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January 12, 2012

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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September 7, 2011

Message from the Chair

by Danielle Davis

As the new Chair of the Paralegal Division, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the 2011-2012 Board of Directors and myself.

Chair-Elect – Thora Searle attended Weber State University and has spent thirty-three years working in the legal field. She worked as a legal assistant to William Thomas Thurman at McKay, Burton & Thurman for twenty-one years and currently works as a Judicial Assistant to Judge Thurman at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Utah. She has served several terms as a Director of the Legal Assistant Division/Paralegal Division of the Utah State Bar serving several years as the Secretary and the Membership Chair. Thora’s husband of forty-eight years passed away in January of this year so her time outside of work is devoted to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandson. She loves to spend time with them and enjoys watching them participate in soccer, softball, dance, and tumbling.

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July 20, 2011

Mission of the Utah State Bar

by Robert L. Jeffs

To represent lawyers in the State of Utah and to serve the public and the legal profession by promoting justice, professional excellence, civility, ethics, respect for and understanding of the law.


As President of the Bar, I have reflected on the Bars Mission almost daily. I dont know which of our Bar leaders had the foresight to pen those words, but I think it captures the essence of the goal I hope we all individually and collectively strive to achieve.

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March 25, 2011

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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January 10, 2011

Get Involved!

by Robert L. Jeffs

One of the “perks” of being Bar President is the opportunity to meet with or speak with so many of the leaders of the Sections, Committees, and Divisions of the Bar about the projects and initiatives they are working on for the benefit of their members and the public. Like many of you, prior to my Bar service, I suffered from the myopia that is a symptom of the significant time commitments of a busy law practice. This last month, Isaac Paxman from the Executive Committee of the Litigation Section told me about the new Topic Bank launched by the Litigation Section through its website. This project helps law students identify important, interesting, and current topics for research and writing in law journals or law school projects.

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November 2, 2010

The Pro Se Quandary

by Robert L. Jeffs

On October 13, over 300 new attorneys were admitted to practice in Utah. With the economic downturn, many law firms have curtailed hiring and, in some circumstances, laid off attorneys. As a result, the numbers of unemployed and underemployed attorneys, as well as attorneys who are trying to establish a new practice, have swelled.

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New Lawyer Training Program:First Year of Implementation

by Tracy Gruber

Once again, the Utah State Bar is expanding its membership, admitting over 300 new lawyers in October 2010. Fortunately, these newly-minted members of the bar will not be alone as they embark on the next stage of their professional development. The experienced members of the bar will be there to guide, assist, and mentor the new lawyers through the New Lawyer Training Program (NLTP).

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September 22, 2009

Mandatory CLE Rule Change

Effective January 1, 2008, the Utah Supreme Court adopted the proposed amendment to Rule 14-404(a) of the Rules and Regulations Governing Mandatory Continuing Legal Education to require that one of the three hours of “ethics or professional responsibility” be in the area of professionalism and civility. Should you have questions regarding your CLE compliance, please contact Sydnie Kuhre, MCLE Board Director at skuhre@utahbar.org or (801) 297-7035.

Rule 14-404. Active Status Lawyers
(a) Active status lawyers. Commencing with calendar year 2008, each lawyer admitted to practice in Utah shall complete, during each two-calendar year period, a minimum of 24 hours of accredited CLE which shall include a minimum of three hours of accredited ethics or professional responsibility. One of the three hours of ethics or professional responsibility shall
be in the area of professionalism and civility. Lawyers on inactive status are not subject to the requirements of this rule.

Ethics Advisory Opinion Committee Seeks Applicants

The Utah State Bar is currently accepting applications to fill vacancies on the 14-member Ethics Advisory Opinion Committee. Lawyers who have an interest in the Bar’s ongoing efforts to resolve ethical issues are encouraged to apply.

The charge of the Committee is to prepare and issue formal written opinions concerning the ethical issues that face Utah lawyers. Because the written opinions of the Committee have
major and enduring significance to members of the Bar and the general public, the Bar solicits the participation of lawyers who can make a significant commitment to the goals of the Committee and the Bar.

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April 8, 2001

The Young Lawyer

Federal Judge Dee Benson Will Speak at Law Day 2001 Luncheon at the Grand America Hotel

The Utah State Bar and guests will recognize Law Day 2001 on May 1st, highlighted by a luncheon at 12:00 noon at the new Grand America Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City.

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November 13, 2000

Ethics Advisory Opinion Committee Opinion No. 00-06

Opinion No. 00-06
(Approved September 29, 2000)

Issue: What are the ethical obligations of an attorney who, unaware his client will lie, hears the client commit perjury or otherwise materially mislead a tribunal?

Opinion: Counsel who knows that a client has materially misled the court may not remain silent and continue to represent the client; to do so would be "assisting" the client in committing a fraud on the court. Rather, counsel is obligated to remonstrate with the client and attempt to persuade the client to rectify the misleading or untruthful statements to the court. If this is unsuccessful, counsel must seek to withdraw. If withdrawal is denied, counsel must disclose the fraud to the court.




Notice of Amendments to Rules

The following rule changes have been adopted by the Supreme Court or Judicial Council with an effective date of November 1, 2000. The information is intended to alert Bar members to changes that may be of interest and is not an inclusive list of all changes made. Further information may be found in the following sources:

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October 1, 2000

Paul T. Moxley is Named an Officer of the National Conference of Bar Presidents

Paul T. Moxley, past President of the Utah State Bar, has been named an officer of the National Conference of Bar Presidents (NCBP), and he will become President in four years. This is a national leadership position. The NCBP is the voice of state and local bars in the U.S. and an important liaison with the American Bar Association (ABA). Mr. Moxley is the first lawyer from Utah to hold this position. Mr. Moxley was also named to the Steering Committee of the House of Delegates for the American Bar Association.

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August 3, 2000

And Justice For All

The"And Justice For All” Campaign is very pleased to announce that we have successfully reached our goal of "2,000 attorney donors in 2000," meeting the George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation's challenge. The Eccles Foundation pledged a generous grant of $100,000 to the Campaign when we reached this milestone."And Justice For All is grateful to all the attorney and law firm donors who made this remarkable achievement possible.

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