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Deeming some of the new laws in 2015 “prudent and useful” would be a stretch for the average Utah attorney

The Utah legislative session came to a close earlier this month, and many of the issues of the table were ones for which the public was anxiously awaiting an answer from their government. The answer to whether some forms of legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes, where the new prison should be located, and whether providing insurance coverage for Utahns who earn less than 138% of the federal poverty level would be a responsibility that falls to the state. A good Utah attorney pays attention to the outcome of these legislative sessions, regardless of whether she has clients whose cases could be influenced by the decisions—but to those lawyers and the public who were paying attention, there were some laws that seemed a little…well, you decide.

1: NO FISHING WITH GUNS, FIRECRACKERS OR ELECTRICITY. Or any other explosive device. Or poison or any other chemicals. If you’ve got a creative and curious angler-minded nephew, you might want to keep an eye on him lest you need to call up the professional advice of a Utah attorney after he takes his bow and arrow down to any Utah waterway and tries to catch a fish. Oh, except carp—since “it is now legal to use a crossbow to take carp at any open water stateside,” but not any other species of fish. Maybe keep the dynamite out of reach, too.

2: DO NOT ALTER THE WEATHER WITHOUT A LICENSE. Ok, this one isn’t as bizarre as it sounds, and refers mostly to cloud-seeding, or any act “undertaken to artificially distribute or create nuclei in cloud masses for the purposes of altering precipitation, cloud forms, or other meteorological parameters.” Maybe the state has experienced issues with wackos changing the weather in the past…

3: NO RIDING WITH NO HANDS. Seriously, is the government stealing our childhoods?! Now taking your hands off the handlebars of your bike is illegal, and while doing so might not end you up in court before a judge and Utah attorney prosecuting a case against you, you could probably end up with a ticket. And a broken arm, which is more expensive.

4: NO DISCRIMINATING AGAINST MILK AND BUTTERFAT BUYERS. A Utah attorney specializing in business litigation may be chuckling on the inside about how now businesses who “unfairly discriminate” against buyers of milk, cream or butterfat could face a class B misdemeanor charge, but it’s not about spending $2 for your cereal’s accompaniment as much as it is about market control. Sargsian might point to how the law could be interpreted to prevent a business from creating a monopoly or destroying competitors by “purchasing those commodities at a higher rate or price in one community or city” than another, or underselling to its own advantage.

And finally, this takes the cake: 5: NO CAUSING CATASTROPHES. This could be a felony—and it’s not like losing your high heels on a date night out downtown. More like being irresponsible in Utah’s backcountry and causing an avalanche. Other potential catastrophes include using weapons of mass destruction, explosions, fire, flood or collapsing a building. None of these are good ideas. This new law is pretty prudent and useful, after all.

#funnystuff   #utahattorney   #saltlakecity  
The 2015 Utah legislative session came to a close Thursday, and several new laws were passed. While many of these new laws are prudent and useful, there are several current laws that are a bit strange that you may not have even been aware of.
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Represented by a patent infringement attorney or not, scams shouldn’t hold up in court

One photographer served with a patent infringement suit is fighting back against the absurd idea of trying to patent an abstract process, and with good legal representatives from the combined efforts of a law firm and a public interest group, she may have a good chance. The lawsuit that Ruth Taylor, a Pennsylvania artist, was confronted by was filed by a patent infringement attorney with a firm which has ranked 6th in the U.S. on a list of most patent lawsuits filed in 2014. Trolling easy targets may have got them good settlements in the past, but this time may be different.

Attempting to claim that the process of voting for favorite photos online in contests hosted by a website is a patented product, the patent infringement attorney representing Garfum.com, the company filing the lawsuit in purported protection of U.S. Patent No. 8,209,618 may be more challenged than they anticipated. Working with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Ruth Taylor felt from the beginning that the whole thing was a scam. “How could you have a patent on a contest? I’m not a lawyer, but it’s not logical,” she says.

Taylor is refusing to give in. “Even if we were only going to pay $500, I was still outraged. All that meant is I would be buying into this whole mess, and it’s just not right.”

Taylor and EFF may be on to a good defense, too. According to prior cases argued by one patent infringement attorney after another, the patented process may not be defensible after all. Taylor’s guts told her this at the start: “I knew we weren’t infringing and it was a junk patent.” And her instincts led her in the right direction. With Electronic Frontier Foundation representing her case pro bono, they’ve already filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit based on a precedent set by a prior case, Alice v. CLS Bank. 

In the Alice case, a patent infringement attorney lost the argument that “patents that essentially try to claim real-world processes and then add generic language about computers or the internet” aren’t necessarily valid. EFF is leaning on the Alice case, stating that “competitions determined by popular vote are not specific to the Internet or computers.” 

