E. Barney Gesas, an AV rated lawyer, is a native of Idaho Falls, Idaho. He is a graduate of the S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah (1972) and of the University of Idaho (1969). Listed in The Best Lawyers in America for commercial litigation, land use and zoning litigation and real estate litigation, and in several editions of Utah Legal Elite, he is also a fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America. For more than forty years, Mr. Gesas has concentrated his practice in complex business, commercial and real estate civil litigation; state and federal regulatory matters; municipal, county, and state land use planning; and condemnation.
During his career, Mr. Gesas has tried over 125 civil jury and bench trials in Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and California. He has been lead or co-counsel in several Utah state and appellate courts’ landmark decisions in lender liability law, expanding the elements of business fraud in commercial lending practices and extending the scope of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing doctrine in commercial contracts and real estate leases. Published cases include:
– First Security Bank v. Banberry Crossing, 780 P.2d 1253 (Utah 1989) (multi-party contract and fraud case that established guidelines for commercial lending practices and elements of business fraud in Utah).
– Olympus Hills Shopping Center Ltd. v. Smith’s Food & Drug, 889 P.2d 445 (Utah Ct. App. 1994) (a widely cited Utah case regarding breach of commercial leases that expanded the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing).
– Robert Winn, et al. v. University of Utah, et aI., Third District Ct., Summit County, Utah, Civ. No. 0600105 (2000) (high profile case in Utah employment laws dealing with medical professionals’ enforcement of their contractual rights, defeating a covenant not to compete, and the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing).
Mr. Gesas served as lead counsel for plaintiffs in In Re: The Salt Lake Tribune Litigation, pending in the United States District Court for the District of Utah and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, representing the McCarthey family in a high profile and complex case involving the ownership of Utah’s largest general circulation newspaper.
For more than eight years, Mr. Gesas served as a member of outside Regional Counsel for Honda North America and related entities. This work included supervising and managing the defense of Honda’s ATV product liability, mass tort litigation and local counsel in over one hundred active cases throughout the eleven Western States.
Mr. Gesas served as Special Assistant Attorney General on behalf of the Utah Department of Transportation in a complex eminent domain action involving highway right-of-way acquisition and severance damage issues involving claims in excess of $20,000,000. He has also served as Special Counsel to the Utah State Bar in disciplinary proceedings; and as outside Special Counsel to the Town of Alta, Utah in various land use and zoning development matters impacting the preservation of Salt Lake City’s primary watershed.
Mr. Gesas has represented public utility customer class action groups in challenging the rate practices and procedures of Utah’s three major utilities including natural gas, telephone, and electrical utilities. This representation has included participating in lengthy evidentiary rate case hearings conducted before the Utah Public Service Commission and complex appeals to the Utah Supreme Court involving Utah’s largest natural gas public utility.
In his many years of practice, Mr. Gesas has received numerous awards and honors, including:
In his spare time, Mr. Gesas enjoys Alpine and Nordic skiing, golf and reading.