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  • Education
    • J.D., University of Wyoming, 1973, Order of Barristers
    • B.A., California State University, 1970
Jim Miller is a Fellow of Litigation Counsel of America.  The Litigation Counsel of America is an invitation-only trial lawyer honorary society established to reflect the new face of the American bar.  Membership is limited to 3,500 Fellows, representing less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers.  Fellows are selected and invited into Fellowship after being evaluated for effectiveness and accomplishment in litigation and trial work, along with ethical reputation.  In his 41 years of practice, Jim has developed a deep knowledge of the securities industry, banks and financial institutions, energy companies, and technology-based businesses. This deep industry knowledge allows Jim to hit the ground running and formulate industry-specific strategies, which put clients in the driver’s seat in complex litigation or negotiations. 

Jim has extensive experience as lead counsel in both trial and appellate litigation in state and federal courts. He is considered a “go to” lawyer concerning the trial of complex cases to juries. He has extensive litigation, arbitration, and mediation experience in securities industry disputes, including customer, industry, and employment disputes. Jim represents broker dealers and registered investment advisors in regulatory and administrative proceedings before the Securities and Exchange Commission, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), New York Stock Exchange, and state regulatory agencies. His practice includes broker recruitment litigation and protocol raiding cases. Jim has significant experience litigating covenants not to compete and non-solicitation agreements.

  • Lead counsel and head of the defense team that successfully defended three publicly traded oil and gas companies in one of Wyoming’s longest civil jury trials. Plaintiffs contended that an improperly plugged oil and gas well was causing water from the Madison formation to seep through polluted zones, carrying toxic defoliants to the ranches in the Shell Valley near Thermopolis, Wyoming. Plaintiffs sought in excess of $33 million in damages. The jury rendered a special verdict exonerating the firm's clients.
  • Successfully defended a raiding claim where a wire house hired five of six financial advisors from a competitor in Bozeman, Montana. The hire included a branch manager and represented over 95 percent of the office production. After a week-long FINRA arbitration hearing, the panel awarded the competitor a small fraction of the damages sought. The total award was significantly less than the case reserve.
  • In a case in Los Angeles, California, a bank brought an action before FINRA alleging that a financial advisor and his firm had sold the bank unsuitable, collateralized mortgage obligations for the purpose of regulating interest rate risk. After a week-and-a-half hearing before a FINRA arbitration panel, the firm's clients were vindicated.
  • Successfully defended a securities broker-dealer and its president against securities fraud claims brought by 11 former customers in Raleigh, North Carolina. After a two-week FINRA arbitration, plaintiffs received an award of $19,000 in a case where they sought damages in excess of $42 million.
  • In the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, led a defense team in seven consolidated RICO actions. These actions were preemptively filed by debtors seeking to avoid over $17 million in debt due to the RTC. Obtained a settlement on the counterclaims valued by client at over $65 million.
  • Led the trial team that successfully defended one of Colorado’s largest independent commercial banks in a three-week, lender-liability jury trial in Colorado State Court. The borrower sought damages including: loss profits, treble damages, and attorneys’ fees under Colorado’s version of the Uniform Consumer Protection Act, in excess of $24 million. The jury rendered a verdict in favor of the firm's client and awarded it $250,000 on a counterclaim.
  • In arbitration before the American Arbitration Association, successfully defended a publically traded company against state and federal securities fraud claims based, in part, on allegations of accounting improprieties. Obtained a defense award after seven days of arbitration in which the claimants sought over $5 million in damages.
  • In the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming, represented a company and its officers concerning alleged violations of RICO arising from the alleged oppression of a minority shareholder. After an offer of judgment was made and a motion for summary judgment was filed, the matter was settled on terms which were extremely favorable to the firm's clients.
  • In a multi-district case, used Motions to Dismiss and Summary Judgment Motions to terminate the case in multiple forums.
  • Successfully defended a publically traded company in federal court against claims by its former president arising from his cashless exercise of stock options. Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed all of his claims in this case where plaintiff had originally sought damages in excess of $1 million.
  • In a directors’ and officers’ liability case against several prominent citizens of Denver, Colorado, it was alleged that statements made in connection with a “freeze-out” merger, constituted violations of state and federal securities law. The case involved matters of first-impression regarding shareholder derivative actions and the Freeze-Out Merger Statute. Plaintiffs sought more than $10 million dollars from the defendants. After an offer of judgment was made and a motion for summary judgment was filed, the matter was settled on terms which were extremely favorable to the firm's clients.
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May 18, 2016
Case Study Case Studies
Unique Solution Leads to Successful Outcome for Water Customers of a Colorado Community
Background

In 2014, Cascade, CO water customers were serviced by a metropolitan district controlled by a lawyer/developer who was the sole resident of the district and who handpicked the members of the district’s board of directors. District infrastructure was badly in need of repair and had a water loss rate estimated to be up to 45 percent. Moreover, customers discovered the district manager had embezzled more than $800,000 from the district. The embezzlement left the district owing Colorado Springs Utilities (“CSU”), the entity that sold treated water to the district, more than $500,000 for past water purchases. Finally, the developer, his lender and the district were suing CSU to terminate the agreement under which the district purchased water from CSU so that they could sell the underlying water rights. The potential sale of the water rights threatened customers’ ability to get affordable water service. 

Matter Specifics

Eight of the customers ultimately sought help from Polsinelli to insure they would continue to receive water service if the developer and his lender were successful in their lawsuit against CSU. Despite the customers’ difficult legal position, the Polsinelli team convinced the developer, the lender, the district and CSU to allow the customers to intervene in the lawsuit between the developer, the district and CSU so the customers could participate in settlement negotiations between the parties.


Results
After two days of mediation, the customers secured their right to purchase water from CSU for the next 100 years.  As a result, the customers control the district, and will receive water through an improved system and ultimately will be customers of CSU rather than the district. In addition, 
• The developer and his lender agreed to turn over control of the district to the customers by holding an election to expand the boundaries of the district from one property to include all 350 customers of the district. 
• The district agreed to appoint one of the interveners to the board of directors pending the inclusion election. 
• The district also agreed to investigate potential sources of recovery for the embezzled funds, which had not previously been considered by the district. 
• Finally, the district agreed to raise money through a bond offering to pay off the debt to CSU and make improvements and repairs to the district infrastructure with the goal of transferring ownership of the infrastructure to CSU after the repairs are complete.

Oct 26, 2015
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May 20, 2014