Invitation to Bar Review

Please join us as we put a new spin on an old Utah Law tradition:

BAR REVIEW

January 14, 2016

5:00-7:30 PM

Alta Club

Heavy hors d’oeuvres and open bar

Please RSVP to Kathy Spencer at kspencer@parrbrown.com

bar re·view  [bahr ri-vyoo] noun

  1. a social gathering for lawyers and judges co-hosted by the Utah State Bar, Litigation Section, YLD and ORANGE Legal for the purpose of networking, catching up with old friends and meeting new ones: after three straight days of depositions, the exhausted partner invited her frazzled associate to join her for a drink at bar review where the pair caught up with old friends and got tips on how to deal with their very difficult opposing counsel.
  1. course taken to prepare for the bar exam (like Kaplan or BarBri).

eBulletin for December 2015

Thanks to everyone who attended the Fall ForumThe Record did a nice set of articles on these issues from the convention:  the neuroscience of decision making, the importance of jury selection, and gender issues in negotiation.

 

 

CONVENTIONS

Spring Convention Chair Trystan Smith has announced a great line-up of keynote speakers for the Spring Convention in St. George, March 10-12Lodging.

Join us for the Summer Convention in San Diego, July 6-9 at Loews Coronado BayInitial details.

ELECTIONS

We are seeking candidates for Bar President-elect 2016-17 (President 2017-18); notice due by January 1.

We are also interested in nominations for Bar Commissioners:  two members from the Third Division, and one member from the Second Division, each to serve a three-year term, beginning July 2016.  Petitions by ten members per nomination due by 5:00 p.m. February 2.

JOBS

The Governor’s Office has announced a search for a new Director of the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission.  This is an important position for the judiciary and the practice of law; please encourage qualified people to apply.

ACCESS TO JUSTICE

Test your ability to quickly size up a client and a case:  participate in the Court’s Pro Se Calendar and help a new client on a limited basis as they are about to appear before a commissioner.  Learn more, enjoy some pizza, and bring your calendar:  Tuesday December 15 at noon with Commission Joanna Sagers, Matheson W36.

Shop at Amazon and support “AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.”  Link your Amazon account to AJFA.

And give the gift of justice this holiday season; AJFA received its third consecutive 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for sound fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability, a rating received by only 14% of charities in the U.S.  Donate.

FOOD & CLOTHING DRIVE

26th Annual Food & Clothing Drive on December 18 from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. Chair Leonard Burningham asks us to open our closets and pantries this year and bring donations to the Bar where elves will be standing by to assist with unloading.  All proceeds go to The Rescue Mission, the YWCA Women & Children in Jeopardy program, and Jennie Dudley’s Eagle Ranch Ministry (she serves the homeless under the freeway).   More on helping. If you didn’t see his amazing story e-mailed this morning, please take a look now.

BENEFITS

Group benefits and current deals (the first time you click on a “View Deal” you will be logged into benefits and subsequent clicks will take you to the specific offer).

From Leonard Burningham: 2015 Food & Clothing Drive Reminder

Dear Members of the Bar:

