Executive Committee Meeting Minutes
Minutes for October 9, 2013
Litigation Section Executive Committee Meeting Minutes
Present: George Burbidge, David Castleberry, Rod Andreason, Hon. Stephen Roth, Gregory
Gunn, Jon Hafen, Kent Holmberg, Jess Krannich, Michael Stahler, Dan Steele, Joe
Stultz, and Jenifer Tomchak.
By Phone: Hon. Kate Toomey, Keith Call, Ryan Frazier, and Amber Masters.
Excused: Heather Thuet, Patrick Burt, Shane Gosdis, Kelly Nash, Bryan Pattison, Heather
Sneddon, and Sade Turner.
1. Chair's Report: George Burbidge announced that long-term Committee member Judge Lindberg
was resigning from the Committee due to consistent conflicts she is having in attending
Committee meetings due to her new criminal court calendar. Jon Hafen moved to authorize the
Chair to spend $100 on a plaque for Judge Lindberg to be presented at an official gathering of
the Section to recognize her for her many years of service to the Section and the Committee. The
motion was seconded by several and the vote was unanimous in favor. Jon also asked Judges
Toomey and Roth if they could suggest potential trial court judges to take Judge Lindberg's place
on the Committee, noting the valuable role that judges play in the Committee. Judge Roth and
Judge Toomey stated that they were willing to do so and would speak with potential nominees
and provide that information to George. George stated that he would follow up with them on
2. Secretary's Report: Rod Andreason presented draft minutes from the September 11, 2013
meeting. Michael Stahler moved to approve the minutes, seconded by David Castleberry, and
the Committee unanimously approved the draft minutes.
3. Treasurer's Report: In advance of this meeting, Heather Thuet provided a printout of the
August 2013 financials and copies of related receipts. Copies of those items were also
presented at the meeting. It was noted that the current financial reports appear to state a
lower balance than what is typical for the Section this time of year. Judge Toomey
recommended that Heather compare this year's financial report with that of former years to
determine if there is a difference and if so, the causes for any such difference. George stated
that he would ask Heather to do this. Later in the meeting, David Castleberry stated that during
the meeting, he had received an email from the Bar, stating that the Section's membership dues
would be deposited into the Section's account later this month, which is likely the reason that
the level of funds currently appears lower than usual for this time of year.
4. Committee Reports:
a. Membership: Kent stated that there was no new report, but he intended to obtain
membership data to use in providing a more detailed report at our next meeting.
b. Technology: Shane Gosdis was excused from the meeting. Jon Hafen stated that many
of our events are not on the web site's calendar. Dan Steele recommended that any
person promoting an event email both Summer Shumway and the webmaster. George
noted that the quarterly luncheon scheduled for later this month was not on the site.
Kent Holmberg, who is in charge of that luncheon, said he would follow up to ensure
that this was on the web site.
c. Newsletter: George announced that Kelly Nash has volunteered to assist with the
Section's newsletter. George indicated that he was close to tears at receiving Kelly's
offer. George will work with Kelly further to give him the background and information
needed to do this task.
d. Bench Books: George indicated that Patrick Burt and Sade Turner had agreed to assist
with this assignment. David Castleberry stated that new member Jess Krannich had also
volunteered to assist with this.
e. Law Student Relations: Jenifer Tomchak stated that Jess Hoffberger at the University of
Utah had responded that now was not the best time for an event with law students. He
recommended doing such an event in January or February. Jenifer recommended that
some information sheet be sent to graduating students to remind them of their Section
membership and identify benefits of membership. Other Committee members agreed.
Greg Gunn and Amber Masters did not have any specific reports regarding law student
relations items at either the University of Utah or Brigham Young University,
5. CLE Reports
a. Recently-Completed CLE:
i. Dan Steele reported that 35 people attended the CLE & Golf in Cache County,
which was a good number for the event, and the information provided was
great for all who attended.
ii. Dan Steele also reported that the CLE & Golf in Salt Lake County, "Evidentiary
Boot Camp," was one of the best events ever for golf, the panel was excellent,
although unfortunately none were able to address their subjects fully. 70
persons attended, but due to the cold weather, only 25 actually played golf. He
noted that the panel presenters have a vast amount of trial experience,
including at least one who had litigated in over 100 trials. Dan said that he
would have the materials from the presentation uploaded to the Section's web
site. Jon Hafen said that it would be best to have pictures and a statement
about this in even in the newsletter.
