In an action for breach of two employment agreements, Burbidge | Mitchell secured a judgment of approximately $4 million for its client, Bruce Jones, and against Mr. Jones’s former employer, Utah Transit Authority. The judgment included an award of attorneys’ fees. In the same action, UTA sought damages from Mr. Jones in excess $5 million for “breach of contract,” “breach of fiduciary duty,” “legal malpractice,” “fraud,” and other claims. UTA counterclaims, however, were defeated in their entirety, and the UTA recovered nothing.

Mr. Jones served as the UTA’s General Counsel (2006-2015) and President of Government Resources (2010-2015). During his tenure with the UTA, Mr. Jones played an important role in UTA’s substantial growth and development, making the Authority one of the nation’s most celebrated light rail and public transit systems. On Mr. Jones’s retirement in 2015, he received a unanimous vote of thanks and commendation from the UTA Board of Directors. Within months, however, UTA’s new General Counsel, Jayme Blakesley, alleged that Mr. Jones’s employment agreements had not been “properly approved,” and that ill-identified acts or omissions of Mr. Jones had somehow caused detriment to the UTA. Mr. Blakesley therefore convinced the UTA Board to declare Mr. Jones’s agreements “void.” Mr. Jones was thereafter denied certain outstanding benefits from his agreements, which benefits included incentive and retirement compensation.

Mr. Jones filed suit to compel arbitration in December, 2019. UTA, for its part, filed a scorched-earth complaint making scandalous, but entirely false, accusations against Mr. Jones. By order of the Third District Court for Salt Lake County, Utah, the parties’ claims and cross-claims were heard by an independent, mutually-selected arbitrator.

Due to Mr. Jones’s public position, this case generated substantial publicity. In a December 10, 2019 article published on the news site, Burbidge | Mitchell’s lead counsel, Richard Burbidge, asserted the allegations against Mr. Jones were “scurrilous” and unfounded. He vowed, “We will recover every penny that Mr. Jones earned through his devoted service, … we will defeat [in] total the groundless lawsuit brought against Mr. Jones and … UTA will pay the attorney fees incurred by us in both those efforts.” See article "UTA, former executive sue each other in feud over salary and benefits."

In July of 2021, Mr. Burbidge made good on this promise. The parties’ mutually selected arbitrator held a five-day hearing in which the parties presented live testimony from fourteen witnesses, deposition testimony from several additional witnesses, and hundreds of pertinent documents. Following review of this evidence, the arbitrator found in favor of Mr. Jones and against the UTA, observing that UTA’s allegations of Mr. Jones’s “wrongdoing” were groundless, and that the UTA’s refusal to honor Mr. Jones’s agreements was “unconscionable.” The arbitrator awarded Mr. Jones the sum of $3,987,660.24, representing the present value of Mr. Jones’s anticipated retirement benefits and incentive compensation, plus interest and attorneys’ fees. On August 22, 2021, the arbitrator’s award was confirmed by the Third District Court, and final judgment was entered in favor of Mr. Jones. On UTA’s $5 million claims against Mr. Jones, the arbitrator awarded UTA nothing.