Ruprex Inc. v Child, Van Wagoner & Bradshaw

Ruprex appealed the dismissal and judgments for Child and the broker involved in the purchase of a business. The panel affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. It first reversed judgment on the pleadings based on a nonreliance clause in the fraud claim against the broker holding the case relied upon by the district court was a memorandum decision not intended to announce any new rule of law and as that case is inconsistent with newer authority from the Court and the Utah Supreme Court allowing claims when a nonreliance clause is procured by fraud, it disavowed the case, declared the facts as alleged could support a finding that the broker procured the nonreliance clause in the brokerage agreement by fraud and vacated the dismissal order. It reversed summary judgment to broker in the negligent misrepresentation claim holding the allegations that broker inflated the profits of the target company, falsely claimed there was no comingling of funds after Child informed broker there had been commingling, falsely claimed the period of time to obtain a license to operate the business was 90 days instead of the actual 3 year period and failing to disclose the bankruptcy of the major customer of the target business were not so complex that an expert witness was required in this case. It affirmed summary judgment to Child on the negligent misrepresentation and fiduciary duty claims as there is no email or other writing which indicates that Child acknowledged Ruprex intended to rely on the services of Child and thus there was no liability under controlling Utah statute. It finally held that because the statute occupied the field of accountant liability, there was no error in denying Ruprex’s request for a fraudulent nondisclosure instruction as there was no duty to disclose here.

Welty v Retirement Board

Welty appealed Board’s order denying her claim for life insurance befits under a city employee policy of her ex-husband. The panel affirmed. It held that the policy was governed by state public employee benefits statues which did not allow for irrevocable designation of a beneficiary, the decree with the irrevocable designation provision did not incorporate the policy by reference and ex-husband’s attachment of the decree did not modify the policy as the state did not consent to a medication, the administrator of the policy has no duty to figure out who is a mandatory beneficiary and if equity applies here, Welty is not clearly favored given the administrator was not bound by the divorce decree, the six year wait in filing her claim and her ability to monitor ex-husband’s performance  of the designation duty.

Fuller v Bohne

Fuller appealed the prejudgment interest component of the verdict in their favor. The panel affirmed. It held there was no clear error in the factual determination that the parties did not stipulate to a 10% rate of interest as the discussion about prejudgment interest involved who should calculate it not the rate of interest at Utah code 15-1-1(2) applies to contracts not tort claims like the negligence claim here. The panel also held that the district court did not err in adopting the post judgment rate of interest from 2015 when judgment was entered instead of 2007 when the property damage occurred as that was required by Utah code 15-1-4 as per recent Utah Supreme Court precedent.

Pope v Pope

Husband appealed the parties divorce decree. The panel affirmed. It found no clear error in the moral character and emotion stability findings of the district court as its credibility determinations were consistent with finding no illegality in father’s online dating while finding that such dating occurred and in any event the analysis favored mother only because father took the parties 2 year old son with him when he committed felony extortion. It found no clear error in the findings that children were not adequately looked after at night when in father’s care given the physical separation of his apartment from his mother’s house and no clear error in determining father would eventually have to work full time and move out of his mother’s basement apartment. It also found no error in finding grandmother will not subsidize father in the long run and thus her income could be ignored, that father failed to provide evidence that the children would be emotionally harmed by transferring schools and the district court properly took into account that schools in mother’s neighborhoods were superior to those in father’s. It finally held there was no error in allowing mother’s fiancé to testify even though he was not excluded from the courtroom as the district court itself called him to the stand and there is no evidence the fiancé changed his testimony based on being in the courtroom.

Rusk v Harstad

Rusk appealed summary judgment to Harstad in his legal malpractice claim. The panel summarily affirmed. It held that the evidence supported the conclusion that Harstad only received payment for a consultation and stated explicitly that it would not represent Rusk thus there was no attorney client relationship and no malpractice claim.