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.

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

I hope to see you in Sun Valley!

Jim Gilson
Bar President

The Guardianship Signature Program Invitation


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:
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 

e.Bulletin for May 2015


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 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.
  • (more…)

e.Bulletin for April 2015


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.

Op-ed: 800 years ago, Magna Carta was the start of rule by law

By James D. Gilson


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 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.

e.Bulletin for March 2015



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 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  For advertising opportunities see Law Day or contact Ken Stowe at 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.)

Chief Justice Durrant To Present State Of The Judiciary Address

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 21, 2015

Contact: Nancy Volmer
(801) 578-3994


WHAT: 2015 State of the Judiciary Address.

WHO: The Honorable Matthew B. Durrant, Chief Justice of the Utah Supreme Court, will address the Senate and the House separately.

WHEN: Monday, January 26:
House of Representatives at 2:15 p.m.
Senate approx. 2:45 p.m.

WHERE: Utah State Capitol

COPIES: Copies of Chief Justice Durrant’s speech will be distributed to reporters at the Capitol at the start of the address. An electronic copy will be available at following the address.

e.Bulletin for January 2015


election2013_JGilsonHappy New Year! 

I’m pleased to announce that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy agreed to be our keynote speaker for our Summer Convention in Sun Valley.  New online lodging reservations available here.

The Spring Convention in St. George on March 12-14 is completely set.  Please visit these pages to review and attend:  schedule, lodging, and online registration.

We are now in the 800th anniversary year of Magna Carta:  see the Bar Journal article about the traveling exhibit and high school competitions and a general article on Magna Carta.  And be sure to encourage high school students to participate in the competitions.  Advertising space is now available for the Magna Carta/Law Day special edition in The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret NewsLaw Day 2015.

There are upcoming vacancies on the Board of Bar Commissioners for the Third, Fourth and Fifth Divisions.  The deadline is February 2.  Click here for details and nominating petitions.

Nominations are also open for the Third and Fourth Judicial District Nominating Commissions.  The commissions nominate judges to fill vacancies on the district and juvenile courts.  Two lawyers are appointed to a commission by the governor from a list of six nominees provided by the Bar.  Nominees must be citizens of the United States and residents of the district.  Commissioners are appointed for one term of four years and may not serve successive terms.  No more than four of the seven members of a nominating commission may be of the same political party.  You must identify your political party or if you are politically independent.  Submit resumes to Executive Director John Baldwin at or 645 South 200 East, Salt Lake City UT 84111.  Resumes must be received by this Friday, January 16th. 

Nominations are sought for the Dorathy Merrill Brothers Award for the advancement of women in the legal profession and the Raymond S. Uno Award for the advancement of minorities in the legal profession.  Nominations need to be submitted in writing to by this Friday, January 16.  You can also write to Christy Abad at 645 South 200 East, Salt Lake City UT 84111 or by fax to 801-531-0660.  See past award recipients here. 

Mock Trial Judges needed for We the People:  300 attorneys and community members needed February 17-March 6, March 9-12, March 16-18, and March 20.  Please sign up with the judging commitment form.  Two free hours of CLE credit are available for attending the orientation meeting at 5:30 p.m. on January 21 at the Bar.  The online registration form needs to be completed by January 19.  Please write to if you have any questions. 

Utah State Bar Group BenefitsCurrent Deals.  The first time you click on a “View Deal” you will be logged into the benefits page, and subsequent clicks will take you to the specific deals.

Utah woman posed as lawyer, defended client, cops say

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah – Authorities in Utah say a woman impersonated an attorney and even went as far as defending a client and signing court documents, reports CBS affiliate KUTV.

Karla Carbo, 29, was arrested Tuesday in Summit County and charged with identity theft, forgery and communications fraud.

Authorities say Carbo assumed the identity of a legitimate attorney with a similar name and used the attorney’s Utah State Bar identification number, reports the station.

Officials say Carbo impersonated the lawyer on Dec. 23 when she appeared in the Third District Court of Summit County to represent a suspect in a 2008 criminal case, according to the station.

It wasn’t until after the case was completed that authorities received a call from the state bar association saying that Carbo was not a real attorney. She was booked into the Summit County Jail on $25,000 cash bail.

