Executive Committee Meeting Minutes
Minutes for August 14, 2013
Litigation Section Executive Committee Meeting Minutes
Present: George Burbidge, David Castleberry, Heather Thuet, Rod Andreason, Hon. Stephen
Roth, Keith Call, Ryan Frazier, Kent Holmberg, Michael Stahler, Dan Steele, and Sade
By Phone: Hon Denise P. Lindberg, Hon. Kate Toomey, Christian Kesselring, and Heather
Excused: Patrick Burt, Shane Gosdis, Jon Hafen, Bryan Pattison, and Jenifer Tomchak
1. Chair’s Report: George Burbidge stated that he wants the Section to bring benefits to its
members as pragmatically as possible and expand those benefits to more members. He believes
that we have done well with Section CLEs and bench books. He stated that he has had
discussions with various people about joining the Committee, and assignments they and current
members may want to take on the Committee. Regarding admitting new members, George said
that several have expressed interest, and if we had specific tasks to fill after this meeting,
George would consider extending offers to potential new members to meet those
needs. George asked members to let him know of persons who may be interested in filling the
role of Editor-in-Chief of the Zealous Advocate in particular. Heather Thuet said that getting
new people to work on the newsletter was a good idea. Dan said that working on the
newsletter is a great way to introduce new members to the committee. Michael suggested that
we have a subcommittee work on the newsletter as opposed to having one person in
charge. Kent Holmberg suggested sending out a survey asking Section members what they
would like most from the Section, including in the newsletter.
2. Secretary’s Report: Rod Andreason presented draft minutes from the June 12, 2013 meeting.
Judge Roth proposed a short revision to clarify an ambiguity in a statement regarding the
Section providing benefits to its members. Michael Stahler moved to approve the minutes as
amended, seconded by several, and the Committee unanimously approved the draft minutes as
3. Treasurer’s Report: Heather Thuet reported that Metra has replaced Meghan at the Bar for
purposes of coordinating the Section’s finances. She also reported that we are still waiting to
receive some of the charges from the Trial Academy. The Section is on budget, including the
payment of this year’s administrative expenses and receipt of this year’s dues.
4. Committee Reports:
a. Membership: Kent Holmberg reported that currently out of 2086 lawyers in “the
basin,” we have only 9 members. The Committee discussed expanding its membership
in the basin. Kent stated that he would speak an attorney in that area and ask about his
interest in the Section. Kent is waiting to see how many new bar admittees there will be
this year and will report on that.
b. Technology: Shane Gosdis was previously excused from the meeting and had asked that
any assignments be forwarded to him. Dan Steele noted that when he last checked, the
only CLEs on the Section’s web page were past events. Committee members need to
inform Summer Shumway and ensure that events are on home page tab as well as
"expanded tab," as well as get on the Bar’s calendar. Dan recommended that we check
the site after requesting the addition of events to the site to make sure that the events
are in all places where we need them. Keith Call said it may be helpful to have a
standing item on the agenda telling members how to put calendar events on the web
site and confirm that they are there.
c. Newsletter: George said he noticed that recently, the newsletter has not always issued
on a quarterly basis. He suggested that we consider revising the newsletter, perhaps
significantly, to include only items that are more useful to our members and also
engaging for members of the Committee to work on. He also noted that since we have
CLEs every month, we can use written materials from those CLEs or written summaries
of them as material for the newsletter, which may be easier to administer and more
practical. Ryan Frazier noted that some of the items in the newsletter may be less
useful, and we may want to reduce the content, perhaps removing practitioner
profiles. He also felt that last year it may have helped to have had hard deadlines for
submissions. David Castleberry suggested that we learn what section members really
want to read in the newsletter, such as events and decisions. Heather Thuet said that
the newsletter should encourage Section members to know what is happening and that
they are getting a good bang for their buck. George agreed, and felt that if members
really knew what was being taught in the Section's CLEs, they would be more likely to
attend and be more effective litigators. One of the things we are trying to do is make
more content available, and we can post bullet points of presentations to the web site
with links to the broader content. Rod Andreason said he believes most people take a
quick look at the size of such documents and decide whether they will read it or not,
and if it's too long they may not read it at all, so we should keep the content short and
typically in bullet points or quick blurbs. Judge Roth and others concurred.
d. Bench Books: David Castleberry stated that there was nothing new to report.
e. Law Student Relations: (No discussion).
5. CLE Reports
a. Recently-Completed CLE:
i. Q2 Rise & Shine: Michael Stahler reported that this CLE went well, was wellattended,
was videotaped, and he will follow up to make content available on
the Section’s web site.
ii. Q2 Quarterly: Michael Stahler reported that this CLE run by Joe Stolz went well,
the room was packed, the speaker could have used an additional half hour for
all video materials prepared.
iii. Summer Convention: Keith Call reported that this year's convention at
Snowmass was very good and worth attending. Judge Roth agreed, and said
that the CLEs by the Section were well-attended, the facilities were good, it was
good for families, and much cheaper. George Burbidge said that it would be
best to have written versions of the convention presentations of our Section
posted on the Section's web site and newsletter.
b. BYU Ethics Symposium Co-Sponsorship: George Burbidge reported that Committee
members had been very positive in deciding to support this CLE, and that the Section
should receive some tickets to it and have the Section’s banner placed at the CLE.
c. Evening with the Justice Court: (No discussion was held during the meeting, but George
Burbidge sent an email to Committee members later the same day, stating that several
justice court judges will be holding a CLE event on October 2, 2013, which will be
modeled after the Section’s “Evening with the Third District” CLE. The agenda includes
an introduction to Utah’s Justice Courts, ethical concerns for attorneys practicing in
justice courts, and a panel discussion. The Bar had asked if the Section would be willing
to sponsor this event by using its email list and paying for refreshments. Connie Howard
had said that the food would cost less than $500. She was also going to talk with the
Criminal Law Section to see if it was interested in co-sponsoring the event, which would
lower the cost. If we decided to sponsor the event, they would give our members a
discount on admission and we can hang our banner. George asked for votes by
Committee members via email as to whether the members favored this sponsorship.
