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June 2002 Archives

June 7, 2002

Volume 15 No. 5 June/July 2002


* President's Message: Read this Please! (at least read some of it)
* Arbitration Advocacy: Preparing the Case
* Pro Bono Legal Services: The Bigger Picture
* Admitting Child Hearsay Statement's of Child Sexual Abuse: Can Courts Determine Reliability?
* When Gunzilla (Federal Gun Control Act of 1968) Meets Queen Cong (Utah's Domestic Violence Statutes) Your Client Could Get Stepped On
* Utah Law Developments: Recent Changes and Developments in the Utah Rules of Evidence: Definitive Evidence Rulings, Character Evidence, Expert Testimony, and Business Records
* The History and Contemporary Content of Constitutional Mandates for Public Education: Obligations of the Judicial Branch

Admitting Child Hearsay Statements of Child Sexual Abuse: Can Courts Determine Reliability?

Provision for Admission of Child Hearsay
The purpose of Utah Criminal Code ¤76-5-411 is to set standards for the admission of a child's hearsay statements, including visually recorded statements (Utah Rules of Criminal Procedure 15.5) of alleged criminal sexual conduct. The court must make express findings which focus on the trustworthiness and reliability of the out-of-court statements. These findings are necessary to satisfy federal and state confrontation clause concerns.

According to Utah Code Ann. ¤76-5-411(2), for the court to admit any out-of-court statement into evidence, the judge must consider: "...the age and maturity of the child, the nature and duration of the abuse, the relationship of the child to the offender, and the reliability of the assertion and of the child."

Continue reading " Admitting Child Hearsay Statements of Child Sexual Abuse: Can Courts Determine Reliability?" »

Arbitration Advocacy: Preparing the Case


Editor's Note: The following article is intended to provide attorneys with an overview of the arbitration process from the arbitrator's point of view. This article will be published in the Utah Bar Journal in two installments. Part One, "Preparing the Case," will address the attorney's role in preparing the case for arbitration. The second installment, "The Arbitration Hearing," will be published in a later edition of the Bar Journal.

Continue reading "Arbitration Advocacy: Preparing the Case" »

Pro Bono Legal Services: The Bigger Picture1

One factor that sets the traditional professions apart from other businesses is that professionals are expected to contribute their expertise at no charge to the poor and disadvantaged. From this tradition, the modern concept of pro bono legal services has been "codified" as Rule 6.1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

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Read this Please! (at least read some of it)

The United States Congress has passed a law recently which could create real problems for lawyers. I'm concerned that many lawyers are unaware of this law and may inadvertently find themselves in violation.

I'm referring to Title V of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. This is a banking law that requires financial institutions to send notices to customers informing them of the institution's privacy policy. Essentially it was passed to prevent credit card companies from selling customer lists without informing the customers. You probably have received a few of these from your bank or credit card company. The problem is that the FTC has determined that lawyers and law firms in many instances may be "financial institutions" within the meaning of the Act and are, therefore required to send their clients these privacy policy notices.

Continue reading " Read this Please! (at least read some of it)" »

Recent Changes and Developments in the Utah Rules of Evidence: Definitive Evidence Rulings, Character Evidence, Expert Testimony, and Business Records1

I.Introduction: Recent Amendments to Federal and State Evidence Rules.
On December 1, 2000, the Federal Rules of Evidence were significantly amended. See Fed. R. Evid. 103, 404, 701, 702, 703, 803(6), and 902(11) & (12) (2001). The amendments dealt with definitive evidence rulings (Rule 103), character evidence (Rule 404), expert testimony (Rules 701, 702 & 703), and authentication of business records (Rules 803(6) and 902(11) & (12)).

Continue reading "Recent Changes and Developments in the Utah Rules of Evidence: Definitive Evidence Rulings, Character Evidence, Expert Testimony, and Business Records1" »

State Bar News

A Tribute to Norman Johnson
by Scott Daniels

Norman Johnson, a former president of the Utah State Bar died on May 4, 2002 at the age of 71. The following is reprinted from the December 1999 issue of the Utah Bar Journal.

About 25 years ago, when I was a first-year law school graduate and an associate in a small law firm, I was given an assignment to research an area of securities law. At that time, Worsley, Snow & Christensen didn't do much securities law and we didn't have any resource material in our library. One of the lawyers suggested that I might call a lawyer who officed a few floors upstairs by the name of Norm Johnson. He said that mr. Johnson did securities work and would have some looseleaf services or other books about securities in his library. he told me that Norm was a good guy and would probably let me use his books.

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The History and Contemporary Content of Constitutional Mandates for Public Education: Obligations of the Judicial Branch

Editor's Note: The following was originally delivered by Chief Justice Durham as the keynote address at the annual Law Day luncheon in Salt Lake City on May 3, 2002.

Section 147 of the constitution of the state of North Dakota contains the following language:

A high degree of intelligence, patriotism, integrity and morality on the part of every voter in a government by the people being necessary in order to insure the continuance of that government and the prosperity and happiness of the people, the legislative assembly shall make provision for the establishment and maintenance of a system of public schools. . . .1

Continue reading " The History and Contemporary Content of Constitutional Mandates for Public Education: Obligations of the Judicial Branch" »

Utilization of Legal Assistants

The issue of delivery of legal services at an affordable rate is a current hotbed of discussion, not only in the State of Utah, but across the nation. A committee formed by the Utah Supreme Court is currently looking into a myriad of options to help meet the need of affordable legal services. Proper utilization of legal assistants is one way to help meet this need. The Bar has even established guidelines for utilization of legal assistants that can be found on the Bar's website at http://www.utahbar.org/rules/ html/legal_assistant_utilization_gu.html.

Continue reading " Utilization of Legal Assistants" »

When Gunzilla (Federal Gun Control Act of 1968) Meets Queen Cong (UtahÕs Domestic Violence Statutes) Your Client Could Get Stepped On

"I sleep with two guns under my pillow; one gives me a stiff neck!"
Pancho Vilos

WARNING to Criminal Defense and Domestic Relations Attorneys!
Your advice to a client charged with domestic violence or seeking a mutual protective order in a domestic case could set the client up to be charged with a federal felony!

Continue reading "When Gunzilla (Federal Gun Control Act of 1968) Meets Queen Cong (UtahÕs Domestic Violence Statutes) Your Client Could Get Stepped On" »

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About June 2002

This page contains all entries posted to Utah Bar Journal in June 2002. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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