Christensen & Jensen Attorneys

Karra J. Porter

Contact:
karra.porter@chrisjen.com
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15 West South Temple, Suite 800,
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

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Karra is president of Christensen & Jensen, and before that was Managing Director for nine years. She is co-chair of the firm’s Commercial Litigation and Crisis Management practice groups, and is one of the most experienced and successful appellate attorneys in the state. Karra has been recognized by Super Lawyers magazine as one of the top 100 Lawyers in the entire intermountain West (Utah, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming) and top 50 women (2012). Karra has been recognized by Super Lawyers magazine (Thomson Reuters) as one of the Top 75 lawyers in the entire intermountain West (Utah, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming); as one of the top lawyers in Utah for business and civil litigation (2007-2011); and as one of the nation's best, honored in its Business Edition, for corporate and commercial matters (2009-2011). She has consistently been named as one of Utah’s “Legal Elite” by Utah Business magazine.

 


AREAS OF PRACTICE

Commercial and Business Litigation: Represents corporations and individuals in contract disputes, trade secret and unfair competition claims, trademark and intellectual property litigation, statutory claims, franchise disputes, and numerous other commercial disputes.  Representative matters include:

  • Won multi-million dollar arbitration award for client in contract dispute
  • Won jury trial on behalf of professional firm in $1.6 million contract dispute
  • Successfully defended trademark infringement, trade secret, unfair competition, and other business tort claims
  • Represented Utah-based franchisor in wide range of matters as general counsel
  • Obtained favorable ruling from Utah Supreme Court for corporation in dispute with insurer over business interruption losses
  • Successfully aided large national client in resisting union organization drive
  • Successfully defended claims against contractor by utility company

 


Personal Injury and Insurance Bad Faith: In select cases, represents persons who have been harmed by the wrongful conduct of a third party.  Karra has represented heirs in wrongful death claims, whistleblowers in False Claims Act (qui tam) actions, and persons who have wrongfully been deprived of rights under insurance policies, contracts, statutes, or Constitutional provisions. Representative matters include:

  • Obtained $4 million settlement for insureds in bad faith case
  • Obtained Supreme Court ruling in favor of patient on claim of breach of confidentiality and fiduciary duty against physician
  • Obtained favorable Utah Supreme Court ruling on behalf of insured in disability insurance case
  • Obtained favorable jury verdict in medical malpractice case involving burns from laser procedure, featured by Utah Association of Justice in “Killer Cases and the Lawyers Who Brought them”
  • Obtained $9 million ruling from Utah Supreme Court in Campbell v. State Farm fraud case

 


Appeals: Karra is one of the most experienced appellate lawyers in Utah, having been lead or co-lead counsel in more than 100 appeals at the Utah Supreme Court, Utah Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, United States Supreme Court, and in Arizona, Idaho, and Wyoming appellate courts. She was a member of the Utah Supreme Court’s Appellate Rules Committee for more than ten years. In 2011 alone, she argued before the Utah Supreme Court six times, and has been asked by the Court several times to argue at a university or law school as a teaching experience for the students. She is known as a quick study in virtually any area of law, and has prosecuted appeals in a wide range of areas. Representative matters from just the past few years include:

