Courtesy of Deseret News
By Marjorie Cortez, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah State Bar has long championed broader access to the justice system.
Its “aspirational goal” is that each lawyer licensed to practice in Utah donates 50 hours of pro bono representation a year, says Utah State Bar president James D. Gilson.
“If someone has a legal problem and they can’t afford to hire a lawyer, they’re at a real disadvantage in the system. We think that lawyers who have law licenses have an ethical duty to provide pro bono legal representation,” Gilson said.
While the Bar doesn’t police that expectation, Gilson said most lawyers meet that goal. “A lot of them do a lot more than 50 hours a year,” he said.
The Utah State Bar is again planning its Constitution Day Celebration. The Bar will be partnering with local schools September 17th to teach elementary, junior high and high school students about separation of powers and the importance of an independent judiciary.
The Bar is looking for volunteers to present to different classrooms. Classes range in time from 50-90 minutes and take place across the state. Please consider reserving some time in your schedule to volunteer. Last year’s participants reported spending between 3-6 hours total on the project (preparation and presentation). The Bar will provide a lesson plan needed to complete the project and we will also be holding two 1-hour training CLEs to review the materials and consider some teaching techniques on September 4th at 5:00 PM and September 5th at noon. One hour of CLE credit will be given to those who attend the training and teach a Constitution Day class.
The Utah State Bar has received notice of the issues with uploading exam answers to the Examsoft service. Examsoft is working to correct the issue. As we state in the instructions, you are only held responsible for failing to upload if there is no good cause. ExamSoft’s technical difficulties are good cause. While you should continue attempting to upload in accordance with the instructions on the ExamSoft website, the Utah State Bar will be making allowances for time due to ExamSoft’s problems. In other words, please do not panic.
We do recommend tracking Examsoft updates through their social media:
ExamSoft has sent an email suggesting applicants attempt to manually upload one more time. You may do so if you like. However, the deadline to upload has been indefinitely postponed. You DO NOT need to bring your laptop to the exam tomorrow. We will make an announcement tomorrow when we have more information that will explain the next steps as well as provide any deadlines that may be applicable.
Courtesy of The Intermountain Commercial Record, Friday, July 18, 2014
Judges and attorneys of the Utah State Bar assembled for its annual convention in Snowmass Village, Colorado on July 16 through 19. Meeting concurrent with the convention was the Utah Board of Bar Commissioners, the Utah Judicial Council, the Board of District Court Judges, and the Board of Juvenile Court Judges. The convention included reports from the judiciary and law schools, keynote speakers, continuing legal education breakout sessions, and awards.
Utah State Bar President Curtis Jensen said, “These award recipients help the Bar serve the public and legal profession with excellence, civility, and integrity. They are helping the Bar to meet its vision of a just legal system that is understood, valued, and accessible to all.”
“Lawyers are the oil in our economic machine; we keep society humming.”
Justice Lee Swears In President Gilson
More than 300 judges and attorneys of the Utah State Bar assembled last week for its annual summer convention, where—in addition to reports from the judiciary, keynote speakers, continuing legal education sessions—new leaders for the Bar were sworn in by Utah Supreme Court Justice Thomas R. Lee.
James D. Gilson, who has served on the Board of Bar Commissioners since 2008, was sworn in as president. For the Utah Supreme Court, he served as Co-Chair of the Committee on New Lawyer Training and was a screening panel member of the Ethics and Discipline Committee. He also served as President of the Utah Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.
The Utah State Bar is pleased to announce the addition of Casemaker’s suite of premium services to the Utah Casemaker library, at no cost to attorneys and paralegal members of the Bar. Now, you have access to not only Casemaker’s broad and comprehensive libraries which cover all 50 states and Federal materials, but you also have access to a suite of tools that make research faster and easier. These premium services include Casecheck+, CiteCheck, and CasemakerDigest, and these, as well as the basic Casemaker research tool, are available at no cost to members.
