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…)

Utah State Bar Young Lawyers Division 2001 – 2002 Leadership

Utah State Bar Young Lawyers Division 2001 – 2002 Leadership
President: Nate Alder
Treasurer: Christian Clinger
Secretary: Scott Petersen
ABA Rep. Amy Dolce
President Elect: Victoria Coombs Bushnell
Past President: Steve Owens
AOP Co-Chairs:
Stephanie Ames
Mark Quinn

Gustin Christian Skordas & Caston
Sinclair Oil Corp.



David Bernstein, Chair
Bugden Collins & Morton

Annual Meeting

Natalie Segall, Chair
Bushnell & Kozak
George Burbidge, Vice-Chair
Christensen & Jensen
Bar Journal
Dave McKinney, Chair
Thorpe North & Western
Bart Kunz, Vice-Chair
Christensen & Jensen
Loyal Hulme, Chair
LeBouf Lamb Greene & MacRae
Scott Finlinson, Vice-Chair
Ray, Quinney & Nebeker
Community Service
Annalisa Steggell, Chair
Day, Shell & Liljenquist
Candice Vogel, Vice-Chair
Manning Curtis Bradshaw & Bednar
Law Day
Martha Knudson, Chair
Richards Brandt Miller & Nelson
Mickell Jimenez, Vice-Chair
Clyde Snow Sessions & Swenson
Amy Hayes, Chair
Dart, Adamson & Donovan
Matt Richards, Vice-Chair
Kirton & McConkie
Jeff Vincent, Chair
STSN, Inc.
Doug Waddoups
Parr Waddoups Brown Gee & Loveless

Public Education

Bruce Burt, Chair
Barbara Maw, P.C.
Patrick Tan, Vice-Chair
Utah Legal Services
Tuesday Night Bar
Wade Budge, Chair
Snell & Wilmer
Jason Perry, Vice-Chair
Utah Attorney General’s Office


Northern Utah Rep.: Brian Cannell, Hillyard Anderson & Olsen
Utah County Rep: Jared Anderson, Robinson Seiler & Glazier
Southern Utah Rep.: Von Christiansen
Washington Cty Rep.: Rob Lamb, Snow Nuffer Engstrom
Weber County Rep.: Glen Neeley, Glen W. Neeley, P.C.
Council Liaison: Brian Jones, I-Link
NLCLE Liaison: Chip Lyons, Christensen & Jensen
* Nate Alder
* Vicky Bushnell
* Christian Clinger
* Anneliese Cook
* Amy Dolce
* Loyal Hulme
* Marty Olsen
* Steve Owens
* Scott Petersen
* Jeff Vincent
* Candice Vogel

Join in the YLD

Join in the YLD
by Nate Alder, Young Lawyer Division President

The Young Lawyers Division (YLD) of the Utah State Bar is doing great things. The success of the YLD is the result of many volunteers who participate in Ð and direct Ð our Division. It is also a tribute to our history of strong leadership, as well as continued support from the Bar. For a young lawyer, one of the best ways to improve your skills, network, experience leadership, and generally develop as a lawyer is to participate in the YLD.

If you are in your first three years of practice, or until you are 36 years of age (whichever is longer), you are a young lawyer, and are automatically a member of the YLD. There is no fee to join. The YLD is the largest and one of the most active sections of the Utah Bar. Our members plan and organize CLEs and social events, as well as outreach to the community. We are involved in many Bar committees, and represent young lawyer interests to the Bar Commission. Our YLD Council is an energetic group of leaders. I encourage you to become an active member and join in this effort.
There are many ways you can get involved. Here are some of them:
Join a YLD Committee. Choose from any one of the committees listed below, call or write the committee leader, and get involved. My first involvement in the YLD was showing up on a Saturday afternoon to paint houses for low-income residents. I quickly became friends with a number of other attorneys whom I would not have met otherwise. That experience led to a committee position where I helped organize CLEs.
Volunteer for Pro Bono Service. One of the YLD’s most important activities is the Tuesday Night Bar. This service allows members of the public to come talk to a lawyer for 20 minutes about a legal problem, at no charge, and receive some basic guidance. If you are in the Salt Lake area, come help out at the Utah Law and Justice Center where the YLD serves hundreds of people in need each month. If you are interested, please call our Tuesday Night Bar leaders, Wade Budge or Jason Perry, to volunteer. Also, you can contact Charles Stewart at the Bar for more information about pro bono opportunities in general.
Join Us This Year. The 2001-2002 year will include many big events, and offer many ways to get involved, including:
* 2002 ABA/AOP. From March 7-10, 2002, the Utah YLD will host the ABA Associate Outreach Program (AOP) Conference. Representatives from the ABA/YLD and numerous state and affiliate YLDs from around the nation will come to Salt Lake for an educational and professional program at the Grand America Hotel. If you would like to serve on our host committee, please let us know. It will be a one-of-a-kind event, with opportunities to rub shoulders with colleagues from around the country.
* Law Day. We will again host the annual Law Day Luncheon on May 1, 2002. (more…)

