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Pro Bono Spotlight

Utahbar.org is moving! The Utah State Bar Website will be moving to a new home this spring. The open house starts March 15, 2003. Come see it at http://silk.utahbar.org and update your bookmarks. We hope to go live on Monday April 8th, 2013
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Pro Bono Spotlight  

This page is devoted to all attorneys that have provided their time, assistance, knowledge and a helping hand to those in need of legal assistance. Your services have truly been a great relief for someone who otherwise would have been lost in our judicial system.

With the deepest appreciation and respect,

Michelle V. Harvey
Utah State Bar
Pro Bono Services
(801) 297-7049
Sue Crismon,
Utah Legal Services
Pro Bono Director
(800) 662-4245 ext. 3346

 



2011 PRO BONO ATTORNEY OF THE YEAR

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Alan Sullivan

Alan Sullivan and Chris Martinez spent hundreds of hours in 2010 developing a post-conviction innocence case. No legal case meets with greater obstacles to success than a post-conviction claim of factual innocence. In the case of wrongly convicted defendants, few legal mechanisms exist to present a claim of factual innocence in court in the post-conviction setting. Innocent prisoners are repeatedly discouraged from seeking redress; few get their claims of innocence heard, and even fewer win exoneration. Faced with these odds, the attorneys who take on these cases must possess profound courage, generosity, and commitment to the rule of law. The countless of hours of work that Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Martinez have donated to this post-conviction case generally is of profound importance to all Utah’s citizens.

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Chris Martinez

Alan Sullivan is a partner at Snell & Wilmer and has been practicing in Utah for over 30 years, concentrating in commercial and intellectual property litigation, health care litigation, and securities litigation. He graduated from Columbia College and S.J. Quinney College of Law. He is a Board member of the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center, Co-Chair of And Justice for All campaign, a past President of the Salt Lake County Bar Association, and has co-chaired Utah Supreme Court Appellate Operation Task Force and Utah Supreme Court Advisory Committee of Civil Procedure. Chris Martinez is an associate at Snell & Wilmer with practice concentrated in commercial litigation, collections, and product liability defense. His pro bono representations include the representation of an Iraqi national seeking U.S. citizenship, an Ugandan mother and her children seeking asylum. Chris graduated from Weber State University and the University of Arizona James A. Rogers College of Law. He is married with two beautiful children.

 

See past Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award Recepients>>>

 


 

2011 Pro Bono Senior Attorney of the Year

After practicing law in New Jersey, Jane Semmel relocated to Salt Lake City in 1992. She served as a volunteer at Utah Legal Services, was press secretary for Pat Shea's senatorial campaign and, after passing the Utah State Bar exam, was hired to run the Utah Legal Services Senior Lawyer Volunteer Project. Eventually, Ms. Semmel opened her own law practice, concentrating on Estate Planning and Elder Law. For many years, she has volunteered to provide monthly legal consultations at senior centers and is now a Tenth East Senior Center regular. Jane, as an experienced elder law and estate planning lawyer, gives seniors information that really helps them deal with their problems. She also helps seniors understand whether or not they even have a legal problem and gives them useful information about resolving issues. Having retired from her law practice and needing stimulation and structure, Ms. Semmel currently volunteers at the St. Vincent de Paul Wiegand Center “Homeless Court”, assisting Judge John Baxter, who has described Jane as “invaluable and a critically important member of the Homeless Court Team.” Besides that one day a week Ms. Semmel works at the Utah State Courts' Self-Help Center.

 

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2011 Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year

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Holland & Hart was built upon a commitment to community and volunteerism and expects that its lawyers will donate a portion of their time, on average approximately 9% of their chargeable hours, to pro bono work and professional services to worthy public service activities. The types of pro bono matters undertaken by the attorneys of Holland & Hart involve nearly every legal area in which the firm is engaged – business law, litigation, and environment and natural resources law. In 2010, 51 attorneys in Holland & Hart’s Salt Lake office, provided 8,169.3 hours of professional and pro bono publico services. Pro bono legal services were provided to indigent individuals and charitable, educational, environmental, minority, and arts organizations. In addition, Holland & Hart attorneys and staff united in offering hundreds of hours of hands-on labor through the unique Holland & Hart Foundation, the objective of which is to provide volunteers who engage in “sweat” labor for charitable community service projects.

