MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT ROD SNOW
JUSTICE, SIR, IS THE GREATEST INTEREST OF MAN ON EARTH. IT IS THE LIGAMENT THAT HOLDS CIVILIZED NATIONS TOGETHER.
THE WORK OF YOUR BAR COMMISSION: IMPROVE ACCESS TO JUSTICE FOR ALL; SUPPORT FUNDING NECESSARY TO KEEP OUR COURTS OPEN AND OPERATING; PROVIDE EDUCATION IN OUR SCHOOLS ON THE FUNDAMENTALS OF OUR DEMOCRACY INCLUDING THE IMPORTANCE OF AN INDEPENDENT JUCIDIARY; ENCOURAGE PUBLIC SERVICE AND OUTREACH PROGRAMS IN THE COMMUNITY LIKE WILLS FOR HEROES AND SERVING OUR SENIORS; ASSIST IN MENTORING NEW LAWYERS; ENHANCE PROFESSIONALISM AND CIVILITY AND TO SUPERVISE BAR OPERATIONS INCLUDING ADMISSIONS, DISCIPLINE AND CLE.
As I pen this last e-mail message, I thank the Bar staff and Commission for their friendship, support and hard work this last year. I thank the Utah Supreme Court for their care and guidance of our Bar, whose constitutional duty is to oversee the governance of the Bar. And I thank each of you for your dedication to the practice of law and the communities we serve.
We hope to see many of you in Sun Valley next week for our summer convention. Three excellent keynote speakers will participate with us and of course Sun Valley is always a superb family venue. There is still time to register and if you are on the fence, please join us.
Two of our elected Commissioners are either now on the bench or soon will be on the bench. Congratulations to Eve Furse who has been installed as a United States Magistrate and to Su Chon who has been nominated by the Governor to fill a spot on the Third District Court Bench. We wish them well in their new challenges and opportunities and hope to continue to enjoy their support as members of the Bar Commission.
We have a number of Commission projects underway which we hope will improve access to the courts and justice for our citizens and help educate school children of all ages on our constitutional democracy. Many of these programs have been under study and construction for several years and were initiated by past Bar presidents and Commissions. They include:
A program to raise money to provide underprivileged school children with a new book on the law, written for their age and with their name in it (to be launched this fall).
The development of new lawyer advertising rules to enhance truth and professionalism in lawyer advertising, consistent with the First Amendment (to be submitted to the Supreme Court this fall).
A Modest Means program to match lawyers who volunteer to work for low bono rates for those citizens who are above the poverty level but can not afford legal counsel (to be launched before the end of this year).
A Civics Education Program which once or twice a year will place a judge or lawyer for one hour in a high school civics class to teach the importance of our three independent branches of government and how the check and balance system works. Hundreds of you have already volunteered for this project and our civics committee has plans underway for lawyers to be in the class rooms in September to celebrate Constitution day. A curriculum has been developed by this committee so it will be a turn-key operation.
Our “Lend a Learned Hand” pro bono project is in the process of being rolled out now. Hundreds of you have responded to the “Check Yes” Campaign by volunteering to take a pro bono case. Like the other committees, the Pro Bono Commission has worked diligently and spent many hours developing this program. The Bar has retained a lawyer as the Pro Bono Coordinator (who will also assist with the Modest Means program). Each judicial district has organized or will soon organize a pro bono committee to administer the program. These committees will be chaired by a local judge and an attorney. Oversight of the program is now vested in a Pro Bono Commission chaired by Judge Michelle Christiansen of the Utah Court of Appeals and Judge Royal Hansen, the Presiding Judge of the Third District Court. A video explaining the program is on the Bar website. If you have not yet volunteered, we encourage you to do so.
A committee has been formed to study ways of improving our Lawyer Referral Service for the benefit of the Bar and to assist in raising money for Utah Legal Services Corporation and its affiliated organizations like the Disability Law Center and Legal Aid. IOLTA funds used in the past to help support legal services for the poor are drying up due to the low interest rates on our trust account monies. Support of legal services is a core function of the Bar and with the cuts in federal funding, we need to develop additional ways of raising money for critical services needed by those at or below the poverty level. Last year the state legislature doubled the amount of money appropriated for legal services and we hope that trend will continue. This situation further demonstrates the need for the “Lend a Learned Hand” initiative.
