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Paralegal Corner Archives

July 10, 2012

Paralegal Division: Letter from the Chair

by Danielle Davis

One of the highlights of the year as Chair of the Paralegal Division is the Annual Paralegal Day Luncheon and CLE which was held on May 17, 2012. Paralegal Day provides an opportunity to recognize everyone that has achieved their National Certification through NALA. This year there were sixteen paralegals added to the ranks of Certified Paralegals in Utah.

Paralegal Day is also the day to recognize a paralegal who, over a long and distinguished career, has by their ethical and personal conduct, commitment and activities, exemplified for their fellow paralegals and attorneys with whom they have worked, a high standard of professionalism and who has rendered extraordinary contributions that coincide with the purposes of the Bylaws of the Paralegal Division and of the Utah Paralegal Association. This year, the Distinguished Paralegal of the Year Award was presented to Bonnie Hamp, CP.

Bonnie was nominated by her supervising attorneys, Catherine L. Brabson and Lisa R. Petersen, who provided the following information about Bonnie in their nomination submission:

Bonnie began her career in the legal profession in 1978 as a paralegal for Utah Legal Services in Ogden working with low income clients and referring pro bono cases to private counsel. In 1985 she began working in a private practice handling domestic, corporate and administrative transportation issues before the Public Service Commission. From 1989-1993, Bonnie worked as a legal assistant with Suitter Axland Armstrong & Hanson. In 2000, Bonnie passed the National Association of Legal Assistant’s Certified Paralegal exam. From 2003-2007, she worked for Holme Roberts & Owen as a litigation paralegal.

Since 2007, Bonnie has worked for Parsons Kinghorn Harris, P.C. She initiated the conversion of an archaic conflict database where she worked with independent IT vendors to create and formulate a more efficient search mechanism for attorneys and staff to search for potential conflicts of interest. She has assisted her attorneys with preparation for and attended numerous trials and arbitrations, including a two-week arbitration at which she organized and electronically presented and organized numerous complex financial documents and spreadsheets, resulting in a victory for the firm’s client, including an award of all the firm’s attorneys’ fees and costs.

In 2009, Bonnie obtained her Advanced Paralegal Certification from the University of California, taking six substantive legal courses in Divorce Probate and Estates, Bankruptcy, Water, Legal Research, and Victim Advocacy.

From 2000-2010, Bonnie served on the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee. She has also served several years as a Director on the Paralegal Division Board including a position on the Executive Committee and elected positions for Secretary and Finance Officer. Bonnie has also been a member of the Utah Paralegal Association (fka LAAU) and served on its Board as the NALA Liaison.

Bonnie, as evidenced by all of her achievements described above, is truly an exceptional person as well as professional. She is highly motivated, talented, smart, hardworking, thoughtful, and resourceful. She has excellent people skills and works incredibly well with all attorneys, staff, clients, court personnel, and opposing counsel. She is a great writer and organizer. There is no task that Bonnie cannot undertake and she approaches every project with a smile. Indeed, she is truly a pleasure to work with. There are few paralegals in this profession with whom either of us has ever worked who has such a broad catholicity of skills, deep integrity, genuine responsiveness, and kind temperament. We believe that she unquestionably deserves to be awarded the Distinguished Paralegal of 2012.

I have personally known Bonnie for many years and am pleased that the nomination committee felt her deserving of this year’s award.

This issue of the Bar Journal marks the end of my term as Chair of the Paralegal Division of the Utah State Bar. Thora Searle will be taking over as Chair for the 2012-2013 year beginning in July. It has been an honor to serve on the Division’s Board of Directors and on the Board of Bar Commissioners of the Utah State Bar as the Paralegal Division ex-officio member.

I look forward to working with Thora as she leads the Paralegal Division in the coming year.


Update to the Memorial Scholarship Created for Paralegal Heather Johnson Finch
Heather Finch was tragically killed in a late August 2010 airplane crash while traveling from Katmandu, Nepal to the Lukla Airport at the base of Mount Everest. Ê

Ms. Finch, a paralegal with over twenty years of experience in the legal profession, took over as Chair of the Paralegal Division of the Utah State Bar just two months before her tragic death. Heather was excited to be the Chair of the Division and had many exciting plans for her year of service. Heather dedicated her life to serving the legal community with countless hours of volunteering in the Utah State Bar Paralegal Division. In 2009, Finch was awarded UtahÕs highest honor for paralegals, the Distinguished Paralegal of the Year Award.

The Paralegal Division of the Utah State Bar, in coordination with the Finch and Johnson families and Utah Valley University, established the Heather Johnson Finch Memorial Endowed Scholarship to recognize her legacy, honor her dedication to the legal profession, and ensure that her leadership efforts continued. This scholarship was designed to achieve the goals that Heather had aimed to accomplish as a leader of the paralegal community, including promoting higher education and advanced training for paralegals.

