Estate Planning: A Practice Management Primer

by Matthew L. Mitton
Invest in Yourself
I made a presentation last year to the Young Lawyers Division on practice management tips for new estate planning attorneys. I decided to tailor the presentation around practice management issues rather than to attempt to present a comprehensive primer on estate planning.
I mentioned to this group of new lawyers that the most rewarding thing I do as an estate planning attorney is meet with people with diverse, interesting and challenging needs and objectives. Like many of my colleagues, I am privileged to meet fascinating people who are happy to engage my services. I can’t think of a better way to practice law. I spend most of my days in consultations with clients that range from two to three hours. Why bring this up? I believe it’s critical to understand early in your practice what your strengths and weaknesses are before you find yourself in a state of torment. I know attorneys who don’t enjoy spending hour after hour in consultations with clients; they would rather spend hours in front of the computer drafting estate planning provisions or researching complex tax matters. If you are a technician, find a practice area where those talents and strengths are needed, and where appropriate, find colleagues that can add other dimensions to your practice where you lack.
The greatest complaint clients have expressed to me as they meet with attorneys is the inability to communicate complex legal terms and ideas in a “language” they understand. The estate planning experience can be emotionally charged and complicated to begin with. If the client doesn’t understand how their attorney and counselor at law can solve their legal challenges, the attorney-client relationship will fail and the efficacy of the plan will be at risk over time.
One of the best things that ever happened in my early practice was the opportunity I had to present estate planning topics to countless associations and groups throughout the state. Take every opportunity in your new legal career to speak and teach. Make certain you practice and hone the craft of effective communication. This skill may serve you better than any other skill I know. The other skill new lawyers must fight to develop is the ability to listen when you need to listen. After three years of law school, we are anxious to tell people what we know. In my opinion, the key to every successful estate planning engagement is rooted in your ability to be an empathetic listener and effective communicator. Don’t be afraid to discuss these skills with and solicit honest and constructive feedback from friends and family, or other colleagues.
Invest in Good Forms and CLE
If you are in a well-established firm with an existing estate planning practice group, you probably have great forms at your disposal; however, even the best forms can become outdated over time. Make it a point to review and update forms as a practice group at least once a year, if not more frequently.
In a small firm or solo practice, one of the most critical “practice management” decisions an estate planning attorney will make is choosing solid estate planning software and forms. In a recent conversation I had with a local banker, he remarked that most attorneys in the same geographic area would ultimately draft a “common” or “shared” trust agreement. While that might have been the case years ago, the proliferation of estate planning documents through myriad internet and publishing sources has led to a very robust “forms menu” for lawyers in every imaginable practice. The American Bar Association routinely sells estate planning documents and conducts CLE workshops in this area of practice. Practice management groups like WealthCounsel ( and the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys ( cater to lawyers and firms who not only want forms, but are also willing to pay for assistance in other practice management areas. These companies provide marketing assistance, law firm profitability analysis, case mentoring, and assistance with staffing and ongoing education support. It is not inexpensive to join and pay the monthly dues for this type of service, but each lawyer needs to decide how the “business” of their practice will operate. (more…)

Wills for Heroes: Protecting Those Who Protect Us

by R. Blake Hamilton
I recently attended the S.J. Quinney College of Law Career Fair on behalf of my firm, Stirba & Associates. While I was there, a first-year law student approached me and asked a surprising question. She, like many others in her class, was looking for opportunities to clerk after her first year of law school. Yet when I asked her if she had any questions about my firm, the first question she asked was: “What type of pro bono work does your firm do?” I responded that all attorneys at my firm are encouraged to find opportunities to contribute to the community by providing pro bono legal work. I then proceeded to tell her about one such opportunity that I have had the privilege of participating in.
On September 11, 2001, more than 400 first responders gave their lives to save their fellow Americans. Out of that tragedy arose an amazing program: Wills for Heroes. The Wills for Heroes program provides free wills, living wills, and healthcare and financial powers of attorneys to first responders and their spouses or domestic partners.
Every day, in towns and cities across the nation, including here in Utah, first responders – firefighters, police, and EMTs – put their lives at risk to protect us. We were reminded of this truth on January 4, 2012, when six police officers were shot and one killed while executing a warrant in Ogden, Utah. The Wills for Heroes program allows us as members of the Bar to provide pro bono legal work as an expression of gratitude to those who sacrifice and put themselves in harm’s way to protect their communities – in our small way “protecting those who protect us.” In doing so we are rewarded.
On December 2, 2011, two first responders from Northern Utah were on hand at the Utah State Bar Commission meeting to thank the Commission for the Bar’s Wills for Heroes program. “Sometimes as first responders we’re so busy helping other people that we forget about ourselves,” said Captain Golden Barrett from the Hill Air Force Base Fire Department. “I want to say thank you very much for everything you’ve done for us. It really does make a difference.”
Utah adopted the Wills for Heroes program in 2006, the twelfth state to do so. Since that time, the program has provided free estate planning to more than 4,000 first responders. Volunteer lawyers in Utah have contributed 10,000-plus hours of pro bono legal work at events from Logan to St. George. Wills for Heroes events are scheduled for the third Saturday of every other month. A calendar of future events and further information about the Wills for Heroes program can be found by visiting the Utah State Bar Young Lawyers Division’s (YLD) informational website at
A Wills for Heroes Event is a joint effort between a first responder department and YLD. The first responder department provides a contact person to disseminate information and coordinate appointments. The department also provides a classroom or a conference room with tables and chairs where the event may be held. YLD does the rest. (more…)

