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March 2007 Archives

March 8, 2007

Nonlawyers Help Keep Lawyers out of the “Discipline Corner”

Nonlawyers Help Keep Lawyers out of the “Discipline Corner”
by Peggi Lowden

In most states of America, disciplinary panels hear evidence about complaints that are brought against lawyers alleging violations of the rules of professional conduct. After the evidence is heard, the panel deliberates and either dismisses the complaint or recommends disciplinary action against the lawyer. In the situation where the complainant is the accused lawyer’s client, the hearing is the place where clients often paint a picture of personal betrayal and a loss of confidence in the legal system. Testimony may be through cracking voices, angry words, and tears. The accused lawyer speaks and offers evidence in defense. Neither complainants nor lawyers leave the hearing room appearing to be satisfied. However, rising out of the ashes of this unpleasant experience there are lessons of hope for clients and lawyers.

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March 7, 2007

Vol. 19 No. 7 Nov/Dec 2006

PDF http://www.utahbar.org/barjournal/pdf/2006_nov_dec.pdf

Cover Art Information: COVER: For the cover of this issue we selected an image of Gregory Peck, as Atticus Finch, in a scene from the film To Kill a Mockingbird, based on the landmark novel by Harper Lee. Atticus Finch has become the very emblem of legal professionalism and courage, and we felt this picture might help deliver the message of this issue of the Utah Bar Journal, which is that the practice of law is as meaningful and inspiring as its practitioners choose to make it.

* President's Message: Civility, the Hallmark of our Profession
* Promoting the Standards of Professionalism and Civility
* Utah Standards of Professionalism and Civility
* Honest Lawyers Make Good Lawyers Thoughts on Ethics and Civility in the Legal Profession
* Enforcing the Standards of Professionalism and Civility
* Civility and Chivalry
* Need Help on Professionalism Training in Your Office? Call Us.
* Civility in the Practice of Law: A Young Lawyer's Perspective
* A Professionalism Quiz: How Does Your Conduct Measure Up?
* Views From the Bench: What I Know Now that I Wish I Had Known When I Was Practicing
* Paralegal Division: Civility for Paralegals

Civility, the Hallmark of our Profession

Civility, the Hallmark of our Profession
by Gus Chin

At a recent Bar function I visited with several respected veteran lawyers who commented about how the practice of law has changed over the last couple of decades. While applauding the improvement in technology and other areas, they were rather critical of - among other things - the marked increase in un-professionalism, disrespect for the rules, aggressiveness, as well as incivility. Many reminisced about the days of the so-called gentleman's agreement, a warm handshake despite adversarial positions and where "an attorney's word was considered to be golden."

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Promoting the Standards of Professionalism and Civility

Promoting the Standards of Professionalism and Civility
by Chief Justice Christine M. Durham

On October 1, 2001, the Utah Supreme Court voted to create an advisory committee on professionalism in the practice of law and appointed Justice Matthew Durrant to chair the committee. The committee held its first meeting on January 15, 2002. At that meeting, Justice Durrant spoke of the Court's increasing concern about the erosion of civility and professionalism in the practice of law, and that it wanted the committee to examine the nature and extent of the problems with civility and professionalism in Utah and to make recommendations as to how problems might be addressed.

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Honest Lawyers Make Good Lawyers

Honest Lawyers Make Good Lawyers
Thoughts on Ethics and Civility in the Legal Profession
by Justice Richard D. Fybel

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is based on a speech given by Justice Fybel at the Utah State Bar's Annual Meeting in Newport Beach, California this past July.

I am pleased to offer my thoughts on the subject of civility and ethics in the practice of law. I've been a member of our profession for over 35 years, the first 29 as a lawyer practicing civil business litigation and the last six years as a trial and appellate judge.