LWB_Thanksgiving_Photo     With this year being the 26th anniversary of our Food and Clothing Drive, I decided to spend Wednesday, November 25th, Thanksgiving eve and into the early part of Thanksgiving morning, on the street with the homeless. The experience indelibly etched me with so many different feelings and thoughts that I would like to share with you with the  hope that they will inspire increased participation in this year’s drive, the drop date of which is December 18, 2015, at the loading dock of the Utah Law and Justice Center.  Starting about three weeks earlier, I commenced the growing of a full and untrimmed beard.  I did not bathe for the final two days and used the long johns I had skied in the previous weekend; and I also used other clothing that I had previously worn and that had not been washed with a detergent.  I had an old backpack that contained one blanket, about a foot of floss, two antacid tablets and one of those miniature Tabasco bottles; this was all I could think of when I was leaving the house, and why the Tabasco bottle, who knows-maybe so I could use the antacid tablets.  Anyway, as I walked towards town, I thought about things like finding bathrooms, how to fit in, how I would be treated, and even my own safety, along with how cold the ground might be to sleep on.  It was raining by the time I arrived at Trolley Square, so I thought I would see how I was received there, and if there was a public restroom.  I had no issues with anyone, used the restroom and had a short conversation with a young man under the overhang of the building outside and out of the rain; the conservation was about the strange contraption he was using that turned out to be some kind of an electronic cigarette machine filled with oil-interesting, but kind of like carrying a small pistol around in your hand.  I continued walking downtown, donned a garbage bag that I poked holes for my head and arms, to keep dry, and went straight to the Rescue Mission. There were only a few people standing outside, and there were a few covered in blankets under the front stair case.  I walked in and was greeted directly, and asked if I could stay the night if I had no place to sleep; I was told that I could and that registration was from 5:50 pm to 6:00 pm (it was about 4:00 pm when I arrived), though I had no intention of taking someone’s bed.  From there, I proceeded through Pioneer Park, and was surprised to see only a few people who were sitting or lying on the ground with blankets, along with a few others who were just walking through the park or on the sidewalk.  I then walked the three or so blocks to The Road Home and the St. Vincent Catholic Community Center (across from each other at the south end of the Gateway Mall on 200 South and 500 West.  Both blocks were filled with about 200 people, many lying on the streets with or without blankets and most not properly clothed for the cold weather; the largest group was up against the wall at St. Vincent’s.  This kind of sets the stage.  During the evening and into the night, I walked to and from these shelters and the Rescue Mission and ventured along 100 South to 500 South and as far into the city as State Street, and in and out of Pioneer Park.
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In The News – Utah Bar in Above the Law Article

Were We Wrong About This Law Firm? Probably, Yeah.

Gavel with American FlagAs some of you know, I attended the Utah State Bar Association’s Fall Forum a couple weeks back and regaled the crowd with advice on avoiding the pages of ATL. Or at least staying out of ATL for being this guy. Beyond that, Utah’s strict decency codes prevent me from discussing the speech further, but suffice it to say the whole affair ended with a drunk lawyer in a trash can, so a good time was had by all.

At the annual Utah Minority Bar Association gala, also held that week, the organization bestowed its Law Firm of the Year award upon Open Legal Services, a firm founded a mere two years ago committed to providing affordable legal services to underserved clients in Utah through a “Low Bono” model charging clients on a sliding scale based on household income. Formed by a pair of young attorneys and a dream, the firm just hired its seventh associate and is tackling an ever-increasing amount of the legal work for the majority — 51 percent — of Utah too rich to qualify for pro bono services and too poor to hire traditional private practitioners.

That’s when it struck me that Open Legal Services had already made its way into the pages of ATL like all those people I was lecturing about. A little over a year ago, in fact, columnist Keith Lee took issue with Open Legal Services because its founders came into their practice only a year out of law school — experience that Lee found wanting:

Perhaps the second largest problem facing new lawyers, outside of unemployment, is a lack of practical education on how to actually be a lawyer. While there are all sorts of suggestions on how to address this lack of real-world education, none of them are particularly good. And while something like OLS might be able to address this deficit, OLS does not. On the OLS website there is a lot of talk about “revolution,” but not much about the background or experience of the attorneys who make up OLS. A brief search on the Utah State Bar’s website shows that Argyle and Spencer were both admitted in October of 2013. They have been practicing for less than a year. Perhaps they focused on public service in law school. Maybe they summered at a public defenders’ office. But as it stands now, there is no way to tell. And even if they had, such experiences are no substitute for actually learning the practice of law under the guidance of an experienced lawyer.

Certainly a valid concern, but was it really a disqualifying one? As one commenter noted at the time:

Totally unfair and uncalled for to presume that people doing this firm are somehow not competent. It’s quite an accusation, and quite baseless.

