Executive Committee Meeting Minutes
Minutes for January 8, 2014
Litigation Section Executive Committee Meeting Minutes
Present: George Burbidge, David Castleberry, Heather Thuet, Rod Andreason, Hon. Stephen
Roth, Hon. Kate Toomey, Gregory Gunn, Kent Holmberg, Christian Kesselring, Jess
Krannich, Heather Sneddon, and Michael Stahler.
By Phone: Ryan Frazier, Jenifer Tomchak, and Sade Turner.
Excused: Patrick Burt, Keith Call, Shane Gosdis, Jon Hafen, and Bryan Pattison.
1. Chair's Report: George Burbidge reported that the Salt Lake District Attorney's office informed
him that it is looking for an entry level associate. George said that he didn't know if we had
forwarded job openings before and thought that we should discuss doing it. Heather noted that
she appreciated similar informative reports from the Women's Law Forum. Judge Roth
suggested that we could have a link on the web site for these. The Committee discussed how to
promote this. Michael Stahler moved to put this particular one in the newsletter and invite
additional postings in the future and discuss whether to have a link or some other way to
advertise job openings. Rod Andreason suggested that for such job postings to be effective,
they would need to propogated in an immediate medium, such as email blasts or potentially on
the Section's site.
2. Chair-Elect's Report: . . . . After this meeting occurred, David Castleberry emailed the
Committee, stating that he is the representative from the Section on the Government Relations
Committee for the Utah State Bar, which meets weekly and discusses proposed legislation. That
Committee has been asked to give its thoughts and analysis of a bill regarding confessions of
judgments that was proposed last year and that may be re-introduced during this legislative
session. David stated that, in essence, the proposed bill attempts to do away with confessions
of judgment and requires an action to be filed to enforce an agreed upon judgment. From what
David was told, the Section took a position against this proposed bill last year. David indicated
that judgments by confessions can be helpful tools in settlements, and can help reduce court
time and attorney expenses. David included a link of the proposed bill and asked for any
thoughts from the Committee on the proposed bill. Dan Steele, Keith Call, Christian Kesselring,
and David Castleberry emailed a number of thoughts regarding the proposed bill. Those
persons agreed that the bill should at least be amended, some indicated that the Section should
vote against it. No concensus was reached or motion made.
3. Secretary's Report: In advance of the meeting, Rod Andreason sent draft minutes from the
Committee's meetings held on November 9 and (via email) on December 11, 2013. Michael
Stahler moved to approve the minutes for both meetings, seconded by Judge Roth. The
Committee unanimously approved the draft minutes from both meetings.
4. Treasurer's Report: Heather Thuet discussed the Sectionís past income and expenses. Heather
noted that the Section has spent considerable amount, but still ended the year in the
black. Heather said that based on our forecasted spending on events this coming year, spending
will be higher than last year, with a small projected loss. Even considering that, she projects that
we will still end the year with a positive balance remaining in the Sectionís account. George
stated that Heather's budget was very helpful, and that our meeting sizes are increasing as the
number of our Section members and their corresponding dues increase.
5. Committee Reports:
a. Membership: There was no particular report regarding this Committee.
a. Technology: Shane Gosdis was excused from the meeting, but emailed in advance that
he met with Summer Shumway to discuss adding photos and videos, including of CLEs,
to the Section's website. Summer said that the Bar can probably do it in-house,
depending on exactly what we want. She also said one of the smaller sections of the Bar
recently renovated its website (which she said we might need to do) and used a third
party, which is an option for our Section as well if we want to make more extensive
changes. Shane recommended that, for the time being, the Committee have Summer
move forward with adding photos and videos to the current site and then if there is an
appetite for more significant changes we can discuss. At the meeting, George stated
that he would call Shane and get further clarification on this, including limited access to
members and putting old CLEs on the web site. Heather Thuet said that it might make
sense to have outside vendors to help. David Castleberry suggested we find out how
the Bar does this. George said that Connie would be the most helpful person to advise
on this, as well as Lincoln Mead. Michael Stahler noted that Committee members who
are putting on CLEs need to actually request that our digital camera be brought to the
CLE. The members discussed how to work with the Bar in providing recorded CLEs to
members at discounted rate. Section members could have a special log-in that provides
them with free access to such CLEs. Sade Turner stated that she would talk with the Bar
more about these issues.
b. Newsletter: There was no specific report regarding this Committee.
c. Bench Books: Jess Krannich said that substantial revisions to the questionnaire for
judges were made with input from David Castleberry. The Committee will seek input
from more judges, and is also looking at doing the same for commissioners. The
Committee has received inquiries from judges wanting to update their bench books,
told those judges that a new questionnaire would be out next week, and asked that the
judges wait until they receive the new questionnaire to update their bench books.
