Jill Haley Penwarden, a Partner in Rimon’s Litigation group, has two decades of experience representing and defending sports and recreation providers in high-stakes litigation. She has represented clients including ski areas, golf course operators, mountain bike parks, and cruise ship operators in California and federal trial and appellate courts, as well as in arbitration and mediation. Ms. Penwarden also serves her clients as an advisor on risk management and insurance matters. She has completed a 40-hour mediation training, works as a private mediator, and acts as a volunteer mediator in the Nevada County courts.
Ms. Penwarden is an author and industry expert on risk management and litigation related-topics as they relate to the sports and recreation field, and is a regular speaker at sports and recreation industry conferences throughout the country. She has been profiled in Skiing Magazine and Ms. JD’s Attorneys Across America, and quoted in publications including the Los Angeles Times and espn.com on issues involving recreational risk.
Representative Matters include:
- Obtained summary judgment for a ski area client in wrongful death case where a snowboarder slipped, fell, and suffered fatal injuries while hiking to expert terrain near the ski area boundary. Briefed the issues to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal and preserved summary judgment on appeal.
- Obtained defense jury verdict for a ski area client against a claim by a snowboarder that it was legally responsible for his spinal cord injury. Briefed the issues to the California Third District Court of Appeal and preserved defense verdict. Verdict for client was named one of California’s “Top 10 Defense Verdicts of 2006” by the Los Angeles Daily Journal.
- Obtained summary judgment in recreational injury cases for sports and recreation clients on the basis of assumption of risk in a variety of contexts, including skiing, snowboarding, and mountain biking injuries. Claimed injuries at issue included traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Drafted successful appellate briefs in state and federal courts of appeal to preserve trial court judgments for clients.
- Drafted three Amicus Curiae briefs to the California Supreme Court regarding primary assumption of risk, an issue crucially important to recreational providers.
- Represented recreational providers in litigation, resolution, and implementation of remediation plans in connection with Americans With Disabilities Act claims.
- Drafted athlete sponsorship agreements.
- Represented a cruise ship line in employment litigation brought by on-board performers.
- Represented an online retailer in defense and coordination of multi-district internet privacy litigation.
- Represented major securities firm in fraudulent conveyance trial and securities arbitration arising from margin trading by foreign investor.
- Represented compressed gas manufacturer regarding plant destroyed by ammonium nitrate explosion at neighboring fertilizer plant.
Memberships & Associations
- Association of Ski Defense Attorneys
- Judge Pro Tem, Nevada County Superior Court
- Mediator, Conflict Resolution Center of Nevada County
- Tahoe-Truckee Bar Association, Past President
- Sierra Expeditionary Learning School, Former Founding Board Member and Corporate Secretary
- Adventure Risk Challenge, Advisory Committee Member
News, Events, & Insights
Insurance Coverage and the Coronavirus
Insights March 31, 2020
The CARES Act
Insights March 30, 2020
Partial Victory for Major League Baseball as California Court Dismisses Class Action Claims Against Teams Outside California
Insights April 27, 2016
Employment Laws Simplified. Quick review of Federal and California state employment and labor laws that employers need to comply with as they grow
Insights February 06, 2016
The Danger Zone: What legal responsibility does Major League Baseball have to protect fans from foul balls and broken bats?
Insights January 11, 2016
Rimon’s Law360 article: If a non-English speaking customer signs your release, does it count?
Insights November 12, 2015