012 edition of Mountain States Super Lawyers. Hutchison and Ganley were recognized for their business litigation practice, while Randall was honored for his personal injury defense practice, and Steffen for his work in real estate matters, particularly landlord/tenant disputes. In addition, Firm partner Patricia Lee and associates Richard L. Doxey and David W. Gutke were named to the 2012 edition of Mountain States Rising Stars. Lee was recognized for her intellectual property practice, Doxey for his real estate practice, and Gutke for his business litigation practice and their respective success in Attorneys are selected using a rigorous, multiphase rating process in which peer nominations and evaluations are combined with third-party research. JOSEPH R. GANLEY PATRICIA LEE JAMES H. RANDALL RICHARD L. DOXEY DAVID W. GUTKE JOHN T. STEFFEN MARK A. HUTCHISON

19 FIRM ACCOMPLISHMENTS / FIRM MEMBERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT MARK A. HUTCHISON AND JESSICA S. TAYLOR HONORED AS LEGAL ELITE Mark A. Hutchison and Jessica S. Taylor were selected to Nevada Business Magazine s Top 150 Southern Nevada Attorneys list. Firm co-founder and senior partner Hutchison was recognized for his work in the employment litigation, professional liability defense, trust and probate litigation, appellate litigation, and business and complex tort litigation practice areas. Taylor, an associate with the Firm since 2010, was named for her work in the commercial litigation, healthcare professionals advocacy, administrative law, insurance defense, and personal liability defense practice areas. MARK A. HUTCHISON Nevada Business Magazine employs a strict voting process to select attorneys to the Legal Elite list each year. Nominations are open to the public and attorneys are nominated by their peers in the community. Nominations are calculated, and top scorers are named to the list. FIRM PARTNER MICHAEL K. WALL REAPPOINTED FOR A SECOND TERM TO THE NEVADA SUPREME COURT S BENCH BAR COMMITTEE Michael K. Wall was recently reappointed to a second term as a member of the Nevada Supreme Court s prestigious Bench Bar Committee. The Committee provides a liaison between the Justices and prominent members of the State Bar to discuss and investigate matters of concern to the legal profession and the betterment of the law in Nevada. The Committee members review documents and proposals at the request of the Court, serve on sub-committees, and consider proposed administrative and procedural changes to the rules and processes of the Court. They meet together to discuss issues facing the courts and the state, and to provide input and opinion regarding a variety of issues, chiefly at the request and direction of the Justices. JESSICA S. TAYLOR MICHAEL K. WALL H&S 19

20 FIRM ACCOMPLISHMENTS / FIRM MEMBERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT AT TORNEY AT LAW MAGAZINE SPECIAL REPORT Mark A. Hutchison Partner ATTORNEY AT LAW MAGAZINE ATTORNEY OF THE MONTH Mark A. Hutchison Partner The Firm and its members were named in various lists in BUSINESS PRESS BOOK OF LISTS Local Law Firms No. 2 BUSINESS PRESS BOOK OF LISTS Business & Commercial Litigation Attorneys No. 4 BUSINESS PRESS BOOK OF LISTS Local Law Firms No. 4b BUSINESS PRESS THE LIST Law Firms No. 5 NORTHERN NEVADA BUSINESS WEEKLY Law Firms VEGAS INC Law Firms No. 4c LAS VEGAS WOMAN MAGAZINE Cami M. Perkins Associate Christina M. Alexander Partner

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