 

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Legal Aid Attorney of the Year

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Brenda Teig grew up in Des Moines, Iowa and graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Public Administration. She then obtained her J.D. from the University of Oregon in 1997. She worked in Nevada for Legal Services and developed a pro bono program with the William S. Boyd School of Law. She then worked for a small boutique firm in San Francisco handling federal intellectual property cases. In April 2005, she was hired as Pro Bono Coordinator for Utah Legal Services and now lives in Park City with her husband and three year old son. Anne Milne, Executive Director of Utah Legal Services testified: “I think Brenda was so successful because she believes that lawyers really want to help those who don’t have resources or skills to access legal assistance for serious problems… Her efforts resulted in hundreds of low-income Utahns benefiting from the expertise and commitment of hundreds of volunteers through thousands of hours of service. Equally important is her enthusiasm and skill at supporting not only the volunteers but the organizations to work together to stretch our limited resources as effectively as possible. She has left a strong volunteer network and legacy that will benefit clients and volunteers for years.”

 

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2011 Pro Bono Young Lawyer of the Year

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Russell Yauney was born in Utah, where he has lived for most of his life. Prior to being accepted to the Utah State Bar, he graduated from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney School of Law, although he did complete his first year of law school at Gonzaga Law School. He is an officer in the United States Army Reserves, and was deployed to Baghdad, Iraq from '05-'06, prior to law school. He and his wife, Amanda, have three young children, and he states that everything that is good about him can probably be traced back to her in some way, as statement to which she agrees. Russell notes that there are some very patient, experienced attorneys who have provided him with an invaluable mentoring experience, and he would like to thank them for the extensive help they have provided him.

Russell has helped countless individuals with their legal issues at the Family Law Clinic, the Street Law Clinic, and the Debtor’s Counseling Clinic, as well as working on pro bono cases. Mr. Yauney has shown continued commitment to pro bono service and goes above and beyond when it comes to freely giving of his time to help low income Utahans gain access to justice.

 

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2011 Pro Bono Law Student of the Year

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Mark O. Jarvis is a third-year law student at the S.J. Quinney College of Law. He began participating in the college's Pro Bono Initiative program during his first year of law school and currently serves as the Student Director of the Family Law Clinic. By the time he graduates in a few weeks, he will have completed over 200 hours of pro bono work. Upon graduation, Mark plans to open his own law practice, focusing principally on criminal and family law. JoLynn Spruance, Associate Director of Pro Bono Initiative, describes Mark as “a true standout among his peers and to those in our legal community. Mark has continually analyzed the Family Law Clinic from the standpoint of a volunteer to the current coordinator position and has made changes along the way. His end goal has always been to improve the services we are providing. Mark’s volunteer responsibilities have continually grown due to his professionalism. Mark has interned with Utah Legal Services in their domestic division, Lokken & Associates, completed GAL training, and is currently at the Salt Lake Legal Defenders. His role as the Family Law clinic student coordinator will continue until graduation. However, Mark is committed to continuing pro bono work well after law school”.

 

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Pro Bono Attorneys of the Year

2010
Scott R. Jenkins, Jonny Benson
2009 Scott H. Martin
2008 Ruth Lybbert, Paul Simmons, & David Olsen
2007 Kelly Latimer, Christina Micken, & Matthew Wride
2006 Jensie Anderson
2005 Su J. Chon
2004 Lauren I. Scholnick
2003 Mark C. Alvarez
2002 Waine C. Riches
2001 Mitchell R. Baker
1999 Richard G. Bojanowski
1998 Herm Olsen
1997 Mary Jane Ciccarello
1996 Mary Margaret (Peggy) Hunt
1995 Vihn K. Ly
1994 Nelda M. Bishop
1993 L. John Lewis
1993 James C. Lewis
1992 Betsy L. Ross
1991 James R. Haisley
1990 Parsons Behle & Latimer
1990 Charlotte L. Miller
1989 Fabian & Clendenin
1988 David D. Disley
1987 Robert B. Denton
1986 Donald W. Hemingway


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