Armstrong & Lowry Named to Mountain States Super Lawyers

Thorndal Armstrong Delk Balkenbush & Eisinger is proud to announce that JAMES ARMSTRONG was included among the 2015 Mountain States Super Lawyers. Mr. Armstrong was selected in the area of Personal Injury General Defense.

Super Lawyers is a listing of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. The designation is an honor, in that only 5% of all lawyers in each region are named to this list annually. Super Lawyers magazine recognizes quality in the practice of law by use of a rigorous selection process that incorporates peer recognition and professional achievement.

Court Dismisses Bad Faith Claim Defended by Terry

Merely moving from state A to state B does not mean you get to then sue people from state A in state B. Yet this is the factual scenario confronting an insurance company who hired Brian K. Terry to defend it from a bad faith claim. The company operated exclusively in one east coast state. Two residents of that state bought an insurance policy. They later moved to Nevada and tried to sue the insurance company for allegedly breaching its obligations under the insurance policy.

Mr. Terry recommended the company file a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. The company had never done business in Nevada. It instead sold a policy to people in another state based on that state’s laws.

Today United States District Court Judge Andrew Gordon granted the motion. “The key question is one of due process: would it be fair, based on [the company]’s contacts with Nevada, for it to expect to have to defend itself in a Nevada court. I find that it would not be fair.”

Plaintiff Folds Days Before Trial

The mere fact that an accident happened does not mean that someone was negligent and responsible for the damage. A guest at a casino in Las Vegas tripped, fell and was injured in the parking lot. The fall was on video and the injury was a broken bone, but the casino found nothing wrong with the parking lot and denied the guest’s request for compensation.

The guest filed a lawsuit and the casino hired Las Vegas shareholder Kevin Diamond to defend it. Throughout discovery, Diamond too found nothing wrong with the parking lot. The guest hired an expert witness who examined the scene three years later and argued a joint in the parking lot’s surface was 0.125” too tall. Under deposition questioning, the expert conceded that because the joint was designed to move and he could not correlate his finding to the date when the guest fell three years earlier.

As trial neared, Mr. Diamond filed a motion to exclude all of the guest’s medical damages because she had not disclosed expert witnesses to discuss them. After a contentious hearing, the judge granted the motion almost completely. The guest claimed the fall had cost her more than $62,000 in medical costs, but because she had not properly disclosed expert witnesses, at trial she could only discuss $2,300 of these costs. After this ruling, the case settled on very favorable terms for the casino.

“I credit the client for sticking to its defense in this case,” said Diamond afterwards. “The casino did nothing wrong and the guest never proved otherwise.”

Court of Appeals Affirms Litigation Privilege Ruling

The Nevada Court of Appeals affirmed a judgment attorneys Brian Terry and Greg Schulman won for their client. The attorney-client had recorded a lis pendens on the claimant’s Nevada property based upon litigation claims in a California lawsuit. The property owner then sued the attorney, arguing he had slandered the property’s title because the lis pendens prevented the property’s sale for a profit before the Nevada real estate market crashed.

The district court had granted summary judgment to the attorney for several reasons, including that the lis pendens was covered by the litigation privilege. This absolute privilege protects people from civil liability based upon communications published during the course of a lawsuit. The plaintiff appealed but the Court of Appeals affirmed.

Diamond Helps Contractor Obtain License

Shareholder Kevin Diamond appeared in front of the Nevada State Contractors Board for a client attempting to obtain a concrete cutting contractors license. The client’s application had been denied on three prior occasions, before Diamond’s involvement. The client’s Qualified Employee was involved in an altercation seven years ago which resulted in a misdemeanor battery conviction. The prior denials were based upon the Contractors Board’s belief that the prior misdemeanor rendered the qualifying employee and therefore the client unfit for a license. Diamond argued that the employee was forthright about the prior conviction, paid his restitution and acknowledged a poor decision. However, the qualifying employee had no problems in seven years and is an active member of a number of charitable organizations. Diamond further argued that the Board should allow the employee and the company the ability to move forward. The Board agreed, granting the license.

Diamond stated “I believe the Board realized that the qualifying employee paid his dues, owned up to his mistake and as a result should be allowed to be a productive member of the construction community in Las Vegas”.

Diamond Appointed to State Bar of Nevada’s Continuing Legal Education Committee

Shareholder KEVIN DIAMOND was appointed by the State Bar of Nevada Board of Governors to the State Bar’s Continuing Legal Education Committee. Lawyers in Nevada must complete a number of continuing legal education hours per year, including hours related to ethics issues. Over the years Diamond has presented legal education courses on various topics to Nevada attorneys, and has taught courses at local law firms. He also organizes and facilitates in house education seminars for his firm’s legal education credits. “Our profession is constantly changing. Rulings by our appellate courts, or new statutes enacted by the Legislature, make it vital to an attorney’s practice to continue their education throughout their career,” said Diamond. “I look forward to serving the State Bar on this Committee,” he added.

Shareholders Strive for Gym Safety

Shareholder KEVIN DIAMOND gave a presentation to a local circuit training facility regarding risk management and incident response. The presentation focused on how to deal with clients, waiver issues, health concerns during workouts and the handling of injury accidents. The two offered numerous legal and safety tips to protect the facility from incidents and ultimately claims or suits.

Diamond said “we wanted to ensure that the facility was aware of the legal ramifications of the unique safety standards for gyms, and that they knew how to comply for the safety of their clients.”