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Commissioner Corner Archives

October 16, 2005

Is Mandating Disclosure in Your Fee Letter That You Do Not Carry Malpractice Insurance a Sound Idea?

Is Mandating Disclosure in Your Fee Letter That You Do Not Carry Malpractice Insurance a Sound Idea?

by Rodney Snow

The Utah Bar Commission meeting was progressing quite nicely. It was my first experience. George Daines was professional, pleasant and organized as he kept the meeting moving through the agenda. While there was discussion, there was little controversy until the new proposed amendment to Rule 1.4 was disseminated, requiring attorneys who carry less than $100,000 in malpractice insurance (hereafter MPI) to disclose that fact in their fee letters. To say that a lively debate ensued is an understatement. I was impressed at the breadth of the Bar Commission's work and the professional manner in which it was being accomplished. I also noted that all points of view were presented and well argued. Based on the discussion, it became clear that the policy behind the proposed change is to encourage all attorneys to carry MPI. As part of the discussion, I voiced some concern regarding the proposed change to Rule 1.4. I have now been 'invited' to present the loyal opposition to the proposed amendment.

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Why the Bar Might Mandate Disclosure of Uninsured Practice

Why the Bar Might Mandate Disclosure of Uninsured Practice

by Yvette Donosso Diaz

Introduction

The Utah State Bar Commission is considering amendments to Rule 1.4 of the Rules of Professional Conduct (Rule 1.4) that would require lawyers to disclose to their clients if they do not have professional liability insurance with at least $100,000 coverage. Why are we doing this? Is it to make life more difficult for solo practitioners or new lawyers? To increase the price of legal fees and malpractice suits against our colleagues? The answer is that disclosure of lack of minimum insurance coverage will have a positive impact on our profession: it will increase our 'professionalism,' protect the interests of our members, protect the interests of clients and serve the public.

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January 24, 2006

Commission Highlights

Commission Highlights

During its regularly scheduled meeting of October 7, 2005, which was held in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Board of Bar Commissioners received the following reports and took the actions indicated.

1. Scott Sabey reminded Commissioners of the Leadership Conference to be held October 26, 2005 at the Little America. All those holding leadership positions in bar sections, committees and local bars are invited.

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April 11, 2006

Commission Highlights

Commission Highlights

During its regularly scheduled meeting of December 2, 2005, which was held in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Board of Bar Commissioners received the following reports and took the actions indicated.

1. David Bird reported on the Professional Services Tax status meeting with the UACPA.

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April 25, 2006

Free, Statewide, Confidential, 24 Hour Mental Health Help Added to Bar's Lawyers Assistance Program

Free, Statewide, Confidential, 24 Hour Mental Health Help Added to Bar's Lawyers Assistance Program

by Stephen W. Owens

Recently, I chaired a subcommittee looking at ways to improve our Lawyers Assistance Program. Lest you believe this to be an unimportant issue in our profession, I point to the recent suicide of one of my law school classmates, a talented lawyer who fought against and eventually succumbed to his mental illness. In addition, lawyers in crisis often show up in disciplinary actions, legal malpractice actions, criminal proceedings, and claims against our Client Security Fund. I succeeded this committee's prior chair, Rusty Vetter. Our committee was comprised as follows:

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Bar Commission Candidates

Third Division Candidates

NATE ALDER
Utah State Bar member since 1995

Education
Indiana University, School of Law, JD

Indiana University, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, MPA

Utah State University, BA, history, University Honors

Employment
Shareholder, Christensen & Jensen, P.C.

Judicial Clerk, Hon. J. Thomas Greene, U.S. District Court, District of Utah

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September 22, 2006

Commission Highlights

Commission Highlights

During its regularly scheduled meeting of June 9, 2006 which was held at Stein Erickson Lodge, Deer Valley, Utah, the Board of Bar Commissioners received the following reports and took the actions indicated.

1. David Bird reported on the Judicial Council and noted that there were four openings in the judiciary since Judges Yeates, Fuchs, Hansen and Fredericks will be retiring within the next seven months. Chief Justice Durham noted that the applicant pool was substantially down from previous years. David outlined the recent judicial salary history in Utah along with benefits judges receive. It was noted that the communication process for advertising judicial openings should have a separate e-mail from the Bar's e-Bulletin.

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