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Be nice to your Utah attorney, especially if they’re your sweetheart rather than your legal counsel

We realize Valentine’s Day has passed, but given all those lawyers and their lovers, spouses, and would-be darlings, we couldn’t pass up a chance to write about “how to successfully date a lawyer.” Since most of the advice and tips we write about include a caveat of not being legal advice, with the best course of action to consult your Utah attorney, here’s an article departing from that trend: relationship advice. (Probably consult your friends and family and trusted love-advice columns for guidance, too.)

Not all lawyers are “aggressive, feisty, demanding and domineering,” though the traits that make that hunk of gorgeous Utah attorney successful in the cut-throat legal world so successful may make dating him somewhat more difficult. The trick is finding that sweet spot amid flexibility and patience that “can turn even argumentative brutes into dinner party-appropriate companions.” And even while that’s probably not an entirely fair characterization of attorneys, learning the art of concession, and choosing your battles wisely can go far in winning your partner’s respect and admiration. It takes stamina to argue with an attorney who is trained to “over-analyze and nitpick their opponent’s position with far greater enthusiasm than a normal person,” so learning when to concede and when to push through is crucial for a happy relationship.

Hide them from your family. 

Okay, that was a little dramatic, but seriously, advise your family not to pester your partner for free legal advice over the dinner table. Thanksgiving Day celebrations are hardly the appropriate time to spend 90 minutes “discussing Aunt Melanie’s dispute with the homeowners association over the height of her fence and width of her hot tub.” Seriously, your family’s asking your Utah attorney beau or beauty for free legal advice is inappropriate and a red flag for them. They’ll make excuses not to come back next year.

Showing a little interest in your sweetheart’s work is good advice regardless of their profession. “Engaging in some thorough discussions with your lawyer partner about his or her day can help improve your bond” and boost their self-confidence. 

If we’ve given the impression that dating a Utah attorney might be somewhat of a high-maintenance investment, well—don’t take our word for it. If you’ve been crushing on the girl next door who’s rarely home, but looks glamorous in her high-powered suits and pumps when she is, or if you’ve had your eye on that handsome friend of your cousin’s who just became a partner at that prestigious Salt Lake law firm, don’t let us put you off. Dating a lawyer can be hard work, sure, but making a relationship last with anyone is a challenge.

We just recommend keeping in mind that “most lawyers are driven, over-achieving perfectionists with no concept of downtime,” so you might just have to drag them out of their work-world to a night on the town or a mini-vacation that they’ve been working so hard that they’ve forgotten they needed to take. 

#utahlawyer   #familylaw  
5 tips for getting along with your lawyer lover this Valentine's Day and throughout the year.
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Utah lawyer representing residents on crusade to root out varmint “in their front yards and in Washington”

Although their language is almost comically strong, the authors of this article aren’t telling jokes. For the residents of +Cedar City, UT and their Utah lawyer taking their fight to the federal government, the war metaphors don’t feel exaggerated. For the inhabitants of “this small town in the southwestern part of the state,” being “under siege from a proliferating population of rodents,” and simultaneously “under assault by federal environmental bureaucrats” isn’t a reality to be laughed at. The Utah prairie dog has, in fact, been shown to cause damage to parks, playing fields, homeowner’s lawns, farm fields, golf courses, and “even the cemetery and the airport’s runways.”

But the residents of Cedar City, as of now, have their hands tied in their battle with the 40,000 or so Utah prairie dogs in the area, since the rodent is listed the on the Endangered Species List by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. If residents tried to take the rodent population into their own hands, they’d face retribution—including “crushing fines, and even prison time”—from the federal government, and are forbidden from protecting their property against this burrowing pest.

Cedar City has decided to fight back, and if not in extermination tactics, via their Utah lawyer taking the case to court. Demonstrating that the Endangered Species Act has been detrimental to their town’s economy, the attorney supports the citizens in arguing that that “ESA restrictions leave construction projects in limbo,” undermining growth and stagnating progress.

With their Utah lawyer behind them, and having formed the People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners (PETPO), residents of Cedar City “have taken a stand for their freedoms, and if they’re successful they could win a victory for everyone who values constitutional principles.”

We warned you that the language in the article was strong, even sensationalized, so if you’re rolling your eyes, we’re not all that surprised. The rhetoric and principles touted by this side of the argument is as impassioned and dramatic as those who lament the death of a single Utah prairie dog in its encounter with modern civilization.

Written by the Utah lawyer representing the Cedar City residents in their war against the restrictions around the Utah prairie dog, what the article does do is highlight the tensions that Utah residents encounter on an ongoing basis. As a state with multiple National Parks and several hundred acres of protected land, Utah is one of the last American frontiers where nature is concerned. And finding a balance of how to live peacefully alongside that nature in a state that is still so very wild is a challenge for the residents of its cities and towns. Whether it’s dealing with several feet of snowfall within a few days or determining the best way to protect endangered species while fostering economic growth, the residents of Utah have their work cut out for them.

This lawsuit challenging the federal government’s authority to regulate the Utah prairie dog (“because it’s not an ‘interstate’ species and isn’t bought or sold in commerce”) is just another example of the constant negotiations with nature that happen in America’s wildest lands.

