Kurt Holzer won the James J. May award as the 2011 Idaho Trial Lawyer of the Year. He is also a past President of the Idaho Trial Lawyers Association. In 2004 he joined with Caldwell native John Edwards to form the firm that became Holzerâ¦Edwards, Chartered.
Kurt Had spent the previous years as the chief Idaho trial lawyer of Murphy, Holzer & Vaughan, LLC, that was based in Madison, Wisconsin. Kurt began his Idaho legal career with the Boise office of Holland & Hart, LLP where he also focused on plaintiffsâ injury litigation.
As trial counsel, Kurt has obtained several jury verdicts in excess of one million dollars. A 1992 graduate of the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah, Kurt was a William H. Leary Scholar and Executive Editor of the Utah Law Review. He clerked for the Honorable Judith M. Billings, Presiding Judge of the Utah Court of Appeals. He has litigated class action, dram shop, premises liability, products liability, insurance bad faith, Fair Labor Standards Act as well as many automobile cases. A graduate of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Kurt has been a member of the Idaho State Bar since 1992 and a member of the Board of Directors of the ITLA since 1997. He currently serves as co-chair of its Governmental Relations committee. He is a former Idaho representative to the American Trial Lawyers Association. He has served multiple terms as a member of the Professional Conduct Board of the Idaho State Bar. Kurt worked with legislators and other groups to obtain passage of Idahoâs landmark Small Lawsuit Resolution Act. He has published a number of articles on trial preparation and litigation skills as well as a study on Idaho jury behavior. Kurt regularly presents on the prior yearâs changes in tort law to members of the 4th District Bar Association.
Kurt is a successful bicycle racer and 2-time Idaho State Criterium Champion. He runs the St. Lukeâs Sports Medicine Cycling Team and manages USACyclingâs local affiliate the Southwest Idaho Cycling Association. He serves as a member of the Board of SLSM/Lost River Cycling. Through the efforts as a board member, Kurt supports a wide variety of charitable efforts including The Idaho Foodbank, The Garden City Community Clinic, The Hidden Springs School, St. Alphonsus Life Flight, The Idaho Brain Injury Foundation, The Hidden Springs Community Farm and the White Knob Historical Preservation Society. Kurt served 2 terms as President of the Hidden Springs Town Association Town Council.
In addition to many automobile, premises and product liability cases, Kurt's personal litigation successes have included:
Phillips v. Erhart, 151 Idaho 100, 254 P .3d 1 (2011), Fourth District, Ada County. An unwitnessed fall down a stairway left plaintiff with a mild Traumatic Brain Injury. Plaintiff had no memory of the fall or what caused it. Total jury award was $1,664,374.00 (economic damages- $546,174.00, non-economic damages-$562,000.00, and loss of consortium damages- $556,200.00)
Olson v. JB Sports Bar and Grill, Fourth District, Ada County. A multiple death liquor liability case tried to verdict in 1999. The case involved the wrongful death of an elderly couple and resulted in a $2.9 million dollar verdict against the defendant bikini bar and the defendant drunk driver. This is, by far, the largest dram shop verdict in Idaho history.
Gonzales v. Thacker, 148 Idaho 879, 231 P .3d 524 (2009). Kurt obtained a ruling from the Idaho Supreme Court on Idaho Code section 12-120(4) that rejected the conclusions of an earlier Idaho Supreme Court case interpreting the statute in a way that unfairly protected insurance companies. The case reversed the District Court Judgeâs ruling.
Parsons v. Mutual of Enumclaw. Ins. Co., 143 Idaho 743, 152 P.3d 614 (2007). Kurt obtained a ruling from the Idaho Supreme Court confirming that in cases against insurance companies for failure to timely pay benefits to their insureds, it is appropriate for the district court to award attorney fees based on a contingent fee contract. The case affirmed the District Court Judgeâs ruling.
Van Valkenburgh v. Citizens for Term Limits, 15 P. 3d 1129 Idaho (2000) In this pro bono case, Kurt argued in favor of and won a case protecting the right to vote and the freedom of speech of political candidates.
In re Phillips, WCB Case No. TP-96004, (Oregon 1998). Kurt served as counsel for the plaintiff in a dispute with the worker's compensation surety over a $7,767,344.00 verdict that the plaintiff had received in Phillips v. USA, 89-CV-1133-S-HLR (D. Idaho).
Busa v. Salmon Air, Fourth District Boise County Case No. CV-01-00067. Kurt helped plaintiffs recover for injuries incurred during the crash landing of a small commuter airplane operating under part 135 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
Weyhrich v. Lance, Ci