George mentioned that the Salt Lake County Bar Association was providing judicial
profiles, and we could put links on our web site to give our members information
further on judges. Jess said that it was a great idea, he and Sade Turner agreed to be
the contact persons for this.
a. Law Student Relations: Jenifer Tomchak said that she was about to set a date for our
law student reception but learned that the FBA had a similar event close to the same
time. After discussing this with them, agreed that FBA would have their event in March.
Jenifer proposed January 30, and February 6 and 13. The reason she put it on Thursday
night is due to schedule of the bar review at the SJ Quinney Law School. She is looking
at 5:00-8:00 pm, at Squatters or Maxwell's, leaning toward Squatter's since the FBA is
doing their event at Maxwell's, although Maxwell's may be cheaper. Jenifer moved for a
budget of $1,600 to cover drinks minimum and potential additional costs. Michael
Stahler seconded the motion. The voting in favor was unanimous. Jenifer stated that if
February 13 is available, she will book that date. . . . On February 4, Jenifer sent an
email following up on this discussion, stating that this event was booked for Squatters
Pub Brewery, 147 West Broadway, Salt Lake City. Heavy appetizers and drink tickets are
available for the first fifty people to show up. She invited the Committee to come
mingle with law students eager to learn about the Litigation Section and to meet some
of its members.
6. CLE Reports:
a. Recently-Completed CLEs:
i. Regarding the Fall Forum in November, Michael Stahler reported that the initial
presentations were packed, the attendance trailed off in subsequent meetings,
but it was generally very well-done and the participants enjoyed the event.
ii. Regarding the 2013 Q4 Rise & Shine with Chief Justice Durrant, George Burbidge
stated that the event was well-attended and provided an excellent discussion
regarding threats to judicial independence.
b. Quarterly Lunches:
i. 2014 Q1: Sade Turner said that this luncheon will be on February 18, 19, or 20
regarding future Medicare/Medicaid set-asides. A person from the Garretson
Group will speak on this subject. . . . After the meeting, Sade emailed the
Committee, stating that this CLE will be held on Thursday, February 20, 2014 at
noon. John V. Cattie, Esq. from Garretson Resolution Group will be our
presenter. She reported that the Law and Justice Center is completely booked
on that date and proposed either the Alta Club or the Episcopal Church Center
located at 75 South 200 East, where the Section can host up to 148 people and
the cost is approximately $16-$18 per person. She said that the Section can
accommodate the usual 130 attendees at the Episcopal Church Center and keep
the cost the same as what it would be if it were at the Law and Justice Center.
Accordingly, Sade moved that the Section have this event at the Episcopal
Church to keep the cost the same and not have to turn any attendees away. All
persons responding via email to Sade voted in favor of her motion. George then
informed Sade that her motion had been approved.
ii. 2014 Q2: (Holmberg) Kent Holmberg said he was considering a discussion of
expert witness disclosures, including which need to be made and in what order.
Michael Stahler agreed with this suggestion, stating that the difference between
disclosed and retained experts needed to be discussed. Kent suggested three
judges instead of plaintiff's and defense lawyers. Judge Roth said that this has
certainly not gone up to the Court of Appeals, but also not a big issue for district
court judges yet. This CLE is planned for the Marriott City Creek.
i. 2014 Q3: Michael Stahler stated that he was keeping with the theme he
previously discussed of Rule 30(b)(6) depositions. He stated that he was open
to suggestions, but felt that even the basic aspects of such depositions need to
be taught more clearly.
c. Rise & Shine
i. 2014 Q1: George Burbidge stated that he has made an inquiry with Judge
Parrish's office and will have more to report at our next meeting.