#prairiedog   #cedarcityutah   #utahlawyer  
Jonathan Wood is a staff attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation. He represents property owners of Cedar City, Utah, in their challenge to the constitutionality of ESA regulations for the Utah prairie dog. - Anyone who doubts that the federal government is on a relentless march to regulate...
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Salt Lake City trademark lawyers point to Queens’ Tea lawsuit as another reason to register trademarks in business

Seth Anderson and Michael Ferguson were surprised, but Salt Lake City trademark lawyers say that maybe they shouldn’t have been, first when they received a cease-and-desist letter and later a trademark-infringement lawsuit from a tea company based out of Seattle Washington. The owners of Queens’ Tea, a young business in Salt Lake, “say they must close their commercial kitchen and discontinue their online business to cover legal fees” associated with the lawsuit, which may indeed be a serious loss to tea lovers in the Salt Lake Valley.

If you’re a Queens’ Tea enthusiast, you can still support Anderson’s and Ferguson’s business by showing up to local farmer’s markets and in stores in SLC, but if you’re out of state, at the moment you’re out of luck. Diverting funds from the commercial kitchen (required for shipping food products interstate), the men are hoping that their Salt Lake City trademark lawyers can wrap this case up for them so they can get back to business doing what they love.

Their future may be uncertain, however. Stating that the “word ‘queens’ in their business has nothing to do with British royalty” may not be enough to save them from the trademark violation claims coming from the Queen Mary Tea Room. “Well known among tea enthusiasts, it is ‘the oldest independent tea room in America’ and has been featured in the book ‘The Great Tea Rooms of America.’” With a federally registered trademark for both its restaurant and wholesale tea businesses, the Queen Mary Tea Room may have a solid case, Salt Lake City trademark lawyers like R. Tee Spjute might caution.

But Anderson and Ferguson won’t be put off so easily, saying that “the word ‘queens’ in their business refers to the slang term for a gay man,” and thus doesn’t offer competition. But that may be exactly what’s so disconcerting to the Queen Mary Tea Room. Accusing the Salt Lake business that their actions “damaged, and will continue to damage” their reputation and may “discourage current and potential customers from dealing” with them, the Seattle based company’s claimed affront is a little offensive in and of itself.

At least, that’s how the Utah couple and their Salt Lake City trademark lawyers see it. “We hope the judge in the case will agree with us that the Queen Mary Tea Room and Restaurant in Seattle has overreached in their claims to exclusive use of the words ‘Queen” and ‘Tea’ under trademark law.” Citing their struggles to be accepted personally, they cite this lawsuit as yet another “unfair aggravated attack” against which they feel compelled to stand up, “having both grown up in situations where we were repeatedly bullied for being true to ourselves as queer individuals.”

But whether the owners of the Queens’ Tea are confusing civil rights and discrimination cases with legal matters more clearly spelled out in federal trademark law will have to be determined by a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.

#queenstea   #queenmarytearoom   #saltlakecitytrademarklawyers  
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Bankruptcy is where asset protection comes to “crash and burn” reiterates asset protection attorney in Salt Lake City

This columnist in Forbes said it first but an asset protection attorney in Salt Lake City is likely to agree: “bankruptcy is the place where many a well-structured asset protection plan has crashed and burned.” No one wants to end up bankrupt—the term has all sorts of negative connotations, and not just in the financial field (think: morally bankrupt criminals, e.g.). But filing for bankruptcy happens, and it’s often the end of a long road for distressed debtors. The Forbes contributor Jay Adkisson’s article goes into incredible depth and has some good nuggets of advice, as long as you remember they’re not nuggets of qualified legal advice. You’ll have to come back to your asset protection attorney in Salt Lake City for that.

Basically, Adkisson reminds us that even if bankruptcy is your –voluntary or involuntary—final destination, “a well-structured asset protection plan may effectively protect the debtor’s assets from collection.” But beware, he reminds us: as a respected Utah lawyer R. Tee Spjute, or any other asset protection attorney in Salt Lake City already knows it’s perfectly legal for creditors to “make the debtor’s life so miserable through the collection process” that debtors cave in and cough up whatever money will get the creditors off their backs.

This is harassment. Yes. And it’s “quite lawful.” Adkisson remembers one strategy used by a collector who issued asset examination subpoenas for a debtor, the debtor’s wife, and also the debtor’s mistress “to all show up for the examination at the same time.” Needless to say, the debtor “promptly settled for 100 cents on the dollar before their little get together.” 

These external pressures issued by the creditor are a legitimate way to encourage the debtor to pay up on his debts, Williams and other Utah attorneys know. The pressures also often result in the debtor’s filing for bankruptcy in their attempt to “discharge her creditors,” i.e. get them off the debtor’s back. Or, as has become increasingly common recently, “creditors will place a debtor into an involuntary bankruptcy proceeding” to better wield their powers of collection.

Williams knows as well as any other asset protection attorney in Salt Lake City that bankruptcy “often means an unfortunate result for the asset protection plan,” so planning for the possibility of this eventuality from the beginning is a smart way to be prepared and minimize the losses of the assets, should the regrettable reality of “going bankrupt” happen to you.