As others have noted, there are tons of attorneys out there who boast about how many “years of experience” they have and are sloppy, unreliable, and clueless. There are plenty of new attorneys that are sharp, dedicated and willing to put in long hours to get things right.
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2016 Notice Of Bar Election for President-elect

Nominations to the office of Bar President-elect are hereby solicited.  Applicants for the office of President-elect must submit their notice of candidacy to the Board of Bar Commissioners by January 1, 2016.  Applicants are given time at the January Board meeting to present their views.  Secret balloting for nomination by the Board to run for the office of President-elect will then commence.  Any candidate receiving the Commissioners’ majority votes shall be nominated to run for the office of President-elect.  Balloting shall continue until two nominees are selected.

NOTICE: Balloting will be done electronically.  Ballots will be e-mailed on or about April 1, 2016 with balloting to be completed and ballots received by the Bar office by 5:00 p.m. April 15, 2016.

In order to reduce out-of-pocket costs and encourage candidates, the Bar will provide the following services at no cost:

1) space for up to a 200-word campaign message* plus a color photograph in the March/April issue of the Utah Bar Journal. The space may be used for biographical information, platform or other election promotion. Campaign messages for the March/April Bar Journal publications are due along with two photographs no later than February 1st;

2) space for up to a 500-word campaign message* plus a photograph on the Utah Bar Website due February 1st;

3) a set of mailing labels for candidates who wish to send a personalized letter to Utah lawyers who are eligible to vote;

4) a one-time email campaign message* to be sent by the Bar.  Campaign message will be sent by the Bar within three business days of receipt from the candidate; and

5) candidates will be given speaking time at the Spring Convention; (1) 5 minutes to address the Southern Utah Bar Association luncheon attendees and, (2) 5 minutes to address Spring Convention attendees at Saturday’s General Session.

If you have any questions concerning this procedure, please contact John C. Baldwin at (801) 531-9077 or at director@utahbar.org.

*              Candidates for the office of Bar President-elect may not list the names of any current voting or ex-officio members of the Commission as supporting their candidacy in any written or electronic campaign materials, including, but not limited to, any campaign materials inserted with the actual ballot; on the website; in any e-mail sent for the purposes of campaigning by the candidate or by the Bar; or in any mailings sent out by the candidate or by the Bar.  Commissioners are otherwise not restricted in their rights to express opinions about President-elect candidates.  This policy shall be published in the Utah Bar Journal and any E-bulletins announcing the election and may be referenced by the candidates.

2016 Notice Of Bar Commission Election Second and Third Divisions

Nominations to the office of Bar Commissioner are hereby solicited for two members from the Third Division, one member from the Second Division, each to serve a three-year term.  Terms will begin in July 2016.  To be eligible for the office of Commissioner from a division, the nominee’s business mailing address must be in that division as shown by the records of the Bar.  Applicants must be nominated by a written petition of ten or more members of the Bar in good standing whose business mailing addresses are in the division from which the election is to be held.  Nominating petitions are available at http://www.utahbar.org/bar-operations/leadership/.  Completed petitions must be submitted to John Baldwin, Executive Director, no later than February 2, 2016 by 5:00 p.m.

NOTICE: Balloting will be done electronically.  Ballots will be e-mailed on or about April 1st with balloting to be completed and ballots received by the Bar office by 5:00 p.m. April 15th.

In order to reduce out-of-pocket costs and encourage candidates, the Bar will provide the following services at no cost:

  1. space for up to a 200-word campaign message plus a color photograph in the March/April issue of the Utah Bar Journal.  The space may be used for biographical information, platform or other election promotion.  Campaign messages for the March/April Bar Journal publications are due along with completed petitions and two photographs no later than February 1st;
  2. space for up to a 500-word campaign message plus a photograph on the Utah Bar Website due February 1st;
  3. a set of mailing labels for candidates who wish to send a personalized letter to the lawyers in their division who are eligible to vote; and
  4. a one-time email campaign message to be sent by the Bar.  Campaign message will be sent by the Bar within three business days of receipt from the candidate.

