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Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

Minutes for January 9, 2008

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The Executive Committee of the Litigation Section met on Wednesday, January 9, 2008, at 8:00 a.m. at the Utah Law & Justice Center in Salt Lake City.

Executive Committee members present or participating by telephone were:

  • Sammi Anderson
  • Keith Call
  • Lee Curtis
  • Ryan Frazier
  • Jonathan Hafen
  • Ryan Harris
  • Wayne Klein
  • Stephen Owens
  • Bryan Pattison
  • Mike Petrogeorge
  • Dan Steele
  • Patrick Tanner

Executive Committee members excused were:

  • George Burbidge
  • Elaina Maragakis
  • R. Willis Orton
  • Isaac Paxman
  • Tish Toombs (ex officio law school rep for U of U)

1. Minutes. The minutes of the January 2008 meeting were reviewed and unanimously approved.

2. Financial Report. Dan Steele led a discussion regarding the Committee’s finances, and noted that the current report does not reflect the interest donation to And Justice for All.

There was a discussion about the costs associated with the monthly executive committee meeting, and concern was raised that the expenses, particularly food expenses, are unreasonable. It was suggested that one way to reduce the cost might be to decrease the number of expected attendees and thereby reduce the amount of food that is being provided. Other options, such as eliminating the food all together or bringing food ourselves, were also discussed. There were no final decisions or conclusions reached.

Dan Steele and Mike Petrogeorge reported that they are still trying to arrange a meeting with Jeff Einfeldt of the Utah State Bar to discuss ways the reports can be improved to add more detail.

3. December 12, 2007 Quarterly Lunch. Those in attendance reported that there was a good turnout and that the panel presented a very good CLE program. It was reported that Professor Amy Wildermouth from the S.J. Quinney College of Law gave a short presentation on the law student/practitioner article program, and that one person expressed interest as a result of the presentation.

4. Spring Convention. Keith Call reported that we have two breakout sessions, both on Saturday. The first will be on the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure regarding expert witnesses, and the second will be on health privacy issues for the civil practitioner.

5. Annual Convention.Keynote Speakers: Sammi Anderson reported that the Saturday keynote speaker will be the Idaho Attorney General, and that the committee is still trying to line up the keynote speakers for Thursday and Friday. A vote was taken at the last meeting in December and Mike Tiber and Steve Wozniak (founder of Apple) were selected as the top choices. Scott Rosen and Lee Steinberg were proposed by our section and are holding the dates. Sammi will ask Messrs. Rosen and Stenberg to let us know if they receive a conflicting request for those dates.

Breakouts: Sammi Anderson reported that we will likely have three breakout sessions. One will likely be a MUJI presentation involving Judge Himonas. Dan Steele suggested that we ask Mike Moorman and Lynn Davies to repeat their mediation presentation from the Utah County Golf & CLE event. Sammi will follow up on that possibility. Mike Petrogeorge noted that Jeff Eisenberg has indicated a desire to present either at the annual meeting or a quarterly lunch. Sammi will keep him in mind, but will also forward his information to Jon Hafen and the President of the Association for Justice (f/k/a the Utah Trail Lawyers' Association).

6. Practice Pointer Series by Frank Carney. Mike Petrogeorge reported that Connie Howard approached the section about sponsoring an 8 session CLE event presented by Frank Carney entitled Elements of Trial. It is anticipated that each participate would pay $75 per session. Frank Carney was to be paid $50 per person from each session. The Committee discussed the possibility of offering a discount to Section members. The committee decided that Mike Petrogeorge should talk to Connie Howard to determine what our cost would be if a luncheon or dinner is included.

7. BYU Scholarship. Mike Petrogeorge reported that Isaac Paxman is handling the BYU scholarship. Although Isaac was absent, Mike Petrogeorge noted that he had received an email from Isaac reporting that the awards ceremony at which the scholarship would be presented is scheduled for March 14 and that Isaac plans on attending. Isaac also reported to Mike that the plaques to be presented with the scholarship have been ordered.

8. Bench Books. Ryan Harris reported that in the last 60 days a couple of new judges have been added to the website. He also reported that there are judges in the Fourth District working on responses to our questionnaire. The Committee also discussed whether to include appellate judges in the Bench Books. It was suggested that a link could be added to the Bench Books portion of the Section’s website that directs section members to the appropriate appellate courts’ websites. Also, it was suggested that a law student could interview supreme court justice or appellate court judge and prepare a report on each. The reports would be posted on the Section’s website.

9. Supporting State Court Judges. The Committee also discussed how the Section can support state court judges. It was suggested that the Section could somehow get involved in lobbying the legislature to raise judges salaries or to allocate resources so that each judge could have a full time law clerk. There were no final decisions or conclusions reached. The Committee will discuss other ways to support these judges at the next meeting.

10. Section Website. Dan Steele reported that any development of the Section’s website is presently on hold, but that he is committed to having a third party develop it.

11. Law Student Relations. Mike Petrogeorge reported that Tish Toombs has been seeking journal topics and students to participate in a CLE event. He further reported that no date has been set for a program for third year students to prepare for the bar. He also reported that Isaac Paxman has been in contact with Sarah Gubler, the BYU representative to the Section, and will be working with her.

12. Committee Member Report. Mike Petrogeorge reported that Elaina Maragakis is pregnant with twins and that she is on full bed rest until delivery. He proposed that the Litigation Section send her flowers. The Committee approved the proposal.

13. Utah County Golf CLE. Dan Steele raised the issue of holding the Utah County Golf CLE event at Hobble Creek again this year. He reported that Hobble Creek would not be available for the CLE presentation but that it is the ideal location for the golf portion of the event. He asked if the Executive Committee knows someone who would be willing to host a CLE event at a location near Hobble Creek, but no location for the CLE was determined.

The meeting adjourned at approximately 9:00 a.m. The next meeting will be held on February 13, 2008.

Dated this 13th day of February, 2008.

For the Executive Committee

Ryan B. Frazier