The Scholarship must raise $30,000 to be fully funded and ensure HeatherÕs lasting legacy. The Scholarship to date has raised $14,134 through private donations, and through the First Annual Civility, Ethics, professionalism CLE held last June. The Division held its Second Annual Civility, Ethics and Professionalism CLE on June 26th at the Law & Justice Center. All proceeds going to the Heather Johnson Finch Memorial Endowed Scholarship. It is hoped that this scholarship will inspire generations of students as they learn about HeatherÕs remarkable qualities. For more information about how to contribute to the Heather Johnson Finch Memorial Endowed Fund, go online to http://www.utahparalegals.org/ or contact Nancy Smith at UVU, (801) 863-8896.

May 10, 2012

Pick Your Window of Opportunity

Through NALA’s Certified Paralegal examination’s new computer-based testing procedures, paralegals now can choose the time and date of their examination of month-long “testing windows.” During these windows, the proctored exam may be available each working day throughout the month.

September 1-30
Application deadline: August 1

Late application deadline: August 10 ($25.00 late fee)

Application fee: $250.00 for NALA members, $275.00 for non-members

ACT Test Center fees: Also apply

It’s the same rigorous examination – no change in structure or subjects, and essay questions remain a part of the exam.

The exam is offered at more than 230 computer-based ACT Test Centers designated by the ACT Testing Center Network on college campuses and other locations throughout the nation, at times and dates convenient to examinees. Schools not already ACT Test Centers may apply to NALA to become an authorized testing center for the Certified Paralegal Exam. Employers may also become testing centers for their paralegal staffs.

Visit the NALA website at www.nala.org for additional information or to apply online.

July 19, 2011

Paralegal of the Year

Congratulations to Patty Allred, Paralegal of the Year for the year 2011-2012. Patty Allred had several nominations. Each expressing her qualities, abilities and attributes to the legal community.


Patty has had nearly three decades of paralegal experience in the legal profession. She has achieved a degree in Paralegal Studies from Utah Technical College, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and subsequently will be soon receiving a Masters in Criminal Justice and Homeland Security from University of Phoenix. She has been a member of the Utah and National Paralegal organizations over her long career. She is currently working as a Paralegal for Jones, Waldo Holbrook & McDonough.

Continue reading "Paralegal of the Year" »

November 2, 2010

Greetings from the Paralegal Division of the Utah State Bar!

by Carma Harper

This past year, the Paralegal Division participated in several activities. We started off a little bit early by doing a clothing drive in November/December and donating the items to the Homeless Shelter and other facilities needing assistance. Then a week later, a few of us got together and made over fifty fleece hats, and with some of the money donations we collected, we were also able to buy over fifty pairs of gloves to donate along with the hats. We will be doing this again in October if anyone would like to volunteer.

Continue reading "Greetings from the Paralegal Division of the Utah State Bar! " »

July 19, 2010

21st Anniversary in the 21st Century

by Aaron Thompson

Recipient of Utah’s 2010 Distinguished Paralegal of the Year Award

Each year the Utah Bar Paralegal Division (“Paralegal Division”) convenes on the third Thursday in May to honor a paralegal who, “over a long and distinguished career, has by their ethical and personal conduct, commitment and activities, exemplified for their fellow paralegals and the attorneys with whom they work, the epitome of professionalism; who has also rendered extraordinary contributions,” in promoting the efforts of the Paralegal Division.

Continue reading "21st Anniversary in the 21st Century " »

December 11, 2009

2009-2010 Paralegal Division Board of Directors

by Aaron L. Thompson

As the new Chair of the Paralegal Division, I am pleased to introduce to you the new officers and directors of the Paralegal Division for 2009-2010. These professionals will continue the tradition of excellent leadership and service to our Division members, to the Bar, and to the community. I look forward to working with many members of the Paralegal Division and its board of directors. I appreciate the support of Steve Owens, the Utah State Bar President, Rob Jeffs, the President-Elect, and the Bar Commissioners. I look forward to making our Division even more beneficial to its members and continuing its outreach to and support of the legal community. I believe that together we can make a difference in the quality and efficiency of the delivery of legal services. If you would like more information about the Paralegal Division, please visit our website at utahbar.org/sections/paralegals.

Continue reading "2009-2010 Paralegal Division Board of Directors" »

September 22, 2009

Propagating Paralegal Punditry

by Aaron L. Thopmson

In all my years working in the paralegal profession one alliteration has forever influenced my daily decisions; “Prior Preparation Prevents Pretty Poor Performance.”

