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.

South Weber, UT—The Davis County Judicial Nominating Commission has announced the appointment of Judge Bryan Memmott to fill the South Weber Justice Court vacancy. The position replaces Judge Reuben Renstrom who resigned effective May, 2019.
Judge Bryan J. Memmott received his B.A. from Brigham Young University in 1999. He attended law school at Arizona State University College of Law and received his J.D. in 2002. 9/11 happened during Judge Memmott’s last year of law school and he felt a deep desire to serve his country. In pursuit of this service, he was commissioned as a JAG officer in the United States Air Force and served as a Captain from 2002 to 2007. During this time he was also appointed as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney. He honorably separated from the Air Force with distinction and commendation. Judge Memmott spent several years working at a large law firm before starting his own law firm. His practice areas include being in-house counsel, divorce mediation, family law, business law and civil litigation. He was appointed to the Plain City Justice Court in June of 2017 where he continues to serve.

Salt Lake City, UT—The Third District Juvenile Mental Health Court team has received the 2019 Governor’s Award for its dedication to helping juveniles struggling with serious mental health challenges, and their families, overcome difficulties and find healing.
The award was presented to team members on Tuesday before the Utah Substance Use and Mental Health Advisory Council (USAAV+), by council chair Scott Reed.
Third District Juvenile Judge Elizabeth Knight, who presides over the specialty court, thanked her team for their unrelenting support. She pointed out that her court doesn’t just help juveniles, but entire families.
Former juvenile defense attorney, and current Director of the Utah Division of Multicultural Affairs, Nubia Pena called Judge Knight a leader, “with compassion and grace,” saying it’s not easy to handle high-risk youth with mental health needs.
“Stepping to help youth who struggle with mental health issues is no easy task. I commend the bravery and dedication of the team members of the Third District Juvenile Mental Health Court for helping countless youth and families find healing and wholeness. They are improving lives,” said Hon. Mary T. Noonan, Utah State Court Administrator.
The team was one of four awards given out. The purpose of the aware is to recognize those who have made outstanding contributions to the substance use or mental health fields and who have effectively promoted the USAAV+ Council’s mission to create and coordinate a comprehensive strategy to effectively address substance use and mental health disorders throughout Utah.
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Photo: Third District Juvenile Mental Health Court team, along with the team’s therapy animal, Lucy.

Logan, UT— A panel of judges is scheduled to meet on Jan. 9, 2020, to hear testimony to determine whether good cause exists to call a grand jury. The meeting will take place at 135 North 100 West, Logan, UT 84321.
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 Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020, 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.

Harrisville, UT—The Weber County Judicial Nominating Commission has announced the appointment of Judge Trent Nelson to fill the Harrisville Justice Court vacancy. The position replaces Judge Reuben Renstrom who resigned effective May, 2019.

Trent Dee Nelson currently serves as the justice court judge for the Roy/Weber County Justice Court which serves the communities of Roy City, unincorporated Weber County, West Haven City and Hooper City. Prior to being appointed to the bench, he was the assistant city attorney/prosecutor for Roy City. He also previously worked as a sole practitioner in the areas of juvenile law, family law, and estate planning. Judge Nelson is a trained domestic mediator and has a bachelor’s degree from Weber State University in Economics, a law degree from Brigham Young University, and an MBA from Utah State University. He currently serves as the presiding judge for the Second District justice courts (Weber, Davis and Morgan counties). In addition to serving as a presiding judge, Judge Nelson serves on the Utah Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee, the Utah Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct, and the Child Welfare Improvement Council of DCFS.

JUSTICE COURT JUDGE SELECTION MEETING PLANNED

Aurora, UT—The Sevier County Judicial Nominating Commission has scheduled a meeting on Jan. 28, 2020 to review applications for the vacancy in the Aurora City Justice Court. The successful candidate will replace Judge Cordell Pearson who left the position in December 2019. The Commission will begin the meeting at 4 p.m. at the Aurora City Offices located at 20 S. 120 E. in Aurora, Utah 84620.

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 4 p.m. to 4:20 p.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.

JUSTICE COURT JUDGE SELECTION MEETING PLANNED

Salina, UT—The Sevier County Judicial Nominating Commission has scheduled a meeting on Jan. 30, 2020 to review applications for the vacancy in the Salina City Justice Court. The successful candidate will replace Judge Cordell Pearson who left the position in December 2019. The Commission will begin the meeting at 12 p.m. at the Salina City Justice Court located at 90 W Main in Salina, Utah 84654.

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 12 p.m. to 12:20 p.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.

Harrisville, UT—The Weber County Judicial Nominating Commission has announced the appointment of Judge Trent Nelson to fill the Harrisville Justice Court vacancy. The position replaces Judge Reuben Renstrom who resigned effective May, 2019.

Trent Dee Nelson currently serves as the justice court judge for the Roy/Weber County Justice Court which serves the communities of Roy City, unincorporated Weber County, West Haven City and Hooper City. Prior to being appointed to the bench, he was the assistant city attorney/prosecutor for Roy City. He also previously worked as a sole practitioner in the areas of juvenile law, family law, and estate planning. Judge Nelson is a trained domestic mediator and has a bachelor’s degree from Weber State University in Economics, a law degree from Brigham Young University, and an MBA from Utah State University. He currently serves as the presiding judge for the Second District justice courts (Weber, Davis and Morgan counties). In addition to serving as a presiding judge, Judge Nelson serves on the Utah Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee, the Utah Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct, and the Child Welfare Improvement Council of DCFS.