Earlier this year the Utah Legislature held its general session and did what lawmakers do, pass new and amend existing laws. This article will provide Bar Journal readers with ten of the most important changes to the Utah Code.
HB349 Practice of Law Amendment
This amendment repeals and reenacts Utah Code Annotated 78-9-101, which defines "practicing law." This is an effort by the Legislature to define what it " means" to be a lawyer. It is also a gauge of obvious discord between the Bar and the Legislature. As of right now, the Bar reports that insofar as the Bar's efforts to stop the unauthorized practice of law it is business as usual.
Continue reading "10 Changes to the Law Every Lawyer Should Know From the 2003 Utah Legislative Session" »
In "The Trial," by Franz Kafka, there is an interesting story told of a country man who is prevented access to the law by a powerful doorkeeper.1 The doorkeeper warns that, even if the man obtains access to the law through this entrance, there are other keepers who stand at every door in the great halls of the law, one more powerful than the other, and that he is the least powerful of all the doorkeepers. I would like to make some observations about these "other keepers," specifically the ones who sit at the entrance to perhaps the most honorable position in the law. The keepers of whom I will speak sit at the door before the bench.
Continue reading "Before the Bench: The Utah Senate and Judicial Confirmation" »
On July 14, 2003, the Honorable Gary D. Stott, Fourth Judicial District Court, entered a Ruling on Motion for Interim Suspension Pursuant to Rule 19, placing Dean N. Zabriskie on interim suspension.
Mr. Zabriskie was convicted of two federal offenses that directly reflect on his honesty and fitness as a lawyer.
Continue reading "Discipline Corner" »
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is a speech given by the author at a Law Day Banquet this year. It is reprinted here with the author's permission because of the timeliness of the subject.
I am honored to be here on Law Day, a day in which we celebrate the rule of law. As you may know, the origins of the celebration are of fairly recent vintage, and its original purpose was to provide a foil to the communist world's celebration of May Day. For my remarks, however, I would like to go back in time past the Cold War, and even past the founding of the American Republic. I would like to take us back in time to the 16th century, the time of St. Thomas More, the patron saint of lawyers and politicians. With you, my favorite "lawyer play" is A Man for All Seasons, written in 1960 by Robert Bolt. Like you, my favorite passage in that play is the dramatic scene where More rebuffs his family's plea that Richard Rich be arrested because he is a "bad man" even though he has broken no law. You can probably recite from memory More's stirring rebuke of his passionate future son-in-law William Roper:
Continue reading "Lawyers and the Rule of Law" »
Your most recent edition of the Utah Bar Journal was excellent! Hopefully, practicing attorneys will learn to switch bad moods to good, to recognize and reduce stress and will be willing to help other attorneys in trouble.
Continue reading "Letters to the Editor" »
With the enactment of Senate Bill 138 by the Utah Legislature this year, a health care provider now can deny care (except emergency department care) to a patient who refuses to sign an agreement to submit future medical malpractice claims to mandatory binding arbitration before a panel of three arbitrators. This article discusses issues concerning the new law.
Continue reading "Mandatory Binding Arbitration of Medical Malpractice Claims in Utah" »
If you ever want a few minutes' diversion and nothing else is handy, take a look at the Yellow Pages listings for attorneys.1 Although the Office of Professional Conduct ("OPC") seldom receives notarized and attested informal complaints about attorney advertising, people sometimes submit information (anonymously) about attorney advertising, and the OPC's Ethics Hotline regularly receives calls about what's permissible. The rules governing advertising are simple but not always scrupulously followed, and given the number of hotline calls, it's clear that attorneys aren't always familiar with them. This article is a primer on the rules governing mass media advertising, with suggestions about what to avoid.2
Continue reading "Practice Pointer: Things to Consider in Drafting a Yellow Pages Ad" »
During its regularly scheduled meeting of July 13, 2003, which was held in Sun Valley, Idaho the Board of Bar Commissioners received the following reports and took the actions indicated.
1. John Adams welcomed the commissioners and commissioners-elect and reviewed the schedule of events for the convention.
Continue reading "State Bar News" »
Use of the Internet by clients has become commonplace. From full e-business, such as on-line banking, to advertising real property listings by real estate sales professionals, the Internet is a useful medium for many purposes. However, many clients do not generally understand the rules of the Internet. The world of electronic delivery systems has made copying and distribution of significant and protected works of others, and the infringement of important intellectual property rights, easy, quick, and inexpensive. It is critical that clients understand some of the fundamentals of doing business on the Internet to avoid potential litigation and damages which could be devastating. The following are some of the potential traps that clients need to avoid:
Continue reading "Ten Traps to Avoid on the Internet" »
I'm proud to report to you the statistics gathered from the 2003-04 licensing forms on the pro bono work performed, and the monetary gifts to legal services agencies made by members of the Utah State Bar. A total of 1,615 attorneys - 21 % of the Bar - reported performing pro bono service or making monetary donations satisfying Rule 6.1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct. These attorneys reported performing a total of 88,125 hours of pro bono work, an average of nearly 55 hours for each attorney - well over the 36 hours per year aspirational goal of Rule 6.1. They also reported giving $111,897 in monetary contributions. Valuing the reported time at a conservative rate of $100 an hour, these numbers represent a total contribution to legal services to the poor of $8.9 million!
Continue reading "Utah State Bar Members Give $8.9 Million to Legal Services for the Poor" »