“Justice, Sir, is the great interest of man on earth. It is the ligament which holds civilized beings and civilized nations together. Wherever her temple stands, and so long as it is duly honored, there is a foundation for general security, general happiness, and the improvement and progress of our race.” Daniel Webster, speech given on September 12, 1845.
We are fortunate to be involved in the cause of justice on a daily basis. Thank you for the privilege and honor of representing you as the Bar President
July 2012 E-News
• 2012 Summer Convention: Register Now!
• Online Licensing
• Senate Bill 156
• Christine M. Durham Woman Lawyer of the Year Award Winner Announced
• Notice of July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2012 MCLE Reporting Cycle
• CLE Calendar for July
The 2012 Summer Convention is here. Please join us for what is sure to be a memorable time July 18th – 21st in beautiful Sun Valley, Idaho. Our keynotes are presenting timely and valuable messages. For example, the future of the practice of law in the United States will be addressed by Professor Tom Morgan from the George Washington University Law School. You do not want to miss the keynote presentations. View the accommodation arrangements at http://www.utahbar.org/cle/summerconvention/accommodations.html.
Online Licensing – Licensing forms and fees were due July 1st and will be considered late August 1st. If you need to update your email address of record, please visit www.myutahbar.org. To receive support for your online licensing transaction, please contact us either by email to email@example.com or, call 801-297-7021. Additional information on licensing policies, procedures, and guidelines can be found at http://www.utahbar.org/licensing. Please remember to join us in “Checking Yes” on this year’s license renewal application and “Lend a Learned Hand.”
Senate Bill 156 – from the 2012 Legislative session has pushed out the effective dates for Unincorporated Business Entity Amendments – meaning, the partnership statutes will NOT change this year. The new effective dates are July 1, 2013 for new entities and January 1, 2015 for existing entities. More information may be found at http://corporations.utah.gov/sb256.html.
Christine M. Durham Woman Lawyer of the Year Award Winner Announced – Women Lawyers of Utah is pleased to announce the Honorable Vernice Trease of the Third District Court as this year’s recipient of the Christine M. Durham Woman Lawyer of the Year Award.
Judge Trease was admitted to the Utah State Bar in 1988, and began her legal career working as an attorney for Utah Legal Services. Judge Trease then went on to serve as a public defender with the Salt Lake Legal Defender Association. As a public defender, she quickly gained a reputation as a persuasive and passionate advocate, and was later chosen as the first female Assistant Director of the Office.
In 2006, Judge Trease was appointed to the Third District Court by Governor Jon Huntsman. She is the first Samoan judge to be appointed to the bench. Since that time, she has actively encouraged and recruited other women to apply for appointment to the bench and serves as a mentor to newly appointed judges. The members of the Utah State bar have greatly benefitted from Judge Trease’s skilled advocacy, tremendous public service, kind demeanor, and great sense of humor.
Notice of July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2012 MCLE Reporting Cycle – Due to the change in MCLE reporting deadlines, please remember that your MCLE hours must be completed by June 30th and your report must be filed by July 31st. If you have always filed in the even year, you will have a compliance cycle that began July 1, 2010 and will end June 30, 2012. Active Status Lawyers complying in 2012 are required to complete a minimum of 24 hours of Utah approved CLE, which shall include a minimum of three hours of accredited ethics. One of the ethics hours shall be in the area of professionalism and civility. (A minimum of twelve hours must be live in-person CLE.) For more information and to obtain a Certificate of Compliance, please visit our website at www.utahbar.org/mcle. If you have any questions, please contact Sydnie Kuhre, MCLE Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or (801) 297-7035 or Ryan Rapier, MCLE Assistant at email@example.com or (801) 297-7034.
Check out the numerous CLE seminar offerings through the Utah State Bar CLE Department: http://www.utahbar.org/cle/events/ and/or the Section lunches: http://www.utahbar.org/cle/events/html/section_luncheons.html