I recently became the newest Chair of the Utah State Bar Paralegal Division. With the welfare of our division weighing heavily on my mind I can not help but naturally assume the role as its Chief Cheerleader, incessantly proclaiming the diverse benefits that paralegals provide to the legal profession. And yet this single resounding alliteration continues to reverberate the inherent
significance of our state’s paralegals ever so naturally.

Continue reading "Propagating Paralegal Punditry" »

July 15, 2009

20th Anniversary of Paralegals' Day - Recipient of Utah's 2009 Distinguished Paralegal of the Year Award

by Julie L. Eriksson and Sharon M. Andersen

On May 21, 2009, the Paralegal Division and the Legal Assistants Association of Utah (LAAU) came together to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Paralegals’ Day, originally designated as
Legal Assistants’ Day on June 15, 1989, by Governor Norman Bangerter. Subsequent declarations, signed by Govs. Michael Leavitt and Olene Walker in 1994 and 2004, respectively, have set aside the third Thursday of each May to honor all Utah paralegals and
their contributions to the legal profession.

This year’s event, held at the Grand America, featured an address on “Civility in the Legal Profession and Civility in Everyday Life,” presented by Associate Justice Matthew M. Durrant of the Utah Supreme Court. The 4th Annual Distinguished Paralegal of the Year Award, co-sponsored by the Paralegal Division and LAAU, was also given out. This award is presented to the Utah paralegal who, over a long and distinguished career, has, by his/her ethical and personal conduct, commitment and activities, exemplified the epitome of professionalism, as well as rendering extraordinary contributions coinciding with the purposes of the Paralegal Division and LAAU as set forth in their bylaws.

Continue reading "20th Anniversary of Paralegals' Day - Recipient of Utah's 2009 Distinguished Paralegal of the Year Award" »

May 15, 2009

Pay It Forward: Community Service Opportunities in the Paralegal Division

by Carma Harper

When I was appointed as Chair of the Paralegal Division’s Community Service Committee, I thought of it as a great opportunity to find a project where we could make a difference. I soon discovered that there is no shortage of programs and services in need of assistance from the public year round. With so many projects to choose from, allocating our time and resources became a larger challenge.

I am proud to report that in the past year, we have taken part in many very worthwhile activities and causes to benefit our community. Here are some highlights:

Continue reading "Pay It Forward: Community Service Opportunities in the Paralegal Division" »

January 14, 2009

Salary Survey 2008: Highlights and Analysis

Salary Survey 2008: Highlights and Analysis
by Karen McCall, in Collaboration with the Salary Survey Committee

In September 2008, the Paralegal Division conducted a salary survey to assess the current state of our profession in Utah. The results, some of which are highlighted below, provided us with not only valuable data on paralegal education, training, work environment, and, of course, salaries, but also with insights on how our Division can continue to improve and grow. For the complete survey results, please visit our website at www.utahparalegals.org.

Continue reading "Salary Survey 2008: Highlights and Analysis" »

November 10, 2008

2008 Salary Survey

The Paralegal Division of the Utah State Bar has concluded our 2008 Salary Survey. We thank you for your participation and invite you to check out our analysis of the survey data coming soon on our website, www.utahparalegals.org. Additional coverage of the survey results will appear in the January/February 2009 edition of the Utah Bar Journal.

Thank you,
Salary Survey Committee
Paralegal Division, Utah State Bar

When Witnesses Attack: Dealing With Third-Party Harassment and Threats

When Witnesses Attack: Dealing With Third-Party Harassment and Threats
by Karen McCall

Despite the adversarial nature of most legal proceedings, the parties involved normally conduct themselves in an appropriate and civil manner. However, as many of us know firsthand, there are exceptions to this rule. While threats or other alarming or dangerous behavior toward legal professionals are perhaps seen, or at least reported, more frequently in family law, no one in any practice area is immune.

Continue reading "When Witnesses Attack: Dealing With Third-Party Harassment and Threats" »

September 25, 2008

Introducing the Paralegal Division’s New Officers and Directors for 2008-09

Introducing the Paralegal Division’s New Officers and Directors for 2008-09
by Julie L. Eriksson, Chair

As we begin the fall season, it is time to reflect on our personal and professional accomplishments. It doesn’t seem possible, but soon we will be toasting a new year and begin setting goals for the upcoming year. As you start thinking about your goals, take time to reflect upon the impact you have on others in your family, in your firm, within the Paralegal Division, and within our paralegal profession. Maybe it is time to change your impact by volunteering or taking on a new project. It is often said that you receive more than you give. How about you – what can you give?