A Tribute to the Law

EDITOR’S NOTE: Judge Dee Benson is Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Utah. This article was originally delivered as the keynote address at the Law Day luncheon on May 1, 2001, sponsored by the Young Lawyers Division of the Utah State Bar.

In the Soviet Union, and in Russia today, the first of May is celebrated as May Day- a celebration that has its origin in 1914 during the Bolshevik Revolution. Then it was a symbol of the workers of the world uniting in throwing off their shackles. Later, during the heyday of the Soviet Union, the May Day celebration became a showcase of military power, in Moscow’s Red Square and throughout the Eastern Bloc.
On this side of the Atlantic, we Americans finally got a little tired of watching these displays of tanks and mortar launchers and came up with our own May Day celebration. In 1957, President Dwight Eisenhower signed a Proclamation making May 1st Law Day. He almost didn’t sign it because his Chief of Staff, Sherman Adams, thought it praised lawyers. But after reading it, the President had this to say:
Sherm, this Proclamation does not contain one word praising lawyers. It praises our constitutional law system of government, our great law heritage under the Rule of Law, and asks our people to stand up and praise what they have created. I like it and I am going to sign it. . . . I have a strong feeling there will be many who will say this Proclamation is one of the best ideas I ever had.
And, actually, it was one of his better ideas. Certainly a lot better in Eisenhower’s own opinion, than his placing William Brennan on the Supreme Court.
And ever since 1957, on the 1st of May, we’ve been going head to head with the Soviet Union and other communist countries. They would march out the military with all its power, showcasing intercontinental missile systems. We would march out our law, beginning with a 16 page document called the Constitution. At present glance, by comparison, we’re looking pretty good.
At the present time, I’m in the middle of preparing my final exam for my Evidence class at the University of Utah law school, so I’m a little fixated on multiple choice questions. So, I want to ask all of you a multiple choice question about the law- this thing we’re celebrating. Being young lawyers, it wasn’t all that long ago that you were taking these kinds of tests on a regular basis. This will give you a chance to relive your glory years- complete with complaining about the unfairness of the question. Here’s the question:
Law is best described as:
A. A Lear jet
B. McDonald’s
C. The U.S. Military
D. A cemetery plot
E. A life insurance policy
F. The heartbeat of America
Before I grade this question, I’d like to tell you just a story or two that breathe a little life into this thing we call the law. First, consider this one:
Several years ago, when I was the U.S. Attorney, I filed a criminal prosecution against a man for drug dealing. He showed up at Denny’s Restaurant on 45th South, right there next to the I-15 freeway, to sell some drugs to an undercover police officer. In an effort to look tougher, this guy brought a gun with him to the drug deal. He made sure it was in plain view in his duffel bag next to the drugs. To look even tougher- with maybe just a hint of organized crime- he had attached to the barrel of the gun a long pipe that looked like a silencer. The man had actually made the silencer in his garage, put grooves in it for screwing and everything. So, after the undercover officer arrested this man we charged him with distribution of ecstasy and with using or carrying a firearm in connection with a drug deal. We also charged him with the illegal use of a silencer. For some reason, back in 1984 when it passed the Omnibus Crime Act, Congress got really upset about guns and silencers. Carrying a gun during a drug deal carries a minimum five-year sentence, no matter what, and carrying a silencer on the end of that gun gets you thirty more years of mandatory time. Thirty years, just for the silencer. (more…)