Brandon J. Baxter

bbaxter@peckhadfield.com


 

One of Brandon's earliest school memories is dropping his school books on the bus seat and running off the bus to tackle a fifth grader who was sitting on top of and beating on his kindergarten-aged brother. Only seven years old, and not much bigger than his brother, something about seeing that mismatch -  that injustice - charged him up and motivated him to be something bigger and greater than he was. To a great extent, what Brandon does as a lawyer isn’t much different than what he did for his brother that day. He represents underdogs. Brandon's clients have been hurt, are down, and are fighting opponents that are bigger, stronger, and better positioned than they are. Every time he is retained, it’s like he's running off the bus again to knock over insurance companies, big corporations, or government entities to make sure that justice is done.

After spending most of his first three years of practicing law by working for insurance companies, Brandon left that practice to go to work for common folk, the little people; Those who don’t have the money to hire attorneys at hourly rates ranging anywhere from $250 to $1,000 an hour. Without Brandon's help, these folks who have been cheated, hurt, and wronged have little chance of getting their case to trial, much less claiming justice against insurance companies, big corporations, or the government.

The greatest advantage Brandon has in fighting injustice is that he knows and cares for his clients. In a very real way, his clients become his family. Whenever possible, Brandon spends time with his clients at their homes, where they work, where they relax. He gets to know their children and their spouses. Beyond simply talking about what went wrong in any particular case, Brandon wants to know his clients’ hopes, their fears, their dreams, and their nightmares. When he knows his clients this way, he can look at them and see the faces of his own grandfather, aunts, sisters, and children. And then he can fight for them like he would fight for his own family. If you have any questions about this approach, talk to some of his former clients.

Brandon's work as an attorney is reflected by his activities outside of the office. Much of his free time is spent serving youth in his family, at church, and in the community at large. Educating youth about justice and helping them develop a commitment to fairness and justice can start early, and should start outside of the courtroom.


Significant Cases

Kranendonk v. Gregory & Swapp, PLLC, 320 P.3d 689 (Utah App. 2014) (Appellate win for Mr. Baxter's client, which reversed the trial court's erroneous grant of summary judgment in an attorney malpractice case arising out of a failure to serve process/expired statute of limitations).

Van Orden v. Caribou County, 546 Fed.Appx. 647 (9th Cir. 2013) (Appellate win for Mr. Baxter’s clients which reversed the trial court’s erroneous grant of summary judgment in favor of Caribou County in U.S.C. 1983 action involving a jail detainee’s death).

Bess v. Whitaker, 080100506, (Utah District Court for Box Elder County, 2010) (Trial court win for Mr. Baxter’s client.  At the conclusion of trial, the jury awarded Mr. Baxter’s client a verdict to restore damages caused by a methamphetamine contamination of his home.)

Harold Selman, Inc. v. Box Elder County, 251 P.3d 804 (Utah 2011) (Appellate win for Mr. Baxter’s clients overturning the erroneous rulings of the Court of Appeals and the trial court and finding in favor of Mr. Baxter’s clients in road dispute case).

Sandra Dopp v. Brandon R. Hoffman and Window Welder of Northern Utah, Inc., 060101323 (Utah District Court for Cache County, 2008).  (Trial court win for Mr. Baxter’s client. The jury verdict awarded Mr. Baxter’s client $750,000 for damages caused by the defendants in a rear end crash. )

State of Oregon v. Taiheiyo Kaijun, 01 CV0383 (Oregon District Court for Coos County, 2002).  (Trial court win for Mr. Baxter’s client, the State of Oregon.  After a six-week trial, the jury awarded State of Oregon a $25 million verdict for damages arising out of the grounding of a cargo ship on the Oregon Coast.)

Adams v. Miller Nash 00CV-0700 (Oregon District Court for Curry County, 2001). (Trial court win for Mr. Baxter’s client. After a three week trial, Mr. Baxter’s clients were found not liable for a $17 million dollar claim related to a will contest.)

Cairns v. Dole, 195 Or.App. 742, 744, 99 P.3d 781, 783 (Or.App.,2004). (Affirming trial court decision in favor of Mr. Baxter’s client.)

Adams v. Miller, Nash, Wiener, Hager, & Carlson, LLP  110 P.3d 664 (Or.App. 2005) (Affirming trial court verdict on behalf of Mr. Baxter’s clients.)

Recent Case Results

When Justin left work on the afternoon of September 3, 2011, he was just another happily married father of two growing pre-teen children. Fifteen minutes later, Justin’s life changed forever when another driver crossed over the highway center line and crashed head-on with Justin’s car, pushing him sideways into a passing truck and trailer. 

Life flight, an extended stay in ICU, and months of medical treatment saved Justin’s life, but left him crippled both physically and financially.

We were able to recover maximum insurance policy limits for all insurance policies. Our firm may not have been able to restore Justin’s amputated leg, but we were able to negotiate with health insurance and hospitals to insure that Justin was financially free to return to his life. He may be missing a leg, but Justin has been able to return to coaching soccer for his children.

Pro Bono Activities

Utah Legal Services

Thursday Night at the Bar

Community Service

Constitution Day Guest Teacher at local elementary and high schools

Cache County Junior Livestock Auction

Cache County 4-H Livestock Club Group Leader

Boy Scouts of America Troop, Team, and Crew Leader; Merit Badge Counselor

Mountain Crest Wrestling Team Booster

Ecclesiastical Leader, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Mentor for physically/mentally challenged employees obtaining vocational training at Deseret Industries Thrift Store

Speaking Engagements

Beyond the Criminal Case: Civil Options for Victims of Crime” Cache/Box Elder/Rich Counties Children’s Justice Center Multi-Disciplinary Team Training.

To Build a Fire” Utah Association for Justice Annual Conference

The Dopp Case” Cache County Bar CLE

The New Carrisa Case” Oregon State Bar

E-Litigation” University of Oregon

Bar Admissions

  • Oregon (2001)
  • Utah (2002)
  • North Dakota (2014)
  • Idaho (2015)

Areas of Practice

  • Truck Accidents
  • Auto & Motorcycle Accidents
  • Sex Abuse
  • Inmate/Prisoner Abuse
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Catastrophic Injury
  • Professional Negligence
  • Insurance Disputes & Bad Faith
  • Agriculture & Water Law

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Utah State Bar
  • Idaho State Bar
  • Oregon State Bar
  • Utah Association for Justice
  • New Lawyer Mentor

Education

  • Juris Doctor, University of Oregon, 2001
  • MA, American Studies/Folklore, Utah State University, 1994
  • BA History and English (dual major), Weber State University, 1992