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April 2004 Archives

April 2, 2004

Volume 17 No. 3 April 2004


* President's Message: By Creating Safe Harbors For Non-Lawyers, the Proposed UPL Rule Will Increase Access to Legal Services
* President-Elect & Bar Commission Candidates
* Practice Pointer: Training and Supervising Non-Lawyer Assistants
* Making Appeals More Child Friendly
* Attorneys and Child Abuse Reporting Statute
* Utah Law Developments: Significant Utah Criminal Law Decisions In 2003
* Utah State Bar Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court Decision

Attorneys and the Child Abuse Reporting Statute

Author; The Needs of Children Committee of the Young Lawyer Division

Recently the Needs of Children Committee of the Young Lawyers Division worked with the Child Abuse Prevention Center of Utah to update their informational pamphlets. These pamphlets describe the legal definition of child abuse, how to spot possible abuse, and when and how to report suspected abuse. The pamphlets, one produced for the general public and three others produced for educators, child care providers and clergy, may be obtained from the Child Abuse Prevention Center of Utah's Salt Lake City office.

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By Creating Safe Harbors For Non-Lawyers, the Proposed UPL Rule Will Increase Access to Legal Services

Author; Debra Moore

If you haven't yet focused on developments surrounding the unauthorized practice of law in Utah, now's the time. The Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct has recommended adoption of a proposed rule that creates safe harbors for non-lawyers who practice law. Most of us probably assume the practice of law is what lawyers, and only lawyers, do. In a distinct departure from that assumption, the proposed rule defines the practice of law as representing others by applying law to their specific facts and circumstances - regardless of who does it. The proposed rule starts from the premise that only licensed attorneys may practice law, but then creates numerous exceptions that effectively create safe harbors for non-lawyers.

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Discipline Corner

ADMONITION
On January 16, 2004, an attorney was admonished by the Chair of the Ethics and Discipline Committee of the Utah Supreme Court for violation of Rules 1.3 (Diligence), 1.4(a) (Communication), 1.5(a) (Fees), 1.16(d) (Declining or Terminating Representation), and 8.4(a) (Misconduct) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

In summary:
An attorney was retained to represent a client in a divorce case. The client paid the attorney a retainer fee. The attorney failed to promptly file the divorce action consistent with the client's instructions, failed to complete the case, and failed to keep the client informed of the status of the case. The attorney also failed to perform meaningful legal services for the retainer fee collected, failed to return the unearned portion of the fee, and abandoned representation of the client.

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Making Appeals More Child Friendly

Author; Martha Pierce

"Once the termination hearing is over and the record closed, both parents and children would benefit from a more timely appellate decision."
- Judge Gayle Nelson Vogel, Iowa Court of Appeals.

Chrissie's Story
Three year-old Chrissie was found dirty, disheveled and hungry, wandering near the downtown liquor store in Salt Lake City. The police scoured the neighborhood trying unsuccessfully to find the child's family. Police located her parents the next day when they raided a meth house. The juvenile court, after establishing jurisdiction over the family, ordered the child into foster care and the parents into treatment programs. The court conditioned the parents' visits with the child on them providing two consecutive clean drug screens. As the parents' disinterest in drug treatment grew, visits became fewer and farther between.

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Paralegal's Day Celebration

Author; Sanda R. Kirkham, Chair - Paralegal Division

The Honorable Olene Walker, Governor of the State of Utah, has declared every third Thursday in May as Paralegal's Day in the State of Utah and encourages the citizens of Utah to actively participate in this Declaration. We invite all attorneys and their paralegals to join us in celebrating this grand day and are pleased to have Justice Michael J. Wilkins as the speaker for our celebration this year (please see invitation below).

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Practice Pointer: Training and Supervising Non-Lawyer Assistants

Author; Kate A. Toomey

Start with the premise that if you're a law firm partner, your responsibilities include seeing to it that your firm adopts measures that give "reasonable assurance" that the conduct of your non-lawyer employees and associates is "compatible" with your professional obligations. See Rule 5.3(a), R. Pro. Con. Likewise, if you have direct supervisory authority over someone else, you must "make reasonable efforts to ensure that the person's conduct is compatible" with your professional obligations. See Rule 5.3(b), R. Pro. Con. Remember, too, that you're responsible for conduct that would constitute a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct if you did it, ordered it, knew about and ratified it, or knew about it "when its consequences can be avoided or mitigated" but failed to fix it. See Rule 5.3(c), R. Pro. Con. The policy reasons behind the rules are sound: they promote professional competence and protect the public interest. See e.g. Mays v. Neal, 938 S.W.2d 830, 835 (Ark. 1997).

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President-Elect & Bar Commission Candidates

President-Elect Candidates
David R. Bird
Gus Chin

Second Division Candidates(uncontested)
Felshaw King

Third Division Candidates
Irshad A. Aadil
David R. Bird
Gus Chin
Christian W. Clinger
Scott Sabey
Clayton A. Simms

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Significant Utah Criminal Law Decisions In 2003

This article examines some of the more important, and hopefully interesting, criminal cases decided by the Utah appellate courts in 2003. This is by no means intended to be an exhaustive list or discussion, just a brief overview of a few of the cases that have impacted the criminal justice system. The author concentrated on substantive cases to the exclusion of the many important procedural cases decided last year. Although the author is a public defender he has attempted to keep this article as non-biased as he is able.

Author (Patrick W. Corum)

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State Bar News

Appointments
The Bar appoints or nominates for appointments to various state boards and commissions each year. The following is a listing of positions which will become vacant in the next twelve months. If you are interested in being considered for one or more of these positions, please send a leter of interest and resume to John C. Baldwin, Utah State Bar, 645 South 200 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84111 or e-mail john.baldwin@utahbar.org.

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Utah State Bar Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court Decision

May 17th 2004 marks the 50 year anniversary of the US Supreme Court Decision on Brown v. Board of Education. The Utah State Bar is coordinating a number of events and projects to commemorate this anniversary. For complete information on these efforts, go to www.utahbar.org/brownvboard.

Continue reading "Utah State Bar Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court Decision" »

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About April 2004

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

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