Phil Ballif 

Veteran Trial Lawyer

Managing Partner, Salt Lake City Office

  • 25 trials to verdict in Nevada, Utah, Texas & Arizona
  • Business and personal injury litigation
  • Patent, trademark and copyright litigation
  • Trade secret litigation

Managing Partner, Salt Lake City Office


Phil Ballif is a third-generation lawyer.  He is the son of former Utah Fourth District Court Judge George E. Ballif (1971-1992) and the grandson of George S. Ballif, former Provo City Judge and past president of the Utah County Bar and Utah State Bar associations.

Over his 30+ year career as a trial lawyer, Phil Ballif has appeared before courts in Utah, Nevada, Texas and Arizona, representing individuals and businesses in cases involving defamation, intellectual property rights, insurance coverage, contract breach, fiduciary breach, lender liability, fraud, misrepresentation and non-disclosure, professional liability personal injury, product liability, premises liability, mortgage fraud, construction defect, and boundary disputes. 

Unique highlights

Mr. Ballif’s many successes include:

  • Recovering $400,000 for a real estate developer from a co-guarantor based on the doctrine of equitable contribution;
  • Securing defense judgment for mine owner in mining accident case where independent contractor/truck driver plaintiff was injured by exploding tire – Baughn v. Staker & Parson Companies, Inc., 2018 WL 5249968 (Ariz. Ct. App. Oct. 22, 2018);
  • Obtaining multi-million-dollar verdict and judgment for private investor against real estate broker/borrower who engaged in mortgage fraud;
  • Obtaining summary judgment in favor of guarantor whose personal guaranty was ruled unenforceable because the guaranteed covenant did not run with the land and could not be enforced by the land purchaser;
  • Obtaining favorable settlement for property owners against large oil company for damage caused by oil spill;
  • Securing dismissal of borrower’s lender liability claim by invoking the administrative review procedure and exhaustion rule of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989;
  • Obtaining verdict and judgment for large healthcare company that saved it from multi-million-dollar breach of contract claim brought by its former collections attorney;
  • Obtaining a verdict and judgment of prescriptive easement for adjacent landowner permitting his continued use of land for farming and grazing purposes;
  • Securing dismissal of unfounded claims of fraud and unfair trade practices against direct sales marketing company;
  • Securing writ of possession for the recovery of large fleet of leased vehicles and a judgment in excess of one million dollars for unpaid rents, vehicle damage, and repair costs;
  • Obtaining summary judgment for a national financial institution against a multi-million-dollar lender liability claim involving a construction loan for a Las Vegas hotel-casino;
  • Securing a directed verdict in favor of a national financial institution against multi-million-dollar lender liability claim involving a small business development loan;
  • Obtaining dismissal of a multi-million-dollar lender liability claim against a national financial institution involving an operating and capital improvement loan facility for a Hawaii-based macadamia nut processing company;
  • Securing a settlement in excess of $1 million for a former executive of a publicly traded gaming company in a dispute over his employment contract and stock option rights;
  • Securing a verdict and judgment of more than $1.5 million for a Miami-based hotel development company in a dispute over pre-development costs for a Lake Las Vegas resort property;
  • Obtaining dismissal of a class action lawsuit filed by a group of retired firemen and police officers challenging the validity of legislative amendments affecting retirement benefits thereby saving the state’s public employees retirement system hundreds of millions of dollars;
  • Obtaining dismissal of lawsuits filed against a large Las Vegas retirement community association by a disgruntled homeowner who challenged the board’s financial decisions;
  • Securing a defense verdict for an east coast insurance agency in an insurance bad faith, fraud action filed by an art dealer who procured insurance for his art collection, filed a fraudulent theft claim, and then sued his insurance agent and insurer for denying his claim;
  • Obtaining verdict and judgment for homeowner requiring insurer to cover and pay claim for structural damage to home resulting for expansive clay soil beneath foundation;
  • Obtaining dismissal for start-up gaming company and its founder of unfounded allegations of misappropriation and prior inventorship of new, patented card game;
  • Secured dismissal for direct sales marketing company of unfounded claims of fraud and unfair trade practices by disgruntled distributor.


  • Juris Doctor, 1984, George Washington University
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting, 1981, Brigham Young University

Court Admissions

State Courts
  • Utah
  • Nevada
Federal Courts
  • U.S. District Court — Utah
  • U.S. District Court — Nevada
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court — Texas
U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal
  • 9th Circuit
  • Federal Circuit
Pro hac vice
  • Arizona Superior Court – Pima County

Memberships & Professional Affiliations

  • Sherman Christensen Inn of Court I – Master of the Bench

Honors & Awards

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV (Preeminent) rating
  • Mountain States Super Lawyer – Business Litigation