Chris H. Hansen
Chris H. HansenPartner

The first thing people notice about Chris Hansen is that he is easy to talk to and has a kind, reassuring and authoritative presence that puts you immediately at ease. 

They also notice how he makes complex ideas simple and easy to understand.

He pays meticulous attention to detail and is an expert on keeping things focused on the client’s ultimate best interest. He is prepared for most any situation that arises.

Mr. Hansen’s practice is primarily focused in four areas of civil litigation:

  • Insurance defense
  • Defending drivers and companies in trucking accidents
  • Commercial and business disputes
  • Special education.

Although the four areas may appear to be diverse, all four of those areas involve representation in state and federal courts, due process hearings, arbitrations, and mediations.

During his 30+ years practicing law, he’s been involved in a wide variety of cases listed below.

Experience

During his 30+ year career, he has been involved in numerous trials. Chris has tried cases involving wrongful death, personal injury, commercial transactions and various automobile accidents. He’s participated in arbitrations, mediations and settlement conferences. Additionally, he’s been involved in Due Process hearings required by the IDEA, facilitated IEP Meetings and other quasi-judicial proceedings.
“Evaluations and their Role in Litigation,” Eighth Annual Education Law Institute, 1999. (co-author)

“A Practical Guide to Federal Court Rules and Procedures in Idaho: Ethical Considerations,” National Business Institute, 2000.( co-author)

“Special Education” for the Twelfth Annual Education Law Institute, 2003

“Child Labor Law” for the Twenty-second Annual Education Law Institute in 2013.

For the last several years, he has been periodically teaching the law portion of the Business Fundamentals class which is sponsored by SCORE (Service Corp of Retired Executives) SCORE, in conjunction with the Small Business Administration, provides classes to individuals who wish to start a new business.

The class provides training and information from lawyers, accountants, bankers, and marketing experts to new business entrepreneurs and tries to assist the prospective new business owners with sufficient information so that they understand the benefits, risks and obligations which may be involved in starting their new business venture.

Wrongful death cases, personal injury, cases involving attorney, accountant and counselor professional liability, products liability, representing various governmental entities, ERISA litigation, construction law, employment law, dram shop claims and the formation of small businesses.

Serves as the attorney for the Idaho School of the Deaf and the Blind.

Education

Mr. Hansen was born and raised in Boise, Idaho. He graduated from Boise State University in 1979 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Economics.  Chris then obtained my Juris Doctorate from the University of Idaho in 1983.

Professional Affiliations

  • Member of the Idaho State Bar Association
  • Idaho State Bar Litigation Section
  • Washington State Bar
  • Boise Adjusters’ Association
  • Trucking Insurance Defense Association

Admissions

  • Idaho – state and federal Courts
  • Washington state courts
  • 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

Practice Areas

  • Professional Malpractice: Attorney/Accountant Malpractice, Psychiatric/Counselor Malpractice
  • Insurance DefenseAuto Claims/Accidents, Homeowner Claims/Accidents, Commercial Property Claims/Accidents
  • Governmental Entities: Tort Claims, Personal Injury/Wrongful Death, Property Damages Claims, Excessive Force Claims
  • Employment Law: Wrongful Termination, Discrimination/EEOC/Idaho Human Rights Commission
  • Education Law: Student Injuries and Claims, Teacher Administration Claims and Disputes, Special Education, Board Policies, Actions and Disputes
  • Construction Law: Construction Defects, Change Orders and/or Cost Overruns
  • Commercial Law: Contract Disputes, Contract Preparation and Review, LLCs and Other Business Formations
  • Personal Injury: Auto Accidents, Slips and Falls, Trucking Accidents, Wrongful Death

Philosophy For Practicing Law

“Despite the advances in technology, the practice of law is and should be a personal, service business.”

INDIVIDUAL ATTENTION

Despite the advances in technology, the practice of law is and should be a personal service business. When he first started practicing law, he was a small town attorney, where he often saw and talked with his clients at the local grocery store or coffee shop.

SMALL TOWN APPROACH

Currently, whenever possible, Chris likes to put a face, voice and name together and personally meet his clients, the insureds and our witnesses. It’s important to him to incorporate that “small town”, personal approach into his current practice.

ADVOCACY

Chris Hansen is an advocate for his clients and presents their cases to the best of his ability. However, he also believes that part of the practice of law is to tell clients, “the good, the bad and the ugly” so they clearly understand the details of their case and the likely outcome of it.

CLEAR CASE ASSESSMENT

From Chris’ perspective, part of his job is to provide his clients with an honest, straight-forward assessment of their case, including the pros and cons of their position.

PREPAREDNESS

Mr. Hansen follows the Boy Scout Motto, ”Be prepared.” Clients and insurance carriers do not like surprises. Thus, preparation, conducting appropriate discovery and providing on-going reports or analysis of the case are an important part of my practice.

THOROUGH

Naturally, before any deposition, hearing or trial, Chris tries to meet with his clients, insureds and witnesses to explain the process and prepare them for the event. A client, insured or witness should never go into a deposition, hearing and/or trial “cold” without appropriate preparation.

