Merlyn Clark has more than 45 years of experience managing complex civil litigation in state and federal courts, before administrative agencies and arbitration panels. He has argued more than 30 cases before the Idaho Supreme Court. He focuses his litigation practice on civil litigation involving real property, contracts, business and commercial law, administrative law, and corporate and partnership disputes. Mr. Clark also serves as a Special Deputy Attorney General for the State of Idaho providing services in select matters to the Idaho Department of Risk Management, Idaho Department of Administration, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, State Board of Land Commissioners, and Idaho Department of Lands.
Mr. Clark has an extensive practice in alternative dispute resolution as an advocate for clients and as an arbitrator and Certified Professional Mediator. He serves as Chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Group. He is on the rosters of approved mediators for the United States District Court, District of Idaho, and all Idaho state courts. He is on the National Roster of Commercial Arbitrators and Mediators and the National Roster of Employment Arbitrators and Mediators of the American Arbitration Association. He is also on the roster of National Arbitration & Mediation ADR Services. He has mediated more than 700 disputes involving a broad range of claims and issues and has presided as the sole arbitrator or as a panel member in more than 50 arbitration proceedings.
Mr. Clark regularly serves as an expert witness on issues involving legal malpractice, ethics, and fee disputes. He serves as an administrative hearing officer for the Idaho Transportation Department, a court appointed special discovery master, and a Small Lawsuit Resolution Act proceeding evaluator.
Mr. Clark teaches judges and lawyers on evidence law and civil procedure. He served as the chairman and reporter of the Idaho Evidence Rules Committee that drafted the Idaho Rules of Evidence. He also served as chairman and reporter of the Idaho Uniform Mediation Act Committee that resulted in the amendment of Idaho Evidence Rule 507 by the Idaho Supreme Court and adoption of the Uniform Mediation Act by the Idaho Legislature in 2008.
Before joining Hawley Troxell in 1979, Mr. Clark conducted a private practice in Lewiston, Idaho and served as the Nez Perce County Prosecuting Attorney from 1974-76.
Represented Plaintiff, Hells Canyon Excursions, Inc., in an action against individuals who traveled 90 miles by jet boat at night on the Snake River from Heller Bar near Asotin, WA to Willow Creek, just below Hells Canyon Dam, and set fire to Plaintiff’s guest lodge and bunk houses. After 10 years of investigation and preparation and two months of trial, a jury awarded compensatory and punitive damages to Plaintiff. Mr. Clark then prosecuted claims against the insurer of one of the defendants and recovered the verdict and attorney fees for Plaintiff.
Defended certain Justices and Justices Pro Tem of the Idaho Supreme Court who were sued in federal court by Idaho school districts in an attempt to force the Court to order the Idaho Legislature to provide additional funding for schools. The case was dismissed.
Defended the Idaho Department of Administration and certain employees who were sued in state court by a vendor of electronic communications systems for alleged breach of contract, violation of procurement laws, and tortuous interference with economic opportunity. The case was dismissed and is now on appeal before the Idaho Supreme Court.
Defended URS Federal Services, Inc. (formerly Lear Siegler Services, Inc.) in a class action by more than 4,000 contract mechanics for alleged unpaid hours worked in Iraq. The case was settled after most of the members of the class were decertified by the federal court.
Defended the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare in an action by a vendor who claimed it was entitled to payment of several millions of dollars for software that was either non-functional or not timely delivered. The case was dismissed.
Defended the Idaho Board of Land Commissioners and Idaho Department of Lands in actions filed in the Idaho Supreme Court by the Idaho Attorney General and in state court by cottage site lessees on Payette and Priest Lakes. The Supreme Court action was dismissed and the state court action is pending.
Represented the Ada County Highway District in an appeal to the Idaho Supreme Court against Idaho Power Company and the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to challenge the validity of an order of the Commission. The order was declared void.
Represented a partner in an action against his brother to dissolve a family partnership. The case was resolved with a favorable judgment for the client that was affirmed on appeal.
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Civil Litigation
- Appellate Practice
- Discovery Master
- Administrative Hearing Officer
- Expert Witness
Law School: University of Idaho, J.D., 1964
Idaho Law Review, member, 1963-1964
Undergraduate: University of Idaho, Business Administration, 1957-1961
Idaho Fish & Wildlife Foundation, Board of Directors, member
Women’s & Children’s Alliance, Board of Directors, member
Idaho Partners Against Domestic Violence, co-chair, 1994-2009
Instructor of evidence and civil procedure for the Idaho State Judiciary at the annual New Judges Orientation and the Annual Judicial Conference since 1992.
Adjunct Instructor of Trial Advocacy at University of Idaho College of Law since 1996.
Adjunct Professor of Negotiation and Settlement Advocacy, The Straus Institute For Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law, 2000.
Adjunct Instructor of Negotiation Skills at University of Idaho College of Law, 2000.
Adjunct Instructor of Mediation Advocacy at University of Idaho College of Law, 2002.
Adjunct Instructor of Effective Advocacy in Arbitration, The Northwest Institute For Dispute Resolution, University of Idaho College of Law, 2000 and 2002.
Adjunct Instructor of Arbitrator Skills at Northwest Institute for Dispute Resolution, University of Idaho College of Law, 2009.