Our firm and attorneys have received several awards and recognition throughout the 2017 year. The ones of notable mention are Super Lawyers, Consumer Attorneys of California, Benchmark Litigation.
For the sixth year in a row, Richard D. Burbidge is named as a top 10 attorney in the 2017 Mountain States Lawyers List
Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. This selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. In addition to this years top 10 award, Mr. Burbidge has been listed as a top 10 attorney in the Mountain States Super Lawyers every year since 2012. Prior to 2012, Super Lawyers only held a top 75 attorneys listing for the Mountains States and Mr. Burbidge was named as a top 75 attorney in the years prior to 2012.
Top 10: 2017 Mountain States Super Lawyers List
Consumer Attorneys of California
The Consumer Attorney of the Year is awarded to a CAOC member or members who significantly advanced the rights or safety of California consumers by achieving a noteworthy result in a case.
Richard Burbidge becomes a Consumer Attorney of California 2017 award finalist.
“David R. Lira, Thomas V. Girardi, Martin Buchanan and Richard D. Burbidge
Williamson v. Mazda Motor Corp.
A LONG BATTLE TO PROVE A DEFECTIVE SEAT BELT DESIGN CAUSED DEATH
In 2002 Thanh Williamson was killed in a head-on crash in Utah while riding in a Mazda MPV minivan. She died from severe abdominal injuries and internal bleeding caused by her “two point” (lap-only) seat belt when the forces of the crash caused her body to jackknife around the belt. Her husband and daughter, both of whom had “three-point” (lap and shoulder) belts, both survived. In 2004 David Lira began what turned out to be a 13-year quest for justice for Thanh’s family that involved state courts in California (where Mazda’s North American headquarters are) and Utah and eventually the U.S. Supreme Court. Lira claimed the two-point seat belt was a defective design that caused Thanh’s death. Mazda argued, as other defendants have successfully argued in similar cases, that because it complied with federal safety standards that gave car makers a choice between different types of belts, state law was preempted. An Orange County Superior Court judge agreed with Mazda, a decision that was upheld by the California Court of Appeal, and the California Supreme Court denied a request to review the ruling. Lira and appellate attorney Martin Buchanan then went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which, in a rare pro-consumer decision, voted unanimously in 2011 to overturn the California ruling, finding that Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations related to seatbelts do not preempt a state tort lawsuit. That led to a confidential settlement of the Williamson suit in 2017 and will help many others in similar cases nationwide.“
The firm is listed as one of eight “highly recommended” local litigation firms for the state of Utah. The 2017 Benchmark Litigation article further writes:
“Salt Lake City litigation boutique [the firm] has been in the business since 1976 representing clients with severe injury and wrongful death claims as well as in business and commercial litigation matters. The firm’s stock of wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases often results from medical malpractice, automobile collisions, plane and helicopter crashes, and mass transit collisions in addition to food poisoning. The business and complex commercial practice at Burbidge handles securities, real estate, intellectual property, trademarks, and trade secrets-related cases. It has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in major antitrust actions involving the pharmaceutical industry, automobile dealerships, and gas and oil distributors. The firm’s six attorneys collectively have more than 80 years of experience. Although smaller than several of its competitors, the firm lays claim to many high-profile, multimillion-dollar wins. ‘Burbridge Mitchell does nothing but high-end, high-stakes litigation, and they are among the best in the state for that,’ issues a peer. ‘If I had a big-time contingency case,’ one competitor begins, ‘they would be my first choice.'”
Richard Burbidge is listed as a Local Litigation Star and makes special acknowledgment of Mr. Burbidge stating:
“Admitted in both Utah and California, co-founder Richard Burbidge serves as the firm’s managing partner. He has tried many complex commercial litigation and catastrophic injury cases to verdict. Burbidge is noted for his role in negotiating a landmark 2011 multimillion-dollar settlement with Dole on behalf of his client, a woman who nearly died after consuming baby spinach that was contaminated with E. coli.”
Publication: News and Recognition