ii. 2014 Q2: Ryan Frazier said he was thinking of doing this in May, but the subject
matter and presenters were not yet confirmed.
iii. 2014 Q3: (Holmberg) (no discussion)
d. Spring Convention 2014: George stated that since he has not heard anything further
regarding this, he assumes that it is proceeding forward appropriately.
e. Annual Convention 2014: Heather Thuet stated that the persons interested in doing
presentations came and provided two-minute presentations, of which there was a wide
variety. She felt that the Section would not be able to seek its typical time slots for this
f. Ski & CLE: Michael Stahler said that he was working with Connie to send out postcards
for this event today. George said that the event was on the calendar. Michael said that
someone from OPC is coming, and law students will role play ethical issues. Skiing is
from 12:30-9:00 pm so that there are flexible times for attendees. The cost is $35 for
the CLE and dinner, $85 for skiing too, non-Section members have a higher cost.
Brighton has been excellent to work with. Kent Holmberg said that a station for hot
chocolate will be set up and the menu is set. The Sectionís banner will be set up for
people to meet. Members of the Committee are encouraged to come. There will be
bright-colored name tags to use to get to know people. An email is also being sent out
to announce this. Some have asked if they can bring another person, which we may be
able to make that available at cost. Rentals are available, but the Section won't get
involved with that.
g. PGAL: Keith Call was excused from the meeting, but informed the Committee via email
before the meeting that we have a Private Guardian ad Litem CLE scheduled at the
Vernal City Offices on January 31. This is to encourage lawyers in the Uintah Basin to
sign up as PGALs. Judge McClellan will kick off the CLE with a few remarks. Elizabeth
Knight of the Office of Guardian ad Litem will provide substantive training and
recruiting. Lunch will be provided, which we hope will help bring people in. Keith has
also enlisted the help of Jed Labrum, Uintah County Bar President, to help recruit
people. Keith anticipates staying well within the $1,000 budget the Committee allotted
7. Social Events: Heather Sneddon reported that she has met with representatives of the Women
Lawyers of Utah, who said that they were willing and interested to be involved. Caputo's should
be able to accommodate people starting at 5:30. Heather's idea is to offer a tasting class and a
CLE. Tasting class often is $25 per person. Heather is investigating topics and speakers,
considering discussing how to be a successful female litigator. Peggy Tomsic was suggested as a
great option for this. Heather is thinking of the event occurring this Spring. Judge Toomey, Juli
Blanch, and Linda Jones were also proposed as good people to do this. Heather is thinking of
starting with a CLE, then having a short break, then food tasting. Michael noted that Caputo's
often donates money from merchandise purchased there.
8. Judicial Receptions: Jenifer Tomchak reported that she had a date for the Davis County
reception, but was having problems getting a response from the co-sponsor, the Davis County
Bar. The first event is set for January 16 with district court judges in Farmington; that is up on
the web site with the location to be determined, but she needs to confirm that with the cosponsor.
Jenifer stated that although it has been nice to have these joint events, it seems like
there is a lot of delay in setting them up, and that next year, the Committee should consider
either hosting its own separate event or seeing whether we can take a bigger role in planning it.
. . . After the meeting, Jenifer emailed the Committee, stating that she received a text
confirming that the Reception with the Second District Court Judges is taking place on January
16, 12:00 p.m., at the Oakridge Country Club, 1492 Shepard Lane, Farmington, UT 84025. It is
free to members of the Litigation Section. She invited all Committee members to attend.
Subsequently, she forwarded an email from the Davis County Bar, notifying them of this event,
at a cost of $5.00 for Davis County Bar Members and Litigation Section Members or $15.00 for
non-members. The Chair further stated that the Meet and Greet with the Justice Court Judges
will be on February 28 from 12:00-1:30 pm at the Oakridge Country Club. The cost will be $5.00
for Davis County Bar Members and Litigation Section Members or $15.00 for non-members.
9. Future Committee Meetings: George Burbidge reminded the Committee that the next
Committee meeting would take place on February 12, 2014. Michael Stahler moved to adjourn
the meeting, seconded by several, and voted for unanimously.
The Meeting adjourned at @9:20 a.m.
For the Executive Committee
/s/ Rod N. Andreason