Courtesy of The Intermountain Commercial Record, Friday, July 18, 2014
Judges and attorneys of the Utah State Bar assembled for its annual convention in Snowmass Village, Colorado on July 16 through 19. Meeting concurrent with the convention was the Utah Board of Bar Commissioners, the Utah Judicial Council, the Board of District Court Judges, and the Board of Juvenile Court Judges. The convention included reports from the judiciary and law schools, keynote speakers, continuing legal education breakout sessions, and awards.
Utah State Bar President Curtis Jensen said, “These award recipients help the Bar serve the public and legal profession with excellence, civility, and integrity. They are helping the Bar to meet its vision of a just legal system that is understood, valued, and accessible to all.”
Judge James L. Shumate, Judge of the Year
Judge James L. Shumate was appointed to the Fifth Circuit Court in January 1991 by Governor Norman H. Bangerter. He became a district court judge in January 1992 and serves Beaver, Iron, and Washington Counties. He received a law degree from the University of Utah College of Law in 1975. He was Iron County attorney from 1979 to 1982. Judge Shumate is a past member of the Governor’s Substance Abuse and Anti-Violence Coordinating Council. He worked on the formation of the Washington County Domestic Violence Coalition. Judge Shumate presided over the creation of the Washington County Drug Court and managed the Drug Court calendar in the District Court for Washington County for over 13 years. He served as the Presiding Judge of the Fifth District on three different occasions. Judge Shumate retired from active service on March 31, 2014, and assumed Senior Judge status after 23 years on the Bench. He is married to Cherie N. Shumate, RPh. They are the parents of 3 sons and the grandparents of 7.
Charlotte L. Miller, Lawyer of the Year
Charlotte L. Miller is the Senior Vice President of People & Great Work at O. C. Tanner Company, where she leads the human resource team and other support teams, and serves as assistant general counsel. Ms. Miller has practiced law for over thirty years covering a wide variety of areas based on her clients’ needs. She began her legal career as a clerk for Utah Supreme Court Justice I. Daniel Stewart. After her clerkship, she joined the law firm of Moyle & Draper where she represented J. B.’s Restaurants, Inc., in expanding its business through real estate purchases and business acquisitions. The President and CEO of JB’s invited her to become in-house general counsel and a member of the executive team. At JB’s she provided business advice and legal expertise in securities, real estate, franchising, personal injury, insurance, employment and a variety of other areas. Ms. Miller was key in the merger of JB’s (which became Summit) with CKE Restaurants, and continued with CKE for a time following the merger. Later, Ms. Miller joined Iomega Corporation as its Director of Global Litigation. As a member of Iomega’s legal team, she provided assistance to leaders on intellectual property disputes, FTC issues, benefits, stock options and employment law. The CEO of Iomega requested Charlotte lead the Global Human Resource Team and serve as a member of the Executive team. During her career, Ms. Miller has been a partner at the law firm of Watkiss & Saperstein, and was Of Counsel with Kirton & McConkie. Ms. Miller joined O. C. Tanner Company in 2010. Prior to attending law school, Ms. Miller worked as a night typist at Parsons Behle and Latimer and then became the firm’s first paralegal. She reports that one of her earliest contributions to the Utah legal profession was researching the benefits of changing from legal size to letter size paper.
Ms. Miller is a champion of the legal system and customer service. She believes that she and her legal and human resource teams could provide better support by understanding their client’s work. At JB’s, Charlotte and her legal team worked in the restaurants for a week, and at Iomega her team worked in the manufacturing facility.
During her career, Ms. Miller has given of her time to the Utah State Bar and the community. She served as President of the Utah State Bar in 1997–1998. Her other Bar service includes: serving on the Race and Ethnic Task Force, serving on the Judicial Nominating Commission, one of the founders of And Justice for All, a trustee of the Utah Bar Foundation, Young Lawyer President, Annual Meeting Chair, ABA State Representative, Ethics Panel Chair and Tuesday Night Bar Chair. She helped create the Salt Lake County Pro Bono project and prepared materials for attorneys to use in providing domestic relations pro bono service. She assisted with the Street Law project in the public schools. Ms. Miller created the Bar’s Consumer Action Program when she was Bar President and she helped paralegals form a division of the Utah State Bar. Ms. Miller has mentored numerous young lawyers and students. She taught one of the practicum symposia at the S. J. Quinney College of Law. Ms. Miller serves on the Board of the YWCA and recently concluded her Board service for Ballet West. She has also been a volunteer for KRCL and Equality Utah.
There are numerous stories, and Charlotte has a drawer full of thank you notes, relating to her willingness to help individuals in times of need. She has helped friends and employees with substance abuse problems, financial crisis, medical issues, childcare needs, and those living in abusive households. At times she uses her legal skills for this assistance, but more often her human care and concern is what makes the difference. She served as a Big Sister in the Big Brother Big Sister organization, and she welcomed a high school student from India to live in her home for a year so that he could realize his dream of receiving an education in the United States. She has worked at many car washes, bake sales and hot dog stands to raise money for a variety of student activities.
Ms. Miller is a graduate of Central Missouri State University and the S. J. Quinney College of Law. She is a native of St. Louis, Missouri but says that she has now lived in Utah long enough that she equally admires the Delicate Arch and the Gateway Arch.
Charlotte has supported and encouraged her children academically, athletically and in pursuit of their passions and adventures. She is married to Dennis Ferguson, an attorney at Williams & Hunt.
