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March 2001 Archives

March 8, 2001

Volume 14 No. 2 March 2001

* President's Message: Sharing, Selecting and Supporting
* An Increasingly Violent Profession
* The Exaggerated Death of the Subchapter S Corporation - Part II
* A Cash Flow Primer for Attorneys

An Increasingly Violent Profession

I. Introduction
On August 20, 1986, Patrick Sherrill, a full-time substitute postal carrier, entered the Edmond Post Office in Oklahoma and, in ten minutes, killed fourteen coworkers and injured six others.1 As a result of that incident, America became acutely aware of the growing problem of workplace violence. As researchers have noted, "[w]hile there had been a small number of limited cases, workers basically vented their anger and frustration in non-violent ways and workplaces were generally free from the threats of intruders. Now, and perhaps permanently, violence has become commonplace." 2 Since the Edmond Post Office incident, serious cases of workplace violence have occurred throughout the United States, touching nearly all professions in one way or another, and have even affected our school system.

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To the People of Utah, and Members of the Utah Bar and Judiciary

To the People of Utah, and Members of the Utah Bar and Judiciary

Aside from the last year of my practice, I was a good lawyer, and honestly dealt with the Courts and my clients. I was not aware at the time, but have become aware, as the "fog has lifted,” that during the last year or so of my practice, while under the tremendous pressure of the criminal matters and others, I acted imprudently, despite having the best intentions.

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A Cash Flow Primer for Attorneys

Many years ago in law school I took a class on law firm management. I remember very little about the class other than it was drilled into us that unless we kept accurate billing records, we had no hope of ever being paid. The lesson I learned was that if you keep time records and send out monthly statements, the money will soon flow in. It didn't take long in practice to discover that there is a little bit more to running a financially successful law practice than simply keeping records and sending out bills.

This article is not about how to collect from slow paying clients, nor is it about how to invest the fruits of your labors, nor how to manage your 401(k). What this article does try to do is explain how managing cash flow can help you sleep better at night, and give some tips on how to improve cash flow.

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The Exaggerated Death of the Subchapter S Corporation - Part II

This is the second of a two-part series discussing current issues affecting Subchapter S of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. This second part discusses certain Subchapter S issues that are oft-overlooked by business and estate planning counsel. Part One discussed the added flexibility given the Subchapter S corporation by Congress in 1996.

The following scenario illustrates one of the most common mistakes made by attorneys drafting wills and trusts in the United States today.

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Sharing, Selecting and Supporting

In 1999, my wife visited a former Soviet bloc country. She remarked on the efficiency of traffic law enforcement there. If your car is stopped by an officer, you may pay or go to jail until you pay. You are not in jail awaiting trial, because there is no trial; the officer is investigator, witness, prosecutor and judge.

Fortunately, we have more opportunities to be heard and participate under our system of government. This article will summarize three civic opportunities.

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Ethics Opinion No. 01-01

Issued January 26, 2001

Issue: Under the Utah Rules of Professional Conduct, may an attorney representing a client in a divorce case assert a statutory attorney's lien under Utah Code Ann. ¤78-54-51 against property awarded to the client in the divorce settlement?

Conclusion: First, the invocation of an attorney's lien under Utah Code Ann. ¤78-51-41 does not require the attorney to meet the requirements of rule 1.8(a) of the Utah Rules of Professional Conduct, which generally governs business transactions between lawyers and their clients. Second, where the Utah courts have not squarely addressed issues concerning the applicability of an attorney's lien on particular types of property awards in domestic-law cases, this Committee does not have the jurisdiction nor the authority to interpret the applicable statute or the holdings of the Utah appellate courts on related issues. Nevertheless, a lawyer is not subject to discipline if she attempts to assert the statutory attorney's lien in a domestic-law situation so long as there continues to be a supportable, good-faith legal basis to do so.

Third Annual Campaign - “New Partners”

"and Justice for all" kicked off its third annual campaign on January 23, 2001 at the Rotunda of the Utah State Capitol. The Campaign took this opportunity to recognize its supporters in the Utah legal community which have helped "and Justice for all" preserve and increase the provision of civil legal services to disadvantaged and disabled citizens throughout Utah. After the first two years of the Campaign, a full 36% of the state's attorneys have supported "and Justice for all." The Campaign's goal is to increase annual participation to 50% of lawyers state-wide to create a stable source of funding for the provision of legal services to needy individuals and families. Alan Sullivan, a partner with Snell & Wilmer and Chair of the Campaign said, "Guaranteeing equal access to the courts for people without the financial means to hire a lawyer is the obligation of each one of us. Utah's lawyers are making sure the words Ôand Justice for all' have real meaning in our state."

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Discipline Corner

Discipline Corner

With this issue of the Utah Bar Journal, the Utah State Bar's Office of Professional Conduct resumes its publication of the discipline summaries in the monthly feature denominated the "Discipline Corner." Publication of the Discipline Corner ceased in 1999, pending resolution of a defamation action brought against the Utah State Bar by Gary W. Pendleton. The case was recently resolved in favor of the Bar through an interlocutory appeal to the Utah Supreme Court, and the Discipline Corners will once again be published on a regular basis. See Pendleton v. Utah State Bar, 2000 UT. 77.

Members should be aware that the Discipline Corner summaries are intended not only to alert members of the Bar and Bench that a particular lawyer has been disciplined, but also to help educate others as to potentially problematic conduct. The entries are, of necessity, summaries, and readers are cautioned that individual cases differ in their particular details and in the weight accorded aggravating and mitigating circumstances.

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Cover of the Year

The winner of the Cover of the Year award for 2000 is the June/July issue, featuring a beautiful photograph taken by E. Craig McAllister of Orem, Utah. The photograph is of Candlestick formation, taken from Potato Bottom, Canyonlands National Park.

This is the fourth photograph by Mr. McAllister that has been featured on a Bar Journal cover. His other photographs appeared in November and December 1993, and March 1997.

Mr. McAllister is one of 39 attorneys or members of the legal assistant division of the Bar whose photographs of Utah scenes have appeared on at least one cover since August 1988. Covers of the year are framed and displayed, along with winners from prior years, on the upper level of the Law and Justice Center. Congratulations to Mr. McAllister, and thanks to all who have participated in this program.

Commission Highlights

During its regularly scheduled meeting January 26, 2001, which was held in Salt Lake City, the Board of Bar Commissioners received the following reports and took the actions indicated.

1. Dr. Theresa A. Martinez conducted a racial and cultural diversity training session.
2. The Commission had lunch with the Board of the Minority Bar.
3. The Commission unanimously approved the previously submitted revisions to the Rules Governing the Ethics Advisory Opinion Committee including amendments to Article VII Section (b).

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About March 2001

This page contains all entries posted to Utah Bar Journal in March 2001. They are listed from oldest to newest.

January 2001 is the previous archive.

April 2001 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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