Executive Committee Meeting Minutes
Minutes for October 10, 2012
The executive committee members who were present or participating by telephone were: Ryan
Frazier, George Burbidge, David Castleberry, Rod Andreason, Patrick Burke, Nicole Farrell, Shane Gosdis, Kent Holmberg, Richard Kaplan, Alec McGinn, Michael Stahler, Dan Steele, Patrick Tanner, and Jenifer Tomchak, and Brad Masters. Keith Call, Christian Hansen, Bryan Pattison, Isaac Paxman, and Heather Sneddon appeared via phone.
Excused members included: Jon Hafen, Heather Thuet, Judge Toomey, and Judge Stephen Roth.
1. Secretary’s Report: The meeting got off to a late start at about 8:25 because of phone
problems. We hope that these will be resolved for the next meeting. Michael Stahler filled
in for Heather Thuet, who was preparing for a trial. Michael offered the minutes from the
last meeting and moved for their acceptance. Rod Andreason asked that his name be added
to the attendance list, especially considering that he did appear in the minutes with regards
to the scholarship offered by the Minority Bar Association. The minutes, with this
amendment, were accepted by the committee.
2. Treasurer’s Report: David sent around the latest financials that he was able to put together
the night before the meeting. He reported that the committee had a $350 bill for the
newsletter (four issues) that was also not included in the original projections. He has asked
that anyone who is involved in budgeted activities please submit at least a rough budget for
David’s review and addition into the final annual budget. With regards to the newsletter,
David noted that Nicole Farrell submitted a $1,500 budget for the newsletter. David said
that he had adjusted this line item to $1,500 to account for graphic design and other costs.
As the year progresses, David will track expenses to make sure that we hit our targets.
Again, if you are tasked with planning an event, please contact David to ask about a budget
for that event so that we can plan accordingly. There was some discussion about presenters
and expenses and Ryan said that in the past we have not generally had to pay speakers for
monthly luncheons and quarterly breakfasts. There can be larger events, however, where
we have to pay an honorarium or for travel costs and lodging, but these are larger events.
Ryan agreed that the committee should continue to plan how to spend money and have a
more concrete budget. Shane Gosdis asked if donations to charities (such as And Justice for
All) would be included in the budget. Both Ryan and David said that, at this point, such
donations had not been allocated and that we would need to address donations as a policy
issue (which had been raised at the September meeting). For now, donations are not a line
item in the budget. Regarding spending and budget policy, David urged the committee to
agree to a goal to spend down funds to be revenue neutral and to use the funds for events
and benefits to members with donations being a last resort. After a discussion regarding
how to proceed, the committee decided to set a tentative donation /charity budget at
$2,000 for the year. David and Ryan stated that the goal should be to adjust and set budget
now, and to make policy decisions regarding spending priorities so as to come to a final
3. Chair’s Report: Ryan used the opportunity to discuss his “task list” and goals for the year
that he was able to put together before the meeting. He passed around the task list with
assignments for each event that we wish to have for the next year. Ryan said that we need
to focus on areas in the state where our presence is not so strong—including Vernal,
Roosevelt, Moab, Logan (and Cache County in general), and Monticello. He said that we
have historically had a good presence in the Wasatch Front counties as well as in the
Washington and Iron County area in the south. The committee discussed having liaisons
with each county bar in order to help sponsor more events and to raise awareness. Anyone
with ideas as to events in these other areas, or more importantly, contacts in these
geographic areas please let Ryan know. He wants to make it his priority to expand offerings
throughout the state. Ryan also touched upon his other goal to strengthen our relationship
with judiciary and offer them assistance. He mentioned that the section in the past had
offered to network judges with unpaid interns from the local universities. While this is a
nice gesture, he said that the program ended because of concerns regarding conflicts of
interest and interns asking for permanent jobs (or help with finding work). Ryan said that
we may want to consider restarting this program and addressing these concerns. Ryan said
that he was going to meet with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and to offer our
assistance. To this end, the section survey on litigation concerns was almost done and Jon
Hafen reported, via Email, that he hoped to have it done later this week. One part of the
survey was going to address how expeditiously some cases move through each district (third
district in particular. Kent Holmberg reiterated that our committee could be a conduit
between the members and the judiciary. Ryan said that Judge Ryan Harris was eager to
hear about our feedback. Jon Hafen and Ryan were going to send the survey out with
introductory Email. Jon Hafen reported that Judge Lindberg had completed a “dry run” of
the survey and offered input that helped make survey better. The survey will be sent out
to members and they will have one week to complete it.
