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January 2004 Archives

January 2, 2004

Volume 17 No. 1 January/Febuary 2004

* Contingency Fees: Should They Be Limited in Personal Injury Cases That Settle Early?
* The Proposed Contingent Fee Restrictions Are Unfair, Unreasonable, Unworkable and Wrong
* Utah's New OneStop Business Registration Website
* Diversity Pledge Marks New Chapter in History of Utah State Bar
* What is an Agricultural Cooperative, Anyway? COOP 101
* Private Income Withholding for Collections of Child/Spousal Support NON IV-D Collection Services

A Tribute to Dean W. Sheffield

I met Dean Sheffield in 1960 before I took the Bar examination when he was Executive Director of the Utah State Bar. He was encouraging. He was direct. He was pleasant.

After being a member of the Bar for several years, I met Dean again when I joined the Bonneville Kiwanis, of which he was a member. Some years later, when Dean was President of the club and I was a prosecutor in the County Attorneys office, I received a call from Dean at the office. After announcing who he was, he said, "Barney, you are a lousy member of our club. You have missed meetings, you have a bill on the books for lunches you haven't eaten. At the board meeting last night, we discussed your situation, your trial schedule for the County, and decided you could stay in the club if you would pay half of what you owed for lunches and dues, and become a good member. What do you want to do?" I was a little shocked, but said I wanted to remain a member in good standing. But for Dean's caring way and interest, I would have been out. My opportunity to serve in Kiwanis over the years only existed due to Dean's invitation to retain my membership.

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Appendix I for Proposed Contingent Fee Restrictions

THE FIRST PROPOSAL IS TO AMEND RULE 1.5 OF THE UTAH RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT AS FOLLOWS:

Rules 1.5 Fees.

(d)A lawyer shall not enter into an arrangement for, charge or collect:

(d)(1)Any fee in a domestic relations matter, the payment or amount of which is contingent upon the securing of a divorce or upon the amount of alimony or support, or property settlement in lieu thereof; or

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Contingency Fees: Should They Be Limited in Personal Injury Cases That Settle Early?

Author; Steven T. Densley

Lawyers in the United States are increasingly subject to criticism for the perception that they are more interested in money than in honoring long standing ethical principles that govern the profession. When lawyers receive compensation that is grossly disproportionate to work done, amounting in some cases to more than ten thousand dollars per hour,1 this perception is hardly unfair. And the problem is not limited to mass tort cases or class actions. Personal injury attorneys retained in run-of-the-mill automobile claims, for example, can charge a full third or more of any award even when cases they bring settle before the attorney is required to do much work.

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Discipline Corner

Discipline Corner

RESIGNATION WITH DISCIPLINE PENDING
On December 10, 2003, the Honorable Christine M. Durham, Chief Justice, Utah Supreme Court, entered an Order Accepting Resignation with Discipline Pending concerning Clay Harrison.

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Diversity Pledge Marks New Chapter in History of Utah State Bar

Author; Cheryl Mori-Atkinson

This year, the American Bar Association welcomed its first-ever African-American President, Dennis W. Archer. In his debut speech in August, Archer noted the significance of his presidency, stating, "Today is a new beginning, a new chapter in the history of the world's largest voluntary organization. We sweep aside the past to officially and emphatically declare that our association's leadership is open to every lawyer regardless of race or color."1 Archer has also noted, however, that when compared to the general population, lawyers of color are "woefully underrepresented."2 For example, it is estimated that minorities now represent 25% of the United States population, while just 10% of lawyers are people of color.3 Because of this disparity, Archer has identified diversity as a priority for the ABA and has placed a major emphasis on efforts to increase diversity in the legal profession.

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How to Effectively Use a Paralegal in a Probate Matter

Author; Shari Snell Faulkner

Officially, a probate is a court procedure to (a) determine the validity of a will; or (b) determine legal heirs, if no will. A probate proceeding also names a personal representative to perform fiduciary roles in settling a decedent's estate. Whether or not a court proceeding is necessary, unofficially a "probate matter" in a law office would include such things as:

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Pledge to Racial and Ethinic Diversity for Utah’s Legal Employers

Pledge to Racial and Ethnic Diversity for Utah's Legal Employers

I.In an effort to pursue full and equal opportunity and participation for all attorneys, including attorneys of color, each participant pledges to:

A.Recruit qualified applicants of color;27

B.Provide attorneys of color equal access and opportunity for training, mentoring, guidance, evaluation, and opportunities to grow and succeed;

C.Provide attorneys of color equal opportunity to participate fully in administrative, professional, social, and marketing activities;

D.Invite to partnership or shareholder status attorneys of color who meet the requisite criteria; and

E.Adopt a policy against discrimination at any level within the firm.

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Private Income Withholding for Collection of Child/Spousal Support NON IV-D Collection Services

Author; Karma Dixon & Emma Chacon

Utah Code Ann. subsection 62A-11-403 and 78-45-7.1 requires that whenever a child support order is issued or modified in the State of Utah, the obligor's income is subject to immediate income withholding. In addition, state law requires that all child support orders issued by a court or administrative body after January 1, 1994 must contain a provision for immediate income withholding unless the court finds good cause for not requiring the withholding or the court has approved an alternate arrangement between the parties. The court must make a written finding of good cause or approval of an alternative arrangement. In addition, if for any reason a specific provision is not included in the child support order, the obligor's income is nevertheless subject to immediate income withholding. Income withholding has dramatically increased the payment of support for children.

Continue reading " Private Income Withholding for Collection of Child/Spousal Support NON IV-D Collection Services" »

State Bar News

UMBA Awards Banquet Honorees

The Utah Minority Bar Association is Proud to Recognize the Following Individuals Who Were Honored at UMBA's Annual Awards Banquet November 21, 2003:

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The Proposed Contingent Fee Restrictions Are Unfair, Unreasonable, Unworkable and Wrong

Author; Ralph L. Dewsnup

The proposal to restrict attorneys' fees is flawed. It groundlessly asserts that Utah plaintiffs' lawyers repeatedly violate the existing Rules of Professional Conduct by overcharging their clients in contingent fee cases. It incorrectly declares that the courts are burdened by tort litigation. It misleadingly implies that the only service that lawyers render to their clients is in getting them money. And it disingenuously states that the public will benefit by a proposal that will have the effect of limiting access to legal services.

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Utah’s New OneStop Business Registration Website

Author; Klare Bachman

A few years ago, former Governor Michael Leavitt challenged State agencies to offer government services 24/7. The Utah Depart- ment of Commerce, Division of Corporations and Commercial Code embraced the challenge. Along with a partnership of other government agencies, including Workforce Services, the Labor and Tax Commissions, the IRS, local business licensing bureaus, and Utah Interactive, Inc., we began work on a Web site where an applicant could accomplish business registration requirements, in a timely manner, with nearly every federal, state, and local regulatory agency.

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What is an Agricultural Cooperative, Anyway? COOP 101

Author; Steven G. Johnson

If you were to ask someone to list the types of business entities in Utah, they would most likely name corporations (including S corporations), partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability companies and partnerships, and sole proprietorships. Few would know to also mention cooperatives.

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Young Lawyers’ Commitment to the Community

Author; Christian W. Clinger, President - Young Lawyers Division

The Young Lawyers Division ("YLD") of the Utah State Bar has had a very productive year in 2003. With its 12 committees, the YLD has given significant contributions to its membership as well as to the public. Here are some of the YLD's highlights since July 2003.

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About January 2004

This page contains all entries posted to Utah Bar Journal in January 2004. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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