Bruce Maak, a 1974 College of Law alum, was named the 2016 Lawyer of the Year by the Utah State Bar.
Bruce grew up in a rural, impoverished area of New Mexico and attended the University of New Mexico and University of Utah as an undergraduate, earning in 1969 a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, magna cum laude. After working as an engineer for a time, he did a brief active duty stint in the military and then served in the Utah National Guard as a cook under the command of the 1988 Utah Lawyer of the Year, who he then knew as General James B. Lee.
Bruce graduated with a J.D. from the University of Utah College of Law in 1974. He was Editor in Chief of the Utah Law Review and awarded Order of the Coif.
After practicing law for one year with the Van Cott, Bagley, Cornwall & McCarthy firm, in 1975 Bruce and four others founded the firm Martineau & Maak, which now after numerous name iterations is called Parr Brown Gee & Loveless. Five years later, Bruce and his faithful brother-partner, Chuck (who was the Maak of Martineau & Maak), amicably left Martineau & Maak and practiced as Maak & Maak for five years. They then returned as Of Counsel to the Parr Brown firm where they remained for over thirty years.
Bruce’s practice has always been broadly varied both economically and in subject matter, but has focused principally on resolving disputes and problems involving real property and title insurance. He has typically spent a fifth or so of his time on pro bono representations. He served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Utah College of Law and as a pro bono Guardian Ad Litem. Bruce acted as a Vice Chair and Chair of Screening Panels of the Utah Supreme Court’s Ethics and Discipline Committee for a period of six years and was thereafter appointed by the Court to serve as Chair of the Ethics and Discipline Committee, a position he held for another three years. He also performed as Acting Chair of the Bar Commission Committee Reviewing the Office of Professional Conduct during 2015.
Bruce is a member of the Utah State Bar and American Bar Association and is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts sitting in Utah or hearing appeals from those courts. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and is listed in the 2007–16 editions of Best Lawyers in America and Mountain States Super Lawyers and in the 2005–16 editions of Utah Business Magazine’s Legal Elite.
Bruce has been helped along the way by innumerable wonderful, talented lawyers and non-lawyers, for whose assistance he will always be grateful. Bruce is fortunate and proud to have mentored and worked with many young lawyers who have achieved more in the law profession than he.
Bruce lives with his treasured wife, Christine, on their small working family farm in Wasatch County.