iii. Regarding the Section's recent PGAL Sponsorship, Keith Call said that the
presentation was excellent, the Guardian ad Litem's office was supportive and
pleased with the turnout. Keith also stated that he would like the Section to
sponsor a similar event in the Eighth District with lunch and the rental for the
location, which he may be able to obtain without charge. Jon Hafen stated that
it was a great idea and opportunity for the Section to expand its support and
influence into that part of the State. Keith moved that the Section support that
event in an amount up to $1,000. After discussion, Keith's motion was seconded
and approved unanimously.
iv. The BYU Ethics Symposium Co-Sponsorship was noted on the agenda with no
v. The Evening with the Justice Court Sponsorship was noted on the agenda with
no specific report.
vi. Regarding the recent quarterly luncheon, "Best Practices for Obtaining TROs,
Injunctions," Jon Hafen stated that an emergency came up for Ryan Frazier so
he agreed to moderate the panel, it provided excellent instruction, and the
panel was well-prepared. The response for the event was enthusiastic. George
stated that it had been mistakenly overbooked, the final 60 signees were told it
was too full. Ryan Frazier and Metra had discussed other locations for holding
the CLE, such as Little America, but the difference in food cost and venue rental
would have been an additional $5,000. The Committee discussed whether it
was better to have a larger venue to accommodate more members although at
greater expense, or keep the same venue and expense. Dan Steele
recommended that we consider what the Bar charges and look at other
locations, noting parking problems at the Bar's offices. Kent Holmberg said that
it was not always bad to have CLEs popular enough that we need to turn people
away. However, Kent volunteered to call and attempt to identify other
potential venues for our quarterly luncheons. By email, Metra stated that since
we have so many attend, maybe we can save money by not sending postcards.
Several agreed. Jon said that postcards are valuable for more senior attorneys
and more likely to be viewed by all attorneys and not just deleted as spam
email. He recommended that the Section continue to send postcards. Dan
Steele said that we should consider using a different service to send postcards
than the Bar, which may not be as cheap as alternatives. Rod Andreason
recommended that in an annual survey at the end of the year, we ask Section
members whether postcards are important to them I receiving information
about Section CLEs. Judge Toomey moved to eliminate postcards altogether.
There was no second to the motion. George stated that we should continue to
investigate this, including through survey to our members.
b. Modest Means Panel: Jenifer Tomchak said that the Modest Means Committee had
assembled a great panel, the topic was timely, the new private guardians ad litem had
been invited, the event would be videotaped for those who couldn't attend, and a
reception will be held afterward that all should attend even if they do not attend the
c. Quarterly Lunches:
i. 2013 Q4: Kent Holmberg stated that this presentation was ready to proceed on
October 29, 2013.
ii. 2014 Q1: (Turner) (no discussion)
iii. 2014 Q2: (Holmberg) (no discussion)
iv. 2014 Q3: (Stahler) (no discussion)
d. Rise & Shine
i. 2014 Q4: This event is scheduled for December 11, 2013, the morning of our
December Committee meeting. George confirmed that the Committee would
be able to enter the building early for its December Committee meeting and
have it begin at 7:15 a.m., as the Committee had previously voted to do.
ii. 2014 Q1: (Burbidge) (no discussion)
iii. 2014 Q2: (Frazier) (no discussion)
iv. 2014 Q3: (Holmberg) (no discussion)
e. Golf & CLE: Dan Steele said that he and the majority of the panel for the Salt Lake
County Golf & CLE plan to reprise that same presentation for a similar event in St.
George. **On October 22-23, 2013, Dan sent a motion by email that the Section
reimburse $325 per presenter at the St. George event for a total cost of $975. Dan's
motion was forwarded to all listed members of the Executive Committee. Judge
Toomey noted that the speakers are generously donating a great deal of time to this,
considering the travel time, and that we ought not require them to contribute out-ofpocket
funds, too. She further stated that in the future she thinks we should give
careful consideration to whether the Section wants to spend this much money on a
presentation to an audience this size. After discussion and comments by the
Committee, Dan's motion was unanimously approved.
f. Fall Forum: Jon Hafen said that the Fall Forum would provide great information and
instruction, the specifics of which are set forth on the Section's web site.
