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Stephen D. Kelson

stephen.kelson@chrisjen.com
VCard

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

Stephen D. Kelson
Rated by Super Lawyers


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Stephen D. Kelson joined Christensen & Jensen in 2013 and became a shareholder in 2015. Stephen is an experienced, AV rated litigator, who has focused his practice on civil litigation, including commercial litigation, construction defect, professional liability, product liability, personal injury, as well as mediation.

AREAS OF PRACTICE

Commercial Litigation:

Represents corporations and businesses in contract disputes, unfair competition issues, trade secret claims, lease issues, and other commercial disputes:

  • Achieved successful resolution of numerous business disputes including breach of asset claims, division of assets, and lease disputes
  • Represented corporation in claim alleging interference with business relationships

Professional Liability:

Handles cases regarding professional liability, including claims against attorneys, medical professionals, board members, insurance companies, design professionals, corporate offices, and real estate professionals, including developers, agents, brokers and appraisers in professional liability matters.

  • Obtained summary judgment in malpractice claims against attorneys in multi-million dollar federal case alleging civil conspiracy
  • Successfully pursued case against accounting firm for negligence, resulting in million dollar embezzlement.
  • Obtained dismissal with prejudice in favor of real estate professionals in claims of fraud, breach of contract, and professional negligence
  • Represented design professionals against claims of negligent design allegedly resulting in property damage.
  • Represented insurance company in bad faith claims by insurer
  • Represented developer in multi-million construction defect and breach of limited fiduciary duty claims involving HOA in Park City, Utah
  • Represented real estate agents and appraisers in negligence and breach of limited fiduciary duty claims

Product Liability:

Represents companies involving equipment, motor vehicles, component parts, and other claims involving manufacturing processes, design, and warnings. Representative matters include:

  • Represented fortune 500 companies in numerous product liability cases involving personal injury and wrongful death
  • Represented fortune 500 company in product liability cases involving residential fire claims
  • Defended manufacturer of swing components in personal injury case

Construction/Design Professional:

Represents developers, contractors, and design professionals in claims alleging construction defects. Representative matters include:

  • Represented architects, general contractors, and real estate agents in third-party claims
  • Represented construction manager in construction defect claim involving roofing materials
  • Represented stucco contractor in construction defect claim involving home in Moab

Personal Injury, Plaintiff and Defense:

Represents injured persons and defendants in personal injury actions, involving catastrophic injuries, automobile and semi-truck accidents, and slip-and-fall. Representative matters include:

  • Obtained six-figure arbitration award for injured plaintiff involved in an on the slope skier to skier accident
  • Defended truck driver in complex, multi-vehicle, catastrophic accident
  • Defended numerous premises liability claims against businesses and private property owner

Dispute Resolution:

Mediations with Stephen are scheduled through Utah ADR Services, 801-943-3730, www.utahadrservices.com.
  • He is a Qualified Mediator on the Utah State Court Roster of Mediators, and has obtained his Master of Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University's School of Law in Malibu, California.

RECOGNITIONS

  • AV Rated, Martindale Hubbell
  • “Legal Elite,” Civil Litigation, Mediation/Arbitration Utah Business, 2013, 2015-present
  • 2011 Utah Service to the Courts Award, Utah Judicial Council
  • “Rising Star,” Mountain States Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2009 and 2010
  • Mediator of the Year, Utah Dispute Resolution, 2005

EDUCATION

  • Pepperdine School of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, MDR, 2013

  • J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, J.D., 1999
  • University of Utah, M.A. Modern European History, cum laude, 1997
  • University of Utah, B.A. History, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi; Phi Alpha Theta, 1995

