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March 2011 Archives

March 25, 2011

President-Elect & Bar Commission Candidates

Candidates for President-Elect

Christian Clinger

Leadership. Experience. Vision. These are characteristics that you must look for in your next President-Elect. My leadership and experience have been proven as a Bar Commissioner for six years, a Bar Executive Committee member for four years, and service on more than fifteen Bar planning and review committees. I also have twenty years of governmental relations experience. As an owner of a law firm and a mediation institute, I have sound business judgment. These experiences qualify me to serve as President-Elect.

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Civility Matters

by Robert L. Jeffs

Sitting in a deposition of an opposing party, I run through the options available to me as opposing counsel makes his tenth speaking objection designed to coach the witness on how he should respond to my question. I have already asked my colleague to limit his objections pursuant to the Rules of Civil Procedure. My options include: 1) reach across the table and constrict opposing counsel’s windpipe so no more sound comes out; 2) inform counsel that if he continues to coach his client, he will do so without his front teeth; 3) comment on opposing counsel’s pedigree and invite him to meet me at the Courthouse to continue our discussion. Recognizing that my list of options may be influenced by my rising temperature, I decide I should take a recess to reconsider my options.

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Writing to Persuade

by Bryan J. Pattison

“What kind of lawyer are you?” The answer, of course, is easy: “I’m a litigator,” you respond. As you bask in the glow of that term and envision yourself in the courtroom shredding a witness on cross, you get the follow up question: “So what do you spend most of your time doing?” You think back to the past week. Then the week before that. The picture of the cross-examination fades. Time to come clean. “Writing,” you answer.

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Settle Down Now: Insurer and Policyholder Roles in Resolving Liability Claims

by Mark W. Dykes


If you negligently injure someone, your liability insurer, subject to policy terms and applicable law, will defend you against a lawsuit if you are sued, and indemnify you against any resulting judgment. The insurer will also decide whether to settle with the plaintiff.

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Taking and Defending Effective Depositions under Rule 30(b)(6)

by Tanya N. Lewis

Every attorney knows what it means to take the deposition of an individual, whether the deponent is a party to civil litigation or a non-party witness with knowledge pertaining to an issue in the case. But what about an organization? Information about how a company or organization conducts its operations, hires and trains its employees, handles its accounting and finances, or performs safety inspection may be crucial to proving either liability or damages, depending on the case. How can a party (whether a plaintiff or a defendant) obtain valuable, relevant testimony on these or other subjects from what may seem like a faceless entity?

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Avoid Missing Deadlines by Using the Triple Play

by Keith A. Call

Have you ever experienced that sick, sinking feeling that comes from realizing you just blew an important deadline or hearing date? The kind where you felt like losing your lunch because you just messed up a case? Badly? If so, you are apparently not alone. The 2010 Annual Report of the Office of Professional Conduct reports that a surprisingly high percentage of OPC complaints are the result of attorneys missing court appearances. See Billy L. Walker, Utah State Bar, Office of Professional Conduct, Annual Report: August 2010, at 18, available at http://www.utahbar.org/opc/Assets/2009_2010_annualreport.pdf.

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Stop Wasting Time: Client Engagement Procedures

by Craig E. Hughes

This article explains how basic client engagement procedures will help you avoid giving away your time. The article emphasizes how engagement procedures can increase efficiency, profitability, and professional happiness.

I discuss these engagement procedures in the context of two strangely similar, time-wasting experiences I have encountered. The experiences were separated by a number of years, but both involved many of the elements that cause an attorney to deviate from basic engagement procedures.

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The Family Law Clinic: A Critical Service to Pro Se Litigants in Utah

by Blakely Neilson Denny

“The Clinic was the first time I had taken any steps to fight for my rights and my kids’ rights. The Clinic gave me courage, and I felt I could stand up for what was right. I’m glad the Clinic was there.” – Family Law Clinic Client

The Family Law Clinic has been serving low-income family law clients proceeding pro se for the past six years, and the demand for services continues to increase. For the month of March 2010, a record 124 clients attended the twice-monthly clinic at the Matheson Courthouse. The Clinic serves two critical needs in the community. First, it offers support and advice to litigants facing family law issues who are unable to afford an attorney. Second, it gives law students real-world experience in the legal field. A study being conducted by Professor Linda Smith of the University of Utah S. J. Quinney College of Law has found that not only does the Clinic offer valuable advice and a practical learning environment, but it is effective at doing so. Over 95% of pro se clients surveyed between September 2009 and June 2010 reported being satisfied with the services they received after their consultations at the Clinic.

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Professionalism and Civility

by Judge Bruce S. Jenkins

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following remarks were made by Judge Jenkins at the Utah State Bar Ethics School at the Law and Justice Center on January 19, 2011.

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Legal Beagles: Danny’s Yo-Yo Adventure

by Micheline Keller and Patricia HerskovicIllustrated by Ronald Lipking

Reviewed by Gwendolyn Afton Orme

Editor’s note: The Utah Bar Journal does not ordinarily review children’s books. But then, children’s books rarely, in the words of the publisher, “explore legal tenets, morals, and ethics.” Danny’s Yo-Yo Adventure is the first installment in an intended series entitled Legal Beagles. Book reviews appearing in the Utah Bar Journal are typically written by members of the Utah State Bar. An exception seemed appropriate in this case.

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March 16, 2011

A Good Mentor is a Young Lawyer’s Defense Against Sanctions

by Angelina Tsu

From the very beginning of my legal career, I have been fascinated by, or perhaps even obsessed with, Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. As a first-year associate, I lived in constant fear of being sanctioned under Rule 11. Of course, the fear was completely irrational. As a junior associate at a large firm, my writing did not see the light of day until it had been carefully reviewed by my supervising attorney, the department chair, the firm’s management committee, my assistant, her assistant, and our firm’s runner. Having all of these people review my work however, did not save me from many sleepless nights spent worrying about being personally sanctioned for violating Rule 11.

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About March 2011

This page contains all entries posted to Utah Bar Journal in March 2011. They are listed from oldest to newest.

January 2011 is the previous archive.

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