If you have any questions concerning this procedure, please contact John C. Baldwin at (801) 531-9077 or at director@utahbar.org.

e.Bulletin for September 2015

MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT ANGELINA TSU

2015_President_Angelina_Tsu_blog

If your schedule has had a late opening, please consider teaching a Constitution Day class Thursday (32 classes open) or Friday (7 classes open) in Salt Lake, Utah, Washington, or Weber county.  If this week doesn’t work for you, write to sean.toomey@utahbar.org with the county, days, times, and number of classes you can teach (they are usually under an hour) through mid-October, and he’ll find a teacher who can move his or her class to match your schedule.  Lesson plans are provided and there is a coaching video which includes an hour of CLE credit.

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the Summer Convention in Sun Valley and to co-chairs Judges Dee Benson and Paul Warner.  Salt Lake and Ketchum media covered Justice Kennedy’s keynote.  I hope you can join us for upcoming conventions to take advantage of these learning and networking experiences:

  • FALL FORUM IN SALT LAKE CITY, Thursday and Friday, November 19 and 20, Grand America Hotel, Online registration.
  • SPRING CONVENTION IN ST.  GEORGE, March 10-12
  • SUMMER CONVENTION IN SAN DIEGO, July 6-9.  Perched on its own 15-acre peninsula, Loews Coronado Bay is a private oasis of tranquility with views of the shimmering bay waters and the San Diego skyline.  You’re a 10 minute walk to the beach (or you can be whisked there and back in the hotel’s golf carts), 15-20 minutes from downtown, 20-25 minutes from the world-renown San Diego Zoo (set aside the whole day), and 25 minutes to Sea World.  The hotel offers private gondola cruises, sailing packages, and it’s a gateway to area attractions.  Mark your calendar!

The Report and Recommendations on the Future of Legal Services in Utah has been released by the Futures Commission of the Utah State Bar.  William Hubbard, immediate past president of the ABA, said “The report is excellent.  It is a call to action, and more.  It offers specific recommendations for implementation and identifies issues for further analysis, all of which are dead on.  Our challenge has been to get lawyers to wake up.  We can change, adapt, and lead to a better way of delivering legal services to more people.  But we have to open our minds.  The real change will come from states like Utah.”

The National Association of Women Judges is holding its annual conference October 7-11 at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City.  Hundreds of local, national, and international judges will attend the conference and registration is open to all.  The conference, With Liberty and Justice for All, will cover some of the critical issues facing our community and the nation right now, including:

  • How courts can address the school to prison pipeline;
  • Human trafficking issues;
  • Immigration Issues facing the state and federal courts;
  • The impact of media and especially social media on the administration of justice;
  • The uneasy intersection between law and medicine; and
  • LGBT Rights and Religious Liberties.

Women Lawyers of Utah is co-sponsoring the conference with NAWJ on Friday the 10th and Saturday the 11th, and all members of our legal community are invited to register.  If you or your firm is interested in sponsorship opportunities for the conference, please contact Margaret McGann or Pat Christensen.  WLU is also looking for volunteers to help with the conference (and a great opportunity to network with judges from around the country); send your name, e-mail address, cell phone number, availability, volunteer preferences, and foreign languages spoken to Judge Lund at jlund@utcourts.gov.
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Top 10 Great Things About Being a Utah Lawyer

election2013_JGilsonIn Dave Letterman-like fashion, for my final “President’s Message,” I would like to share ten great things about being a Utah lawyer. It’s good to remind ourselves about the positive side of our profession.

10. The attorney-to-population ratio is (slightly) higher in Utah than the teacher-to-student ratio and higher than the national average.

