Donor Intent and the Failure of the Honor System

by David L. Wilkinson
The private sector of philanthropy is facing huge challenges today, at a time unfortunately when government resources to assist those in need are shrinking. The assets of charitable foundations in the USA declined by 28% in 2008 according to a study by The Chronicle of Philanthropy. See Daniel J. Popeo, Op-Ed., Freedom of Philanthropy?, N.Y. Times, Feb. 23, 2009, available at This was the biggest drop of the past four decades. The loss to the nonprofit organizations they fund and to society was actually much greater due to the multiplying effect of the charitable dollar. A study by The Philanthropic Collaborative calculated that the $43 billion foundations distributed in 2007 generated identifiable social and economic benefits of $368 billion. See id. (more…)

Founder Dallin H. Oaks’ Visit Spurs Call to Join of Utah-born American Inns of Court Movement

by Isaac D. Paxman
Did you know that the American Inns of Court (“AIC”) movement was born here in Utah? Designed to enhance the skills, professionalism, and ethics of the bar and bench, the movement has swept the country, impacting over a hundred thousand attorneys and judges over the last three decades.
Dallin H. Oaks Addresses First Inn
On January 24, 2012, Dallin H. Oaks, who helped found the AIC movement, dined with and addressed the first American Inn at an evening event held in his honor at the courtroom of the Utah Supreme Court in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Utah Chief Justice Christine M. Durham introduced Elder Oaks, as he is now known in his calling as a member of the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Chief Justice Durham, a long-time member of the A. Sherman Christensen American Inn of Court I, served with then-Justice Oaks on Utah’s highest court almost thirty years ago. She recalled the keen intellect, engaging stories, and warm humor Oaks brought to his interactions with fellow justices. Oaks, in turn, spoke highly of Chief Justice Durham as both judge and administrator, noting that the court was good before she arrived, but notably better after her arrival. (more…)

Utah Department of Health Hearing Process

by Drew B. Quinn
While relatively few people have experience filing requests for administrative hearings with the Utah Department of Health, this lack of know-how should not prevent attorneys representing medical assistance beneficiaries or providers from doing so. This area of law may afford attorneys the opportunity to provide pro bono services to Medicaid clients who can benefit from legal representation. The following article describes the steps an attorney must take to assist such a client, pro bono or otherwise.
Administrative fair hearings for Medicaid applicants, beneficiaries, or providers are an interplay of federal law, federal regulations, state law, state administrative rules, and policy and provider contracts. This article provides the ABCs of negotiating the hearing process at the Office of Formal Hearings, Division of Medicaid and Health Financing, Utah Department of Health (“DOH”). (more…)

I Finally Got My Day in Court

by Peg McEntee
EDITOR’S NOTE: A version of this article was previously published in the Salt Lake Tribune. The Bar Journal does not ordinarily publish material that has appeared elsewhere, but given the subject of the column, an exception seemed appropriate in this case.
Last fall, I was talking to a top cop and mentioned I was on a list for jury duty. Don’t worry, he said, they never choose cops, lawyers, or reporters.
The next morning, I reported to a Third District courthouse, where the jury pool was questioned briefly about age, profession, marriage status, children, and residence. Then the attorneys spent about ten minutes deciding which of us to keep. In the interim, the judge read us a brief history of justice, starting with the hunter-gatherers and ending with the U.S. system, which he deemed the finest in the world. (more…)

The Utah Territorial Bar Association: Our Forgotten Heritage

by Michael S. Eldredge
On the official Utah State Bar website, the history of the Utah bar before 1931 condenses into one compound sentence: “The history of the Utah State Bar began in the early 1900s with the association of several Utah lawyers hoping to improve communication within the legal community and to find ways of serving the general public.” See “Utah State Bar History & Purpose,” Utah State Bar,, (last visited April 1, 2012). Whether because of oversight, or a generally accepted lack of relevance, the result is the same; Utah is forgetting its legal heritage, one that is as unique, colorful, and controversial as Utah’s struggle for statehood and beyond. (more…)

