eBulletin for November 2015


Double your pleasure at the new two-day Fall Forum in Salt Lake City, Thursday & Friday, November 19 & 20.  CLE registration.  Hotel reservations.

Share a registration; pay $350 and each attend one day.  Contact Connie at 801-297-7033 or cle@utahbar.org.

Congratulations to Fall Forum award winners Tara Isaacson, McKette Allred, Mark Tolman, Scott Hansen, Anne Burkholder, and the Disaster Legal Response Committee.  Awards will be presented this Thursday and Friday morning.  Details.

If you have time constraints, just come for lunch:  Kimberly Papillon’s Neuroscience of Decision-Making in the Practice of Law on Thursday, 12:15 to 3:15 p.m.; $75.  Lunch sign-up.

On Thursday evening, enjoy the 2015 UMBA Scholarship & Awards Banquet at the Grand America; cocktails at 6:00 p.m. and dinner at 7:00 p.m.  Participate.

On Friday, attend the Meet the Judges Reception in the Federal Courthouse lobby; open bar from 5-6:45 p.m.

Attorneys:  Included with the Fall Forum or register just for the reception ($25).

Judges:  No charge; please R.S.V.P to Connie at 801-297-7033 or cle@utahbar.org.

More great CLE; including section luncheons and CLE seminars; don’t miss:

Pretrial Practices, November 24, 4-6:00 p.m.; 2 credits; $50 ($25 for YLD); snacks and drinks; at the Bar; register.

See some winter sun at the Southern Utah Bar Association 13th Annual All-Day CLE on December 4; 7 credits and 2 ethics (pending); breakfast and lunch provided; $140 for SUBA, $175 for others; details.  Register with your name and bar number to subaboard@gmail.com.

Refresh your winter tan at the Spring Convention in St. George, March 10-12.

Add some surf to your sun at the Summer Convention in San Diego, July 6-9 at Loews Coronado Bay; reservations.  Follow us on Facebook.

Altruistic opportunities:

Kudos to Smith Hartvigsen, Justice Himonas, Rori Hendrix, and others who were honored by the U’s Pro Bono Initiative; details and to Chuck Carlston and Eva Brady who received awards from the Fourth District Court Pro Bono Committee; details.

Volunteers needed!  Debtor’s Clinic; free brief-legal-advice clinic for bankruptcy and debt collection; second Tuesday each month, 5-7:00 p.m. at the Horizonte School; probono@utahbar.orgModest Means Lawyer Referral program; qualified participants pay up to $75 an hour; register.  Sign up to take Pro Bono cases sourced by judges and partner agencies; register.

Please support the Annual Firm Campaign for “AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.”  Donate.

And support “AND JUSTICE FOR ALL” by shopping at Amazon.com and Smith’s; you just shop and they make small donations!  Link your Amazon account and/or Smith’s Reward Card to AJFA.

Take advantage of your Bar Benefits:

Casemaker users now have access to over six million pleadings.  Five pleadings a month free, then $1.99 per.  Review the first page of any pleading for free.  Sign up for this free Bar benefit (click on the Casemaker logo).

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).

e.Bulletin for October 2015


Thanks to everyone who participated in the Constitution Day Teach-In!

Please nominate a deserving attorney for one of the 2015 Fall Forum Awards.  These awards have a long history of honoring those whose work, public service, and personal dedication has significantly enhanced the administration of justice, the delivery of legal services, and the profession.  Submit award nominations to Christy Abad, 645 South 200 East, Suite 310, Salt Lake City, UT 84111 or adminasst@utahbar.org by Friday, October 9.  Past award recipients and award descriptions.

  • Distinguished Community Member Award
  • Professionalism Award
  • Pro Bono Service Award

Join us for the Fall Forum In Salt Lake City, Thursday and Friday, November 19 and 20, Grand America Hotel.  Online registration and schedule.

Please attend the Utah Minority Bar Association’s 2015 Scholarship & Awards Banquet at the Fall Forum on Thursday, November 19th, at the Grand America Hotel.  The keynote speaker is Cynthia Mares, immediate past president of the Hispanic National Bar Association.  UMBA will have a silent auction, present awards for local attorneys and firms and scholarships to Utah law students.  Cocktail hour will begin at 6:00 p.m.; dinner and the program will begin at 7:00 p.m.  Request tables or tickets now via utahminoritybar.org/2015banquet or purchase them when registering for the Fall Forum.  Please consider sponsoring or donating to student scholarships.  The awards recognize firms, attorneys, and judges who promote diversity, especially within the legal community, and demonstrate commitment to underserved populations.  Please send nominations to michelle@dolowitzhunnicutt.com by October 16.