Young Lawyers Division

The Green Utah Pledge
by Jon Clyde, Kelly J. Latimer, and Kallie A. Smith
One million two hundred thousand! This is the number of sheets of paper used by Clyde Snow on a yearly basis. This equates to 100,000 sheets of paper each month or 25,000 sheets each week. Lawyers tend to print out everything and rationalize the excessive printing in various ways: “it is just too hard to read double-sided copies” or because “it is easier to edit that way.” Without a doubt, the practice of law is one of the more paper-intensive professions. However, a large number of firms do not purchase recycled paper or recycle used paper. Instead, this paper finds its way to the landfill.

Until last June, Clyde Snow was one of those firms. The firm had no recycling, and employees would throw all of their paper, plastic, and cardboard directly into the trash. Clyde Snow has now implemented a full-scale recycling program, with the help of Momentum Recycling. Clyde Snow initially began with four of the big blue household recycling bins, which were to be collected monthly. However, within a week all four bins were overflowing. The firm now has a twice-monthly collection of six recycling bins. Thanks to the handy quarterly diversion reports received from Momentum, Clyde Snow is able to report that from June to December, it has recycled approximately 5060 pounds of waste and diverted around twenty-one cubic yards of waste from the landfill.
Unfortunately, there are a number of law firms, both large and small, that still have no recycling or environmental policies in place. In an effort to address this issue, Jenifer Tomchak, President of the Young Lawyers Division (“YLD”), asked us to help her implement a new program called the Green Utah Pledge. Her vision for this program is to raise awareness of environmental waste and to encourage firms and practitioners to adopt environmentally friendly practices.
The goal of the Green Utah Pledge is to encourage local firms and practitioners to implement greener office practices by taking the modest steps necessary to participate in the American Bar Association (“ABA”)-Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) Law Office Climate Challenge (“Climate Challenge”). Law offices that take these steps become signatories of the Green Utah Pledge and will receive recognition from YLD, including public acknowledgment in the Utah Bar Journal. Further, we are working on creating additional marketing and membership benefits to reward those firms and practitioners that demonstrate leadership in the arena of environmental awareness.
ABA-EPA Climate Challenge:
The ABA and EPA launched the Climate Challenge as a pilot program in 2007. It was designed to encourage law offices to take simple, practical steps to become better environmental and energy stewards. Interest in the program has grown steadily since its inception and currently more than 250 law firms participate on various levels, including the Utah law offices of Chapman and Cutler, LLP; Hobbs and Olson, LC; and Ban Law Office, PC.
The Climate Challenge program offers several ways for a firm to qualify as a Climate Challenge Partner or Leader. Specifically, law offices may qualify by: (more…)

DUI Law in a Flash

by Philip Wormdahl
Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series summarizing CLE presentations given as part of the YLD’s “Practice in a Flash” program.
More than 15,000 DUI arrests were made in Utah during 2010. Roughly two-thirds of those arrests were first-time offenders. With so many citizens facing DUI charges, most lawyers should expect that someone they know will need representation for DUI. Because of the volume of arrests, being able to competently handle a DUI case is a critical skill for attorneys working in criminal defense and a huge asset to attorneys looking to develop and grow their clientele. This article is meant to give a basic overview of the “typical” DUI case by exploring some of the most common procedures, hearings, and issues.
The Offense
Driving Under The Influence of Alcohol and\or Drugs, or “DUI,” is codified at Utah Code section 41-6a-502. See Utah Code Ann. § 41-6a-502 (LexisNexis 2010). The conduct prohibited by the statute is as follows:

