A Force of 10,000 Problem Preventers and Solvers
by Stephen W. Owens
On October 20, we swore in 320 new lawyers in a crowded ceremony at the Salt Palace. With this addition, we hit the significant milestone of 10,000 problem preventers and solvers. About a quarter of these are on inactive status. We are a force for good, helping maintain a peaceful and fair society.
My wife tells me that people do not like unsolicited advice, and I am trying to get better at keeping my mouth shut unless asked. Nevertheless, I cannot resist this opportunity to give a little counsel to our new colleagues:
The Scout Motto applies to you. You may be up against some old fart who has warts older than you, but you may find out that the veteran lawyer also has not consulted the Court Rules since then either. Preparation will pay off and may win the day.
Do Not be a Jerk (Unpleasant)
Being an unreasonable jerk will not better serve your client, will alienate your judge, and will eventually come back to bite you. Check your ego at the door and be nice.
Keep Your ClientÕs Expectations Reasonable
Only a fool promises the moon and the stars to a client. Matters sometimes go south, and you will be in an uncomfortable spot if you have led your client to believe otherwise.
Do Not Personally Attack Opposing Counsel
This will never serve your purposes and it invites mud-slinging back your way.
Do Not Interrupt a Judge
It is shocking how many times I have seen this simple rule violated. If the judge wants to point out a concern, shut up and listen.
Realize That You Do Not Create the Facts
This concept will take a lot of stress out of your practice. Live with your facts and be as persuasive as you can with them. Hiding or twisting facts will hurt your cause and credibility.
Treat Your Client’s Money as Sacred
It is sacred. Even if a stocky loan shark from Vegas is on your tail, do not touch your client’s money. Otherwise, you will go to jail and be disbarred. Don’t worry, your knee caps will heal.
Live Within Your Means
Do this and you will not have to worry about the situation described above. My wife and I shared a dumpy Honda Civic with no air conditioning for more years than I care to admit. The fact is, impressing shallow people is over-rated.
Find A Law Niche That You Enjoy
You will like your work more and be able to command greater demand for your services, not to mention a higher fee. You will work more efficiently and obtain better results.
Do Not Neglect Your Personal Health and Relationships
Be careful not to neglect yourself and loved ones. Get enough sleep. Eat right. Exercise. Develop your friendships. Protect your mental health. Avoid addiction.
Always Have a Pro Bono Case
You will be a hero to someone who is in over his or her head and needs a hero. You will always remember these cases.
Consider Unbundling Your Services
Many people with legal needs cannot afford full representation for their problems from A to Z. However, these people would benefit from and can afford limited representation to help them reach their goals.
Welcome to our new colleagues! The New Lawyer Training (Mentoring) Program will help in the transition. Thanks for allowing me to serve as your president.
Our deepest thanks to all of the Utah State Bar Sections and Commitees for their invaluable service and commitment to the Bar, the legal community, and the citizens of our state. We appreciate your contributions.
The Utah Bar Commission & Bar President Stephen W. Owens
Utah State Bar Sections Ð 2009Ð2010 Chairs
Administrative Law Section Gary R. Thorup
Antitrust & Unfair Competition Section Ð Cory Talbot
Apellate Practice Section Ð Erin Riley
Banking & Finance Section Ð Brian Cunningham
Bankrupcty Section Troy J. Aramburu
Business Law Section E. Troy Blanchard
Collection Law Section Derek J. Barclay
Communications Law Section Jake Redd
Constitutional Law Section Ryan D. Tenney
Construction Law Section Bryan H. Booth
Corporate Counsel Section David E. Stice
Criminal Law Section Chad L. Platt
Cyberlaw Section Perry S. Clegg
Dispute Resolution Section Barry G. Scholl
Education Law Section Kelly De Hill
Environmental Law Section Martin K. Banks
Estate Planning Section Thomas Mecham
Family Law Section Angela F. Fonnesbeck
Franchise Law Section Scott F. Young
Government Law Section David L. Mortensen
Intellectual Property Section S. Brandon Owen
International Law Section Diane D. Card
Juvenile Law Section Herb Gillespie
Labor & Employment Section Ð Chris Wangsgard
Litigation Section Wayne Klein
Military Law Section Lance D. Thaxton
Non-Profit Charitable Section Ð Charles Livsey
Paralegal Division Aaron Thompson
Real Property Section Matthew L. Anderson
Securities Law Section Brian A. Lebrecht
Senior Lawyers Section Robert M. Anderson
Solo, Small Firm & Rural Practice Section Rex C. Bush
Tax Law Section Steven P. Young
Young Lawyers Division Michelle Allred
Utah State Bar Committees 2009Ð2010 Chairs
Admissions Committee Co-Chairs: Hon. James Z. Davis,
Steven T. Waterman
Bar Exam Administration Committee Ð Michele Ballantyne
Bar Examiner Committee Co-Chairs: M. David Eckersley,
Russell C. Fericks
Bar Journal Committee Bill Holyoak
Budget & Finance Committee Ray Westergard
Character & Fitness Committee Co-Chairs: Frank J. Carney, Bryon Benevento
CLE Advisory Committee Nanci S. Bockelie
Client Security Fund Committee David R. Hamilton
Ethics Adisory Opinion Committee Maxwell A. Miller
Fall Forum Committee Co-Chairs: Hon. Kate Toomey,
Amy A. Dolce
Fee Dispute Resolution Committee Ð Steven G. Johnson
Governmental Relations Committee Ð Scott R. Sabey
Member Resources Committee Matthew L. Anderson
Mentor Training & Resources Co-Chairs: Jeff Hunt, Annette Jarvis
New Lawyer Training Co-Chairs: Rod Snow, Margaret Plane, Jim Backman, Matty Branch
Lawyers Helping Lawyers S. Brook Millard
Pro Bono Committee Co-Chairs: David Hall, Candace Vogel
Spring Convention Committee LaMar J. Winward
Summer Convention Committee Co-Chairs: Scott K. Mayeda, Sammi V. Anderson
Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee Dan R. Larsen
Lawyers & Court Personnel Food & Winter Clothing Drive Leonard Burningham