Address: 1029 West 3rd Avenue Suite 510, Anchorage, AK 99501
Lawyer Firm: Gruenstein, Hickey, Havelock & Duffy
|Areas of Practice|
Brian Duffy graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law in 2002, and then moved to Alaska to clerk for a Superior Court judge and joined the Alaska Bar. Early in his career, Brian focused on obtaining the elemental skill set of a lawyer: developing facts, analyzing the law, presenting arguments, and counseling clients. He argued in court nearly every day, fighting traffic tickets, getting restraining orders, resolving child custody disputes, and contesting DUI and misdemeanor assaults charges. He then joined a public defense agency to get more litigation experience, carrying a felony trial case load and then an appellate/post-conviction relief case load. He conducted investigations, developed case theories, negotiated settlements, and made arguments. After every court order, jury verdict, or appellate decision, Brian would evaluate how he had assessed the case at the start, what factors were beyond his control, and what he could have done differently. Brian worked towards perfecting the craft of lawyering and honed his legal judgment and practices which he continues to this day.
In 2009, Brian formed a new firm with senior lawyer John Havelock who had a corporate and litigation practice. Brian learned several new areas of law while continuing to litigate cases, including commercial disputes involving breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and misrepresentation, unfair trade practices and misappropriation of trade secrets. Brian has litigated several real property boundary disputes, including developing a comfort level with the complex issues connected with waterfront property. Brian enjoys seeking and defending against claims for injunctive relief where his comfort in the courtroom and legal judgment are particularly valuable. Since 2009, in addition to his litigation practice, Brian has provided ongoing commercial, corporate governance, employment, and real property advice to businesses, including several Alaska Native village corporations.
Brian is particularly proud of his efforts to obtain the following litigation results:
In 2006, Brian won an acquittal on a felony drug possession charge where the police found drugs stuffed in the back seat of a police car after transporting Brian’s client. In a reported appellate decision, Williams v. State, 151 P.3d 460 (Alaska Ct. App. 2006), Brian successfully argued bail statute restricting the court’s authority to tailor bail conditions to specific circumstances violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Alaska Constitution. In a reported appellate decision, Ortiz v. State, 173 P.3d 430 (Alaska Ct. App. 2007), Brian successfully argued that a retroactive application of a restitution statute violated the Ex Post Facto Clause of the Alaska Constitution. In 2010, after a trial, Brian convinced a Superior Court judge to invalidate a deed of trust and promissory note fraudulently obtained for the benefit of a self-dealing real estate agent. In 2012, Brian obtained a preliminary injunction from a Superior Court judge, invalidating corporate proxies obtained by a group of dissident shareholders making false and misleading statements. In 2014, after a trial, Brian convinced a Superior Court judge to order that a young Inupiat boy be returned to his family in the custody of his grandfather, rather than continue to live in a distant foster home. In 2017, after a trial, Brian convinced a Superior Court judge to enter an injunction requiring the removal of a dock extension that interfered with Brian’s client’s use and enjoyment of their lake front home.
Brian is particularly proud of his work done assisting companies to reach their objectives, including the following issues:
Corporate Governance: Brian worked with several village corporation board of directors to develop board policies and procedures to assist with board operations and help directors understand and be effective in their roles. Brian has advised boards and management concerning subsidiary structures and their relationships with each other. Brian has served as an independent election official for shareholder meetings. Brian advises Alaska Native village corporations and shareholders concerning proxy solicitation laws and corporate elections.Commercial Transactions and Business Law Matters: Brian has advised companies regarding contract negotiation management and disputes, and debt collection and insolvency. Brian has worked with clients to standardize routine legal functions increasing effectiveness and reducing costs. Brian has worked with numerous businesses to help them buy or sell stock or assets, take on partners, and negotiate and document other significant transactions.Employee Relations: Brian worked with employers to help them revise, update and apply their employee policies. Brian has counseled employers concerning contractual issues, protection of trade secrets, concerns about unfair competition, claims of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, and termination decisions. Brian has conducted several sensitive internal investigations that have assisted in defusing potential costly situations. Brian has also counseled and advocated for unions and employees in conflict with employers.
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