For 10 years in a row, Gjording Fouser was the only law firm in Idaho to receive the highest ranking possible, tier 1, in the appellate category by U.S. News-Best Lawyers.  Collectively, our attorneys have represented clients in more than 25 appeals before the Idaho Supreme Court, Idaho Court of Appeals, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Our appellate experience involves issues such as: complex commercial litigation, insurance coverage, medical malpractice, environmental, employment, product liability, professional liability, and governmental defense.  

90% of our attorneys have served as either a staff attorney or a judicial extern for state and federal judges in Idaho, and this experience and familiarity with Idaho’s appellate courts allows our team to carefully assess the merit of the case and the probability of creating favorable or unfavorable legal precedent.  We also judiciously evaluate whether there is reputational risk for the client before pursuing any appeal.

Below are some of the recent cases we have argued before the Idaho Supreme Court.

  • United Heritage Prop. & Cas. Co. v. Zech, 170 Idaho 764, 516 P.3d 1035 (2022) – This breach of contract and bad faith action arose when the insured failed to timely pay for renewal of a policy covering fire loss. The policy language required that to renew a policy at the end of the term, the check for the renewal must be mailed by a specific date. The insured mailed the renewal check after the specific date. After the check was mailed, but before the policy was renewed through an alternate process, the property was destroyed by fire, resulting in the claimed loss being denied. The company brought a declaratory action seeking confirmation that the policy had not been renewed before the loss occurred. The trial court granted summary judgment, finding that the policy had not been renewed, and the loss was not covered by the policy. The Idaho Supreme Court affirmed on appeal, finding that it was proper to condition renewal on timely mailing of the renewal check.
  • Gomersall v. St. Luke’s Reg’l Med. Ctr., Ltd., 168 Idaho 308, 483 P.3d 365 (2021) – This medical malpractice case arose from a failure to timely administer a medicine, resulting in injury to a minor. The error was acknowledged by the hospital shortly after it occurred. Despite the acknowledgement, the parents did not bring a claim on behalf of the minor within 8 years of the injury, which is the statute of limitations under Idaho Code §§ 5-219(4) and 5-230. The trial court dismissed the case on summary judgment. On appeal, we argued that the statutes of limitations imposed by Idaho law were constitutional and did not violate either due process or equal protection rights. The Idaho Supreme Court agreed and affirmed the dismissal of the case.
  • Ciccarello v. Davies, 166 Idaho 153, 456 P.3d 519 (2019) – In this legal malpractice case, the plaintiff sued both his attorney and the law firm that represented him in a complex transactional matter intended to transfer the plaintiff’s ownership rights in a company to others to avoid potential forfeiture under federal law. When the transfer did not work out as anticipated, plaintiff filed suit claiming the attorney and law firm breached the duty of care by not properly structuring the transfer. After expert disclosures, the defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff did not have an expert who could opine as to whether the attorney was negligent. The trial court agreed and granted summary judgment to the defendants. Plaintiff then filed motions for reconsideration and for relief from judgment, which were denied. On appeal, the Idaho Supreme Court affirmed, finding that the lack of a properly disclosed expert, and failure to respond to a summary judgment motion with the declaration of an expert, was dispositive of the case.
  • Dickinson Frozen Foods, Inc. v. J.R. Simplot Co., 164 Idaho 669, 434 P.3d 1275 (2019) – In this case, Dickinson Frozen Foods alleged that Simplot defamed Dickinson in a lawsuit that Simplot filed in Washington against other entities. Dickinson also argued that Simplot breached a non-disclosure agreement between Dickinson and Simplot when Simplot made the allegedly defamatory statements against Dickinson in the Washington lawsuit. We successfully defended Simplot on the defamation claim by showing that the litigation privilege applies, and on the breach of contract claim, by showing that the non-disclosure agreement did not relate to the comments made in the Washington lawsuit. We also obtained fees and costs for Simplot related to the defense of the breach of contract claim.
  • Crawford v. Guthmiller, 164 Idaho 518, 432 P.3d 67 (2018) This case involved a car accident where the plaintiff failed to timely serve the Complaint and Summons on our client.  Plaintiff was attempting service but was continually serving the wrong address. When the plaintiff moved to extend the service deadline, we filed a special appearance to challenge service, contending that there was no good cause to extend the service deadline. The district court agreed and dismissed the case. On appeal, we contended that attempting to serve the incorrect address did not constitute good cause, and the Idaho Supreme Court agreed, upholding the dismissal.
  • Cedillo v. Farmers Ins. Co., 163 Idaho 131, 408 P.3d 886 (2017) This case involved a bad faith claim against Farmers Insurance Company. In this case, Cedillo was injured while riding her boyfriend’s motorcycle. She made a claim against his insurance, and then sought under-insured motorist coverage from her own insurer, Farmers. Farmers made a payment to Cedillo, which she deemed inadequate, and she made further demands for payment. An arbitration occurred which resulted in additional payments to Cedillo and an award of attorney fees. Cedillo then filed this bad faith claim arguing that Farmers improperly handled her claim. We successfully defended Farmers on the bad faith claim, showing that the claim was debatable, and even though additional payments were awarded in arbitration, that did not constitute bad faith.
  • Morrison v. St. Luke’s Reg’l Med. Ctr., Ltd., 160 Idaho 599, 377 P.3d 1062 (2016) – This medical malpractice case arose from a failure to timely set an appointment with a cardiologist. The plaintiffs claimed that the hospital should have expedited the scheduling procedure for a gentleman who was discharged from the emergency room with instructions to see a cardiologist. However, while waiting for an appointment, the gentleman had a heart attack and died. The case proceeded through trial, and St. Luke’s and its agents were found not to have breached the standard of care. We successfully defended against all post-trial motions, and the resolution was upheld on appeal.
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