Tyson E. Hafen practices primarily in business and commercial litigation with a focus in banking, contractual disputes and insurance coverage related matters. His recent victories include obtaining a complete defense verdict in a $5 million jury trial, prevailing on an appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court, recovering defense fees and costs, and winning numerous dispositive motions resulting in dismissals of entire actions. Tyson concentrates his practice in representing the financial services industry, which includes international and community banks, loan service companies, and insurance companies. His insurance coverage practice includes representation of insurers in high-stakes coverage litigation arising from construction, environmental, and product liability claims. Tyson has jury trial experience and has represented clients in state, federal, and tribal courts.
Tyson is a 2012 cum laude graduate of the University of Utah with dual J.D. and M.B.A. degrees. He was an editor of the Utah Environmental Law Review and served as an extern to Justice Jill N. Parrish of the Utah Supreme Court. Tyson is a 2009 graduate, with highest honors, of Brigham Young University, where he studied economics and completed internships with U.S. Senator Orrin G. Hatch and the Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives.
Tyson was elected in 2021 to the Firm’s Associates Committee. He is currently serving as Chairman of American Bar Association’s Young Lawyer’s Business Law Committee, and as Chairman of the State Bar of Nevada’s Insurance Coverage Sub-Section. Tyson is also currently serving on the Executive Board of the Las Vegas Chapter of the Inn of Court and on the University of Utah School of Business’ Alumni Executive Board.
Areas of Practice
- Business and Commercial Litigation
- Insurance Coverage
- Banking and Consumer Finance
- Media Law
Represented a nationwide physician practice group in obtaining a $0, no liability defense verdict in Clark County, Nevada, where the plaintiff had presented claims under various medical billing statutes and made demands for monetary damages and lost wages against the client.
Represented Zurich American Insurance Company in a U.S. District Court of Nevada coverage action in which the Wolfgang Puck Restaurant Management Group sought over $50 million in damages due to alleged business interruption losses at its hundreds of restaurants worldwide resulting from closures and government restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Court granted Zurich’s motion to dismiss and entered judgment in its favor, determining that Wolfgang Puck could not show any losses or damages covered under the policy.
Represented GEICO in a prevailing writ of mandamus before the Supreme Court of Nevada, which invalidated a statute, on constitutional separation of powers grounds, that had permitted plaintiffs’ lawyers or their representatives to attend independent medical exams, which can affect the independence of the exam and lead to mischief and intimidation by the plaintiffs’ bar.
- Represented Devine Holdings, LLC in its sale of three new medical marijuana dispensary licenses to Harvest Health & Recreation Inc., Arizona’s largest cannabis operator, including an undisclosed amount of cash, stock and other consideration.
- Represented NYX Gaming Group Ltd., a digital gaming software company, as part of the legal team in connection with its $631 million sale to Scientific Games Corporation, a global leader in technology-based gaming systems.
- Representing Liberty Mutual Insurance Company in a combination of suits involving insurance law under the Navajo common law, federal law and Arizona state court law in relation to a sacred Navajo site, Canyon de Chelly, and alleged environmental contamination.
- Represented client an action filed by the founders of the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival, asserting trademark infringement in a case of first-impression, as no court had addressed whether the marketing of cannabis related products can result in infringement of a federally registered trademark.
- Member of the trial team representing pharmaceutical client in a trade secret misappropriation suit concerning RNA interference technology. Resolved before trial on terms the client found favorable.
- Represented major communications company in obtaining a motion to dismiss in the Nevada District Court, by successfully arguing the client was immune from liability under the Communications Decency Act for allegedly hosting websites containing information regarding an expunged criminal conviction.
- Represented a national bank in voidable transfer litigation with a bankruptcy trustee.
- Represented a car wash company in defeating class certification as well as the unsuitability of the class representative in a wage and hour class action, in which it was alleged that workers were forced to perform labor when off-the-clock, were denied meal and rest breaks, were denied overtime, and were forced to wait on premises, off-the-clock, until they were permitted to clock-in.
- Defeated a plaintiff’s untimely motion for leave to amend its complaint in a major COVID-19 related business interruption case, arguing that plaintiff failed to satisfy Rules 15 and 16 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
- Enforced a choice of venue and law clause, defeating a motion to transfer, in an action concerning the breach of a master services agreement.
- Defended national bank in federal putative class action alleging FCRA violation following bankruptcy discharge.
- Represented cannabis dispensary company in putative securities class action litigation in federal court.
- Defended employee-owners of cannabis-entity against complex petition seeking a workplace violence restraining order. Successful defense and denial of petition.
- Represented telecommunications company in federal court litigation against social networking company for trademark infringement and reverse confusion in violation of the Lanham Act.
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Arizona
- U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada
- U.S. District Court for the District of Utah
- U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona
- U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- Supreme Court of the United States
- University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2012
- Executive Text Editor, Utah Environmental Law Review
- University of Utah David Eccles School of Business, M.B.A., 2012
- Brigham Young University, B.S., with highest honors, 2009
- Co-Editor, BYU Pre-Law Review
- Duane Morris LLP
- Associate, 2016-present
- Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP
- Associate, 2014-2016
- Alverson Taylor Mortensen & Sanders
- Associate, 2012-2014
- Utah Supreme Court
- Extern to Justice Jill N. Parrish, 2010
- United States Senate
- Intern to U.S. Senator Orrin G. Hatch, 2009
- Utah State Legislature
- Intern to Speaker of the House David Clark, 2008
American Bar Association
- Chairman, Business Law Section, Young Lawyers Division
- Young Lawyer Liaison, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section
- Nevada Delegate, Young Lawyer 2020 General Assembly
State Bar of Nevada
- Chairman - Insurance Coverage Sub-Section
- Executive Board Member/Treasurer - Insurance Law Section
University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business
- Alumni Executive Board Member
- Ambassador - Las Vegas Regional Alumni Network
American Inn of Court, Howard D. McKibben Las Vegas Chapter
- Executive Board Member
- Barrister Representative
- J. Reuben Clark Law Society
- Clark County Bar Association
- Vegas Young Professionals
Honors and Awards
- Listed in Super Lawyers Mountain States Rising Stars, 2022
- Named to Best Lawyers "Ones to Watch," 2022
Co-Author, “Nevada Property Related Insurance Law (Chapter 11),” Nevada Real Property Practice and Procedure Manual, October 2021
- Co-author, "Economic Assistance for California Residents and Businesses During COVID-19," Duane Morris Alert, April 20, 2020
- Author, "Nevada Courts Issue Emergency Orders to Combat the Spread of COVID-19," Duane Morris COVID-19 Blog, April 8, 2020
Co-author, “Product Liability: Warnings, Instructions, and Recalls: Nevada," DRI, April 2019
Selected Speaking Engagements
- Panelist, "Big I Industry Focus and Associate Business Development," Duane Morris Annual Meeting, General Session, Boca Raton, FL, October 19, 2019
- Presenter, "Expert Evidence," Howard D. McKibben Inn of Court, Las Vegas, NV, May 8, 2018
- Presenter, "Voting Rights and the 15th, 19th, 22nd, 24th, and 26th Amendments," Howard D. McKibben Inn of Court, Las Vegas, NV, October, 18 2016