As of May 31, 2015, there were 11,838 licensed attorneys in Utah (9,148 active; 2,690 inactive). This is an increase of 201 from May 31, 2014. The population in Utah is about 3 million. So, there is approximately one Utah lawyer for every 253 Utah residents. There are approximately 1,294,000 lawyers in the
United States, with a national population of 319 million (1 to 247 ratio).

9. Utah is the only state where you can try a case and be related to both the plaintiff and the defendant, opposing counsel, the judge, the bailiff, and half the jury pool.

Okay, this point (from Bar Commissioner Susanne Gustin) may be a slight exaggeration, especially in Salt Lake County. But if you try a case in a rural county, it often takes a while to pick a jury because so many people either know each other or are related. (Those aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive categories; many don’t know their relatives.)

8. Two excellent law schools.

We are very fortunate and can be proud of our two top ranked Utah law schools. The Bar enjoys a very positive working relationship with both law schools. Dean Bob Adler of the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah and Dean Jim Rasband of the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University are both great assets and are active ex-officio members of the Bar Commission.

7. Great public outreach programs such as Wills for Heroes, And Justice for All, Tuesday Night Bar, the Pro Bono Commission, and the Modest Means Lawyer Referral Program.

We have a great tradition in our Bar of being generous with our time and money to help provide legal services to those who can’t afford to hire counsel. Mike Walch put it this way: “Utah lawyers are more concerned with clients and community and less concerned with themselves than lawyers from the other two states where I’m licensed.” Lou Callister gave this reflection after fifty-four years of practicing law in Utah: “Because of the legal training we receive in law school we are better able to make contributions to society, outside the practice of law, that benefit the community at large and people in particular.”

6. Wonderful clients.

Utah Lawyers get to meet and interact with some amazing people in challenging problem-solving situations. Brian Burnett observed that we have the “opportunity to evaluate life in six-minute increments.” Most clients exhibit great courage and dignity when facing their legal troubles. It’s a privilege to help clients resolve their problems. It’s inspiring to watch them do so with their head held high. As problem-solving partners with our clients, we share ownership in their legal problems, victories, and defeats. Being an advocate may add gray hairs, but observing firsthand the positive traits of our clients makes it worthwhile.
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Bar Convention in Sun Valley – please come!

Dear Colleagues:

election2013_JGilsonIt’s not too late to register to attend the Bar’s Summer Convention in Sun Valley on July 29 – August 1: great location, great CLE and recreation opportunities, and a chance to socialize with colleagues and meet new ones.

This year has been an immersion in the history and influences of Magna Carta, and two keynote speakers will continue that discussion.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy will speak about Magna Carta on July 30, and has agreed to a Q&A session.  Justice Thomas referred to Magna Carta extensively in his recent dissent in the same sex marriage case Obergefell v. Hodges (in defining “liberty”), so there could be some very current questions about this 800 year-old document.

Thomas Lund, Professor of Law at the S. J. Quinney College of Law, will speak on “Magna Carta: The Rule of Law in Early Common Law Litigation” on August 1.  Professor Lund wrote The Creation of the Common Law: The Medieval Year Books Deciphered.  About this recently-published book, Prof. Stephen Presser of Northwestern wrote: “This amazing and delightful book will be of profound interest to anyone who has ever believed that the rule of law is about more than the arbitrary machinations of politicians.  Simply stated, Thomas Lund has given us one of the most important works on law in this generation.”

Also, on July 31, Utah State Climatologist Dr. Robert Gillies will speak about climate change and water issues in the West.

For more on the keynote speakers and the entire CLE schedule, lodging, and registration, see http://summerconvention.utahbar.org/.

I hope to see you in Sun Valley!

Jim Gilson
Bar President

The Guardianship Signature Program Invitation

YOU ARE INVITED…

2015_guardianship_logo_lgto help pioneer the newest signature program endorsed by the Board of District Court Judges and the Bar Commission.