Of course, legal counsel for bankruptcy situations is always a good idea, too, and many attorneys specializing in debt relief and bankruptcy can help the stymie some losses. But the article linked above in Forbes is truly insightful in its delineation of several considerations that should become factors in any asset protection plan, from being aware of what exactly constitutes “The Bankruptcy Estate” and how to avoid “Fraudulent Transfers” to setting up successful “Estate Planning Trusts” and how “Business Entities” may come into play in your estate. If you can’t keep it together on your own—maybe it’s time you asked for a little help.

#assetprotection   #attorneyinsaltlakecity  
IN BANKRUPTCY, ALL BETS ARE OFF Bankruptcy is the place where many a well-structured asset protection plan has crashed and burned, for any of the reasons (and more) that are below discussed. Thus, some asset protection planners will tell their clients to the effect that "this plan will work, so long [...]
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Decision from U.S. Court of Appeals might change the face of Salt Lake City securities litigation forever

The reversal of the convictions of Todd Newman and Anthony Chiasson in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit earlier this month may have tremendous implications in any securities litigation involving claims of insider trading, as analyst Matt Levine discusses in the Bloomberg View. In his thoughtful review of the potential impact the appellate court’s decision could have for everyone everywhere, from New York to LA, Seattle to Salt Lake City securities litigation cases, Levine enumerates several salient points that securities attorneys should look out for.

Emphasizing that the reversal of the convictions of the two insider trading defendants is unlikely to make it to the Supreme Court, which has “shown some inclination to limit rather than expand insider trading law,” the analyst suggests that the opinion rendered in this case “is strikingly broad.” So much so that extrapolating it to other cases might suggest that “classic golf-buddy insider trading…might be legal under the Second Circuit’s reasoning.” This would indeed be a pretty big deal, as Salt Lake City securities litigation attorney R. Tee Spjute would know. Because this most recent decision “requires prosecutors to prove that inside information was divulged for ‘at least a potential gain of a pecuniary or similarly valuable nature,’ and not just out of friendship,” the landscape of securities litigation might look very different in the future.

Levine cautions us to remember that even while “lawyers like to say that ‘hard cases make bad law’, and there’s some of that going on here,” this particular decision is only one in a string where “insider trading law is entirely made by judges on a case-by-case basis.” Meaning? There’s no real law, written down; no statute or regulation banning insider trading. And if insider trading law is made judge-by-judge, case-by-case, it’s understandable why “judges want to be careful about only convicting people who really knew they were doing something illegal. If judges aren’t sure whether something is a crime, it’s a bit hard to send people to prison for doing it.” 

So what does that mean for the scope of Salt Lake City securities litigation, or securities cases involving insider trading anywhere else in the U.S.? One potential result is that the Securities and Exchange Commission itself would make some laws about insider trading (because we all know that Congress probably won’t). The SEC is authorized to create “such rules and regulations as the Commission may provide,” but will they? And what impact would that have on sanctioning insider trading, in the long term, since SEC cases are almost entirely civil or administrative?

Spjute and other Salt Lake City securities litigation attorneys are exceptionally aware that “most insider trading cases aren’t criminal.” Unless they involve bribes or other clearly illegal activities, “the sort of diffuse networks of hedge funds that…run on inside information” wouldn’t be prosecuted as criminal. More that they’d be limited to SEC enforcement, meaning that they’d pay a large fine or be shut down entirely. Which, when you think about it, isn’t so terrible. Instead of chucking someone off to an already overcrowded prison system, why not just make them give their money tainted by some dirty information back and then have your hands tied from doing it again? But that’s a concept that has to do with justice, not guilt, even though both are at stake in deciding what’s next for insider trading laws.

#securitieslawsuit   #securitieslitigationinsaltlake   #insidertrading  
Yesterday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit handed down a big decision in an insider trading case. A really big decision. Here is a TV segment
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Monkey selfie “Not copyrightable;” not likely to end up in a Salt Lake City intellectual property litigation situation, or in court anywhere, despite photojournalist claims

It’s not a battle between Wikimedia Commons and British photojournalist David Slater; it’s not a battle between the monkey-photographer and the public; in fact, there is no battle to be had, according to attorneys accurately familiar with copyright law, despite what Slater claims once “his” photo went viral around the world. Public Knowledge, an interest group that promotes affordable communication tools and creative works as well as an open internet, is the latest to be caught in the crossfire, though with the low likelihood of the issue ever mounting the dockets of a Salt Lake City intellectual property litigation courtroom, the crossfire might be seen to be coming more from a pop-gun than one with valid legal ammo.

Here’s what happened, and why attorneys who know what kind of claims do end up in a Salt Lake City intellectual property litigation case know this one won’t see the inside of a courtroom: in 2011 during a nature photo shoot, a crested black macaque grabbed Slater’s camera away from him and took hundreds of photos. “One of them was the now-famous selfie, which made its way to Wikimedia Commons, an online storehouse of free-to-use images.” But Slater is claiming the rights to the image, and threatening legal action in the U.S. and the U.K. unless Public Knowledge—now hosting the image as part of a discussion post about the copyright issue—removes the photo.

