Trial and Litigation News

Posted on October 9, 2018

Donald Porter, along with Chris Christianson; and the able and collaborative work of Jess Pekarski and others in the firm finally and forever ended a long running dispute between the City of Rapid City and a subdivision development company with a trial win - later affirmed by the SD Supreme Court in an opinion from this last summer in

City of Rapid City v. Big Sky, LLC, 2018 S.D. 45, 914 N.W.2d 541

After a jury in Rapid City decided in favor of our client Big Sky LLC absolving it of any responsibility to repair roads and infrastructure within Big Sky Subdivision, the City appealed. The City sought $914,000 plus interest to cover subdivision infrastructure repairs; the jury awarded nothing. Litigation on the case stretches all the way back to 2008 and had already gone before the state Supreme Court once before in 2011.

Four other parties settled before trial; another individual was dismissed at trial, paring down a tangle of issues that had arisen during the litigation. Porter said the collaborative work in paring down pretrial issues; the critical issues analysis by the appellant attorney specialist; excellent paralegal help in organizing the thousands of documents; and finally the patience of firm members in preparing Porter for argument with practice arguments; all were part of the good outcome.

The pretrial work is worth noting. A retired judge, in taking over the case, advised the several parties, one year before trial, that the expected extensive discovery had to be completed in one year in time for the trial scheduled at the end of that year. All attorneys in fact did complete the trial under the judge's schedule in one year and one week.