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BY LORIE FOWLKE

(Please understand that the answers to these questions are general in nature and may not cover every individual situation.)

Spring has sprung and love is in the air, at least in some places. Love is an interesting concept with almost as many different meanings as there are people in love. For some, love includes many different forms of abuse and domestic violence. I have had clients who do not think of themselves as abused until they start writing it down in a petition for a protective order; then they “see” it. Abuse and domestic violence is an insidious part of intimate relationships in many countries and ours is no exception. If domestic violence is part of your life, or that of someone you care about, keep reading. In the decades that I have practiced family law, I have learned that in the context of court litigation, domestic violence is generally of two kinds, situational and chronic.

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BY PHILLIP MILLER

(Please understand that the answers to these questions are general in nature and may not cover every individual situation.)

Good fences make for good neighbors right? Well for an attorney a lot goes into that question. How long has the fence been there? Is it a new fence? Does it meet zoning requirements? Is it on the property line? What is the purpose of the fence? There are many situations where a fence has destroyed tranquility in the neighborhood.

Utah has several laws and doctrines on boundary lines. Depending on your situation you may wish to take advantage of one or the other. Many of the doctrines have very specific time periods. So, if you are thinking, “the neighbor’s fence is in the wrong spot, and it almost been there 20 years.” You better keep reading.

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BY MICHAEL GLASSFORD

(Please understand that the answers to these questions are general in nature and may not cover every individual situation.)

The unfortunate truth of any Family Law practice is that life happens much faster than the Courts may respond. Attorneys are used to this process, whether they like it or not. They understand and plan accordingly. They do all they can to prepare, file and then wait. Sometimes attorneys may forget that our clients are not as accustomed to this culture of law. I know that I have lost sight of that fact from time to time. It is important to remember that for clients, this pace is a very real and very frustrating purgatory.

They want to see something done and it is hard to blame them for this feeling. It is a hard situation to be in for both attorney and client. The attorney can remind, settle down, and empathize with their clients all they want but the cold hard truth is that the next day the attorney works on something else, someone else’s case. The client only has one case to dwell on, their own.

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BY THOMAS SCRIBNER

(Please understand that the answers to these questions are general in nature and may not cover every individual situation.)

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BY DONALD E. MCCANDLESS

(Please understand that the answers to these questions are general in nature and may not cover every individual situation.)

If you or a loved one have been arrested for and charged with a felony, it can be a frightening and devastating experience. In the State of Utah, the possible penalties for felonies range from zero to five years in prison for third degree felonies, to five years to life for first degree felonies. Some first degree felonies (especially sex offenses), have minimum mandatory sentences attached to them. Capital offenses such as aggravated murder may carry the death penalty. Procedure in felony cases is much more complicated than it is in misdemeanor cases. In a felony case, after an arrest, the first hearing is normally a bail hearing. At a bail hearing a probable cause statement will be presented to the judge, and a bail amount will be set. The next hearing is a felony first appearance where the defendant is given a copy of a document called an information. The information is the document that indicates what charges are being filed. Usually a week or two after the first appearance hearing, the court will schedule a waiver hearing, or roll call hearing. The purpose of this hearing is to determine whether the defendant will ask to have the case set for preliminary hearing or will waive preliminary hearing. Plea bargains often occur at this stage of the proceedings. Read more…

BY JACOB R. POWELL

(Please understand that the answers to these questions are general in nature and may not cover every individual situation.)

The goal of every lawsuit is to get court orders. In a divorce case, the desired court order is a Decree of Divorce. A Decree of Divorce can generally address six types of orders:

  1. child custody / visitation,
  2. child support
  3. alimony,
  4. property division,
  5. debt division, and
  6. the order dissolving the marriage.

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BY LORIE D. FOWLKE

(Please understand that the answers to these questions are general in nature and may not cover every individual situation.)

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BY DONALD E. MCCANDLESS

(Please understand that the answers to these questions are general in nature and may not cover every individual situation.)

The arrest for drug possession usually comes out of the blue. Sometimes you are driving in your car and are stopped for a minor traffic offense. Other times there is a knock at the door and officers burst in with a warrant. There is the ignominy of being handcuffed and searched, and the hours or days waiting in lockup before either being bailed out or transferred to a unit at the jail. The question is now that you have been arrested, what should you do next? Some people who are arrested for drugs aren’t drug users themselves. They just get caught in a bad situation usually while helping a friend or relative. Others have an addiction problem for which they need help getting treatment. Some defendants just find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. What you do about the drug arrest depends on your circumstances, your criminal history, and on what expectations you have. In deciding what to do about a case it is important that you know what will be happening. Read more…

BY LORIE FOWLKE

(Please understand that the answers to these questions are general in nature and may not cover every individual situation.)

What and why?

Mediation is a settlement process conducted by a neutral third party to help facilitate an agreement.

What are the advantages?

If it is successful, your attorneys can finalize your case within a short time by preparing the necessary documents and filing them with the court. If custody is at issue, mediation can assist the parties prepare a parenting plan that meets the needs of their children. People choose to come to mediation to minimize the economical and emotional costs of litigation. Because mediation is an efficient problem-solving process, it is now mandatory in the State of Utah.

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BY THOMAS J. SCRIBNER

(Please understand that the answers to these questions are general in nature and may not cover every individual situation.)

In Friday, September 5, 2014’s Deseret News, former Lt. Governor Greg Bell wrote a timely and important article about zoning abuses between those wanting to develop their land and their city or county. It is worth a read and can be foundhere. When I started spending a large part of my time working with developers in creating residential neighborhoods in the mid 1990’s, zoning laws were generally much more basic than they are now. Each city had its own learning curve as building and fire codes were updated and made more complex. Development in these cities was generally straight-forward and composed of common sense.

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