Rules Governing the State Bar – Comment Period Closed March 10, 2017

USB 14-0110 Proposed changes to 14-110 allow inactive Bar members to serve of all Bar committees.

USB 14-0405 The changes to 14-405 clarify the rule that prohibits lawyers from switching from active to inactive and then back to active again within the same year in order to avoid MCLE compliance.

USB 14-0508 Proposed changes to Rule 14-508 requires lawyers who are administratively suspended for three years or more for failure to pay license fees to reapply for re-enrollment.

USB 14-0517 Proposed changes to 14-517(f) provide that a Bar a complaint against any lawyer employed by the Bar will be reviewed by the Ethics and Discipline Committee Chair or a special prosecutor rather than by the Office of Professional Conduct.

Utah Courts

View more posts from this author
4 thoughts on “Rules Governing the State Bar – Comment Period Closed March 10, 2017
  1. Matthew C. Barneck

    USB 14-0517. I recommend that this amendment apply to informal complaints by or against any lawyer employed by the Bar or a current or former member of the Committee. I’m aware of such a complaint filed by a former Chair of the Ethics and Discipline Committee. The OPC did not refer the complaint to a special prosecutor as it originally said it would do, but instead handled the matter as any other complaint. The OPC lawyer and the screening panel all knew the Complainant, and it appeared this familiarity improperly influenced the screening panel’s decision.

    1. Susan Rose

      I agree. But inactive judges need to be appointed to the EDC.
      the EDC chairs meet with the Prosecutor for rule making and advising outside of the discipline process.

      Rule 14-517 needs further changes with the “civil” standard being replaced by the U.S. Constitution’s 5th Amendment’s (and federal court’s standard) of “quasi criminal” to prevent burden shifting to the lawyer to prove their innocence.

      Rule 14-506 needs to eliminate Prosecutor power over trial judges hearing lawyer discipline cases for what the Judge says and does on the bench (albeit after they return to practice) for “professional misconduct” as defined by the Prosecutor.

      there needs to be a rule giving the EDC and trial judges regulatory authority over the Prosecutor and his associates for how they “interpret” the Rules and violate the Rules as plainly read.

      The Utah Supreme Court did not even recognize or enforce numerous rules violations as briefed by Mr. Tyler Larsen. he was suspended with an unclear record below.

      Currently all Utah State Bar members are deprived of U.S. Constitutional protections as a class, and prosecutorial misconduct is meaningless as any defense. Due Process for targeted lawyers is non existent, under Rule 14-506, the Prosecutor can prosecute all the targeted lawyers “hearing” screening panel and judges. … and do so by using the unconstitutional “civil” standard (instead of the federal court “quasi criminal” standard)(Rule 14-517(a)) that shifts and eliminates the Prosecutors’ burden…. and prosecute with prosecutorial misconduct of Rule omission or violations no EDC or trial judge can regulate because the Utah Supreme Court refuses to delegate investigation, fact finding and discipline over the Prosecutors to those “hearing” the targeted lawyers case. There is no availability to investigate the Prosecutors’ motivations of bringing a complaint against a targeted lawyer. Further, Due Process, not “one hour” limitations on EDC screening panel hearings should control how long the pre trial hearings last.

      Mr. Tyler Larsen advised the Utah Supreme Court of about a dozen Prosecutor Rule violations. Trial Judges have no “rule” delegated authority over the Prosecutor. The Utah Supreme Court did not mention much less rule on the Rule violations—the only means by which the Prosecutor has any delegated authority to act…unless the Rule violations are totally ignored. Further, as the Supreme Court noted, his suspension lacked a clear record below.

      Unless Rule 14-506 and Rule 14-517(a) are changed to allow all Utah lawyers to have an impartial trier from the beginning, and the fact finders and rule maker advisors work at an arm’s length from the Prosecutor, and have regulatory authority to control Prosecutorial misconduct…all Utah Lawyers as a class are without U.S. Constitutional protections.

      And finally, there should be a rule prohibiting the Prosecutor from prosecuting lawyers for the speech and motions they make in Court. The Judges have means of discipline. And if the arguments and motions made by a lawyer in court are flawed, the appeal court can take care of that. The Prosecutor targeting lawyers for in court conduct of their speech and motions and litigation strategies is also displacing the appeal courts.

      Further, there is little more to add. Thank You

  2. Kenneth Prigmore

    This change to the rules seems to be based on some need to have cleaner records. When someone has circumstances that result in the person not paying bar fees for three years straight, it will sometimes be a result of intentional neglect, and in those cases, it would be desirable to remove them from membership. In many other cases a $400+ fee will be onerous for some attorneys to pay. Kicking them while they are down by forcing them to reapply seems out of place in the open and concerned environment our bar has created. The Lawyers helping Lawyers program has been crucial to helping many attorneys who find themselves in a bad situation in regards to addiction. We do this because we care! I believe that helping lawyers in need, including financial need, is more important than cleaning intentional neglect lawyers off the rolls. If we want to accomplish both goals, I propose instituting a screening to allow attorneys earning little or nothing to maintain membership without the normal application fee. Then attorneys intentionally neglecting payment can be removed by this rule without harm to those who need our help most.

    1. Kenneth Prigmore

      The above comment was made in regards to USB 14-0508 Proposed changes to Rule 14-508, which requires lawyers who are administratively suspended for three years or more for failure to pay license fees to reapply for re-enrollment.