Young Lawyers Division, Special Service Award
Gabriel K. White, Chair
The Young Lawyers Division is the largest, most diverse and most active group of lawyers in the state of Utah. Its service projects carry out the public service mission of the Utah Bar. YLD members founded Tuesday Night Bar, Wednesday Night Bar, Wills for Heroes, Serving our Seniors and the Veterans Clinic, among other public service projects, and donated thousands of hours to running them. These programs provide free legal help to thousands of Utahns in need. The YLD also raises money every year to support access to justice and to serve less fortunate members of society. The YLD is a consistent provider of critical services to the community. These services connect Utah lawyers directly with the public in a way that positively impacts the public perception of lawyers and the legal system.
The YLD also provides significant service directly to its members. The YLD provides free and reduced cost CLE on a monthly basis to assist those young lawyers struggling through a difficult job market and lagging economy. Much of the YLD’s programing is specifically targeted to young lawyers who are just learning the practice and solo practitioners. This includes frequent networking events that allow members to get to know one another and build connections. These connections form the foundations of relationships that last for decades. The YLD also conducts substantive leadership training which prepares young lawyers for leadership roles in government, the bar and private industry though leadership conferences, training seminars and retreats.
Civics Education Committee, Committee of the Year
Angelina Tsu and Benson L. Hathaway, Jr., Co-Chairs
The Committee of the Year Award is presented to the Bar committee that has made “outstanding contributions of time and talents to Bar activities as well as provide outstanding services, programs and/or activities for Bar members and the public at large.
…” The Civics Education Committee’s provides service opportunities for members of the bar (attorneys and judges) and outstanding services to students and teachers alike. The Civics Education Committee Constitution Day project has widespread support throughout the state.
Utah Court of Appeals Judge Greg Orme taught at his alma matter in Ogden. Federal District Court Judge Dee Benson taught at Springville High. Third District Court Judge and former Utah State Bar Commissioner, Su Chon, participated in the judicial pilot program that will be implemented in full this year. Commissioner Kenyon Dove taught at an elementary school in the Second District and Utah State Bar President, Curtis Jensen taught a class in St. George. Chris Wharton, YLD president-elect, and Angelina Tsu, Utah State Bar president-elect, co-taught at Hillside Middle School. Rod Snow, past president, has his firm teach an entire day of classes. Doug Monson, a partner at the law firm of Ray Quinney & Nebeker, teams up with his wife (Lisa Monson) to teach an elementary school class – they even bring costumes for the kids to wear.
The Civics Education Committee was created by former Utah State Bar President, Rod Snow, in 2010. The Committee was charged with researching and developing a special curriculum emphasizing separation of powers and the importance of an independent judiciary for the purpose of statewide civics education campaign. Michelle Oldroyd and Kathy Dryer took primary responsibility for developing the curriculum; which the Utah Supreme Court and the Bar Commission unanimously approved.
The Committee piloted the project using the classes from the Law Related Education Program at the S.J. Quinney College of Law in 2011. Revisions were made based on the feedback obtained in the pilot and the project launched in earnest in 2012. The program includes a CLE component where attorneys can discuss the lesson plan and materials. Tammy Georgelas, Michelle Oldroyd and Judge Thurman put countless hours into developing the CLE for this project. Cameron Diehl, Robert Austin and Eric Clark ensured it got into schools and after school programs.
Approximately two hundred lawyers per year participate in the program. Last year, the program was so popular that the Committee could not find enough lawyers to participate, so it arranged to have students visit the Matheson Courthouse so judges could participate. This was a hit with both the judges and the students.
This Committee has worked hard to create a statewide program that helps students to understand the core values of our Constitution. Their hard work and the generosity of the attorneys who participate in this program benefits thousands of students and creates a better society for us all. Thank you to all who have served on this Committee and to the volunteers who make this project possible. We appreciate your commitment to service and look forward to working with you in the future.
Intellectual Property Section, Section of the Year
Steven P. Shurtz, Chair 2013–2014 Paul N. Taylor, Vice Chair 2014–2015
Perry S. Clegg, Chair 2014–2015 Brent P. Lorimer, Secretary 2014–2015
The Intellectual Property Law section serves more than 500 members. Below is a review of some of the Intellectual Property Law Section’s activities this past year.
- The Section seeks active participation from a wide cross-section of members in planning CLE and activities and projects for the Section. To do so, it held a series of four roundtables during July through August at four different law firm locations. Over 70 members attended and participated in these roundtables. As a result, the Sections’ CLE and activities were better than ever.
- The Section’s monthly CLEs have included not only superb local presenters, but also Federal Judges, the USPTO Director from Washington, D.C., and national Intellectual Property specialists from around the country.
- The Section puts on the superb annual IP Summit in February each year and this year maxed out on attendance (230) and actually had to turn away attendees. The IP Summit itself had a remarkable agenda with national experts and a Judge from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (the patent-specific Appeals Court). The Section has provided outstanding presenters for the Utah Bar Spring and Summer Conventions.
- The Section was heavily involved with the U.S. District Court’s Local Rules Committee in drafting and shaping the new Local Patent Rules for the Court.
- The Section was also heavily involved in addressing and lobbying Utah House Bill 117 (regarding patent trolls). It solicited the votes of Section members as to whether to oppose the bill (116 members voted), and then participated in negotiating a much improved bill.
- The Section has an active liaison relationship with the Student IP organizations at both BYU and Utah law schools, and is setting up scholarships at BYU and Utah to help students who plan to practice in the Intellectual Property area ($1000 general IP scholarship and a separate $250 towards the patent bar).
- The Section has provided significant financial support to the BYU and Utah law student participants in annual National IP Moot Court Competitions (nearly $6,000 this year).
- The Section contributes to the “And Justice For All” campaign ($500).
- The Section had a record turnout of near 100 members and their guests at a social at Log Haven in May 2014.
- In cooperation with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Section has begun efforts to establish a pro bono patent program.
The IP Law Section thanks all those who have served as committee members and speakers. We look forward to continued service to Utah’s IP attorneys in the coming years.