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September 2010 Archives

September 13, 2010

Volume 23 No. 5 Sep / Oct 2010

PDF Version

Letters to the Editor
President’s Message
Civil Crimes
Addicted Employees
Small Claims Courts
Focus on Ethics & Civility
Declining Representation
Book Review
Utah Auto Law
State Bar News

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I was looking through the July/August 2010 edition of the Utah Bar Journal and noticed on page 54 that Aaron Thompson is described as a “paralegal specializing in diverse commercial insurance exposures...” Whenever I see a word like “specializing” or “specialist” in relation to the practice of law in Utah, a flag goes up, since Utah does not have a board of legal specialization, resulting in relatively few attorneys that can hold themselves out as specialists. So I have to ask: Is it okay for a paralegal in Utah to hold himself out as a specialist while the attorney for whom he works cannot? Whatever the answer may be, thanks for your good work on the Journal.

Glenn Halterman

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Reflections on the Past, Image of the Future

by Robert L. Jeffs

The Annual Convention at Sun Valley was a refreshing pause with friends, family, and colleagues before my year of service to you as Bar President. Justice Clarence Thomas’s keynote address provided a rare opportunity to glimpse the inner workings of the highest level of our third branch of government, to see the personal side of the members of the Court, their collegiality, and their ability to make decisions that guide our nation free from the political wrangling that is so pervasive in the other branches of government. At the Family Barbeque, I was able to visit with Justice Durham about the many benefits of an Annual Convention where Bar members can interact with Judges, other attorneys, and their families free from the pressures of advocacy in a particular case or transaction.

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Utah Standards of Appellate Review – Third Edition

by Norman H. Jackson and Lisa Broderick Thornton

Editor’s Note: This article is a continuation of a series of articles that first appeared in Volume 23, No. 4 July/August 2010 of the Utah Bar Journal.

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Civil Crimes: The Effect of a Guilty Plea on an Insurance Policy’s Criminal Act Exclusion

by Will Fontenot

Almost all criminal defendants are offered plea bargains, which present defendants with the choice of taking a case to trial or pleading guilty to a reduced charge and a lighter sentence. Defendants almost never consider the civil consequences of pleading guilty to a crime. Even without these civil considerations, the decision to accept or reject a guilty plea can be agonizing. When it is factored in that the guilty plea could also cause a defendant to lose all of his worldly possessions in a civil lawsuit, the decision to plead guilty can be excruciating.

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Addicted Employees: Dealing with Porn, Drugs, and Booze

by Sarah L. Campbell


What does the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989 have in common with the 2008 collapse of the financial market? Both disasters have been linked to employees suffering from addictions. Joseph Hazelwood, captain of the Exxon Valdez, was a known alcoholic who was reported as being drunk at the time of the spill. See Exxon Valdez Remembrance Committee, Corporate Hubris, http://www.remembertheexxonvaldez.com/ (noting Exxon’s “failure to act responsibly and firmly” in dealing with the captain who had a history of drinking aboard ship, had dropped out of an alcohol treatment program, and drank between five and nine double shots of vodka on the night of the spill). Similarly, news sources recently exposed more than thirty senior employees at the Securities and Exchange Commission whose pornography addictions led them to spend up to eight hours a day online viewing and downloading pornographic images while at work instead of policing Wall Street. See Daniel Indiviglio, Did Porn Cause the Financial Crisis?, (Apr. 23, 2010), http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/04/did-porn-cause-the-financial-crisis/39414/; Jonathan Karl, SEC and Pornography: Workers Spent Hours on Porn Sites Instead of Stopping Fraud, (Apr. 22, 2010), http://abcnews.go.com/WN/sec-pornography-employees-spent-hours-surfing-porn-sites/story?id=10451508.

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Small Claims Courts: Getting More Bang for Fewer Bucks

by Steven Rinehart

As the number of cases on district court dockets swell, so too does the temptation of the legislature and the judiciary to vest increasing amounts of power in small claims judges, who are usually judges pro tempore (judges serving temporarily in lower courts). With the jurisdictional limit on damage awards recently increased to $10,000, exclusive of court costs and interest, Utah small claims courts have the fifth highest small claims jurisdictional limit in the United States. See FreeAdvice.com, Small Claims Court Information and Links, http://law.freeadvice.com/resources/smallclaimscourts.htm (last visited Aug. 19, 2010). The overloaded district court docket, however, is only the most obvious of many reasons for attorneys to consider using small claims courts, even in cases involving controversies much higher than $10,000.

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Declining Representation: What Next?

by Keith A. Call

Whenever you consult with a prospective client and decline the representation (or are not hired), there are several things you should consider and do. Here is a list of three of the most important things you should remember.

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Technology: Friend or Foe of the Modern Lawyer?

A Book Review of “The End of Lawyers?”

by Dr. Richard Susskind

Reviewed by Jason S. Wilcox and Aaron S. Bartholomew

In his book, The End of Lawyers?, Dr. Richard Susskind argues that emerging technologies pressure the standard law firm economic model that has historically meant prosperity for the profession. Although some lawyers continue to succeed, there is an ever-increasing number of lawyers without work or who are leaving the profession entirely, sometimes before a legal career begins. In the last several years lawyers have experienced unprecedented change in the profession. We read the doomsday news of law firms across the country cutting thousands of attorney positions, large numbers of lay-offs in Big Law, and the lowest 3L hiring rate in a generation.

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Utah Auto Law: Utah Law of Motor Vehicle Insurance and Accident Liability

by Randall Bunnell

Reviewed by John F. Fay

Recently Randy Bunnell published a book. But after you read it, you won’t call it a book; you will call it the Utah auto law bible. Jurists statewide will nickname it The Judge’s Bench Book. To say the text is comprehensive is modest. The topics range from the commonplace to the rare and sometimes once-in-a-career factual situations. The book is a must for auto plaintiff and defense attorneys, as well as auto claims adjusters.

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Attorney Discipline


On June 23, 2010, the Honorable Christine M. Durham, Chief Justice, Utah Supreme Court, entered an Order Accepting Resignation with Discipline Pending concerning Martin J. MacNeill for violation of Rules 8.4(b) (Misconduct), 8.4(c) (Misconduct), and 8.4(a) (Misconduct) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

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2010-2011 Paralegal Division Board of Directors

by Heather Finch

As the new Chair of the Paralegal Division, I am pleased to introduce to you the new officers and directors of the Paralegal Division for 2010-2011. I am honored to be working with such a wonderful group of professionals and am looking forward to the coming year. The Paralegal Division works hard to provide affordable and free Continuing Legal Education seminars, professional networking, job postings, community service opportunities, Bar Journal articles relevant to the Paralegal profession, Paralegal Day events, and many other benefits. I would like to encourage all of you to get involved with the Paralegal Division. There are leadership opportunities and many committees that could always use your help.

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About September 2010

This page contains all entries posted to Utah Bar Journal in September 2010. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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