They won’t. And here’s why: litigation won’t solve the issue—it won’t even touch the issue, something that any attorney working in New York or L.A. or Salt Lake City intellectual property litigation already knows. “Certain works have no copyright holder…because the work is not the creation of a human author…so there would be no one to definitively contest in court.” Which is a pretty helpful clarification, given the seriously misleading headline Buzfeed published a while back that suggested that “the monkey himself owned the copyright.” 

Lawyers like Tara W. Pincock, familiar with civil litigation in more than one state can see how this is a concept that is somewhat hard for the public to grasp (especially if they thought the monkey did own the selfie). But “some things simply aren’t copyrighted at all.” Another copyright attorney weighs in on the monkey-selfie issue, insisting that “we need to stop assuming that every image, sound recording, or innovation is owned, or even ownable.” Claims like Slater’s are ones that may make for entertaining dockets in a Salt Lake City intellectual property litigation courtroom, but they’re also ones that are a waste of time.

The scope and applicability of intellectual property law is nuanced, but clear and specific, and “it would be absurd for every instance of the use of public domain works to be litigated,” intellectual property attorneys reiterate. But that’s not stopping Slater from sending infringement notice letters to Public Knowledge now, nor claiming that by hosting the image they are violating his “rights to commercialize the image/s.” This is a debate that’s not likely to go far here in the U.S.; Pincock and other legal experts should be pretty confident about that. Though the whole situation’s entertainment value may be far above whatever commercial worth the photo may have generated for Slater.

#saltlakecityintellectualpropertylitigation   #intellectualproperty   #selfie   #buzzfeed  
David Slater wants Public Knowledge to buy a "monkey selfie" license. Not happening.
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In a bizarre legal twist, Utah woman hires an attorney in Salt Lake City to sue…herself

Mostly this is not supposed to happen. The threads of logic unravel and it’s like a bad time travel movie, only its set in a courtroom, and only it’s not a movie. In Utah, a “woman has been granted the ability to sue herself for negligence in the case of a deadly accident that killed her husband in 2011.” If your head is already spinning, don’t worry. Yours isn’t the only one—so are those of most every judge an attorney in Salt Lake City, too. For some reason unbeknownst to most of the rest of the legal world, the Utah court of Appeals “has ruled that Barbara Bagley will be allowed to proceed with a wrongful-death lawsuit against herself.”

I mean, it’s more than understandable that at the loss of a loved one, survivors want there to be accountability. Assigning blame or responsibility and getting some sort of compensation will never bring your family back, but it might assuage some of the sense of loss and “mental anguish” experienced, and Bagley apparently thinks so too. Even if she’s pointing the finger at…herself. “Suing the driver of the vehicle, Bagley, for an unspecified amount of money stemming from losses in medical and funeral costs,” Bagley’s closed-circuit system of accountability is contradictory to logic, to say the least.

But Utah’s Court of Appeals is saying that it should at least be heard. So the attorney in Salt Lake City representing Bagley as plaintiff in the case is pitted in the courtroom against the legal counsel representing Bagley as defendant in the case. Yeah, our minds our boggled too.

The case was originally “dismissed by Third District Judge Paul Maughan in 2014  but the Utah Appeals Court reinstated the suit in a 3-0 ruling that state law doesn’t ban Bagley from suing herself for damages.” So even though the judge saw where the case was headed and didn’t want to waste anyone’s time, it’s not illegal per se, to sue oneself. But her defense attorney in Salt Lake City is arguing that it’s an unjust scenario to begin with. “If this suit is allowed to continue, a jury would be asked to determine whether Barbara Bagley’s fault caused Barbara Bagley’s own harm,” the lawyer points out.

It’s sticky, indeed, an attorney in Salt Lake City who works in both criminal defense and civil litigation, would reiterate. Bagley’s lawyer states, “The jury would be asked to determine how much money will fairly compensate Barbara Bagley for the harm she caused herself. The jury will be highly confused—it cannot order a person to compensate itself.” But a jury isn’t the only one who might be confused in this case—I mean, who isn’t?

Apparently the case hinges on how the defense and the plaintiff understand “the phrase ‘of another’ to determine which heirs or personal representatives of an estate can sue for damages.” That is one courtroom I’d like to steer clear of—lest my brain implode from the miles of circular logic.

#attorneyinSaltLakeCity   #utahcourtofappeals   #barbarabagley  
A Utah woman has been granted the ability to sue herself for negligence in the case of a deadly accident that killed her husband in 2011.
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For most any attorney in Salt Lake City, the legal situation of Curtis Allgier raises both eyebrows and hairs

Convicted killers occasionally become famous for their horrific deeds, and Curtis Allgier of Utah isn’t an exception. Gaining notoriety for the brutality with which he shot and killed a police officer escorting him from prison to the hospital before leading police on a high speed chase and holding at least one fast-food restaurant worker hostage, Allgier doesn’t exactly come off as likeable. But is that a reason to conclude that he forfeits the right to legal counsel? Well no, not in and of itself, but we wonder whether, even given the facts, more than one attorney in Salt Lake City is conflicted about whether Allgier should be able to retain legal representation.

And the facts are these: that “the Utah Supreme Court on Friday upheld a motion by his attorneys to withdraw from the case” after they had been personally threatened by their client—including threats to their family members sent to their home addresses. But why would that leave Allgier to defend himself, if after all, except in little known circumstances the right to counsel is guaranteed by the Constitution? Well, partly because “In addition to threats, Allgier filed bar complaints and made derogatory and hostile statements about his lawyers in court motions.” In short, the defendant didn’t want any attorney in Salt Lake City to represent him.