Survey Says…Mentors Reap Benefits of Mentoring

by Elizabeth A. Wright
At the Utah State Bar Summer Convention in Sun Valley, Idaho, the Bar Commission will recognize Sharon Donovan of Dart, Adamson & Donovan and Riley “Josh” Player, an Assistant District Attorney at the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office, as Outstanding Mentors in the New Lawyer Training Program (“NLTP”). New lawyers who have been mentored in the NLTP were invited to nominate their mentors for the first “Outstanding Mentor” award to be given in July. Though Ms. Donovan and Mr. Riley are to be commended for their outstanding service, there were many other terrific nominees. The large number of thoughtful nominations indicates that the new lawyers are truly appreciative of the time mentors devote to them and the relationship that is formed. The following comments from mentees demonstrate the significance of mentoring in the early stages of a lawyer’s career: (more…)

The Mortgage Lender’s Primer on a TILA Rescission Claim

by Aaron B. Millar
The latest statistics show that although the Utah foreclosure rate has decreased, Utah foreclosures are still quite high relative to the nation. In Q3 2011, one in 145 Utah homes was in foreclosure, sixth highest in the nation. See Consumers often turn to consumer protection statutes, such as the federal Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”), for protection against foreclosing lenders.
Imagine this scenario: Hours before the foreclosure sale, the mortgage lender receives a fax from the defaulting borrower’s lawyer stating that the borrower rescinds the loan and that the lender is obligated to reconvey its deed of trust because the finance charge in the loan disclosures was understated by $36. The borrower further demands that the lender return all of the fees and interest payments the borrower made on the loan. Possible? Yes. Many lenders have been unprepared to confront a rescission demand under TILA. Given the tight statutory time frame and the risks involved, the lender must proceed expeditiously and with caution when responding to a rescission demand. (more…)

Article – Utah Originalism

by Troy L. Booher
The Utah Supreme Court has had a tenuous relationship with originalism. Originalism is a collection of views unified by their treatment of events at the time constitutional text was drafted and ratified as determinative of how that text later should be interpreted. Although originalism is often associated with political Conservatism, it is worth keeping in mind that originalism produces decisions in line with other political viewpoints. Consider, for example, State v. Hernandez, 2011 UT 70, 268 P.3d 822, a recent case in which the Utah Supreme Court, in light of the history and original understanding of Article I, Section 13 of the Utah Constitution, held that a preliminary hearing is required not just in cases involving felonies but also in cases involving Class A misdemeanors. See id. 2011 UT 70, ¶ 29. While originalists look to the views of the founding generation, originalism does not require that those views track any particular political ideology. (more…)

Advice on Not Giving Investment Advice

by Jason D. Rogers and Brad R. Jacobsen
Many people would believe that investment advisers are only those that give opinions on which stocks, bonds, or mutual funds to buy. However, under applicable securities laws “investment adviser” is much more broadly defined than commonly thought, potentially including those who simply give general financial counseling or planning or those who recommend the purchase of a particular asset.
The question of whether or not a person is an investment adviser frequently arises in a real estate, insurance, or other sales context. Such salespeople would not generally think they are subject to the securities laws, but, depending on their activities, they may be. (more…)

Severance Damages Take a Sea-Change With Admiral Beverage

by Richard E. Danley, Jr.
In October of 2011 the Utah Supreme Court issued its opinion in Utah Department of Transportation v. Admiral Beverage Corporation, 2011 UT 62, 693 Utah Adv. Rep. 16. The opinion has not been released for publication. Admiral marks a sea-change in how Utah determines severance damages involving actual takings. It allows the claimant to recover the full diminution in fair-market value, without limiting recovery under the traditional severance damage rules, simplifies the determination of loss and, for the first time awards severance damages for loss of visibility from changes made to a public highway. However, the Utah Supreme Court limited the eligibility to recover under Admiral to four preconditions. First, an actual taking must occur; second, the property taken must be essential to the project; third, recovery must be limited to real estate; and fourth, the loss must be caused by the taking. See id. ¶ 29. If these four conditions are present the supreme court said the claimant only need prove the taking of a protected property interest to be entitled to full recovery for loss under the State Constitution. See id. ¶ 43. (more…)

