Class Action: Alumni making news, September 2017

Courtesy Shadow Mountain Publishing

Judge Ted Stewart (’75) writes book on supreme court rulings that changed America
The book is titled “Supreme Power: 7 Pivotal Supreme Court Decisions that Had a Major Impact on America.” Judge Ted Stewart was nominated by President Bill Clinton on July 27, 1999, to the United States District Court of the District of Utah. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 5, 1999, and sworn in on November 15, 1999. Prior to becoming a Federal District Court Judge, Mr. Stewart served as Chief of Staff to Governor Michael O. Leavitt (R-Utah) from March 1998, to November 1999. From January 1993, to March 1998, he served as the Executive Director of the Department of Natural Resources for the State of Utah. Stewart served as a member and chairman of the Utah Public Service Commission for seven years. During his tenure the Commission issued more than 1500 orders, including 34 major rate cases. In addition, Mr. Stewart was in private law practice for six years, served as Chief of Staff to Congressman Jim Hansen (R-Utah) and was Executive Director of the Utah Department of Commerce. He has been a visiting professor at both Utah State University and Weber State University.

Ronald L. Read (’90) appointed to Orderville Justice Court
Judge Ronald L. Read was appointed to the Washington County Justice Court bench in September 2014. He graduated from Southern Utah State College in 1981 and the University of Utah Law School in 1990. He served as a law clerk for the United States District Court of Boise, Idaho, after which he then became an associate and shareholder with the law firm of Hughes & Read; Assistant City Attorney for the City of St. George; and then a co-founder of Read & Wright law firm.

Alum Chris Davis (’95) finalist for City Attorney of Boulder City, NV
After attending school in Southern Nevada, he headed to Brigham Young University where he studied political science. Davis then attended law school at the University of Utah where he was named a William H. Leary Scholar. After a short time in private practice, he became a clerk for Judge Lloyd George at the Federal District Court for the District of Nevada. Davis would later go on to clerk for Judge Johnnie B. Rawlinson of the 9thcircuit court of appeals. Before becoming part of Cohen Johnson Parker Edwards, he spent nearly ten years as a deputy city attorney for the City of North Las Vegas.

Bryan Benard (’97) named Labor and Employment Attorney of the Year by the Utah State Bar
Benard’s employment litigation experience includes jury trial success and significant wage and hour class action success in both Utah and California. He provides sound counsel to clients regarding employee relations, employee contracts, and employee handbooks, with extensive background with non-compete and non-solicitation provisions. He also has national level experience in advising employers related to the Americans with Disabilities Act and reasonable accommodations, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act. Benard has experience with several different industries including temporary staffing agencies, start-up and tech companies, health and medical fields, package delivery industry, oil, gas and mining operations, and mortgage/lending institutions.  Bryan frequently conducts highly interactive public and in-house seminars, workshops, and training on various labor and employment related issues.

©2016 Stuart Isett

Team co-coached by Ben Holt (’08) wins U.S. President’s Environmental Youth Award
Ben Holt is a registered patent attorney who focuses his practice on global patent prosecution, portfolio management/strategy and intellectual property with industry experience in software, cloud computing, Internet technologies, databases, web applications, mobile applications, video game systems, electronics, medical devices, secure communications, electronic forensics and embedded systems. He counsels Fortune 500 companies, mid-size companies, foreign entities and start-ups. As part of his practice, Ben advises clients on infringement and validity issues when needed. Because Ben is trained in engineering, computer science, business and law, he is able to help engineers, scientists and business people craft solutions while satisfying the requirements of the law.

Vanessa Clayton (’11) included in Utah Business Magazine’s “30 Women to Watch” article
“Vanessa Clayton heads a team of real estate attorneys that ensures every Homie buyer and seller gets expert legal support in writing and reviewing their offers, addendums and purchase contracts. With a background in human resources, Clayton also took over HR for Homie and established employee benefits. “I also set up an external legal network to handle Homie’s explosive growth, developed systems for evaluating and managing offers, and helped with mergers and acquisitions. The volume of work in my department has grown by a factor of five in the past two years, yet through systems and streamlined processes, my department has handled this increased workload with no additional head count.””

Scarlet Smith (’13) named the American Inns of Court Pegasus Scholar
Scarlet joined Strong & Hanni in 2016 after finishing a judicial clerkship at the Utah Court of Appeals. Although she focuses her practice on insurance defense, insurance coverage and bad faith issues, and appeals, her experiences at the appellate court have exposed her to a broad scope of legal issues. Moreover, Scarlet is recognized as an effective and accomplished legal writer, having been published and having received numerous writing awards. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in psychology and Italian studies (although her Italian degree was likely just an elaborate excuse to live in Torino, Italy for a year where she worked with the U.S. Olympic Committee during the 2006 Winter Olympics). During law school at the University of Utah, Scarlet served on the executive board of the Utah Law Review and also obtained a master’s degree in public administration. She received various recognitions, including certificates for outstanding performance in several courses and the Most Outstanding Student Award (voted by her peers).

Sean Brian (’15) published article on jail and prison furloughs in the Utah Bar Journal
The article is titled, “Is the Practice of Obtaining Furloughs via Court Order Illegal?” It questions the propriety of the practice of obtaining jail and prison furloughs via court order rather than through the custodial authority. The article can be found on page 34in the September/October 2017 issue of the Utah Bar Journal. Brian is a prosecutor at the Carbon County Attorney’s Office.

Liz Thomas (’17) to publish in Fordham Environmental Law Review
Recent S.J. Quinney College of Law graduate Elizabeth Thomas will publish a research paper, “Protecting Cultural Rights In The South Pacific Islands: Using UNESCO and Marine Protected Areas To Plan For Climate Change,” in a forthcoming issue of the Fordham Environmental Law Review. The paper will publish in March 2018. Thomas authored the paper as a student in her Ocean & Coastal Law course at the law school, taught by Professor Robin Craig.