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January 2012 Archives

January 12, 2012

Volume 25 No. 1 Jan/Feb 2012


PDF Version
Letter to the Editor
President’s Message:
Bar Commission Adopts New Policy on Inclusion and Diversity:
It is No Longer Black and White
A Judicial Invitation
Views from the Bench:
The Face of the Judiciary: Utah’s Justice Courts
Articles:
Loss of Chance Damages Brought to Life
Focus on Ethics & Civility:
E-mail Privacy
Utah Law Developments:
Helf v. Chevron: A Workers’ Comp and Personal Injury Game Changer
Used and Useful Principle: Still Relevant in Utah
State Bar News
Young Lawyers Division:
Paralegal Division

Bar Commission Adopts New Policy on Inclusion and Diversity: It is No Longer Black and White


by Rodney G. Snow

With Martin Luther King Jr. Day this month, we should consider how close we are to living the dream – in particular, Dr. King’s dream that his children will “live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Please indulge a few observations regarding diversity from an aging white Bar president. Many of you have worked hard at improving diversity in the legal profession, including our law firms and the bench. We have adopted policies, recruited, and trained with the goal of increasing diversity. We have had some success and some failures. Still we have pursued. We thank you for your efforts at inclusion and diversity. Too often you do not get the recognition for what has been accomplished and for what you have attempted to accomplish in the diversity arena. But reevaluation now and then is a good thing for us all.

Continue reading "Bar Commission Adopts New Policy on Inclusion and Diversity: It is No Longer Black and White" »

A Judicial Invitation

by Judge Lynn W. Davis

“Almost always, the creative, dedicated minority has made the world better.”
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

For a long time I have contemplated how we could pay greater tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I wish to encourage the Utah State Bar and its members to be more involved in celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It has been my experience that we each can play a more supportive and impassioned role.

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Attorney Discipline

Utah State Bar Ethics Hotline
Call the BarÕs Ethics Hotline at (801) 531-9110 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for fast, informal ethics advice. Leave a detailed message describing the problem and within a twenty-four hour workday period a lawyer from the Office of Professional Conduct will give you ethical help about small everyday matters and larger complex issues.

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E-mail Privacy

by Keith A. Call

Like most people, I have a love-hate relationship with my e-mail. I love the convenience of communicating with groups of people at once, especially at irregular times. But I absolutely hate how e-mail tries to take over my law practice and my life.

A friend recently told me that he was on the verge of “e-mail bankruptcy.” He was so overloaded with e-mails that he was simply going to delete all of them – read and unread. Anyone who had a message they really wanted him to read was going to have to send him a new “claim.”

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Dear Editor:

My friend, Richard J. Leedy, Esq., died on November 10, 2011. He was one of the “Lions” of the legal profession, an exceptional lawyer who revolutionized the practice of securities law through his vigorous and innovative tactics beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s from his white carpeted suite of offices he shared with his partner, Joseph H. Bottum, III, Esq. (deceased) in the Newhouse Building in Salt Lake City, Utah. “Dapper” would have been an understatement for Dick’s daily apparel, while “rumpled” clearly fit the deep base toned voice of Joe bellowing “Bottum here!,” whenever he answered the telephone. They were quite a pair!

Continue reading "Dear Editor:" »

Loss of Chance Damages Brought to Life

by Jeffrey D. Gooch & Megan J. Grant

Introduction
In 2005 the Utah Supreme Court reversed a widely held belief – that loss of chance was not a viable tort theory – with its holding in Medved v. Glenn, 2005 UT 77, 125 P.3d 913. While the court’s decision and language in dicta could be understood to mean that loss of chance always was a viable theory, the court nevertheless declared that its holding in Medved “should be applied only prospectively,” in order to “avoid the substantial injustice that may otherwise flow from [the decision].” Id. at ¶ 17.

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Practice in a Flash: Helping Lawyers Hang a Shingle


by Gabriel White

Practice in a Flash is designed to support lawyers moving into solo or small firm practice because of economic circumstances that block traditional avenues of legal employment. It is an electronic platform that will provide new lawyers with basic practice forms, entry level CLE, and other helpful information on how to start and manage a law firm. Once the electronic program is released in the spring of 2012, it will give new lawyers advice on topics such as how to rent and open an office, hire staff, and market themselves to public. Adapted from a similar program in Texas, Practice in a Flash will give young attorneys important resources that can bridge the gap between a law school education and advice from colleagues and mentors.

