What We Do

Business Law

We provide a variety of services to our business clients, including:

  • Preparation of agreements
  • Entity formation
  • Purchase and sale agreements
  • Real estate purchase and leasing
  • Land use and zoning
  • Funding and financing agreements
  • Vendor/customer agreements
  • Non-compete and non-disclosure agreements
  • Construction contracts
  • Employment law counseling and litigation

We pursue and defend and wide range of commercial litigation and contract disputes in all of these areas as well as eviction and collection of delinquent accounts. We help companies assess their options and make decisions consistent with their goals.

Wills, Trusts, and Probate

Estate planning is an effective way to protect your family in the event of sudden injury, disability or death. Careful estate planning — through the use of wills, trusts, powers of attorney, living wills and other estate tools — can accomplish a number of important goals, including:

  • Protecting your assets
  • Avoiding uncertainty that can cause family conflicts
  • Minimizing your exposure to estate taxes
  • Distributing your assets to your intended beneficiaries
  • Respecting your healthcare wishes should you become incapacitated

We can help you with wills, trusts, guardianships, conservatorships, powers of attorney and living wills and health care directives. We also help resolve probate disputes and, when necessary, represent clients in probate litigation.

Taking proper care when planning your estate is one of the best ways to protect your family's welfare, ensure your wishes are followed, and reduce estate taxes. We give practical advice with sensitivity and compassion. Our experience working with clients from a variety of economic backgrounds is an asset—we tailor estate plans to fit your distinct financial circumstances and provide valuable insight regarding what options best suit your needs.

Contract Law

Contracts are legally-binding promises made between two or more parties. When a contract is made, each party must give consideration, which means there must be an exchange of promises, or of actual goods or materials, at the time of contracting. In order for a business to function as intended, and for transactions to be conducted properly, the law explicitly supports the rights set out in a contract. An exception to this rule is that if a contract is deemed unlawful, void against public policy, or drafted with serious inaccuracies akin to fraud, the rights reflected in that contract will not be legally guaranteed. Outside of these exceptions, a party who does not do what he or she promised to do in a contract can be held liable for breach of contract and made to pay for the cost of any damages caused by the failure to perform. To learn more about contract law in Idaho and the creation and enforcement of a contract, please contact one of the attorneys at Borton-Lakey who have experience in drafting, negotiating, and litigating contracts for businesses and individuals throughout Idaho.

Land Use and Zoning

Borton-Lakey Law and Policy handles both simple and complex real estate matters and transactions, including:

  • Due diligence
  • Purchase and sale agreements
  • Leasing and rental agreements
  • Landlord-tenant issues
  • Land use and zoning
  • Annexation
  • Condemnation
  • Property boundary disputes
  • Quiet title
  • Property tax appeals
  • Real estate litigation

Our firm represents large developers as well as individual landowners dealing with everything from large planned communities consisting of several thousand acres to smaller administrative divisions of several acres. Our attorneys are among the most effective and successful land use attorneys in the Treasure Valley and have obtained approvals for tens of thousands of acres of commercial, industrial, residential and mixed-use projects in Idaho.


Over the years, clients in a variety of civil litigation and dispute resolution matters have relied on the legal services of Borton-Lakey Law and Policy. We have experience in civil issues including:

  • Employment
  • Wrongful termination
  • Breach of contract
  • Construction claims
  • Property damage
  • Personal injury
  • General business and government-related litigation and appeals

When you need to pursue a claim or are faced with defending against litigation, you need a trusted advisor in your corner that will effectively represent your interests and protect your assets and reputation. Our goal is the same as yours: To resolve disputes in the most cost-effective and expeditious way. We strive to help you avoid litigation in the first place. When litigation is unavoidable, we customize a strategy tailored to your goals, both long and short term, and work side by side with you through the process. We aggressively advocate for clients in both trial and appellate matters in state and federal courts as well as in administrative proceedings. We also recognize that litigation is costly, both financially and personally, and that sometimes a matter is best resolved to the benefit of all parties through arbitration or another form of alternative dispute resolution.

Divorce, Custody, and Family Law

At Borton-Lakey we serve as your advocate, paying attention to your needs and fighting hard for your results. We provide skilled and dedicated litigation and negotiation services in all areas of family law including:

  • Divorce
  • Child custody
  • Parenting plan
  • Child support
  • Child Support maintenance
  • Property division

Every day, more and more families are challenged by issues that will affect them throughout their lives. Decisions made during these critical periods can be some of the most difficult ones a family will ever make because of the potential long-term consequences. Our collaborative approach helps to achieve positive results that minimize emotional strain for both parties and their children. Our attorneys help clients understand their legal needs during these trying times and guide you and your family to help ensure that you achieve the results you need – now and for the future. Our attorneys resolve delicate family law matters with care, agility, sensitivity and hands-on service.

Government and Elections

The attorneys at Borton-Lakey consider how to best accomplish a client's objectives in the executive, legislative, administrative, and judicial branches of government and then proactively aid clients in seeking successful outcomes. Our attorneys represent businesses and individuals before local, state and federal government entities and have the knowledge of the law and the relationships with federal, state and local elected officials and staff necessary to achieve your goals.

Joe Borton and Todd Lakey are both current local government elected officials and have also worked as legal counsel to government entities for many years. We understand and have dealt with local government issues from various sides of the table. We also have extensive experience working as legal counsel to local government entities, including counties, cities, special purpose districts and urban renewal agencies. We assist local government clients in handling the myriad of issues they deal with including employment law, planning and zoning, budgeting, open meeting and public record issues, government contracts and bidding, misdemeanor criminal prosecutions, code enforcement and real estate.

This experience also enables our attorneys to provide a refined election and campaign strategy/management service to those seeking elected office in Idaho.