  • MacGregor v. Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Utah Supreme Court, argued 2013 - ruling pending (whether creation of help line creates other affirmative duties)
  • Velasquez v. Harman-Mont & Theda, Inc., (court upheld the trial court's denial of a defendants' untimely attempt to raise an affirmative defense in a wrongful death case)
  • Jenkins v. Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District, Utah Supreme Court, argued 2013 – ruling pending (constitutionality of Governmental Immunity Act and scope of proof required to maintain claim against water conservancy district)
  • Federal Trade Commission v. iWorks, et al., 13-15778 (jurisdictional requirements for subjecting non-party to preliminary injunction ), Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, argument pending
  • Riggs v. Asbestos Corp. Ltd., 2013 UT App 86, --- P.3d ---- (applicability of comparative fault defense in long-latency asbestos cases)
  • U.S. ex rel. Wickliffe v. EMC Corp., 2012 WL 1111242 (10th Cir. 2012) (scope of United States’ authority to dismiss whistleblower claim under False Claims Act)
  • Berrett v. Albertson’s, Inc., 2012 UT App 371, 293 P.3d 1108 (applicability of peculiar hazard doctrine)
  • MPDS Memphis v. State Farm Automobile Insurance, No. 11-4416 (6th Cir. 2013) (sufficiency of evidence in contract claim against insurer)
  • In re Executive Life Insurance of New York, 2012-05969 (N.Y.A.D. 2013) (scope of immunity of statutory receiver)
  • Arnold v. Grigsby, 2012 UT 61, 289 P.3d 449 (commencement of statute of limitations under “discovery rule” in medical malpractice claims)
  • Westgate Resorts, Ltd. V. Consumer Protection Group, LLC, 2012 UT 55, 285 P.3d 1219 (constitutionality of punitive damage award)
  • Westgate Resorts, Ltd. V. Consumer Protection Group, LLC, 2012 UT 56, 289 P.3d 420 (scope of disclosure requirement for neutral arbitrator)
  • Miller v. Utah Dept. of Transportation, 2012 UT 54, 285 P.3d 1208 (appropriateness of explanatory jury instruction when evidentiary material is barred from production by federal statute)
  • Jones v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, 2012 UT 52, 286 P.3d 301 (scope of “fairly debatable defense” in insurance bad faith cases)
  • Wilson v. IHC Hospitals, Inc., 2012 UT 43, 289 P.3d 369 (appropriateness of new trial for misconduct of opposing trial counsel)
  • Gonzales v. Russell Sorensen Const., 2012 UT App 154, 279 P.3d 422 (cognizability of claim in Utah under Restatement (Second) of Torts Section 384)
  • U.S. Fidelity v. U.S. Sports Specialty, 2012 UT 3, 270 P.3d 464 (determination of when insurance company may seek reimbursement from insured for defense costs)
  • Gonzales v. Russell Sorensen Const., 2012 UT App 154, 279 P.3d 422 (cognizability of claim in Utah under Restatement (Second) of Torts Section 384)
  • Wilson v. IHC Hospitals, Inc., 2012 UT 43, 289 P.3d 369 (appropriateness of new trial for misconduct of opposing trial counsel)
  • Jones v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, 2012 UT 52, 286 P.3d 301 (scope of “fairly debatable defense” in insurance bad faith cases)
  • Miller v. Utah Dept. of Transportation, 2012 UT 54, 285 P.3d 1208 (appropriateness of explanatory jury instruction when evidentiary material is barred from production by federal statute)
  • Westgate Resorts, Ltd. V. Consumer Protection Group, LLC, 2012 UT 56, 289 P.3d 420 (scope of disclosure requirement for neutral arbitrator)
  • Westgate Resorts, Ltd. V. Consumer Protection Group, LLC, 2012 UT 55, 285 P.3d 1219 (constitutionality of punitive damage award)
  • Arnold v. Grigsby, 2012 UT 61, 289 P.3d 449 (commencement of statute of limitations under “discovery rule” in medical malpractice claims)
  • In re Executive Life Insurance of New York, 2012-05969 (N.Y.A.D. 2013) (scope of immunity of statutory receiver)
  • Berrett v. Albertson’s, Inc., 2012 UT App 371, 293 P.3d 1108 (applicability of peculiar hazard doctrine)
  • Riggs v. Asbestos Corp. Ltd., 2013 UT App 86, --- P.3d ---- (applicability of comparative fault defense in long-latency asbestos cases)
  • Federal Trade Commission v. iWorks, et al., 13-15778 (jurisdictional requirements for subjecting non-party to preliminary injunction ), Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, argument pending
  • Stone Flood v. Safeco Insurance, 2011 UT 83, ___ P.3d ____ (representing business in post-fire claim for business interruption losses)
  • Boyle v. Christensen, 2011 UT 20, 251 P.3d 810 (representing pedestrian struck by pickup truck; ended the defense tactic of mentioning “the McDonald’s coffee case” to juries)
  • Blakely v. USAA Casualty Ins. Co., 633 F.3d 944 (10th Cir. 2011) (representing insured in post-fire claims against insurance company)
  • Herrod v. Metal Powder Products, 413 Fed.Appx. 7 (10th Cir. 2010) (representing family of deceased driver in product liability claim)
  • Waters v. Powell, 2010 UT App 105, 232 P. 3d 1086 (Utah dog bite statute)
  • Robinson v. Mt. Logan Clinic, 2008 UT 21, 182 P.3d 333 (representing law enforcement officer shot while transporting patient of clinic)
  • Sorensen v. Barbuto, 2008 UT 8, 177 P.3d 614 (representing patient in claim against physician who breached fiduciary duty of confidentiality)
  • Ellis v. Estate of Ellis, 2007 UT 77, 169 P.3d 441 (representing spouse of deceased driver in case that eliminated the “interspousal immunity” doctrine in Utah)

