Here’s the monthly report from the Office of Legal Innovation.
Washington City, Utah—Applications are being accepted for a justice court judge position that will serve Washington City, Utah. The position will replace Judge Thad Seegmiller who resigned his position on March 17, 2021.
To be considered for a justice court judgeship in Washington 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 a degree from a law school that would make one eligible to apply for admission to a bar in any state in the United States. In addition, candidates must be a resident of Washington 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 range for the position is $40,377 per year and includes benefits. For additional information, contact Jeremy Redd at (435) 656-6310.
The deadline for applications is Monday, April 5, 2021 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Utah law requires the Judicial Nominating Commission to submit three to five nominees to the Washington City Mayor, Ken Neilson, within 45 days of its first meeting. Mayor Neilson will then have 30 days in which to make a selection. The selection must then be certified by the Utah Judicial Council.
Allowing lawyers to enter into new and varied business arrangements to increase innovation and efficiency in Utah’s legal market and thereby increase access to justice is a central goal of the Court’s regulatory reform efforts. Permitting lawyers to share fees with nonlawyers is an aspect of these efforts. Thus, the Court, on September 1, 2020, authorized the sharing of reasonable fees with nonlawyers within the oversight of the regulatory reform Sandbox. It has become apparent, however, that the payment of referral fees—compensation paid to nonlawyers for the sole purpose of ensuring the referral of legal work—presents potential ethical challenges for lawyers and needs further consideration by the Court.
Utah Attorney Survey
Utah Justice Coalition (www.utjc.org) is running a survey of Utah Attorneys to see what opportunities are available to assist indigent communities, UJC is working on a pro bono and low bono Justice Clinic in partnership with law school students to connect with everyday Utahns and provide legal support. Would you mind taking our survey?
Salt Lake City, UT— Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice Matthew B. Durrant has issued an updated Administrative Order. The order offers further direction on warrants, bench trials, and eviction cases during the pandemic.
The Utah Courts remain open and available to the public while balancing the health and safety of court patrons, court staff, and judges. Toward that goal, the Utah Judicial Council has established three levels of court operations (Red, Yellow, Green), based on safety recommendations established by the Centers for Disease Control and the Utah Department of Health. While most hearings are being conducted remotely, some are now in-person, depending on a court’s risk level. Since March, courts have conducted over 140,000 remote proceedings on more than 63,000 District Court cases. Courts approved for in-person hearings and jury trials under the Yellow Phase currently include those in: Box Elder, Rich, Davis, Juab, Millard, Beaver, Iron, Piute, Sevier, Emery, Daggett, and Uintah. Courts in Salt Lake, Summit, Utah, Washington, Garfield, Kane, Sanpete, Wayne, Carbon, Grand, and San Juan counties have been approved to move from Red to Yellow when COVID case numbers decrease in those counties. The COVID Alerts and Information page contains more information.
2020 Diploma Privilege Candidates find success through service by devoting time to pro bono efforts at the Timpanogos Legal Center. Watch this short clip to learn more.
Salt Lake City, UT— The Utah Judiciary belongs to the people of Utah. The work of the courts is to provide an open, fair, efficient and independent system to advance access to justice under the law. Fairness is the basic premise of our system of justice. The goal is a fair process that produces a just result. The goal cannot be achieved in a system tainted by racism and bias.
Today, the Utah Judicial Council, as part of its ongoing commitment to identify and eradicate racism and bias from the judicial system, announced the establishment of the Office of Fairness and Accountability. The Office is created to organize and lead the Utah courts in examining and addressing racism and other forms of bias within the system. The Office will work collaboratively both within the courts, and with individuals and entities outside the system, including the Executive and Legislative branches of government. It will focus on, among other items, outreach to marginalized communities; data collection and research; and judge and employee education.
The Office will enhance the Judiciary’s efforts to address inequities and to provide greater access to our courts; especially for those who, whether due to race, socio-economic status or some other factor, have been marginalized or have otherwise been unable to access the rule of law on equal footing with their fellow Americans.
We hope that, now, more than ever, we can receive increased public input regarding how we can continue to reform as we strive toward the more perfect Union our constitution promises.
Salt Lake City, UT — The Utah Supreme Court has recognized the lack of affordable legal services can be devastating for many people. Between free but limited legal aid, and standard attorney service that can easily exceed $200 an hour, there are few options for affordable legal help.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of finding new, affordable, and high-quality innovations as quickly as possible.
That is why the Supreme Court is offering expedited review and approval of proposals from individuals and entities who believe they can offer low-cost, or no-cost, legal advice for small businesses, people with unemployment issues, and others.
“Americans need and deserve access to affordable legal services,” said Utah Supreme Court Justice Deno Himonas, who heads the Utah Implementation Task Force on Regulatory Reform. “For decades, we in the legal profession have tried to volunteer ourselves across the access-to-justice gap. Under that approach, we’ve witnessed the gap grow into a crisis. And now COVID-19 and its aftermath threaten so many of us with severe legal consequences. The Utah Supreme Court’s regulatory reform efforts offer a way to harness innovation and market forces to improve the delivery of much-needed legal services to all.”
Today, the Utah Supreme Court announced the proposed set of comprehensive regulatory reforms. The announcement comes after many months of careful work and study by a group of state and national legal experts.
A pilot regulatory sandbox has been created to provide a safe space for experimentation while being monitored for safety and effectiveness. An Office of Legal Services Innovation will be created to assist the Utah Supreme Court with respect to overseeing and regulating the practice of law by nontraditional legal service providers or by traditional providers offering nontraditional legal services.
The proposed reforms are the first in a series of changes that will open up Utah’s legal industry to new and more modern ways of offering legal advice at a lower cost. The goal is to fill in the access-to-justice gap with a variety of new, forward-thinking, services for Utah residents. Last year, the Supreme Court approved the Licensed Paralegal Professional. An LPP can help people with family and debt collection matters, such as divorce, civil stalking, custody and support, and small claims cases. Moving forward, the Supreme Court is expecting more innovations will be forthcoming.
Click here for the proposed rule changes:
Utah State Bar Practice Portal
Following are the steps to register and take an online course through your Utah State Bar Practice Portal.
Go to www.utahbar.org, select Practice Portal. It may ask you to log in at this point. Once logged in, select “Practice Portal” again. Scroll down to a box on the left entitled, “CLE Management.” Select “Online Events” in the center at the top of that box. Then select “Register for Online Courses” at the bottom of the box. It will take you to our courses. In the “search” box at the top, enter “professionalism.” Please note the format as our courses are offered in audio only or in audio and video format at the price of $37.50 (per credit hour). Once you have paid and viewed the course, you must answer the questionnaire after in order to download your certificate of attendance.
Here are the links to the two other Bar approved sites:
Webcredenza offers Audio Webcasts & MP3 Downloads for $65 per credit hour
Mesa offers On Demand & Live Webcasts for $50 per credit hour
University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law offers self-study CLE through our video archive on YouTube. Members of the Utah State Bar can watch one of the archived videos, request a CLE completion certificate, and submit the CLE request ($10 fee) to the Utah State Bar using Self-Study Form 5. The CLE videos may be accepted by other states. Check with your local bar association. By accepting a College of Law CLE completion certificate, you are certifying that you watched the CLE course in its entirety. Self-study is subject to state bar approval.
BYU Law Library – Please contact the Library at (801-422-3593) to see if they have changed their policy requiring material to be picked up in person.