But just because he calls his lawyers “the dumbest…clowns” and goes on to accuse them of incompetently and ineffectively misrepresenting him (we’ll leave alone the logic of his double negatives in that phrase) before claiming that the “NEVER will have the honor” of having any contact with him—all in official court documentation, mind you—should he forego his Constitutionally protected right to legal counsel? 

Apparently so, according to the Utah Supreme Court. Ideologically, though, it’s not that simple. Even while an attorney in Salt Lake City like Clay A. Alger, a criminal defense lawyer, may recognize that personally being assigned to a threatening and derogatory client isn’t the most savory experience, and can indeed be downright chilling, does anyone deserve being denied the right to counsel? This New York Times article wonders whether the Utah Supreme Court’s ruling to let Allgier go without counsel is like “adding an asterisk to one of the bedrock rights of America’s legal system.” 

The court recognized its actions as “drastic,” but stood by them as “justified.” Which may be understandable, when all the facts are considered, like Allgier’s multiple attempts to disqualify his attorney in Salt Lake City without adequate legal reasons, which ended up causing delays to the appeals court process several times. When is enough simply enough, and when do decisions like those of the State’s Supreme Court to let a convicted killer go without legal representation create a legal precedent to begin denying other criminals of their Constitutional rights?

It may be a slippery slope, and public defenders’ groups have been saying for a while that “growing strains” for court-appointed attorneys like unmanageable caseloads result in “many low-level criminal defendants appearing in court without the benefit of counsel” anyway. 

#curtisallgier   #attorneysaltlakecity  
Convicted killer Curtis Allgier has lost his right to legal counsel during his appeal after repeatedly threatening his court-appointed lawyers.
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Salt Lake City lawyers for climate-change awareness group claim free speech rights victory in court ruling

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals made a decision last month that expands free speech rights in Utah, according to the news published in Jursist.org online. Ruling against the Utah Department of Transportation, the court decided that requiring protester groups to purchase a $1 million insurance policy before marching on state roadways to be unconstitutional. iMatter, the climate-change awareness group asked their Salt Lake City lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah to file suit when they expressed they couldn’t afford the price: $2,500, and that the requirement to purchase it violated their freedom to demonstrate.

The Denver-based federal appeals court agreed with them, “upholding a similar ruling last year from a federal judge in Utah.” The bulk of the court’s decision stemmed from the argument that “UDOT could not prove that the insurance requirements matched the actual cost to Utah when permitting a parade. Utah already has broad immunity from most lawsuits” that would be brought from demonstrators on public streets. Salt Lake City lawyers representing UDOT claimed that although they didn’t have hard evidence for potential costs of lawsuits filed by demonstrators, at least one commercial event has resulted in injured persons suing the state, “such as bicycle races” downtown.

The ACLU representatives in this Herald Extra news article called the ruling a victory: “I think it vindicates a need for a robust presence of protesters on public streets,” the legal director John Meija told the press. The Salt Lake City street planned for the demonstration was “State Street, a Utah highway,” which was not permitted by UDOT without the insurance policy. “Instead of marching on the street, the group marched on public sidewalks.”

While iMatter’s protest went ahead, even if not as planned, skirting the issue wasn’t in their plans. The ACLU and their Salt Lake City lawyers say that the decision of the 10th Circuit Court was another in a long string of decisions upholding the First Amendment rights. Utah attorneys like Gregory W. Schulz, practiced in civil litigation, could easily weigh in on the “free speech implications of the laws criminalizing the non-consensual publication of obscene materials, commonly known as ‘revenge porn,’” or the restrictions allowed to be placed on specialty license plates under the First Amendment.

Now, Utah’s Office of the Attorney General has to decide whether it will appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. Assistant AG Joni Jones insists that because “there are not many other court rulings on the issue, the high court may be interested in it,” though other Salt Lake City Lawyers opposing her wonder if statements such as that one are mere feints or refusals to go quietly. For now, however, the ruling stands as requiring groups staging public protests to purchase insurance and file an indemnification form with the state to be an unconstitutional burden on free speech.

Stewart and other attorneys in the state guess that the buck probably stops here—the appeals court’s ruling seems pretty clear cut: not only did the policy “create a lack of alternative channels of expression,” as was already mentioned, Utah’s state codes “protects against liability” well enough that “the government’s interest could be served in other ways.”

#freespeech   #saltlakecitylawyers   #aclu  
[JURIST] The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals [official website] published a decision [opinion, PDF] on Monday declaring that Utah's requirement of a USD $1 million insurance policy for demonstrations violates the First Amendment [text] of the constitution. The case was brought by two Salt Lake ...
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Business attorney in Utah for Zenefits might call Department of Insurance decision “hostile to innovation”

The long and proudly touted idea that Utah is a state open-for-business and friendly toward innovators has recently found itself weighed, measured—and wanting. Zenefits, an online, free-for-consumers website that provides Human Resource and Insurance services for small businesses is in violation of Utah state law, the Utah Department of Insurance has preliminarily decided, precipitating a response by Zenefits’ business attorney in Utah as well as their public relations department that calls the state on the carpet for their falsely delivered free market rhetoric in a recent letter posted online.