  • Pete Suazo Community Service Award
  • Jimi Mitsunaga Excellence in Criminal Law Award
  • UMBA Honoree of the Year
  • UMBA Distinguished Lawyer of the Year
  • UMBA Law Firm of the Year

Mark your calendars for the Spring Convention in StGeorge, March 10-12.

For the Summer Convention in San Diego, July 6-9, the Bar secured deeply-discounted rates at Loews Coronado Bay:  marina-view rooms that normally go for $379 with a $25 daily resort fee are available to Bar members for $239 with no fee from July 3-12.  Online reservations.  Select “Make a Reservation” in the blue box in upper right corner.  Select your dates and number of guests, and before you select “Check Availability,” select “Special Rates” (in orange on left), then in the drop-down list select “Group Rates,” and then enter the code ANN727.  Or call 800-815-6397 and mention the code.  Follow us on Facebook and watch for upcoming updates on convention details.

National Pro Bono Celebration is October 25-31.  Utah lawyers excel at pro bono work; please join us for these local celebrations:

  • October 13, noon to 1:00:  Oakridge Country Club 2nd District Pro Bono Lunch & CLE (Unbundling and Ethics with Virginia Sudbury), 1492 Shepard LN, Farmington, UT 84025; no registration needed.
  • October 20, noon to 1:00:  Sixth District Lunch & CLE (Pro Se Ethics/Pro Bono), Richfield Courthouse, 895 E 300 N, Richfield, UT 84701; no registration needed.
  • October 26, noon to 1:30:  Third District Awards Luncheon, U of U Law School.
  • October 27:
    • Fourth District Pro Bono Awards Dinner and Legal Clinic, Dinner is from 5:30-7:00 p.m., in the Ballroom at the Historic County Courthouse, 51 South University Avenue, Provo, Utah; no registration needed.  Clinic is from 7-9:00 p.m., and attorneys are encouraged to volunteer after the dinner; Health and Justice Building, 151 South University Avenue Provo, UT 84601.
    • (more…)

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.

e.Bulletin for June 2015


Don’t miss the Summer Convention in Sun Valley July 29-August 1. See the schedule for the motivating keynote speakers, informative CLE, and numerous opportunities to interact with colleagues, friends, and family. Register online by June 26 for the early discount. Sun Valley Lodge and Inn are filling up fast: call 800-786-8259 for reservations (8 am to 9 pm). Also see the many other close lodging options. Convention highlights include:

  • US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s keynote on Thursday morning
  • Judges & Lawyers Mixer on Friday evening
  • Sun Valley now offers the best of the old and new with a major remodel

The Bar Commissioners are seeking nominations for the 2015 Bar Awards. These awards have a long history of publicly honoring those whose professionalism, public service, and personal dedication has significantly enhanced the administration of justice, the delivery of legal services, and the profession in general. Please submit your nominations to Christy Abad, 645 South 200 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84111 or adminasst@utahbar.org, to be received no later than Wednesday, June 10, 2015. View a list of past award recipients.

  • Judge of the Year
  • Distinguished Lawyer of the Year
  • Distinguished Section/Committee of the Year

The Bar has an Access to Justice Director position opening. The director is responsible for managing, supporting, and growing the Bar’s Pro Bono Commission, the Modest Means Lawyer Referral program, and other activities. The director will coordinate with other legal providers, recruit lawyers to provide services, and promote the programs to the public. The position requires a law degree from an ABA-approved law school. A current Utah Bar License, experience in the Utah legal system, and nonprofit experience would be pluses. See the position description. Those interested should submit a resume and letter by June 22 to the Assistant Executive Director: richard.dibblee@utahbar.org.

The 800 year anniversary of Magna Carta is June 15! Here is a recent article that explains Magna Carta’s unusual legacy in the United States. (The Bar staff—experts that they have become—noted one minor error: the 1225 version didn’t expand liberties to those other than freemen; see http://lawday.utahbar.org/ for a complete explanation.)

