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Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

Minutes for March 10, 2010

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Litigation Section Executive Committee
Minutes for March 10, 2010The Executive Committee of the Litigation Section met on Wednesday, March 10, 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:

  • Tom Boyle
  • George Burbidge
  • Keith Call
  • David Castleberry
  • Ryan Frazier
  • Jon Hafen
  • Brian Hansen
  • Ryan Harris
  • Randall Jeffs
  • Wayne Klein
  • Isaac Paxman
  • Dan Steele
  • Patrick Tanner

Executive Committee members excused were:

  • Sammi Anderson
  • Nicole Farrell
  • Kent Holmberg
  • Judge Denise Lindberg
  • Elaina Maragakis
  • Christian Clinger, Bar Commissioner, also attended.

1. Minutes: Minutes of the February 10, 2010 meeting were reviewed and approved. George Burbidge agreed to make arrangements to have previously approved minutes posted on the Section’s website.

2. Treasurer’s Report: Ryan Frazier provided financial reports for the Section for January, 2010 via email. He will review the budget and compare it with our financial reports to confirm that we are on budget.

3. Chair’s Report:
a. Update on Volunteers in Court Program: Wayne Klein reported that seven volunteer applications had been received. He and Nicole Farrell met with court representatives to review applications to determine where applicants should be assigned. Most of the applicants have been out of law school for 10 or more years and have been doing non-legal work. Based on the response so far, Wayne anticipates this program will be quite successful.
b. Quarterly Newsletter: The Litigation Section quarterly newsletter was sent on March 8th, 2010.
c. Request for Funding for a New Jury Video: Wayne Klein reported that he conveyed the Section’s offer to contribute $250 to the state courts to produce a new video to show to jurors explaining the jury trial process. The courts expressed appreciation for our offer. They are still in the process of looking into additional funding to determine if the video will go forward.
d. Section Dues: The Utah Bar will soon increase its assessment of the Section for administrative costs by $5 per Section member. Members of the Committee expressed concern that the Section gives all new admittees to the Utah Bar free membership in the section for one year. Currently the Bar takes a percentage of all section dues collected. If the Section will be required to pay $5 per member, including non-paying members, this will significantly increase Section costs. Dan Steele agreed to investigate this issue and report at our next meeting so that we can decide if Section dues need to be increased.
e. Bar Committee on Disaster Preparation: Wayne Klein reported that the Bar is forming a committee to help people with legal issues should a natural disaster occur in Utah. The Bar has asked for volunteers. A discussion was had about whether the Section should take an active role in getting volunteers or simply encourage Section members to participate. There were no volunteers to participate in the new committee from the Executive Committee. Dan Steele suggested we add a link to this new section on our website.
f. Bar Journal Articles: Wayne Klein noted that the Idaho Bar Journal has bar sections provide an article for each edition of its journal. He proposed the Litigation Section approach the Utah Bar Journal and offer to provide a litigation oriented article in each edition. This proposal was met with approval from the Committee. Keith Call volunteered to spearhead this. David Castleberry and Isaac Paxman volunteered to help without realizing that they even did so. David Castleberry will approach the Bar Journal about this proposal and report back at our next meeting.
g. Bar Commission Report: Wayne Klein welcomed Christian Clinger and turned time over to him to discuss issues from on high. Christian reported that the Utah Bar licensing fee petition is currently before the Utah Supreme Court in the 45 day comment period. Based on the feedback it has received, the Bar Commission has been surprised by how much misinformation is circulating and question whether people are actually reading the information the Bar has distributed. Christian noted that the Bar’s finances are independently audited annually. The Utah Bar has not had licensing fee increase in 20 years. Christian requested that we correct any misinformation we hear about the proposal to increase Bar dues.

4. CLE Committee:
a. Quarterly Luncheon: Jon Hafen reported that the next quarterly luncheon will be on March 25, 2010 on “Judging Utah’s Judges.” It will have a four-person panel including the director of the judicial evaluation commission and three judges.
b. Justice Durham: Jon Hafen reported that on May 25, 2010 Chief Justice Durham will speak at a CLE. She will probably present a Q & A regarding Utah’s judiciary.
c. 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. Jon is still trying to get a commitment from Judge Benson.
d. Federal Bar Association: Jon Hafen reported that the Federal Bar Association has asked if the Litigation Section is willing to co-sponsor a CLE program on May 13-14, 2010 in Southern Utah. The FBA has not asked for a financial contribution, but has asked that our section participate by sending postcards and email notification to our members. Dan Steele questioned whether this should be in lieu of our traditional annual golf and CLE in Southern Utah. Jon and Dan will follow-up on this CLE with the FBA.
e. Other upcoming CLE Events. Dan Steele proposed our Section sponsor a Cache County golf and CLE event again this year. He noted that the Utah County golf and CLE was a great success and was not expensive for the Section. Jon Hafen suggested we ask law firms to help sponsor these events to offset some of the cost. Dan made a motion that our section budget $4,000 for golf and CLE events, partner with the Federal Bar Association for a CLE event in St. George and add a Salt Lake Golf and CLE event. The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.

5. Web Site Committee: Ryan Frazier reported that visits to our website declined somewhat in January. The Committee discussed the need to keep the website updated. Dan Steele encouraged everyone who is involved in an event to have the event posted on the website.

6. Law Student Relations Committee: Isaac Paxman reported that he expected to have the law student writing project finalized today and have an email regarding the project sent to the membership next week.

7. Meeting Adjourned: at 9:00 a.m. as scheduled. Wayne Klein runs a tight ship.
. Next Meeting: April 14, 2010 at 8:00 a.m. The call-in number for those who are unable to attend in person is: 1-800-442-5794. Wait a relatively long time for the beep, then enter pass code 2708#.
Approved April 14, 2010.
For the Executive Committee
/S/ George W. Burbidge II