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In This Issue

A Special Thanks

The J. Reuben Clark Law Society is a volunteer organization strengthened by the commitment of individuals who carry out its work. As such, our members’ significant contributions at the chapter and international levels often go unnoticed.

The Executive Committee would like to pay special thanks for yeoman service to the following members who have recently been released from major leadership responsibilities within the Society: Annette Jarvis, chair of the Women in Law Committee, Don Sessions, chair of the Membership, Technology and Finance Committee; Dane Holbrook, chair of the Student Chapters Committee; Hannah Clayson Smith, vice chair of the Women in Law Committee; and George Brunt, vice chair of the Chapter Relations Board.

In like manner, the Executive committee would like to welcome a number of individuals who have accepted key responsibilities in the Society. The committee welcomes Nan Barker, as Secretary to the Executive Committee and Phil Allred, Assistant to the Executive Committee.

A welcome is also extended to the following new committee chairs and committee board members.

Women in Law Committee: Elizabeth Smith, chair, Jana Andrews Baird, secretary, and new committee members Deborah Hendrickson, Mountain Area, Susannah Thomas, alumni liaison and Eileen Crane, Student Chapters Committee liaison.

Finance Committee: Gayla Moss Sorenson, chair, and new members of the committee: Rob Clark, Steve Earl, and Matt Imbler.

Media Committee: Jeff Shields, chair, and new committee members Elaine Young, newsletter, Tonya Fischio, media, Scott Earnshaw, Influence for God, and Spencer Waldron, newsletter.

Student Chapters Committee: Ben Lindorf, chair, Adam Ravitch, secretary, and new committee member, Mike Myers.

Membership and Finance Committee: Blair Janis, chair, Beth Hansen, secretary, Derek Jamison, technology sub-committee chair, and Jim Larsen, photo directory.

Community Service & Outreach Committee: David Westerby, secretary, and new committee members: Hannah Clayson Smith, Religious Liberty, and Aaron Gwilliam, Religious Liberty student representative.

Chapter Relations Council: new officers: Neville Rochow, vice chair (international) John Christensen, vice chair, Stephen Davis, secretary.

Events and Conferences: Scott Paul, new vice-chair and Leadership Conference sub-committee chair, and Kaycee Hulet, Annual Fireside subcommittee.

Sections Committee: Judge Daniel Barker, chair, newly formed Judges Section.

The Executive Committee is thrilled with the response of those who have been asked to serve. New committee members are selected throughout the year; changes will be mentioned in future newsletters. If we have missed any new committee members inadvertently, please let us know, and we will include you in our next edition.

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Membership Photo Directory

To accommodate the continued growth of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, the Executive Committee is creating a photo directory. The directory will help the membership identify those with whom they serve as well as provide a valuable networking resource. In order to complete this project, the Executive Committee needs all members to submit a photo. Please revisit this newsletter soon. Further instructions for photo submissions will be forthcoming.

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Report from the Asia Pacific Conference

Delegates from the USA, Australia and New Zealand gathered for the J Reuben Clark Asia Pacific Conference held at Temple View Hamilton New Zealand on Friday 4 to Sunday 6 June 2010. The conference hosted distinguished speakers such as Neville Rochow, Vice Chair of the JRCLS Charter Relations Council and Senior Counsel, Howard Zelling Chambers, Adelaide, Australia; LDS Church Associate General Counsel Boyd Black and Lee Wright International Section Chair at Kirton & McConkie in Salt Lake; Master Mark Rice from South Australia; the Honourable Rahui Katene, Member of Parliament/NZ coalition government; and Joshua Shaw from the Office of the Crown Solicitor, Meredith Connell, Auckland NZ.

The conference commenced on Friday with a meet and greet evening hosted by Coroner Gordon Matenga and his wife Paula in their beautiful Temple View home. Coroner Matenga sits in the Hamilton Coroners Court and was joined on the weekend by other NZ LDS judiciary officers, Judge James Rota and Coroner Brandt Shortland. The evening progressed to a dinner held at the Te Rau Aroha (Kai) Hall on The Church College of New Zealand (CCNZ) campus, Temple View, where JRCLS Asia Pacific Area Director, Thomas Sutcliffe, officially opened the conference and welcomed the delegates. Live music from Steve Grant and Lamar Benavides greeted the delegates in the elegantly decorated hall. Service and hospitality was provided by local members from the three Hamilton Stakes - Temple View, Glenview and Hamilton, and in particular the Frankton Ward Young Women girls and leaders.

