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Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

Minutes for November 9, 2011

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Litigation Section Committee Minutes for November 9, 2011
The Executive Committee of the Litigation Section met on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 8:00 a.m. at the Utah Law and Justice Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Executive Committee members present or participating by telephone were:

  • Jen Tomchak
  • Nic Caine
  • Seth Oxborrow
  • Heather Thuet
  • Kent Holmberg
  • Judge Lindberg
  • George Burbidge
  • Bryan Pattison
  • Patrick Tanner
  • Judge Roth
  • Nicole Farrell
  • Ryan Frazier
  • Alec McGinn
  • Isaac Paxman

Executive Committee members excused:

  • Emily Smith
  • Patrick Burt
  • Randall Jeffs
  • Rick Kaplan
  • Elaina Maragakis
  • Heather Sneddon
  • Dan Steele

1. Minutes: David Castleberry circulated minutes from the October 12, 2011 executive meeting, and the committee reviewed and approved the minutes as corrected.

2. Treasurer's Report: George Burbidge shared information concerning the section's finances, and noted that everything appears to be in order. Most of the recent expenses for the section relate to Golf and CLE events. Jon Hafen mentioned that it would be helpful to compare our finances to the same time last year.

3. Chair's Report: Jon Hafen said that our membership is currently around 1,900, and we should focus on getting people to join our section. To get people to join, a section needs to offer certain things, such as networking, sense of community, education, and the opportunity to provide meaningful service. Jon Hafen said that our section could be better at providing opportunities for meaningful service. We should consider having someone from our section server as a liaison to the Utah state bar pro bono committee. Jon Hafen also asked that we pay attention to upcoming events on the task list, and get upcoming events on the calendar as far in advance as possible. Jon noted that Heather Sneddon is in charge of the quarterly luncheon in the first quarter of next year, and Patrick Burt is in charge of the rise and shine CLE in the first quarter of next year.

4. CLE:
a. Quarterly Lunches: Ryan Frazier updated the committee on his work for the quarterly luncheon in December. Ryan explained that the topic will be on the proportionality requirements under the new Utah Rules of Civil Procedure, and that he is close to finalizing the judges who will be on the panel. Jon Hafen suggested that a good topic for a future luncheon would be to have three retired judges talk about what they learned as judges, or what suggestions they have for practitioners. The retired judges could provide some frank, thoughtful advice.
b. Quarterly Rise and Shine CLE: Dan Steele mentioned in an email that he is working on this CLE, and will have a date soon. Jon Hafen said that he will follow up with Dan about this CLE.
c. Judicial Receptions: George Burbidge, Patrick Tanner, and Isaac Paxman have agreed to help out with evening with the judges in the Second, Third, and Fourth Districts. Jon Hafen encouraged them to get these events on the calendar as far in advance as possible.
The committee discussed possible candidates to serve on the panel for these events. The typical agenda is as follows: 5:30 to 6:00 have a reception with food available where the judges can talk to lawyers; from 6:00 to 8:00 the judge's sit at the front of the room where they each have 15 to 30 minutes where they can speak about whatever is on their minds, and the balance of the evening is spent in a question and answer format. George Burbidge has moderated in the past, and has created a list of questions that he has passed along to the judges a week beforehand. He has also solicited questions from the judges. We would like to have the Evening with the Third District in February 2012, the Evening with the Second District in March 2012, and the Evening with the Fourth District in April 2012.
d. Fall Forum: Jon Hafen said that they are working hard, and have put together a presentation on the new rules that will be really helpful. Judge Lindberg says that dates for the Fall Forum are announced too late, and she imagines that others would like to know the dates far enough in advance to be able to attend. Jon said that he would follow up about this concern.
e. Spring Convention: The Spring Convention is scheduled for March 16 and 17. Alec McGinn said that have been asked to solidify topics and panel members. Our section will have one slot to fill for Friday morning. Alec mentioned that everyone is interested in the new rules. The committee discussed possible panel members such as Judge Shumate and Judge Westfall
f. Annual Meeting: Heather Thuet attended a meeting about the Annual Meeting. Our section will have a two hour block on the first day, Thursday, July 19, and the topic will again be on the change to the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure. The idea is to have a panel from judges from across the state, and have them speak about what they have learned, and what information they would like practitioners to know. The committee discussed what costs the litigation section would pay for judges to attend in Sun Valley.
g. Trial Seminar: Jon Hafen said that we are looking at holding the seminar on a Friday in April. The committee discussed pricing for members of the section and non-members.
h. Southern Utah Federal Law Symposium: This event is scheduled for the first weekend in May. The chief clerk from the United States Supreme Court will attend, and there will be a swearing in ceremony to the United States Supreme Court.

5. Newsletter: Nicole Farrell said that the newsletter is close to being finished. The committee discussed possible names for the newsletter, including "Litigation News," "Litigate!", "Tooth and Nail," and others. The newsletter will be available on the website as well. Alec McGinn suggested that we run the summaries from CLE events by the panelists and presenters before we publish them in the newsletter. Along the same lines, the committee discussed running the judicial profiles past the subject judges before publishing. If a committee member is in charge of an event, he or she should write up a summary and try to take pictures for the newsletter.

6. Law School Relations: Seth Oxborrow said that he is publicizing the paper bank at BYU Law School. The committee also discussed reviewing a paper before it is posted on the website, and it was decided that the papers would be reviewed for content, but would not be reviewed in depth or cite checked. Nic Caine said that has talked with the managing editor of the University of Utah's
law review about setting up a system to have student papers posted on the website that are not chosen for publication. Nic also explained his efforts at setting up a litigation society at the law school, and would like to have students to come to some of the events. It was decided that we would discuss inviting law students to litigation section events and the pricing and space issues that would need to be considered at our next meeting.

7. Benchbooks: The committee would like to update questionnaires that are sent to judges, if necessary. The committee also discussed the best way to have judges provide the information.

Adjourned at 9:00 a.m.
Next Meeting: December 14, 2011

For the Executive Committee
_______________________
David Castleberry, Secretary