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Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

Minutes for April 14, 2010

Litigation Section Executive Committee
Minutes for April 14, 2010
The Executive Committee of the Litigation Section met on Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at 8:00 a.m. at the Utah Law & Justice Center in Salt Lake City.
Executive Committee members present or participating by telephone were:
• George Burbidge
• Patrick Burt
• Keith Call
• David Castleberry
• Nicole Farrell
• Ryan Frazier
• Jon Hafen
• Kent Holmberg
• Randall Jeffs
• Wayne Klein
• Elaina Maragakis
• Isaac Paxman
• Dan Steele
• Patrick Tanner
Executive Committee members excused were:
• Sammi Anderson
• Thomas Boyle
• Ryan Harris
Christian Clinger, Bar Commissioner, also attended.
1. Minutes: Minutes of the March 10, 2010 meeting were reviewed and approved as modified.
2. Treasurer’s Report: Ryan Frazier provided financial reports for the Section for February, 2010.
3. Chair’s Report:
a. Election procedures: Wayne Klein reported that the election procedures for officers in our section bylaws are ambiguous, often resulting in the election of people who miss the meeting. Last year we tried a new approach – identify people who were interested in serving as officers at the May meeting so that we could have an election at the June meeting. Discussion. A motion was made that members of the executive committee who are interested in serving as officers or who wish to nominate someone should contact Wayne before the May executive committee meeting. At the May meeting Wayne will announce who has been nominated and we can have an election in June. The motion was seconded and all voted in favor of the motion.
b. Section Dues: Dan Steele reported that he has followed up with Connie to inquire about whether the Bar will begin assessing our section a fee for every section member, including memberships where we do not charge a fee. The Bar has not made a final decision on this issue. We need to know in order to decide how much our section dues will be for the upcoming year. We will defer our decision on dues for another month.
c. And Justice For All: Wayne Klein reported we received a thank you letter from And Justice For All for our contribution to that program.
d. Volunteers for Members of the Military: Wayne Klein reported that our section has been asked to help in situations where members of the military serving overseas are facing 1
default judgments in civil cases. There will be a CLE program on this topic on April 23, 2010.
e. Court Volunteers Program Status: Wayne Klein reported that since our last meeting two more volunteers have been approved bringing the total to nine or ten. The program is a success.
f. Bar CLE for Unemployed Lawyers: Wayne Klein reported that the Bar held a CLE program for unemployed lawyers on April 9, 2010. This event was very well attended – probably more than 100 people.
g. Bench book Inquiry: Wayne Klein reported he had received an inquiry from the Family Law Section about updating the bench books for juvenile court judges.
4. Law Student Relations Committee: Isaac Paxman reported that he attended the BYU trial advocacy awards ceremony and presented the awards from our section to the winners.
5. Utah Bar Journal: David Castleberry reported that he spoke with representatives from the Utah Bar Journal about our section publishing an article in each issue and was given a very warm reception. He was told the Bar Journal would prefer to publish a monthly article on litigation issues than do an entire issue on litigation. Wayne Klein suggested we circulate a signup list to commit people to write an article for a certain month. He also suggested that each article contain a small portion that discusses Litigation Section issues. David Castleberry will move this proposal forward. Wayne Klein pointed out that Nicole Farrell published an article in the most recent edition of the Utah Bar Journal.
6. CLE Committee:
a. Spring Bar Convention: Kent Holmberg reported that attendance at the spring bar convention was less than typical. Our breakout session on medical discovery and dealing with pro-se litigants went well. Kent proposed sending a thank you letter to each of the participants on Litigation Section letterhead which was approved.
b. Quarterly Luncheon: Jon Hafen reported the quarterly luncheon was held on March 25th and was an excellent event. The panelists did a great job and the event was very well attended.
c. Justice Durham: Jon Hafen reported that on May 25, 2010 Chief Justice Durham will speak at a CLE, likely entitled: “Chat with the Chief.” She will probably present a Q & A regarding Utah’s judiciary.
d. Annual Convention: Jon Hafen reported that our section will put on two breakout sessions. The title will be “Starting Smart and Finishing Strong – Opening Statements and Closing Arguments.” It will feature a panel of distinguished litigators and a federal judge. George Burbidge noted that Justice Clarence Thomas will be a keynote speaker at the convention.
e. Federal Bar Association: Jon Hafen reported that our section will co-sponsor a golf and CLE event with the Federal Bar Association on May 13-14, 2010 in Southern Utah. The facilities should be less expensive this year than last year.
f. Utah County Golf and CLE: Dan Steele reported that we need to get a Utah County event calendared. He and Randall Jeffs will work on this.
g. Other upcoming CLE Events. Jon Hafen reported that the Litigation Section will present another trial academy at the Fall Forum this year, focusing on depositions. Jon also proposed we have a CLE on what civil litigators can learn from criminal trial attorneys, including civility, limited discovery and not being afraid to try cases.
7. Web Site Committee: Kent Holmberg offered to email the committee members the most recent report showing monthly visits to our web site. Kent also volunteered to act as the contact person and conduit for all things that need to be posted to our website. Kent agreed to post CLE information to our website as soon as that information comes in, even if it is incomplete.
8. Bar Commission Report: Christian Clinger expressed thanks to each of the members of the committee for their service. He reported that he recently returned from Western States Bar Leadership Conference where he was surprising to hear how many states have closed their courts one day a week because of budget issues or have instituted litigation fees that are hurting access to justice. Justice Durham and others have done an excellent job of managing the courts. He noted that the Bar is forming a committee to address disaster preparedness.
9. Meeting Adjourned: at 8:57 a.m. All that business covered with three minutes to spare!
Next Meeting: May 12, 2010 at 8:00 a.m.
Approved May 12, 2010.
For the Executive Committee
George W. Burbidge II