The Saturday morning session saw exceptional presentations by the above speakers. Copies of their talks are available on request (please send an email to

Delegates climbed aboard the CCNZ bus and Saturday afternoon consisted of a 'lunch on the run' tour of "Hobbiton", one of the sites from the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy movies at Matamata in the Waikato region. Delegates were excited to see how crews are progressing with sets for the upcoming film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkein's The Hobbit.

On their return delegates visited the New Zealand Church History wing at CCNZ where Director, Sis Rangi Parker, was able to share the rich heritage of the NZ history with our visitors.

Delegates were then treated to a traditional Maori 'hangi' meal and the wonderful music of the Walmsley Family of Temple View. Master of Ceremony, Coroner Brandt Shortland, welcomed family and friends who accompanied their delegates to the meal. Elder Hamula from the Pacific Area Presidency was the dinner guest speaker, and he shared the realities of legal practise. His career experiences were candid and heartwarming; the expectations of legal practice and the balance of family and spiritual duty was discussed. All present were enlightened by his journey, and especially his current position where he is a member of a unique Area Presidency which has not only one lawyer but three in the three callings - Elder Callister (President), Elder Nielson (First Counsellor) and Elder Hamula (Second Counsellor). Admiration for these fine men and their wives was felt by many as discrete tears were shed and laughter shared. These men come from successful legal practices and each now served faithfully in their callings, putting aside their careers in order to do so.

The closing devotional on Sunday morning at the NZ Temple Visitors Centre was hosted by Elder and Sis Funk. Elder Hans Sorensen conducted the devotional and our guest speakers were Elder and Sister Nielson from the Area Presidency. Their talks emphasised the responsibility delegates have towards their career, their families and their God. Sister Nielson gave a reality check from a spouse's point of view on the importance of communication. Elder Nielson spoke on faithfulness to our families and also to our Heavenly Father.

The delegates then joined Bishop George Smiler of Maynard Ward, and his congregation at the Temple View chapel for church services. Delegates who remained in Hamilton were hosted by local practitioners for Sunday meals and that concluded our conference.

It was our pleasure for the Hamilton NZ Chapter to host the conference. The committee are grateful for the support from Chapter Chairs Joshua Shaw of Auckland and Frank Hippolite of Wellington. The opportunity to mix and mingle with Coroner and Sis Matenga on Friday evening as well as the Saturday afternoon activities, plus the delicious meals catered for by Evan and Darnelle Smith and hangi by Brett Harris, as well as the high calibre of speakers, all added to the success of the conference. We look forward in anticipation to future conferences and thank Scott Paul, delegate from the JRCLS Executive Committee, who facilitated the leaders training session on Saturday afternoon. His guidance and leadership were appreciated by all. We are enthused and excited to continue to support this wonderful organisation. Many thanks to JRCLS Chair Nancy Van Slooten and her team for supporting our endeavour. We look forward to attending the Asia Pacific Conference in Hong Kong in 2011 - we hope to see you there!!

We acknowledge our sponsors - Norris Ward McKinnon Lawyers Hamilton NZ, Medical Association of NZ, Thomas Sutcliffe, Judge James Rota, Coroner Gordon Matenga and Coroner Brandt Shortland.

No reira, tena koutou katoa (greetings to you all)
A J Soraya Barker
Hamilton NZ Chapter Chair

[Organising Committee - Thomas Sutcliffe, Dan Harrison, Vivienne Cammock, Scott McKenna, Mylene Rakena, Joshua Shaw, Frank Hippolite, Soraya Barker]

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Fall Leadership Conference Update

This year's annual Fall Leadership Conference will be held September 30 - October 1, and promises to be another great event for all J. Reuben Clark Law Society Board members, Board committee members, chapter chairs and vice-chairs, chapter Women in the Law committee chairs, Student Chapters Board members, and Clark Society Advisors.

The Conference will begin on Friday, September 30th at the J. Reuben Clark Law School in Provo, Utah, and will include meetings for members serving in positions on various society committees. Following lunch, a Continuing Legal Education seminar will be conducted that will provide attendees with 2 hours of CLE credit. Other meetings will be held concurrently, including a technology training for chapter leaders and a first-time attendee orientation meeting.

Thursday evening, the Society will meet with members of the BYU Alumni Association at beautiful Aspen Grove for a delicious dinner and keynote address given by Elder J. Richard Clarke, emeritus member of the Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Friday, October 1st will begin early with the annual sunrise hike to Stewart Falls, where participants can watch the sun rise over Mount Timpanogos and join in singing hymns with other Society members. Following a breakfast buffet, meetings will continue at Aspen Grove which will include reports by committee leaders and an entertaining presentation by the Society's law student leadership.

