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Paralegal Division: Message from the Chair

by Thora Searle

As the new Chair of the Paralegal Division, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and the 2012-2013 Board of Directors.


Thora Searle – Chair: I attended Weber State University and have spent thirty-four years working in the legal field. I worked as a legal assistant to William Thomas Thurman at McKay, Burton & Thurman for twenty-one years and currently work as a Judicial Assistant to Judge Thurman at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Utah. I have served several terms as a Director at Large and also as a Regional Director of the Legal Assistant Division/Paralegal Division of the Utah State Bar. I also served several years as the Secretary and the Membership Chair. I have participated in the Wills for Heroes program and feel that this program is a great way to pay it forward. As Chair elect, I served on the Governmental Relations Committee and will serve this year on the Bar Commission of the Utah State Bar as an ex-officio member. My time outside of work is devoted to my children, grandchildren, and great-grandson. I love to spend time with them and enjoy watching them participate in soccer, softball, dance, and tumbling.


Danielle Davis, CP – Immediate Past Chair: Danielle is a certified paralegal with Strong & Hanni where she works in insurance defense litigation. She has worked as a paralegal for twenty years with experience in insurance defense, personal injury, bankruptcy, construction law, adoption, collections, and family law. She received her paralegal certificate from Westminster College. Danielle was Chair of the Paralegal Division in 2005-2006 and 2011-2012. She has served as a Director-at-Large and an ex-officio member of the Division. She has served on the Bar Journal Committee, Governmental Relations Committee, and Licensing Committee and served as an ex-officio member of the Bar Commission of the Utah State Bar. She is a former President, Education Chair, Parliamentarian, and Newsletter Editor for the Legal Assistants Association of Utah (LAAU) and is a member of the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).


Director at Large – Heather Allen: is a Paralegal at Ray Quinney & Nebeker. She has been with RQN since August 2010 and prior to that she was a paralegal at Snell & Wilmer since 2005. Heather works in product liability, personal injury/wrongful death actions, both defense and plaintiff. She graduated from Utah Valley University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Paralegal Studies and a minor in Psychology. She is also involved in the community as a volunteer at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray for the parent support group associated with the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.


Director at Large – Sharon M. Andersen: has been a paralegal for over twenty-one years. Sharon currently works as an in-house paralegal for American Family Insurance. Prior to taking the job with American Family in June 2011, Sharon worked as a litigation paralegal at Strong & Hanni Law Firm for almost four years after having worked in the civil division of Salt Lake City Attorney’s office since 2004. From 1998 to 2004 Sharon worked as a paralegal in the General Counsel’s offices of several corporations including IHC, Kennecott Utah Copper, and Huntsman Corporation where she assisted in a variety of litigation matters involving medical malpractice, worker’s compensation, labor relations, contracts, chemical exposure, and environmental law as well as becoming contract administrator while employed at IHC. She spent the first eight years of her career in smaller law firms working primarily in family law, personal injury, insurance defense, and medical malpractice litigation. Sharon attended BYU, married and had a family, then returned to school and graduated from the Legal Assistant Program at Westminster College in 1990. Sharon served as CLE Co-Chair of the Paralegal Division from 2005-2007 and in that capacity actively participated in the Utah State Bar’s Spring Convention, Annual Convention, and Fall Forum CLE committees. In August of 2006, she became Chair-Elect of the Paralegal Division and served as the Division’s Governmental Relations Liaison to the Utah State Bar’s Governmental Relations Committee while also serving on the Division’s Executive Committee. From 2007 to 2008, Sharon served as chair of the Paralegal Division and as Ex-Officio member of the Bar Commission. From 2008 through 2010, she served as Ex Officio Director then parliamentarian for the Division. Sharon has six adult children and four grandchildren. She views her children and grandchildren as her greatest accomplishment and joy in life.

Region II Director – J. Robyn Dotterer, CP: has worked as a paralegal for over twenty years and has been with Strong & Hanni for eleven years. She works with Paul M. Belnap, Stuart H. Schultz and Andrew D. Wright in the areas of insurance defense in personal injury, insurance bad faith and legal malpractice litigation. Robyn achieved her CP in 1994 and is a Past President of LAAU. She has served on the Paralegal Division Board in several different capacities, has served as a Director-at-Large and was co-chair of the Community Service Committee and YLD Liaison for several years. Robyn is excited to be back on the Board and is looking forward to getting to know the new Division and Board members. Robyn has been married to Duane Dotterer for thirty-seven years and lives in Sandy, Utah.

Director at Large – Tally Burke-Ellison: Tally is the senior corporate paralegal for inthinc Technology Solutions, Inc. inthinc is a worldwide leader in telematics, fleet solutions and driver safety technologies. Tally’s passion for law began sixteen years ago at Kruse Landa Maycock & Ricks. From there she moved to Durham, Jones & Pinegar as corporate paralegal, Boart Longyear as corporate in-house paralegal, and Christiansen & Jackson. Tally received her Legal Assistant Certificate in 1996, Associate of Applied Science with a Major in Paralegal Studies in 1997, and her Associate of Science in 2005, all from Salt Lake Community College where she has also been an adjunct professor. In 2006 she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Criminal Law and emphasis in Paralegal Studies from Weber State University. Her memberships include The National Association of Legal Assistants, The National Federation of Paralegal Associations, The American Bar Association Paralegal Section, The Legal Assistant’s Association of Utah, Utah State Bar Association Paralegal Division. Tally is a past Chair of the Utah State Bar Paralegal Division (2004-2005), and currently serves as their Utilization Task Force Co-Chair, and on the Bar Journal Committee.

