Utah State Bar February eBulletin
How Will the "Regulatory Sandbox" Change the way You Practice Law?
Did you know big changes are coming to the legal profession?  In the coming weeks, the Utah Supreme Court will propose important rule changes that will alter the way you practice law. A task force, commissioned by the Supreme Court, examined the practice of law in Utah and made recommendations for amendments to the rules of procedure. You can read the task force report here .

Primary among the changes is the creation of a “regulatory sandbox” that will allow non-attorney legal providers to try different methods to improve access to justice and the quality of legal services people receive. The prohibition on cross-ownership of legal firms by non-lawyers may be eliminated for those providers who apply and are approved by a regulator set up by the Supreme Court. This would allow accounting firms, corporations, insurance companies and others to partner with law firms.

It is said that data from jurisdictions that have adopted some of these proposals is promising, and that access to justice and quality of service have improved. However, there are concerns. As attorneys, we need all members of the Bar to be active participants in this process. To quote Justice Deno Himonas, “the regulatory reform train has left the station. Attorneys just need to decide if they want to be part of the journey or be left behind on the platform.”

As you know, the comment period for rules changes is 45 days. Because of the potential impact on the lives and practices of Utah attorneys, I requested the Supreme Court extend the usual comment period from 45 days to six months. After careful deliberation, the Chief Justice advised me the Supreme Court would extend the comment period to three months—rather than the usual 45 days. 

Make sure to read the report.  The task force website is here . Meeting minutes and schedules are here . Be involved in this process. Otherwise, you may be surprised when the changes happen.
Jen Tomchak, Dorathy Merrill Brothers Award Winner
Melinda Bowen, Raymond S. Uno Award Winner
Utah State Bar Announces Winners of Dorathy Merrill Brothers and
Raymond S. Uno Awards
The Utah State Bar has announced the winners of the Dorathy Merrill Brothers Award for Advancement of Women in the Legal Profession and the Raymond S. Uno Award for the Advancement of Minorities in the Legal Profession.

The winner of the Dorathy Merrill Brothers Award is Jenifer Tomchak of Tomchak Law, and the winner of the Raymond S. Uno Award is Melinda Bowen.

Tomchak received her bachelor's in Political Science from Utah State University. She interned in Washington, D.C. for Senator Mike Crapo and in 2004 earned an M.B.A. and J.D. from the University of Utah. She clerked for Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice Matthew Durrant and practiced at Parr Brown Gee & Loveless, becoming a shareholder. She started her own firm, Tomchak Law, in 2017. She has served as a committee and board member of Young Lawyers Division, Woman Lawyers of Utah and the Litigation Section.

Bowen is currently a visiting professor at the J. Reuben Clark Law School at BYU. She previously practiced at Snow Christensen & Martineau in Salt Lake City, in the white collar criminal defense and commercial litigation practice groups, and she currently maintains an of-counsel relationship with the firm. She also worked as a judicial law clerk for Judge Tena Campbell in the United States District Court for the District of Utah and for Judge Carolyn McHugh on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Melinda received both her B.S. and J.D. from Brigham Young University, and she currently teaches Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure. Bowen has served and continues to serve in various volunteer positions. She is a past president of the Utah Minority Bar Association and currently serves as co-President of the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion, a position she has held since the organization's formation in 2016.  
The awards will be presented in March at the Bar's Spring Convention in St. George.
Utah Legislature Introduces Bills Calling for Election of Judges, Preemptory Judge Challenge
The 2020 Legislative Session is in full swing, and with it comes many bills that impact the practice of law in Utah.
Senate Joint Resolution 8 provides for not partisan elections for judges in courts of record, with District Judges standing for election every four years and appellate court judges every six.
Senate Joint Resolution 5 allows attorneys for each side to disqualify one judge without cause. The Bar opposes both SJR 8 and SJR 5 as drafted.
Seat Available on Governor's Deception Detection Examiners Licensing Board
 The Utah State Bar is soliciting applications to serve a four-year term as its representative to the State Deception Detection Examiners Licensing Board in accordance with  Utah Code Section 58.64.101 , et. seq. In submitting your nomination, please consider your availability to devote the time and attention required of a board member. Board members must first serve to protect the public interest and may participate in disciplinary proceedings against members of the profession. This appointment is to replace the Bar’s current representative, Chrystal Mancuso-Smith, who is not eligible for reappointment. Interested lawyers may send a resume to Christy Abad by March 1, 2020.
ABA Task Force Names May 4-8
Lawyer Well-Being Week
The ABA's Lawyer Well-Being Task Force has named May 4-8 Lawyer Well-Being Week. Attorneys in Utah and around the country are invited to join organizations across the legal profession to participate in activities that promote health and happiness among lawyers and their support teams. More details can be found here .

Did you know physical activity actually stimulates growth of new brain cells? New brain cells counterbalance factors that contribute to brain atrophy. Martha Knudson explains in this week's Well-Being Byte .
LRE Needs Volunteer Attorneys and Judges for Mock Trial Events This Month
Judges and Attorneys are needed for the fortieth annual Utah 2020 Mock Trial Competition that begins soon. Currently, more than 100 more volunteers are needed.

Coaches Needed : Can you give 1-2 hours a week either in person or Skype for Coaching our students about our Justice System and prepare them for competition? MCLE Rule applies for coaching. We need attorneys to coach in Lehi, Orem and Davis County. If you have further questions, please email Victoria Dyatt, Mock Trial Coordinator at
lawrelatedvictoria@xmission.com or simply sign up at the link below.
 
Don't miss this amazing opportunity to watch these students in action as they present their case, learn about our legal system, as well as, civility, teamwork and other life lessons.We would greatly appreciate your support. Signing up is easy...just follow the link below. 
 
 
Please feel free to share the above link with your colleagues.