Following lunch and a keynote address, the Committee Open House will give participants the opportunity to learn more about the various Society committees, including the Community Outreach & Service Committee and the Practice Groups Committee. This year's Open House drawing is shaping up to be bigger and better than ever before, so make sure to attend all of the booths to qualify!

The Conference will conclude Friday afternoon with one of the Conference's most anticipated events: the report by Bill Atkin and other Area Legal Counsel of the Church on legal developments in the Church around the world.

Registration for this year's conference began July 15th.

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Pro Bono Members

Jonny Benson and Scott Jenkins. The Utah Bar honored two of our Law Society members with its 2010 Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year Award. Read more about it here.

Brian Rothschild and Terry Higham. The Los Angeles Chapter has shared with us the news of two of its members. Brian Rothschild just completed work on a pro bono case that made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. In a case that is highly relevant during a time of job insecurity, Brian prepared the respondent's brief for a former Payless Shoe Source employee whose one-time severance payment the Court held should not have been used to determine her "projected disposable income" in bankruptcy. Brian accompanied his client, Stephanie Lanning to Washington, D.C., where the Court eventually sided with her in an 8-1 decision. You can read more about Hamilton v. Lanning here. Congratulations, Brian!

Terry Higham recently assisted in a pro bono Holocaust-era restitution matter. Working with others at his prior firm, the team assisted in the recovery and restitution of a significant painting taken from a Dutch family over 60 years ago by the National Socialist government of wartime Germany.

Please send us your news.

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Members in the News

One need not look very far to read about Charles Kuck, a preeminent immigration attorney in the Atlanta Chapter. Charles, who recently served as the president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, represented several clients in the news, including Youssef Megahed, a 24-year old Florida resident who was acquitted of federal explosives charges during his journey towards U.S. citizenship, and Jessica Colotl, a Georgia college student who narrowly missed deportation after being arrested by university police for a traffic violation. (Click on the client’s name for links to the news stories.)

You can read more about Charles Kuck at his website:

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Women in Law Committee Encourages More Female JRCLS Involvement (Men Can Help)

From Elizabeth Smith, WIL Chair

Although almost half of law school graduates are women, women lawyers appear to make up less than ten percent of active J Reuben Clark Law Society participants. This is not a scientific conclusion, just a perceptual one. Last month I attended JRCLS chapter functions in Irvine, California, and Provo, Utah. At the Irvine event, sponsored by the local WIL section and not a regularly scheduled chapter function, there were 25 people, 7 of them women. Three of those women were the panelists, leaving 4 women in the 22-person audience (20%). At the Provo event, approximately 45 people attended, the speaker was the state attorney general, and 8 of the 45 were women (also about 20%).

The Orange County and Central Utah chapters are not typical. In both chapters, women have recently served as chapter chair. The fact that 18 men attended a Women in Law function in Orange County speaks well of both the men in that chapter and the female organizers of the event. More typical, however, are chapters (San Francisco, for example) which have difficulty finding women willing to serve on their Boards or organize a WIL section.

Both men and women agree that more women at the chapter level would enhance the chapter, the lawyers, and the goals of the JRCLS. However, there are good reasons why women lawyers are less involved. Many women JRCLS members are not practicing law or are practicing part-time. They feel removed from the profession and some awkwardness in the JRCLS setting. That is something we can all work on. Part-time or non-practicing attorneys could draw from the JRCLS collegiality and professional updates perhaps more than anyone. It is a rare setting, where we can spend an hour exploring the fusion of our beliefs and our profession without the counterbalance of competitors or skeptics.

The Law Society, the Church, and our communities need law-trained women of courage and character. And these well-trained, capable, and principled women need the Law Society. Please, let us help each other find ways to entice all attorneys, practicing or not, male or female, to the abundant JRCLS table.

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Rex Lee Luncheon

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) joined Dean James R. Rasband of the Brigham Young University Law School on June 7 to present the 10th annual Rex Lee Advocacy Award to William T. Coleman, a trailblazing civil rights advocate and eminent attorney.

Shown above are Dean James R. Rasband of Brigham Young University Law School, award-winner William T. Coleman, Justice Alito, and Senator Hatch. For more information about this event, you can read the Meridian Magazine article by Page Johnson

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