Chris Montville's nationwide practice focuses on legal malpractice defense and complex commercial litigation at both the trial and appellate levels. He has successfully defended law firm clients, including large regional and international firms, against claims of malpractice, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty relating to complex underlying cases. His strong history of effectively handling complex commercial disputes for large clients informs his awareness of exactly the types of issues law firms and lawyers may face when dealing with professional liability lawsuits.
Chris has first- and second-chaired jury trials, arbitrations, and administrative hearings. See the "Cases" section for a detailed list of his experience.
Prior to becoming a lawyer, Chris designed and developed financial software systems supporting the international trading and brokerage business for a leading investment bank. He uses this analytical background to plan at the outset the right strategy for each individual matter, from the initial pleadings to trial themes, long before cases reach the courtroom.
Won a complete defense jury verdict in a $12 million legal malpractice case. The jury found in favor of WTO's client on all claims and also awarded unpaid legal fees owed by plaintiffs.
Won a complete defense jury verdict in federal court for a large international law firm accused of malpractice. The plaintiff hired WTO's client to resolve a complex patent infringement matter, then sued the firm for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.
Won a complete jury verdict for a contractor who claimed a Canadian software company failed to pay him amounts due under a contract. The jury, in Douglas County, Colorado, returned a verdict in favor of WTO's client after 22 minutes of deliberation, awarding all the damages the client requested.
Successfully briefed and argued in opposition to an appeal by two Las Vegas automobile dealerships arising from WTO's successful defense of the establishment of a new dealership approved by WTO's client, Chrysler Group.
Secured a favorable outcome for WTO's client in a real estate dispute involving damages claims of more than $8 million. The defendant alleged that WTO's client had defaulted on a personal guaranty related to a Texas real estate development project. Following a five-day trial in federal court in Colorado, the jury awarded only a tenth of the original demand.
Successfully defended Chrysler against a protest filed by two local dealers to stop Chrysler's establishment of a new Las Vegas dealership. A WTO team represented Chrysler through a three-week administrative hearing and subsequent appeal, winning at all levels. This successful establishment was viewed as a test of New Chrysler's ability to expand its dealership network following the economic downturn and termination of almost 800 dealers in Old Chrysler's 2009 bankruptcy. Chapman Las Vegas Dodge, LLC v. Chrysler Group LLC (Nevada).
Defended Chrysler Group against an automobile dealership's allegations of oppressive and unreasonable terms in a letter of intent to enter into a franchise agreement after Chrysler's bankruptcy in a franchise case of national significance. Star Chrysler-Jeep v. Chrysler Group LLC (C.D.Cal. Apr. 9, 2012).
Briefed an appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, resulting in full affirmance of a verdict in favor of WTO's client, Chrysler Group, on a federal statutory issue of first impression stemming from Congress's enactment of Section 747 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010.
Won a preliminary injunction in Georgia for Mercedes-Benz USA in a dealership breach-of-contract dispute involving the sale of a dealership to a proposed buyer that MBUSA did not want as a Mercedes-Benz dealer. Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC v. Star Automobile Co., No. 3:11-cv-73 (CAR), 2011 WL 2175037 (M.D. Ga. Jun. 3, 2011).
Co-managed with one other law firm the response to requests from 418 dealers for arbitration relating to the bankruptcy of Chrysler Group LLC and following Chrysler's termination of those dealerships. WTO litigated 187 of these Section 747 arbitrations, and, as directed by Congress, resolved all of the litigation within seven months.
Obtained partial summary judgment in federal court on behalf of a large national law firm that had been sued for malpractice, aiding and abetting, conspiracy, and violations of RICO. The ruling reduced the damage claim from over $150 million to less than $2 million and paved the way for a favorable settlement of the case.
Represented footwear manufacturer Crocs in nationwide litigation involving allegations of defectively designed footwear and failure to warn with respect to alleged risks associated with wearing the shoes on escalators.
- New York
- U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
Goldman Sachs & Co.
Colorado Rising Stars
Professional Liability, 2014
Business Litigation, 2013
Law Clerk to the Honorable Carlos F. Lucero, United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
Mountain and road biking
Very long hikes