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Enforcing the Standards of Professionalism and Civility

Enforcing the Standards of Professionalism and Civility
by Donald J. Winder and Dennis Flynn

A good advocate avidly pleads his or her client's case in order to achieve favorable results. At the heart of effective advocacy are good communication skills essential for conveying expectations and intentions to the court, to other attorneys, and to clients. When correspondence, phone calls and other encounters are mottled with impolite or abusive content, the message being conveyed is often obscured or even lost. At times lawyers become a reflection of an emotional client rather than an objective advocate on behalf of that client. When a lack of civility begins to permeate the lawyer's discourse, it can impede his or her success and ability to represent clients well.

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Civility and Chivalry

Civility and Chivalry
by William C. Duncan

I suspect that any author of an article on matters related to civility and professionalism has a significant hesitation since none of us is a perfect example of those values, and many more qualified and highly-respected people have written on the subject. The only excuse then, that I can offer for this particular article is that I believe it uses an historical analogy to present another approach to the concept of civility that may be illuminating in a novel way.

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Need Help on Professionalism Training in Your Office? Call Us.

Need Help on Professionalism Training in Your Office? Call Us.
by Alan Sullivan

Would you like to provide training to lawyers in your office or agency on the Utah Standards of Professionalism and Civility? Do you need a set of tried and true presentation materials to assist you? Then call us.

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Civility in the Practice of Law: A Young Lawyer's Perspective

Civility in the Practice of Law: A Young Lawyer's Perspective
by Christopher M. Von Maack

This article seeks to briefly examine the challenge of civility in the practice of law from one young lawyer's perspective - mine. From the outset, I believe that civility assists lawyers to resolve disputes more rationally, peacefully, and efficiently. Thus, lawyers should strive to maintain civility in their dealings with others, i.e., clients, counsel, judges, juries, and the public.

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A Professionalism Quiz: How Does Your Conduct Measure Up?

A Professionalism Quiz: How Does Your Conduct Measure Up?
by Wayne Klein

Introduction
As sworn defenders of the Constitution and officers of the court, attorneys always have been under legal and moral obligations to demonstrate high standards of conduct. Accordingly, attorneys must meet ethical standards higher than that required for most professionals. However, concern over the misconduct of some attorneys and a dissatisfaction with the public's perception of the reputation of attorneys now are leading to adoption of "professionalism standards" by the Utah Supreme Court and many bar associations.1

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March 6, 2007

What I Know Now that I Wish I Had Known When I Was Practicing

What I Know Now that I Wish I Had Known When I Was Practicing
by Judge Royal I. Hansen

In the company of Judges Terry Christiansen, Stephen Roth, Robert Adkins, Elizabeth Lindsley, Dane Nolan and Christine Decker and Commissioner Michelle Tack, I sit in the state's newest courthouse, located in West Jordan. It is the second largest state judicial complex and represents a consolidation of the Salt Lake County suburban courts. The second floor is dedicated to the Juvenile Court and the third floor houses the District Court. Courts in Sandy, Murray and West Valley have been closed. The West Jordan Division is a full service court. It has county-wide civil and geographical criminal jurisdiction, including the South Valley Felony Drug Court.

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2007 Spring Convention Awards

2007 Spring Convention Awards

The Board of Bar Commissioners is seeking applications for two Bar awards to be given at the 2007 Spring Convention. These awards honor publicly those whose professionalism, public service, and public dedication have significantly enhanced the administration of justice, the delivery of legal services, and the improvement of the profession. Award applications must be submitted in writing to Christy Abad, Executive Secretary, 645 South 200 East, Suite 310, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, no later than Friday, January 12, 2007.

1. Dorathy Merrill Brothers Award - For the Advancement of Women in the Legal Profession.

2. Raymond S. Uno Award - For the Advancement of Minorities in the Legal Profession.

Spanish Translators Needed

Spanish Translators Needed

The Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee (UPL) is in dire need of Spanish speakers to help translate UPL complaints into English and/or to speak with complainants over the telephone to gather additional information once a UPL complaint has been received. There would be no further involvement in the matter. Also, the UPL Committee is seeking Spanish speaking committee members. If you are interested, please contact Victoria Kidman at 257-7200 or Katherine Fox at 297-7047.

