257 East 200 South, Suite 1100
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Dave Richards has been with Christensen & Jensen for 24 years, and has been a shareholder and director of the firm since 1998. He is currently president of the firm and a member of the firm's executive management committee. Dave currently chairs the firm's Technology Committee. Dave has been a litigator during his entire tenure with the firm, having represented both plaintiffs and defendants. He balances his legal career with his passion for search and rescue, serving as a legal advisor to Rocky Mountain Rescue Dogs. Dave was deployed as a canine handler at the World Trade Center site and to Hurricane Katrina as a member of FEMA's Utah Task Force 1.
AREAS OF PRACTICE Commercial and Business Litigation: Dave represented The Utah Newspaper Project/Citizens for Two Voices in an antitrust lawsuit over the Salt Lake Tribune. Dave has also represented one of the country's largest environmental assessment companies. Most recently, Dave obtained a jury verdict for his client in a shareholder derivative suit.
Governmental Defense: Dave has represented numerous governmental entities, including water districts, cities, fire departments, road departments, and police officers. He has handled a variety of cases for governmental entities, such as water disputes, development disputes, employment cases, civil rights litigation, and flooding cases.
Water Law, Land Use, and Natural Resources: Dave has represented scores of canal and irrigation companies, water conservancy districts, and public water entities. Such cases include issues such as water rights disputes, water delivery systems, forfeiture claims, interference claims, condemnation proceedings, contracts, and liability cases based on flooding or personal injury. He also handles many cases involving canal safety issues.
Construction: Dave has represented contractors, owners, engineers, and construction managers in suits involving personal injuries, construction defects, and contract issues such as indemnification and tenders of defense. He is the author of the American Law Firm Association's chapter on Utah Construction Law.
Personal Injury: Dave has represented plaintiffs and defendants in personal injury suits based on premises liability, product liability, and professional negligence. He is one of the few Utah attorneys admitted to the United States Court of Federal Claims handling vaccine injury cases.
Member: Utah State Bar; American Bar Association; Bar of the United States Court of Federal Claims.
B.A., Business, University of Utah, 1984, cum laude.
Juris Doctorate, University of Utah, 1991, William P. Leary Scholar, Law Review Development Editor, Teaching Assistant for Legal Writing.
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS AND LECTURES
Canal Safety and Officer/Director Liability, Duchesne County Water Summit, 2010.
American Law Firm Association, Compendium of Construction Law, 2007, 2009, 2012.
Utah Fit Premises Act, Utah Law Review, 1991.
The Grey Area of EIS Mitigation, Journal of Energy Law and Policy, 1989.
Utah State EMT Convention, Operation of Emergency Vehicles and Medical Malpractice, 2002.
SELECT OPINIONS Haik v. Town of Alta, 176 F.3d 488 (10th Cir. 1999). Successful representation of town regarding development disputes over available water. Blackner v. UDOT, 48 P.3d 446 (Utah 2002). Successful representation of town marshal regarding peace officer immunity. DeVillier v. Utah County, 882 P.2d 1161 (Utah App. 1994). Successful representation of county regarding county's liability and immunity. Lyon v. Burton, 5 P.3d 616 (Utah 2000). Successful representation of fire chief regarding personal liability of fire chief for accident that occurred in course and scope of his employment. Steenblik v. Rasmussen, 906 P.2d 872 (Utah 1995). Successful representation of client regarding violation of Utah Securities Act. DuBois v. Grand Central, 872 P.2d 1073 (Utah 1994). Successful appellate defense of trial court’s dismissal of all claims against client on a wrongful termination claim. Qwest Corp. v. Tetra Tech, 438 F.Supp. 1321 (Utah 2006). Obtained dismissal of all claims against client, an international engineering/construction company. Doyle v. Lehi City, 2012 UT App 342. Successful appellate defense of trial court’s dismissal of civil rights claims against clients, city officials, based on qualified immunity. Haik v. Town of Alta, 567 Fed. Appx. 621 (10th Cir. 2014). Successful appellate defense of trial court’s dismissal of civil rights and civil conspiracy claims against client, the Town of Alta, and the town’s administrator. Jenkins v. Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District, 2013 UT 59. Successful appellate defense of water conservancy district against property damage claims, overturning Utah Court of Appeals. Salt Lake City v. Big Ditch Irrigation Co., 2011 UT 33. Successful defense of irrigation company, allowing company to seek changes to its use of water.
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND APPOINTMENTS
Bar of the United States Supreme Court
Bar of the United States Court of Federal Claims
Bar of the United States District Court, Utah
Bar of the United States Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit
Bar of the State of Utah
Lieutenant, United States Civil Air Patrol
Department of Homeland Security, Federal Task Force, Legal Working Group
Legal Advisor, Rocky Mountain Rescue Dogs
- Dave and his search dog Cowboy featured in "Wirth Watching" story about their rescue efforts during the days and weeks after 9/11, as well as their special bond with one another.
Salt Lake City Office 801-323-5000
257 East 200 South, Suite 1100 Salt Lake City, Utah 84111