The Committee voted unanimously in favor of this sponsorship).
d. Modest Means Panel: Keith Call said that the Modest Means Committee has asked that
we help sponsor a CLE to continue educating people on this program. Joanna Sagers
had been proposed, but the Panel wanted suggestions for a judge, a commissioner, and
one practitioner for a child custody discussion. Dan Steele proposed a psychologist.
Michael Stahler and Heather Thuet indicated that they knew several people who may be
experienced and/or interested. Judge Roth recommended Valerie Hale. There is not a
date for this CLE yet.
e. Guardian Ad Litem: Keith Call said that previously, the Section discussed generally
supporting CLE for this program. He said there were currently more than 50 signed up
as private guardians ad litem. He suggested that we provide a free training lunch on
GAL issues. If we provide the sponsorship, then the Guardian ad Litem’s office will
provide the training. Heather Thuet moved to support the GAL by paying for lunch for a
CLE, and Michael Stahler seconded. George inquired as to the cost of such lunches and
was told it was approximately $1,200 for 50 people. The Committee voted unanimously
in favor of the motion. The CLE is set for September 16.
f. Quarterly Lunches:
i. 2013 Q3: Ryan Frazier stated that he took on this assigment because it had
been dropped previously, but would work to get it set up for late third quarter
or early fourth quarter.
ii. 2013 Q4: Kent Holmberg said that the date for this CLE was October 29, 2013 at
noon, titled "View from Beyond the Bench," that he had one judge scheduled
and was working to get two more.
iii. 2014 Q1: Sade Turner agreed to take charge of this CLE.
iv. 2014 Q2: Kent Holmberg agreed to take charge of this CLE.
v. 2014 Q3: Michael Stahler agreed to take charge of this CLE.
vi. Sade Turner agreed to coordinate the quarterly luncheons during the year to
ensure that they were running well, being posted on the Section’s web site, etc.
g. Rise & Shine
i. 2013 Q3: Heather Thuet reported that this was ready to move forward, would
be free to Section members, has been posted on the web site, and postcards
advertising it would be sent shortly.
ii. 2014 Q4: George Burbidge reported that Shane Gosdis was on track to
complete this and George will follow up with him.
iii. 2014 Q1: George Burbidge agreed to take charge of this CLE
iv. 2014 Q2: Ryan Frazier agreed to take charge of this CLE
v. 2014 Q3: Kent Holmberg agreed to take charge of this CLE
h. Golf & CLE:
i. Utah County: Dan Steele reported that there was strong interest in this August
16, 2013 CLE in Utah County, regarded litigating trust and estate issues by Kent
Alderman and Russ Tippetts, with Dan moderating. It looks to be great event.
ii. Cache County: Dan Steele said that this event will occur September 13, it is well
under way, Christian Hansen has taken the lead in setting up presenters,
including Charles Thronson speaking on the result of a large malpractice case.
iii. Salt Lake County: Dan Steele reported that October 4th will be the first Salt
Lake County event at the new Ridge Golf Club, presenters will be Judge Dee
Benson, John Lund, and Judge Christiansen, and the CLE will be titled
"Evidentiary Boot Camp: Nuts and Bolts in Courtroom." Judge Benson wants to
reprise this event in St. George with same topic.
iv. Dan stated that he is happy to continue working on the Golf & CLE events, and
that he has not done this alone, but is working with many local people.
i. Fall Forum: George stated that he believed that this event was finalized for 2013.
George asked for volunteers to take charge of this program for 2014. Michael Stahler
said that he was willing to help, and that Jon Hafen may be as well.
j. Bar Conventions: George noted that we will need a representative to the meetings
preparing for the Spring Convention in St. George next year in attendance at the first
meeting. Christian Kesselring volunteered to continue in this role. Dan Steele also
offered to continue to help. George asked for the same regarding the annual
convention and Heather Thuet volunteered to represent the Section at those meetings.
k. Ski CLE Event: Michael Stahler discussed this as part of our attempt to expand into
different areas by having skiing events in other areas of the state. He noted that now is
the time to start planning this. Kent Holmberg said he was interested in
assisting. Michael said that if there was interest, he could investigate this further and
get more details.
6. Judicial Receptions:
a. First District: (No discussion).
b. Second District: George Burbidge said that Jen Tomchak is working on this.
c. Third District: David Castleberry noted that this event was scheduled for August 21, will
have four judges, feel free to submit questions for the panel.
d. Fourth District: George Burbidge noted that Isaac Paxman and Randy Jeffs had been
working on this, and George will follow up with them on this.
e. Fifth District: (No discussion).
f. Seventh District: (No discussion).
g. Eighth District: (No discussion).
7. Michael Stahler asked whether anyone had contacts at Utah Education Network or other some
group that could enable a televised simulcast of presentations done in Salt Lake County so that
other areas can view these presentations at gatherings at many locations throughout the
state. The interactive television would permit people at distant locations to ask questions to the
speaker as well as view the proceedings. Sade Turner said that she had a contact she could
reach out to on this. George recommended that Michael speak with Connie Howard, who has
looked at this as well. Several on the Committee opined that this could be a great benefit to the
Section’s members. Michael agreed to investigate this further.
8. Future Committee Meetings: George Burbidge reminded the Committee that the next
Committee meeting would take place on September 11, 2013.
The Meeting adjourned at 9:07 a.m.
For the Executive Committee
/s/ Rod N. Andreason