Casecheck+ works like Shephard’s® and KeyCite® to notify you instantly of negative treatment, and identify whether your case law citations are still good law. Casecheck+ returns both positive and negative treatments instantly as you research and links to negative treatments, so you can quickly review the citation history for both state and federal cases. It works seamlessly inside the new Casemaker and doesn’t require any extra steps to use.
National Legal Aid and Defender Association intends to highlight and profile all of the praiseworthy nominees for the Beacon of Justice Award in upcoming newsletters and materials, including Martin Blaustein.
Martin Blaustein has devoted his career to enhancing the dignity and quality of life for those less fortunate. Prior to obtaining a law degree, and after his service in the Vietnam War, Marty worked for the Odyssey House expanding mental health services for patients in both New York and then Utah. After his time with the Odyssey House, he assisted Veterans who suffered from PTSD, at the time not a recognized diagnosis, get benefits and services. Marty has now been at Utah Legal Services for over 25 years. He is the most self effacing, humble and hard working attorney I know. He quietly goes about zealously representing clients, giving them a voice and making equal access to justice a reality for Utah’s poor. He is committed to his work and has tirelessly strived to bring his vision of equality for all to the legal profession. Through his advocacy, his pro bono services, his mentoring and teaching, and his outreach to the larger community Marty Blaustein has made an impact on literally thousands of lives.
Congratulations to Callister Nebeker & McCullough for receiving a National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) 2014 Beacon of Justice Award for its Debt Collection Volunteer Attorney Program. Watch for an article about it in the July/August Utah Bar Journal
Callister Nebeker & McCullough truly exemplifies a firm that supports its attorneys in giving back to the community. Whether it is allowing attorneys to be part of the Bar’s governing bodies; encouraging attorneys to sit on committees for the purpose of creating greater access to justice; taking part in a firm pro bono signature project; or taking on pro bono cases; the firm truly desires to better their community through their expertise.
“I think that one of the things that we have tried to stay on top of is access to justice and making the Pro Bono program more accessible through all of the courts here in Utah.”
Alicia Knight Cunningham, Esq.
The Record, May 30, 2014
Curtis Jensen, current President of the Utah State Bar, is closing out the last few months of his term and looking back at a year that passed too quickly.
“I have really enjoyed it all,” Jensen said. “Serving in this position has given me the opportunity and pleasure to meet so many wonderful people. I have had the chance to meet with lawyers throughout the state of Utah and in other states that I would have never had the privilege to do otherwise.”
The Supreme Court is seeking applicants to fill a vacancy on the Advisory Committee on Rules of Evidence. The appointment is until June 30, 2015, completing a term held by Robert Wilde. The appointee is then eligible for appointment to a full, four-year term. For more information about the committee contact Richard H. Schwermer at email@example.com.
The Supreme Court is seeking applicants to fill four vacancies on the Ethics and Discipline Committee. The three–year appointment is from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2017. For more information about the committee contact Terrie McIntosh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Supreme Court is seeking applicants to fill a vacancy on the Board of Mandatory Continuing Legal Education. Under Rule 14-403, this position is reserved for a lawyer who resides outside of Salt Lake County. The three–year appointment is from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2017. For more information about the committee contact Sydnie Kuhre at email@example.com.
Utah Tax Commissioner
The Utah State Bar is seeking qualified lawyers with significant tax experience and knowledge of tax administration or compliance to recommend to the Governor for appointment to a four year term as a member of the State Tax Commission. Section 59-1-201 and 202 of the Utah Code were amended in the recent legislative session to provide for various organizations, including the Bar, to provide names of qualified potential appointees to the Governor when vacancies occur on the Tax Commission. The bill proscribing appointment and qualifications may be found at http://le.utah.gov/~2014/bills/static/SB0019.html
Submit resumes to John C. Baldwin, Executive Director, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail at 645 South 200 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84111. Resumes must be received by 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 27th, 2014.