Continue reading "Introducing the Paralegal Division’s New Officers and Directors for 2008-09" »

2008 Salary Survey

The 2008-09 Board of Directors of the Paralegal Division of the Utah State Bar is conducting its 2008 Salary Survey. The survey will be sent via email to all paralegals and legal assistants in the state in the coming weeks, and we strongly encourage all of you to take a few minutes and complete it.

Continue reading "2008 Salary Survey" »

July 15, 2008

Congratulations Deb Calegory: Recipient of Utah’s 2008 Distinguished Paralegal of the Year Award

Congratulations Deb Calegory: Recipient of Utah’s 2008 Distinguished Paralegal of the Year Award
by Sharon M. Andersen

On May 15, 2008, we celebrated Paralegal’s Day at Little America in Salt Lake City, Utah. As many of you know, Paralegal’s Day is a yearly event co-sponsored by the Paralegal Division and the Legal Assistants Association of Utah (LAAU). This year we were especially privileged to have Chief Justice Christine Durham of the Utah Supreme Court as our keynote speaker who spoke to us on the topic of The Role of the Supreme Court, the Judicial Council, the Many Committees and the Ways We Administer the Court System.

Continue reading "Congratulations Deb Calegory: Recipient of Utah’s 2008 Distinguished Paralegal of the Year Award" »

Making a Difference in the Legal Profession and the Community

Making a Difference in the Legal Profession and the Community
by Sharon M. Andersen

July is here and my term as Chair of the Paralegal Division has ended. For me it has been an extraordinary year, jam-packed with wonderful experiences, new and deepened friendships, and tremendous personal growth. I cannot begin to express how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to serve the Paralegal Division (Division) and its members. However, I know that I could not have accomplished anything without the hard work and unbelievable support of the Division’s Board of Directors. What an exceptional group of paralegals! Their examples of commitment and dedication prove that individuals who work together with a shared vision, passion, and purpose can achieve remarkable results. Nevertheless, the leadership could not have realized any degree of success without the support from Division members and other paralegals that stepped up offering their personal time and resources to help with community service events. Together, we have shown that paralegals make a difference not only within the legal profession, but also within the community.

Continue reading "Making a Difference in the Legal Profession and the Community" »

May 19, 2008

Notary Public Issues

Notary Public Issues
by Fran Fish
As a government commissioned official, the notary public ensures the integrity of a document’s execution. A notary who diligently insists on proper identification from and appearance by signers and witnesses, and who follows correct procedures will generally not have any cause to worry about lawsuits. However, notaries could face liability for untruthful or inaccurate statements made in the notarial certificates they complete.

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March 27, 2008

Paralegal Division

Your Attendance is Requested
Paralegal’s Day CLE Luncheon honoring Utah Paralegals

Hosted by: Paralegal Division – Utah State Bar and The Legal Assistants Association of Utah

Thursday, May 15, 2008 • 12:00 Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Little America Hotel • Ball Room B-C • 500 South Main Street, Salt Lake City, Utah

Keynote Speaker: Chief Justice Christine Durham, Chief Justice of the Utah Supreme Court

1.0 hour of Ethics credit

Register on-line by May 9, 2008 at http://www.utahbar.org/cle/events/registration/annual_paralegal.html

Continue reading "Paralegal Division" »

January 1, 2008

Medical Expert Testimony: A View From the Utah Supreme Court

Medical Expert Testimony: A View From the Utah Supreme Court

by Karen McCall
A recent decision by the Utah Supreme Court in the state’s master asbestos litigation has clarified the role of out-of-state experts preparing testimony within the framework of the Utah Medical Practice Act.

Carbaugh v. Asbestos Corporation Limited, 2007 UT 65, 167 P.3d 1063, as appealed from Third District Court in Salt Lake City, involved four cases and forty-seven plaintiffs, all of whom had been diagnosed with asbestos-related illnesses after an examination by Dr. Alvin Schonfeld. Dr. Schonfeld, who is licensed to practice medicine in eleven states but not in Utah, had been designated by the plaintiffs as a medical expert witness and was prepared to offer testimony on the cause(s) of the plaintiffs’ medical conditions.

Continue reading "Medical Expert Testimony: A View From the Utah Supreme Court" »

Medical Expert Testimony: A View From the Utah Supreme Court

Medical Expert Testimony: A View From the Utah Supreme Court

by Karen McCall

A recent decision by the Utah Supreme Court in the state’s master asbestos litigation has clarified the role of out-of-state experts preparing testimony within the framework of the Utah Medical Practice Act.

Carbaugh v. Asbestos Corporation Limited, 2007 UT 65, 167 P.3d 1063, as appealed from Third District Court in Salt Lake City, involved four cases and forty-seven plaintiffs, all of whom had been diagnosed with asbestos-related illnesses after an examination by Dr. Alvin Schonfeld. Dr. Schonfeld, who is licensed to practice medicine in eleven states but not in Utah, had been designated by the plaintiffs as a medical expert witness and was prepared to offer testimony on the cause(s) of the plaintiffs’ medical conditions.