The claim that “Utah insurance regulators are hostile to innovation,” and that “the department’s determination will have ripple effects beyond the insurance marketplace, pegging the state as inhospitable to companies that use technology and innovation to reach new markets or disrupt existing ones” is a strong one that the state won’t let go unanswered, a business attorney in Utah like Gregory Schulz would probably wager. Indeed, a spokesperson for Gov. Gary Herbert has already issued a statement recognizing Zenefits’ frustration and stating that they will be “actively working toward a resolution in the upcoming legislative session.” 

Reiterating that they are “open to changing the law,” the governor’s office walks a fine line between standing behind the decision from UDoI that Zenefits is in violation of the law and the business interests of the state, including its value on innovation. 

Zenefits claims that their business model that offers free services to consumers while also marketing “third-party services to them such as payroll and health insurance” from whom Zenefits collects commission payments offers convenience and affordability that current insurance providers don’t. Zenefits business attorney in Utah contends this is nothing more than free market competition in service provision, but insurance regulators have ruled that these “kickbacks” prevent “a level playing field in the marketplace.”

Schulz or another business attorney in Utah could analyze the law as being open for interpretation—from the wide ruling the Dept. of Insurance has issued to a narrower one that would protect innovators’ rights to compete with existing businesses. Disrupting the market ensures competition among providers and the best possible services at lowest cost to consumers, Zenefits argues.

But they may not have the final word. Fined “nearly $100,000” and “ordered to cease operations,” Zenefits has stopped accepting new customers in the state. But that doesn’t mean they’ll go down without a fight: their online letter to the public excoriating the Dept. of Insurance ruling is the first sign of their challenging their fate. In the letter, Zenefits points to the hypocrisy of the Dept. of Insurance’s application of the state law, claiming that “under the department’s interpretation, other companies such as Zions Bank also would be operating illegally by giving away services such as free checking accounts.” 

Whether the legislative session actually changes any laws to encourage the innovation that Zenefits is claiming remains to be seen. In the meantime, small businesses are hopeful that the state will find a way to serve their interests by enabling them to keep their options affordable and convenient.

#businessattorneyinutah   #zenefits  
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Salt Lake City attorneys can’t help but roll their eyes when considering Super Dell’s courtroom drama

“Disruptive and combative with a federal judge” is never how you want to start out your initial court appearance. Never, that is, unless you’re Super Dell, a “former TV pitchman in Utah known for his over-the-top personality.” Dell Schanze’s performance in court may have made Salt Lake City attorneys cringe, but his performance in the air is what got YouTube viewers across the country up in arms.

Schanze appeared in court for charges “stemming from accusations he chased and kicked a barn owl in flight while on a motorized paraglider.” Previous stunts, like the one in which he videotaped himself paragliding from an historic monument in Oregon, have also resulted in his arrest. This time, though to the chagrin and embarrassment of the Salt Lake City attorneys and court personnel nearby, Schanze couldn’t sit still in the courtroom. After his arrest for the barn owl incident, he was released “on conditions that included getting rid of all his weapons.” Seems reasonable, right? Not according to Schanze.

Super Dell ended up in handcuffs at his first court appearance for this case after he “stood up an interrupted a judge at another man’s hearing.” For anyone who has never been in a courtroom, we can tell you now: this is something you just don’t do. Apparently Schanze believed himself not only above the law, but above courtroom etiquette as well, only unlike not using your manners at Grandma’s breaking the rules in a courtroom will get you cuffed, as Super Dell found out.

What was so important to Schanze that he felt compelled to interrupt federal judge’s adjudication of another case? “Speaking loudly from the front row, Schanze declared that it was unconstitutional to take the man’s guns,” which is pretty bold, considering he’s already facing up to 1.5 years of incarceration and $100,000 in fines. When the U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Brooke Wells asked Schanze planned to hire his own lawyer, since the one that appeared beside him was court-appointed, Super Dell “ignored the question and declared the charges against him lacked merit.”

Given his behavior in the courtroom, it’s probable that Super Dell would face a better outcome in court if he does hire his own attorney, but it’s doubtful that many Salt Lake City attorneys are jumping at the chance to represent such a loose cannon in the courtroom. Schanze remained argumentative while the judge attempted to determine whether he even qualified for court-appointed counsel.

Appropriately, Judge Wells ordered Super Dell “to get a mental evaluation and approval before travelling outside of Utah. She also barred him from having weapons.” While he answered “Yes, ma’am” several times when asked whether he understood the conditions of his release, his record isn’t so promising, something Salt Lake City attorneys considering taking his case will surely take into consideration.

Not including the Oregon incident, Schanze ran afoul of the law in 2006 for flying too low near I-15 at rush hour, in 2005 for lying to police officers, and for weaving in and out of traffic with a loaded gun (lacking a permit) and children unbuckled. He’s also run for governor of Utah. 