Section 41-6a-502. Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both or with specified or unsafe blood alcohol concentration – Reporting of convictions.
(1) A person may not operate or be in actual physical control of a vehicle within this state if the person:
(a) has sufficient alcohol in the person’s body that a subsequent chemical test shows that the person has a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .08 grams or greater at the time of the test;
(b) is under the influence of alcohol, any drug, or the combined influence of alcohol and any drug to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely operating a vehicle; or
(c) has a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .08 grams or greater at the time of operation or actual physical control.
Id. § 41-6a-502(1).
The first element of the offense requires that the subject be “operating” or in “actual physical control” of a vehicle. See id. § 41-6a-502(1). While “operating” may be self-explanatory, it is important to understand that a person can be convicted of DUI without actually “driving” a vehicle. Whether a person was in “actual physical control” of a vehicle is a question for the jury and is determined by the totality of the facts. A DUI attorney challenging “actual physical control” should look to Richfield City v. Walker, 790 P.2d 87 (1990), for a good primer of facts that may establish “actual physical control.” Also, unlike most other violations of the traffic code, DUI does not require the vehicle to be on a public street. “Parking lot” and “driveway” DUIs are common.
Second, the statute requires that a person be at or above the statutory “per se” alcohol limit of 0.08 grams of alcohol, or be under the influence to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely operating a vehicle. See Utah Code Ann. § 41-6a-502(1)(a)(b). This means that a person under the “per se” limit of .08 could still be arrested for, charged with, and convicted of DUI.
It is clear from the language of the statute that a person can be prosecuted for DUI for both alcohol, and\or drugs. The definition of what counts as a “drug” is also specifically defined for DUI offenses in Utah Code section 41-6a-501 and is broad enough to include substances beyond “controlled substances.” See id. 41-6a-501. A common example of this is a DUI that involves the use of household inhalants like paint, glue, or compressed air. (more…)

Practice in a Flash: Helping Lawyers Hang a Shingle

by Gabriel White
Practice in a Flash is designed to support lawyers moving into solo or small firm practice because of economic circumstances that block traditional avenues of legal employment. It is an electronic platform that will provide new lawyers with basic practice forms, entry level CLE, and other helpful information on how to start and manage a law firm. Once the electronic program is released in the spring of 2012, it will give new lawyers advice on topics such as how to rent and open an office, hire staff, and market themselves to public. Adapted from a similar program in Texas, Practice in a Flash will give young attorneys important resources that can bridge the gap between a law school education and advice from colleagues and mentors.

Many students choose to study law because it is a safety net. At least part of the reason that many of us decided to go to law school was the promise of a high-paying, high-demand job in an interesting and challenging field. However, in this economy, yesterday’s promise is today’s fantasy. Reports of layoffs, hiring freezes, and even the occasional law firm implosion have radically changed the appearance of the legal marketplace. Law firms are reluctant to hire due to economic pressures, and new lawyers are at a disadvantage, often competing for entry level jobs with experienced lawyers laid off from larger firms. Even highly qualified graduates from good schools may face a debilitating job search stretching from weeks to months.
Faced with such bleak prospects, many young lawyers are turning away from traditional employment avenues and choosing to open their own firms. Some lawyers hang out a shingle as a temporary way to make ends meet; others are pursuing dreams of independence in their working lives. Whatever the reason, going solo is a scary prospect for many new attorneys. Small business ownership carries serious risks, and law school doesn’t train businesspeople. Torts and property classes don’t cover marketing, fair hiring practices, or how to manage client expectations. With a few exceptions, modern law schools are still largely academic institutions that do not provide the practical experience that a student needs to pick up a diploma, don a suit, and open for business. With its unwritten rules, special regulations, and fiduciary duties, entering the solo practice of law is intimidating.
Similarly, there is only so much that mentors and colleagues can do to help. Colleagues at new firms are competitors, and may be reluctant to hand over advice in critical areas. Anyway, if the blind lead the blind, both may fall into the proverbial ditch. On the other hand, mentors are required to have at least seven years of experience, and thus are far removed from the plight of the recently graduated lawyer. Even if they accurately remember the harried and frenetic days of the newly-minted lawyer, most qualified mentors haven’t recently opened their own solo law practice. With a few exceptions, mentors who have experience with getting a business license and opening a trust account did so in a vastly different business environment. Concepts like the virtual office, online research platforms, and pay-per-click advertising were unknown even five years ago. These sage advisors can provide invaluable information to young lawyers, but their ability to help with the practical problems of opening an office is limited. (more…)

Young Lawyer Division Celebrates Pro Bono Opportunities

As the Utah State Bar prepares for the upcoming American Bar Association’s (“ABA”) National Pro Bono Celebration October 25-31, 2009,1 I would like to highlight a few of the pro bono and service opportunities offered by the Young Lawyers Division (“YLD”). If you would like to get involved in these or other YLD activities, please visit or contact Michelle Allred at