4. NITA Academy Discussion: Jon Hafen, who was absent because of an opposition brief,
reported that he had not gotten a final estimate regarding the expenses for a NITA Trial
Academy. Ryan noted that Jon Hafen was still in the process of getting information. Ryan
suggested that we have a small committee work in order to plan this event and Nicole,
Heather Sneddon, and Michael volunteered for this committee. George asked the
committee for possible dates as to this event and Rod suggested that it might be a good
idea to have the event in May/June right before CLE reporting is due. Ryan also suggested
that the winter of 2013-2014 could also be a target. Considering that Jon was absent, the
committee tabled any further discussion on this topic.
5. Discussion about the Government Relations Committee for the Bar: George brought up
this issue and it was discussed that the Bar usually assigns practitioner to serve as the official
liaison with the legislature on behalf of the Bar. It was not known who will be serving as the liaison this year but members were reminded that while they can testify and lobby the legislature, one needs to be careful in going to legislature and to make it clear as to who you represent.
6. CLE Update: A bulk of the meeting involved a discussion of the “Task List” and plans for
CLEs and other events for the upcoming year.
a. Quarterly Lunches: Ryan referred to the task list, which listed assignments for the
Rise and Shine and Lunch CLEs. Please refer to that sheet for more information.
Keith mentioned that the CLE for November 12th was ready to go and that he was
going to meet with the panelists the Friday before and to handle other logistics.
b. Judicial Receptions: The committee discussed co-sponsoring special meet and greet
“evenings” with each of the district courts in order to acquaint attorneys with the
assigned Judges. Kent Holmberg suggested that we use our benchbook
contacts/process as a means of organizing such events. With regards to
benchbooks, if anyone is interested in helping, please contact David Castleberry. It
was mentioned that a recent county bar association evening in the Second District
went very well. As a result, it was suggested that we consider stepping up efforts to
co-sponsor such evenings with each local bar association. George mentioned that
the Second District coordinated with the local county bar association to get the
books completed. This method worked well and he suggested that we reach out
with other local bars.
c. BYU Law Symposium and Alumni Events: At this point, the committee discussed
sponsoring the BYU symposium that usually takes place around the time of
homecoming. Keith, a BYU alum, offered to assist with the 2013 event. With
regards to budgeting, it was mentioned that we offered $500 to co-sponsor the
2011 event. Rod Andreason, the BYU alum co-chair, volunteered to assist as well
and to serve as a contact with BYU alum. Ryan suggested that we need to get out
information on this event as soon as possible through the website and other means.
d. Golf & CLE: Dan reported that the next event was slated for October 18, 2012 at
Sand Hollow. With regards to the coming year, Dan is happy to continue to serve as
chair of this committee and Ryan tentatively assigned folks to help Dan based on
who he thought had helped before. Rick Kaplan had spoken at the SLC one. Shane
suggested that instead of doing a combination CLE/Golf event, that the committee
just sponsors a networking event. For budgeting purposes, the two we’ve done so
far has come in with losses being under $2,000. Dan said that he usually budgets
$4-5,000 annually and that the St. George is the toughest event because the course
is so expensive. He said that a $6,000 budget is fine. There was discussion about
having four events next year. He also suggested that in general folks do the budget
projections up front and figure out the costs in order to help the committee set an
appropriate budget. Nicole suggested that the committee consider other activities
such as skiing. The committee will consider this idea.
e. Fall Forum 2012 & Trial Seminar, November : Jon Hafen and Patrick Tanner are
dealing with this event and it is already noticed and ready.
f. Southern Utah Federal Law Symposium, May 9-11, 2013 in St George. This is a
great event and it was noted that J. Steward, J. Benson, and J. Thurman will present
(Jon Hafen). Bryan Pattison volunteered to help.
