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Burg Simpson Attorneys Brian Matise, Colin Simpson, and Larry Jones Obtain Second Jury Trial Win for Commercial Client

September 26, 2018 | 2 min read

Much like personal relationships, business relationships between partners/shareholders can also reach an irreconcilable impasse where it becomes necessary to resolve the dispute with the assistance of legal counsel.

That is what happened when Burg Simpson shareholder Brian Matise, Colin Simpson, and Larry Jones represented Philip Lajaunie and secured a verdict for their client on September 21, 2018.

After more than seven years of litigation and two jury trials, Burg Simpson clients Philip Lajaunie, American Summits, LLC, and Heart Views, LLC obtained a jury verdict in their favor on eight claims and two counter-claims.  Lajaunie and American Summits brought claims against Daren Singer in March 2011 for misuse of funds and breach of fiduciary duty after Singer excluded Lajaunie from the management of the premium bottled water business that Mr. Lajaunie had invested approximately $400,000. Lajaunie was able to redeem the property after foreclosure and invested hundreds of thousands of dollars of new funds in a resurrected business, Heart Views, LLC. Over a year after the redemption, Singer and his brother, Steve Singer, filed a counterclaim seeking $35 million of damages and return of the property.

The Cody, Wyoming jury found in favor of Lajaunie, American Summits, and Heart Views and against the Singers on all counterclaims, and awarded Lajaunie approximately $350,000 on eight different claims that he brought related to Daren Singer’s breach of fiduciary duty.

Mr. Matise’s legal experience includes all aspects of general civil practice with an emphasis on complex commercial litigation, mass tort product liability litigation, special district and homeowner association law, and insurance coverage litigation. Mr. Matise has successfully tried over 20 cases to a jury verdict or judgment, and obtained several million dollars in settlements for clients.

Mr. Matise has represented special districts and homeowners associations both as general counsel and in litigation against developers. He has also represented business owners and investors in complex commercial litigation. Mr. Matise also handles cases for injured victims of defective products in mass tort and product liability litigation.

Brian Matise was named “Lawyer of the Year” for Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions- Plaintiffs in 2016 by Best Lawyers in America, and was selected to Best Lawyers of America from 2013 to 2018. He was also nominated as a Colorado Super Lawyer from 2013 to 2016.