257 East 200 South, Suite 1100
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Phil is a member of Christensen & Jensen's Commercial Litigation and Government Compliance practice groups, and is also actively involved in the firm’s Professional Liability, Personal Injury, and Water Law practice groups. Phil began his legal career as a clerk on the United States Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, then worked for 15 years as a litigator in Utah County where he eventually rose to become managing shareholder of his firm. Phil joined Christensen & Jensen after working as acquisitions, procurement fraud and ethics counsel in Utah and Washington, D.C. for the U.S. Air Force, and as a command judge advocate for Special Forces in Afghanistan. He has experience with complex federal acquisition contracts and large procurements for government needs and public/private partnering efforts. He has represented a variety of regional and national companies in significant commercial litigation, along with representing clients before local, state and federal agencies in a variety of compliance efforts ranging from subdivision approval to defense against civil prosecution. He also represents plaintiffs in personal injury cases.
AREAS OF PRACTICE Commercial Litigation: Represents large corporations and small businesses in contract disputes, lease issues, statutory claims, and other commercial disputes. Representative matters include:
Advises clients on e-discovery and complex cybersecurity and data privacy issues, both to prevent and efficiently conduct litigation
Successfully negotiated condemnation and relocation of a major industrial plant to make way for a significant public transportation hub
Successfully negotiated resolution of dispute among property co-owners resulting in mutually satisfactory condominiumization of commercial property
Successfully resolved dispute surrounding non-compete clause between insurance agent and major insurance agency
Government and Regulatory Compliance: Experience with a wide variety of regulatory compliance matters, including:
Represented collection of advocacy groups in dispute with mining interests over interpretation of Utah attorney fee award regulation
Represented defendant in highly complex civil prosecution brought by FTC against local business, requiring complicated economics analysis
Represented health insurance exchange to ensure compliance with applicable federal and state laws governing privacy and security of personal health information
Represents a variety of whistleblowers in confidential fraud prosecutions brought in conjunction with the United States Department of Justice
Water Law and Land Use: Represents developers, governmental entities, corporations, and shareholders in matters surrounding water rights, easements, boundary disputes, and federal environmental permitting and litigation.
Successfully negotiated, with congressional intervention, resolution of dispute with US Forest Service over Wild and Scenic River Act compliance by water conservancy district involved in securing permitting for major water diversion project.
Represented developer in securing permitting for premium canyon home development before federal, state, and county approval authorities.
Successfully represented irrigation company in dispute with major city over diversion and development rights of prime canyon water.
Represented shareholders in dispute with irrigation company over share transfer and price restrictions.
Government Contracts: Represented the United States in full range of acquisition planning, award, administration, and termination of contracts, intellectual property, fiscal law, and conflicts of interest. Was installation primary advisor on ethics and procurement fraud matters, and was primary installation adviser on public/private partnering initiatives. Representatives' matters include:
Successfully supported multimillion dollar settlement for defective munitions that required remanufacture and redelivery of military equipment critical to war effort.
Primary legal advisor to $500 million acquisition of war military equipment that required multiple justifications and approvals for sole source effort.
Successfully advised government on numerous multiple award IDIQ contracts exceeding $100 million each, including numerous task orders under those acquisitions.
Brokered partnering agreement with major defense contractor and its subcontractor to provide government partnering sustainment support to the subcontractor; required direct negotiation and drafting of unique and exclusive contractual terms.
Provided guidance on ethical compliance to highest level Air Force officers and officials at Headquarters of the Air Force, The Pentagon.
Professional Liability & Malpractice: Represent both patients and consumers, and also engineers, surveyors, contractors, health care providers, and other professionals, in malpractice and licensing/disciplinary matters, and contract disputes. Representative matters include:
Negotiated settlement with emergency room physician for misdiagnosis of incipient sepsis which led to plaintiff’s death
Negotiated settlement of misdiagnosis of hemorrhagic stroke resulting in patient suffering lifelong locked-in syndrome
Represented homeowner in significant construction defect matter resulting in water intrusion to multimillion dollar home
Bronze Star Medal for Outstanding Legal Support to Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force, Afghanistan
Air Force Procurement Fraud Team Recognition for Outstanding Effort in Fraud Prosecution
Air Force Civilian Achievement Award for Outstanding Legal Support to General Counsel of the Air Force in Ethics and Fiscal Matters
Army Achievement Award for Outstanding Legal Support in Select Mobilization to Fort Carson, Colorado to enable surge of claims processing arising out of firing range wildfire.
"Legal Elite," Civil Litigation, Utah Business Magazine, 2016
UCLA School of Law, J.D. 1992
Editor, UCLA Law Review and Chief Articles Editor, Federal Communications Law Journal
Brigham Young University, B.A., summa cum laude, Philosophy and Music, 1989
LECTURES AND PUBLICATIONS
Panelist, Utah State Bar Presentation: “NSA Data Collection and Retention After Snowden,” Spring 2014
Speaker, “The Law of Armed Conflict in Asymmetrical Warfare: An Anecdote from Afghanistan,” Utah State Bar Military Law Section, 2013
Speaker, “Summary of Major Ethical Issues in Federal Service,” Utah State Bar Military Law Section, 2012
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND ADMISSIONS
Admitted to practice in all Utah state courts, U.S. District Court, U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
Utah State Bar Rules of Professional Conduct Committee (Secretary)
Utah State Bar Examiner, Ethics, 2004-2012
President, Military Law Section, Utah State Bar, 2012
SELECT RULINGS AND OPINIONS
Big Ditch Irr. Co. v. Salt Lake City, 2011 UT 33 (represented irrigation company in dispute over 100-year-old water exchange contract)
Allen v. Minnstar, 97 F.3d 1365 (10th Cir. 1996)(proper product liability standard)
Osborne v. Adoption Center of Choice, 70 P. 3d 58 (Utah 2003)(due process challenge to parental rights termination)
Whipple v. American Fork Irr. Co., 910 P.2d 1218 (Utah 1996)(seminal Utah case construing URCP 12)
Johnson v. Orozco, 293 F.3d 1196 (10th Cir. 2002)(abstention issue in context of parental rights termination)
- Phil and his pacer, Justin Daining, on the course of the 2016 Wasatch 100. The Wasatch 100 is a grueling 100 mile endurance race that begins in Kaysville, Utah and traverses 100 miles through the heart of the central Wasatch Mountains, ending at the Pavilion at Soldier Hollow in Wasatch Mountain State Park, Utah. Photo taken by the Wizard of the Wasatch, Bob Athey.
Salt Lake City Office 801-323-5000
257 East 200 South, Suite 1100 Salt Lake City, Utah 84111