Christopher Pooser

Christopher Pooser

Christopher Pooser represents clients in state and federal courts in appellate matters and complex commercial litigation. His appellate practice focuses on all phases of civil appeals, including trial preservation and jury instruction issues, case management, drafting appellate motions and briefs, and oral argument. He has represented clients before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Idaho Supreme Court, and the Idaho Board of Environmental Quality. His commercial litigation practice is concentrated in the areas of contracts, products liability, real estate, land use, agribusiness, and environmental law. He has also counseled clients on air quality issues involving environmental compliance, permitting, enforcement defense, and state regulatory development.

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Reminder: Amendments to the Idaho Appellate Rules and Idaho Rules of Civil Procedure go into effect July 1, 2017

In May, we wrote about amendments to the Idaho Appellate Rules that go into effect July 1, 2017. You can link to the blog post here. The changes impact I.A.R. 11.1, 12.1, 12.2, 25, 27(f), 28(g), 32(b), 33, 34(a), 34.1, and 40. Key amendments address the submission of electronic briefs (they are now mandatory), the … Continue Reading

Idaho Supreme Court Addresses Issues of First Impression

This Spring, the Idaho Supreme Court issued several opinions addressing issues of first impression. Below are the highlights from one of these opinions, Westover v. Cundick. We’ll discuss the other cases that have addressed new issues in the coming weeks. In Westover v. Cundick, 2017 Opinion 33 (Apr. 14, 2017) (slip op.), the Supreme Court … Continue Reading

Amendments to the Idaho Appellate Rules address electronic briefs, standard transcripts in criminal appeals, and appealable judgments from the magistrate courts

The Idaho Supreme Court recently announced amendments to Idaho Appellate Rules 11.1, 12.1, 12.2, 25, 27(f), 28(g), 32(b), 33, 34(a), 34.1, and 40. The changes go into effect July 1, 2017. Attorneys handling appeals before the Supreme Court should note that the submission of electronic briefs will be mandatory. Criminal appellate attorneys will want to … Continue Reading

Idaho Supreme Court amends Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure 54 to address changes to Idaho Code § 12-121

In response to the Idaho Supreme Court’s controversial decision in Hoffer v. Shappard, 160 Idaho 868, 380 P.3d 681 (2016), the Idaho legislature amended Idaho Code § 12-121 (effective March 1, 2017). The statute now reads: In any civil action, the judge may award reasonable attorney’s fees to the prevailing party or parties when the … Continue Reading

Idaho Supreme Court Justice candidates are announced

Today the Idaho Judicial Council announced 15 candidates for the position of Idaho Supreme Court Justice. The position was created with the retirement of Justice Daniel Eismann. The candidates include one Idaho Court of Appeals judge, six district court judges, and eight practicing lawyers. They are: BEVAN, G. RICHARD, is a District Judge of the … Continue Reading

Idaho Supreme Court announces significant change to standard for attorney fees under Idaho Code § 12-121

The Idaho Supreme Court announced a new standard for an award of attorney fees under Idaho Code § 12-121. See Hoffer v. Shappard, 2016 Opinion No. 105 (Idaho Sept. 28, 2016). Section 12-121 reads: “In any civil action, the judge may award reasonable attorney’s fees to the prevailing party or parties, provided that this section … Continue Reading

The Idaho Supreme Court proposes amendments to Idaho Appellate Rule 5, Special Writs and Proceedings

Idaho Appellate Rule 5 sets forth procedures for special writs and other proceedings over which the Idaho Supreme Court has original jurisdiction. The Court recently proposed adding five new subsections to the rule.  The amendments address the form of the Court’s denial of a petition for a writ of mandamus or prohibition or issuance of … Continue Reading

The Idaho Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Announce Their Spring Terms for 2016

The Idaho Supreme Court and Idaho Court of Appeals announced their respective 2016 Spring Terms in the January 2016 edition of The Advocate.  Of note, the Supreme Court does not have hearings scheduled in March and will travel to Coeur d’Alene and Lewiston in April, to Idaho Falls and Pocatello in May, and to Twin … Continue Reading

Notes from ‘An Appellate Practice CLE’ – Part 2: motions for an extension of time, motions for an overlength brief, avoiding delays in appeals, cross-appeals, and more

In a post earlier this week, I relayed notes and practice pointers on Idaho appellate practice gathered from An Appellate Practice CLE, held on October 9, 2015. Here are some additional notes from the CLE: First motions for an extension of time to file a brief are granted 99.99% of the time. Typically, extensions are … Continue Reading

An award of attorney fees under Idaho Code § 12-120(3) may be proper in an action for declaratory or injunctive relief

Must a party seek to “recover” on a commercial transaction before attorney fees are allowed under Idaho Code § 12-120(3)? Stated differently, does an action for declaratory or injunctive relief preclude attorney fees under the statute? The Idaho Supreme Court addressed those questions in Idaho Transportation Department v. Ascorp, Inc., 2015 Opinion No. 94 (Sept. … Continue Reading

The Idaho Supreme Court and Court of Appeals announce oral argument calendars for October and November

The Idaho Supreme Court and Court of Appeals announced their oral argument calendars for the 2015 Fall Term. Official notice was published in the October edition of The Advocate. Case summaries can be found here for the Idaho Supreme Court and here for the Idaho Court of Appeals. Idaho Supreme Court Oral Argument Calendar October There … Continue Reading

