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-prograhttp://www.utahbar.org/members/m-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.

Thanks to everyone who wrote articles for the Law Day Special Edition in The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News, The Salt Lake Tribune op-ed page, and the Law Day issue of The Record:
And thanks to everyone who participated in the awards, all of which you can see at www.utahbar.org:
Woods Cross high School and Centennial Middle School led the Mock Trial Competition.
Pro Bono Publico, Young Lawyer, and Scott Matheson award winners:
Pro Bono Publico
Law Firm: Holland & Hart
Young Lawyer: Kate Conyers
Student: Maureen Minson
Young Lawyers Division
Young Lawyer of the Year: Liisa Hancock
Liberty Bell (non-lawyer): JoLynn Spruance
Scott M. Matheson Award
Timothy B. Shade
Young Lawyers Division

May 2014 News:

  • Snowmass online registration now open
  • Law Day Run & Walk, May 17
  • Free Modest Means Lawyer Referral Program CLE, May 21
  • May Continuing Legal Education
  • Even Year Mandatory CLE Reporting Cycle
Snowmass Summer Convention, July 16-19—Online registration now closed—take advantage of early bird savings on or before June 20. We have held registration cost, so there is no increase for this summer, and, new this year, registration is waived for all Active-Under-3 attorneys. Book your discount lodgings, and see the final schedule. And while you are in the Rockies, enjoy hot air balloon rides, whitewater rafting, jeep tours, hiking, biking, fly fishing, and horseback riding: outdoor adventures
Free Modest Means Lawyer Referral Program CLE, May 21—for program attorneys who offer discount services to those with modest incomes and assets. It’s a great way to build a practice and give back to the community; see more about the program, sign up, or assist new attorneys by becoming an advisory panel member. The May 21 CLE will have a family law focus, including a panel on “Forms for the Family Law Practitioner,” and another on “Practicing before a Commissioner.” The CLE will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Bar, please e-mail modestmeans@utahbar.org if you are interested and you will receive notice when registration is open.
Law Day Run & Walk, Saturday, May 17— “And Justice For All,” uniting Utah’s civil legal aid agencies, is raising money for free civil legal aid for individuals and families struggling with abuse, disability, discrimination, and poverty. Last year, more than $47,000 was raised. Judge Anthony Quinn, who was tragically killed in a biking accident last year, will be honored. His wife, Drew, will serve as the honorary race starter. The race is an official USA Track Field and Field certified course winding through the scenic University of Utah campus. See the entire walk and run categories at Law Day Run & Walk. Day of race registration is from 7:00 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. S. J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah.
May Continuing Legal EducationSee the Bar’s numerous section luncheons and CLE seminars, including Diversity: The Promise and Problems on May 20 at noon.
Even Year Mandatory CLE (MCLE) Reporting Cycle (7/1/12 to 6/30/14) —Active Status Lawyers complying this year need to complete a minimum of 24 hours of approved CLE, including at least three hours of accredited ethics, with one of the three in professionalism and civility. A minimum of twelve hours must be earned by attending live CLE presentations. A Certificate of Compliance needs to be submitted 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.

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

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