The Guardianship Signature Program provides judges with a list of lawyers who are willing to represent respondents in guardianship and conservatorship proceedings. The representation is for free or on a sliding scale if the client’s income qualifies, or for reasonable and necessary attorney fees if the client’s income is more than 300% of the federal poverty guidelines.

To volunteer for this Signature Program, visit:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/UtahBarProBonoVolunteer
and select both the Guardianship Signature Program and
the districts where you are willing to accept appointments.

Additional information & a free online training are available on the Utah State Courts website at http://www.utcourts.gov/howto/family/gc/signature/ 

e.Bulletin for May 2015

election2013_JGilsonMESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT JIM GILSON

Congratulations to the following who were elected to the Board of Bar Commissioners:  Rob Rice as Bar President-elect, Kate Conyers and Michelle Mumford representing the Third Division, Liisa Hancock in the Fourth Division, and Kristin Woods for the Fifth Division.  Thanks to all of the candidates for great campaigns and thoughtful involvement in the Bar and the profession.

Bar President Elect Angelina Tsu and Commissioner Rob Rice are co-chairs of the Bar’s Affordable Attorneys for All task force, formed to develop new solutions to make legal services more accessible to the middle class.  The AAA task force is looking for volunteer lawyers in our Bar, and non-lawyers in our community, to serve on this critical committee.  This new initiative represents an excellent opportunity to help shape the practice of law in Utah, strengthen our profession, and improve access to justice in Utah.  Please write to adminasst@utahbar.org if you would like to participate.  AAA will focus on:

  • Developing sustainable business models for lawyers to provide affordable legal services;
  • Expanding lawyers’ ability to provide unbundled legal services through innovative community lawyering programs;
  • Building an effective web-based communications solution to connect clients to affordable legal services;
  • Partnering with the Legislature to identify ways to expand legal services that are affordable to all;
  • Joining with Utah law schools to assist law school graduates in the transition to a sustainable law practice.

The schedule for the Summer Convention in Sun Valley on July 29-August 1 is now available, and we have a great program built around US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s keynote address.  Watch your mailbox for the printed schedule in the Bar Journal soon.  Online registration is now available.  See Sun Valley lodging options and online lodging reservations(Sun Valley’s Utah State Bar page takes a few moments to load).

Is your business prepared for a disaster?  Are you aware of your ethical obligations regarding disaster planning?  The Disaster Legal Response Committee is offering a 1 hour ethics CLE on disaster planning, Wednesday, June 17, noon, at the Bar.  This event is free to those who are willing to be a volunteer with the committee; $25 for all others; online registration.  Learn more about developing plans for providing pro bono legal services to low-income individuals and small businesses following a disaster:  useful materials.

The National Center for State Courts’ report on the Impact of the Revisions to Rule 26 on Discovery Practice in the Utah District Courts is now available.  Download the complete report; among the findings:

  • The revisions appear to have had a positive impact on civil case management in the form of fewer discovery disputes in cases other than debt collection and domestic relations, as well as reductions in time to disposition across all case types and tiers. Compliance with the standard discovery restrictions appears to be high, although there are suggestions that some parties may be stipulating around the restrictions without seeking court approval.
  • The number of Tier 1 cases fell, while the number of Tier 2 and 3 cases increased, yet the proportion of judgments of less than $50,000 was significantly higher after the changes than before.
  • The settlement rate increased between 13 and 18 percent, depending on the tier.  The expanded disclosures provide litigants with sufficient information to engage in more productive settlement negotiations.
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e.Bulletin for April 2015

MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT JIM GILSON

election2013_JGilsonDon’t miss out on seeing the Traveling Exhibit on Magna Carta. It is very interesting and has been well-received by the public. It provides us with a positive opportunity to discuss the rule of law and the constructive contributions of lawyers and the courts. Please encourage your family, friends, and clients to see the exhibit during this limited opportunity. The exhibit got off to a great start at the Bar open house last Friday and at the Salt Lake City Library on Saturday. The exhibit was at the Washington County Courthouse in St. George earlier this week, where many public visitors came, including groups from Dixie State University and Canyon View High School (Cedar City). Upcoming stops are in Orem, Logan, Ogden, and then back to Salt Lake City on April 15-19. Click here for the exhibit schedule and highlights; please share this with your contacts. There is a free CLE for attorneys and judges next Wednesday, April 15 at 12:30 p.m. at the Matheson Courthouse, Magna Carta as an American Charter of Liberties, by Law Library of Congress Curator of Rare Books Nathan Dorn; attorney CLE registration. Nathan Dorn was the curator of the traveling exhibit and you can see it with him at 1:30 p.m. in the Rotunda following the CLE. Law Day advertising is being accepted through April 14; see reservation form.

April 15 is the deadline for elections; you have an opportunity to vote for a new Bar President-elect and Third, Fourth, and Fifth Divisions Bar Commissioners. Please visit election details for information on the candidates and voting instructions.

The schedule for the Summer Convention in Sun Valley on July 29-August 1 is now available, and we have built a great program around US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s keynote address. Online registration will be available on Tuesday, April 15. Please visit Sun Valley lodging options and online lodging reservations to book your room (Sun Valley’s Utah State Bar page can take a few moments to load).

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Spring Convention, and congratulations to Representative Patrice Arent for receiving the Dorathy Merrill Brothers Award for enhancing the advancement of women in the law profession, and Andrea Martinez Griffin for receiving the Raymond S. Uno Award for enhancing the advancement of minorities in the profession.

The Guardianship Signature Program is a partnership of the Utah State Courts and the Utah State Bar’s Access to Justice Program. It is endorsed by the Board of District Court Judges and the Bar Commissioners. The program provides to judges a list of lawyers who have volunteered to represent respondents in guardianship and conservatorship proceedings when the respondents do not have counsel of their own choice. See Utah Code §75-5-303. The representation is for free or on a sliding scale if the client’s income qualifies, or for reasonable and necessary attorney fees if the client’s income is more than 300% of the federal poverty guidelines. To volunteer for the program, please go to “Check YES!” and select both the Guardianship Signature Program and the districts where they are willing to accept appointments. More information is available here.
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Op-ed: 800 years ago, Magna Carta was the start of rule by law

http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/2307294-155/op-ed-800-years-ago-magna-carta

By James D. Gilson

image

Eight hundred years ago on June 15, 1215, King John and a group of rebellious barons met on a grassy meadow at Runnymede, England, to forge an accord to avert civil war. Although the agreement failed to prevent conflict, clauses in the document, eventually known as Magna Carta (the Great Charter), became the first significant step in a process of guaranteeing constitutional freedoms that continues today:

39. No free man will be arrested, or imprisoned, or disseised, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any other way ruined, nor will we go against him or send against him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.

40. We will not sell, or deny, or delay right or justice to anyone.

American colonists embedded principles of Magna Carta into state laws and later into the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment provision that “no person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” descends from Magna Carta.

The rule of law today still insists that laws govern our society, as opposed to arbitrary decisions by individual government officials. For this to work, the process by which our laws are enacted by the legislature, administered by the executive branch, and interpreted by the courts, must be accessible and efficient and done in accordance with established law. Justice — the proper application of the rule of law — requires informed and ethical citizens and leaders who are committed to the bedrock principle that the law rules.

If “We the People” neglect our understanding and commitment to the rule of law, we risk having our essential rights eroded. We contribute to strengthening the rule of law by learning and complying with our legal obligations, working within our legal system for appropriate reforms, and enforcing our legal rights.

Lawyers of the Utah State Bar are committed to support and defend the rule of law, and particularly support the independent judicial branch of our government. Keeping the judiciary independent of political or popular pressure, and of private interest, helps ensure that every person has a fair opportunity to make their case in court before an impartial judge, and to ensure constitutional and other legal rights.

