Message from the Chair

by Danielle Davis
As the new Chair of the Paralegal Division, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the 2011-2012 Board of Directors and myself.
Chair-Elect – Thora Searle attended Weber State University and has spent thirty-three years working in the legal field. She worked as a legal assistant to William Thomas Thurman at McKay, Burton & Thurman for twenty-one years and currently works as a Judicial Assistant to Judge Thurman at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Utah. She has served several terms as a Director of the Legal Assistant Division/Paralegal Division of the Utah State Bar serving several years as the Secretary and the Membership Chair. Thora’s husband of forty-eight years passed away in January of this year so her time outside of work is devoted to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandson. She loves to spend time with them and enjoys watching them participate in soccer, softball, dance, and tumbling.

Region II Director – J. Robyn Dotterer, CP has worked as a paralegal for over twenty years and has been with Strong & Hanni for eleven years. She works with Paul M. Belnap, Stuart H. Schultz, and Andrew D. Wright in the areas of insurance defense in personal injury, insurance bad faith, and legal malpractice litigation. Robyn achieved her Certified Paralegal Degree in 1994 and is a Past President of the Legal Assistants Association of Utah. She has served on the Paralegal Division Board in several different capacities, served as a Director-at-Large, and was co-chair of the Community Service Committee and the Young Lawyer Division (YLD) Liaison for several years. Robyn is excited to be back on the Board and is looking forward to getting to know the new Division and Board members. Robyn has been married to Duane Dotterer for thirty-seven years and lives in Sandy, Utah.
Region III Director (Secretary) – Jennifer Nakai, ACP serves the counties of Juab, Millard, Utah, Wasatch, Duchesne, Uintah, and Daggett. She has worked in the legal field since 1986 and currently works as a paralegal in the Investigations Division at the Utah County Attorney’s Office. Jennifer has an Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies and is working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice at Utah Valley University. She is a Certified Paralegal through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) and also has an Advanced Certified Paralegal designation in Trial Practice.
Region IV Director – Colleen Wrigley is a paralegal with the firm of Clarkson Draper & Beckstrom in St. George.
Director at Large – Heather Allen is a paralegal at Ray Quinney & Nebeker (RQN). She has been with RQN since August 2010 and prior to that she was a paralegal at Snell & Wilmer since 2005. Heather works in product liability, personal injury/wrongful death actions, both defense and plaintiff. She graduated from Utah Valley University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Paralegal Studies and a minor in Psychology. She is also involved in the community as a volunteer at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray for the parent support group associated with the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Director at Large – Kimberly Brenneman is a legal assistant with the Sundance Group for in-house-counsel. She has had experience in criminal defense and family law. She is currently learning transactional law. She has six years of experience in the legal field and attended Salt Lake Community College where she received an Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies. Kimberly is a member of the Paralegal Division of the Utah State Bar, Utah Paralegal Association, and NALA. She enjoys the outdoors, reading, and spending time with her family.
Director at Large (Parliamentarian) – Deborah Calegory (Deb) is a certified paralegal who works for the St. George office of Durham Jones & Pinegar. She has extensive experience in the areas of real estate, litigation, business and transactional law, and has worked on legal matters in Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. Deb has been active in the paralegal profession over the course of her twenty-nine year career. She prepared curriculum and provided instruction for paralegal programs for Dixie State College and the Utah Chapter of the American Paralegal Association. From 2007-2009, She was a charter member of the Paralegal Division of the Utah State Bar, and has maintained an active role in the Division since its inception. Deb has served in numerous leadership positions for the Division, including the Chair of the Division during 2001-2002. In 2008 she was selected as Utah’s Distinguished Paralegal of the Year.
Deb also maintains an active role in the local St. George community. She served on the Board of Directors of Leadership Dixie (an educational program for the benefit of new and seasoned community leaders) from 2007-2009. Deb has been on the Family Selection Committee for the Habitat for Humanity of Southwest Utah since 2007, and is currently serving on the PTA Board of Directors at Snow Canyon Middle School. She is currently the chair-elect of the Southern Utah Community Center Advisory Board and will take the reigns as the Chair in April, 2012. The Advisory Board oversees the programs and activities of the Southern Utah Community Legal Center, whose mission it is to increase access to civil legal aid for disadvantaged citizens of southern Utah.
Director at Large – Tally Ellison is a paralegal at Inthinc Technology Solutions, Inc. Tally is a former Chair of the Paralegal Division and has been involved in leadership in the paralegal community for many years having also served as President of the Legal Assistants Association of Utah (LAAU).
