Announcements

Salt Lake City, Utah— In what is being called one of the most significant moves to narrow the access-to-justice gap ordinary  people confront when faced with legal issues, the Utah Supreme Court on Wednesday voted unanimously to approve pursuing changes to the regulatory structure for legal services.
The changes, recommended by a joint Supreme Court/Utah Bar work group, focus on updating rules governing lawyers and allowing non-traditional legal services to be tested and approved in a, “regulatory sandbox.”
The result could mean expanding legal services that will meet the unmet legal needs of a large swath of society.
This is, “[m]aybe the most significant action for the access gap in years,” said Dr. Tom Clark, a leading figure in the access-to-justice arena, and a member of the work group. Chief Justice Matthew Durrant echoed Dr. Clark’s assessment, and reaffirmed the Utah Supreme Court’s, “dedication to tackling the access-to-justice gap,” and thanked the work group for its, “groundbreaking report.”
The work group, chaired by Utah Supreme Court Justice Deno Himonas and former Utah Bar president John Lund, spent the last year working on how best to optimize regulation in a manner that fosters innovation and promotes other market forces so as to increase access to and affordability of legal services. The result was a 71-page study: (https://www.utahbar.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/FINAL-Task-Force-Report.pdf).
The next step will be for the Supreme Court to create an implementation task force, which will begin work on putting the recommended changes in place.

Price, UT — A panel of judges is scheduled to meet on Oct. 10, 2019, to hear testimony to determine whether reasonable cause exists to call a grand jury. The meeting will take place at 120 East Main Street, Price, Utah 84501.
Those wanting to testify before the panel of judges should contact Michael C. Drechsel, Assistant State Court Administrator for the Administrative Office of the Courts, at (801) 578-3821 by Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, at 5 p.m. to schedule an appointment. If no appointments are scheduled by that time, the meeting will be canceled without further notice.
Individuals testifying must be prepared to give evidence to support claims that justify calling a grand jury. Controversies between individual parties will not be considered. Individuals who need special accommodations during the hearing must notify the court at least three business days prior to the hearing.
Utah’s Grand Jury Statute requires a panel of judges selected from throughout the state to hold hearings in each judicial district every three years. The purpose of the hearings is to determine whether a grand jury needs to be summoned based on evidence of criminal activity. The Grand Jury Panel is comprised of the following judges: Supervising Judge W. Brent West, 2nd District Court; Judge Lynn W. Davis, 4th District Court; Judge Elizabeth Hruby-Mills, 3rd District Court; Judge Eric A. Ludlow, 5th District Court; and Judge Kara Pettit, 3rd District Court.
The Attorney General, a county attorney, district attorney, or special prosecutor appointed under U.C.A. section 77-10a-1 can also present evidence of criminal activity. The panel of judges will hear, in secret, all persons claiming information that justifies calling a grand jury. All individuals appearing before the panel of judges will be placed under oath. If a grand jury is summoned, the jurors will be called from the state-at-large or any judicial district within the state.
Additional information regarding the Grand Jury panel of judges is available at the Utah Court’s website or in the Utah Code.

Salina, UT—The deadline for applications for a Justice Court Judge position in Salina City has been extended. The position will replace Judge Cordell Pearson who will leave the position in December 2019.

To be considered for a Justice Court judgeship in Sevier County, candidates must be at least 25 years of age, a citizen of the United States, a Utah resident for at least three years, and have earned a high school diploma or GED. In addition, candidates must be a resident of Sevier County or an adjacent county for at least six months immediately preceding appointment.

Information on judicial retention and performance evaluation is posted on the Utah State Court’s website at www.utcourts.gov under employment opportunities. An application for judicial office form must be completed and is available on the court’s website (www.utcourts.gov/admin/jobs). The salary for the position is approximately $10,500 per year and does not include benefits. For additional information, contact Jennifer Vought at (435) 529-7304.

The deadline for applications is Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 at 5 p.m. and should be sent to the attention of Amy Hernandez, Administrative Office of the Courts, P.O. Box 140241, Salt Lake City, UT, 84114-0241. For an application or information, email amymh@utcourts.gov.

Utah law requires the Judicial Nominating Commission to submit three to five nominees toJed Maxwell, mayor of Salina City, within 45 days of its first meeting. Mayor Maxwell then has 30 days in which to make a selection. The selection must then be certified by the Utah Judicial Council.

Aurora, Utah—The deadline for applications for a Justice Court Judge position in Aurora City has been extended. The position will replace Judge Cordell Pearson who will leave the position in December 2019.

To be considered for a Justice Court judgeship in Sevier County, candidates must be at least 25 years of age, a citizen of the United States, a Utah resident for at least three years, and have earned a high school diploma or GED. In addition, candidates must be a resident of Sevier County or an adjacent county for at least six months immediately preceding appointment.

Information on judicial retention and performance evaluation is posted on the Utah State Court’s website at www.utcourts.gov under employment opportunities. An application for judicial office form must be completed and is available on the court’s website (www.utcourts.gov/admin/jobs). The salary for the position is $4,800 per year and does not include benefits. For additional information, contact Clint Johnson at (435) 529-7643.

The deadline for applications is Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 at 5 p.m. and should be sent to the attention of Amy Hernandez, Administrative Office of the Courts, P.O. Box 140241, Salt Lake City, UT, 84114-0241. For an application or information, email amymh@utcourts.gov.

Utah law requires the Judicial Nominating Commission to submit three to five nominees to Daven Quarnberg, mayor of Aurora City, within 45 days of its first meeting. Mayor Quarnberg then has 30 days in which to make a selection. The selection must then be certified by the Utah Judicial Council.

Salt Lake City, UT— The Utah Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments at Southern Utah University on Thursday Oct. 10, beginning at 10 a.m.
The judicial panel comprised of Judge Gregory Orme, Judge David Mortensen, and Judge Diana Hagen will hear the following cases:

Utah Paiute Tribal Housing v. Workforce Services – 10:00 a.m.

Rojas v. Montoya – 11:30 a.m.

A Q&A session will take place afterward. Arguments will be held in the Hunter Conference Center, Gilbert Great Hall, 351 West Center Street, Cedar City.

Grand County, UT—The Grand County Judicial Nominating Commission has scheduled a meeting on Oct. 15, 2019 to review applications for the vacancy in the Grand County Justice Court. The successful candidate will replace Judge David Tubbs who will leave the position effective November 2019. The Commission will begin the meeting at 8 a.m. at the Seventh District Courthouse located on 125 E. Center Street in Moab, UT 84532.
The early portion of the meeting is scheduled for public comment about issues facing the Utah judiciary and improvements to the system. Public comments will be accepted from 8 a.m. to 8:20 a.m. Following the public comment period, the meeting will be closed to allow commission members to review applications for the vacancy.

Individuals interested in appearing before the commission during the public comment portion of the meeting should contact Amy Hernandez at (801) 578-3809 or amymh@utcourts.gov to request an appointment.