g. Spring Convention (March 15-17, 2013): Christian Kesselring volunteered to serve
as the liaison. The next planning meeting was scheduled for the next week. There
is a need for keynotes and breakout topics and some topics included the new
discovery under the new civil rules, the new E-Filing, and maybe having Judges from
the Fifth District do a presentation. Dan Steele suggested a contact that had
experience with legislative history and is in St. George.
h. Summer/Annual Convention: Jon Hafen is serving as the liaison reported via Email
that he had attended planning meeting. The Litigation Section has at least two
hours. One possible workshop would be to have a presentation on discovery using
Symantec’s counsel. Jon will report out next month as to specifics. Since he was
not present, further discussion was tabled. This event is scheduled to take place at
i. 2013 Fall Forum: Shane Gosdis volunteered to be the liaison for the planning
j. Other CLE Concerns: It was noted that our last Luncheon filled up in two days. Even
with the overflow we had 30 people on phone and the Bar videotaped it for folks to
use later. There is no doubt that there is a high demand for our events and that we
are very successful in getting folks to attend. After the CLE there was good feedback
from folks about the discussion and it was noted that we had enough material to go
for another 90 minutes. It was also suggested that have a follow up on that topic.
The concern is that we may become a victim of our own success because we need to
figure out how to accommodate bigger crowds. Should we use a waiting list? Do
we overbook? What should we do to fit more folks? Jen said that the Bar
suggested that we should do our CLE’s classroom style and serve box lunches. John
did not think it was a good approach because a classroom approach will not have
right ambience. Ryan asked that if we can only accommodate 120 people, but if we
are getting 200-300 requests, do we do a two-day spread? Do we need another
venue? Shane asked if we should consider using a larger venue such as the Little
America. Ultimately the issue was tabled for further discussion
7. Newsletter: The committee asked Nicole Farrell to serve this year as the chair/editor of the
newsletter and she accepted. She noted that she was working on the next issue and that
she needed Ryan’s message, which he assured us was nearly done.
a. Advertising: this was briefly discussed in order to generate some revenue.
b. Judicial Profiles: It was asked if former contributor Emily Smith still intended to be
on the committee and/or was available to contribute such judicial profiles. It was
noted that Ray Quinney has not been very active in the section lately. Ryan said he
would try to see if anyone from that firm was interested in participating.
c. Nicole suggested that we combine 3rd and 4th quarter Newsletters and then bump
assignments back one edition. She said that she needs volunteers for other articles.
Please contact you if you can help her. George, David, and Keith volunteered to
contribute. Kent offered to do a practitioner profile. Despite these offers, Nicole
noted that she always needs substantive articles. Please contact her if you can help.
It was also suggested that previous and current issues of the newsletters be added
onto website. Shane said he would follow up with our web guru to do this and
noted that we need to put some fresh material on the site.
8. Law Student Relations Committee: Isaac said he will chair committee. Nicholas Caine and
Brad Masters also volunteered to assist him. The committee also discussed getting more
student involvement with section events and possibly co-sponsoring a pizza party with the
young lawyer division/mentor program
9. Website Committee: Shane issued a report sent to other folks. In the interest of time, we
tabled the full discussion of the report until the next meeting. Members were encouraged
to circulate concerns via Email and to complete the survey that the Jon Hafen had recently
10. Membership Committee: Kent said that the committee would be meeting to discuss
specific ideas, but at the very least we need we should find the two section banners and
make sure that they are at each event that we sponsor. For future reference, the
Committee’s banners are in SLC (Ryan’s office) and St. George. Michael also suggested that
we have at least one member from the section at the event(s) with literature and
application forms for our section. Kent mentioned that we should have a member at each
quarterly lunch/rise and shine sitting at the registration table suggesting that folks not just
pay for the CLE but pay the extra few dollars for a full membership.
11. Other Concerns/New Business: Jen reported to the Committee that Katherine Hoskins from
Weber County is doing E-filing seminar and wants co-sponsorship. Kent moved to donate
$125, Patrick seconded. The amount was approved unanimously. Kent suggested that we
have our banner hung at the event.
George moved to adjourn; Ryan seconded. The meeting concluded at approximately 9:36am.
Next Meeting: November 14, 2012 at 8:00 a.m. in the Utah Law and Justice Center.