e.Bulletin for September 2015



If your schedule has had a late opening, please consider teaching a Constitution Day class Thursday (32 classes open) or Friday (7 classes open) in Salt Lake, Utah, Washington, or Weber county.  If this week doesn’t work for you, write to sean.toomey@utahbar.org with the county, days, times, and number of classes you can teach (they are usually under an hour) through mid-October, and he’ll find a teacher who can move his or her class to match your schedule.  Lesson plans are provided and there is a coaching video which includes an hour of CLE credit.

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the Summer Convention in Sun Valley and to co-chairs Judges Dee Benson and Paul Warner.  Salt Lake and Ketchum media covered Justice Kennedy’s keynote.  I hope you can join us for upcoming conventions to take advantage of these learning and networking experiences:

  • FALL FORUM IN SALT LAKE CITY, Thursday and Friday, November 19 and 20, Grand America Hotel, Online registration.
  • SUMMER CONVENTION IN SAN DIEGO, July 6-9.  Perched on its own 15-acre peninsula, Loews Coronado Bay is a private oasis of tranquility with views of the shimmering bay waters and the San Diego skyline.  You’re a 10 minute walk to the beach (or you can be whisked there and back in the hotel’s golf carts), 15-20 minutes from downtown, 20-25 minutes from the world-renown San Diego Zoo (set aside the whole day), and 25 minutes to Sea World.  The hotel offers private gondola cruises, sailing packages, and it’s a gateway to area attractions.  Mark your calendar!

The Report and Recommendations on the Future of Legal Services in Utah has been released by the Futures Commission of the Utah State Bar.  William Hubbard, immediate past president of the ABA, said “The report is excellent.  It is a call to action, and more.  It offers specific recommendations for implementation and identifies issues for further analysis, all of which are dead on.  Our challenge has been to get lawyers to wake up.  We can change, adapt, and lead to a better way of delivering legal services to more people.  But we have to open our minds.  The real change will come from states like Utah.”

The National Association of Women Judges is holding its annual conference October 7-11 at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City.  Hundreds of local, national, and international judges will attend the conference and registration is open to all.  The conference, With Liberty and Justice for All, will cover some of the critical issues facing our community and the nation right now, including:

  • How courts can address the school to prison pipeline;
  • Human trafficking issues;
  • Immigration Issues facing the state and federal courts;
  • The impact of media and especially social media on the administration of justice;
  • The uneasy intersection between law and medicine; and
  • LGBT Rights and Religious Liberties.

Women Lawyers of Utah is co-sponsoring the conference with NAWJ on Friday the 10th and Saturday the 11th, and all members of our legal community are invited to register.  If you or your firm is interested in sponsorship opportunities for the conference, please contact Margaret McGann or Pat Christensen.  WLU is also looking for volunteers to help with the conference (and a great opportunity to network with judges from around the country); send your name, e-mail address, cell phone number, availability, volunteer preferences, and foreign languages spoken to Judge Lund at jlund@utcourts.gov.

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 May 2015


Congratulations to the following who were elected to the Board of Bar Commissioners:  Rob Rice as Bar President-elect, Kate Conyers and Michelle Mumford representing the Third Division, Liisa Hancock in the Fourth Division, and Kristin Woods for the Fifth Division.  Thanks to all of the candidates for great campaigns and thoughtful involvement in the Bar and the profession.

Bar President Elect Angelina Tsu and Commissioner Rob Rice are co-chairs of the Bar’s Affordable Attorneys for All task force, formed to develop new solutions to make legal services more accessible to the middle class.  The AAA task force is looking for volunteer lawyers in our Bar, and non-lawyers in our community, to serve on this critical committee.  This new initiative represents an excellent opportunity to help shape the practice of law in Utah, strengthen our profession, and improve access to justice in Utah.  Please write to adminasst@utahbar.org if you would like to participate.  AAA will focus on:

  • Developing sustainable business models for lawyers to provide affordable legal services;
  • Expanding lawyers’ ability to provide unbundled legal services through innovative community lawyering programs;
  • Building an effective web-based communications solution to connect clients to affordable legal services;
  • Partnering with the Legislature to identify ways to expand legal services that are affordable to all;
  • Joining with Utah law schools to assist law school graduates in the transition to a sustainable law practice.