CLE Highlights for June:

  • June 11: TechEthics, 8:30-11:45, 3 Hrs. CLE (2 Ethics). Register here.
  • June 11: New and Improved Ways of Reaching Underserved Clients, 12:00-1:00 (lunch provided), 1 Hr. Ethics CLE, $30 for YLD & WLU and $35 for non-members. This CLE will be held at Parsons Behle & Latimer, 201 S. Main Street #1800, SLC, Utah 84111. Register here.
  • June 17: Resolving Conflict: Be Ethical. Be Professional. Be Wise., 9:00-12:20, 3 Hrs. CLE (2 Ethics, 1 Prof./Civ.). Register here.
  • June 19: Annual Lawyers Helping Lawyers: Sober as Justices, 8:30-1:00, 4 Hrs. CLE (2.5 Ethics and 1.5 Prof./Civ.). Register here.
  • June 23: Programming an Engagement Letter, 12:00-1:00, 1 Hr. CLE self-study telephone/web seminar. Register here.
  • June 26: The Cybersleuth’s Guide to the Internet: Master Google & Other Web Sites for Investigative Research, 9:00-4:30, 6 Hrs. CLE (4 Reg. and 2 Ethics). Register here.
  • June 30: The “Best of” Series: 4 sessions; chose one or more, 8:30-12:45, 4 Hrs. CLE (1 Ethics and 1 Prof./Civ.). Register here.

Odd Year Mandatory CLE (MCLE) Reporting Cycle (7/1/13 to 6/30/15)—Active Status Lawyers complying this year need to submit a Certificate of Compliance for 24 hours of approved CLE (with two hours of legal ethics and one hour of professionalism/civility) by July 31. You can download MCLE forms. If you have questions, please visit www.utahbar.org/mcle or contact MCLE Director, sydnie.kuhre@utahbar.org, 801-297-7035 or MCLE Assistant, ryan.rapier@utahbar.org, 801-297-7034.

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 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.)

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, nathan.alder@chrisjen.com or John Lund, jlund@scmlaw.com.

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 DisciplineInfo@UtahBar.org.

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.

e.Bulletin for September 2014


Classes are now available for the third annual September 17 Constitution Day Teach-in, for grades 5 through 12, with availability September 15-19.  Most classes are less than one hour long.  Helping young people understand the role of lawyers and the justice system is very enjoyable, makes a big difference in the classroom, and generates a lot of good will for our profession.  Click here to select a class to teach.  It’s easy to do: teach your own lesson or follow the lesson plan devised by the Bar’s Civic Education Committee (Co-chaired by Ben Hathaway and Gabe White).  An optional program review will be at the Law & Justice Center on Thursday, September 4, at 5 p.m. or Friday, September 5, at Noon; on-line video available next week; one-hour CLE credit for any option.  Click here for lesson plan and CLE registration.

The November 20-21 Fall Forum Schedule & Registration are now available.  (You will be directed to registration once you are logged into your Bar account).  The Judges & Lawyers Mixer at the Summer Convention was such a success that we are offering a Meet Your Judges Mixer on Thursday night, November 20, from 5 to 9 p.m. following the Professionalism & Civility Forum, featuring a panel of judges.  You can attend just Thursday night, just Friday daytime, or both.

Also, at the Fall Forum, the Bar Commission will be giving its annual Professionalism Award and Lifetime Service Award.  The deadline for nominations is Tuesday, September 30.  Below are the award criteria and list of past recipients:

Utah State Bar Professionalism Award

The Professionalism Award recognizes a lawyer or judge whose “deportment in the practice of law represents the highest standards of fairness, integrity and civility.”  The award was first given out in 2004 and includes a list of prominent members of the Bar who have exhibited the type of truthfulness, reliability and honor which is held as a standard  among their peers.  Please send nominations to Christy Abad at cabad@utahbar.org.  Past Recipients include:

  • 2005 – HON. RICHARD C. HOWE
  • 2006 –  BERT L. DART, JR.
  • 2007 – FRANCIS J. CARNEY
  • 2009 – CRAIG R. MARIGER
  • 2011 – T. RICHARD DAVIS
  • 2012 – PAUL M. DURHAM
  • 2013 – WILLIAM S. BRITT

