Christensen & Jensen Attorneys
L. Rich Humpherys
15 West South Temple, Suite 800,
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Send L. Rich A Message
Rich is one of the most successful trial attorneys in the state, having won over a hundred jury trials and received numerous honors and recognitions. Rich has been recognized by Super Lawyers magazine as one of the top 100 Lawyers (2012); Super Lawyers magazine (Thomson Reuters) recognizes him as one of the Top 75 lawyers in the intermountain West (Utah, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming), and Utah Business magazine has named him one of the state's "Legal Elite" each year of its edition. In his 30-year practice, Rich has had an unusual career, splitting his practice between “both sides of the V,” devoting half his time representing corporations and other businesses, and the other half representing plaintiffs. Rich is often brought in to try high-profile and complex cases, and to handle appeals involving issues of first impression in Utah.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
Commercial litigation and corporate defense: Represents businesses and others in commercial disputes; litigates and tries cases in both state and federal court. Representative matters include:
- Represented The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in claims alleging clergy malpractice. See, e.g., Doe v. The Corp. of the Pres. of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 2004 UT App 2004 UT App 274, 98 P.3d 429
- Hired by AT&T Wireless to try claims arising out of Triad Center shootings
- Hired by irrigation company to try claim by severely brain injured plaintiff involving vehicle that became submerged in canal
- Won jury trial against broker in first case tried under state Securities Act. See Steenblik v. Lichfield, 906 P.2d 872 (Utah 1995)
- Represented plaintiffs in commercial and bad faith cases, including recovery of $20 million after multiple trials and appeals in fraud case. Campbell v. State Farm, 840 P.2d 130 (Utah App 1992); 2001 UT 89, 65 P.3d 1134; 538 U.S. 408 (2003); 2004 UT 34, 98 P.3d 409.
- Represented former State Farm in-house attorneys in landmark Utah Supreme Court case involving alleged wrongful termination for refusal to engage in unethical practices. Spratley v. State Farm, 2003 UT 39, 78 P.3d 603.
Personal Injury, Plaintiff: Represents plaintiffs in select matters involving catastrophic injury, wrongful death, and insurance bad faith. Representative matters include:
- Won $10 million verdict in Texas case involving Lear jet crash
- Won multi-million judgment in bench trial involving injuries to minor in automobile accident
- Won $1 million jury verdict in case involving injuries caused by improperly maintained dump truck
- Won jury verdict against automobile manufacturer involving significant injuries from automobile crash
- Obtained multi-million recovery against transportation company in wrongful death case
Insurance / Bad Faith: Represents insureds and insurances companies in bad faith and coverage disputes. Representative matters include:
- Obtained Utah Supreme Court ruling establishing damages available in bad faith cases
- Represented insurance company in case involving claim for reimbursement of multimillion dollar payments made on non-covered losses
- Represented various businesses in claims against insurers for denial of coverage, non-payment or delayed payment of business interruption and other losses
- Invited speaker at conferences in Utah and across the country on bad faith
- “Super Lawyer,” Insurance, Mountain States Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2006 – present
- “Legal Elite,” Personal Injury, Utah Business, 2008 – present
- Excellence in Advocacy, Utah Trial Lawyers Association, 2005
- Utah Trial Lawyer of the Year, American Board of Trial Advocates, 1999
- Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, Insurance, and Personal Injury
- Pursuit of Justice Award, American Bar Association, 2003
- Outstanding Lawyers of America
- Marquis Who’s Who in American Law
- Brigham Young University, B.A., English, 1973
- Brigham Young University, J.D., 1976
