Christina (Rimkus) Denning, who has been in practice since 2000, joined Higgs Fletcher & Mack as a partner in 2011 after maintaining a practice in construction law, business litigation and personal injury. She litigates a wide array of disputes from the claim stage through arbitration or trial and post-judgment collection efforts. Her experience includes:
Representation of general contractors, subcontractors, developers and owners regarding a diverse spectrum of matters involving both public works and private development. These disputes often concern contract terms, design issues, delay claims, insurance coverage, mechanic’s liens, stop notices, Cal/OSHA citations, CSLB complaints, licensing issues, recovering against payment and performance bonds, change orders and liquidated damages. Ms. Denning is committed to counseling clients regarding all of their legal concerns, including drafting construction contracts and other construction documents in a way that mitigates exposure.
Representative Construction Transactional Engagements:
- Negotiation, on behalf of owner/lessee aviation services, of a $40 million construction contract to build a new facility.
- Negotiation, on behalf of owner, of a $75 million construction contract to build luxury high-rise condominiums.
- Negotiation, on behalf of developer/contractor, of a $55 million construction contract to build over 200 residential homes.
- Prepare and revise contract and related documents for general contractors and subcontractors.
Representative Construction Litigation Engagements:
- Defense of subcontractor regarding general contractor’s claim for $1 million in damages arising out of refusals to execute subcontracts on two Federal projects.
- Representation of developer client against public entity regarding $2.5 million dispute concerning sewer project.
- Representation of window subcontractor regarding owner’s claim for $300,000 for alleged defective window installation and alleged loss of building use.
- Representation of developer in litigation regarding dispute with neighboring HOA who claimed $250,000 in damages due to soil instability.
- Appeal and negotiation of Cal/OSHA citation for employer arising out of a jobsite fatality.
- Negotiation and settlement of CSLB accusations for general contractor.
Ms. Denning has vast litigation experience, including jury trials, bench trials and arbitration. At the onset of any dispute, Ms. Denning works with her clients to prepare a cost-effective, efficient strategy to meet her clients’ goals. She consults with clients throughout the process and gives regular updates on costs and potential outcomes.
Representative Litigation Engagements:
- Representation of partnership regarding numerous claims for fraud and unfair business practices relating to club membership deposits.
- Representation of property owner in dispute over enforceability of CC&Rs.
- Representation of majority shareholder regarding minority shareholder’s claim for breach of fiduciary duty.
Ms. Denning has a passion for representing plaintiffs who have suffered personal and financial injuries, including claims for wrongful death, elder abuse, fraudulent transfers of assets, automobile accidents, defective roadway design, premises liability, fraud, civil assault/battery and other injuries. Ms. Denning has been interviewed by local news stations regarding her cases, as well as to provide expert legal opinions.
Representative Plaintiff’s Litigation Matters:
- Pursue civil rights and wrongful death claims on behalf of spouse and children of an unarmed man who was shot and killed by the police department.
- Pursue civil rights claims on behalf of unarmed man who was excessively tased and subsequently suffered permanent bodily damage, resulting in amputation of both legs below the knees and amputation of portions of his fingers.
- Pursue wrongful death claim on behalf of spouse and daughter of a man who was killed during a police vehicle pursuit.
- Pursue wrongful death claim on behalf of children of decedent who was shot by a neighbor over a land dispute.
- Representation of auto accident victims who suffer all types of injuries, from minor injuries to fatal ones.
- Representation of minor who sustained serious injuries resulting from dog bites and attack.
Originally from Saint Louis, Missouri, Ms. Denning attended Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University), where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She received her Juris Doctorate from Willamette University, School of Law, in Salem, Oregon, where she worked in various areas of litigation as a law clerk during all three years of law school. Ms. Denning enjoys sharing her litigation experience by mentoring associate attorneys, interns and law clerks.
In her spare time, Ms. Denning enjoys reading, running, golfing, cooking, snowboarding and spending time with her “Little Sister” through the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.
Schedule Your Consultation with Christina Denning
- HFM Construction Department Event: “Get Paid – Not Screwed,” June 2011
- Law Review CLE Seminar: “Discovery & Evidence in the Era of Social Media,” August 2011
- HFM Construction Department Event: “Loss Prevention,” September 2011
- Barney & Barney/HFM Event: “Bonding Fundamentals and Marketing Trends for 2012,” March 2012
- NAWIC/HFM Seminar: “Mechanics Liens 2012 – Important New Laws,” June 2012
- HFM Construction Department Event: “Weathering the Changes in 2012 and Preparing for 2013,” October 2012
- NAWIC/HFM Seminar: “Indemnity Law Changes,” March 2013
- ABC/HFM Seminar: “Indemnity Law Changes,” May 2013
- NAWIC Lunch and Learn: “Top 5 Disputed Construction Contract Provisions,” May 2013
- ABC/HFM: “Risky Business – Best Practices for Liability Prevention in the New Normal,” September 2013
- NAWIC/HFM: “Risky Business – Best Practices for Liability Prevention in the New Normal,” February 2014
- Old Republic/HFM Safety Symposium: “Limiting Your Liabilities in Construction,” June 2014
- CW Driver Safety Summit: “Limiting Your Liabilities in Construction,” June 2014
- San Diego Surety Association: “Surety Industry Concerns Regarding Indemnity and Affiliations,” November 2015
- Dynalectric San Diego, Mechanic’s Lien Law Basics, November 2016.
- YPC Young Professional of the Month – October 2011
- San Diego Daily Transcript Young Influential – May 2012
- San Diego Magazine Woman of the Year Finalist – September 2012
- Super Lawyers Rising Star – January 2015
- San Diego Business Journal Best of the Bar – April 2015
- San Diego Business Journal Women Who Mean Business Finalist – November 2016
In the News
I want to share with you some information about a new law that affects indemnity provisions in construction contracts. Starting January 1, 2013, upper tier contractors can no longer require lower tier contractors to defend and indemnify them for their act of negligence. Lower tiers are still required to defend and indemnify for passive negligence, and there are some new and important rules regarding tendering defense costs. Whether you are an owner, general contractor or a subcontractor, make sure you know your rights and responsibilities under the new law.
Having regularly represented clients in Cal/OSHA investigations and citation appeals, there are a few things you need to know about jobsite accidents. First, you need to know what to do after a jobsite accident. Second, I can give you some tips for dealing with investigations. Lastly, I can explain a few things you should consider about citations and civil liability.