Thomas D. Boyle, Appellant,
Clyde Snow & Sessions PC, Appellee.
District Court, West Jordan Department The Honorable Barry G.
Lawrence No. 090400630
D. Boyle, Appellant Pro Se
Jeffery S. Williams, Attorney for Appellee
Kate A. Toomey authored this Opinion, in which Judges Gregory
K. Orme and Michele M. Christiansen concurred.
This case is before us on remand from the Utah Supreme Court.
See generally Boyle v. Clyde Snow & Sessions PC
(Boyle II), 2017 UT 57, rev'g Boyle v. Clyde
Snow & Sessions PC (Boyle I), 2016 UT App
114, 378 P.3d 98. Our supreme court reversed this court's
determination in Boyle I that the district court did
not have jurisdiction to award attorney fees to Clyde Snow
& Sessions PC (Clyde Snow), concluding that Thomas D.
Boyle had "waived any objection to procedural
deficiencies in Clyde Snow's intervention."
Id. ¶¶ 3-4. On remand, we are instructed
to address Boyle's remaining contentions. Id.
Boyle contends the district court erred in awarding attorney
fees to Clyde Snow because: (1) Clyde Snow failed to perfect
its attorney's lien under Utah Code section 38-2-7; (2)
the court failed to "recognize and properly consider Mr.
Boyle's valid assignment of contract rights from Prince
Yeates & Geldzaher, PC" (Prince Yeates); and (3) the
court denied Boyle his due process rights because he did not
have a "full and fair opportunity to be heard."
Boyle has failed to develop a "reasoned analysis
supported by citations to legal authority and the
record" and has therefore failed to meet his burden of
persuasion on appeal. Utah R. App. P. 24(a)(8); see Bank
of America v. Adamson, 2017 UT 2, ¶¶ 12-13,
391 P.3d 196. We therefore affirm the district court's
award of attorney fees to Clyde Snow and remand for the sole
purpose of dismissing the ancillary fee dispute with
This case began in June 2007 when a plaintiff (Plaintiff)
retained Clyde Snow on a contingency fee basis to represent
her in her son's wrongful death action. Clyde Snow's
contingency fee agreement (the CFA) with Plaintiff secured a
forty-percent interest, through an attorney's lien,
"of any Recovery achieved either by negotiated
compromise or settlement prior to or after the filing of a
Complaint." The CFA also provided, "In the event of
a Recovery after [Clyde Snow] has been discharged, [Clyde
Snow] shall be compensated for the reasonable value of [Clyde
Clyde Snow assigned Boyle, who was then an attorney with the
firm, to litigate the case. In 2010, after about three years
of litigation, Boyle joined Prince Yeates and
"[Plaintiff] elected to have [her] claim follow
Boyle." Boyle v. Clyde Snow & Sessions PC
(Boyle II), 2017 UT 57, ¶ 5. In July 2010,
Clyde Snow sent a letter to Plaintiff and Boyle demanding a
minimum payment for its services in the event of a recovery.
A few days later, Clyde Snow filed a notice of attorney's
lien, asserting its interest in Plaintiff's recovery for
the value of the services it had rendered.
In May 2013, the parties to the wrongful death action settled
the claim and moved to dismiss the case with prejudice the
following month. In late June, before the court made a
decision related to the motion to dismiss, Clyde Snow filed a
restated notice of attorney's lien and an objection to
the dismissal of the wrongful death action, arguing that the
issue of the attorney's lien had not been resolved. The
district court dismissed the wrongful death claims with
prejudice but ordered the case to "remain open . . . for
the sole and limited purpose of deciding [Clyde Snow's]
The court ordered Clyde Snow and Prince Yeates to file
position statements and mediate the attorney's lien
issue. In its position statement, Prince Yeates explained
that it need not be involved, because the dispute regarding
attorney fees was between Clyde Snow, Boyle, and another
attorney involved in the case. Clyde Snow argued that the
underlying case originated with Clyde Snow through the CFA
and that it was entitled to receive reasonable value for the
services it had provided. The parties attempted to mediate
but were unsuccessful.
In January 2014, after notifying the court that mediation was
unsuccessful, Prince Yeates filed a motion to interplead
funds Clyde Snow could recover if the court determined Clyde
Snow had established entitlement to them. Prince Yeates
disclaimed any interest it might have had in the interpleaded
funds and assigned "any such interest to Mr. Boyle"
and the other attorney. The district court granted Prince
Yeates's motion and Clyde Snow filed a complaint,
asserting its entitlement to the interpleaded settlement
funds. Boyle answered the complaint, arguing that Clyde Snow
should not receive any of the funds, because it had
mismanaged the case, and he asserted several counterclaims.
Boyle also moved to dismiss Clyde Snow's complaint,
alleging that Clyde Snow failed to properly intervene, and he
alternatively filed a motion for summary judgment. The court
denied Boyle's motions-concluding the claims in his
motion for summary judgment were previously addressed in
earlier pleadings and "beyond the scope of this
interpleader action"-and conducted an evidentiary
hearing on the attorney's lien issue in July 2014.
At the evidentiary hearing, Clyde Snow called five witnesses,
including an expert witness who testified to the method used
by Clyde Snow to determine the amount of fees to which it was
entitled and to opine on the reasonableness of the amount of
its attorney fees demand. Boyle recalled one of Clyde
Snow's witnesses for additional testimony and was himself
cross-examined by Clyde Snow's attorney during his
defense. At the close of the hearing, the court ruled in
favor of Clyde Snow and ...