Rules Governing the Utah State Bar – Comment Period Closed November 11, 2021

USB14-0209. Utah Bar Foundation. Proposal to repeal. 


The Utah Bar Foundation (UBF) was created in 1963 as a 501(c)(3) organization. Its original purpose was to raise funds from members of the legal community in order to support civil legal aid for lower income Utahns, to fund law-related education, to further the administration of justice, and to support other worthwhile law-related causes. 

Section 2.1 of UBF’s 1963 founding Bylaws states the following: “Section 2.1 Classification, Qualification, Privileges and Election of Members. The corporation shall have one class of members consisting of all duly qualified, active members of the Utah State Bar who are in good standing. Each member shall have one (1) vote at any meeting of the members.” At some point many years ago, language in substantially the same form was codified in Rule 14-209. 

UBF stopped raising private funds from the legal community in 1999 when nonprofit “and Justice for all” was created. “and Justice for all” now serves as the primary fundraising organization in the legal community.  

Because UBF has evolved to receive financial support from a wide variety of sources and not solely from private legal community funds, the UBF Board is proposing to amend its Bylaws so that it no longer has defined membership. This would allow active, inactive, and non-attorneys to serve on the Utah Bar Foundation Board of Directors, as well as members of the general public. It will also render moot the language of Rule 14-209. 

The vote to amend the Bylaws will take place at a meeting of the currently defined membership which is defined as “all duly qualified, active members of the Utah State Bar who are in good standing.” Notice for that meeting will be provided in the Utah Bar Journal and given via email to all qualified UBF members as their email address appears on the records of the Utah State Bar. Additional details on the date, time, and location of the meeting, as well as a full copy of the proposed Restated Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws for the Utah Bar Foundation, can be found on the Foundation’s website at 

Please contact the Foundation offices for any questions or additional information at 801-297-7046 or via email at 

While the Foundation will continue to provide regular updates to Utah attorneys about their activities, this amendment to the Bylaws will allow the Foundation to be more inclusive of all stakeholders that share its common vision and mission of supporting civil legal aid and law-related education efforts.

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5 thoughts on “Rules Governing the Utah State Bar – Comment Period Closed November 11, 2021
  1. Jack Pate

    OPINION: No one who has not been a licensed attorney should be permitted to hold office or influence in the UBF. Attorneys are unique, and their perspective is not understood by those who have not worked in the profession. Politically, attorneys are not cohesive, yet the perspective they do share as attorneys is a priceless asset for the profession and the public. Foundations are notorious for their ability to be morphed into the tools of political activists through the persistent efforts of quiet zealots who aspire to lead them and misdirect them. Please leave the charter as the two topics mentioned, and move on. The foundation then can exist to assist effective communication between the Bar and the public. Broadening its charter or its membership will lead in a direction that half the bar will no longer agree with. Otherwise, abolish the foundation.

  2. Nelson Abbott

    The membership of the Utah Bar Foundation should not be changed. As a bar member with a trust account, I am currently forced to give the interest on my client funds to the Utah Bar Foundation through the IOLTA program. Neither me nor my clients have any choice in this. My clients have no input on what charities their interest will be given to. I have very little if any input. If this change goes through, I will have even less input. If this change does go through, the requirement for IOLTA accounts to deliver their interest to the UBF should be ended. Instead, it should be voluntary, at best. Either me or my clients or both should be allowed to decide if and to whom the interest on their trust funds should be paid.

  3. Andrew McCullough

    The Bar has long pressured its members to attach our trust accounts to this foundation and pay any interest we might otherwise be paid as a contribution. Thus my trust account is listed with my bank in the name of the foundation. I would be thrilled to have this terminate. I am hoping that would be the effect of this change.

  4. Daniel Ybarra

    How would this affect Utah lawyers’ ability to be represented or have any vote regarding the use of money raised by the compulsory IOLTA rules?

    The repeal of 14-209 would apparently revoke the rights of all active members of the bar to attend and vote at all general meetings of the Foundation.

    If I understand the proposal correctly it is to repeal Rule 14-209 which states, “All active members of the Bar are members of the Utah Bar Foundation, entitled to attend and vote at all general meetings of the Foundation.”

    It doesn’t seem fair to revoke the voting rights of all the lawyers who are forced to pay all interest earned on their trust accounts to the foundation. It is reminiscent of the slogan, “no taxation without representation”.

    I know the notes on the proposal indicate that the repeal would “allow active, inactive, and non-attorneys to serve on the Utah Bar Foundation Board of Directors, as well as members of the general public” but the outright repeal, without an amendment, of 14-209 seems to work to revoke Utah Lawyer’s automatic membership in the UBF. From the comment I assume the foundation is trying to broaden it’s membership not reduce it but I’m not sure that the repeal of the rule would accomplish this.

    If the issue is that the foundation would like to better allow other people and organizations to participate/take control, it seems a better solution would be to amend Rule 14-209 to allow the inclusion of other stake holders as well instead of revoking the membership of all the lawyers who have no choice but to contribute all interest earned on their IOLTAs to the organization.

    From a broader perspective, I don’t understand the need to take this step. What is happening that requires this type of action?

    (I hate commenting on these things because I am not involved enough to know the context of everything that has gone into this proposal and maybe I’m way off base, but these are my thoughts as I read the proposal.)

  5. Patrick Stubblefield

    I concur with Counselor Pate. If you have never been a licensed attorney in the state of Utah, then you should not be permitted to hold office or influence in the UBF.