Tuesday Night Bar
Since October of 1988, the YLD has coupled with the Utah State Bar to provide a free legal advice program to help members of the community to determine their legal rights on a variety of issues. Each year, approximately 1100 individuals meet with a volunteer attorney for a brief one-on-one consultation at no cost. Tuesday Night Bar is held the first four Tuesdays of each month between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at the Utah Law & Justice Center, 645 South 200 East, Salt Lake. Volunteers are also needed for a Spanish-language clinic held on the first and third Wednesday of each month at the Sorenson Multicultural Center, 855 West 1300 South, Salt Lake, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Wills for Heroes
The Wills for Heroes program was predicated upon the alarming fact that an overwhelmingly large number of first responders – 80 to 90 percent – do not have simple wills or any type of estate planning documentation, although they regularly risk their lives in the line of duty. The
objective of the Wills for Heroes program is to provide free estate planning documents to firefighters, police officers, paramedics, corrections and probation officers, and other first
responders and their spouses or domestic partners. The Wills for Heroes program involves attorneys and first responder organizations in both metropolitan and rural communities
throughout the state. Visit to see the calendar and locations of upcoming volunteer opportunities.
Choose Law
The Choose Law Program is focused on educating students from at-risk backgrounds about the legal profession. Through partnerships with several local high schools, YLD attorneys have an
opportunity to meet with students and highlight the importance of law in society and the diverse careers that a law degree can provide. The most important part of the program is the emphasis
on the importance of education and the instruction and mentoring that the students receive from the volunteer attorneys.
Fight Against Domestic Violence
The YLD is teaming up with the ABA in the fight against domestic violence. The YLD has held a toy drive for children in domestic violence shelters, a professional clothing drive for victims of
domestic violence, and is in the process of planning “A Mile In Her Shoes: A Walk Against Domestic Violence,” a community-wide walk to raise awareness of domestic violence issues. All proceeds raised will be donated to domestic violence shelters in the Salt Lake area. Visit for additional details. Opportunities are also available to represent domestic violence victims in hearings under the Utah Cohabitant Abuse Act.
Mentoring Opportunities
The YLD provides several mentoring opportunities, including programs to provide mentoring to new lawyers entering the legal profession, law students, and high school students. Visit for additional details.
Needs of Children (more…)

Thank You to the 2008 – 2009 Young Lawyer Division Executive Council

by Michelle Allred
The Utah State Bar Young Lawyers Division (“YLD”) would like to thank the following attorneys and paralegal liaisons for their tremendous service as volunteer leaders on the YLD Executive
Council during the 2008-2009 bar year. Because of their willingness to devote their time and energy, the YLD offered significant contributions to the Bar and to members of the public through a variety of programs, services, and events.
If you are interested in volunteering with the YLD in the future, please contact Michelle Allred, 2009-2010 YLD President, at For more information about the
YLD, please visit

2008-2009 Officers
President: Karthik Nadesan (Nadesan Beck PC)
President-Elect: M. Michelle Allred (Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP)
Treasurer: Jason Yancey (Rooker Rawlins, LLP)
Secretary: Sara N. Becker (Kirton & McConkie)
Immediate Past President: Stephanie Wilkins Pugsley
2008-2009 Committee Members
Activities Committee: Roger Tsai (Parsons Behle & Latimer) and James C. Bergstedt (Prince Yeates & Geldzahler)
And Justice For All Committee: Candice Pitcher (Jones Waldo Holbrook & McDonough), Jordan Kendall (Brayton Purcell, LLP), and C. Ryan Christensen (Parsons Kinghorn Harris)
Bar Conferences Committee: Bryan Massey (Kunzler & McKenzie) and Ryan Bell (Ray Quinney & Nebeker)
Bar Journal Committee: Peter H. Donaldson (Snell & Wilmer, LLP) and Nathan Croxford (Lewis Hansen Waldo Pleshe)
CLE Committee: Kristopher S. Kaufman (Tomsic & Peck, LLC)
Community Service Committee: Todd M. Olsen (Salt Lake County District Attorney) and Jenifer Tomchak (Parr Waddoups Brown Gee & Loveless)
E Newsletter & Technology Committee: H. Craig Hall, Jr. (Workman Nydegger) and Timothy J. Dance (Snell & Wilmer, LLP)
Environmental Committee: Julie Ladle (Hobbs & Olson) and Kelly Latimer (Department of Hearings and Appeals)
High School Debate Tournament: Joelle Kesler (Dart Adamson & Donovan)
Law Day Committee: Gary Guelker (Jenson Stavros & Guelker) and Tyson Snow (Manning Curtis Bradshaw & Bednar)
Membership Committee: Seth Hobby (Dyno Nobel, Inc.) and Brian Rosander (Parsons Behle & Latimer)
Needs of Children Committee: David L. Johnson (Third District Court Office of the Guardian Ad Litem) and Joanna Miller (Third District Court)
Professionalism and the Practice of Law Committee: Jonathan Pappasideris (Ray Quinney & Nebeker) and Clemens Muller-Landau
Public Education Committee: Angelina Tsu (Zions Management Service Corporation), Benjamin W. Bates (Stoel Rives, LLP), and Nathan Burbidge (Burbidge & White, LLC)
Tuesday Night Bar Committee: Kelly Latimer (Department of Hearings and Appeals), Christina Micken (Bean & Micken), Julie Ladle (Hobbs & Olson), and Gabriel K. White (Christensen & Jenson)
Wills for Heroes Committee: Tiffany Brown (Dart Adamson & Donovan) and Sarah Spencer (Christensen & Jensen)
Governmental Relations Committee: Christopher Von Maack(Magleby & Greenwood)
Utah Minority Bar Association: Simón Cantarero (Holland & Hart)
Paralegal Division: Carma Harper (Strong & Hanni) and J. Robyn Dotterer (Strong & Hanni)