 


Crisis Management: Karra represents businesses and individuals in sensitive and emergent situations, including media relations, interaction with governmental agencies, important or emergency court proceedings, public relations issues.

  • Advised clients with respect to potential white collar criminal charges and negotiated non-prosecution agreements
  • Interacted with local news media and Associated Press to obtain retractions of incorrectly reported information
  • Successfully defended against and obtained TROs and preliminary injunctions involving trade secret, non-competition, and other time-sensitive matters
  • Assisted franchisors and franchisees with surprises unique to franchising world
  • Successfully argued against TRO sought by state legislator in election dispute with state political party
  • Successfully aided foreign government in expedited proceeding to enforce international convention
  • Successfully forced removal of website publishing defamatory information about client

 


EDUCATION

  • University of Texas at Austin, J.D., 1987
  • Kansas State University, B.A. in journalism, summa cum laude, 1985

 


SELECT LECTURES AND PUBLICATIONS

  • Speaker, “Proportionality: Avoid Pleading Yourself Out of Discovery” and “Questions About the New Rules,” Combating Hardball Tactics X, Utah Association for Justice, 2012
  • Speaker, “Best Practices in the Use of System Advertising and Marketing Funds,” Utah State Bar Franchise Law Section, 2011
  • Speaker, “Preserving Bad Faith Claims,” Personal Injury Law: Beyond the Basics, Utah State Bar and Utah Association for Justice, 2011
  • Speaker, “Lessons Learned Post-Decision: Insights from Appellate Counsel,” Utah State Bar Young Lawyers and Paralegal Divisions, 2011
  • Speaker, “Effective Appellate Advocacy,” University of Utah School of Law, 2009 Speaker, “Hardball Litigation Tactics VII," Utah Association for Justice, 2008
  • Speaker, “Killer Cases and the Lawyers Who Brought them,” Utah Association for Justice, 2005 and 2008
  • Speaker, “Hot Bad Faith Cases 2005,” Utah Association for Justice, 2005
  • Speaker, “Machan v. Unum: The Most Important Recent Insurance Case,” Utah Trial Lawyers Association, 2005
  • Moderator: “Understanding the Legal Aspects of Professional Basketball,” Utah Jazz and Utah Starzz, 2001
  • Moderator: “Reporters and Lawyers: Can’t We All Just Get Along?” Utah Defense Lawyers Association, 2001

 


PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS & ADMISSIONS

  • Admitted to practice in all Utah state and federal courts, United States Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, United States Supreme Court
  • Utah State Bar Ethics Advisory Opinion Committee, 2010 – present
  • Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Rules of Appellate Procedure, 1995-2008
  • Utah Defense Lawyers Association, President-elect, 2001-02; Vice President 2000-01
  • Third District Court Small Claims Court Judge Pro Tem, 1992-1997
  • Editorial Board, Voir Dire Magazine, 1997-99

 


PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Christensen & Jensen, P.C., 1987 to present

  • President, 2010 - present
  • Managing Director, 1998 to 2006
  • Vice President, 1995 to 2009
  • Shareholder and Director, 1993 to present
  • Associate Attorney, 1987 to 1993
  • Nominated for Third District Court judgeship (February 2004; August 2004)