SELECTED LECTURES AND PUBLICATIONS
- Speaker, “Liability Lurks in the Tripartite Relationship,” Litigation Counsel of America, Laguna Beach, California, 2011
- Speaker, “Bad Faith 101,” National Business Institute, 2011
- Speaker, “Mechanics of Trial,” Utah State Bar and Utah Association for Justice, 2009
- Speaker, “Nibbled to Death by Ducks, or Dealing with Those Nasty Little Gotchas That Will Turn Your Hair Gray,” Utah Association for Justice, 2009
- Speaker, “A Civil Action,” Utah State Bar Convention, 2008
- Speaker, “The Art of Jury Selection,” Distinguished Trial Lawyer Lecture Series, 2008
- Speaker, “Bad Faith Claims in Utah,” National Business Institute, 2008
- Speaker, “The New Model Utah Jury Instructions,” 2006
- Panelist, “Trial Advocacy Part II: Opening Statements,” Utah State Bar Fall Forum, 2005
- Author, “A Conservative Republican Speaks out Against Tort Reform,” Utah Trial Journal, Winter 2003-2004
- Author, “A Tool to Reduce Workers’ Compensation Liens,” Utah Trial Journal, Fall 2000
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND ADMISSIONS
- Admitted to practice in all Utah state and federal courts, U.S. Sixth and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeals, and United States Supreme Court
- Utah State Bar and American Bar Association
- American College of Trial Lawyers
- American Board of Trial Advocates
- Litigation Counsel of America
- Utah Association for Justice
- Utah Supreme Court Committee for revision of Model Utah Jury Instructions, 2006 – present
- Commission Task Force for Utah Department of Insurance
- Utah Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Civility and Professionalism
SELECT RULINGS AND OPINIONS
- Stone Flood v. Safeco Insurance, 2011 UT 83, --- P.3d ---- (representing business in post-fire claim for business interruption losses)
- Machan v. UNUM Life Ins. Co. of America, 2005 UT 37, 116 P.3d 342 (representing professional in claim for disability benefits)
- Blakely v. USAA Casualty Ins. Co., 633 F.3d 944 (10th Cir. 2011) (representing insured in post-fire claims against insurance company)
- State Farm Mutual Auto. Ins. Co. v. Green, 2003 UT 48, 89 P.3d 97 (affirming ruling for insured client in Underinsured Motorist Coverage dispute)
- Spratley v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 2003 UT 39, 78 P.3d 603 (landmark ruling allowing claims by former in-house counsel alleging termination for refusing to engage in unethical conduct)
- Steenblik v. Lichfield, 906 P.2d 872 (Utah 1995) (affirming jury finding of liability for violation of Uniform Securities Act)
Rich is actively involved in community service. He recently founded an elementary and junior high school in an undeveloped area of Ghana. He has served as a Utah Board of Director for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), and on the leadership council for the BYU College of Nursing. He previously served on the board of directors of the Davis County Mental Health Association, as Vice Chairman of the Indian Springs Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and as adjunct professor at the University of Utah.
Christensen & Jensen, P.C. 1976 – Present
- President, 1998 - 2009
- Shareholder/partner, 1980 – present
- Alder, Nathan D.
- Balmanno, Alain C.
- Boyd, Scot A.
- Burbidge II, George W.
- Christensen, Roger P.
- Curtis, Timothy J.
- Evans, Scott T.
- Ferguson, Phillip S.
- Goebel, Heidi G.
- Hansen, William J.
- Haslam, Geoffrey C.
- Hill, Rebecca L.
- Humpherys, L. Rich
- Jenkins, Eric K.
- Kelson, Stephen D.
- Kiburtz, Kristen C.
- Kunz II, Barton H.
- Lambert, Dale J.
- Lenart, Tanner Strickland.
- Macfarlane, Kelly H.
- Porter, Karra J.
- Richards, David C.
- Shapiro, Ruth A.
- Snow, Tyler V.
- Spencer, Sarah E.
- Thuet, Heather L.
- White, Gabriel K.
- White, Nathan R.
- Business Torts
- Commercial Litigation
- Contract Disputes
- Directors and Officers (D&O) Liability
- Financial Services Litigation
- Insurance (commercial)
- Insurance Bad Faith and Coverage
- Intellectual Property
- Personal Injury and Property Damage (plaintiff)
- Qui tam / False Claims Act
- Unfair Trade Practices and Unfair Competition