Executive Committee Meeting Minutes
Minutes for February 13, 2013
The executive committee members who were present were: Ryan Frazier, George Burbidge,
David Castleberry, Heather Thuet, Judge Toomey, Judge Roth, Nichole Farrell, Jonathan Hafen, Christian Kesselring, Heather Sneddon, Michael Stahler and Jenifer Tomchak. Bryan Pattison, Issac Paxman, and Christian Hansen appeared by phone.
The Executive Committee members who were excused were: Dan Steele, Patrick Tanner, Rod
Andreason, Kent Holmberg, and Shane Gosdis.
1. Secretary's Report: Minutes from the January meeting were presented and unanimously approved.
2. Treasurer’s report: David Castleberry reports that section has $70,000 in bank account.
3. Committee for GAL & Modest Means Report (fka Assistance for the Judiciary Subcommittee):
Jenifer Tomchak reports that the committee has determined that access to justice and reduction
of pro se parties are two specific areas where the section can assist the judiciary. The committee
proposes that the Section join forces with two existing programs to meet these needs: 1) Guardian ad
Litem (“GAL”) and 2) Modest Means program. The committee recommends three ways Section can
support the GAL and Modest Means programs: 1) recruit participants for both programs (members of
executive section could be responsible to recruit volunteers to sign up for programs); 2) educate bar
about programs through CLE’s; and 3) promote programs on Section’s website, newsletter, and on its
table at conventions. Keith Call reports that the Office of Guardian ad Litem provides attorneys to represent the best interests of children and teens in cases of alleged abuse, neglect and dependency in the juvenile courts and district courts. Effective the end of June 2013, funding to the Office of Guardian ad Litem will be cut and so no longer will be staffing for district court cases. In addition to the GAL attorneys employed by the State, the GAL Office also trains and certifies local attorneys to work in the Private Guardian ad Litem program (PGAL). It is proposed by committee that the Section promote and encourage section members to become PGAL through three prong approach (recruit, educate and promote). George Burbidge inquires what the focus of CLE events offered by Section would be. Keith Call responds it would be an introduction to the PGAL program and describe role a PGAL in various cases. To become a PGAL, there is 4 hour on-line training offered through the Utah Courts website as well as an application and background check. Jon recommends J. McHugh could come and talk about her involvement with GAL at CLE event. Christian Kesselring has started the process to become a PGAL and explained that one roadblock he has encountered is the necessity to get two letters of recommendation from family law lawyers. Jon Hafen suggests that Section invite family law section to participate in hosting CLE events. Jenifer Tomchak explains that the Modest Means Lawyer Referral Program is a program where volunteer attorneys are paired with individuals whose income precludes them from qualifying for other services. The Bar will be providing substantive training to lawyers willing to participate in the program to encourage attorneys and establish a resource of mentors. Jenifer Tomchak reports that there will be a Kickoff Event for Modest Means program with a 2 or 3 block of CLE that Section could support. Jen Tomchak recommends that Section also set recruitment goals of 50 lawyers for Modest Means program and that each executive member recruit 2 lawyers for GAL. J. Toomey recommends tabling a recruitment goal until Modest Means program is established. Keith Call and Jennifer Tomchak support Section setting recruitment goals now. Jon is concerned about magnitude of recruiting for two different programs simultaneously. Keith Call recommends GAL CLE be scheduled as stand- alone CLE and that it be free for Section members. Ryan Frazier voices his support. Jon Hafen suggests goal of hosting both CLE’s for GAL and Modest Means by April 2013. J. Toomey suggests that CLE be free for participants who agree to sign up for programs. Ryan Frazier supports the promoting prong and Nichole Farrell reports that the newsletter will feature a modest means article that she is assisting with and Keith Call is drafting an article on GAL. These articles will appear in the newsletter the first of March. Jon Hafen made a motion for Section to support Modest Means program including CLE events, promoting and support recruitment efforts. J. Toomey seconds, all in favor. Motion passes. Jon Hafen also made motion for Section to support GAL initiative including promoting, 1 CLE per quarter and support recruitment efforts. Keith Call seconded, all in favor. Keith Call agrees to spearhead CLE on GAL and will ask Craig Bunnell and J. McHugh to present.
4. Newsletter: Nicole Farrell reports that all submissions are due so that newsletter can be
published by March 1, 2013. Nichole still needs submissions. Nichole recommends that Section
send email blast of upcoming CLE’s on a monthly basis.
5. Opinion Watch: Heather Sneddon reports Joe Stulz and Troy Booher have agreed to provide the
case summaries they are already preparing. Heather Sneddon will oversee and select opinions which will be published on Section website and in newsletter.
6. Membership: Michael Stahler reports that Section recruited four new members at the last Section supported CLE. Megan Facer at the bar has been instrumental in identifying potential new members at CLE events.
a. Quarterly Lunches
i. 2013 Q1: February 6, 2013: The Foundations and The Forecasts: Principles Behind the Changes to Utah Court Rules and Trends for Future Changes. Ryan Frazier reports that 120 attendees at luncheon. 30 people signed up but did not attend. Ryan Frazier suggested to Megan Facer that quarterly lunches be overbooked to allow for no shows.
b. Rise & Shine
i. 2013 Q1: February 21, 2013: E-filing in State Court. Heather Thuet reports that Debra Moore will be presenter and that all three e-filing vendors will be present.
ii. 2013 Q2: Michael Stahler: Crafting Effective Written Discovery Under the New Rules will be held on April 24, 2013. Tristan Smith has agreed to present but Michael is still looking for a judge and a plaintiff attorney for panel. J. Roth recommends J. Shaughnessy. Jon Hafen recommends J. Conner and J. Kay and J. Mortensen.
c. Golf & CLE: Tabled until March meeting.
d. Spring Convention (March 14-16, 2013): New Rules Judicial Panel; E-Discovery and New Rules; E-Filing. Christian Kesselring questions whether Section should offer a token thank you gift. Jon Hafen hesitates about giving gifts, especially to judges. Heather Sneddon voices concern about establishing precedent. Discussion held and Section is not in favor of providing token gifts to speakers at CLE events.
e. Trial Academy: May 16 – 17, 2013. Jon Hafen reports that Day one is Nita hands on style “beginning” course. Attendance will be capped at 48 participants (8 groups of 6). Day two is lecture based with attendance capped at 125 attendees. Modern Trial Advocacy book will be offered at a subsidized price to attendees. Jon Hafen advised that there is the possibility of a key note speaker. Next year the Section’s Trial Academy will be incorporated as part of the Fall Forum. Michael Stahler explains that a few additional Section members will need to volunteer for day one and that a networking event will be held on the evening of May 16. Michael Stahler will prepare a write up to promote the event for the newsletter.
f. Summer Convention (July 17-20, 2013): Jon Hafen reports that the Section has secured good time slots for CLE’s.
g. Fall Forum (November 14-15, 2013): Jon Hafen and Heather Thuet will co-chair and
attend 2/21 planning meeting.
8. Chair’s Report: Section received letter from UDR requesting donation because the Bar has
discontinued funding. Discussion tabled until March meeting. Christian Kesselring will research
and present findings at next meeting.
9. Bench Books: Tabled until March meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 9:12 am.
Meeting minutes approved March 13, 2013.
For the Executive Committee
/s/ Heather L. Thuet