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After a five-week trial and just four hours of deliberation, a Salt Lake City state court jury returned a unanimous $134 million verdict for USA Power LLC in a long-running case against PacifiCorp. The jury awarded USA Power $21.4 million in damages for trade secrets theft and breach of contract, and $112.5 million for unjust enrichment. The jury also found that a former lawyer at Holme Roberts & Owen improperly abandoned USA Power in favor of PacifiCorp. (Holme Roberts was absorbed by Byan Cave in January.) USA Power and its lawyers at the Salt Lake City firm Magleby & Greenwood sued in 2005, alleging that PacifiCorp stole its designs for a proposed power plant in Mona, Utah and then used them to make its own winning bid for the project. USA Power alleged that Jody Williams, a former partner at Holme Roberts, assisted in the trade secrets theft. USA Power had hired Williams in 2002 to assist with its bid. She later terminated the representation and signed on to help PacifiCorp. A judge ruled for the defendants on summary judgment in 2007, but a unanimously panel of the Utah Supreme Court revived the case in 2010. Williams is now a partner at Holland & Hart. The jury found Williams and Holme Roberts breached their fiduciary duty to USA Power. The jury awarded $21.4 million in damages for the breach. Because USA Power cannot collect twice for the same harm, the jury was instructed to allocate to each defendant their share of the total damages. The jury allocated $18.2 million in damages to PacifiCorp and $3.2 to Williams and Holme Roberts. While USA Power had sought $250 million in damages, the verdict is nonetheless a big win for at Magleby & Greenwood, an 8-lawyer firm. Because the jury found the trade secrets theft to be willful and malicious, USA Power can ask the presiding judge to award additional damages. “When you get a jury verdict in less than four hours and it’s unanimous, I think it speaks volumes of the evidence they were presented with,” Magleby & Greenwood partner Peggy Tomsic told us. The Utah firm Anderson & Karrenberg represented Holme Roberts and Williams. Shareholder Thomas Karrenberg declined to comment.

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