Utah Law Developments

JurisdictionUtah,United States
CitationVol. 35 No. 6 Pg. 35
Publication year2022
Utah Law Developments
No. Vol. 35 No. 6 Pg. 35
Utah Bar Journal
December, 2022

November, 2022

Appellate Highlights

by Rodney R. Parker, Dani Cepernich, Robert Cummings, Nathanael Mitchell, Adam Pace, and Andrew Roth

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. The following summaries have been prepared by the authoring attorneys listed above, who are solely responsible for their content.


Taylor v. Taylor

2022 UT 35 (Aug. 18, 2022)

The parties agreed to arbitrate their divorce, but after arbitration husband filed an objection to the award in district court. Husband argued on appeal that district courts had a non-delegable duty to decide divorce cases, and that the arbitration violated public policy. The supreme court rejected the challenge because “[t]he Utah Uniform Arbitration Act does not permit a party who participates in arbitration without objection to then contest an arbitration award by arguing that it is based on an infirm agreement to arbitrate.” The court also commented that even absent that defect, an agreement to arbitrate alimony and property division in a divorce would not violate public policy.

State v. Randolph

2022 UT 34 (Aug. 4, 2022)

In this appeal from from the district court’s grant of the State’s motion for pretrial detention, the Utah Supreme Court answered several unsettled questions concerning the standard of review that applies to such decisions. The court held: (1) the ultimate determination of whether substantial evidence exists to support the charge is reviewed de novo, but if the district court makes factual findings in support of that decision, they are given deference and overturned only if clearly erroneous; (2) the determination that there is clear and convincing evidence the defendant is a substantial danger or likely to flee is given deference and overturned only if clearly erroneous; and (3) the determination of whether there are no effective conditions of pretrial release is also reviewed for clear error. The court then addressed the meaning of “substantial evidence” in the bail context: “The substantial evidence standard is met when the prosecution presents evidence capable of supporting a jury finding that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Huitron v. Kaye

2022 UT 36 (Aug. 25, 2022)

Three years after the fact, the plaintiff filed a personal injury suit against the estate of the individual responsible for a fatal automobile accident. Although the Probate Code’s “Nonclaim Statute” bars a personal injury claim against the estate...

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