- Art and the Law Project
- Young Lawyers of the Year Award: Blake Hamilton
- The Liberty Bell Award: Kathleen Zeitlin
- Pro Bono Publico Law Student of the Year: John Wiethorn
- Pro Bono Publico Young Lawyer of the Year: Analise Q. Wilson
- Pro Bono Publico Law Firm of the Year: Jones Waldo
- Scott M. Matheson Award: Paul G. Cassell
- Mock Trial Competition: Woods Cross High School
- Mock Trial Competition: West High 9th Grade
See the winning art from the Salt Lake County Bar Association’s annual Art and the Law Project!
Young Lawyers of the Year Award: Blake Hamilton
The Young Lawyers of the Year Award is given by the Young Lawyers Division of the Utah State Bar to a young lawyer who exhibits outstanding professional excellence, service to the profession and the Bar, service to the community, and for the advancement of legal ethics and professional responsibility.
R. Blake Hamilton presently serves as the City Attorney for the City of Hildale. Mr. Hamilton has been listed by the 2010 and 2012 Mountain States Super Lawyers Magazine as a Rising Star and has been listed by the 2013 Utah Business Magazine as a Legal Elite.
Mr. Hamilton was born and raised in Utah, and attended Weber State University. He received his Juris Doctor and Masters of Business Administration degrees from Gonzaga University School of Law and Gonzaga University Business School. During his time at Gonzaga, he served on the Moot Court Council where he was elected President.
Mr. Hamilton represented the law school in regional moot court competitions, including the National Appellate Advocacy Competition and the ABA/LSD Negotiations Competition. He also placed first in the intra-school Negotiations Competition and was a semi-finalist in the intra-school Client Counseling Competition.
Mr. Hamilton is deeply committed to contributing to the community. While in law school, he interned at the Gonzaga University Legal Assistance Clinic which provides legal services for elderly and low income individuals. Currently, he co-chairs the Wills for Heroes committee, which provides wills and other estate planning services for emergency first responders and their families.
The Liberty Bell Award: Kathleen Zeitlin
The Liberty Bell Award is given by the Young Lawyers Division of the Utah State Bar to a non-lawyer (person or organization) for promoting better understanding of the Rule of Law, encouraging a greater respect for law and the courts, stimulating a sense of civic responsibility, and contributing to good government in the community.
Kathleen Zeitlin is the Program Director for Salt Lake Peer Court, a program of Utah Law Related Education, a Utah non-profit organization. She has been involved with Salt Lake Peer Court since its inception in 1993 and has been Program Director since 1996.
Ms. Zeitlin received a B.S. in Sociology, with an emphasis in social work, and a secondary teaching degree from the University of Utah. She taught dance at Kearns High School and worked as a juvenile probation officer with the Third District Juvenile Court.
Ms. Zeitlin is a member of the Utah Youth Court State Advisory Board and the Utah Youth Court Association and its Training Committee, which plans annual statewide conferences for youth court coordinators and youth volunteers. Currently, she is a member of the Board of Trustees for the National Association of Youth Courts (NAYC) and was on the Training and Technical Assistance Committee for the NAYC. She is passionate about youth courts and works to ensure that they provide a place for all youth to grow and learn about citizenship and community.
Pro Bono Publico Awards
The Pro Bono Publico Awards recognize those who have provided or enabled the direct provision of 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. While the obstacles to equal access to justice continue to mount, the willingness of attorneys to help meet the legal needs of the indigent in their communities is important to those in need of service.
Pro Bono Publico Law Student of the Year: John Wiethorn
Mr. Weithorn has volunteered more than 300 hours as a law student, and has made a substantial contribution this year as student director of the Street Law Free Legal Clinic (formerly known as the Guadalupe Clinic). When Mr. Weithorn became the student director he took the time to evaluate the process and determine what he could do to improve services for its low-income pro se clients. As a result of his efforts, the Clinic has had more visibility than ever before, attracting more clients, student volunteers, and attorney volunteers.
Mr. Weithorn is always the first to arrive at the Clinic and the last to leave. His cheerful demeanor and ability to make each volunteer feel needed keeps both the student and attorney volunteers coming back each month. While his thoughtful improvements to the clinic are many, some of the ways in which he has increased visibility in the both the low-income community and the legal community include: personally distributing flyers downtown and in low income neighborhoods, creating a Facebook page devoted to the Clinic, creating a listing on Craig’s List, KLS.com and other community organization lists, and speaking on upper campus to recruit more undergrad volunteers.
In addition to improving visibility for the Clinic, Mr. Weithorn has also improved efficiency and retention by creating multiple Google-doc documents to facilitate coordination and organization of the student volunteers and by tracking the pro bono cases. Additionally, he has been committed to helping retain attorney volunteers by taking the time to get to know them and to increase the student attorney networking opportunities that naturally present themselves in the Clinic setting. Mr. Weithorn makes himself available for all of the volunteers, both at the Clinic and outside of it. He takes the time to meet with each new volunteer to orient them to the clinic so that each volunteer can feel prepared and have a good experience.
Mr. Weithorn will be graduating in May but intends to continue to run the Street Law Free Legal Clinic while studying for the bar exam. In addition to running the clinic, Mr. Weithorn also takes pro bono cases himself under the supervision of the attorneys who participate in the clinic.
“I have not personally met a more committed student director in my time at Utah Legal Services,” said Director of Pro Bono Sue Crismon. “John cares about the clients, the students, the attorneys, and serving the community through pro bono work.”