Lifetime Service to the Bar Award

The Lifetime Service to the Bar Award recognizes lawyers or judges whose esteemed careers have been dedicated to significant involvement in the activities, programs and leadership of the Utah State Bar and devoted to enriching the legal profession and serving the public.  The award was first given out in 2006 and eighteen prominent senior members of the Bar have been recognized since then.  Please send nominations to Christy Abad at cabad@utahbar.org.  Past Recipients include:

  • (more…)

E.Bulletin for August 2014


Thanks to all those who attended the Bar’s Summer Convention, in Snowmass Colorado, July 16-19.  There was great CLE and opportunities to meet with other lawyers and judges, plus enjoy the outdoors.  Special thanks are due to Troy Booher for chairing this outstanding convention.  See these links for information about the Bar’s new leadership and our award winners, including Judge of the Year James L. ShumateLawyer of the year Charlotte L. Miller, and special awards to the Young Lawyers Division, Civics Education Committee, and Intellectual Property Section.  Please save the dates for next summer’s convention, which will be in Sun Valley on July 29-August 1, 2015.

This year’s Fall Forum is on November 20 & 21.  If you are coming from out-of-town, you may want to book your rooms now at Little America (800-281-7899).  Special rates for Bar members are $109 and $139.  The schedule is nearly complete; please watch for upcoming bulletins when registration is available online (the schedule will also be in the Sep/Oct Bar Journal).

The award-winning Civics Education Committee is launching its third annual Constitution Day on September 17.   Please join the hundreds of judges and lawyers who will meet with social studies classrooms across the state and teach students about the separation of powers and the importance of an independent judiciary.  The committee has developed an inventive curriculum and has prepared engaging materials.  It’s very simple:  Attend a CLE or view a video, print the handouts, and then give students a hands-on opportunity to learn about the Constitution.

  • August 7 – Save-the-date e-mail to members
  • August 14 – Curriculum available online
  • Early Sept. – Attorneys begin selecting classes online
  • September 4 – 5 p.m. CLE
  • September 5 – Noon CLE
  • September 8 – Video CLE available on the Bar’s website
  • September 17 – Constitution Day (some classes available before/after the 17th)

As you may know, the seeds of our Constitution were planted in a grassy meadow at Runnymede, England, 800 years ago this June.  Rebellious barons forced the despotic King John to address numerous grievances, and the resulting grant, which later became known as Magna Carta, was the first significant introduction of the concept of the “law of the land” vs. the law of the king.  The Bar is hosting a traveling exhibit in April from the Law Library of Congress, Magna Carta:  Enduring Legacy 1215-2015.  Magna Carta will also be the theme of Law Day on May 1.  Please contact Sean if this is a subject you would be interesting in writing or talking about.

Congratulations to all participants for the recent UMBA Food Drive/Competition which raised $22,239 to benefit the Utah Food Bank.  Twenty five law offices competed this year, and the firm with the most donations was Workman Nydegger with $4,056.  In second place was Parsons Behle & Latimer with $2,797, and in third, Durham Jones & Pinegar with $2,245.  Thanks to everyone who contributed.  If you don’t have someone designated, please consider serving as your office’s point of contact for next year’s competition.  Contact Kate Conyers to participate.


August 2014 News:

Utah State Bar Group Benefits—Learn about new offers from LifeLock, Sam’s Club, and AC Lens by visiting the August Deals page.  The first time you click on a “View Deal” link you will be logged into the benefits page, any subsequent clicks from the deals page will take you to that specific offer.

President’s Message: Fall Forum Awards


I am pleased to announce the recognition of the following people for outstanding service to the community and the profession. Awards will be presented at the Fall Forum.



    • Professionalism Award, given to a lawyer or judge whose actions and deportment represent the highest standards of courtesy, fairness and civility: William S. Britt.
    • Community Member of the Year Award, to recognize outstanding service toward the creation of a better public understanding of the legal profession and the administration of justice, the judiciary or the legislative process: Robert Austin, Education Specialist at Utah State Office of Education.
    • Outstanding Mentor Award, presented to an inside mentor from the January and July 2012 New Lawyer Training program: Brent H. Bartholomew.
  • Outstanding Mentor Award, presented to an outside mentor from the January and July 2012 New Lawyer Training program: Hugh Cawthorne.

