State Bar Mews

Publication year2014
Pages46
State Bar Mews
Vol. 27 No. 1 Pg. 46
Utah Bar Journal
February, 2014.

January, 2014.

COMMISSION HIGHLIGHTS

The Utah State Bar Board of Commissioners received the following reports and took the actions indicated during the December 6, 2013 Commission Meeting held at the Law & Justice Center in Salt Lake City.

1. The Bar Commission approved the Bar Database Committee's Report and Recommendations to contract with Euclid Technologies Solution for the general AMS system; New Dawn for the disciplinary system, and Box Networks (Synergy) for the admissions system and agreed that implementation should be coupled with an evaluation of the possible reduction of staff.

2. The Commission designated C. Markley Arrington as the Bar's representative to the Children's Justice Center Board. Mr. Arrington will serve a four-year term on the Board, replacing Robert Steele.

3. The Commission approved the expenditure of $60, 000 from the Public Education budget for new billboard project as presented by Sean Toomey. The Bar will be placing billboards throughout the state this spring highlighting the advantages of talking to a Utah lawyer about specific legal issues. More and more people are completing forms on the Internet without the counsel of an attorney, and the resulting wills, powers of attorney, and divorce papers are often not customized to the unique circumstances of each individual. Others are falling victim to scams when facing legal challenges such as foreclosures. With the Bar's new Modest Means Lawyer Referral program, everyone is able to afford an attorney, even if just for a short coaching session. Fifteen percent of the billboards will promote the lawyer referral program.

4. The Commission approved the Minutes of October 25, 2013 Commission Meeting via the Consent Agenda.

5. The Commission formalized the current CLE Department policy on co-sponsorships, revenue sharing criteria, and the use of e-mail addresses via the Consent Agenda. Third parties may co-sponsor educational events with the CLE Department in areas not currently being met by the CLE Department. Revenue will be shared on a 50/50 basis. Events not co-sponsored by the Bar may be listed on the Bar CLE online calendar. Outside providers who are not co-sponsoring with the Bar may otherwise purchase advertising in the Utah Bar Journal. Events not co-sponsored by the Bar will not be advertised via the Bar e-mail system according to the Bar's policy on privacy of e-mail accounts.

6. The Commission approved the Client Security Fund recommendations via the Consent Agenda.

The minute texts of this and other meetings of the Bar Commission are available at the office of the Executive Director.

Food and Clothing Drive Participants and Volunteers

We would like to thank all participants and volunteers for their assistance and support in this year’s Food and Clothing Drive. 2.5 tons of food, clothing, and toiletries were collected and delivered for immediate distribution, in addition to the many generous cash donations to specific shelters and organizations that we have supported over the years.

Thanks also goes to all of the individual contacts that we made this year. We look forward to working with you again next year. Thank you all for your kindness and generosity.

New Utah State Bar Ethics Advisory Opinion Committee Opinions

Opinion No. 13-03, Issued September 11, 2013

ISSUE

Whether a lawyer violates his or her duty to diligently represent a client who wishes to appeal a juvenile court's order but refuses to sign the Notice of Appeal (which will be dismissed without appellant's signature pursuant to statute) due to her diminished capacity.

OPINION

Under Rule 1.14, if the lawyer believes the client is at risk of substantial harm unless action is taken and cannot adequately act in the client's own interest, the lawyer should take reasonable steps to protect the client's interests.

The full text of this opinion can be found at: www.utahbar.org/ ethics-advisory-opinions/ethics-advisory-opinion-no-13-03/.

Opinion Number 13-04, Issued September 30, 2013

ISSUE

The question before the Committee concerns federal criminal law practice in the District of Utah. Although it may have general application, this Opinion is confined to that arena. The question is whether it is ethical under the Utah Rules of Professional Conduct for a criminal defense attorney (hereinafter, "the attorney") to advise a client/defendant (hereinafter, "the client") to negotiate and enter into a plea agreement whereby the client, as an integral part of his plea of guilty, waives all post-conviction claims the client may have, including claims of ineffective assistance of the attorney, except for claims of ineffective assistance of counsel based upon negotiating or entering in to the plea or waiver.

OPINION

The Committee concludes that it is a violation of Rule of Professional Conduct 1.7 for an attorney to counsel his client to enter into a plea agreement which requires the client to waive the attorney's prospective possible ineffective assistance at sentencing or other postconviction proceedings.

The full text of this opinion can be found at: www.utahbar.org/ ethics-advisory-opinions/ethics-advisory-opinion-13-04/.

Opinion Number 13-05, Issued September 10, 2013

ISSUE

To what extent may an attorney participate in an "on-site" fee/ retainer funding program to obtain and finance attorney retainer or litigation funds?

OPINION

A lawyer may not participate in an "on-site" fee/retainer funding program, under the circumstances set forth herein, as such would violate the provisions of Rules of Professional Conduct 1.7(a) (Conflict of Interest: Current Clients), Rule 1.8(a) (Acquire a pecuniary interest adverse to the client). The lawyer may, however, obtain a waiver of the conflict by complying with the terms of Rules 1.7(b) and 1.8(a), including making full disclosure and obtaining "informed consent" confirmed in writing. Adequate measures must also be taken to safeguard the lawyer's independent judgment under Rule 5.4(c) (A third party may not direct or regulate the lawyer's professional judgment.)

The full text of this opinion can be found at: www.utahbar.org/ ethics-advisory-opinions/ethics-advisory-opinion-13-05/.

Notice of Bar Commission Election First and Third Divisions

Nominations to the office of Bar Commissioner are hereby solicited for three members from the Third Division and one member from the First Division, each to serve a three-year term. Terms will begin in July 2014. To be eligible for the office of Commissioner from a division, the nominee's business mailing address must be in that division as shown by the records of the Bar. Applicants must be nominated by a written petition often or more members of the Bar in good standing whose business mailing addresses are in the division from which the election is to be held. Nominating petitions are available at http://www. utahbar.org/elections/commission_elections.html. Completed petitions must be submitted to John C. Baldwin, Executive Director, no later than February 3, 2014, by 5:00 p.m.

NOTICE: Balloting will be done electronically. Ballots will be emailed on or about April 1st with balloting to be...

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