Utah State Bar eBulletin
Legislative Update: Bar Requests SB129 Be Held for Interim Study
The 2023 Legislative Session is in its final week and there remains important work to be done.

The Utah State Bar continues to oppose SB129, a bill that changes Utah's judicial selection process. The Utah Commission on Criminal & Juvenile Justice (CCJJ) and the Utah State Courts join the Bar in opposing SB129. While the third substitute to SB129 added two attorneys to the nominating commissions, the fourth substitute, which was adopted yesterday, deleted the attorneys.  

At a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on February 27, representatives on both sides of the aisle heard and joined in the Bar’s, courts’, and CCJJ’s concerns. A motion to hold the bill and send it to an interim study committee narrowly failed with a 5 to 5 vote. 

The Bar acknowledges that, although Utah’s judicial selection system is a model to the nation, there are some who have developed concerns. Nonetheless, the Bar remains concerned that making sweeping changes to the current system, which has been in place for decades, should not happen overnight. The Bar appreciates the sponsor’s willingness to hear these concerns, despite a satisfactory resolution for all parties remaining elusive at this time. 

The Bar believes that the best approach is for the Legislature, and the Governor, to pause and study this issue in the interim session. An interim study would ensure that judicial independence, not partisan politics, remains the standard for Utah’s judicial selection process. And a study will allow the entities most affected by SB129 an opportunity to better hear and address the issues driving this bill. 

The Bar asks that members please contact your legislators and Governor Cox as soon as possible to request that SB129 be held for study during the interim session.  
Sadè A. Turner
Raymond S. Uno
Ashley Peck
Dorathy Merrill Brothers Award
Martha Knudson
Utah Legal Well-Being
Impact Award
Bar Announces Winners of Spring Convention Awards for 2023
The Utah State Bar has announced the winners of the Spring Convention Awards for 2023. Sadè A. Turner has been presented with the Raymond S. Uno Award for the Advancement of Minorities in the Legal Profession; Ashley Peck will receive the Dorathy Merrill Brothers Award for the Advancement of Women in the Legal Profession; and Martha Knudson is the winner of the Legal Utah Well-Being Impact Award.

Turner is a partner at Strong & Hanni where in addition to exercising her passion for litigation in both Utah and Idaho courts, she works to help those from underrepresented backgrounds access careers in the law and access pro/low-bono legal services.  Born and raised in rural farm country, she took an early interest in the law when at six-years-old, she told her mother and grandparents that she was going to be the first attorney in her family. Sadé obtained her B.A. from the College of Idaho in 2002 and her J.D. from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law in 2006. She is one of the inaugural members of the newly formed Utah Black Lawyers Association.  

Peck is a partner at Holland and Hart. In her legal practice, Peck provides strategic counsel to clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to municipalities and special service districts on complex environmental compliance, litigation and enforcement issues, with an emphasis on water quality, contaminated sites and waste issues. She is actively involved in Women Lawyers of Utah, previously serving as President (2019-2020); the ABA Environment, Energy, and Resources Section; and the Utah State Bar Energy, Natural Resources, and Environmental Law Section. Ashley also serves as a board member of the Wasatch Community Gardens.

Knudson is a lawyer, speaker, and consultant who delights in working at the intersection of the legal profession and the science of well-being. One of the first people to specialize in this area, Martha is passionate about using evidence-based well-being strategies to drive professional success, working with both private clients and as the Director of the Utah State Bar’s Well-Being Committee. In her prior life she practiced law, graduating magna cum laude from BYU’s School of Law in 1999. She earned a master’s degree in Applied Positive Psychology from The University of Pennsylvania in 2015.
Registration Now Open for Spring Convention in St. George March 16-18
Ready for a break from the snow? Register now for the Bar’s Spring Convention in St. George! Pre-registration pricing ends Friday.

The convention will be held March 16-18 and up to 10 CLE credit hours are available. The Bar will present the Dorathy Merrill Brothers Award for the Advancement of Women in the Legal Profession and the Raymond S. Uno Award for the Advancement of Minorities in the Legal Profession.

Check the agenda for the complete schedule. Rooms are filling up fast, so reserve your room today!
Bar Foundation Seeks Tie Donations for Specialty Treatment Courts
The Utah Bar Foundation is collecting donations of new or gently used, clean neckties that can be given to the Salt Lake County for their Specialty Treatment Courts (Drug Court, ASAP Court, Veteran's Court) for participants to wear to their frequent check-ins with case managers and their assigned Judge. If you are interested in donating, please drop off your new or gently used, clean neckties during business hours at the Utah Law & Justice Center located at 645 South 200 East, SLC, Utah 84111. Donations will be collected until March 31, 2023. Questions? Please email [email protected].
Nominations Sought for Pro Bono Publico Awards
The Bar is accepting applications for Pro Bono Publico awards to be presented at the Law Day Luncheon on May 5.

Awards will be presented for Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year, Law Firm of the Year, and Law Student or Law School Group of the Year.

Nomination forms are available on the Bar's website, and are due March 31. If you have questions, email the Access to Justice Director or call 801.297.7027.