Over 999,000 readers this year!

Ranch owner’s lawyer off corner-crossing case, now with Wyoming AG

Greg Weisz, who filed hundreds of pages of legal papers in failed lawsuit, no longer represents Elk Mountain Ranch owner Fred Eshelman and now works in the Wyoming Attorney General’s water and natural resources division.

Greg Weisz outside the federal courthouse in Casper. (Angus M. Thuermer, Jr./WyoFile)

by Angus M. Thuermer Jr., WyoFile

The longtime attorney for the owner of the Elk Mountain Ranch is off the corner-crossing trespass case and now works in the Wyoming Attorney General’s office.

“My switch was entirely unrelated to the corner-crossing case,” Greg Weisz said Monday. “It was a personal decision.”

After 30 years in private practice, Weisz said, he sought a change. He has been in the attorney general’s office for three weeks, he said, working in the water and natural resources division.

Megan Overmann Goetz, an attorney with Pence and MacMillan where Weisz had worked, filed Weisz’s withdrawal notice in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and now represents the firm in the ongoing civil suit.

Representing Eshelman, Weisz in 2022 sued four Missouri hunters for trespassing after they “corner crossed” to hunt on public land on Elk Mountain. The men never touched Eshelman’s Elk Mountain Ranch land as they stepped  from one section of public land to another, over a four way corner shared with two parcels of private land, in 2020 and 2021.

Eshelman and his Iron Bar Holdings company claimed that passing through airspace above the Carbon County ranch property was trespassing but lost that lawsuit last year. “Corner crossing on foot in the checkerboard pattern of land ownership without physically contacting private land and without causing damage to private property does not constitute an unlawful trespass,” Wyoming’s Chief U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl wrote.

Eshelman has appealed to the 10th Circuit where Weisz’s exit notice was filed last month.

The Pence and MacMillan firm Weisz worked for represented Eshelman beginning in 2005, the year the North Carolina pharma multi-millionaire formed Iron Bar Holdings LLC and bought the Elk Mountain Ranch. A real estate company that advertised the ranch said two lawsuits protect the ranch and its enclosed public property from public access like corner crossing. Judge Skavdahl rejected that assertion.

Ranch property specialist

Weisz said in 2022 that he specialized in real estate, easements and ranch property. As a witness in the separate Carbon County criminal trial of the hunters that year, he described the boundaries of Elk Mountain Ranch, said it surrounded public land and that Iron Bar “owns and controls the corners.” The jury found the men not guilty.

Weisz told the jury he had been an attorney for 27 years. He earned his law degree from the University of Wyoming in 1995 and was admitted to practice in front of the 10th Circuit.

In three separate courts over two years, Weisz filed hundreds of pages of complaints, motions, responses and pleadings for Eshelman and Iron Bar. When Skavdahl ruled against Eshelman in the civil suit against the hunters, a new law firm joined Iron Bar’s legal efforts.

On June 9 last year, Eshelman appealed his loss to the 10th Circuit as Denver attorneys Kristin Arthur and Theresa Wardon Benz joined the case. They represented Iron Bar for slightly longer than a month.

Iron Bar then signed on a new team specializing in appeals. It made Eshelman’s opening appeal arguments in November.

That team of three works for Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, which has offices in Denver, Washington, D.C. and other cities. The team includes R. Reeves Anderson who graduated from North Carolina State University as valedictorian.

Another member is Sean A. Mirski, who works in the firm’s D.C. office, clerked for Supreme Court Justice Alito and Justice Brett Kavanaugh when the latter was on the bench of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Brian Williams, a magna-cum-laude BYU alum, is the third member. He earned his law degree at Georgetown Law Center.

— Tennessee Watson contributed to this story.

This article was originally published by WyoFile and is republished here with permission. WyoFile is an independent nonprofit news organization focused on Wyoming people, places and policy.