If the EFF is successful in defending Taylor, it could mean the difference between solvency and losing everything, she says. She’s been “running ‘vote-for-your-favorite-photo’ polls for years, just for fun and the love of photography;” her intent was never to turn a profit from the supposedly patented process of the online contest. The legal bullying move of patenting “this abstract idea and then demanding a settlement to go away goes against both patent law and common sense.”

But patent bullies and patent trolls have been wreaking havoc in the legal world for ages, and they’re not likely to go away any time soon, with patent reform bills stalling out of the legislature at the national level. Garfum couldn’t be reached for comment for this story, but its actions of filing the sixth most patent infringement lawsuits in the nation for 2014 kind of speak for themselves. 

#patentinfringementattorney   #patentlaw   #electronicfrontierfoundation  
EFF's newest client: "How can you have a patent on a contest? It's not logical."
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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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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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Government control versus parental privilege—will an attorney in Utah be called upon to debate sovereignty in court?

Almost any attorney in Utah knows how much Utahns love their rights and privileges: little government, lots of freedom. But when it comes to our kids, who gets the final say in some matters might come down to new laws and potential challenges in court. Should opting out of school testing be a continued privilege for parents whose children attend public schools in Utah? What about absences—how many days and under what circumstances can a child be absent from school? These are questions that Senate Bill 204 attempts to answer.

The controversy began last year, when “the Utah Legislature passed a bill that sought to strike a balance between a parent’s right to direct the education of their children and the need to adequately assess student performance.” But the way that that bill allowed parents to excuse their children “from statewide exams” was to be administered was fuzzy. Which exams, specifically? And how should the districts administer that policy. An attorney in Utah who has been following the case would remember how the confusion over the administration of the bill resulted in a hodge-podge of scattered policies throughout several school districts that included signing waivers and requiring parents to meet face-to-face with administrators.

What SB204 hopes to clarify is what tests parents can opt out of for their children, as well as the process for doing that. One of the tests that was stricken from the opt-out list was the Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence, or the SAGE exams. And some parents aren’t happy. Heather Gardner is a teacher and educator who submitted several formal requests to exempt her 9-year old daughter from exams. Those requests were overruled. “I am not OK with requiring them to take a test when a parent has submitted a legal opt-out and a legal refusal,” she told the Deseret news. While she hasn’t gotten an attorney in Utah involved yet, there may be other implications to the SB204.

Addressing absence policies, SB204 “would require parents to submit a written note at least one day in advance of the absence.” This would be a change from the current policy in which “schools are required to excuse a student for family events or health care visits without a doctor’s note.” Stewart or another attorney in Utah familiar with civil suits can see the potential claims that a parent might make regarding the right to remove their child from school without a doctor’s note, especially when parents judge that a trip to the doctor could be unnecessary or not in the child’s best interests.

One of the bill’s sponsors sees the snags in the bills as well, and goes as far as acknowledging them: “Now, I recognize the potential risk there is that we’re so prescriptive that we create the law of Moses in statute. And I’m not trying to do that.” But despite what he says, some parents are bound to see this bill as infringing on parental rights and privileges, and the Legislature can probably expect some pushback on it.

#attorneyinutah   #UtahSenatebill204   #studentassessmentofgrowthandexcellence  
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Implications for criminal defense lawyers in Utah may be significant, depending on how “rape” is defined

Determining what legally constitutes rape is apparently more difficult than one might imagine. The Federal Bureau of Investigation changed its definition a couple of years ago, and now, some states are following suit. But in Utah, the debate continues about who can give consent to engage in sexual relations, in what context, and to what extent. If the Utah measure seeking legal clarification makes it to onto the books, the implications for Utah lawyers in defending or prosecuting rape cases could be substantial.

“If someone can’t consent, it’s rape,” the Salt Lake Tribune opens their article with this seemingly simple statement. The arguments thrown across the Capitol at the House Judiciary Committee last week were impassioned and ranged from the bright line, “if a person is unconscious, having sex with him or her ‘is rape. Period. End of story,’” to wondering whether the same rules should apply “where people have a history of years of sexual activity.”

Representative Brian Greene (R-Pleasant Grove) doesn’t like the idea of saying that “rape” is always rape—it makes a difference for Utah lawyers trying to apply the law in a courtroom. Green wonders whether “If an individual has sex with their wife while she is unconscious…a prosecutor could charge that spouse with rape, theoretically.” And that idea doesn’t sit well with him, again given their “history of years of sexual activity.”

Others saw the bill in a different light. “It’s important to hold other males accountable for the decisions that they make…Regardless of their relationship with somebody, that does not imply consent.” Pointing to the culture of “prevalence of sexual assault in our world” as “a tool of power,” advocates of the bill believe that changing the law and the way Utah lawyers are able to prosecute this kind of crime will help to change the culture.