Wills for Heroes – Providing Valuable Community Service to First Responders

Wills for Heroes – Providing Valuable Community Service to First Responders
The St. George Wills for Heroes Event
On March 14, 2008, members of the Utah State Bar donated their time and talents to create wills and other estate planning documents for police officers, firefighters, and other first responders in the St. George area through a new pro bono program instituted by the Young Lawyers Division and the Wills for Heroes Foundation®.

Using laptop computers and software on loan from Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP, and LexisNexis, as well as document templates created by estate planning attorneys Deacon Haymond of Jones, Waldo, Holbrook & McDonough and Mark J. Morrise of Callister Nebeker & McCullough, attorneys met one-on-one with first responders and their spouses or domestic partners at the St. George Police Station to prepare free basic wills, health care directives, and financial power of attorney documents. Members of the Paralegal Division were also on hand to notarize and witness documents completing the process. Over forty participants left with finalized estate planning documents.
Wills for Heroes Foundation co-founder Jeffrey Jacobson attended Utah’s first Wills for Heroes program and praised the YLD for putting on a “flawless event.” Said Jacobson, “I watched as the first responders, some hesitant at first, one by one left the event with a clear sense of relief and gratitude knowing that their loved ones are now protected in case the unthinkable should occur.” St. George Police Officer Tyrell Bangerter: “This is an awesome program. I’ve been married for two years and I’ve thought about doing a will but it was more money than I could spend at the time. This way we get the service for free with no strings attached. The fact is we could be gone any moment, no one knows, and now my estate is at least taken care of if that does happen.”
In celebration, St. George Mayor Daniel D. McArthur proclaimed March 14, 2008 as “Wills for Heroes” Day, by presenting a formal Proclamation to Bar President V. Lowry Snow, on behalf of the Young Lawyers Division. A copy of the Proclamation is posted on the YLD Wills for Heroes website.
The Wills for Heroes Foundation®
The Wills for Heroes Foundation® was co-founded by Anthony Hayes and Jeffrey Jacobson following the events of September 11, 2001, after Hayes learned that many of the first responders who died did not have wills. Jacobson explained at the Spring Convention in St. George that experientially, fewer than 80% of all first responders have wills. Since 2001, Wills for Heroes programs have provided more than 7,000 estate planning documents to first responders nationwide. The Wills for Heroes Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization, provides support, services, financial assistance and supplies to qualified first responders and their families in the United States. These first responders include firefighters, police officers, paramedics, corrections and probation officers from federal, state, county, city and town departments and agencies, whether actively employed, retired, or serving as volunteers. The Wills for Heroes Foundation provides the tools, knowledge and relationships with national first responder organizations to help establish Utah’s Wills for Heroes program which is sponsored and administered by the Young Lawyers Division of the Utah State Bar. The Wills for Heroes Foundation has an exclusive agreement with LexisNexis to provide free HotDocs® software and development services to all bar associations participating in the program. More information about the Wills for Heroes Foundation is available at (more…)

Young Lawyer’s Division Update

Young Lawyer’s Division Update
by Stephanie Pugsley, Utah YLD President, 2007-2008
The Utah Young Lawyer’s Division has rolled out a sleek new website, and is now offering several new services for its members and the public. The “On Demand Mentor” video presentations, accessed via the website, offer experienced Utah practitioners’ insights on various legal and professional topics. Each ten-minute tutorial provides a concise overview of a selected topic from the presenter’s area of expertise. The new website also links to a YLD Blog that posts current events, upcoming activities, job openings, service projects, and young lawyer achievements. In addition, YLD members, as well as Utah and BYU law students, will receive a concise bi-monthly YLD E-Newsletter designed to keep readers up to date on the latest happenings within the YLD and the Bar.
With the largest membership of any Bar section, the YLD is continually working to assist new lawyers as they begin the practice of law, while keeping important commitments to serve the Utah legal community and the public at large. We invite all members of the Bar to visit and use the new YLD homepage and to join us in our upcoming activities.

The Young Lawyer Division in 2007

The Young Lawyer Division in 2007
by David R. Hall
The Young Lawyers Division of the Utah State Bar (the “YLD”) is looking forward to another outstanding year in 2007. With a leadership body made up of five officers, eleven committees, and six liaisons, the YLD continues to make significant contributions to the Bar and the public. The following is a brief overview of the YLD as well as a look at what is planned for the coming year.