The Bar is working on a communications campaign to position “real” Utah lawyers—and the personalized counsel they provide clients—against the anonymous forms and, often misdirected, advice from online sources. Please write to communications@utahbar.org with examples of wacky legal strategies, easily avoided problems that took time to fix, and other issues with online service providers that you have experienced.

I was surprised to learn that a large number of lawyers had missed the deadline to comply with the Utah Supreme Court’s MCLE filing this last month. I am sure that most may have entrusted that administrative duty to their staff or just failed to notice it on their calendar. I know that the MCLE Board tries to do their best to remind everyone of their bi-annual reporting requirement and also know that lawyers are busy. Unfortunately, there is a late fee and a suspension. So I just want to remind everyone to calendar July 1st of their reporting year and save themselves the expense of filing late and the trouble of becoming administratively suspended by the Court.

e.Bulletin for September 2013


commissioner_Jensen_CurtisI hope you had an enjoyable summer. At our last commission meeting we reviewed and assessed our performance on last year’s objectives as well as how we can continue to improve the programs currently being implemented by the Bar. We also had a great discussion on some of the challenges facing our profession in the coming years and how we can be better prepared to deal with these challenges. As a commission, we have identified specific objectives to focus on for the coming year. We will continue to promote the Pro-Bono and Modest Means programs. We have been very pleased with the success these programs have had since their launching, but realize that efforts must be made to assure their continued success.  Some of the objectives we have identified and will be focusing on for the coming year include:

  1. Educating the public about the rule of law and the judicial system.
  2. Assessing and implementing steps to improve the quality of CLE and its delivery to our members.
  3. Continuing to promote and support efforts in sustaining a fair and impartial judiciary.
  4. Continuing our efforts in supporting and promoting better access to justice and affordable legal services.
  5. Working with the local law schools and recent graduates in marketing efforts and career opportunities.
  6. Identifying and analyzing factors that will be impacting the practice of law and our legal profession in the future.
  7. Providing greater benefits to members.

The Bar Commission is committed to serving you and sincerely appreciates any input from our membership regarding the foregoing priorities or current operations of the bar.

After much discussion and consideration, the Commission has elected to return to Snowmass for the 2014 Summer Convention. For the first year, we were pleased with the outcome and received many positive responses from those who were in attendance, but we realize there are many ways we can improve the convention. Steps are being taken to address these concerns, and hopefully next year’s convention will be even bigger and more enjoyable to those members who attend. Next year’s convention will be July 16-19, so mark your calendars now.

September 2013 E-News

  • A PLEA FOR YOUR HELP! Volunteers Needed for Constitution Day Civics Program
  • Red Mass to Honor Judge Judith Atherton
  • National Pro Bono Celebration
  • Fall Forum schedule and registration available.
  • September CLE Programs

A PLEA FOR YOUR HELP! —The Bar has received an overwhelming response from schools requesting volunteer lawyers to teach an important course on the Constitution and the separation of powers for our Constitution Day kick-off of the Civics Education program. Despite having a lot of enthusiastic volunteers, we are more than 125 attorney volunteers short of filling our classroom requests. We feel very strongly that we need to get volunteers for all of the classrooms that have already requested them. If you have time that you can volunteer to teach this important topic to students in your community, we would welcome your help. A schedule of available classes can be found at Class Schedule. Teaching materials and instructional video are posted at http://civics.utahbar.org/resources.html. It will be an enjoyable and worthwhile experience which will not take much of your valuable time.

An Exciting Start to a Great Year

commissioner_Jensen_CurtisThe Summer Convention in Snowmass was an exciting beginning to my tenure as new Bar President. From serious break-out sessions to fun times with the family and colleagues in the Rockies and from learning about the difference between mastodons and mammoths to hearing about how the courts failed in Nazi Germany—I was constantly reminded about the value of our profession and the great people we get to work with at the Utah State Bar. It will be my honor and privilege to serve you for the coming year. I look forward to working with your commissioners as we continue to identify the important needs of our membership and continue to implement those programs that will best serve and assist you in your daily practices.

Thank You for Letting Me Serve the Profession


In my last e-bulletin I wanted to thank all the people who have made this year so successful. Thanks to Rob Rice and his committee for the yeoman’s work they have done on the pro bono commission. Thanks to Rob Jeffs for his inspiration and John Lund and Judge Su Chon for all the hours of work devoted to getting the Modest Means/Lawyer Referral program underway and working. Thanks to the Bar staff who have worked in extraordinary conditions while the HVAC system is being replaced and to Steve Burt, commission member and architect, for managing the contracts and bids for the work. Thanks to Angelina Tsu and Benson Hathaway for getting 174 lawyers and judges into classrooms on Constitution Day teaching on the constitution. Thanks to Rob Jeffs for heading up the new member benefits project to improve what the Bar can deliver to our members.