#superdell   #dellschanze   #saltlakecityattorneys  
SALT LAKE CITY — A former TV pitchman in Utah known for his over-the-top personality turned his initial court appearance into a sideshow Thursday by being disruptive and combative with a federal judge
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Honda’s failure to report some 1,700 injuries across eleven years may be tantamount to crime, fraud lawyer in Utah analyzes

It took over a decade and one individual’s death going unreported for five years for the Japenese auto maker to admit its mistakes—finally. U.S. safety regulators have been informed that Honda didn’t become aware of the discrepancies in its records and its reports until 2011, but that’s still three years ago, which is entirely unacceptable, a fraud lawyer in Utah would say. Unacceptable not least because it puts Honda in clear violation of federal law, but also in its responsibility to be held accountable to the public.

The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration demanded an explanation of the company last month, and finally got an official filing report from Honda two weeks ago. The documents confirmed that “Honda may have failed to report incidences related to air bags that…can rupture after a crash and injure occupants with shards of metal.” Honda’s (unofficial) explanatory defense for their lateness in filing sounds more than a little suspicious, a fraud lawyer in Utah with experience in international law and business relations would be likely to point out. Why the decade lapse in the reporting time from the occurrences of the incidents? Data entry error.

“Honda blamed the lapses on inadvertent data entry and computer programming errors, as well as a misinterpretation of the federal TREAD act,” something which could signal trouble for the automaker, since the law passed in 2000 requires reporting of deaths, injuries and safety defects by automakers each quarter for any claims they receive. One of the claims that they “accidentally” left out is that of an eighteen year old girl’s death after an airbag inflated and “sent shards of metal into her neck.” Her family sued Honda within a month; Honda kept quiet.

A fraud lawyer in Utah or pretty much anywhere in the U.S. might say that Honda’s claim that the reporting errors were noticed in 2011 and “were reported to NHTSA in other unspecified ways” seems fishy at best, and downright fraudulent, at worst. One nonprofit watchdog group, the Center for Auto Safety, sees Honda’s actions as reprehensible, and wants the federal government to pursue the maximum corrective action available for their “massively violating the law.”

“NHTSA should refer the case to the Justice Department for a criminal investigation,” given their actions of hiding claims, especially when you consider the dubious contention that “a sophisticated company like Honda could make so many errors.” The Center for Auto Safety insists that claiming that they were simply “errors” “strains credulity” of Honda’s statements, and CAS would probably be eager to team up with a fraud lawyer to build a case against the Japanese automaker’s failure in accountability.

NHTSA has the authority to “fine automakers up to $35 million for failing to report defects in a timely manner,” but given Honda’s market value, even a fine that large wouldn’t necessarily be felt by the company as more than a little sting or slap on the wrist, which is why the Center for Auto Safety “wants to increase the maximum fine to $300 million.” 

#hondainjuryclaims   #fraudlawyerinutah   #autosafety  
Honda is admitting that it failed to report more than 1,700 injury and death claims about its vehicles to ...
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8 E 300 S #550 Salt Lake City, UT 84111, United States
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Shumway Van & Hansen is a law firm in Salt Lake City with strategically located regional offices to serve its clients throughout the West. Many of our Utah lawyers represent businesses and other organizations with transactions and lawsuits. However, our law firm also has Utah attorneys practicing a variety of other types of law.

If you are searching for a divorce lawyer in Salt Lake City, an immigration attorney, a real estate lawyer, a personal injury attorney, or simply need a comprehensive estate plan, one of the Utah lawyers at our law firm can assist you.

Even though many clients think of us as Utah business lawyers, we are a full-service regional law firm that can help with almost any type of legal situation. Our attorneys are sensitive to the cost of legal representation and we think that you will find that you receive excellent legal services at a reasonable price whenever you us the law firm of Shumway Van & Hansen.

Many of our lawyers and staff have been in the Salt Lake City community for decades so even if we can't help you with a particular legal situation we are more than happy to refer you to someone that can.

Please give us a call and schedule a consultation if you think that we can be of any help. 