Who is a member of the YLD? You may be a member of the YLD and not even know it. There is no need to sign-up or pay dues to be member of YLD. All members of the Utah State Bar in good standing under 36 years of age as well as members who have been admitted to their first state bar for less than three years, regardless of age, are automatically members of the YLD. Membership terminates automatically at the adjournment of the annual convention of the Utah State Bar following a member’s thirty-sixth birthday or the third anniversary of a member’s first state bar admission.
YLD’s Elections & Officers: YLD members elect new officers each summer. I (David Hall) am currently serving as the 2006-2007 YLD President. Sean Reyes is Treasurer, and Craig Hall is Secretary. Stephanie Wilkins Pugsley is the President-Elect for 2007-2008, and Debra Griffiths Handley is the Past-President of YLD.
And Justice For All: (Karthik Nadesan and Ryan Christensen, co-chairs) Now in its fifth year, the YLD continues to help organize and sponsor the “Bar Sharks for Justice” pool tournament each Fall to help raise money for “and Justice for all.” This event continues to grow in popularity and raises more money each year. This past November the tournament raised over $5,000. In addition to the pool tournament, the committee helps organize the “And Justice for all” volunteer fundraising phone-a-thon held each year.
Community Service: (Rachel Terry and Emily Smith, co-chairs) The Community Service Committee is traditionally one of the most active committees of the YLD. Recent projects have included volunteering at Globus Relief, Children’s Justice Center, YWCA, Utah Food Bank, Utah Aids Foundation and hosting the annual “Law Suit” Day during which professional clothing is gathered and donated to the Road Home and Assistance League of Salt Lake City.
Tuesday Night Bar: (Kelly Latimer, Christina Micken, and Matt Wride, co-chairs) At “Tuesday Night Bar,” volunteer attorneys provide free legal assistance to the general public, including helping unrepresented individuals obtain counsel. As its name
suggests, Tuesday Night Bar is held on Tuesday evenings between 5:30 and 7:00 p.m. at the Utah Law & Justice Center (645 South 200 East). In addition, the Young Lawyers Division and the Tuesday Night Bar program sponsor CLE luncheons on areas of law that frequently come up at Tuesday Night Bar. If you would like more information about the program or would like to volunteer, please contact Kelly Latimer at or Matt Wride at
Continuing Legal Education: (Matt Tarkington and Keli Beard, co-chairs) The CLE committee is involved in helping to develop and sponsor CLE that is meaningful for young attorneys. The YLD has recently co-sponsored CLE luncheons on appellate brief writing, civility in the practice of law, and basics of criminal law. (more…)

2005 Year in Review – Looking Ahead to 2006

2005 Year in Review – Looking Ahead to 2006
2005 was an outstanding year for the Young Lawyers Division of the Utah State Bar (“YLD”). With several committees staffed by capable volunteers, the YLD continues to offer significant contributions to the Bar and the public. Here are some of the 2005 highlights from the YLD committees as well as a look at what is coming up in 2006.

YLD’s Leadership/Executive: More than 2,000 YLD members had the opportunity to elect new officers this past summer. Debra Griffiths Handley of Dart Adamson & Donovan was elected as the 2005-2006 YLD president. Sean Reyes of Parsons Behle & Latimer, is Treasurer, and Ruth Hawe of Van Cott, Bagley, Cornwall & McCarthy is Secretary. David Hall of Parsons Behle & Latimer, is the President-Elect for 2006-2007, and Candice Anderson Vogel of Manning Curtis Bradshaw & Bednar, is the Past-President of YLD.
and Justice for all: (Karthik Nadesan and Jonathan Benns, co-chairs) In conjunction with several individuals and law firms, the YLD sponsored the annual “Bar Sharks for Justice” pool tournament in November. Participants and spectators enjoyed themselves while raising money in support of Utah Legal Services, Disability Law Center, and Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake City. YLD is seeking volunteers and organizational committee members for the next “and Justice for all” fundraising phone-a-thon coming up. The committee also plans to co-sponsor the Law Day Run this spring. Please contact Karthik Nadesan if you would like to help.
Tuesday Night Bar: (Amy Poulson and Jonathan Pappasideris – co-chairs) At “Tuesday Night Bar,” volunteer attorneys provide free legal assistance to the general public, including helping unrepresented individuals obtain counsel. As its name suggests, Tuesday Night Bar is held on Tuesday evenings between 5:30 and 7:00 PM at the Utah Law & Justice Center (645 South 200 East). In addition, the Young Lawyers Division and the Tuesday Night Bar program sponsor four CLE luncheons per year on areas of law that frequently come up at Tuesday Night Bar. If you would like more information about the program or would like to volunteer, please contact Amy Poulson at 595-7800.
Continuing Legal Education: (Michael Young and Matt Tarkington – co-chairs) The CLE committee is planning a series of CLE luncheons for 2006. In 2005, YLD members taught and attended seminars on family law, landlord-tenant law, and other basics of law in conjunction with “Tuesday Night Bar.” In 2006, the CLE Committee will work directly with the NLCLE Committee to host useful and affordable education seminars. Watch for more information about the seminars planned for this year.
Needs of Children: (Lance Rich and Sammi Anderson, co-chairs) The Needs of the Children Committee has been working with the Utah Heart Gallery. This is a charitable organization that helps raise awareness of foster children waiting for adoption, with the goal of matching prospective adoptive families with children. The Committee is also working to assist the office of the Guardian Ad Litem with ongoing projects.
Public Education: (Stephanie Pugsely and Marianne MacGregor Guelker, co-chairs) The Public Education Committee is working with the ABA to bring the “We the Jury” project into Utah classrooms. The project aims to teach young people about the value and importance of jury service. This year the committee hopes to bring the program to more than three times the number of students as in 2004. In addition, lawyers and their coworkers are encouraged to volunteer as a judge or coach with the Utah Law Related Education Project. Every year hundreds of Utah teens participate in these mock trials. Watch for more information coming soon. (more…)