The schedule for the Summer Convention in Sun Valley on July 29-August 1 is now available, and we have a great program built around US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s keynote address.  Watch your mailbox for the printed schedule in the Bar Journal soon.  Online registration is now available.  See Sun Valley lodging options and online lodging reservations(Sun Valley’s Utah State Bar page takes a few moments to load).

Is your business prepared for a disaster?  Are you aware of your ethical obligations regarding disaster planning?  The Disaster Legal Response Committee is offering a 1 hour ethics CLE on disaster planning, Wednesday, June 17, noon, at the Bar.  This event is free to those who are willing to be a volunteer with the committee; $25 for all others; online registration.  Learn more about developing plans for providing pro bono legal services to low-income individuals and small businesses following a disaster:  useful materials.

The National Center for State Courts’ report on the Impact of the Revisions to Rule 26 on Discovery Practice in the Utah District Courts is now available.  Download the complete report; among the findings:

  • The revisions appear to have had a positive impact on civil case management in the form of fewer discovery disputes in cases other than debt collection and domestic relations, as well as reductions in time to disposition across all case types and tiers. Compliance with the standard discovery restrictions appears to be high, although there are suggestions that some parties may be stipulating around the restrictions without seeking court approval.
  • The number of Tier 1 cases fell, while the number of Tier 2 and 3 cases increased, yet the proportion of judgments of less than $50,000 was significantly higher after the changes than before.
  • The settlement rate increased between 13 and 18 percent, depending on the tier.  The expanded disclosures provide litigants with sufficient information to engage in more productive settlement negotiations.
  • (more…)

e.Bulletin for April 2015


election2013_JGilsonDon’t miss out on seeing the Traveling Exhibit on Magna Carta. It is very interesting and has been well-received by the public. It provides us with a positive opportunity to discuss the rule of law and the constructive contributions of lawyers and the courts. Please encourage your family, friends, and clients to see the exhibit during this limited opportunity. The exhibit got off to a great start at the Bar open house last Friday and at the Salt Lake City Library on Saturday. The exhibit was at the Washington County Courthouse in St. George earlier this week, where many public visitors came, including groups from Dixie State University and Canyon View High School (Cedar City). Upcoming stops are in Orem, Logan, Ogden, and then back to Salt Lake City on April 15-19. Click here for the exhibit schedule and highlights; please share this with your contacts. There is a free CLE for attorneys and judges next Wednesday, April 15 at 12:30 p.m. at the Matheson Courthouse, Magna Carta as an American Charter of Liberties, by Law Library of Congress Curator of Rare Books Nathan Dorn; attorney CLE registration. Nathan Dorn was the curator of the traveling exhibit and you can see it with him at 1:30 p.m. in the Rotunda following the CLE. Law Day advertising is being accepted through April 14; see reservation form.

April 15 is the deadline for elections; you have an opportunity to vote for a new Bar President-elect and Third, Fourth, and Fifth Divisions Bar Commissioners. Please visit election details for information on the candidates and voting instructions.

The schedule for the Summer Convention in Sun Valley on July 29-August 1 is now available, and we have built a great program around US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s keynote address. Online registration will be available on Tuesday, April 15. Please visit Sun Valley lodging options and online lodging reservations to book your room (Sun Valley’s Utah State Bar page can take a few moments to load).

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Spring Convention, and congratulations to Representative Patrice Arent for receiving the Dorathy Merrill Brothers Award for enhancing the advancement of women in the law profession, and Andrea Martinez Griffin for receiving the Raymond S. Uno Award for enhancing the advancement of minorities in the profession.

