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December 2003 Archives

December 2, 2003

Volume 16 No. 9 December 2003

* President's Message: Who Are We? The Demographics of the Utah State Bar
* A Look at Lawyers Helping Lawyers
* Stress Management
* Disaster Plans and Other Unpleasant Subjects for Attorneys in Private Practice
* The Single Most Profitable Technology?
* The Unsolicited Email Act and Anti-Spam Litigation
* Views From the Bench: Reflections and Observations
* In Memoriam: Robert Wayne Swenson, University of Utah College of Law

“Unbundling” Legal Services in Utah

Author; Debra Moore

By the time this article appears, the Utah State Bar Commission expects to file a petition with the Utah Supreme Court to amend and adopt rules to allow lawyers to better serve a growing demand for limited legal services Ð also known as unbundled or discrete task services. The petition will seek four key changes:

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Discipline Corner

Discipline Corner


On October 23, 2003, an attorney was admonished by the Chair of the Ethics and Discipline Committee of the Utah Supreme Court for violation of Rule 8.1(b) (Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

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Fair Value in Utah

Author; Talon C. Stringham & Derk G. Rasmussen

We've all seen it: shareholders who can't get along. So what happens when the shareholders of a private company can't resolve their differences? In Utah, there are two statutes that govern these situations. The first, known as a judicial dissolution statute, applies when shareholders are deadlocked. This statute allows a shareholder to petition the court to dissolve the corporation or, pursuant to an election, allows the corporation to repurchase shares for fair value. The second, known as a dissident shareholder action, allows minority shareholders that have been "squeezed out" to dissent from the corporate action and receive fair value for their shares.

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Helpful Employment Law Websites

Author; Compiled by Katherine K. Hudman

How long does a plaintiff have to file an employment discrimination charge with the EEOC? What should an employer's family medical leave policy say? Are employees entitled to a lunch break? Answers to these, and many other employment law questions, can be found on the Internet.

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Making Your Case at the Legislature

There is a considerable difference between making the law and applying it. Making the law is not about reaching a favorable result based on a particular set of facts. It is, instead, about making the case for why a certain word or concept is worthwhile and socially acceptable as compared to the alternatives.

Clearly, we, as lawyers, can make this case, whether in support or opposition to a bill, and make it quite effectively by, among other things, keeping in mind some of the following.

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Paralegal or Legal Assistant

In my short tenure thus far as Legal Assistant Division Chair, I have been amazed at the confusion surrounding the terms "Paralegal" and "Legal Assistant." I continually receive phone calls from attorneys inquiring as to how their "legal assistants" can become "paralegals." It is a common misconception in the legal community, including Utah, that a "legal assistant" is simply someone who assists an attorney, but a paralegal is someone who has formal education, training, and experience to assist lawyers.

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Practice Pointer: Representing a Client With Diminished Capacity

Since becoming a lawyer, I've often thought that it must be especially challenging to represent a client with diminished capacities.1 Calls to the Office of Professional Conduct's Ethics Hotline, and even some of the informal complaints I've reviewed confirm this. The Hotline calls involve queries about whether an attorney can substitute the attorney's judgment for that of the client, and whether it's consistent with the duty of loyalty for the attorney to initiate proceedings to secure the appointment of a legal representative for the client, especially if the client opposes it. Informal complaints have been submitted to the OPC by family members distressed about what they consider over-reaching by the attorney.2

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State Bar News

Commission Highlights
During its regularly scheduled meeting of October 24, 2003, which was held in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Board of Bar Commissioners received the following reports and took the actions indicated.

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Supreme Court Adopts Professionalism Standards

Author; Justice Michael J. Wilkins, Utah Supreme Court

In an effort to enhance both the daily experience of lawyers, and the reputation of the bar as a whole, the Utah Supreme Court has recently joined a growing number of jurisdictions by adopting standards of professionalism and civility applicable to all members of the Bar, and to those lawyers who appear in our courts from other jurisdictions. These standards are not yet mandatory, but the Court anticipates judges throughout the state will begin educating counsel appearing in their courts on these standards when conduct needs improvement.

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Utah’s Revised Uniform Arbitration Act: A Makeover for the Face of Arbitration

Author; Kent B. Scott & James B. Belshe

This article will discuss the provisions of the recently adopted Revised Uniform Arbitration Act (RUAA) the Utah Legislature passed in 2002. The RUAA became effective in Utah on May 15, 2003. The RUAA is codified in UTAH CODE ANN. subsectionsubsection 78-31a-101 through 131. Its provisions will apply to all contracts that are entered into after May 6, 2002, and to contracts made before May 6, 2002 by agreement of the parties. As of November, 2003, the RUAA has been adopted by eight states1 and is currently being considered by eleven others.

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About December 2003

This page contains all entries posted to Utah Bar Journal in December 2003. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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