Our practice includes a specialized appellate practice before the Idaho Supreme Court and 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on civil and criminal matters. Borton-Lakey selects up to four cases per year in which it participates directly or indirectly as appellate counsel in State and Federal Court. Our pre-appellate strategy and planning has become one of the most popular offerings to our clients to provide them a realistic account of the appellate process, its time and costs, and likelihood of success. Unlike trial litigation where new evidence can be discovered and utilized, cases on appeal use a set record of evidence and facts. This distinction allows our firm to provide any client a more definitive projection of outcome and expense – often saving the client time and money – as well as strategies for a pre-appellate settlement and resolution of their dispute.

Criminal Defense

We handle all felony and misdemeanors cases and probation and parole violations in federal and state courts, as well as juvenile cases. Our legal team has the knowledge, expertise, and insight from both the defense and the prosecution sides of the courtroom. We have successfully argued hundreds of cases and have extensive trial experience. We believe every client deserves personal attention, ethical and honest hard work, and the best legal advocates on their side. We will put your interests first, every time. Doing what's best for you is our top priority. The legal team at Borton-Lakey Law and Policy provides timely, thorough, professional attention. We will communicate with you in clear language and be counselors as well as advocates. We will make sure you know what we do, why we do it, and how it benefits you. We strive to have a long-lasting, trusted relationship with our clients, and we will do what it takes to earn it. If you are facing criminal charges or under criminal investigation in Idaho, you need an experienced and expert legal defense team on your side to help you win.

Employment and Human Resources

Borton-Lakey has developed an extensive practice handling a wide array of employment matters for employers and employees, including:

  • Employment discrimination (age, gender, religion, race)
  • Wrongful discharge
  • Individual employee rights
  • Wage-hour matters
  • Collective bargaining
  • Employee safety and health
  • Unemployment insurance
  • Transactional matters (labor and employment aspects)

We have helped employers and employees resolve disputes regarding employment practices as well as advise employers on proactive employment law compliance. We have successfully fought international companies and large corporations to secure just compensation for our employment law clients who have been victims of harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination or victimized by unlawful employment practices including unpaid wages and overtime pay. We firmly stand behind the rights of employees who have been wronged. Our attorneys counsel employers on preventing litigation, developing effective personnel policies and other employment agreements. Employer-clients can contact Borton-Lakey before terminating or disciplining an employee to minimize the risk of litigation. Early intervention, investigation, and documentation often resolve employment disputes in a cost-effective manner for employers and business owners. We are devoted to providing ethical representation and personal attention in a cost-conscious and timely manner.

Urban Renewal

Our government experience allows the attorneys at Borton-Lakey to provide detailed legal direction for local governments seeking to utilize the tools of urban renewal for their community. Our government clients who engage our services for their urban renewal matters obtain the necessary guidance to complete their pre-implementation due diligence, or to assist with the operation of already established urban renewal districts. Our attorneys have experience establishing a variety of tax increment finance structures to assist public-private partnerships which have engaged the local developers and citizens toward a common goal for their community.

Charter Schools

Our firm has extensive experience working with charter schools in Idaho and familiarity with the state and federal laws that apply to them. We represent a number of charter schools in Idaho and have worked with and for charter school boards and administrators. We understand the spectrum of issues that charter schools face involving initial formation and ongoing management. Our experience representing charter schools throughout southern Idaho includes issues which each Charter School must address, including:

  • Employment law
  • Personnel management
  • Charter compliance contracts
  • Collective bargaining
  • Real estate acquisition
  • School construction and leasing
  • Land use and zoning
  • Open meeting and public records law
  • School board administration and management
  • Financing and budgeting
  • Specific constitutional and due process issues for students, faculty, and employees.

If you are a founder, board member, parent, or administrator working with a charter school we would be glad to discuss how our firm can assist your school in meeting its educational goals.

Construction Law

Borton-Lakey Law and Policy has experience throughout southern Idaho representing developers, owners, contractors, design professionals, and construction managers throughout all phases of the construction process. We assist clients in drafting construction documents from traditional design-bid-build to fast track design-build contracts. We are well-versed in the various approaches to contract documents to keep costs under control, to effectively allocate risks of unknown conditions, and to set forth procedures for handling changes in the work. We have litigated many different construction disputes and use that experience to provide a proactive contact drafting process that avoids disputes and allows the project to get completed on time and on budget.

Corporations and LLCs

Decisions on the front-end of starting a new business have ramifications for the future success or failure of the enterprise. Borton-Lakey Law and Policy will walk you through these important choices, from a base of knowledge more commonly associated with a much larger firm. Our core clients are family-run businesses of all sizes seeking cost-effective and forward-looking advice and representation. Based in Meridian, Idaho we represent start-ups throughout southern Idaho in all industries: real estate and construction, restaurants, technology, manufacturing, professional services, and more. We take the time to explore your business formation options, advising on the advantages and potential drawbacks of each. In guiding clients, we discuss:

  • Tolerance for individual liability exposure
  • Taxation issues
  • Profit-sharing
  • Management structure
  • Business succession planning.

Entity selection is only half of business formation. We carefully create documents to anticipate future problems and assist with both operational and regulatory matters associated with start-up, including:

  • Drafting operating agreements
  • Shareholder agreement
  • Partnership agreements
  • Creating articles of incorporation or organization
  • Drafting the bylaws for governance of the company

Our full-service philosophy does not end with business formation. We provide ongoing consulting for contracts and transactions, or representation in business disputes. Many of our start-up clients are still with us years later, for consulting on contracts and transactions, or to handle business litigation, and completing the sale or transfer of the business when necessary. We are proud to help our business clients succeed year after year.