The Guardianship Signature Program is a partnership of the Utah State Courts and the Utah State Bar’s Access to Justice Program. It is endorsed by the Board of District Court Judges and the Bar Commissioners. The program provides to judges a list of lawyers who have volunteered to represent respondents in guardianship and conservatorship proceedings when the respondents do not have counsel of their own choice. See Utah Code §75-5-303. The representation is for free or on a sliding scale if the client’s income qualifies, or for reasonable and necessary attorney fees if the client’s income is more than 300% of the federal poverty guidelines. To volunteer for the program, please go to “Check YES!” and select both the Guardianship Signature Program and the districts where they are willing to accept appointments. More information is available here.

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 February 2015


I hope you will be joining me for the Spring Convention on March 12-14 in St. George.  Take advantage of the Early Bird Discount by tomorrow; see details at these pages:  schedule, lodging, and registration.  And don’t forget The Quinn Essential—the Judge Quinn Memorial Awareness Ride on Friday at 3:30.  Net proceeds to be donated to “AND JUSTICE FOR ALL” and to publicize distracted driver and bike safety.  See details at The Quinn Essential.

Last month I mentioned that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is the keynote speaker for our Summer Convention in Sun Valley on July 29-August 1.  See Sun Valley lodging options and online reservations.


While our Federal and State Constitutions guarantee access to the courts for all Americans, that right is rather hollow without a lawyer’s assistance.  Through the generous help of hundreds of Utah lawyers, great strides have been made to improve access to legal services.  But of course more work remains to be done.

I challenge every Utah lawyer to handle at least one pro bono case each year.  Here are some ideas:

  1. Sign up on the Bar’s Pro Bono Roster.  Since 2011 the program has recruited 1,135 attorneys and placed 573 cases referred by judges and Utah Legal Services.
  2. Participate in the Modest Means Lawyer Referral Program, which offers people affordable legal assistance that matches their salaries (up to $70,000 for a family of four) and gives lawyers work by offering services discounted to up to $75 an hour.  Since its inception in 2012, the program has made 1,067 referrals to 960 clients and currently has 179 participating attorneys and 13 advisors.  See attorney information for details and online registration.  If you know of clients that need legal help that cannot afford your hourly rate, consider referring them to the lawyer referral program.
  3. Consider Offering Limited Scope, Unbundled Services.  Many parties want to represent themselves for cost or other reasons, but could greatly benefit by having an attorney assist them with just part of their case.  Rule 75 of the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure, and Rule 1.2 of the Utah Rules of Professional Conduct, allow lawyers to provide limited representation services, such as coaching, document review, or arguing a motion, without being responsible for the entire case.  Having a lawyer’s assistance for certain parts of a case is better than having no lawyer at all, and is a cost-efficient alternative to complete pro se representation.
  4. Volunteer through Various Other Pro Bono Programs.  Many other Bar related programs exist that provide legal services to those in need, including the Young Lawyer Division’s Tuesday Night Bar, the Wednesday Night Bar (for Spanish speakers), Wills for Heroes, and Serving Our Seniors.  Other initiatives include the Southern Utah Community Legal Center, the Timpanogos Legal Center, the Senior Center Clinic and the Debtor’s Counseling Clinic (part of the U of U’s Pro Bono Initiative), and the BYU Law School Pro-bono Legal Center.  For Wills for Heroes, contact: Blake Hamilton; for Serving Our Seniors, contact Jeff Sbaih; for the other programs, contact probono@utahbar.org; for volunteer opportunities at Wasatch Front clinics visit Utah Legal Services.
  5. (more…)

e.Bulletin for January 2015


election2013_JGilsonHappy New Year! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 November 2014


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

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

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

Community Member of the Year

Steve Burt

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


  • Laura Scott, of Parsons Behle & Latimer

Lifetime Achievement

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

Outstanding Mentor

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

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

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

Please save the dates for our 2015 conventions:

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

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

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

e.Bulletin for October 2014

election2013_JGilsonThanks to the 200 judges, lawyers, law students, and law school staff who participated in the Constitution Day Teach-in.  They taught 300 classes throughout Utah, a 50% increase from last year.  Our next school civics project will be Magna Carta essay and video contests.  We will present student awards at the traveling exhibit Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy 1215-2015 as it makes stops throughout Utah in April.  Watch for upcoming details at http://lawday.utahbar.org/ about the contests and the exhibit schedule.