Director at Large (Finance Officer) – Julie Eriksson has been a paralegal for over twenty years, employed the last twelve years as a paralegal with the law firm of Christensen & Jensen, working in personal injury and civil litigation. She attended the University of Utah and Phillips Junior College graduating with an associates degree in Paralegal Studies in 1992. She has been an active participant in the Paralegal Division since its inception in 1996. Julie has served on the Board of Director’s as the Continuing Legal Education Chair and Finance Officer. She is a former Chair of the Paralegal Division and a former Ex-Officio member on the Board of Bar Commissioners representing the Paralegal Division. In addition to the Paralegal Division, Julie is also a member of the LAAU and served that association in many capacities including several years as its President.
Director at Large – Kari Jimenez received her Professional Paralegal Certificate from the University of Phoenix and has over nineteen years of experience as a litigation paralegal. She has a broad spectrum of experience, which includes criminal defense, criminal prosecution, civil litigation, and in-house corporate in Cache County; civil litigation insurance defense, medical malpractice, and products liability with the law firm Richards, Brandt, Miller & Nelson as well as in-house corporate for a mortgage servicing company in Salt Lake County and in-house corporate for a housing company in Washington County. She obtained her Real Estate license in 2005 and is currently the City Recorder for Ivins City. She received her Certified Municipal Clerks designation from the University of Utah and is currently working on her Master Municipal Clerk designation. Kari is the Southern Region Director for the Utah Paralegal Association (UPA) formerly known as LAAU. At the end of 2006, having experienced enough cold and snow, Kari and her spouse Wilson, who is originally from Ecuador, South America, and two children Garrett and Mariah, moved from Sandy, Utah to sunny St. George, Utah. Kari enjoys road and mountain biking, hiking, camping, and traveling.
Director at Large – Suzanne Potts has been a paralegal for over twenty years. She is employed by Clarkson Draper & Beckstrom in St. George, Utah, working primarily in civil litigation. Suzanne is a mediator having completed basic Mediation Training through the Utah State Bar, Alternative Dispute Resolution in 2001. She is a past member of LAAU, having served as the Southern Regional Director. She is currently a member of the Paralegal Division of the Utah State Bar and is serving as a Director at Large. She presently serves on the Paralegal of the Year Award Committee of the Division. Suzanne is very active in the community and is a public panel member for the Supreme Court Ethics and Discipline Committee, volunteer for the Southern Utah Community Legal Center as well as a paralegal member of the Board of the Southern Utah Bar Association.
Director at Large – Geneve Wanberg is a litigation paralegal at Ballard Spahr LLP. She has been a litigation paralegal for seven years and prior to that was a corporate paralegal for five years. She has served on the Education Committee for the past few years. She has also co-chaired the committee for the Paralegal Day Luncheon for 2011. Geneve enjoys education, from learning to teaching, and working with the education committee to create education situations that teach, assist, and inspire her fellow paralegals in Utah. In her office, she is known as the paralegal pastry chef and loves to cook. Geneve has nine grandchildren with another on the way. Her husband is a greenhouse manager for a high profile group of gardens in downtown Salt Lake City.
Director at Large – Lorraine Wardle is the senior paralegal at the firm of Thomas Henson & Associates, claims litigation counsel for State Farm Insurance. Prior to joining Henson & Associates, Lorraine worked at several highly esteemed insurance defense firms such as Richards Brandt Miller & Nelson, Dunn & Dunn, Hanson Epperson & Wallace, and Epperson & Rencher. She has been involved with the boards of both paralegal associations in Utah. Lorraine lives in West Jordan with her husband and two golden retrievers.
Carma Harper, CP is the immediate Past Chair of the Paralegal Division. She now serves as an ex-officio member of the Board and is Chairing the Membership Committee. Carma is a paralegal at the law firm of Strong & Hanni and has over eleven years of experience working on insurance defense, construction defects, and product liability defense cases. She graduated from Wasatch Career Institute’s paralegal program in 1989. She is a licensed realtor for Key Realty Group in her spare time. She began her service with the Paralegal Division working on the CLE Committee, assisting with the monthly brown bags and other CLE events. She also served as the Community Service Chair in 2009-2010 working closely with the YLD with the Wills For Heroes program. In 2009-2010, Carma served as the Region I Director, while continuing to work on the Community Service Committee. In 2010-2011, during her term as Chair of the Paralegal Division, she served as the Division’s liaison to the Bar Commission. She enjoys being involved in the Paralegal Division and in the legal community. She has always strived to “Pay it Forward,” by providing service to the community and by trying to be a positive influence to others.
As for me, I am a certified paralegal with the law firm of Strong & Hanni working with Peter H. Christensen in insurance defense litigation. I have worked as a paralegal for twenty years with experience in multiple areas of law. I received my paralegal certificate from Westminster College.
This is my second time around as Chair of the Paralegal Division. I served as Chair for 2005-2006 and have been involved with the Division and Utah State Bar in other capacities including Director-at-Large, Community Service Committee Chair, Bar Journal Committee liaison, Young Lawyers Division liaison, Governmental Relations Committee, Licensing Committee, and ex-officio member of the Board of Bar Commissioners of the Utah State Bar.
I am pleased to be involved again as Chair and look forward to working with the Board to achieve the goals of the Division and the Mission of the Utah State Bar.

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