The attorney whose name Carbo allegedly assumed is in good standing with the bar association and is not associated with the fraud, authorities say, reports the station.

© 2015 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

e.Bulletin for December 2014


election2013_JGilsonSeason’s greetings!

Please join us in helping local shelters this Friday, December 19 for the 25th Annual Food and Clothing Drive.  Drop off your items at the Bar from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the back doors of the Bar where volunteers will help you unload your donations.  Click here for details.

I’m pleased to announce that the Bar has established a Commission on the Future of Legal Services in Utah to evaluate issues resulting from developments in technology and globalization, as well as changes in demographics and economics.  The charge and scope of this Futures Commission is to “gather input, study, and consider the ways current and future lawyers can provide legal and law-related services to the public, especially to individuals and small businesses.”  If you have thoughts on this issue, please contact me or co-chairs Nate Alder, or John Lund,

The Bar Commissioners have created a Disciplinary Process Information Office to assist attorneys who find themselves the subject of a Bar Complaint, complainants, and the public.  Jeannine Timothy will be managing this office.  She is also the staff attorney for the Consumer Assistance Program—resolving minor conflicts between consumers and attorneys—a role she has had since its inception seventeen years ago.  Please click on this link to see Jeannine’s article in the upcoming Bar Journal, New Bar Department Provides Discipline-In-Progress Information.  She can be reached at 801-257-5515 or

The dates and facilities for the ABA/Library of Congress Traveling Magna Carta Exhibit have been selected; please click on this link to see the schedule.  Please encourage high school students you know to participate in our video and essay competitions; click on this link to see the competition guidelines.  Thanks to Ray Quinney & Nebeker for making the first contribution to the scholarship awards fund.  If you can help support the scholarships, please contact me.  Chief Justice John Roberts spoke about Magna Carta at the ABA convention last August.  He said its “core principles of justice” remain relevant today and are worth defending.  “No person, no matter how high, is above the law.”  He encourages all lawyers “as officers of the courts, to set [our] sights on the far horizon, to ensure that our legal profession continues to advance that ideal.”

The November 20-21 Fall Forum was a success, with 460 attending   Special thanks to co-chairs Sammi Anderson and Bill Christensen for all their time and effort in putting together a great event, and thanks also to the many judges who participated in the Meet Your Judges Mixer on November 20.

I hope you can join us for the Spring Convention in St. George March 12-14; click on these links for accommodations and the just-posted schedule.  Online registration will be available January 6.

We’re going back to Sun Valley for the Summer Convention July 29-August 1.  The Sun Valley Lodge will be reopening this summer after an extensive renovation.  Click on this link for online accommodation reservations.

Utah State Bar Group BenefitsCurrent Deals.  The first time you click on a “View Deal” you will be logged into the benefits page, and subsequent clicks will take you to the specific deals.

Utah State Bar Warns Citizens of Scam Artist Acting as Attorney

Unsuspecting clients fall victim to fraud.

Mary Ann Lucero / Dipoma courtesy Salt Lake County

Mary Ann Lucero / Dipoma courtesy Salt Lake County

Imagine someone impersonating an attorney helping you obtain proceeds from your spouse’s life insurance policy only to have your “attorney” steal the proceeds.  Envision paying for help with a foreclosure only to lose your home to the person who was purporting to help you.  At least these people retained their freedom; one man in jail lost $850 that his mother paid for legal assistance that never materialized.  These unfortunate victims have one thing in common:  Mary Ann Lucero, also know as Mary Ann Dipoma, who is not an attorney, but operates under the name of Wasatch Legal and Collection Services.

Other News Sources:


On October 29, 2014, Third District Court Judge Kennedy issued a bench warrant for her arrest, ordering her to spend 210 days in jail and pay $13,000 in fines for violating an order prohibiting her from practicing law without a license.  Anyone aware of Lucero/Dipoma’s whereabouts should contact the Utah State Bar at 801-531-9077 or

“Only persons who are active, licensed members of the Bar in good standing may engage in the practice of law in Utah” says Sarah Spencer, who, along with Jonathan Rupp, co-chairs the Utah State Bar’s Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law.  The committee is comprised of volunteer Utah attorneys who investigate complaints that non-attorneys are engaging in the practice of law.  Spencer notes that “licensed attorneys are initially tested for skill and character, they commit to ethics rules, and they continue to develop competency through education, resulting in a profession that serves the community.”