Continue reading "Medical Expert Testimony: A View From the Utah Supreme Court" »

November 1, 2007

The “How To” Guide for Membership in the Paralegal Division: What Are the Requirements and Career Benefits of Membership?

The “How To” Guide for Membership in the Paralegal Division: What Are the Requirements and Career Benefits of Membership?
by Peggi Lowden

Are you wondering how to apply for membership in the Paralegal Division of the Utah State Bar (the Division)? What is the Division’s definition of a paralegal? What are the educational and experience requirements for membership? Where are the application forms? Are there any CLE requirements to maintain membership? To better serve future members we offer this “How To” guide to answer questions and to assist applicants for membership in the Division.

Continue reading "The “How To” Guide for Membership in the Paralegal Division: What Are the Requirements and Career Benefits of Membership?" »

September 1, 2007

Introducing the Paralegal Division’s New Officers and Directors for 2007-2008

Introducing the Paralegal Division’s New Officers and Directors for 2007-2008
by Sharon M. Andersen, Chair
As the new Chair of the Paralegal Division, it is my honor and privilege to introduce the new officers and directors of the Paralegal Division for 2007-2008. These highly-motivated and dedicated individuals spend many hours of their personal time in service to the members of the Division and the Utah State Bar. Areas of service include attendance at Division and Bar meetings, researching current issues and future trends involving salary and utilization, formulating ways to educate the legal community on the most effective and efficient utilization of paralegals, participating in community service and community activities, presentations at schools, firms, and/or other legal environments about the professional benefits associated with proper utilization of paralegals and membership in the Division. In addition, board members organize and oversee forums for continuing legal education including monthly brown bags. They actively participate on the Bar’s CLE committees and are instrumental in securing key presenters for Bar conventions as well as Division CLE events. We would be remiss not to recognize and acknowledge that the Division’s involvement and accomplishments since its inception in April of 1996 would not have been possible without the full support of the Utah State Bar and its administration.

Continue reading "Introducing the Paralegal Division’s New Officers and Directors for 2007-2008" »

July 1, 2007

The Paralegal Division Supports Access to Justice and Recognizes its Distinguished Paralegal of the Year

The Paralegal Division Supports Access to Justice and Recognizes its Distinguished Paralegal of the Year
by Kathryn K. Shelton, Chair

The Paralegal Division’s mission statement as adopted by the Board of Directors is that “The Paralegal Division of the Utah State Bar shall serve the legal profession by promoting and advancing professional competence and excellence throughout the legal profession.” The Division’s objectives and long-range plan goals include, among other items, the following: 1) to assist the Utah State Bar with its mission to serve the public and the legal profession by promoting justice, professional excellence, civility, ethics, respect for and understanding of the Law; and 2) to assist the Utah State Bar in increasing access to lower cost, affordable legal services and, at the same time, protect the public from harm from unqualified persons seeking to provide legal assistance to unrepresented persons.

Continue reading "The Paralegal Division Supports Access to Justice and Recognizes its Distinguished Paralegal of the Year" »

May 24, 2007

Beyond Civility for Paralegals

Beyond Civility for Paralegals
by A. Patrice Whitby

After reading an article titled “Civility for Paralegals” by Greg Wayment, Utah Bar Journal, Vol.19 No.7, 2006, I was provoked by several questions originating from Mr. Wayment’s statement, “Incivility has long plagued the legal profession.” Why the legal profession? Where does incivility start? And what can be done to reverse the stigma with which the legal profession has been plagued?

Continue reading "Beyond Civility for Paralegals" »

April 27, 2007

What Is Paralegal Work? – The Utah Supreme Court Offers a Three-Pronged Test

What Is Paralegal Work? – The Utah Supreme Court Offers a Three-Pronged Test

by Peggi Lowden

The Utah Supreme Court’s definition of a paralegal does not simply define a category of personnel within the legal profession. It is a useful tool to determine effective delegation of legal tasks to non lawyer personnel. The specific section of the definition that provides this delegation tool states, “[paralegal work] involves the performance . . . of specifically delegated substantive legal work, which work for the most part, requires a sufficient knowledge of legal concepts, that absent the [paralegal] the attorney would perform the task.”1

Continue reading "What Is Paralegal Work? – The Utah Supreme Court Offers a Three-Pronged Test" »

March 8, 2007

Nonlawyers Help Keep Lawyers out of the “Discipline Corner”

Nonlawyers Help Keep Lawyers out of the “Discipline Corner”
by Peggi Lowden

In most states of America, disciplinary panels hear evidence about complaints that are brought against lawyers alleging violations of the rules of professional conduct. After the evidence is heard, the panel deliberates and either dismisses the complaint or recommends disciplinary action against the lawyer. In the situation where the complainant is the accused lawyer’s client, the hearing is the place where clients often paint a picture of personal betrayal and a loss of confidence in the legal system. Testimony may be through cracking voices, angry words, and tears. The accused lawyer speaks and offers evidence in defense. Neither complainants nor lawyers leave the hearing room appearing to be satisfied. However, rising out of the ashes of this unpleasant experience there are lessons of hope for clients and lawyers.

