Justice Zimmerman has served as a mediator in over 150 cases and an arbitrator in more than 100 cases since retiring from the Utah Supreme Court and returning to private practice in 2000. He has handled everything from family disagreements and neighbor disputes to disputes involving constitutional takings; contract breaches, both domestic and international; wrongful franchise termination; business dissolutions; intentional infliction of emotional distress; business torts; landlord-tenant disputes; arbitral division of $1.5 billion in assets of school district; interpretation of commercial insurance policy; claims of unfair trade practices and consumer fraud; and class action determinations.
Dispute Resolution Experience
Private mediator and arbitrator (2000-present); American Arbitration Association, Panelist (2000-present); National Panel of Distinguished Neutrals for CPR: International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution, Panelist; Association for Conflict Resolution, Member (2001-present); Utah Judicial Council, Court Annexed Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, Member (2000-2015); Appointed Special Master for United States District Court (U.S. v. Brown, No. 2:95CR 245B) (2001-2009); Utah Council on Conflict Resolution, Board of Directors, Chair (1999-2006)
Alternative Dispute Resolution Training
Process Essentials for AAA Arbitrators, 2022; Impartiality: Do You Know Where Your Biases Are?, 2021; Cyber Security: A Shared Responsibility, 2020; AAA Case Finances: What Arbitrators Need to Know, 2019; Addressing the Challenges of Demanding Arbitrations: Part 2 ~ The Hearing Phase, the Award, and Beyond, 2019; The Arbitration “Need to Knows”: Trends and Lessons for 2017 and Beyond, 2018; AAA Confronting Arbitrability and Jurisdiction Issues in Arbitration, 2016; AAA The “How To” of Presenting Damages in Arbitration, 2015; AAA “Exceeded Powers” – Recent Trends in Cases Challenging Arbitrator Authority 2015; AAA Webinar, Does AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion L.L.C. Spell an End to Class Actions?, 2013; AAA Maximizing Efficiency & Economy in Arbitration: Challenges at the Preliminary Hearing, 2011; AAA Webinar, New AAA Healthcare Payor Provider Judicial Orientation, 2011; AAA Webinar, How to Prevent Arbitrations from Transforming into Litigations, 2009; AAA Webinar, Get Smart: Issues Surrounding Surveillance in the Workplace, 2009; AAA Webinar, Why Construction Mediations Fail: Avoiding Common Mistakes, 2009; AAA Chairing an Arbitration Panel: Managing Procedures, Process & Dynamics, 2009; AAA Arbitrator Ethics & Disclosure, 2006; AAA Chairing an Arbitration Panel: Managing Procedures, Process & Dynamics, 2005; Utah Council on Conflict Resolution, Annual ADR Symposium, 1999-2005; AAA Arbitration Awards: Safeguarding, Deciding & Writing Awards, 2004; AAA Commercial Arbitrator II Training: Advanced Case Management Issues, 2003; AAA Arbitrator I Training-Fundamentals of the Arbitration Process, 2002; Utah Council on Conflict Resolution, Mediation Advocacy Workshop, 2000; Utah Dispute Resolution, Basic Mediation Training, 2000; Harvard Law School, P.I.L. Negotiation Workshop, 1999; various other ADR training.
Appointed to the Utah Supreme Court in 1984 by Governor Scott M. Matheson. Served as chief justice from 1994 through 1998, leaving the Utah Supreme Court in January 2000. As a justice of a common law supreme court, has had broad exposure to numerous areas of law. Taught antitrust and securities regulation as an associate professor of law at the University of Utah College of Law. Heavily involved in class actions, securities fraud suits, and appellate work as a practitioner in Los Angeles and Salt Lake City. Current practice concentrates on arbitration and mediation, appellate practice, and post-trial motions.