g. Bar Conventions: Jon Hafen indicated that the CLE advisory committee has asked for
input on the Bar's conventions, including location. Jon asked for input as to whether a
survey should be sent to Section members seeking information regarding what they
would like in the Bar's conventions. A particular question is whether the conventions
need a track for younger lawyers, and whether we should send a survey to younger
attorneys. The Committee asked what would be unique to young lawyers in the survey
and suggested that the Young Lawyers Division be asked about this as well. It was noted
that while Snowmass was not appealing to all attorneys, it may have been better
attended by younger attorneys than in previous annual conventions. The Advisory
Committee wanted to know the Section's input regarding this because the Section
provides many of the Bar conventions' attendees, and the Litigation Track of the
conventions are well-attended. Jon mentioned the suggestion that younger lawyers
attend a CLE that is about CLEs and their uses and purposes.
h. Ski CLE Event: Michael Stahler stated that he and Kent Holmberg talked to four ski
resorts in the Salt Lake County regarding the potential to host this event. He stated that
prices and enthusiasm from the resorts varied. The best possibility they identified was
at Brighton Ski Resort, running from 12:30-9:00 pm. Brighton has 2 room options, one
for 30 and another for 300. Prices range from $73-93 for a meal and skiing. Michael
and Kent are considering doing a dry run for this event in Salt Lake County before going
to other areas, such as Park City. They are considering having this event on a Friday in
late January or early February, with ethics a potential topic. They propose that the
Section subsidize half of the cost to get the price for attendees to around $45. One
stipulation is that Brighton needs to have at least 25 attendees. If this event is
successful, the Section could do a second event in March. Kent moved that the Section
subsidize this event in the amount of $50 per person for up to 50 people. Dan Steele
seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.
6. E-Filing Presentation: Debra Moore and Ron Bowmaster provided to the Committee a
presentation regarding electronic filing in state court.
a. Debra provided three informational items on signatures. First, the court wanted the
traditional signature block at end of proposed orders to be replaced with a centered
text that says "end of order" with a line extending to each side (located under
"approved as to form" lines for opposing counsel). Second, when counsel filing a
document in court place the electronic signatures of other persons on the document,
such as opposing counsel, they should also place the words "signed with permission by"
and then their own name beneath the signature. More importantly, they should
document and keep some proof of the other persons giving permission to do so,
whether it be a confirming email or at least a note to the file. If the signature is of a
non-lawyer, judges are asking that you keep the original signed document in your file.
Such proof of permission to electronically sign on another's behalf should be kept
through all appellate stages. Third, Ms. Moore wanted to clarify the apparent confusion
about what it means when a judge declines to sign an order submitted with a motion.
Such does not mean that the judge has made a decision rejecting such order on the
merits, only that the court is declining to sign the proposed order at that time. For
many motions, attorneys need not even submit a proposed order at the time of filing
the first motion. In fact, most judges do not like to receive proposed orders with the
filing of a motion unless it is an ex parte or expedited motion, which still require a
proposed order and notice to submit. She indicated that the court was considering
proposing a rule change to remove the suggestion of submitting proposed orders with
b. Ms. Moore also asked for input on whether attorneys feel like they are receiving too
many notices when they e-file documents. Dan Steele and Joe Stultz said they felt that
they were receiving too many notices, and that the notice attaching the PDF of the final
filing was the most valuable. Ms. Moore stated that it was hard to combine notices
together, since they announced different events that once seemed further apart. She
said that some of the notices are helpful in assisting the filer in identifying persons who
are not receiving electronic notices of filings. She reminded the Committee that some
e-filing vendors allow you to request that some notices be turned off. She stated that
different vendors provide different interfaces, and attorneys may want to check the
notices and interface of the different vendors to compare.
7. Judicial Receptions: There was no discussion regarding judicial receptions at this meeting.
8. Remote Conferencing: Michael Stahler said that Connie would come to our November meeting
to explain the Bar's remote conferencing options.
9. Social Events: Heather Sneddon was excused, but indicated via email that she had spoken with
several regarding possible events but did not have any specific suggestions to date. She will
continue to investigate this.
10. Future Committee Meetings: George Burbidge reminded the Committee that the next
Committee meeting would take place on November 13, 2013.
The Meeting adjourned at 9:12 a.m.
For the Executive Committee
/s/ Rod N. Andreason