The November 20-21 Fall Forum is happening soon.  See these links for the schedule and to register (you will be directed there once you are logged into your Bar account).  The Ethics Forum and the Meet Your Judges Mixer on Thursday evening, November 20, is not to be missed. All state, federal, and justice court judges, as well as commissioners and magistrates, have been invited to attend.

We are still seeking nominations for the following awards presented at the Fall Forum:

Community Member of the Year:  to recognize outstanding service by a non-lawyer toward better public understanding of the legal profession and the administration of justice, the judiciary, or the legislative process.  Please submit to nominations@utahbar.org by 5 p.m. on Thursday, October 9.

Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year:  to recognize an attorney who has provided or enabled legal services, free of charge, for Utah’s most vulnerable citizens—people living in poverty, individuals with disabilities, veterans, seniors, minorities, and victims of domestic violence.  Write to probono@utahbar.org for a nomination form; deadline for nominations is 5 p.m. on Wednesday, October 15th.

Speaking of pro bono, the National Pro Bono Celebration is October 19-24.  See http://www.probono.net/celebrateprobono/.  Contact michelle.harvey@utahbar.org to participate in Utah volunteer opportunities or events:

Friday, October 10

  • First District Pro Bono Open House, 6 p.m., Italian Place in Logan

Monday, October 21

  • Awards Luncheon, Noon, S.J. Quinney College of Law, Sutherland Moot Courtroom

Tuesday, October 22

  • Street Law Legal Clinic, 5 p.m., Horizonte School Cafeteria, 1234 South Main Street, Volunteer Opportunity!
  • Tuesday Night Bar, 5:30 p.m., Law and Justice Center, Volunteer Opportunity!
  • Tuesday Night Bar Reception, 5:30 p.m., Utah Valley University Library, Lakeview Room, Volunteer Opportunity!

We’re also seeking nominations for members of the Bar for the Heart & Hands Award to acknowledge those who make significant contributions to the community through volunteer or philanthropic service.  The Utah Philanthropy Day luncheon will honour award recipients and others on November 13 at Little America; tickets here.  Please submit nominations to nominations@utahbar.org by 5 p.m. on Thursday, October 9.

Your Board of Utah Bar Commissioners has established its 2014-15 priorities as follows:

1.   Improving Access to Justice:

Pro Bono Commission & Modest Means Lawyer Referral

2.  Advocating for the Judiciary

3.   Reviewing Bar Operations:

OPC, Summer Convention, New Lawyer Training & Budget

4.   Planning for the Future of the Profession

5.  Celebrating Magna Carta/Rule of Law

6.  Supporting Diversity

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.

e.Bulletin for July 2014


The Bar is pleased to announce the addition of Casemaker’s suite of premium services, now at no cost to our members, instead of the $45 a month these services cost previously.  Now, you have access to not only Casemaker’s broad and comprehensive libraries which cover all 50 states and Federal materials, but you also have access to a suite of tools that make research faster and easier.  These premium services include Casecheck+, CiteCheck, and CasemakerDigest, and these, as well as the basic Casemaker research tool, are available at no cost to members.

Casecheck+ works like Shephard’s® and KeyCite® to notify you instantly of negative treatment, and identify whether your case law citations are still good law.  Casecheck+ returns both positive and negative treatments instantly as you research and links to negative treatments, so you can quickly review the citation history for both state and federal cases.  It works seamlessly inside the new Casemaker and doesn’t require any extra steps to use.