Continue reading "Nonlawyers Help Keep Lawyers out of the “Discipline Corner”" »

March 6, 2007

Civility for Paralegals

Civility for Paralegals
by Greg Wayment

The purposes of this article are to examine some of the civility issues affecting the legal community, re-affirm the Paralegal Division's support of the Utah Standards of Professionalism and Civility ("The Standards"), and provide some helpful tips on what paralegals can do to be a positive force for improvement.

Continue reading "Civility for Paralegals" »

January 8, 2007

Congratulations on 75 Years!

by Kathryn K. Shelton, Chair

Seventy-five years is a remarkable achievement for any one or any thing. My father is approaching this remarkable age and as I watch him age with grace and dignity, I realize that the decisions, experiences, education and choices he made through all of those years, as well as the people he has encountered and touched, truly made him who he is today. My father is a wise man - educated, objective, and benevolent. He is a man of great integrity and character. Not unlike my almost 75 year old father, we note that the now 75 year old Utah State Bar has succeeded because it has been built upon principles of education, objectivity, integrity and character. The Bar is the governing and regulating authority for the attorneys in the State but its intrinsic value rests with its members who hold a wealth of wisdom, experience and integrity and that bring honor to its name and to the profession of law. It will be the Bar's responsibility to continue to ensure the professionalism exhibited by so many members in the past 75 years is continued into the next 75 years.

Continue reading "Congratulations on 75 Years!" »

September 22, 2006

Message from the Chair

Message from the Chair
by Kathryn K. Shelton

As the new Chair of the Paralegal Division, I am pleased to introduce to you the new officers and directors of the Paralegal Division for 2006-007. These professionals will continue the tradition of excellent leadership and service to our Division members, to the Bar and to the Community. I look forward to working with many members of the Division and its board of directors toward making the Division even more beneficial to its members and continuing its outreach to and support of the legal community. I believe that together we can make a difference in the quality and efficiency of the delivery of legal services. If you would like more information about the Paralegal Division, please visit our website at utahbar.org/sections/paralegals. Our officers and board of directors for the coming year are:

Continue reading "Message from the Chair" »

August 7, 2006

Message from the Chair

Message from the Chair
by Danielle Price

I have a few membership and CLE updates to share and I have some information in follow up to Paralegal's Day, which was May 18th.

As many of you may already know, the Bar has added a new member benefit for attorneys which is a Lawyers Assistance Program that began in March of this year. The Paralegal Division is very pleased to announce that the Bar is also making this program available to members of the Paralegal Division. These services are offered through Blomquist Hale and will be available to Division members beginning September 1, 2006. Additional information about Blomquist Hale is available on their website at www.blomquisthale.com. The Paralegal Division will be mailing information on this program to all Division members at their home address in August.

Continue reading "Message from the Chair" »

May 30, 2006

Message from the Chair

Message from the Chair
by Danielle Price

This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the Paralegal Division since its creation by the Utah Supreme Court in April of 1996. The Division hosted an anniversary celebration on April 6, 2006, at Rice Eccles Stadium Tower to recognize those who worked to create the Division and to continue its growth and progress. The event celebrated the accomplishments of the Division and its members over the past ten years, as well as the growth of this profession. The evening included special guest speakers, Steven Kaufman, Former Chief Justice Michael Zimmerman, Peggi Lowden, and Mary Black. The celebration wrapped up with an amazing performance by Kurt Bestor. A copy of the program for the event is available on the Division's website and contains some interesting historical information from 1996 to present. I hope you will take a moment to review the program if you have not already. We also posted several photographs from the event.

Continue reading "Message from the Chair" »

April 4, 2006

The "How To Guide" for Membership in the Paralegal Division:

The "How To Guide" for Membership in the Paralegal Division:
What are the Requirements and Career Benefits of Membership?

by Peggi Lowden

Are you wondering how to apply for membership in the Paralegal Division of the Utah State Bar (the "Division")? Am I a paralegal by the Division's definition? What are the educational and experience requirements for membership? How can I get the application forms? Once I'm a member, are there any CLE requirements to maintain my membership? We are frequently asked these questions. We are glad that you asked. To better serve you - a future member - we offer this "How To Guide" to answer your questions and to assist you in your application for membership in the Division.

