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January 2009 Archives

January 14, 2009

Vol. 22 No. 1 Jan/Feb 2009

Vol. 22 No. 1 Jan/Feb 2009

v22_no1_jan_feb2009.jpg

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COVER: Defiance House at Lake Powell, by Paul G. Amann of Salt Lake City, Utah.

  • President’s Message: Challenging Times

  • The Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust: An Underutilized Tool

  • On Beyond GRAMA and the Open Meetings Act – The Proposal for Greater

  • Transparency, Openness, and Inclusion in Salt Lake City Government

  • Workers’ Compensation & Liability Lawyers Beware: Section 111 of the MMSEA Imposes

  • Significant New Penalties for Failing to Protect Medicare’s Interests

  • Researching and Using Utah Appellate Briefs and Other Appellate Resources

  • Lawyers are Needed to Clean up Wall Street’s Mess and Rebuild the Economy

  • Book Review: Cultural Issues in Criminal Defense – 2nd Edition, Linda Friedman Ramirez, Editor

  • Paralegal Division: Salary Survey 2008: Highlights and Analysis

  • Letter to the Editor

    Dear Editor,

    A book review in the September/October 2008 edition began with the assertion that prosecutors are the cause of many of the problems in the criminal justice system, and that prosecutors intentionally disregard evidence of a defendant’s innocence or police misconduct. I personally know the author of the book review, and have had a favorable opinion of our working relationship, but I was disappointed by the author’s decision to malign the very individuals he works with on a daily basis. The author’s generalized allegations immediately cast aspersion on any prosecutor who has ever worked with him, including myself. I was perplexed that the author chose to impugn an entire group of fellow professionals rather than take the more responsible and, in our self-regulating profession, ethically required step of reporting the specific individuals who engaged in the conduct he complains of to the appropriate disciplinary body. I was also disappointed to find such commentary printed in the publication of the very organization that strongly advocates for increased civility and professionalism among the members of the Utah Bar.

    Continue reading "Letter to the Editor" »

    Challenging Times

    Challenging Times
    by Nathan D. Alder

    The past several months have highlighted the extraordinary challenges we face. It goes without saying, but we have a lot of work ahead of us. The world has tremendous problems. Our nation is in financial turmoil, among many other pressing concerns. We have all been impacted. Locally, we are in a serious budget shortfall at the state level, and many of our clients are facing uncertain outcomes. Foreclosures are at record levels. Unemployment is rising. Retirements have been lost. People are suffering. Now is not the time to rest on our laurels. We are pubic servants, officers of the court, professionals, problem solvers, pro bono lawyers, providers of meaningful and necessary services, and we are community leaders. Let me offer a few thoughts on our role as lawyers and leaders in the context of our current societal challenges.

    Continue reading "Challenging Times" »

    The Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust: An Underutilized Tool

    The Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust: An Underutilized Tool
    by Gregory C. Zaugg

    The Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) is a powerful and often underutilized estate planning tool. Significant tax advantages are possible when life insurance policies are held in an ILIT. A properly drafted ILIT can remove the life insurance proceeds from the insured-grantor’s estate and the surviving spouse’s estate, while allowing the proceeds to be available to meet the needs of the surviving spouse and children.

    Continue reading "The Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust: An Underutilized Tool" »

    On Beyond GRAMA and the Open Meetings Act – The Proposal for Greater Transparency, Openness, and Inclusion in Salt Lake City Government

    On Beyond GRAMA and the Open Meetings Act – The Proposal for Greater Transparency, Openness, and Inclusion in Salt Lake City Government
    by Edwin P. Rutan, II and Esther Hunter

    AUTHOR’S NOTE: Ed Rutan, City Attorney, and Esther Hunter, Senior Policy Advisor to the Mayor, are supporting the Transparency Project administratively for the City.

    The Open and Public Meetings Act (the Open Meetings Act) has been on the books in Utah for thirty years now and the Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) for nearly twenty. These two Acts are fundamental pillars of the way that the business of government is conducted in Utah. The Open Meetings Act states a very clear public policy that the state and its political subdivisions are to “take their actions openly” and “conduct their deliberations openly.” Utah Code Ann. § 52-4-102(2) (2007). Similarly, GRAMA recognizes “the public’s right of access to information concerning the conduct of the public’s business” (while also recognizing “the right of privacy in relation to personal data gathered by governmental entities”). Utah Code Ann. § 63-2-102(1) (2004). These two Acts laid the foundation for a growing public expectation of “transparency” in our local governments.

