Utah Law Developments, 0217 UTBJ, Vol. 30, No. 1. 40

Author:Rodney R. Parker, Dani N. Cepernich, Nathanael J. Mitchell, Adam M. Pace, and Scott Elder, J.

Utah Law Developments

Vol. 30 No. 1 Pg. 40

Utah Bar Journal

February, 2017

          January, 2017

         Appellate Highlights

          Rodney R. Parker, Dani N. Cepernich, Nathanael J. Mitchell, Adam M. Pace, and Scott Elder, J.

         Editor’s Note: The following appellate cases of interest were recently decided by the Utah Supreme Court, Utah Court of Appeals, and United States Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

         Sierra Club v. Dep’t of Environ. Quality 2016 UT 49 (Oct. 26, 2016)

         The Executive Director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality dismissed a request for agency action. Rather than addressing alleged deficiencies in the Executive Director’s final order in their opening brief, the petitioners instead challenged underlying steps in the agency process. The court struck the portions of the petitioners’ reply brief in which they, for the first time, addressed the Executive Director’s final order. The petitioners’ failure to challenge the appropriate decision in their principal brief led the court to dismiss the appeal on the basis that the petitioners had not met their burden of persuasion.

         Bagley v. Bagley

         2016 UT 48 (Oct. 26, 2016)

         An individual, acting as personal representative and sole heir of her deceased husband, brought an action against herself for negligently causing her husband’s death. The Utah Supreme Court held that the wrongful death and survival action statutes unambiguously allow a person acting in the legal capacity of an heir or personal representative to sue him or herself in an individual capacity for negligently causing a decedent’s death or injury.

         Mackin v. State

         2016 UT 47 (Oct. 21, 2016)

         After taking his ex-girlfriend’s purse, the defendant fled the scene. His ex-girlfriend dove into his vehicle’s passenger window and climbed in while the defendant continued to drive. The defendant was subsequently convicted of aggravated robbery based upon the use of the car as a deadly weapon. On appeal, the Utah Supreme Court held that a defendant may be convicted of aggravated robbery for using an object in a manner capable of causing serious bodily injury or death, even if the object is not ordinarily considered a weapon.

         Brierley v. Layton

         2016 UT 47 (Oct. 21, 2016)

         The district court granted a motion to suppress evidence obtained while a warrant application remained pending. The Utah Court of Appeals reversed based upon the inevitable discovery doctrine and a four-factor test articulated by the Tenth Circuit. Reversing the Utah Court of Appeals, the Utah Supreme Court held that the city failed to carry its burden of showing, by a preponderance of the evidence,...

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