Director at Large (Finance Officer) – Julie Eriksson: Julie has been a paralegal for twenty-two years and an active participant in the Paralegal Division since its inception. She serves as the Finance Officer. She was the Paralegal Division Chair 2008-2009 and also served as CLE Chair of the Paralegal Division from 2007-2008 as well as Chair-Elect and served as the Division’s Governmental Relations Liaison to the Utah State Bar’s Governmental Relations Committee. As Chair, she represented the Paralegal Division as an Ex-Officio member of the Bar Commission. Julie is also a member of the Utah Paralegal Association and served that association in many capacities including several years as its President.

Director at Large – Krystal Hazlett: is currently a paralegal on the Special Victims Unit at the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office. Krystal received her paralegal degree from Salt Lake Community College and also has an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice from Salt Lake Community College and a Bachelors of Science in Sociology from The University of Utah. Prior to working at the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office, Krystal worked at the Salt Lake City Prosecutor’s Office and Ballard Spahr. Krystal is a Certified Paralegal through NALA and maintains active memberships with the Utah State Bar Paralegal Division and Utah Paralegal Association. Krystal is passionate about volunteering in her community giving her time to programs and causes such as: the Guardian ad Litem Office’s CASA program (Court Appointed Special Advocate), the Utah State Bar Wills for Heroes, the Utah Food Bank senior food box deliveries, US Marine Corps Toys for Tots, and the Utah Arts Festival to name a few.

Region I Director – Carma Harper: is a Certified Paralegal employed by Strong and Hanni. She works with Robert Janicki, Michael Ford, Lance Locke, and Adam Wentz, in the areas of insurance defense, personal injury, construction litigation, real estate, and products liability. In 1997, Carma became a licensed Realtor, specializing in distressed properties and negotiations with the third party lender. She served as the Relocation Director for Century 21 Gage Froerer from 1997 until 2002. She is currently an active sells agent for Key Realty Group. Carma has served as the as the Chair of the Community Service Committee, Liaison for the YLD, Direct of Region 1 and Chair of the Paralegal Division. She has also served as a Commissioner for the Utah State Bar. In March 2008, Carma worked closely with the YLD by coordinating witnesses and notaries to participate in the Wills for Heroes. To date thousands of free Wills have been prepared and executed for the First Responders in Utah. Carma is married to Scott Harper, they have six children between them and nineteen grandchildren who are the light of her life.

Director at Large – Kari Jimenez: received her Professional Paralegal Certificate from the University of Phoenix and has over nineteen years of experience as a litigation paralegal. She has a broad spectrum of experience which includes criminal defense, criminal prosecution, civil litigation and in-house corporate in Cache County; civil litigation insurance defense, medical malpractice and products liability with the law firm Richards, Brandt, Miller & Nelson as well as in-house corporate for a mortgage servicing company in Salt Lake County and in-house corporate for a housing company in Washington County. She obtained her Real Estate license in 2005 and is currently the City Recorder for Ivins City. She received her Certified Municipal Clerks (CMC) designation from the University of Utah and is currently working on her Master Municipal Clerk (MMC) designation. Kari is the Southern Region Director for the Utah Paralegal Association (UPA) formerly known as LAAU. At the end of 2006, having experienced enough cold and snow, Kari and her spouse Wilson, who is originally from Ecuador, South America, and two children Garrett & Mariah, moved from Sandy, UT to sunny St. George, UT. Kari enjoys road and mountain biking, hiking, camping, and traveling.

Director at Large – Trina Kinyon: Trina received her Associate’s Degree from Mountain West College in 2002 in Paralegal Studies. While there, she received the Highest Academic Achievement award in her graduating class. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Columbia College in 2007 in Criminal Justice. She became a Certified Paralegal with NALA in August, 2008. She became a member of the Utah State Bar – Paralegal Division in 2009. She has been employed with Scalley Reading Bates Hansen & Rasmussen for three years. She is the senior paralegal to Marlon Bates. Marlon’s practice focuses on Bankruptcy/Creditor’s rights and Foreclosure. She has been working in the legal field since 2002. Trina was born in Provo, Utah and has lived in the State of Utah her entire life. She has two sons, ages four and six. She currently resides in Eagle Mountain and loves the area. She enjoys Utah and most of the activities this state offers; primarily camping and riding four wheelers. She enjoys volunteering and believes in making a difference in the lives of others. She has worked with Wills for Heroes for over one year now and has enjoyed every second of it. She believes in being honest and honorable and above all….. integrity of her work and herself.

Director at Large – Geneve Wanberg: is a litigation paralegal at Ballard Spahr LLP. She has been a litigation paralegal for seven years and prior to that was a corporate paralegal for five years. She has served on the Education Committee for the past few years. She has also co-chaired the committee for the Paralegal Day Luncheon for 2011. Geneve enjoys education, from learning to teaching, and working with the education committee to create education situations that teach, assist, and inspire her fellow paralegals in Utah. In her office, she is known as the paralegal pastry chef and loves to cook. Geneve has ten grandchildren with another on the way. Her husband is a greenhouse manager for a high profile group of gardens in downtown SLC.

Director at Large – Jessica Zimmer: has been a paralegal at Ray Quinney & Nebeker for nearly seven years. She graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. She received her Paralegal Associates degree from Salt Lake Community College. She enjoys intellectual property and criminal law, as well as commercial litigation. She lives in Salt Lake with her husband, dogs, and beautiful baby girl.

I look forward to working with the Board to achieve the goals of the Division and the Mission of the Utah State Bar.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 26, 2012 8:41 AM.

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