I would encourage those of you who have not had the opportunity for Bar service to volunteer. The benefits and camaraderie are priceless.
As part of the ongoing effort to shine a light on the public service provided by Utah’s legal professionals, the Utah State Bar Board of Bar Commissioners has created a set of radio public service announcements that will be running this month. The script and explanation, prepared by Sean Toomey, the Bar’s communication director, is on the web page at http://www.utahbar.org/utah-state-bar-news-and-announcements/in-the-news/utah-state-bar-on-the-air/.
The radio campaign begins with what some might consider an unlikely call to action: “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” These infamous words of Shakespeare were spoken by Dick the Butcher – a very bad guy. He, along with his companions wanted to take over, ending civilization as we know it and they knew the best was to start was to kill those working for justice – lawyers.
This all started when the Clerk of Chatham was charged with the heinous crimes of reading and writing. There was an impromptu and very quick trial at which the accused was able to speak only 18 words with no right to an advocate. The Clerk was convicted on the damning evidence of being able to write his name. The verdict: “Hang him with his pen and ink-horn about his neck.”
As lawyers, we would be ideal targets for Dick the Butcher and Jack Cade, who the bad guys were trying to set up as King. As lawyers, we represent the accused, provide free and discounted legal services, and work to keep people out of court. We also build strong partnerships, businesses, products, and projects; help people mediate and negotiate; and seek solutions for everyday problems and opportunities. Beyond this, we volunteer in the community, bringing our special skills to non-profit boards and government committees, as well as donating their time to help those needing a meal or a helping hand.
The message we are trying to get out to the public is that no matter what the issue: an arrest, creating a business, buying real estate, refinancing your mortgage, getting a divorce – hire a lawyer.


The Legal Profession Today and Into the Future

Bar President Lori NelsonI recently attended a conference that seemed to imply that the sky was falling regarding law practice as we know it. The message was that lawyers and firms need to plan and adapt or fail. Every generation of attorneys has been confronted with change. We are no different. Lawyers have always risen to the challenge, and I am pleased to note that many of the changes recommended by other presenters, and presented below have already been adopted by Utah firms, law schools, and the courts. Based on the theory that knowledge is power, I thought I would share with you the thoughts of Frederic S. Ury and Thomas Lyons, who posited that there are five major trends impacting the practice of law: Globalization; Technology; Nature of clients; Demographics; and Legal education.


Ury and Lyons informed us that over one million lawyers in India are willing to work for much less than American attorneys, causing basic research and writing projects to be shipped overseas instead of being performed in-house by associates. This trend is changing because of the glut of American attorneys who are out of work. One aspect of globalization is the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). Legal services are part of GATS. Because of this, American firms are being pressured to change and allow things such as non-lawyer ownership of law firms. Australia has two publicly traded law firms. The UK allows passive non-lawyer investment in firms. The ABA had before it, but did not consider, as part of Ethics 20/20, a change to the Rules of Professional Conduct that would allow American firms to have partial ownership by non-lawyers. Globalization is likely going to impact our practices. Knowing that gives us the chance to prepare for the upcoming change and decide in advance what we want to be as lawyers and law firms.


More than any single factor, technology has changed the practice of law. Now, small firms have the same access to legal resources as large firms. More importantly, clients have access to the same legal resources. As Ury and Lyons posit, “E-law firms, combined with outsourcing and co-sourcing, can build a nationwide network of law firms.” This raises issues of confidentiality, conflicts of interest, and competence. Many freshly minted lawyers are now beginning e-law firms and avoiding the mentoring previously available to associates who work in firms. This makes strict compliance with our mentoring program essential to ensure that all new attorneys are given the necessary skills and professionalism to serve the public competently.