Before engaging someone who purports to be an attorney, please confirm their status by calling the Bar or visiting

According to Co-chair Rupp, immigrants are often the targets of this fraud scheme.  “In Latin American counties,” he observes, “notary publics are attorneys, so it is easy to confuse those new to this country about who can practice law and who can be an immigration consultant.”  Utah is one of five states that allow people to work as immigration consultants without a law degree, but registration with Utah’s Office of Consumer Protection is required for non-attorneys.   To verify registration, call 801-530-6601 and press zero or visit and select the green Search Registered Entities on the left.

Utah State Bar President James Gilson says that, “The Bar has many programs to assist people who may not be able to afford an attorney, who have limited funds, or who are unfamiliar with the legal process.”  The Tuesday Night Bar provides a free half-hour consultation with an attorney most Tuesdays.  The Bar also offers a lawyer-referral service for qualifying clients (with incomes of up to $70,000 for a family of four) for discounted rates of up to $50 or $75 an hour;

The Utah State Bar was established in 1931 and regulates the practice of law under the authority of the Utah Supreme Court.  The 11,500 lawyers of the Bar serve the public and legal profession with excellence, civility, and integrity.  They envision a just legal system that is understood, valued, and accessible to all.  Visit for more information on the Bar and the programs described above.

e.Bulletin for November 2014


election2013_JGilsonJudging the Judges—Thanks to the Park City Bar Board of Directors for their timely Park Record guest editorial on judicial retention elections. See Judging the Judges. Information about all judges who are up for retention election in each voting district is at Utah now has one of the most comprehensive judicial evaluation programs in the country. Please share this resource with others for Election Day tomorrow.

The November 20-21 Fall Forum is two weeks from Thursday. See these links for the schedule and to register (you will be directed there once you are logged into your Bar account). Save $25 with early registration before this Friday, November 7. I hope to see you at the Ethics Forum and the Meet Your Judges Mixer on November 20.

We are pleased to announce these award winners who will be honored at lunch on Friday, November 21st at the Fall Forum. Please visit the 2014 Fall Forum Awards for more information about recipients and awards.

Community Member of the Year

Steve Burt

Steve is an architect with Entelen Design-Build, LLC, and is the Public Member of the Utah State Bar Board of Commissioners since 2005.


  • Laura Scott, of Parsons Behle & Latimer

Lifetime Achievement

  • Judge James Davis
  • Judge Raymond Uno
  • Senator Lyle Hillyard, of Hillyard, Anderson & Olsen
  • Felshaw King, of King & King
  • Rod Snow, of Clyde Snow & Sessions

Outstanding Mentor

This award is given to a mentor in the New Lawyer Training Program who excelled in providing guidance in acquiring the practical skills, judgment, professionalism, ethics, and civility to practice in a highly competent manner. The award recipients were instrumental in helping new lawyers develop an understanding of how competent practice benefits clients and the profession as a whole.

  • Hon. Tuppakk Renteria, Third District Juvenile Court
  • Debra Nelson, of Salt Lake Legal Defender Association
  • Tim Larsen, of Diaz & Larsen

Also, congratulations to Jenifer Tomchak, of Parr, Brown, Gee & Loveless, who will receive a Heart & Hands Award—acknowledging those who make significant contributions to the community through volunteer or philanthropic service—at the Utah Philanthropy Day luncheon on November 13 at Little America; tickets here.

Please save the dates for our 2015 conventions:

We are finalizing our plans for the ABA’s traveling exhibit, Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy 1215-2015 throughout Utah in April 2015. Regional Bars will be coordinating celebrations in St. George, Provo, Logan, and Ogden. Statewide high school video and essay writing competitions are being set up, culminating with a gala on April 14, 2014. If you or your firm is interested in helping sponsor scholarship awards for winning entries, please contact me.

Regional Bars will be coordinating celebrations in St. George, Provo, Logan, and Ogden. Statewide high school video and essay writing competitions are being set up, culminating with a gala on April 14, 2014.

Please let me know if you have a question or comment.