Constitutional rights are protected in part through judicial interpretation of the law. The U.S. Supreme Court’s 1963 decision in Gideon v. Wainwright secured the right to counsel for indigent criminal defendants unable to afford legal representation in felony cases. The decision was grounded in the Constitution’s Sixth Amendment, which guarantees criminal defendants “the assistance of counsel.” The court decided assistance of legal counsel is essential for a defendant to be treated fairly when faced with serious criminal charges.

There is no constitutional guarantee of counsel in civil cases. Through its pro bono and modest means lawyer referral programs, the Utah State Bar is working hard to help more people have access to an attorney. See www.utahbar.org for more details. Also see about our Magna Carta essay competition for eighth through twelfth graders (with scholarship prizes up to $500). You can also find details of the Bar’s statewide traveling exhibit about Magna Carta. The tour begins with an open house at the Utah State Bar (645 S. 200 East) on April 3, 4-6 p.m. Please join the celebration of Magna Carta and the rule of law.
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e.Bulletin for March 2015

MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT JAMES D. GILSON

 

In April, we will have an opportunity to vote for a new Bar President-elect and Third, Fourth, and Fifth Divisions Bar Commissioners.  Please visit election details for information on the candidates.  Here is the field of excellent candidates:

 

  • President-elect:  Robert Rice and Tom Seiler
  • Third Division Commissioner (two openings):  Kate Conyers, Janise Macanas, and Michelle Mumford
  • Fourth Division Commissioner (one opening):  Liisa Hancock and Tom Seiler
  • Fifth Division Commissioner (one opening):  Aaron Randall and Katie Woods

Also in April, the Magna Carta Traveling Exhibit will be touring Utah.  Local Bar associations are putting together some great events in St. George, Orem, Logan, and Ogden; click here for the exhibit schedule.  And for those on the Wasatch Front, please stop by after work on Friday, April 3, from 4 to 6:00 p.m. to see the exhibit and enjoy a reception at the Utah Law and Justice Center, 645 S. 200 E, SLC.  We are planning a Magna Carta Gala Celebration on the evening of April 14 at Rice Eccles Stadium, where Chief Justice Durrant and Governor Herbert will be speaking.  Please write to magnacarta@utahbar.org if you are interested in attending.  We are looking forward to hearing what Utah students write about Magna Carta; please encourage students in grades 8-12 to participate by March 30.  For information, see competitions.

Be part of the special Law Day/Magna Carta special edition in The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News on April 26.  For suggestions on editorial content, please write to sean.toomey@utahbar.org.  For advertising opportunities see Law Day or contact Ken Stowe at kstowe@utahmediagroup.com or 801-204-6382.

Now that winter is finally here, we have an added incentive to attend the Spring Convention on March 12-14 in St. George.  Online registration deadline is this Monday, March 9; walk-in registration will be available.  See schedule and registration; a “Utah State Bar” rate of $111 is still available at the Comfort Inn .4 miles from the convention, 435-628-8544.  And don’t forget the Second Annual Quinn Essential—the Judge Quinn Memorial Awareness Bicycle Ride on Friday, March 13, at 3:30 in St. George.  Net proceeds to be donated to “AND JUSTICE FOR ALL” and to publicize distracted driver and bike safety.  See details at The Quinn Essential.

New this year is an exciting Bar App to aide your convention experience:  Utah State Bar Spring 15 App is now available at the Apple App Store and at Google Play.  It will provide a current agenda, access to materials, and information on speakers, vendors, and sponsors, as well as tools that will allow you to find and chat with other attendees, provide real-time feedback to speakers, interact with your social media accounts, and receive convention announcements. Later this month, watch for new mobile web app that will allow you to manage your Bar account, track MCLE status, find colleagues, and register for upcoming events.

The Summer Convention planning committee is putting together a great program around U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s keynote for our Summer Convention in Sun Valley on July 29-August 1.  See Sun Valley lodging options and online reservations (The Sun Valley reservations page for the Utah State Bar may take a few moments to load.)
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