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Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

Minutes for August 8, 2007

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The Executive Committee of the Litigation Section met on Wednesday, August 8, 2007 at 8:00 a.m. at the Utah Law & Justice Center in Salt Lake City.

Executive Committee members present were:

  • Bruce Badger
  • George Burbidge
  • Keith Call
  • Ryan Frazier
  • Wayne Klein
  • Elaina Maragakis
  • Isaac Paxman
  • Mike Petrogeorge
  • Patrick Tanner
  • Tish Tooms (ex officio law school rep)

Executive Committee members excused were:

  • Sammi Anderson
  • Jared R. Casper
  • Willis Orton
  • Dan Steele

Guests present were:

Steve Sullivan

1. Request for Contribution to Access to Justice Center for Southern Utah Steve Sullivan presented plans to open an access to justice center in St. George. The purpose of the center is to identify gaps in legal resources for Southern Utah, to educate the public regarding legal services, and identify and facilitate pro bono activities. The grand opening is planned for September. Mr. Sullivan requested a $25,000 donation. After Mr. Sullivan left, the Committee discussed whether to make a donation, and if so, the amount of such contribution. After extended discussion, the Committee decided to donate $5,000.

2. Budget The discussion surrounding the contribution to the Access to Justice Center for Southern Utah led to a discussion regarding the Committee’s annual budget and the amount of the Committee’s funds should be donated annually. The Committee decided to table this issue until September. The issue will be placed on the agenda for the September 12 meeting.

3. Minutes The minutes of the June meeting were reviewed and approved.

4. Financial Report Michael Petrogeorge led a discussion regarding the finances.

5. Fall Forum Judges Panel Michael Petrogeorge explained that the Committee has been asked to work with Connie Howard to put together a judges, topics, and a moderator for the Fall Forum. George Burbidge volunteered to spearhead this effort.

6. Upcoming CLE Events

  • Utah County Golf CLE. Michael Petrogeorge led a discussion regarding whether to change the date of this CLE as it was too close to the UTLA’s CLE event which also includes golf and is similar. For the time being, the Committee decided to retain the September 14 date.
  • St. George CLE. The Committee decided to table the St. George CLE discussion.
  • Evening with the Third District. George Burbidge led a discussion regarding an evening with the Third District. This event has been scheduled for October 30, 2007. He explained that three judges had been lined up: Judge Denise Lindberg, Judge Dino Himonas and Judge Mark Kouris. Judge Himonas and George have not decided who was going to be the moderator, but efforts are pushing forward finalize the event.
  • Quarterly Luncheon Michael Petrogeorge reported that Jonathan Hafen wanted to schedule the next quarterly luncheon for September. Expert discovery was proposed as the topic. It could be similar to the presentation given at Sun Valley, which focused on expert discovery before the federal bench. It was mentioned that the quarterly luncheon should incorporate state court issues.

7. Benchbooks Michael Petrogeorge reported that Ryan Harris sent out a letter earlier this week to the new judges and to judges from whom profiles have not been received. Ryan is currently waiting for a response. A report will be given on this in September.

8. Updating the Web Site There was discussion regarding whether the Section’s website should be updated and whether it should have a look and feel similar to the Bar’s website. It was proposed that direct links to the bench books be created. It was also reported that there have been a number of compliments from practicing attorneys regarding the bench books.

9. Law Student Relations Tish Toombs presented two ways to involve students from the S.J. Quinney College of Law in our Section. A third idea will be presented in September.

  • (1) A law student could present a CLE topic concerning an issue relating to litigation. However, the law school leadership expressed concern that this might be intimidating to be giving a presentation before well-seasoned attorneys. Dean Chodash suggested that this be a collaborative effort between a law student and an attorney. The Committee discussed whether to have this presentation at the Fall Forum or at a quarterly luncheon to allow the law student to make the presentation outside of the law school setting. The Committee decided to schedule a presentation and that the Section would provide refreshments.
  • (2) Amy Wildermuth has requested that there be a law student journal focused exclusively on Utah law. There was discussion that this journal could be linked to the websites of the Bar and the Litigation Section. This effort could allow attorneys to collaborate and work directly with law students on legal topics directly affecting practicing attorneys. It was proposed that a presentation could be made at the next quarterly luncheon regarding this journal. Wayne Klein suggested using existing briefs and allowing law students to convert them into articles.

10. Tri-State CLE Seminar Michael Petrogeorge discussed the Tri-State CLE Seminar sponsored by the Federal Bar Association, and an email that he had received from Jonathan Hafen regarding a request for funding. He said it was litigation focused. After brief discussion, the Committee unanimously decided to support the event with a $1,000 contribution.
The meeting was adjourned at about 8:50 a.m. The next meeting will be on September 12, 2007.

Dated this 12th day of September, 2007.

For the Executive Committee

Ryan Frazier