Bryan Cave HRO Associate Secures Seven Figure Jury Verdict in Western Slope Trial
February 21, 2012
February 21, 2012 – On Monday, February 6, 2012, David Tonini, an associate with Bryan Cave HRO (BCHRO), obtained a jury verdict in the amount of $1.67 million dollars in Mesa County District Court, Grand Junction, Colorado. Tonini has been a member of several successful teams, and a BCHRO litigation associate since 2005 - BCHRO's Denver office was formerly Holme Roberts & Owen until January of this year - and among the most notable aspects of the case, this was Tonini's first solo jury trial.
On the tenth trial day, the jury deliberated for 4.5 hours and then found in favor of the plaintiffs on all of the four of the claims of negligent misrepresentation, professional negligence, breach of contract and unjust enrichment. The defendants, James L. Fromm and James L. Fromm, Inc., were found 100% at fault, and the plaintiffs were found to be 0% at fault, despite Fromm’s lead defense that the plaintiffs were comparatively more negligent.
The case centered on claims that Fromm, a 30-year Grand Junction accountant and former police officer, significantly overstated taxes due and incorrectly advised his clients, the plaintiffs, on tax refund filing deadlines. Fromm, who was engaged in part to run the plaintiffs’ accounting department, also neglected to complete nearly 400 tax returns over a four year period. Fromm billed and was paid $806,000 by the plaintiffs during his engagement. The plaintiffs, collectively known as the Seligman Family Companies (SFC), a family-owned real estate business based in Grand Junction and operating throughout the Western Slope of Colorado. The SFC founder, Stanley Seligman, passed away in 2011 and was diagnosed with dementia shortly after SFC hired Fromm. Plaintiffs’ position at trial was that Fromm’s misconduct was enabled by Seligman’s rapidly diminishing mental state.
This trial showcased the abilities of one of BCHRO's rising trial lawyers, David Tonini. Tonini has previously been named an “Up and Coming Lawyer” by Law Week Colorado
(2009) and a Colorado Rising Star by SuperLawyers
(2011). David was joined by paralegal Kathy Taylor from the Denver office. Tonini and Taylor comprised the BCHRO trial team.
Bryan Cave LLP (www.bryancave.com) has a diversified international legal practice. The firm represents a wide variety of business, financial, institutional and individual clients, including publicly held multinational corporations, large and mid-sized privately held companies, partnerships and emerging companies. Subsidiary Bryan Cave International Consulting provides trade and customs consultancy. Aided by extensive investments in technology, Bryan Cave’s more than 1,100 lawyers and other professionals in over 30 offices across the United States, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe and Asia efficiently serve clients’ needs in the world’s key business and financial markets.
Regional Client Relations Manager
Bryan Cave HRO
1700 Lincoln Street, Suite 4100
Denver, CO 80203