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2007 Utah State Bar Award Winners

2007 Utah State Bar Award Winners

The Annual Awards of the Utah State Bar were presented at the Bar’s 77th Annual Convention by the Board of Bar Commissioners, on behalf of the entire Bar membership. Recipients are selected on the basis of achievement; professional service; and exemplification of the highest standards of professionalism. Awards given at the annual meeting were for Section of the Year, Committee of the Year, Judge of the Year, and Lawyer of the Year.

Paralegal Division
Section of the Year

The Paralegal Division of the Utah State Bar has taken an active role in supporting the Utah State Bar and its members since the Division’s creation in 1996. The Paralegal Division’s mission statement reads: “The Paralegal Division of the Utah State Bar shall serve the legal profession by promoting and advancing professional competence and excellence throughout the legal profession.” Although comparatively small, the Paralegal Division of the Utah State Bar is very active. It is led by a full board of directors that hold monthly board and executive committee meetings. All announcements and items of interest to members are sent via e-mail notice. In addition to other activities, the following is a list of some of the matters undertaken by the Board of Directors on behalf of the Paralegal Division over the last year:

• Formal membership drives in Salt Lake City and St. George, Utah which included presenting educational seminars about paralegals to the Association of Legal Administrators, various law firms, colleges and the SLC area managing partner’s breakfast.

• Division membership committee is working on education and developing a continuing plan of action for recruitment and education.

• Formed new Community Service Committee which organized new service opportunities for paralegals including (1) a Holiday Open House in conjunction with a charitable donations drive and fundraiser to benefit The Road Home, (2) coordinated with YLD on a successful service project in St. George to benefit The D.O.V.E. Center (a shelter for abused women and children), and continuous participation with YLD with community service and fundraising activities.

• Formed a Licensing Trends Research Committee to research and obtain information relating to national licensing and regulation trends relating to paralegals.

• Drafted and approved Amended and Restated Bylaws for the Division.

• Updated the Division’s Long Range Plan.

• Updated Paralegal Division informational brochure

• Promoted and presented 2nd Annual Distinguished Paralegal of the Year Award

• Updated Paralegal Division website, pending implementation of full blog format

• Distributed promotional materials to assist with education and recruiting efforts

• Implemented Blomquist Hale Counseling Services and Casemaker benefits from Bar

• The Division provides many social and CLE events for its Members including:
– Monthly brown bag CLE seminars
– Paralegal’s Day
– The Division Annual Meeting and full day CLE seminar
– Law Day 5K run
– Community Service opportunities as described above

The Paralegal Division, and its membership, take an active role in Bar activities and committees including the following:

• CLE committee: participation in all Bar Conventions including Annual convention, Fall Forum and Spring Convention

• Community Service Committee: Bar and YLD community service and fundraising activities.

• The Division supports other divisions of the Bar by making donations and attending functions sponsored by the Bar and other divisions of the Bar.

• Mock Trial event participation and judging

• Education drives with Bar Sections to admit paralegal associate members

Utah Bar Journal article submissions

• Bar’s governmental relations, Bar Journal, professional standards, ad hoc pro bono, and UPL committees

For additional information about the Paralegal Division, please refer to www.utahbar.org/sections/paralegals.

Kathryn K. Shelton, Chair (2006-2007)

Utah Bar Journal Committee
Committee of the Year

The Utah Bar Journal Committee endeavors to publish practical and informative articles on Utah legal issues and to provide a forum for the exchange of opinions and the discussion of views on matters relating to the Utah State Bar. Outside of the monthly editorial meetings, committee members spend countless hours planning, editing, and covering issues important to Bar members. The lengthy service of a number of committee members is admirable. Some members have served on the committee for more than 20 years. More junior members can boast over 10 years of service. There are those who attribute this longevity to dedication, while others claim it’s the tasty lunches served at the monthly editorial meetings.

The Utah Bar Journal was first published in 1973. Under the leadership of Calvin Thorpe, the publication changed to its current format in 1988. Cal served as Editor until 1999 when he and his wife died in a motor vehicle accident while returning from the Bar’s Mid-Year Meeting in St. George. William Holyoak has served as editor of the Utah Bar Journal since then.

A distinctive feature of the Utah Bar Journal’s current format is its covers, which typically feature photographs of natural Utah taken by members of the Bar. Special distinctive covers were also featured this past year on an extra issue commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Utah State Bar and on a special issue focused on Civility and Professionalism.

The Utah Bar Journal is now available on the internet at the Bar’s web site, www.utahbar.org. The site includes an archive of issues going back to 2001. This fully searchable resource will continue to improve as the committee looks for new and innovative ways to bring the Utah Bar Journal to the Bar’s members.

The Utah Bar Journal committee consists of a number of dedicated legal professionals, including representatives from the Young Lawyer Division and the Paralegal Division, who provide important perspective and input. In addition, the committee is ably supported by Bar staff.

