Utah State Bar eBulletin
Lawyers Have Unique Duty to Stand Up for the Rule of Law
The United States of America is at a critical moment in its legal history.  Lawyers and judges increasingly are the targets of threats, intimidation, and retaliation.

At this time in our history, I am reminded that lawyers have unique duty to stand up not only for the judiciary, but also for the Rule of Law. As lawyers, each of us swore an oath to the U.S. Constitution and, if admitted in Utah, to the Constitution of Utah. As lawyers, we have a special relationship to the judiciary, the judicial system and to the Rule of Law.  We are its guardians.

The Rule of Law involves fundamental principles of accountability, just laws, open government, and accessible and impartial justice. The Rule of Law holds the government, as well as private actors, accountable under the law. The Rule of Law ensures that the law is clear, understandable, and applied fairly with impartiality. The Rule of Law protects constitutional and procedural rights, as well as property and contract rights. The Rule of Law promotes open government, including how laws are adopted, administered, and signed into law so that laws are accessible, fair, and impartial. Finally, the Rule of Law fosters and protects access to impartial justice, which is timely delivered by competent, ethical, and independent judges, who have sufficient resources and who reflect the communities they serve.
According to the World Justice Project (“WJP”), the United States of America is falling behind as the legal role model for the rest of the world. According to the WJP, the United States is now ranked 26th out of 140 countries in its safeguard of the Rule of Law. According to the WJP, the United States ranks 115th out of 140 countries for the accessibility and affordability of its civil justice system. The United States also ranks 103rd out of 140 countries for the absence of discrimination.

At a time when lawyers and judges are increasingly under attack, I remain hopeful that Utah lawyers can stand up for the Rule of Law, continue to support the Utah judiciary, and remain the bedrocks of our judicial system.  As officers of the Court, Utah lawyers understand how important the Rule of Law is to our ability to serve the public and the community.

Without the Rule of Law, and a fair, impartial and competent judiciary, attorneys would be unable to serve the citizens of Utah. The law is a service profession, grounded in the Rule of Law, and made possible only by the respect and collective support citizens of the United States have for our judicial system.  

In a complex time, I would encourage each of us as lawyers to remember our special role as officers of the court to protect and serve the Rule of Law and to stand up for our independent judiciary. 
Bar Seeks Applications for Award Committee Members
The Utah State Bar is accepting applications to join the Awards Committee. This committee is instrumental in soliciting nominations and recommending recipients to the Board of Bar Commissioners.  

Because we are seeking a geographically diverse committee, the majority of meetings are conducted via telephone conference. We meet three times during the year to review nominations for the Fall Forum Awards, Spring Convention Awards, and the Summer Convention Awards. 

If you are interested, please send a brief letter of interest to Christy.Abad@utahbar.org with your resume by end of business on September 12, 2023.
Nominations Now Open for 2023 Fall Forum Awards
The Utah State Bar is accepting nominations for the 2023 Fall Forum Awards. Nominations will be accepted until Friday, September 15 for awards to be presented at the 2023 Fall Forum.  

We invite you to nominate a peer who epitomizes excellence in the work they do and sets a higher standard, making the Utah legal community and our society a better place. 

“No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.”

The Fall Forum Awards include:
  1. The James Lee, Charlotte Miller, and Paul Moxley Outstanding Mentor Awards. 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. Nominate the influential attorney in your life and thank them for what they have given you.
  2. The Distinguished Community Member Award.  This award celebrates outstanding service provided by a member of our community toward the creation of a better public understanding of the legal profession and the administration of justice, the judiciary or the legislative process.
  3. The Professionalism Award.  The Professionalism Award recognizes a lawyer or judge whose deportment in the practice of law represents the highest standards of fairness, integrity, and civility.

Please use the Award Nomination Form to submit your entry.
Bar Foundation Sponsoring Webinar on Public Loan Forgiveness
The Utah Bar Foundation is sponsoring another webinar on Public Loan Forgiveness. The webinar will be held Friday, September 29 at noon.
Loan forgiveness consultant Heather Jarvis will provide helpful information about programs that are available, including the new SAVE Program. Click here to register.