Patrick Tan: The Co-recipient of the 2002-2003 Young Lawyer of the Year Award

Author; Teresa Welch
The Young Lawyer of the Year is awarded annually by the Young Lawyer’s Division of the Utah State Bar. One of the most recent recipients of this distinguished award is Patrick Tan, a colleague and friend of mine at the Salt Lake Legal Defenders Association. It is my honor to introduce Patrick Tan to you, and to enlighten you to the various reasons why Patrick is wholly deserving of the 2002-2003 Young Lawyer of the Year award.

Patrick’s choice to be an attorney stems from personal and emotional experiences. Patrick grew up speaking English, Cantonese, and Mandarin, and although he is fluent in all of these languages, Patrick has witnessed the struggles of family members and friends who are not as well versed in the English language. Specifically, Patrick remembers an incident in which a couple of close family members found themselves in a legal quagmire because they had signed what they thought was a guest book, only to find out that their signatures committed them to a steep financial obligation. The misunderstanding was eventually cleared up, but the impact of it on Patrick was the beginning of a new focus in life for him. From this experience, Patrick realized that not only is our legal system very complicated, but it is twice as complicated if English is one’s second language. He decided at that point that he wanted to spend his life in a career in which he could help out the “underdogs” in life.
Patrick attended the University of Utah where he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and obtained his Juris Doctorate Degree. While in law school, Patrick worked for a handful of nonprofit legal agencies, including the Multi-Cultural Legal Center, the Disability Law Center, and Utah Legal Services. In 1999, Patrick was awarded the Utah Legal Services Law Student Volunteer of the Year. During law school, Patrick also spent time working at the United States Attorneys’ Office and the South Salt Lake City Attorneys’ Office. Working at these various places allowed Patrick to assist an ethnically diverse pool of clients in issues related to disability law, housing and public benefit law, criminal law, employment law, disability law, and immigration law.
Upon graduating from law school, Patrick was employed at Utah Legal Services (ULS). While working at ULS, Patrick handled a case load of public benefit cases and assisted in the housing unit when requested. He participated in possession bond eviction hearings and public benefit administrative hearings. He also managed the street law (legal clinic) sites, and oversaw pro bono attorneys and law students who were working on domestic law cases in conjunction with the Utah State Bar’s Pro Bono Project.
Since July 2003, Patrick has been working as a trial attorney in the misdemeanor division at the Salt Lake Legal Defender Association (LDA). Patrick is happy with this new position as he has always wanted to work in criminal law. Regarding his experiences at LDA, Patrick states: “The spirit of teamwork and cooperation at LDA is unlike anything I’ve ever seen and I am very proud to be a part of it. I attribute this positive chemistry to LDA Executive Director F. John Hill who does the hiring, and to Patrick Anderson who supervises the misdemeanor division. Don’t get me wrong, the job is grueling and the case load is huge, but the rewards of a grateful client or a supportive colleague helping me out at a pretrial calender makes it worthwhile to go to work each day.” (more…)

Young Lawyers’ Commitment to the Community

Author; Christian W. Clinger, President – Young Lawyers Division
The Young Lawyers Division (“YLD”) of the Utah State Bar has had a very productive year in 2003. With its 12 committees, the YLD has given significant contributions to its membership as well as to the public. Here are some of the YLD’s highlights since July 2003.