The Utah Bar Journal committee is as follows:

Editor: William D. Holyoak

Managing Editor: Todd Zagorec

Art/Design Editor: Randall L. Romrell

Articles Editors:
Robert Palmer Rees
Gretchen Lee

Departments Editor: Catherine E. Roberts

Utah Law Developments Editor: J. Craig Smith

Judicial Advisor: Judge Gregory K. Orme

Copy Editors:
John P. Ball
Hal Armstrong

Young Lawyer Representatives:
Peter H. Donaldson
Nathan C. Croxford

Paralegal Representative: Greg Wayment

Bar Staff Liaison: Christine Critchley

Advertising/Design Coordinator: Laniece Roberts

Oscar W. McConkie
Lawyer of the Year

Oscar W. McConkie is a founding partner of the law firm Kirton & McConkie, one of the major law firms in the Intermountain West. It consists of 93 lawyers and is among the fastest growing firms in the State of Utah.

He has significantly impacted the law in the area of Church and State. For instance, he argued cases in the Utah Supreme Court and the United States District Court in Utah wherein the courts broadened the meaning of the Utah statutory term “confession” in the clergy-penitent privilege, protecting certain communications from public disclosure, to include all communications between a cleric and parishioner that were intended to be confidential wherein the parishioner was seeking spiritual advice; and he has successfully drafted and sponsored legislation in legislatures from Jamaica to Mauritius and has created legal personalities in Africa.

Oscar W. McConkie was born 26 May 1926 in Moab, Utah, the fifth of six children born to Vivian Redd McConkie and Judge Oscar W. McConkie. He married Judith Stoddard in the Salt Lake Temple on 17 March 1951. They have eight children: Oscar W. III, Ann (Boyden), Daniel Stoddard, Gail (Evans), Clair (Evans), Pace Jefferson, Roger James, and Edward Stoddard McConkie. Six of the eight children are lawyers and members of the Utah State Bar Association. Ann Boyden has taken her grandfather’s seat on the bench of the Third District in Utah.

He received his professional degree, Juris Doctor, from the University of Utah College of Law in 1952. He received his baccalaureate degree, Bachelor of Science, from the University of Utah Political Science Department in 1949. He graduated from East High School in Salt Lake City in 1944, a valedictorian of his class. He was in an officer training program (V-12) while in the U.S. Navy stationed at the University of New Mexico from 1944-46, during the Second World War. He played football for the University of New Mexico the year it won the Sun Bowl game.
McConkie has had a lifelong record of professional and community service. He served, first as a member and then as chairman, of the Advisory Committee on Revisions to the local Rules of Practice United States District Court for the District of Utah from 1998 to 2007. He was a member of the Utah State Bar Committee on Access to Justice, 1997-1999. He was a member of Citizen Committee on Judicial Compensation, 1997-2006, having been appointed thereto by the Chief Justice of the Utah Supreme Court.

McConkie was elected to and served as chairman of the Utah State Board of Education, January 1983 to January 1985. He served as co-chairman, Liaison Committee, Utah State Board of Education, and Utah State Board of Regents, 1983-1985.

He was elected to the Utah State Senate, and served as President of the Utah State Senate, 1965-1966. He was the first senator to be elected president in his first term, excepting the first Senate to sit. As President of the Senate, he served as Acting Governor of the State of Utah in 1965-1966 during brief concurrent absences from the State by the Governor and Secretary of State.

McConkie served as Vice-Chairman on the Commission on the Organization of the Executive Branch of Utah Government (popularly known as the Little Hoover Commission), 1965-1966. He was elected to the Utah State House of Representatives, 1955-1957. He served on the Judiciary, Revenue and Taxation, and Rules Committees. He served as County Attorney, Summit County, State of Utah, 1959-1963. McConkie was an instructor in Business Law, Stevens Henagar College, 1952-1967.

Oscar W. McConkie has authored six books, two of which were published in eleven languages.

Judge Gregory K. Orme
Judge of the Year

Judge Gregory K. Orme was appointed to the Utah Court of Appeals by Gov. Norm Bangerter in January 1987. He graduated from the University of Utah in 1975 and received a law degree, with high honors, from George Washington University in Washington D.C. in 1978. Judge Orme served as a law clerk to Judge Monroe G. McKay, Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and was a partner in the law firm of VanCott, Bagley, Cornwall & McCarthy. Judge Orme served a two-year term as presiding judge, two terms on the Judicial Council, and six years as chair of the Ethics Advisory Committee and 10 years on the Judicial Performance Evaluation Committee. He is a past chair of the Court Commissioner Conduct Committee. Judge Orme currently serves on the Utah Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on the Rules of Appellate Procedure and its Advisory Committee on Professionalism. He is a member of the Utah Sentencing Commission. Judge Orme is also the judicial advisor to the Utah Bar Journal and a member of the executive committee of the Utah State Bar’s Appellate Practice Section. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Judge Sandra N. Peuler
Judge of the Year

Judge Sandra N. Peuler was appointed to the Third District Court in May 1994 by Gov. Michael O. Leavitt. She received a law degree from the University of Baltimore in 1977, and is a member of the Maryland State Bar and Utah State Bar. Prior to her appointment, Judge Peuler was a court commissioner in Third District Court for 12 years. She is a former member of the Children’s Justice Center Advisory Board, the Utah State Bar Ethics Advisory Opinion Committee, and the Board of District Court Judges. Judge Peuler served on the State Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice for eight years. She is the immediate past-president of the David K. Watkiss-Sutherland II Inns of Court, and currently serves as presiding judge of the Third District Court. She is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.


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