Justin Starr is a member of the firm's First Amendment and Religious Organizations section. Mr. Starr’s practice focuses on appeals and critical motions in complex civil cases in Utah and state and federal courts across the nation.  He has drafted dozens of appellate briefs and dispositive motions for a wide variety of clients, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, various other religious organizations, and a host of other clients with varied interests. 

Mr. Starr has also developed an insurance practice, and recently prevailed in a multi-million dollar international arbitration dispute on a Bermuda Form excess policy.    

Mr. Starr was a Mountain States Super Lawyer: Rising Star from 2012 to 2016.  During law school, the faculty of BYU Law School awarded Mr. Starr the J. Reuben Clark Award for academic excellence, integrity, high ethical standards, and service.  He was also the recipient of three awards during law school for his writing projects, including a Graduate Research Fellowship Award for a paper titled Energy in the Executive: The Nature and Origins of "Executive Power".

Mr. Starr has nine children, including three adopted teenagers: a son from Colombia and two daughters from Liberia.  He and his wife, Jodi, are in the process of adopting another teenage boy from Colombia.


Representative Appeals

 Utah Supreme Court

  • In the Matter of the Irrevocable Jack W. Kunler Trust, 246 P.3d 1184 (Utah 2011) (successfully represented trust in obtaining reversal of $2.8 million judgment).
  • Jordan Constructions, Inc. v. Federal National Mortgage Assoc., 408 P.3d 296 (Utah 2017) (successfully represented FNMA in mechanic’s lien foreclosure action).

Utah Court of Appeals

  • RJW Media, Inc. v. Chuck Heath, 392 P.3d 956 (Utah App. 2017) (successfully represented Heath in upholding verdict in property dispute).
  • Felix v. Novelis Corporation, 446 P.3d 120 (Utah App. 2019) (succeeded in getting Utah Court of Appeals to grant permission for an interlocutory appeal and obtaining reversal of district court order regarding personal jurisdiction).
  • Trapnell & Associates, LLC v. Legacy Resorts, LLC, 438 P.3d 44 (Utah App. 2018) (represented Legacy Resorts and obtained affirmance of summary judgment in $14 million lien priority dispute).
  • Vandermeide v. Young, 296 P.3d 787 (Utah App. 2013) (successfully represented property owner in boundary dispute).
  • Roger P. Christensen IRA v. American Heritage Title Agency, Inc., 368 P.3d 125 (Utah App. 2016) (successfully represented title insurance company in obtaining affirmance of summary judgment).
  • Sunset Hollow Owners Ass’n v. Utah Home Builders LLC, No. 20160537-CA (represented contractor in appeal of summary judgment in construction defect case; case settled before decision was rendered).
  • Owners Insurance Co. v. Ted Holtry Constr., No. 20180217-CA (represented insurance company in coverage dispute, settled before decision issued).
  • Fox Point at Redstone Assoc., Inc. v. SGD-Equimark Development, LLC, No. 20130428-CA (successfully represented R&R Construction in convincing Utah Court of Appeals to grant petition for interlocutory appeal; case settled after briefing).  
  • Weston v. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, No. 20191022-CA (represented Church of Jesus Christ in defending motion to dismiss personal injury claim; plaintiff withdrew appeal after the Church’s brief was submitted).
  • Stein Eriksen Lodge v. MX Technologies, Inc., No. 20200256 (representing MX in seeking reversal of summary judgment in breach of contract case – briefing ongoing).

Tenth Circuit

  • Hornady Manufacturing Company Inc. v. Doubletap, Inc., 746 F.3d 995 (10th 2014) (successfully represented defendant in multi-million dollar trademark dispute in obtaining affirmance of summary judgment).
  • BV Jordanelle, LLC v. Old Republic National Title Insurance Co., 830 F.3d 1195 (10th Cir. 2016) (successfully represented title company against $6 million claim in trust deed priority dispute).
  • Oirya v. Brigham Young Univ., Case No. 20:4052 (representing BYU in Title IX case, decision pending).
  • Carlile v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance, Case Nos. 19-4123, 20-4005 (represent plaintiff/appellee in a dispute over entitlement to long-term disability benefits; decision pending).
  • Growgenix Solutions LLC et al. v. Roberts Int’l Agricultural Devel., et al., No. 20-04013 (represent defendant/appellee in declaratory judgment action; plaintiffs withdrew the appeal shortly before oral argument).
  • Hogan v. UTOPIA, Case No. 14-4138 (10th Cir. Dec. 23, 2015) (unpublished) (represented Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency in obtaining affirmance of summary judgment).

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