Notes from An ‘Appellate Practice CLE’ – Part 1: electronic filing, average times for disposition of civil appeals, amended judgments, and more

On October 9, 2015, the Idaho Appellate Practice Section (IAPS) and the University of Idaho College of Law hosted An Appellate Practice CLE in Boise, Idaho. Steve Kenyon, the Clerk of the Idaho Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, spoke on a variety of matters concerning appeals before Idaho’s highest courts. Here are some updates, … Continue Reading

Idaho Supreme Court reiterates that circumstantial evidence can create a genuine issue of material fact on summary judgment

In Krinitt v. Idaho Department of Fish and Game, 2015 Opinion No. 89 (Sept. 25, 2015), the Idaho Supreme Court reversed a district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a defendant. The decision is a good illustration of the relevance of circumstantial evidence on summary judgment and a basic summary judgment standard: all … Continue Reading

Idaho Appellate Practice Section releases Idaho Appellate Handbook

On October 9, 2015, the Idaho Appellate Practice Section released the fourth edition of the Idaho Appellate Handbook. The Handbook contains 14 chapters focused on Idaho appellate practice. It is provided as a searchable PDF with hyperlinks to statute, rule, and case law citations. The Handbook’s chapters are: CHAPTER I         Introduction to the Idaho Appellate … Continue Reading

If a Trial Court Bases a Ruling on Alternative Grounds, Challenge Each Ground on Appeal

It is quite common for a trial court to base a ruling on alternative, independent grounds. It is also quite common for the Idaho Supreme Court to affirm the trial court’s ruling because the appellant fails to challenge one of the alternative grounds. That was the situation in La Bella Vita, LLC v. Shuler et … Continue Reading

The Idaho Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Amend 2015 Fall Terms

The Idaho Supreme Court and Idaho Court of Appeals amended their respective 2015 Fall Terms.  Official notice of the amended terms was published in the August edition of The Advocate.  The amended terms look like this: Idaho Supreme Court Regular Fall Term for 2015 Coeur d’Alene ………………………………………………………. August 26, 27 Moscow ………………………………………………………………. August 28 Boise … Continue Reading

The August Edition of The Advocate Focuses on Appellate Practice

The Idaho State Bar recently published the August edition of The Advocate. The August edition was sponsored by the Idaho Appellate Practice Section and includes the following articles on appellate practice: To Appeal or Not Appeal: That is the Question, by Christine Salmi The Benefits of Engaging an Experienced and Skilled Appellate Lawyer, by Christopher … Continue Reading

Beware—if Your Appeal Asks the Idaho Supreme Court to Reweigh the Evidence, You May Be Subject to an Award of Attorney Fees on Appeal

In a recent post, we discussed Chavez v. Stokes, 2015 Opinion No. 64 (July 7, 2015), and the new standard of review governing the reasonableness of medical treatment in workers’ compensation cases. Chavez is also noteworthy for another reason: the Idaho Supreme Court granted attorney fees on appeal to the respondent worker because the employer’s … Continue Reading

Is the Reasonableness of Medical Treatment in Workers’ Compensation Cases a Question of Law or a Question of Fact for the Purposes of Appellate Review?

In Chavez v. Stokes, 2015 Opinion No. 64 (July 7, 2015), the Idaho Supreme Court overturned prior precedent holding that the reasonableness of medical treatment in workers’ compensation cases is a question of law subject to free review. According to the Court, the Idaho Industrial Commission’s determination of reasonableness should be reviewed as a finding … Continue Reading

The Idaho Supreme Court Applies February 12, 2015 Order to Treat Non-Appealable Order as a Final Judgment

Earlier this year, we addressed the Idaho Supreme Court’s frustration with the trial courts’ continuing failure to enter final judgments in compliance with Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure 54(a). See posts here and here. As a result, on February 12, 2015, the Court issued an order stating that “any judgment, decree or order entered before … Continue Reading

New Decision Illustrates When the Idaho Supreme Court Will Address Legal Issues That Were Not Addressed by the Trial Court

Every now and then, the Idaho Supreme Court will address issues that, although not addressed by the trial court, may arise on remand. The Court has that authority under Idaho Code § 1-205, which states: “[I]f a new trial be granted, the court shall pass upon and determine all the questions of law involved in … Continue Reading

Changes to the Idaho Appellate Rules Go into Effect on July 1, 2015

Amendments to Rules 11 and 12.4 of the Idaho Appellate Rules go into effect on July 1, 2015. The amendments relate to appeals from the Idaho Industrial Commission. I.A.R. 11 addresses appellate judgments and orders. The amendments add a new provision, Rule 11(d)(2), that allows an immediate appeal “[f]rom any order of the Industrial Commission … Continue Reading

The Idaho Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Announce Fall Terms for 2015

The Idaho Supreme Court and Idaho Court of Appeals published official notice of their respective 2015 Fall Terms in the June/July edition of The Advocate. The terms look like this: Idaho Supreme Court Regular Fall Term for 2015 Coeur d’Alene ……………………………………………………………………… August 25, 26, 27 Moscow ……………………………………………………………………………… August 28 Boise (Boise State University) …………………………………………………. September … Continue Reading
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