Pro Bono Publico Young Lawyer of the Year: Analise Q. Wilson
In May 2012, Ms. Wilson volunteered to become involved in a pro bono matter being handled by the firm involving a 90 year old widow whose home, unbeknownst to her, had been used as collateral on loans made by her two stepsons. The firm was contacted when she received a notice of eviction and her marital home had been scheduled for sale at a trustee’s sale.
From that point through the end of 2012, Ms. Wilson volunteered more than 50 hours in an intensely fought battle, including an eviction proceeding, a bond proceeding, and a motion to dismiss the action in its entirety. Ms. Wilson’s research and writing carried the day in all motions filed, has enabled the pro bono client to remain in her marital home through the present, and has earned the woman an opportunity – if ultimately successful – to remain in her home for the rest of her life.
Ms. Wilson continues to willingly and substantively participate in the prosecution of this pro bono matter on behalf of the aging woman.
In addition, through her work within the firm, Ms. Wilson has encouraged other attorneys in the firm to participate in pro bono work at meaningful levels.
“Analise embodies the best of the Bar’s young lawyers in her willingness to meaningfully serve the underserved,” said Kirton McConkie Shareholder Benson L. Hathaway, Jr. “She has demonstrated through her continuing representation of this woman so tragically victimized by reason of her age and lack of business sophistication, that her words are not idle.”
Pro Bono Publico Law Firm of the Year: Jones Waldo
George Sutton, Shane Shumway, and Tammy Dobbs of Jones Waldo spent more than 200 hours and more than a year litigating a contract dispute for a pro bono client. The client had signed a contract to buy a mobile home from his neighbor. He believed that he had paid the full amount under the contract but the seller refused to transfer title. At this same time, the client lost his employment and was struggling to make ends meet for his small family of four. Mr. Sutton and his team tenaciously fought for their client even after having been unable to settle the matter as hoped. The judge ruled in the client’s favor and ordered the seller to transfer title. “Jones Waldo continually supports pro bono efforts of their attorneys and enables them to fight for those who otherwise would have no justice,” said Utah State Bar Access to Justice Coordinator Michelle V. Harvey. “We thank Mr. Sutton, Mr. Shumway and Ms. Dobbs for their tireless work.”
Scott M. Matheson Award: Paul G. Cassell
In 1991, the Law-Related Education and Law Day Committee of the Utah State Bar created the Scott M. Matheson Award to commemorate his contribution to law-related education in the State of Utah and to recognize annually individuals who have made outstanding contributions to law-related education for youth in the State of Utah.
Paul G. Cassell received a B.A. and a J.D. from Stanford University, where he graduated Order of the Coif and was President of the Stanford Law Review. He clerked for then-Judge Antonin Scalia when Scalia was on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and then for the Chief Justice of the United States, Warren Burger. Professor Cassell was an Associate Deputy Attorney General with the U.S. Justice Department and an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. He joined the faculty at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah in 1992, where he taught full time until he was sworn in as a U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Utah in 2002. In November 2007, he resigned his judgeship to return full time to the College of Law, to teach, write, and litigate on issues relating to crime victims’ rights and criminal justice reform.
Professor Cassell teaches criminal procedure, crime victims’ rights, criminal law, and related classes at the College of Law. His scholarship highlights include two books and numerous articles and OpEd pieces. He is Special Counsel for the National Crime Victims Law Institute and the Utah Council on Victims of Crime.
In nominating Professor Cassell for this award, Judie Roberts, the mock trial teacher at Skyline, said that “Paul has found the time in his busy teaching schedule to be the attorney-coach for Skyline High School for the past three years. This involves countless hours with the students, and he has willingly donated his time and efforts coaching six teams during that time frame. Under his coaching, several teams have made it to the final rounds each year. Having his daughters on the team has made this an enjoyable experience for his family and for me.”
Mock Trial Competition Woods Cross High School & West High 9th Grade
In February and March 2013, more than 1,000 junior and senior high school students across Utah tried a criminal case in which the defendant was charged with aggravated assault for allegedly attacking the victim with a tire iron outside a hip-hop establishment frequented by teenagers and young adults. Just before being struck from behind, the victim remembers hearing a voice, sounding similar to the defendant’s, reciting the lyrics of a song, “The Chump Gotta Die,” by hard-core rapper D.J. Heartless.
Students impressed more than 300 judges, attorneys, and community representatives with their presentations in over 100 mock trials.
The Woods Cross team is advancing to the National High School Mock Trial Championship which will be held on May 9-11 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The Mock Trials competition is coordinated by Utah Law Related Education, which provide law-related and citizenship education for Utah’s youth and communities through interactive educational experiences and curricula which foster in them an understanding of the law, the legal system, and their rights and responsibilities as engaged citizens, with support from the Utah State Bar and the Utah Bar Foundation.
Mock Trial Competition: Woods Cross High School
- Jack Brimhall
- Kaestle Charlesworth
- Jade Hall
- Allison Harden
- McKay Holbrook
- Erick Luna
- Ben Powell
- Tuscan Thompson
- Instructor: Brooke Gregg
- Attorney Coaches: D. Matthew Moscon and Rebecca Van Tassel
Mock Trial Competition: West High 9th Grade
- Nithin Chalapathi
- Christopher Chen
- Sophie Nebeker
- Caroline Nester
- Sierra Salas
- Priya Swaminnathan
- Michael Tao
- Instructor: David Harper
- Attorney Coaches: Richard G. MacDougall and Kathryn Nester