Benchmark Litigation Reviews

Dispute resolution
Burbidge | Mitchell

Salt Lake City litigation boutique Burbidge Mitchell & Gross has been in the business since 1976 representing clients with severe injury and wrongful death claims as well as in business and commercial litigation matters. The firm’s stock of wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases often results from medical malpractice, automobile collisions, plane and helicopter crashes, and mass transit collisions in addition to food poisoning. The business and complex commercial practice at Burbidge handles securities, real estate, intellectual property, trademarks, and trade secrets-related cases. It has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in major antitrust actions involving the pharmaceutical industry, automobile dealerships, and gas and oil distributors. The firm’s six attorneys collectively have more than 80 years of experience. Although smaller than several of its competitors, the firm lays claim to many high-profile, multimillion-dollar wins. “Burbridge Mitchell does nothing but high-end, high-stakes litigation, and they are among the best in the state for that,” issues a peer. “If I had a big-time contingency case,” one competitor begins, “they would be my first choice.” Admitted in both Utah and California, co-founder Richard Burbidge serves as the firm’s managing partner. He has tried many complex commercial litigation and catastrophic injury cases to verdict. Burbidge is noted for his role in negotiating a landmark 2011 multimillion-dollar settlement with Dole on behalf of his client, a woman who nearly died after consuming baby spinach that was contaminated with E. coli.

Kirton McConkie

Kirton McConkie is a full-service firm with experience across a diverse set of industries. It remains one of the largest law firms in Utah with offices in Salt Lake City and Lehi. Clients call Kirton’s attorneys “incredibly committed,” “very responsive,” and “extremely professional.” Alexander Dushku is a member of the firm’s First Amendment and religious organizations group as well its board of directors. He concentrates on critical motions and appeals in complex civil cases in state and federal courts across the US. He has extensive experience involving many constitutional and civil rights issues, including establishment clause and free exercise, free speech, free press, property rights and takings, equal protection, and due process. Recently, Dushku teamed up with antitrust star Willis Orton to represent Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. in a case brought by the state attorney general involving the False Claims Act and alleging the excessive state-administered Medicaid reimbursements. The defense verdict in favor of the pharmaceutical company is thought to be “precedent setting” for numerous similar suits brought against Utah-based companies.

Parr Brown Gee & Loveless

Salt Lake City-based Parr Brown Gee & Loveless was founded in 1975. The firm’s deep bench of attorneys regularly attend to litigation matters on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants. While mostly focused on US-based businesses and individuals, the firm also has experience with overseas markets. Its practice is particularly strong in insurance title litigation, construction litigation, and securities litigation and gains peer recognition for “dedication to service and subject matter expertise.” Ronald Russell focuses his practice on commercial litigation, real estate law, title insurance, zoning and land use, construction cases, foreclosures, and lender enforcement. Russell scored a major triumph at the Utah Supreme Court when it recently issued a unanimous decision affirming the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of client Utah Community Bank in a mechanic’s lien case, in which general contractor VCS claimed a lien on an Ogden-area subdivision even though it failed to record a lis pendens until more than a year after it was required by statute to do so. Robert Clark and Jeffrey Hunt recently represented EnergySolutions, formerly Envirocare of Utah, in a federal False Claims Act case, in which relators alleged that the company improperly disposed of radioactive waste that resulted in submission of false invoices to the government, with claims resulting in damages exceeding $1.5 billion. The firm prevailed on a motion for partial summary judgment that led to a favorable settlement.

Ray Quinney & Nebeker

With offices in Salt Lake City and Provo, Ray Quinney & Nebeker is a full-service firm that is commended specifically by the Utah litigation community for its capacity in trial law. Salt Lake City-based James Jardine attends to the prosecution and defense of commercial litigation matters, emphasizing antitrust, securities, and intellectual property litigation. A member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Jardine is roundly championed by peers, and, indeed, his presence at the firm alone has much to do with peers’ insistence on the firm’s elevation in rank. “Jim Jardine returned from leave and is already creating a buzz in the community and adding more depth and strength to Ray Quinney. He’s already representing Microsoft,” one attests. Another peer plainly states, “Jardine is the king of all this.” He is currently lead counsel for C.R. England, Inc. in a putative nationwide class action brought by former independent contractor drivers seeking $40 million in damages for alleged recruiting misrepresentations who claim that the independent contractor relationship was a franchise or seller assisted marketing plan.  The case was transferred to Utah from California. Arthur Berger focuses his commercial practice on IP, namely patent, trademark, trade dress, copyright, and trade secret litigation.” In 2002, Berger served as the lead IP enforcement counsel for the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Future star Matthew Evans is recognized for his excellence in commercial, securities construction, and tort litigation.

Labor and employment
Strindberg & Scholnick

Strindberg & Scholnick focuses entirely on labor and employment handling matters most often on behalf of employees as plaintiffs. The firm operates out of two offices, one in Salt Lake City and the other in Boise, Idaho. The firm also handles labor disputes, representing both public employee unions as well as private.  The firm is one of the plaintiffs’ side firms that “sets themselves apart from the plaintiffs’ bar” according to a Utah-based peer.  Lauren Scholnick is recognized as one of the leading attorneys at the firm. She has recently served as first chair in several cases, including one against Bingham Young University and another against Salt Lake City. Scholnick was co-counsel in an employment case that recently challenged Chevron. The case was dismissed following a confidential settlement.