Continue reading "The "How To Guide" for Membership in the Paralegal Division:" »

January 23, 2006

The Unauthorized Practice of Law A Paralegal's Duty and Responsibility - Know the Limits

The Unauthorized Practice of Law
A Paralegal's Duty and Responsibility - Know the Limits

by Bonnie Hamp

UPL, the "unauthorized practice of law", we've all heard the phrase, but do we really know what it means? Simply put, the unauthorized practice of law occurs when a person who is not a licensed attorney engages in the practice of law.

Continue reading "The Unauthorized Practice of Law A Paralegal's Duty and Responsibility - Know the Limits" »

January 20, 2006

Results of the Beta Test of the Utilization/Salary Survey - 2005

Results of the Beta Test of the Utilization/Salary Survey - 2005
by J. Robyn Dotterer

At long last the data have been compiled on the first web-based utilization/salary survey for the Utah State Bar Paralegal Division with the assistance and cooperation of the Legal AssistantÕs Association of Utah (LAAU). A joint committee was formed to undertake the drafting of a utilization/salary survey that could be established on the Utah State Bar Paralegal Division's web page and could then be taken by paralegals or their supervising attorneys online.

Continue reading "Results of the Beta Test of the Utilization/Salary Survey - 2005" »

October 16, 2005

Message from the Paralegal Division Chair

Message from the Chair
by Danielle S. Price

For those of you looking for a good CLE opportunity, please consider the Utah State Bar Fall Forum. The Paralegal Division is supporting the Forum this year as our last full day CLE offered through the Bar for 2005. If you have attended the Fall Forum in years past, you know that it is a great day of CLE. If you have not yet attended, this is the year to do it. The Bar has put together some great tracks and speakers at a great cost for paralegals. Tracks include: litigation, transactional, general, ADR and practice management/ technology. Please be on the look out for registration materials or go to the Bar's website for additional information and to register. I look forward to seeing you there.

Date: Friday, November 11, 2005
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Location: Little America Hotel
Cost: $60 for paralegals

Paralegal Salary Survey Results

The Utah State Bar Paralegal Division Board of Directors is pleased to announce the completion of our first survey regarding Utah Paralegals' salary and employment. An executive summary will be published in the upcoming Nov/Dec issue of the Utah Bar Journal. Complete survey results will also be made available on the division's web page. Take a look and see where you or your firm fit in our profession!

August 6, 2005

Farewell Message

Farewell Message

by Tally Burke, Paralegal Division Chair

I know that many of you share a story similar to mine. In the Spring of 1996, I was eagerly anticipating the prospect of completing my Associate's Degree in Paralegal Studies from Salt Lake Community College. I was already working in a position at the law firm of Kruse Landa Maycock & Ricks, LLC, then known as Kruse Landa & Maycock, LLC ("KLM&R") as its receptionist. After graduation, I began working for the office manager where I learned how a law office really operates, how I could best be utilized, and how I should perform as a paralegal. Since then, I have continued my employment with KLM&R and was honored to become Mr. James R. Kruse's paralegal. I have now been working for Jim in the corporate and securities area for five years and have been with KLM&R a total of ten years.

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June 11, 2005

Annual Paralegal Day Celebration

Annual Paralegal Day Celebration

Every third Thursday in May has been declared Paralegal Day in the State of Utah. We invite all attorneys and their paralegals to join us in celebrating this day and are pleased to have Lt. Governor Gary Herbert offering some opening remarks and U.S. District Court Judge Dale A. Kimball, presenting the keynote address. Please see the invitation below for complete details.

As paralegals in the State of Utah, we take great pride in our profession. The paralegal field is currently one of the fastest growing professions in the country and was ranked by the State of Utah, Department of Workforce Services as one of Utah's "five-star" jobs. The paralegal profession is projected to grow faster than average for all occupations through 2012.

A paralegal's primary role is to assist attorneys with the delivery of low cost and professional legal services to the public. The valuable contribution of paralegals was recognized by the Utah State Bar through the creation of the Paralegal Division (formerly known as the Legal Assistant Division) in 1996.

The Utah Supreme Court defines a paralegal as a person, qualified through education, training or work experience, who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, governmental agency or other entity in a capacity or function which involves the performance, under the ultimate direction and supervision of an attorney, of specifically delegated substantive legal work, which work, for the most part, requires sufficient knowledge of legal concepts that, absent such a paralegal, the attorney would perform the task.