Pro Bono Honor Roll

Pro Bono Honor Roll

Lauren Barros
Merlin Calver
Mary Pat Cashman
Lori Cave
Elaine Cochran
Shelly Coudreaut
Sharon Donovan
Lorie Fowlke
Randall Gaither
Ronald Goodman
Kyle Hoskins
R Clayton Huntsman
Brent Johns
Bill Kadarusman
Louise Knauer
Stephen Knowlton
Vinh Ly
Holly Mahoney
Ramona Mann
Sally McMinimee
Michael Mohrman
Richard Mrazik
Bruce Nelson
Raymond Rounds
Travis Terry
Carrie Turner
Olivia Uitto
Frank Warner
Tracey Watson

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United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Utah Standing Order Number 3

United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Utah Standing Order Number 3

This Standing Order Number 3 is issued by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Utah pursuant to Local Rule 1001-2. It is effective for all cases or adversary proceedings filed on or after October 16, 2006, and for any claims transferred on or after October 16, 2006.

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Answers to Professionalism Quiz on page 24

Answers to Professionalism Quiz on page 24, by Wayne Klein

Each scenario corresponds to the same-numbered professionalism standard, and the answer is clear - or at least pretty clear - from the text of the standard. A copy of the Utah Standards of Professionalism and Civility can be found on page 10 of this issue.

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Applicants Sought for the Fourth District Trial Court Nominating Commission

Applicants Sought for the Fourth District Trial Court Nominating Commission

The Bar is seeking applications from lawyers to serve on the Fourth District Trial Court Nominating Commission. The Commission nominates judges to fill vacancies on the district court and the juvenile court within the Fourth Judicial District. Two lawyers are appointed by the Governor from a list of six nominees provided be the Bar.

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Notice of Direct Election of Bar President

Notice of Direct Election of Bar President

In response to the task force on Bar governance the Utah Supreme Court has amended the Bar's election rules to permit all active Bar members in good standing to submit their names to the Bar Commission to be nominated to run for President-Elect in a popular election and to succeed to the office of President. The Bar Commission will interview all potential candidates and select two final candidates who will run on a ballot submitted to all active Bar members and voted upon by the active Bar membership. Final candidates may include sitting Bar Commissioners who have indicated interest.

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Applicants Sought for the Third District Trial Court Nominating Commission

Applicants Sought for the Third District Trial Court Nominating Commission

The Bar is seeking applications from lawyers to serve on the Third District Trial Court Nominating Commission. The Commission nominates judges to fill vacancies on the district court and the juvenile court within the Third Judicial District. Two lawyers are appointed by the Governor from a list of six nominees provided be the Bar.

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Commission Highlights

Commission Highlights

The Board of Bar Commissioners received the following reports and took the actions indicated during their regularly scheduled August 25, 2006 Commission meeting held at the University of Utah, S. J. Quinney Law School.

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Discipline Corner

Discipline Corner

ADMONITION
On September 12, 2006, the Chair of the Ethics and Discipline Committee of the Utah Supreme Court entered an Order of Discipline: Admonition against an attorney for violation of Rules 1.1 (Competence), 1.2(a) (Scope of Representation), 1.3 (Diligence), 1.4(a) (Communication), 1.4(b) (Communication), 1.5(a) (Fees), 8.1(b) (Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters), and 8.4(a) (Misconduct) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

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Civility for Paralegals

Civility for Paralegals
by Greg Wayment

The purposes of this article are to examine some of the civility issues affecting the legal community, re-affirm the Paralegal Division's support of the Utah Standards of Professionalism and Civility ("The Standards"), and provide some helpful tips on what paralegals can do to be a positive force for improvement.

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About March 2007

This page contains all entries posted to Utah Bar Journal in March 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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