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Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

Minutes for September 14, 2011

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Litigation Section Executive Committee
Minutes for September 14, 2011
The Executive Committee of the Litigation Section met on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 8:00 a.m. at the Utah Law & Justice Center in Salt Lake City.

Executive Committee members present or participating by telephone were:

  • Isaac Paxman
  • Bryan Pattison
  • Patrick Tanner
  • Nic Caine
  • Alec McGinn
  • Heather Thuet
  • Keith Call
  • Seth Oxborrow
  • Nicole Farrell
  • Jon Hafen
  • Ryan Frazier
  • George Burbidge
  • Dan Steele
  • Heather Sneddon
  • David Castleberry

Executive Committee members excused were:

  • Ryan Harris
  • Judge Stephen Roth
  • Patrick Burt
  • Kent Holmberg
  • Elaina Maragakis
  • Judge Denise Lindberg

1. Welcome and Introductions: Jon Hafen welcomed the members of the executive committee to the meeting.

2. Minutes: David Castleberry circulated minutes from the August 10, 2011 executive meeting, and the committee reviewed and approved the minutes as corrected.

3. Treasurer’s Report: George Burbidge circulated financial reports for the Litigation Section for June and July 2011, which were reviewed, discussed and approved. The litigation section hopes to receive the annual dues in September.

4. President’s Report: Jon Hafen discussed the Task List, which was created by Jon and which was circulated before the meeting. The Task List consists of specific projects and activities with a member of the executive committee responsible for each item. The categories on the Task List include: CLE, the Newsletter, Law Student Relations Committee, Website Committee, Benchbooks, and the Government Relations Committee. Jon expressed his desire that everyone has something meaningful to do, and hoped that the task list will allow everyone to be involved. Jon noted that he thought everyone has a task or assignment except for Alec McGinn, but told Alec that would change. The Task List encompassed most of the items on the agenda with the different committees and reports.

5. CLE:
A. Quarterly Lunches - Ryan Frazier, the chair-elect, agreed to coordinate quarterly lunches, which is one of the biggest budget items for the section. Ryan agreed to be responsible to work with an assigned committee member to select appropriate speakers and topics, to select a date for the event, market the event through postcard, email, website, and with announcements at the prior lunches or CLE presentations. Jon asked Ryan to make sure that judges are involved in these events. Jonathan Hafen, Ryan Frazier, Heather Sneddon, Keith Call, Jenifer Tomchak, and Patrick Burt all were assigned a specific lunch to coordinate and plan.
B. Rise & Shine CLEs - Jon discussed the Rise and Shine CLE's, which we would like to hold every quarter. Keith Call agreed to coordinate these events and to be responsible for working with assigned committee members to select a location, a date, speakers and topics, and to market the event. Dan Steele, Patrick Burt, Nicole Farrell, Keith Call, and Heather Thuet all were assigned a specific CLE to coordinate and plan. Jon suggested that these CLEs be held at the Utah Law & Justice Center to ease logistical concerns and to reduce cost. Ryan Frazier suggested that these events could be held at his law firm for free. Dan Steele suggested that we plan appropriately for the breakfasts to make these events revenue neutral.
C. Judicial Receptions/Presentations – George Burbidge volunteered to plan and coordinate an Evening with the Second District. Jon also encouraged George to find a co-sponsor for the event, such as the Weber County Bar Association. We would like to hold the event in the court house, and allow for the bar to interact with the judges before any presentations. Jon would also like to hold events in the Third District and the Fourth District. The different Evenings with the Judges should be coordinated, if possible, so we avoid a situation where all three are held in the same month. Jon would like to get dates and locations three months in advance of the event. Isaac Paxman said that he is willing to help out with a Fourth District Evening with the Judges.
D. Golf & CLE – Dan Steele will continue to coordinate these events. Bryan Pattison will help with the St. George Golf & CLE. Randy Jeffs and Isaac Paxman will help with the Utah County Golf & CLE, and Dan thinks he knows of an individual who will help out for the Cache County Golf &
CLE and will contact him about that opportunity. Dan also reported that the Cache County Golf & CLE was a success, with 33 attorneys attending. Dan also said that he would work on finding a venue for a Salt Lake County Golf & CLE.
E. Conventions – Keith Call is responsible for this year's Fall Forum. Keith said that the CLEs will focus on the changes to the new rules. Alec McGuinn agreed to head the Spring Forum, Heather Thuett agreed to head the Annual Meeting, and Patrick Tanner agreed to be responsible for next year's Fall Forum.
F. Other CLE Events – Keith Call volunteered to coordinate the section's involvement with the BYU Ethics Symposium, especially since his involvement will be limited to sending a postcard advertising the event. Jon explained that he would like to hold a Litigation Section Trial Skills Seminar in April of 2012. The seminar would focus on the nuts and bolts of trial skills, especially since under the new rules of civil procedure the hope is that trials will become more common. Jon plans to ask judges and other attorneys to become involved.

6. Newsletter: Nicole Farrell is the editor-in-chief of the newsletter, the opinion watch is headed by Heather Sneddon and Richard Kaplan, and the articles editors are Patrick Tanner, Joe Stultz, and Emily Smith, who will write or obtain substantive articles. We will also have a campus notes section, judicial profiles, and practitioner profiles. Nicole Farrell impressed many on the committee with her handout for proposed publication schedule and assignments. The handout discussed lead times for articles, and those responsible for articles. Nicole mentioned that she would like to get pictures into the newsletter from the different events sponsored by the Litigation Section. When an event is held, the person responsible for the event should prepare a short write up for the newsletter. If pictures are available, they should be 6 megapixel or better. For those writing articles, headshots and brief biographies should also be submitted.

7. Law Student Relations Committee – It was discussed whether it would be better to have an attorney assigned to the University of Utah and one attorney assigned to Brigham Young University. Isaac suggested that we leave the current structure as it is because it is easier to coordinate. It was suggested that Joe Stultz could help out on the committee. Seth Oxborrow from BYU and Nic Caine from the University of Utah both attended this meeting. Nic mentioned his desire to put together a trial advocacy seminar and other events for his fellow law students who are interested in litigation. Isaac reported that students are claiming topics in the article bank. Seth reported that Dean Archibald at BYU Law School supports the posting of student articles on the section's website. Nic said that he would follow up with the U of U regarding permission for the posting of student papers and whether that would create any issues.

8. Website Committee – The website needs to be updated regularly with upcoming events. Nicole Farrell should be added to the committee so she can post the newsletter and other related matters on the website. The information on the website was discussed, along with the need to update the current officers and members of the committee.

9. Benchbooks – David Castleberry will take the lead with coordinating benchbook updates. Ryan Harris, who has coordinated the benchbooks in the past, reported to David that he would like to remain on the committee, but may not be too involved for the next few months in light of his recent nomination to the bench. It was discussed whether it would make sense to include benchbooks for appellate judges. The committee also discussed the need to know when the benchbooks were last updated. As of now, it seems we cannot tell when a benckbook was prepared and whether it needs updating. Dan Steele said that he can circulate a questionnaire to provide judges when preparing benchbooks.

10. Government Relations Committee – Ryan Frazier will lead this committee. Richard Kaplan had indicated his desire to be involved as well.

11. Other Matters – The committee discussed whether a jury instruction committee would be desirable. In the past, the section has played a role in MUJI, but it seems like nothing is happening with this project right now and the proposed committee was tabled for discussion at a later time.

Adjourned at 8:55 a.m.
Next Meeting: October 12, 2011, 8:00 a.m.

For the Executive Committee
David Castleberry, Secretary