CiteCheck analyzes every citation in your brief (or your opponent’s) and provides you with a report of good law, negative treatments, and potential citation format errors.  In just moments, you can have this crucial information.

CasemakerDigest allows members to receive daily summaries of the latest state and federal appellate decisions (within 12-24 hours of publication), classified by practice area.  Choose one area, a few, or all, and get exactly the information you need when you need it.

If you previously had a paid subscription to any of these products there is nothing you need to do.  You will no longer be charged for the service and it will continue working as it had before.  If any payments were pre-paid, they will be refunded.

To access these services login to your account at https://services.utahbar.org and access the Casemaker link through the Member Services portal. These new tools can be found in the TOOLS tab in your Casemaker account.

The summer convention at Snowmass starting in two weeks, and I’ve written about the great presentations, the opportunities to interact with colleagues, and thrilling outdoor activities in the area, and Troy Booher has described the extensive participation in the convention by state and federal judges.

That leaves two last topics, the great restaurants in Snowmass and Aspen…



And the incredible cultural opportunities

The Deaf Camp Picnic was established in the 60s by John Denver, Jimmy Buffet, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and others to support the great things Aspen Camp does for deaf and hard-of-hearing kids.  Snowmass brought this event back last year, and in addition to being a lot of fun, and a great benefit, it’s right outside your door.

Thursday, July 17 (Free show/Fanny Hill)

  • 6:15pm – 9:00pm: Hot Buttered Rum

Friday, July 18 (Free show/Base Village)

  • 5:30pm – 8:00pm: Silent Auction
  • 6:00pm – John Denver Tribute
  • 7:00pm – Rich Ganson
  • 8:00pm – John Denver Tribute

Saturday, July 19 (Ticketed show/Fanny Hill)

Next door, the Aspen Music Festival and School is an international destination for classical musicians, music students, and music lovers.  They say they are working on creating the future of music, so here’s your chance to hear what that sounds like.

e.Bulletin for June 2014


Call a lawyer first.  That’s the call-to-action on billboards throughout the State.  We’re cautioning people about do-it-yourself law and providing follow-up information about the benefits of working with a lawyer at www.utahbar.org, including a recent Utah Business interview with Jim Gilson, Tom Seiler, and me discussing this issue.  Responders are also directed to the Modest Means Lawyer Referral registration page, with the anticipation that many will meet the program criteria.
Early registration ends June 20—a week from Friday—for the Snowmass Summer Convention, July 16-19.  See the great schedule of speakers, panels, and events.  New this year is a Grownup Social (concurrent with the Family Carnival) on Thursday evening and a Judges’ Reception on Friday evening.
Register online, with no registration cost increase this summer (waived for all Active-Under-3 attorneys).  Book your discount lodgings by July 7.
The Bar staff have figured out a way for us to take the train home, enjoying Westwater Canyon from riverside and missing the 3:30 a.m. departure out of Salt Lake City or points south.  You simply rent a car through our new group benefits (search for Enterprise), enjoy it in Snowmass, drive it 39 miles to Glenwood Springs, and drop it off to catch the California Zephyr home.  With gas and train fare, this option will cost $209 per person with two people, $159 with three, and $135 with four ($203, $153 and $128 with AAA discount on Amtrak).  Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
Congratulations to President-elect Jim Gilson and his firm Callister Nebeker & McCullough for receiving a National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) 2014 Beacon of Justice Award for its Debt Collection Volunteer Attorney Program.  See the nomination form and watch for an article about it in the July/August Utah Bar Journal.
The NLADA intends to highlight and profile all of the praiseworthy nominees in upcoming newsletters and materials, including our own Martin Blaustein.