Partner, Zimmerman Booher (2011-present); Partner, Snell & Wilmer (2000-11); Justice/Chief Justice/Chair of Judicial Council/Member of Judicial Council, Utah Supreme Court (1984-00); Adjunct Professor/Associate Professor, University of Utah College of Law (1989-93, 1976-84); Shareholder, Watkiss & Campbell (1980-84); Of Counsel, Kruse, Landa, Zimmerman & Maycock (1978-80); Special Counsel to Governor of Utah, State of Utah (1978-84); Associate, O’Melveny & Myers (1970-76); Law Clerk, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger of the U.S. Supreme Court (1969-70)
University of Utah (BS, Political Science, cum laude-1966); University of Utah (JD-1969)
Select Publications and Speaking Engagements
Invited presenter, “Practical Mindfulness: Clear and Calm in the Heat of Conflict,” Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law, 2019; Invited panelist, “Trial Skills Academy,” Utah State Bar Litigation Section, 2015; presenter, “How to Build a Firm Culture that Handles Conflict Constructively,” Utah State Bar Convention, 2014; book review, “Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Court, Third Edition,” Utah Bar Journal, Vol. 26, No. 6, 2013; keynote address, “It Is Time to Burn the Boats: ‘Twin Crises in the Law,’” University of Utah, Twin Crises in the Law CLE, 2013; presenter, “Preservation and Post-Trial Motions,” Aldon J. Anderson American Inn of Court, 2012; book chapter (with Troy Booher and Katherine Carreau), Utah Appellate Practice, APPELLATE PRACTICE COMPENDIUM, ABA Book Publishing, 2012; book review, “Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Court, Second Edition,” Utah Bar Journal, Vol. 21, No. 2, 2008; “A New Approach to Court Reform,” JUDICATURE, vol. 82, no. 3, November-December 1998; speaker, annual “State of the Judiciary” speech to Utah Legislature, published in 11 Utah Bar Journal 49 (1998), 10 Utah Bar Journal 35 (1997), 9 Utah Bar Journal 27 (1996), 8 Utah Bar Journal 32 (1995), 7 Utah Bar Journal 25 (1994); “Where We Have Been and Where We May Be Headed: Some Thoughts on the Progress of the Utah Judiciary,” 11 Utah Bar Journal 18, 1998; “Remarks Before First 100 Dinner of Utah State Bar, “11 Utah Bar Journal 75, 1998; “Point/Counterpoint: Mandatory Reporting of Pro Bono Service: Why It Is an Issue,” 10 Utah Bar Journal 13, 1997; “Alternative Dispute Resolution and the Utah Courts,” 9 Utah Bar Journal 11, 1996; “Legal Ethics: The Chief Justice Explains Complications,” The Thinker, Utah Valley State College, Center for the Study of Ethics, February 1996; “The Law School Publication Experience–What Is It Worth?,” The Neo-Analyst, September 1990; “Professional Standards Versus Personal Ethics: The Lawyer's Dilemma,” Utah Law Review, vol. 1, 1989; “Some Common Problems of Appellate Advocacy,” The Barrister 1, September-October 1986; “An Inside View of the Utah Supreme Court,” The Barrister 1, January-February 1986; note, “Attempt to Monopolize: The Offense Redefined,” Utah Law Review 704, 1969; case note, “Lack of Statewide Equality in Court Delay Held Not a Denial of Equal Protection,” Utah Law Review 556, 1967.
Admitted to the Bar: California, 1971; Utah, 1978
American Academy of Appellate Lawyers (Member); American Bar Association (Member); American Judicature Society (Board of Directors, Past Member); American Law Institute; Salt Lake County Bar Association; Conference of Chief Justices (Board of Directors, Past Member); Utah Council on Conflict Resolution (Board of Directors, Past Chair) Select Honors, Awards, and/or Professional and Civic Associations Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ (2001-2022); Lawyer of the Year, The Best Lawyers in America® (2021); Mountain States Super Lawyers® (2007-2022), Lawyer of the Year, The Best Lawyers in America® Salt Lake City, Arbitration (2014); The Best Lawyers in America®, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Appellate Practice, Commercial Litigation (2005-2013); Peacekeeper Award Recipient, Utah Council on Conflicts Resolution (2007); Honorary Doctor of Laws, University of Utah (2001); The Peter W. Billings, Sr. Outstanding Dispute Resolution Service Award, American Arbitration Association (1997); Excellence in Ethics Award, Utah Valley State College, Center for the Study of Ethics, inaugural recipient (1994)