Kurt D. Holzer
Kurt Holzer is a James J. May award winning trial attorney. He was selected as the 2011 Idaho Trial Lawyer of the Year and is a past President of the Idaho Trial Lawyers Association. In 2004 he joined with Caldwell native John Edwards to form the firm that became Holzer♦Edwards, Chartered. Prior to that he spent four year as the Idaho litigation partner of a multi-state law practice, 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 plaintiffs’ 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 Idaho’s 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 year’s changes in tort law to members of the 4th District Bar Association.
Kurt is an avid bicycle racer and 2-time Idaho State Criterium Champion. He currently runs the St. Luke’s Sports Medicine Cycling Race Team. He is also the general manager of USACycling’s local affiliate the Southwest Idaho Cycling Association. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Idaho’s largest cycling organization SLSM/Lost River Cycling. Through the efforts of as a board member of LRC, 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 has also served 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 Judge’s 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 Judge’s 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, Civ. No. 98-0117-S-BLW, (D. Idaho Oct. 12, 1999). This was a pro bono constitutional challenge to an Idaho statute that precluded certain medical procedures. Kurt was a member of the team that successfully challenged the statute's application.
Torres v. Gordon Trucking, 95-cv-00460-S-MHW (D. Idaho 1997). Kurt served on the trial team that recovered 1.6 million in compensatory damages for the parents of an 18 year-old boy killed by the driver of the trucking company. The jury also awarded a quarter million dollars in punitive damages because of the company's extreme deviation from reasonable safety standards.
Areas of Practice
- Personal Injury -- Plaintiff
- Idaho, 1992
- The S.J. Quinney College of Law at The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
- Doctor of Jurisprudence - 1992
- Honors: William H. Leary Scholar
- Law Review: Member, Utah Law Review, 1990-1991, Executive Editor, 1991 - 1992
- Colorado Mesa University , Grand Junction, Colorado
- B.A. cum laude - 1989
- Major: Political Economy
- Idaho Injury Law - A Guidebook for Injured Idahoans, Speaker Media Press, 2011
- SLRA - Its Practical Application Requires Understanding Its Express Language, The Advocate, Vol. 48, No. 2, 2005
- Jury Awards in Idaho: A Survey Study of Punitive and Non-Economic Damage Awards in Idaho Courts, February 2003, with John Fielder, M.B.A., and Dr. Bryan Storer D.C. (Self-Published Research)
- The Novice Expert: 20 Rules for Depo Testimony, Law Reporter, Consumer Lawyers of Hawaii, March/April, 2000
- Readying the Rookie Expert - 20 Rules for Translating Knowledge to Testimony, Idaho Trial Lawyers Association Journal, Vol. 28, Number 4, 1999
- Understanding and Proving Damages on Behalf of Adult Children in Wrongful Death Litigation, (Co-Author with Dr. Sharo), Idaho Trial Lawyers Association Journal, Vol. 28, Number 2, 1999
- The Fundamentals of Preparing a Plaintiff for Deposition, Idaho Trial Lawyers Association Journal, Vol. 27, Number 2, 1998
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Idaho Trial Lawyers Association, President, 2005 - 2006
- Idaho Trial Lawyers Association, Governmental Relations Committee Co-Chair, 2007 - Present
- Idaho Trial Lawyers Association, Board of Directors Member, 1997 - Present
- Idaho Trial Lawyers Association, Publications Chairman, 1997 - 1999
- Idaho Trial Lawyers Association, Member, 1994 - Present
- American Association for Justice, Idaho Representative, 2000 - 2001
- American Association for Justice, Member, 1994 - Present
- Idaho State Bar, Professional Conduct Board, Member, 2000 - Present
- Idaho State Bar, Member, 1993 - Present
- Southwest Idaho Cycling Association, Manager, 2004 - Present
- Lost River Cycling, Board of Directors, 2003 - Present
- Hidden Springs Town Association, President-Board of Directors, 2008 - 2010
Past Employment Positions
- Hon. Judith M. Billing, Presiding Judge, Utah Court of Appeals, Law Clerk, 1992 - 1993
- Holland & Hart, LLP, Attorney, 1993 - 1999
- Murphy Holzer & Vaughan, LLC, Chief Idaho Trial Lawyer, LLC, 2000 - 2004
Pro Bono Activities
- ACLU of Idaho various Litigation Matters, 1996 - Present