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Jim Klein
3 months ago
These guys will nickel and dime you for everything so much as thinking about your case. I understand people need to be paid for their time but when my first invoice was twice the quoted amount without even a warning or an email, I have a problem with that. The descriptions of the services I was charged for were comical & irritating. These guys are great Lawyers but poor at managing client expectations and relations.
Response from the owner - 3 months ago
Mr. Klein - We are sorry that you had a bad experience and would like you to know that we strive to address client concerns immediately, to the extent we possibly can. Unfortunately, we have no record of you being a client so we cannot reach out to you in order to resolve your concerns. Please contact our Salt Lake City office at your convenience to speak with Cassie and get to the bottom of this.
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Mary Ramirez
a year ago
Genevie is such an amazing person. I was graced with the privilege of meeting Genevie in high school. We where new to the state and she made my sister and myself feel like we had known her for years. You is a very warm person who truly cares for helping others. She will go above and beyond to make you feel as if she was brought into your life just to help you in your time of need for whatever it may be. She is such a beautiful, caring, and loving person to not only her family but to anyone she meets. If I am in need of any legal advice I will most definitely be giving her a call!
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Samuel Wilkinson
10 months ago
I love these guys. Their team is always professional, kind, and helpful. I learn something every time we work together. I strongly recommend them.
Response from the owner - 8 months ago
Thank you Sam for your kind words! We appreciate your business and look forward to helping you with your businesses in the future.
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Brett McCormack
a year ago
I have worked with Douglas (Shumway Van & Hansen) for a few years now and have really enjoyed the experience. Dougl and his staff are the hardest working Law firm I have ever met. The staff has been more then helpful. I have referred at least 5 of my friends to Shumway Van & Hansen. I know I am in good hands.
Response from the owner - 8 months ago
Brett: You are too kind! You have been a great client and we appreciate that you refer your clients, friends and family to us. Thanks!
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Jesse N' Shannon Rakes
a year ago
We have relied on Shumway Van & Hanson law office to assist us in our legal needs. Genevie has provided us with excellent customer service and is fantastic at what she does! We have found the results she has helped us achieve to be excellent. Cory is an exceptional attorney who is able to resolve cases beyond the scope of many lawyers. We continue to rely on Shumway Van & Hanson as a key resource to all of our legal needs and I can recommend them without reservation! Thanks again :)
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Karri Jenson
a year ago
I had recently had an unpleasant experience with an apartment complex that was less than honest with their dealings with me. We hadn't signed any contract and were legally entitled to our full deposit back, less what we owed for rent during the three days we were there. The complex refused to give us our deposit. I knew Genevie personally and also knew that she had recently joined the team working for attorneys. I called her up and she gave me her office number and stated that I could receive a free consultation from an attorney to help with my situation. I spoke to Kristina Otterstrom and she was so kind and helpful! It was such a relief talking to her and knowing that I was in the right! Not only did she tell me all my rights and ways to get my money back, she went out of her way and offered her time and services to make a courtesy call to resolve it for me! She wasn't able to make that call for me the next day, however she assigned Micah McBride to make the call. Micah was very willing to help me as well and was very prompt to get the call made. He kept me informed on everything and was able to get my issue resolved in that one call. The apartment complex called me immediately after receiving word that Micah had called and they offered me everything that we had originally requested. I am so grateful for everything that was done in my behalf by everyone at Shumway Van & Hansen! I would recommed their services to anyone.
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Eric Hill
a year ago
I walked in with a little contract issue and within 2 days I had an addendum that worked for both parties. Very easy to work with, thorough follow through, and great communication. I was pleased.
Response from the owner - 8 months ago
Thank you for the kind review Eric! Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance.
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Mark McCormack
a year ago
Simply the best. This firm has worked with my company in three lawsuits. They are experts and very professional. I was happily surprised with the value I got with this law firm, they are very competitively priced. I will always use Shumway Van and Hansen for my legal work.
Response from the owner - 8 months ago
Mark - Thank you for years of being a great client! We appreciate your business and look forward to helping you grow your companies for years to come.
Playworks is a great organization that is truly helping communities in Utah. If you haven't heard of Playworks it is because it is a bit new to the scene. In addition to many other things, Playworks puts coaches in schools to teach kids how to play with one another and promote a healthy and safe environment for the kids at school, at home and within the community. The things they are doing in the schools is having a significant positive impact that ends up helping students, teachers and parents and saving taxpayers $$.
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Public - 12 months ago
reviewed 12 months ago
The Downtown Alliance has made a major impact on Salt Lake City and arguably the entire state. Our law firm offices in downtown Salt Lake so our employees and clients experience downtown and benefit from all that the Downtown Alliance is doing. It takes organizations like this to ensure the viability of a community and we appreciate what they are doing.
Public - 12 months ago
reviewed 12 months ago
If you haven't participated in the Utah Arts Festival then you are seriously missing out. This is a great event for the Salt Lake community and our lawyers and staff support it each year. The food is amazing so you never really need to worry about having to leave the event for sustenance, so go and enjoy and support the arts!
Public - 12 months ago
reviewed 12 months ago
Wild Grape Bistro is a great place to get a bite if you are looking for something a little outside of downtown Salt Lake. The ingredients are fresh and probably farm-to-table. The price is a bit high and a little too a la carte for our taste, but it is worth a try. The desserts can be a little boozy so be warned if that is not your thing. Everything else you will probably be pleased with. The chefs are very skilled so don't be afraid to try things you haven't tried before.
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Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
48 reviews
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The Fourth Street Clinic is a miracle for our community. This clinic truly helps those that have a hard time helping themselves and the people involved are saints. Salt Lake has the problems that any major city has and things get especially bad for the homeless in the winter. The Fourth Street Clinic saves lives and educates and if you can provide support please do.
Public - 12 months ago
reviewed 12 months ago
P.F.s is a great place for lunch in Salt Lake City. It is never too crowded and the food is always good. Anyone can find something on the menu to love so it is great for business meetings. The lettuce wraps are great, as everyone knows, but the spring rolls are great as well. The orange beef and mongolian beef are great options as well. The walnut shrimp is also a favorite if you like extremely sweet dishes.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Need a great deli in Salt Lake City, Utah? This is the place for you. Seigfried's is a legitimate old school deli that is in the hear of downtown Salt Lake City. The lunch crowd is always big and the food is always great quality. You can get very traditional German fare here or have an experience just like you would expect from any good deli across the country. The staff are all business most of the time so don't expect loving kindness, but if you are going there for pampering then you have picked the wrong spot. Get in, get full and get out must be their motto.
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Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago