Ms. Windham is a shareholder in Ray Quinney & Nebeker’s Litigation Section and the Vice Chair of the firm’s Women Lawyers Group. Ms. Windham practices commercial litigation involving a wide variety of legal issues. She specializes in securities litigation and complex fraud cases, in which she represent investors and whistleblowers, as well as industry members and unlicensed individuals who are accused of violating federal and state securities laws. Ms. Windham is currently the court-appointed receiver in a case involving an alleged $28M ponzi-scheme. Ms. Windham has acted as trial counsel in several notable FINRA arbitrations on behalf of claimants that resulted in multi-million dollar arbitration awards and settlements for her clients. She has also regularly counseled clients who are the subjects of investigation by the United States Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), or the Utah Division of Securities on the complex legal and business issues involved in the clients’ difficult decisions whether to settle or litigate, including potential criminal consequences. In that regard, Ms. Windham has assisted clients in obtaining the closure of several investigations with no regulatory action, including an investigation by the SEC of alleged insider trading. She has also litigated civil and criminal enforcement cases to successful results or negotiated appropriate settlements.
Ms. Windham also has a special interest and experience in complex environmental law matters. She has represented clients in National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) litigation, environmental permitting and compliance, environmental remediation, and an environmental qui tam fraud case. Ms. Windham holds a Graduate Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law from the S.J. Quinney College of Law.
Ms. Windham maintains an AV Preeminent (4.9) rating with Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating awarded to attorneys for professional competence and ethics. Since 2012, Ms. Windham has been recognized as a “Rising Star” in the category of Securities Litigation by Mountain States Super Lawyers (2012-2017) and has also been voted by her peers throughout the state as one of Utah’s “Legal Elite,” as published in Utah Business Magazine (2012-2014, 2017). During law school, Ms. Windham spent a summer as a law clerk with the SEC.
Ms. Windham leads the firm’s Signature Pro Bono Project, through which the firm provides free legal counsel to unrepresented defendants in court at the weekly Office of Recovery Services civil order to show cause calendar.
SELECTED REPORTED CASES
- Jack Phillips v. Dep’t of Commerce, Div. of Securities, 2017 UT App 84, __P.3d __. Obtained reversal by the Utah Court of Appeals of the entire sum of improperly assessed civil penalties in the amount of $413,750 against client. The Court of Appeals directed the Commission to impose a fine in accordance with factors identified in the Utah Administrative Code and the prohibition of the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution on excessive fines. Significantly, the Court of Appeals clarified that Utah Securities Commission cannot lawfully charge an “investor loss” civil penalty plus an “investigative costs” civil penalty in addition to a “fine” for violations of the Utah Securities Act.
- SEC v. Marquis Properties, LLC et al., Case No. 2:16-cv-00040-JNP (Maria E. Windham appointed receiver).
- United States ex rel. Lemmon v. Envirocare of Utah, Inc., 614 F.3d 1163 (10th Cir. 2010) Obtained reversal on appeal of trial court’s decision dismissing the qui tam relator’s complaint for failure to plead fraud with particularity. The Tenth Circuit found the complaint was sufficient to plead an implied certification theory of fraud on the federal government.
- United States v. Clarkson, 551 F.3d 1196 (10th Cir. 2009); United States v. Clarkson, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53113 (D. Utah, June 10, 2009). As appointed CJA appellate counsel, obtained Tenth Circuit reversal and remand of criminal conviction on the basis that the trial court failed to consider evidence that the police dog who triggered the vehicle search at issue was not qualified to be used as a drug dog. On remand, the trial court found the police dog was not qualified and excluded the evidence from the improper search.
S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah, J.D., 2005
- Order of the Coif
- Managing Editor, UTAH LAW REVIEW
- Graduate Certificate in Natural Resources and Environmental Law
- William H. Leary Scholar
University of Utah, B.S., Geography, 2002
- summa cum laude
- Certificate in Urban Planning
Prior Professional Experience
- Law Clerk to Justice Matthew B. Durrant, Utah Supreme Court
- Law Clerk, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, Summer 2003
Admitted to Practice
- Utah State Bar
- Utah Supreme Court
- United States District Court for the District of Utah
- United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
Affiliations / Memberships
- Women Lawyers of Utah
- Member, Securities Section of the Utah State Bar
- Member, Natural Resource Section of the Utah State Bar
Professional and Civic Activities
- Secretary, Securities Section of the Utah State Bar
Publications / Presentations
- Speaker, The Art of Civil Trial Objections (and Responses), National Business Institute, June 24, 2016
- Statutes of Limitations: Utah, Practical Law (2015, 2016)
- Note, Finding the Line Between Action and Inaction, SUWA v. Norton and Judicial Review of Statutory Land Management Standards, Utah Law Review (2004)
- Development, Multipurpose Vehicle Checkpoints Are Unreasonable Seizures under the Utah Consititution, Utah Law Review (2004)