Examples of Trials and Evidentiary Hearings

Mr. Hansen has been involved in numerous trials and Due Process Hearings. The list set forth below is a sample of the wide variety of cases in which Mr. Hansen has participated.

Plaintiff borrowed a combine from a farm implement dealership. The header on the combine needed adjustment, the Plaintiff was killed when he attempted to adjust the header and the header fell off of the combine and crushed him.  

The matter was tried before a jury and after deliberating for less than one half hour, the jury reached a defense verdict.

The plaintiffs hired the Defendant Contractor to substantially remodel their house. The plaintiffs were not pleased with the results and sued the Contractor for fraud and negligence.  Mr. Hansen represented the Defendant Contractor.  After a three week trial, the jury found the contractor was negligent and awarded damages.  The jury did not find any fraud on the part of the contractor.  The jury award of damages was within $3,000 of the amount which the Defendant Contractor offered at mediation, almost one year before trial.
Plaintiff sued City and County police for injuries he sustained while being arrested.  Mr. Hansen represented the City Officers.  Although the Plaintiff requested damages in the sum of $700,000 – $800,000, the jury only awarded approximately $1,954.27.  Mr. Hansen also convinced the Court to reduce the mandatory attorneys’ fees by approximately 70%.
Parent sued School District because the Individual Education Plan (IEP) required by the Individuals with Disability Education Act, (IDEA) was more challenging than she thought was appropriate for her child.  Mr. Hansen represented the School District.  After a hearing presided by a State appointed Hearing Officer, the Hearing Officer ruled that the IEP proposed by the School District was appropriate.

Mr. Hansen has resolved numerous cases through dispositive motions. Samples of cases wherein his clients were successfully dismissed are set forth below.

Mr. Hansen represented a City in a case involving claims by a former fireman which asserted that he was improperly laid off due to his race and age.   The fireman filed claims with both the EEOC and the Idaho Human Rights Commission.  After receiving a Right to Sue letter, the fireman filed suit in federal court asserting discrimination. Mr. Hansen represented the City, obtained summary judgment in the favor of the City dismissing the fireman’s claims.
Mr. Hansen represented a City in a wrongful termination claim by police officer.  The officer asserted that she was terminated because she was the victim of gender discrimination. Mr. Hansen represented the City.  Mr. Hansen filed and obtained summary judgment on behalf of the City dismissing the Plaintiff’s claims.
A student’s parents filed a claim against a School District asserting that the District was failing to provide FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education).  Mr. Hansen represented the School District.  After filing the Request for a Due Process Hearing as provided by the IDEA, the parents would not allow the District to evaluate the child.  On behalf of the School District, Mr. Hansen filed a Motion to Dismiss the claim on the grounds that the District has a right to evaluate the student to see if he/she qualifies for special education services.  Further, that if the parents refuse to allow the evaluation, the parents are barred from bringing a claim for the failure to provide FAPE or special education services.  After a hearing, the State-appointed Hearing Officer agreed with the arguments presented by the School District and dismissed the claim.
A former City employee filed suit against the City on the grounds that she was forced to quit because of a hostile work environment.  Mr. Hansen represented the City.  A Motion for Summary Judgment was filed on the grounds that the Plaintiff voluntarily resigned to take another job.  The Motion was also filed on the grounds that there was no evidence of harassment or hostile work environment.  The Motion also provided that a portion of the Plaintiff’s claims were barred by the statute of limitations.  After reviewing the briefing, affidavits and hearing oral argument, the District Court Judge granted summary judgment in favor of Mr. Hansen’s client.
A Dairy sought to enforce a contract for delivery of feed from a grain broker.  Mr. Hansen represented the broker.  On behalf of the broker, Mr. Hansen submitted documents and evidence that established that the Dairy had failed to make timely payments and was in default on the contract with the broker. Although the dairy filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Relief, the Dairy did nothing to preserve its cause of action or claims in the bankruptcy and the arbitrators found that the one year statute of limitations provision contained in the contracts was enforceable and dismissed the Dairy’s claims against Mr. Hansen’s client.

Mr. Hansen has resolved numerous cases via settlement negotiations and/or mediation.  A sample of cases wherein Mr. Hansen obtained favorable settlements involving the following:

  1. Trucking accident involving two deaths when the Plaintiff’s vehicle slid into the truck parked on the shoulder in a snow storm
  2. Truck accident involving serious injury (more than $1,000,000 in medical expenses) when Plaintiff’s vehicle struck the tractor trailer in a dust storm.
  3. Truck accident involving serious injury when the tractor trailer started to pass Plaintiff’s vehicle when Plaintiff’s truck suddenly made a left turn in front of the passing semi-truck.
  4. Personal Injury-Special Education student fell severely breaking his leg, requiring two surgeries.
  5. Taxi accident wherein taxi pulled in front of four wheel driver pickup, claimed closed head injury.
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