YLD’s Leadership/Executive Committee: This past summer, the YLD’s 2,000 members had the opportunity to elect new officers. Christian W. Clinger, an associate attorney at Callister Nebeker & McCullough, was elected as the 2003-2004 YLD president. Robert B. Lamb, an associate attorney at Suitter Axland, was elected as Treasurer, and Jason P. Perry, the Deputy Director for the Utah Department of Commerce, was elected as Secretary. Candice Anderson Vogel, a partner at Manning Curtis Bradshaw & Bednar, was elected as president-elect for the 2004-2005 term. Vicky Fitlow, a partner at Wrona & Fitlow, is the past-president of YLD.
and Justice for all Committee: (Wade Budge, committee chair / Debbie Griffiths, co-committee chair) The YLD partnered with the “and Justice for all” campaign to help raise operating funds for the Community Legal Center. The YLD sponsored phone-a-thons this past Summer and Fall as well as the annual “Bar Sharks for Justice” pool tournament this past November. Through these events, the YLD raised over $20,000.00 for “and Justice for all.” All proceeds went directly to “and Justice for all.”
Tuesday Night Bar Committee: (Jami Momberger, committee chair / David Hall, co-committee chair) The Utah State Bar and the YLD provide a free legal advice program in Salt Lake City known as “Tuesday Night Bar.” This is an evening where lawyers volunteer to meet one-on-one with individuals for 30 minutes at no cost. Approximately 1,500 individuals meet with attorneys each year. Over 75 young lawyers are directly involved with “Tuesday Night Bar.” The purpose of this program is to assist the public in determining their legal rights. The Tuesday Night Bar is held every Tuesday each month between 5:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at the Utah Law & Justice Center, 645 South 200 East. Appointments for this program may be scheduled by calling 531-9077.
Community Service Committee: (Kelly Latimer, committee chair / Christina Micken, co-committee chair) The Community Service Committee has had a busy year. This past Summer and Fall, over 30 young lawyers landscaped and beautified the West Jordan Children’s Justice Center helping the facility be a welcoming place for children that have suffered abuse or neglect. In December, the Community Service Committee organized with the Division of Youth Services an evening of playing games and decorating holiday cookies and gingerbread houses with children under the supervision of the Division of Youth Services who have been removed from their homes but not yet placed with a foster family.
Needs of the Children Committee: (Patrick Tan, committee chair / Marianne Guelker, co-committee chair) This past year, the Needs of the Children Committee helped update a brochure to help recognize and prevent child abuse. This pamphlet is being distributed to the public and those working with children. The Needs of the Children Committee has also created a public education project teaching students, ages 14 to 18, about careers in the legal profession. (more…)

The Young Lawyers’ Division Prepares for 2002-2003

The Young Lawyers Division (YLD) of the Utah State Bar is gearing up for another year of service to its members and service to the public.
Executive Committee. The executive committee of the YLD has worked hard over the summer, making appointments to chair and co-chair the YLD’s various committees, and preparing the handbooks, budgets, directories, and other materials necessary to make the YLD run smoothly. Your officers for 2002-2003 are: Vicky Fitlow, President; Debra Griffiths, Treasurer; Amy Dolce, Secretary; Christian Clinger, President-Elect; Nathan Alder, Past President.

And Justice for All. The YLD has been involved with helping the And Justice for All campaign since its very first year. This year, the YLD has created its own committee to support And Justice for All. Over the summer, Candice Vogel and Wade Budge have worked with And Justice for All and The Dead Goat Saloon to organize a fundraiser pool tournament. Sixteen teams of two will compete in the first annual “Bar Sharks for Justice” in October, with the overall winners receiving a traveling trophy. Many local organizations have donated prizes, which will be given away to the teams competing. All proceeds will go to And Justice for All. If you are interested in competing, please contact Candice or Wade.
Annual/Mid-Year Meeting. Once again the YLD will sponsor the young lawyer track of CLE courses at the annual and mid-year meetings, as well as organizing and staffing the kiddie carnival at the annual meeting. George Burbidge and Martha Knudson are already underway with plans to make this year’s meetings better than ever.
Bar Journal. Bruce Burt and Dave Mortenson are busy soliciting articles for the Bar Journal. Many young lawyers have contributed articles in the past. If you have an article you would like to have published in the Bar Journal, please contact Bruce or Dave.
CLE. Loyal Hulme and Joseph Covey and their dedicated committee have already set an impressive schedule of CLE topics geared toward young lawyers. The schedule is not yet full, however, so if there is a topic you would particularly like to see covered, please let us know.
Community Service. The Community Service committee of the YLD will be very active this year. Jason Hardin and Cheryl Mori-Atkinson are planning 3-4 events that will give young lawyers a chance to make a real difference in the community. Look for e-mails from Jason and Cheryl and be sure to save the dates and participate in these fabulous projects.
Law Day. Mickell Jimenez and Kelly Williams are hard at work planning next May’s Law Day celebration. The search for a speaker is well underway, and the venue will be selected shortly. Keep a look out for candidates you would like to nominate for Young Lawyer of the Year and the Liberty Bell award.
Needs of Children. The Needs of Children committee is another new committee for the YLD this year. Amy Hayes and Patrick Tan will be working with Prevent Child Abuse Utah to update a pamphlet on recognizing signs of child abuse that is given out to those working with children. Once these pamphlets are published in December, the committee will coordinate with the Utah State Bar’s Needs of Children committee to identify appropriate projects. (more…)