Continue reading "Practice in a Flash: Helping Lawyers Hang a Shingle" »

Used and Useful Principle: Still Relevant in Utah

by Vicki M. Baldwin & J. Robert Malko

Introduction
Within the framework of revenue requirement regulation, the principle of used and useful appears to have been somewhat forgotten in today’s world of least cost planning and future test periods. However, the used and useful principle has a relatively long history in the regulation of electric utilities and there is little, if anything, to suggest that it has been legally overruled in Utah.

The concept that capital assets must be physically used and useful to current ratepayers before those ratepayers can be asked to pay the costs associated with them is a fundamental principle of utility regulation. This means that the assets must be commercially in-service, title of ownership has to have passed to the utility,1 and the assets have to have become a productive source of value. This is what triggers capital recovery of the engineered, furnished, and installed cost of the asset. Failure to adhere to the principle of used and useful in the physical sense leads to a mismatch between the timing of capital cost recognition and the income effect that occurs when an asset is put into service. It also leads to a mismatch between the ratepayers who are paying for the service versus the ratepayers who are receiving the service.

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Helf v. Chevron: A Workers’ Comp and Personal Injury Game Changer

by Andrew E. Draxton

The Exclusive Remedy Provision (“Provision”) of the Utah Workers’ Compensation Act (“WCA”) is not so exclusive. The Utah Supreme Court previously recognized the validity of a claim for an intentional tort notwithstanding the Provision. See Helf v. Chevron, 2009 UT 11, ¶ 18, 203 P.3d 962 (citing Bryan v. Utah Int’l, 533 P.2d 892, 894 (Utah 1975)). Despite the exception discussed in Bryan, prior to Helf, workplace injuries short of intentional torts seemed to remain the sole province of the WCA claims process. The longstanding litmus test for a Workers’ Compensation case required: (1) an employee, (2) injured, (3) in the “course of,” or because of, his or her employment. See Utah Code Ann. § 34A-2-105(1) (2011); see also Bryan 533 P.2d at 893. But then the court decided Helf.

Continue reading "Helf v. Chevron: A Workers’ Comp and Personal Injury Game Changer" »

The Face of the Judiciary: Utah’s Justice Courts

by Judge Paul C. Farr

Justice Courts and the Public
For the majority of Utah residents, their contact with the court system, if any, will be with a justice court. In fiscal year 2010, the district courts throughout the state received 225,438 case filings. See Utah State Courts, http://www.utcourts.gov/stats/files/2010FY/district/0-Statewide.pdf . During the same time period the justice courts received 584,909. See id., http://www.utcourts.gov/stats/files/2010FY/justice/0-Statewide.pdf . Granted, the cases being filed in justice courts are not as complex as those in the district court, and certainly the stakes are not as high. However, by volume, Utah’s justice courts see over twice as many cases (i.e., individuals) as the district courts. A Utah resident that finds him or herself in court is more than twice as likely to appear before a justice court judge as he or she would before a district court judge.1

Continue reading "The Face of the Judiciary: Utah’s Justice Courts" »

Practice in a Flash: Helping Lawyers Hang a Shingle

by Gabriel White

Practice in a Flash is designed to support lawyers moving into solo or small firm practice because of economic circumstances that block traditional avenues of legal employment. It is an electronic platform that will provide new lawyers with basic practice forms, entry level CLE, and other helpful information on how to start and manage a law firm. Once the electronic program is released in the spring of 2012, it will give new lawyers advice on topics such as how to rent and open an office, hire staff, and market themselves to public. Adapted from a similar program in Texas, Practice in a Flash will give young attorneys important resources that can bridge the gap between a law school education and advice from colleagues and mentors.

Continue reading "Practice in a Flash: Helping Lawyers Hang a Shingle" »

The Nuts and Bolts of Divorce

by Jared Hales

Editor’s Note: This article is the first in a series summarizing CLE presentations given as part of the YLD’s “Practice in a Flash” program, which is introduced in this edition of the Utah Bar Journal beginning on page 59.

Many young attorneys who are looking to establish their own clientele will find opportunities to represent a client in a divorce. Even if you do not have any desire to handle a divorce case, just having people know you are an attorney means you will likely be asked by a family member, friend, or stranger you meet a question about divorce. Each divorce case is very fact specific and how the statutes and case law are applied can vary from district to district. It is important for every young attorney representing a client in a divorce to be well versed in the applicable statutes and case law. The purpose of this article is to provide young attorneys with a basic overview of the most common divorce issues and applicable statutes.

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Young Lawyers of the Year:

Kelly Latimer and Christina Micken

True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.
– Arthur Ashe

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About January 2012

This page contains all entries posted to Utah Bar Journal in January 2012. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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