Utah State Bar February eBulletin
Bar's Governmental Relations Committee Examines Bills Impacting Access to Justice and Practice of Law
After a particularly challenging election season, the legislative session is now upon us. This means that the Utah State Bar is working hard to ensure that bills affecting the practice of law and access to justice are carefully considered.  

Prior to my involvement in the Board of Bar Commissioners, I was unaware of the Utah State Bar’s efforts on behalf of Utah lawyers in this arena. The Utah State Bar has a Governmental Relations Committee, comprised of volunteer attorneys and co-chaired by Sara Bouley and Jaqualin Friend-Peterson.  

Each Bar section has a representative on the Committee, and this group meets weekly with lobbyists Douglas Foxley and Frank Pignanelli to evaluate relevant bills and to make recommendations to the Utah State Bar Board of Commissioners.

Commissioners then vote whether to take a position on a bill or whether to allow bar sections to support or oppose a particular bill.  As a 501(c)6 organization, the Utah State Bar is a nonpartisan, apolitical organization and can only take a position on bills relating specifically to the practice of law and access to justice issues.  

Bar members who are concerned with a proposed bill within this criteria are welcome to contact the Governmental Relations Committee or Board of Bar Commissioners. Further, Bar members are encouraged to contact their representatives directly on concerns outside of these issues. 

Some of the bills the Committee is considering are:

HB0179: Private Cause of Action for Attorney Fees: Creates a cause of action against
attorneys for failure to provide notice to clients of a referral fee. Committee is waiting for
input from the litigation section and bill sponsor to vote on a position.

HB0021: Stalking Amendments: Changes the definition of “course of conduct” required for
the offense of stalking. Committee is waiting for a reported amended bill prior to taking a
position.

HB0282: Right of Survivorship Amendments: Amends provisions for rights of survivorship
for joint accounts. 

The committee has taken positions supporting a bill addressing expanding the sobriety program (HB0026), a post-conviction remedy bill (HB0100), and a bill amending juvenile penalties (SB0050). Currently, the Committee has no bills they have opposed.
Bar Commissioners Seek Nominations for Spring Convention Awards
The Board of Bar Commissioners is seeking applications for awards to be given at the “virtual” 2021 Spring Convention. These awards honor publicly those whose professionalism, public service and public dedication have significantly enhanced the administration of justice, the delivery of legal services and the improvement of the profession.

Please submit your nomination for the Spring Convention Awards no later than Friday, February 26, 2021. Use the Award Form to propose your candidate in the following categories:

• 2021 Dorathy Merrill Brothers Award: For the Advancement of Women in the Legal Profession.

• 2021 Raymond S. Uno Award: For the Advancement of Minorities in the Legal Profession.
• The James Lee, Charlotte Miller, and Paul Moxley Outstanding Mentor Awards for 2020: These awards are designed in the fashion of their namesakes; honoring special individuals who care enough to share their wisdom and guide attorneys along their personal and professional journeys.  

The Utah State Bar strives to recognize those who have had singular impact on the profession and the public. We appreciate your thoughtful nominations.
Bar Creates New Ethics Hotline Page to Address Frequently Asked Questions
The Bar has recently updated its Ethics Hotline to be more intuitive and user friendly. Now you can find ethics opinions, frequently asked questions, ethics rules, and file an ethics request from one page. Take a look!
Bar Seeks Ethics and Discipline Committee Chair
The Utah State Bar is seeking applications for a lawyer to chair the Ethics & Discipline Committee.  The position will be the principal administrative director and legal counsel for the Committee. The position is supervised by the Utah Supreme Court’s Office of Professional Conduct (OPC) Oversight Committee and is responsible to coordinate the day-to-day operations of the Court’s disciplinary screening panels and manage the panel hearings.  The position will supervise the Committee Clerk and organize the involvement of lawyer and public members of the Committee and the various Committee panels. The position will also provide legal advice and draft opinions and orders for the Committee. The full Position Notice and Position Description are available and applications will be accepted until March 1.    
Well Being Byte: Something Bugging You or Getting You Down? Try Expressive Writing
Did you know that writing down your feelings is a great way to help process them? Listen to this month's well-being byte to find out more.

And, for more ideas to stay healthy and motivated visit wellbeing.utahbar.org.
Need Some Pro Bono Hours? New Link Lists all Opportunities in One Place
pro bono_ red stamp on a grunge paper texture
Wouldn't it be nice if all the opportunities for Pro Bono hours could be found in one place? Well, now they can! Check out this new link that shows all Pro Bono opportunities on one easy page. Make sure to bookmark the link and check back often.
Online Marketplace to Supplement Beneplace's Member Benefit Offerings
The Utah State Bar has organized a Marketplace consisting of vendors offering services to Bar Licensees. These services are designed to help you in your practice. If you have questions or need additional information, please visit the Marketplace or contact the Utah State Bar. 

The Utah State Bar makes no warranties, expressed or implied, regarding any of the providers listed on the Marketplace and assumes no legal liability or responsibility for loss or damage resulting from the use of products or services. 
Fastcase, Casemaker Announce Merger; No Change to Utah State Bar Service
Legal publishers Casemaker and Fastcase have announced their merger and joint building out of legal research and analytics, news, data, and workflow solutions. There will be no change to the current service provided to Utah State Bar members as the merger moves forward.

The two companies will combine their teams and technologies to innovate research, analytics, and workflow offerings that empower lawyers with powerful digital solutions for their clients.
Applications for Bar's Executive Director Position Due by February 28
The Bar's nationwide search to replace Executive Director John Baldwin continues through February. The position is responsible for all operations of the Utah State Bar, under the direction of the Bar President and commissioners. Applications are due February 28, 2021. More details and application instructions can be found here.