Rep. LaVar Christensen (R-Draper) hit the nail on the head when he entered the debate, stating, “It’s an uncomfortable discussion to even have.” Indeed, it is uncomfortable, as the frequently-aired NFL commercials during the football season and throughout the Super Bowl earlier this month highlight. With the intent to start a conversation about rape on a national level given recent highly-publicized events occurring within the NFL player roster, the www.NoMore.org campaign aims to make it easier to help victims of sexual assault by talking about it first.

Even if Utah lawmakers find it difficult to have the conversation, prosecutors and other Utah lawyers know how important it is. Using the law to “educate our young people in school and on campuses,” and more adequately protect victims is simply “the right thing to do,” according to the bill’s sponsor. 

But whether the bill is about accountability and changing a culture of power and victimization, or whether it will only muddle things further by being “so vague and broad that we can go backward instead of forward,” is something that the lawmakers will have to decide, for better or for worse, for their Utah citizens.

#criminaldefenselawyerutah   #sexualassaultlaws   #briangreene  
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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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OneWasatch would have the skier trekking, the economy booming, the public disagreeing, and the lawyer in Utah busy hammering out the details

It’s only an idea—for now. But it’s an idea that has generated immense controversy for residents of Utah’s number one tourist destination: the ski resorts in the Wasatch Mountains. OneWasatch would “create the largest megaresort in North America” by linking the seven separate ski resorts already operating in the area through the construction of only a few more lifts. But besides all the paperwork involved for every resort’s lawyer in Utah to reach fair agreements in giving up their competitive rights, the plan has the public up in arms against the idea, and for more than one reason.

It’s not just about competition and economy, a business lawyer in Utah might tell you, though that certainly factors into it. Given the legal trouble Park City Mountain Resort faced last year for not paying its rent on time, it’s hard to imagine the scale of cooperation needed to complete the OneWasatch project. Though if experience is any indicator, all it takes is a boatload of money to convince most of the business partners.

Residents, however, might be a harder sell. You’re not going to win them over by insisting that “the idea is ambitious. It’s sexy,” when their minds and hearts are in the mountains themselves—namely: the water. Almost half a million people in the Salt Lake Valley “rely to some extent on the melting snow drains from the mountains,” and weaving together the resorts in place up there now could upset the “fine balance” that is “increasingly precarious.” Climate change, population growth, and the flood of development and tourism that OneWasatch would bring might have environmental groups or water resource managers throwing their own lawyer in Utah into the fight.

Plus, “residents have repeatedly said they love their ski resorts but don’t want them to grow.” It’s not just people concerned about the environment or natural resources; it’s people concerned about their “elbow room.” Most of Utah’s population (80%) live near the Wasatch feet, and the high country is already crammed with recreational activities—“backcountry skiers long ago named their beloved, crowded playground ‘WasAngeles.’” OneWasatch would just gum up the works even more.

A lawyer in Utah like Williams, familiar with the business dealings and repercussions of such a megaresort, would understand the need to consider all the factors and factions weighing in on the proposal. Even when most of the new lifts are planned for private ski resort property, the planners of OneWasatch will have to take into consideration the public-private partnerships in operation now on the slopes: “these mountains are a patchwork of public and private ownership,” and the balance needed to keep the partnership happy and functional may not stand up under OneWasatch.

Although it just might. Linking up the ski resorts is an idea that’s been toyed with for the last half century. Will the next ten years see its realization? Or will we still see resort patrons fighting the old battles of “skiers v. snowboarders,” exclusivity, competition, and plateaued growth.

#onewasatch   #parkcityutah   #lawyerinutah  
Momentum is growing for a plan to combine seven ski resorts in Utah, but opposition from environmentalists also continues.
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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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8 E 300 S #550 Salt Lake City, UT 84111
8 East 300 South #550USUtahSalt Lake City84111
(801) 478-8080attorneyutah.com
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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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"Worked with a paralegal setting up the legal end of a new business."
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"...to anyone needing assistance with their divorce or child custody case."
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Jim Klein
5 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 - 5 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
a year 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 - 10 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 - 10 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 - 10 months ago
Thank you for the kind review Eric! Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance.
Randy Lee
a year ago
I have used Shumway Van and Hansen to plan my estate, set up a limited liability corporation, and deal with tenant issues. Douglas Shumway has integrity, genuine concern for his clients, and a great deal of legal knowledge. Every experience has been exceptional.
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 - a year ago
reviewed a year 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 - a year ago
reviewed a year 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 - a year ago
reviewed a year 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 - a year ago
reviewed a year 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