Secured Motion to Dismiss for High-Profile Client in Alleged Abuse Case

May 14, 2024

On May 9, a Utah Court dismissed the case against Katherine Ballard with prejudice under Utah’s newly enacted Uniform Public Expression Protection Act (UPEPA) (Utah Code 78B-27-101 et seq.). Armstrong Teasdale attorneys Trinity Jordan, Brennan H. Moss and Jordan Westgate represented Ballard, along with Bienert Katzman Littrell Williams LLP (BKLW) attorneys Thomas H. Bienert, Jr., Alexis Paschedag Federico, Nancy J. Sandoval and Paralegal Toni Thomas, in the case, which is one of the first court decisions applying the UPEPA.

Plaintiff Celeste Borys sued Mrs. Ballard after Mrs. Ballard appeared on two podcasts and spoke in defense of her husband, Tim Ballard, the founder and former CEO of an anti-child trafficking organization who is a defendant in multiple cases involving his anti-trafficking work.

The Court agreed that Mrs. Ballard was exercising her right to speak on matters of public concern and thus the claims against her fell within the ambit of the UPEPA. Because Borys failed to present prima facie evidence in support of her claims against Mrs. Ballard, Third District Court Judge Todd Shaughnessy dismissed all claims against Mrs. Ballard.

“We were pleased with Judge Shaughnessy’s decision, making this case one of the first of its kind under the newly enacted UPEPA statute,” said Trinity Jordan. “We anticipate that other Utahans will have their rights protected similarly through UPEPA when they are unnecessarily dragged into litigation for speaking out and exercising their right to voice their opinion.”

“This is the first time the plaintiffs in the cases against Tim and Katherine have been required to show actual evidence to support their claims in court and they were unwilling or unable to do so,” said Alexis Paschedag Federico. “We’re grateful that the Court in this case followed the law and dismissed the case as a result.”

Borys was also ordered to pay Mrs. Ballard’s reasonable costs and attorneys’ fees related to the dismissal motion.  

Contact Us
  • Worldwide
  • Boston, MA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Denver, CO
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Edwardsville, IL
  • Jefferson City, MO
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • London, England
  • Miami, FL
  • New York, NY
  • Orange County, CA
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Princeton, NJ
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Wilmington, DE
Worldwide
abstract image of world map
Boston, MA
800 Boylston St.
30th Floor
Boston, MA 02199
Google Maps
Boston, Massachusetts
Chicago, IL
100 North Riverside Plaza
Suite 1500
Chicago, IL 60606-1520
Google Maps
Chicago, Illinois
Denver, CO
4643 S. Ulster St.
Suite 800
Denver, CO 80237
Google Maps
Denver, Colorado
Dublin, Ireland
Fitzwilliam Hall, Fitzwilliam Place
Dublin 2, Ireland
Google Maps
Edwardsville, IL
115 N. Second St.
Edwardsville, IL 62025
Google Maps
Edwardsville, Illinois
Jefferson City, MO
101 E. High St.
First Floor
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Google Maps
Jefferson City, Missouri
Kansas City, MO
2345 Grand Blvd.
Suite 1500
Kansas City, MO 64108
Google Maps
Kansas City, Missouri
Las Vegas, NV
7160 Rafael Rivera Way
Suite 320
Las Vegas, NV 89113
Google Maps
Las Vegas, Nevada
London, England
Royal College of Surgeons of England
38-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London, WC2A 3PE
Google Maps
Miami, FL
355 Alhambra Circle
Suite 1200
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Google Maps
Photo of Miami, Florida
New York, NY
7 Times Square, 44th Floor
New York, NY 10036
Google Maps
New York City skyline
Orange County, CA
19800 MacArthur Boulevard
Suite 300
Irvine, CA 92612
Google Maps
Philadelphia, PA
2005 Market Street
29th Floor, One Commerce Square
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Google Maps
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Princeton, NJ
100 Overlook Center
Second Floor
Princeton, NJ 08540
Google Maps
Princeton, New Jersey
Salt Lake City, UT
222 South Main St.
Suite 1830
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Google Maps
Salt Lake City, Utah
St. Louis, MO
7700 Forsyth Blvd.
Suite 1800
St. Louis, MO 63105
Google Maps
St. Louis, Missouri
Washington, D.C.
1717 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20006
Google Maps
Photo of Washington, D.C. with the Capitol in the foreground and Washington Monument in the background.
Wilmington, DE
1007 North Market Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
Google Maps
Wilmington, Delaware