SELECTED LECTURES & PUBLICATIONS

  • 23rd Annual Idaho Mediation Association Conference, Boise, Idaho (virtual platform), October 9 – 10, 2020.
    • Apology: Utilizing Effective Communication in Conflict, October 10, 2020.
    • Threats & Violence in and After Mediation: What’s Happening & How to Respond, October 10, 2020
  • Violence in the Legal Profession: A Study of Idaho and Our Colleagues Nationwide, invited to present at the 2020 Idaho State Bar Meeting, Boise, Idaho, July 23, 2020.
  • Making the Most of Mediation: Intermediate Course, invited to co-present, Utah State Bar Litigation Section CLE, Salt Lake City, Utah, January 22, 2020.
  • South African Judiciary Mediation Training – Utah 2019, hosted by S.J. Quinney College of Law and J. Reuben Clark School of Law, Salt Lake City, Utah, October 23 – 30, 2019.
    • Challenges Faced by Judges When They Mediate, panel moderator, including Hon. Adam Mow, Hon. Tyrone Medley and Karin Hobbs, October 23, 2019.
    • Joint-Sessions and Caucusing, October 28, 2019.
  • Should Trials Vanish? The Limits of ADR, invited to co-present, The Federalist Society and Alternative Dispute Resolution Society, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Provo, Utah, Provo, Utah, October 19, 2019.
  • De-Escalation of Disputes: Strategies to Address Uncivil and Contentious Tactics, invited to present to the Utah Defense Lawyers Association, Annual CLE Meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 3, 2019.
  • How Attorneys Prepare for Mediation in Complex Civil Cases, invited to co-present to the Botswana Judicial ADR Delegation, Administrative Office of the Courts, Salt Lake City, Utah, including Hon. Adam Mow, April 23, 2019.
  • The Hidden Dangers of Practice: Understanding the Risk of Violence Against Family Lawyers, Plenary Speaker, Minnesota Family Law Institute, St. Paul, Minnesota, March 18, 2019.
  • Violence in the Legal Profession and a Study of Our Colleagues Nationwide, Keynote Speaker, Utah State Bar Spring Convention, St. George, Utah, March 8, 2019.
  • Civility in the Face of Incivility, Utah State Bar and Utah State Bar Dispute Resolution Section, Salt Lake City, Utah, June 20, 2018.
  • Innovations in the Practice of Law, invited by the Utah Bar Association to co-present  at the Innovation in Practice First Annual Practice Management Symposium, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 31, 2018. 
  • Effective Remedies to Combat the “Rambo” Litigator, invited to present to the Southern Utah Section of the Utah Council on Conflict Resolution, St. George, Utah, March 29, 2018.
  • Violence in the Legal Profession: A Study of Idaho and Our Colleagues Nationwide, 2020 Idaho State Bar Annual Meeting, Conference Article, Boise, Idaho, July 23, 2020.
  • How to Avoid Inadequate Case Evaluation, 42 Utah Trial Journal 8 (Spring 2019).
  • De-Escalation of Disputes: Strategies to Address Uncivil and Contentious Tactics, Utah Defense Lawyers Association, Conference Article, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 3, 2019.
  • Another “Spillover Effect” of Domestic Violence: Threats and Violence Against Family Law Practitioners, 24 Domestic Violence Rep., 53 (April/May 2019), available at https://bit.ly/3hpE5Qj.
  • Violence in the Legal Profession: A Study of Our Colleagues Nationwide, Utah State Bar Association, Spring Convention, Conference Article, March 8, 2019.
  • Vigilance & Violence: Survey Shows State Attorneys Face Threats on the Job, 20 N.H. Bar News 1 (June 20, 2018), available at https://bit.ly/3ptjZXT.
  • “That’s Your Apology”: Identifying and Utilizing an Effective Apology, Utah Counsel on Conflict Resolution (UCCR) (The Language of Conflict Resolution: Building a Mindful Mediation Practice), Symposium Article, May 19, 2017.

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS & ADMISSIONS

  • Admitted to practice in all Utah state and federal courts
  • American Bar Association Section of Litigation, ADR Committee, 2011 – 2018
  • U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Utah State Bar Association
    • Litigation Section
    • Dispute Resolution Section
  • Federal Bar Association, Utah Chapter
  • Utah Council of Conflict Resolution
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Utah Defense Lawyers Association
  • J. Reuben Clark Law Society

SELECTED RULING & OPINIONS

Carolina Cas. Ins. Co. v. Yeates, 584 F.3d 868 (10th Cir. 2009) (Full circuit rehearing reversing MCS-90 case law)
In re Busch v. Busch, 294 B.R. 137 (2003)


COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

  • Salt Lake Kiwanis Club
  • Pro Tempore Judge, Third District Court
  • Volunteer Mediator and Mediation Coordination, Utah Dispute Resolution
  • Utah Council of Conflict Resolution
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