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Geoffrey C. Haslam

geoffrey.haslam@chrisjen.com
VCard

257 East 200 South, Suite 1100
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
 
 

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Since joining Christensen & Jensen in 1995, Geoff’s practice has focused on litigation. He has extensive experience in product liability, professional liability, construction, and personal injury defense, and serves as panel counsel for many corporations and liability insurers. As a long-time member and Panel Chair of the Utah State Bar’s Ethics and Discipline Committee, Geoff also offers unique insight for attorneys facing potential disciplinary proceedings. Geoff is regularly appointed as a mediator, arbitrator or special master in a wide variety of cases.

Geoff has been recognized as one of Utah's "Legal Elite" by Utah Business Magazine, as a "Superlawyer" by Mountain States Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), and as one of the “Best Lawyers in America." He also has the highest ("AV") rating by Martindale-Hubbell.

AREAS OF PRACTICE

Products Liability:

Responsible for the national and statewide representation of major manufacturers and distributors in product liability litigation including products ranging from pharmaceuticals, nutritional supplements, helicopters, aircrafts, recreational equipment, farm equipment to heavy machinery used in construction. Manages mass tort litigation for numerous out-of-state and Utah companies.

Representative matters include:
  • National product counsel for large supplement company, obtained defense ruling in arbitrated case in Iowa, and obtained voluntary dismissal by plaintiff without compensation on eve of arbitration in New York
  • Defended numerous Fen-Phen cases, obtaining voluntary dismissals without compensation
  • Served as Utah counsel for several companies sued for asbestos-containing products, obtaining voluntary dismissal in nearly all cases without payment
  • Defended numerous catastrophic injury and death claims involving wide range of products

Transportation:

  • Defended multiple trucking companies in numerous wrong death, personal injury, and property damage cases
  • Defended several Carmack Amendment cases for interstate carriers
  • Obtained defense award at trial for Airline in tariff case

Construction: Represents architects, engineers, and contractors in construction defect litigation. Serves as mediator in construction defect claims. Representative matters include:

  • Defended architect in $20 million construction defect claim involving condomium development; successfully avoided being named in suit
  • Defended electrical contractor in complex claim alleging faulty wiring in commercial building
  • Defended several general contractors in Salt Lake City and St. George areas, including general contractors, excavators, and concrete contractors, in defect claims
  • Successfully resolved as mediator various construction defect and breach of contract cases

Professional Liability:

Represents health care professionals, design professionals, accountants, attorneys, and other professionals against allegations of negligence or fraud, and in licensing matters.

Representative matters include:

  • Obtained voluntary dismissal without payment of claims against surgical center
  • Represented architects, appraisers, and other design professionals in third-party claims
  • Obtained favorable result for client nurse in wrongful death case
  • Defended accountants in claims alleging negligent tax advice
  • Successfully defended attorney against OPC claims

Mediation and Arbitration:

Regularly serves as mediator and arbitrator in construction, personal injury, and commercial cases. Geoff’s success rate as a mediator is among the highest of any mediator in Utah.


RECOGNITIONS

  • "Lawyer of the Year" in The Best Lawyers in America, 27 Edition. (2021) 
  • AV Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Mountain States 2017 Super Lawyers top 100 
  • "Best Lawyers" Insurance Law "Lawyer of the Year" 2017
  • "The Best Lawyers in America" 2014 to present
  • "Super Lawyer," Mountain States Super Lawyers 2007 to present
  • "Utah Legal Elite," Utah Business Magazine 2006 to present

CURRENT ADMISSIONS

  • Utah State Courts, 1995
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, 1995
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, 1996

EDUCATION

  • University of Utah, B.A. Honors English, 1992
  • University of Utah, J.D., 1995
  • Utah Law Review, Note and Comment Editor

LECTURES AND PUBLICATIONS

  • Visiting Instructor, Conflict Management, University of Utah Law School, 2020
  • Speaker, "Effective Dispute Resolution" Utah State Bar, 2019
  • Speaker, "Personal Injury Arbitration Best Practices" Utah Association for Justice and the Utah State Bar, Salt Lake City, 2019
  • Speaker, "When is Mediation Useful and How to Make it Most Effective" Utah Association for Justice, Salt Lake City, 2018
  • Speaker, "Mediation Tips," Utah Defense Lawyers Association, Salt Lake City, 2016
  • Speaker, "Mediating Brain Injury Cases," Utah Association of Justice, Salt Lake City, 2016
  • Speaker, "Insight on Big Verdict in a Small Town," Utah State Bar, Logan, 2013
  • ALFA Transportation Committee Compendium, "Hot Issues in the Transportation Industry"—Utah, 2013
  • Speaker, “Is Arbitration better than Trial?” Association of Corporate Counsel, Mountain West Chapter, Winter Meeting, Park City, 2011
  • Speaker, "Utah Insurance Law," presented at Farm Bureaus Property & Casualty Ins. Co. Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, 2011
  • Co-author, “Utah Unfair Trade Practices,” Defense Research Institute 50 State Compendium, 2006
  • Speaker, “Product Liability Pitfalls for the Packaging Industry,” National Pharmaceutical Packaging Association Seminar, San Francisco, 2005
  • Co-author, “Product Liability Defenses in Utah,” Defense Research Institute 50 State Compendium, 2001

SELECT RULINGS AND OPINIONS

  • Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga v. Ma’afu et al, 2019 Utah App. 41. (deciding church property claims in favor of denominational organization & former president).
  • Mingolello v. Megaplex Theaters, 2017 Utah App. 4, (upholding dismissal of slip-and-fall claim failing to show theater had constructive notice).
  • Walker v. Anderson-Oliver Title lns. Co, 2013 Utah App. 202 (determining title insurer did not assume liability of abstractor)
  • U.S. ex rel. Ellsworth v. United Business Brokers of Utah, LLC, No. 2:09CV353DAK, 2011 WL 1871225 (D. Utah 2011) (obtaining dismissal of qui tam claim for failure to plead with particularity)
  • Howeth v. Aramark Corp., 2011 WL 2414377 D.Utah, 2011 (determining that cross-claim for apportionment of fault remains viable in Utah)
  • American Towers v. CCL Mechanical, 930 P.2d 1182, (Utah 1996) (established “economic loss rule” defense in case against design professional)
  • Hardman v. Specialty Services, 177 F.3d 921 (10th Cir. 1999) (interpreted “dual employee” doctrine for purposes of employer’s liability for worksite injury)

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND ADMISSIONS

  • Admitted to practice in all Utah state and federal courts, U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Utah State Bar and American Bar Association
  • Utah Supreme Court Ethics and Discipline Committee, 2005-2011, Panel Chair, 2008-2011
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, 2006 – present
  • Association of Transportation Law Professionals

FOREIGN LANGUAGE

 

  • Spanish

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