Books From Barristers

http://www.trelease-on-reading.comhttp://www.trelease-on-reading.comby Elaina M. Maragakis
It’s impossible to imagine my world without books. Not only am I surrounded by them in my office, but they are packed into walls of bookshelves at home. These days, our home is filled with children’s books, as well. I have crammed them into bookshelves, baskets, and bins. I have surrounded myself – and I suspect that you have, as well – in what researchers call a “print rich environment.” It’s little wonder that some of my earliest and fondest memories are of peeling open the pages of The Berenstain Bears or Dr. Seuss or Little Golden Books, and diving into those wonderful and classic stories. (more…)

Utah Law Developments

Young Living Essential Oils, LC v. Marin: Clarifying the Limited Scope and Content of the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing
by Cory A. Talbot and J. Derek Kearl
“[S]hrouded in mystery.”1 “[F]rustratingly elusive.”2 “[I]nexact.”3 Each phrase has been used to describe the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. In general terms, this implied covenant imposes a duty on contracting parties to act consistently with the parties’ agreed upon common purpose and to not do anything to destroy or injure the other party’s right to receive the benefits of the contract. See Oakwood Vill. LLC v. Albertsons, Inc., 2004 UT 101, ¶ 43, 104 P.3d 1226; St. Benedict’s Dev. Co. v. St. Benedict’s Hosp., 811 P.2d 194, 200 (Utah 1991). The doctrine “is based on judicially recognized duties not found within the four corners of the contract,” Christiansen v. Farmers Ins. Exch., 2005 UT 21, ¶ 10, 116 P.3d 259, and, although it has long been a part of Utah law, continues to pose difficulties to contracting parties, practitioners, and judges alike. (more…)

Blow the Whistle: The Dodd-Frank Act Creates New Incentives for Whistleblowers – and Compliance Issues for Utah Businesses

by Barry Scholl and Kevin Timken
A new client makes an appointment to discuss an employment issue with you. When you talk, she tells you that she works in the warehouse for a widget distributor. Recently, right before the end of the prior fiscal year, her warehouse received an unusually large shipment of widgets from a public company. She heard her boss tell the public company’s auditor that he requested the shipment and that the widgets were not returnable – but she also heard the public company’s president thank her boss for accepting the unusual shipment and assure him that as soon as the audit was completed, he could return all of the widgets he had not sold. Her boss owns the company she works for, and when she mentioned the difference between what he told the auditor and what the agreement really was, he threatened to fire her. (more…)

Focus on Ethics & Civility

The Civic-Minded Lawyer
by Keith A. Call
In the summer of 1988, the lawyers at Fabian & Clendenin were kind enough to give me a job as a court runner. I now grin to think about how genuinely exciting it was for me, a small-town son of a country lawyer, to deliver important documents – complaints, thick motions, and even interrogatory answers – around town to court and other law firms. A few years later, I experienced an even more exhilarating feeling when I first signed my name as a bona fide lawyer on an actual complaint that was about to be filed in the Maricopa County Superior Court. (more…)

E-mail Privacy

by Keith A. Call
Like most people, I have a love-hate relationship with my e-mail. I love the convenience of communicating with groups of people at once, especially at irregular times. But I absolutely hate how e-mail tries to take over my law practice and my life.
A friend recently told me that he was on the verge of “e-mail bankruptcy.” He was so overloaded with e-mails that he was simply going to delete all of them – read and unread. Anyone who had a message they really wanted him to read was going to have to send him a new “claim.”

Love it or hate it, e-mail transmission is here to stay, at least until they perfect telepathic transmission. In order to maximize e-mail efficiency and minimize e-mail misery, here are some ideas that will help keep your attorney-client e-mails private instead of seeing them listed as your adversary’s “Exhibit A.” (more…)