Nature of Clients

The new personality of clients is changing. Most younger clients grew up using the internet. There is substantial legal information available on the internet to address client’s questions without having to ask an attorney. There are many websites offering forms for clients: LegalZoom, Docracy, Paperlex, etc. The problem is that these form based websites allow clients to believe they solve problems when, in fact, they may be creating them. One thing we can do is work on improving our websites to allow

clients access to basic information that will guide them to an attorney. This allows clients to do part of the work themselves but then turn to an attorney to provide the critical advice necessary, refining the legal work and separating it from what clients may view as merely document drafting. This adds value to the final product and perfects the collaborative process between client and attorney to ensure the client’s needs are truly being met and the lawyer’s skills are being maximized.

President’s Message: Balance

Bar President Lori Nelson

President’s Message
by Lori W. Nelson

When I was thinking about what to write, a good friend suggested I write about balance. I took that to mean work/life balance. As I thought about work/life balance, it occurred to me that the way we define the topic changes the discussion. After all, isn’t work part of life? To discuss the topic as if work and life are separate and happen in isolation of each other ignores reality. We spend a huge amount of every day devoted to our profession, and it is part of life. I believe a much better way to define the topic is Life Balance.

We all have issues that we deal with every day: jobs, homes, families, health, service, etc. These aspects of our lives are what make us whole. It is how we balance all of these competing interests that determines our happiness.

Malcolm S. McNeil of Carlsmith Ball LLP discussed this topic at the ABA Midyear meeting in 2008. He stated that “lawyers must be aware of their priorities in life and make sure their personal and professional endeavors support those priorities.” The point is not that work and life compete, but rather that personal and professional efforts should aim for the same target.

The Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association produced a CLE Series called “101 Practice Solutions.” One of the topics was “Balancing Life and Work.” The suggestions included the following:

Define your values – “Life should be a reflection of what you value the most.”

Do not procrastinate – “Procrastinating keeps your mind busy and prevents you from relaxing….”

Organize, organize, organize – “Figuring out a way to organize your time, space and habits…can be very calming.”

As technology has made it easier to accomplish work related activities when we aren’t in the office, we have to ask ourselves if we are managing the balancing act better or worse than before we had access to instant email. Ron Ashkenas, a contributor to Forbes, wrote in the October 19, 2012, publication that we are no longer talking about work/life balance but rather work/life blend. (I still object to the notion that work isn’t a part of life, but for purposes of discussion, let’s just go with that phrase for now.) Ashkenas states that in managing the blend we should “stop feeling guilty about scheduling [work] during vacations and checking our emails at night” and similarly we should stop feeling guilty about “talking with our spouses, friends, and family members during work time.”

Cali Williams Yost, the author of the new book TWEAK IT: Make What Matters to You Happen Every Day, stated that work/life balance doesn’t exist and what we need to think about is work+life fit. She states in an interview with Dan Schawbel at Forbes, published January 8, 2013, that:

It is more important than ever that we bring the best of ourselves, physically, emotionally and creatively to our jobs and lives every day. Small actions and priorities, like a walk with your dog or shopping for healthy food, that are part of your weekly routine make a big difference.

Utah State Bar President’s Message January 2013

Utah’s Lawyer Legislators

Not many of us are aware of the tremendous personal and financial sacrifices associated with being a lawyer-legislator. Long hours, limited family time and the difficulty of juggling demands make it prohibitive for most lawyers to run for office. Add time-consuming campaigns every other year, and becoming a legislator loses much of its appeal. Lawyers pay a big price, both personally and professionally, to serve in the legislature. Most claim a huge loss in time available for their families and a diminished earning capacity because of the tremendous amount of time required at the legislature and at the law office. Nonetheless, attorneys play a vital role in the legislature by virtue of the fundamental training they receive in law school. An attorney comes into the job with the knowledge and experience of the law and a lawyer’s unique ability helps them to watch for language in legislation that may be misconstrued and lose its original intention. Utah’s citizenry is well-served having 22 lawyers work as legislators.

“Thank You” Utah’s Lawyer Legislators


Patrice Arent, Derek E. Brown, LaVar Christensen, Spencer Cox, Brian Greene, Craig Hall, Kenneth R. Ivory, Mike Kennedy, Brian King, Daniel McCay, Kay L. McIff, Mike McKell, Merrill Nelson, Kraig J. Powell, V. Lowry Snow, Keven J. Stratton, Earl Tanner.


Lyle W. Hillyard, Mark B. Madsen, Stephen H. Urquhart, John L. Valentine, Todd Weiler.