    Continue reading "On Beyond GRAMA and the Open Meetings Act – The Proposal for Greater Transparency, Openness, and Inclusion in Salt Lake City Government" »

    Workers’ Compensation & Liability Lawyers Beware: Section 111 of the MMSEA Imposes Significant New Penalties for Failing to Protect Medicare’s Interests

    Workers’ Compensation & Liability Lawyers Beware: Section 111 of the MMSEA Imposes Significant New Penalties for Failing to Protect Medicare’s Interests
    by Mark Popolizio and Carrie T. Taylor

    On December 29, 2007, President Bush signed into law the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act (MMSEA). Section 111 of the MMSEA significantly amends the “notice and reporting” requirements under the Medicare Secondary Payer Statute (MSP) relating to workers’ compensation, liability (including self-insurance) and no-fault cases. This new law becomes effective July 1, 2009, for all primary payers except for group health plans for which the effective date is January 1, 2009.1 The penalty for non-compliance is steep: $1000 per day, per claim.

    Continue reading "Workers’ Compensation & Liability Lawyers Beware: Section 111 of the MMSEA Imposes Significant New Penalties for Failing to Protect Medicare’s Interests" »

    Researching and Using Utah Appellate Briefs and Other Appellate Resources

    Researching and Using Utah Appellate Briefs and Other Appellate Resources
    by Mari Cheney

    Why Use Appellate Briefs?
    In law school, we were taught how to analyze legal opinions but rarely, if ever, were we required to read the briefs related to the case. Briefs help the court decide the case, and if the court has not heard your oral arguments, the briefs are the sole source of your arguments. As such, briefs can be a valuable research tool for seasoned appellate litigators, recent law school graduates, and those who are new to appellate litigation.

    Continue reading "Researching and Using Utah Appellate Briefs and Other Appellate Resources" »

    Lawyers are Needed to Clean up Wall Street’s Mess and Rebuild the Economy

    Lawyers are Needed to Clean up Wall Street’s Mess and Rebuild the Economy
    by Wayne Klein

    Introduction
    Wall Street “quants,” employing sophisticated (but flawed) algorithms, joined with shortsighted bankers to cause a near-collapse of our financial system. This meltdown precipitated severe investment losses, destroyed long-standing business relationships, and pushed companies into crisis mode. The impact is being felt in law offices as firms implode, close offices, and lay off attorneys.

    Continue reading "Lawyers are Needed to Clean up Wall Street’s Mess and Rebuild the Economy" »

    Cultural Issues in Criminal Defense – 2nd Edition

    Cultural Issues in Criminal Defense – 2nd Edition
    Linda Friedman Ramirez, Editor
    Reviewed by Lori J. Seppi

    Consider this scenario depicting an open-and-shut case that plays daily in courts across our country:

    The suspect is charged with a crime. He is arrested, waives his Miranda rights, and confesses. Later, after meeting with his attorney and discussing his case, the suspect enters a guilty plea to reduced charges. Thereafter, he is sentenced to a year in jail and placed on probation.
    Now, consider the same scenario with one fact added – the suspect recently emigrated from Mexico.

    Continue reading "Cultural Issues in Criminal Defense – 2nd Edition" »

    Commission Highlights

    Commission Highlights

    The Board of Bar Commissioners received the following reports and took the actions indicated during the October 24, 2008 Commission meeting held at the Law & Justice Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    1. The Commission approved Professionalism Awards to be given to Ellen Maycock and Don Winder. The Pro Bono Award was given to Ruth Lybbert, Paul Simmons, and David Olsen. Carma Harper was selected to receive the Community Member Award for her work on the Wills for Heroes Project and Troy Booher was awarded the Heart and Hands honor. The Commission also recognized the lifetime service of Judge J. Thomas Greene, Joseph Novak, Reed Martineau, and M. Dayle Jeffs. These awards were presented at the Fall Forum.

    Continue reading "Commission Highlights" »

    Attorney Discipline

    Attorney Discipline

    PUBLIC REPRIMAND
    On October 23, 2008, the Honorable Robert K. Hilder, Third District Court, entered an Order of Discipline: Public Reprimand against Samuel J. Conklin for violation of Rules 1.1 (Competence), 1.3 (Diligence), 1.4(a) (Communication), 1.5(a) (Fees), 1.5(b) (Fees), 1.16(d) (Declining or Terminating Representation), 8.1(b) (Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters), and 8.4(a) (Misconduct) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

    Continue reading "Attorney Discipline" »

    Salary Survey 2008: Highlights and Analysis

    Salary Survey 2008: Highlights and Analysis
    by Karen McCall, in Collaboration with the Salary Survey Committee

    In September 2008, the Paralegal Division conducted a salary survey to assess the current state of our profession in Utah. The results, some of which are highlighted below, provided us with not only valuable data on paralegal education, training, work environment, and, of course, salaries, but also with insights on how our Division can continue to improve and grow. For the complete survey results, please visit our website at www.utahparalegals.org.

    Continue reading "Salary Survey 2008: Highlights and Analysis" »

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    About January 2009

    This page contains all entries posted to Utah Bar Journal in January 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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