Paralegals should at all times maintain the integrity of the legal profession and are subject to the rules of professional conduct governing lawyers licensed to practice in the State of Utah known as the Rules of Professional Conduct of the Utah State Bar.

The utilization of paralegals in rendering legal services has been recognized and promulgated by the American Bar Association and other professional societies. Attorneys who use paralegals have achieved unparalleled success in providing clients with high-quality service. Utilizing qualified paralegals helps attorneys deliver better service and more value while increasing law firm profits. As a result, paralegals have gained widespread acceptance and have become essential contributors in the delivery of legal services.

The Paralegal Division of the Utah State Bar is committed to serving both the profession and the community at large. The Paralegal Division thanks the Bar as well as the many law firms and attorneys that continually give support to paralegals and to our Division. We look forward to a bright and promising future together.

January 16, 2005

Mentoring Legal Professionals

Kim Ross, Second Vice President of the Legal Assistants of North
Texas Association (LANTA), addressed the National Association
of Legal Assistants (NALA) Education Conference in Sparks,
Nevada, July 2004, about the value and the need of mentoring
relationships in the legal profession. NALA’s affiliated paralegal
associations in Alabama, California, Texas, and Kansas each
supports a mentoring program. But how does an organization
initiate a mentoring program? And why?

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December 18, 2004

Dear Paralegal Member,

Dear Paralegal Member,

As a professional in the legal community, you know how complex the legal system is.

Imagine navigating it with no resources or prior training. Imagine navigating it while facing violence at home, poor health, or language barriers.

Thousands of people in Utah are asked to do just that every day. Increasingly, access to justice in our society depends on access to money. While an attorney is guaranteed in criminal issues, those with civil legal problems who cannot afford representation must face the system alone.

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October 24, 2004

Utilization and Salary Survey to be Unveiled This Fall

Utilization and Salary Survey to be Unveiled This Fall
by Robyn Dotterer, Utilization Chair - Paralegal Division

The Paralegal Division of the Utah State Bar is pleased to announce an exciting upcoming event. We are producing the first on-line Utilization and Salary Survey under the auspices of the Utah State Bar web site!

What this means is that the survey can be filled out by attorneys, paralegals or your office legal administrators on line on the Bar web site at any time - day or night. Anyone who has access to the Utah State Bar web site can fill out the survey for themselves or their paralegals. We are hoping to reach as many of you as we reasonably can to make the survey as comprehensive as possible.

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June 1, 2004

Paralegal Division - Farewell Message

by Sanda R. Kirkham, Chair - Paralegal Division

The Paralegal Division of the Utah State Bar is doing great things. The success of the Division is the result of many volunteers who participate in - and direct - our Division. It is also a tribute to our history of strong leadership, as well as continued support from the Bar. For a paralegal to improve his/her skills, network, experience leadership, and generally develop as a paralegal is to participate in the Paralegal Division.

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May 6, 2004

We Have Signed On

by Sanda R. Kirkham, Chair - Paralegal Division

On October 16, 2003 the Utah Supreme Court accepted the report of its Advisory Committee on Professionalism and approved the twenty Standards of Professionalism and Civility recommended in the report. As chair of the Professionalism Committee, Justice Michael J. Wilkins of the Utah Supreme Court, has been asked by the Court to focus on methods to make the Standards of Professionalism and Civility the behavioral norms for the Utah legal profession. He strongly urges support from Utah State Bar members.

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April 2, 2004

Paralegal's Day Celebration

Author; Sanda R. Kirkham, Chair - Paralegal Division

The Honorable Olene Walker, Governor of the State of Utah, has declared every third Thursday in May as Paralegal's Day in the State of Utah and encourages the citizens of Utah to actively participate in this Declaration. We invite all attorneys and their paralegals to join us in celebrating this grand day and are pleased to have Justice Michael J. Wilkins as the speaker for our celebration this year (please see invitation below).

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March 2, 2004

Paralegals v. Legal Assistants

Author; Sanda R. Kirkham, Chair

WHEREAS, the American Bar Association ("ABA") has determined that the term "paralegal" is gaining prominence nationwide and that the term "legal assistant" is becoming less common; and

WHEREAS, in August of 2003, the ABA approved a change to the name of the Standing Committee on Legal Assistants to the Standing Committee on Paralegals, and

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January 2, 2004

How to Effectively Use a Paralegal in a Probate Matter

Author; Shari Snell Faulkner

Officially, a probate is a court procedure to (a) determine the validity of a will; or (b) determine legal heirs, if no will. A probate proceeding also names a personal representative to perform fiduciary roles in settling a decedent's estate. Whether or not a court proceeding is necessary, unofficially a "probate matter" in a law office would include such things as:

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About Paralegal Corner

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Utah Bar Journal in the Paralegal Corner category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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