June 2014 News:

  • License Renewal is Scheduled to Begin on June 12th, 2014
  • June Continuing Legal Education
  • Benefit Highlight – SoFi Student Loan Services
  • Even Year Mandatory CLE Reporting Cycle
License Renewal is Scheduled to Begin on June 12th—The Bar is switching service providers for online member services, but the overall renewal process for attorneys and paralegal members is similar to previous years. To improve speed and usability, the process has been broken into smaller steps. Member renewal services will now be found at https://services.utahbar.org. Your login and information has not been changed and was mailed to you on June 6th. If you do not receive this card you can request your login and password by sending an email to onlineservices@utahbar.org and providing your bar number. Once fully implemented, the new system will provide you with profile management tools, transaction history, CLE attendance history, registration services for CLEs, and MCLE compliance reporting.
June Continuing Legal Education—See the Bar’s numerous section luncheons and CLE seminars.
Benefit Highlight – SoFi Student Loan Services—Many Utah Bar members still have expensive student loan debt. This is an opportunity to refinance your student loan debt with SoFi and save thousands in student loan repayments. Savings: attorney borrowers save an average of $15,000 over the life of their loans. Flexible terms with variable rates that start at 2.91% and fixed rates starting at 4.99%. Visit them in your Beneplace group benefits site in the Financial Tools section.


eBulletin for May 2014


I‘d like to express my sincerest appreciation and gratitude to Katherine Fox and salute her for 18 years of service to the Bar as general counsel. Katherine will be retiring at the end of June; please join me in wishing her well on her next adventures. I’m pleased to announce that Elizabeth Wright will be taking her place as of July 1, and if you know of any good candidates to administer the New Lawyer Training Program, please send them this link: http://www.utahbar.org/jobs/view/new-lawyer-trainging-program-administrator/

In hopes of addressing some of the confusion about attorney discipline cases in which there is extensive media coverage and potential for numerous Bar complaints, we have issued a public statement and reaffirm the Bar’s position that although the Utah State Bar can’t comment on specifics of current attorney discipline investigations because of Utah Supreme Court confidentiality rules, the Bar wants everyone to understand how the process works and how important knowing and adhering to the rule of ethics are to our legal profession.
Because of the confidentiality rules, you may not hear about OPC present activity in investigating a case or preparing for a screening panel hearing. There may be no public announcement until the Ethics and Discipline Committee orders a public reprimand to be issued or a civil suit is filed. We should never come to the false conclusion that silence on OPC investigations means there is inactivity on a pending investigation or that an investigation has not been undertaken. Also, because of the confidentiality rules, the OPC is precluded to describe the specifics of these overlapping notifications and complaints, but it is important to understand that a decline-to-prosecute decision or a dismissal is not necessarily a vindication of the respondent.
Visit http://www.utcourts.gov/resources/rules/ucja/#Chapter_13 to see the Utah Supreme Court’s ethics rules for attorneys, Rules of Profession Conduct; then scroll down to Chapter 14, Articles 5 to see the Rules of Lawyer Discipline and Disability, which directs the attorney discipline process.
If you have questions, comments, or suggested changes for any rules, please contact Utah State Court Appellate Court Administrator Tim Shea at tims@utcourts.gov or Steven Johnson, Advisory Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct Chair at stevejohnson5336@comcast.net.
For more about the discipline process, see The Salt Lake Tribune’s March 4 op-ed piece.
Law Day –Students of all ages, educators, teachers, lawyers, judges and their family and friends celebrated Law Day 2014 at the Annual Utah State Bar Young Lawyers Division lunch on May 1. This year’s Law Day theme recognized the 50th anniversaries of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as well as the importance of the rule of law in our democracy. Awards were given to mock trial teams, artists, teachers, educators, lawyers, and a law firm, many of whom donated countless hours to help people understand and appreciate our system of government and to provide pro bono services for Utah’s most vulnerable citizens.
Utah Lt. Governor Spencer J. Cox, whose office oversees election laws, spoke about the importance of access to voting by an informed electorate. He pointed out that Utah’s current population is similar to the population of the 13 states when the United States was created. Utah voter turnout in the 60s and 70s was very high, but has since declined.