RBMN Welcomes Attorneys Jonathon Parry and Adam Affleck


Jon Parry practices in the areas of estate planning and administration, business law, and business succession planning.


Adam Affleck’s practice focuses on trial and appellate work involving bankruptcy, real estate, contracts, secured transaction, fraud, trade regulation and anti-trust.

We are honored to have these seasoned attorneys be part of the Firm.

Richards Brandt Attorneys Named Utah Legal Elite 2019

March 2019

Richards Brandt is pleased to congratulate the following attorneys for being recognized as Legal Elite in Utah Business Magazine:

Civil Litigation: Bobby Wright, Rafael Seminario
Construction: Brian Bolinder, Craig Coburn, Lincoln Harris
Healthcare: Cortney Kochevar
Insurance: Gary Johnson
Intellectual Property: Barry Scholl
Workers’ Compensation: Mark Sumsion, David Tolk

Craig Coburn Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

At the 5th Annual Intermountain Construction Defect & Dispute Conference held on February 8, 2019, the Utah chapter of Advise & Consult awarded Craig Coburn with its Lifetime Achievement Award for Craig’s contributions in construction law. Richards Brandt congratulates Craig for this much deserved award honoring him for his level of excellence and longtime service in the field of construction law.

Barbara Melendez Selected as One of 30 Women to Watch by Utah Business Magazine

June 2018
Barbara Melendez

Richards Brandt Miller and Nelson congratulates Barbara Melendez, Shareholder and Immigration Practice Chair, who has been selected as one of Utah Business 30 Women to Watch. Richards Brandt is honored to be associated with Barbara who is a highly respected and valued member of the firm. Barbara’s dedication, expertise and experience are invaluable assets to the firm and the community. We are proud of her outstanding achievements and contributions to Richards Brandt Miller Nelson and the legal community.

 

 

 

 

Independence Day for an Innocent Man

July 5, 2017, Salt Lake City, Utah

Innocent and Wrongly Convicted Man Freed After 22 Years in Prison As a Result of the Pro Bono Legal Work of RICHARDS BRANDT MILLER NELSON, WEIL & DRAGE, and the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center

Independence Day for an Innocent Man

The Salt Lake law firm of RICHARDS BRANDT MILLER NELSON is delighted to announce the exoneration and release from prison of its client, an innocent man who had served 22 years in a Nevada prison for a crime he did not commit. DeMarlo Berry, 42, was convicted of murder in 1995 and has been in prison since he was 19 years old. Last Wednesday, June 28, a Las Vegas judge signed an order exonerating him and directing his release from prison. On Friday, fittingly just a few days before Independence Day 2017, DeMarlo walked into Las Vegas a free man.

DeMarlo Berry was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1994 and charged with the murder of Charles Burkes, a manager of a Las Vegas Carl’s Jr. restaurant. Prior to, at, and after the 1995 trial, DeMarlo maintained he was innocent and identified the man who eventually confessed to having committed the crime. Despite that, and based on questionable eyewitness testimony, dubious prosecutorial tactics, an incentivized jailhouse informant, and an unfortunate recommendation from defense counsel to accept a less than unanimous verdict from a deadlocked jury, DeMarlo was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. DeMarlo appealed, and when his appeals were exhausted, sought post-conviction relief to no avail for over two decades.

In 2012, DeMarlo contacted the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center (“RMIC”), which agreed to look into his case. Working with RMIC at the time was then law student Samantha Wilcox. In 2013, Ms. Wilcox and Liz Fasse of RMIC met with Steven Jackson, the person whom DeMarlo had identified as the perpetrator. Mr. Jackson confessed to the crime and signed an affidavit taking responsibility for the crime. RMIC later obtained affidavits from a witness who heard Mr. Jackson admit to killing Mr. Burkes in 1994, as well as from the incentivized informant admitting that he had perjured himself at DeMarlo’s trial in exchange for leniency on crimes of which he was accused and other benefits from the prosecution.

In the spring of 2014, RMIC asked RICHARDS BRANDT MILLER NELSON to take on DeMarlo’s case on a pro bono basis. RICHARDS BRANDT agreed, and, along with WEIL & DRAGE’s Las Vegas, Nevada office, filed a Habeas Petition on behalf of DeMarlo in May 2014 based on the newly discovered evidence. The Clark County District Attorney’s Office moved to dismiss DeMarlo’s Petition. The District Court, without providing DeMarlo a hearing on his actual innocence claim, granted the motion. RICHARDS BRANDT and WEIL & DRAGE filed an appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court, and on Christmas Eve 2015, the Nevada Supreme Court agreed that DeMarlo was entitled to a hearing on the newly discovered evidence. While continuing to oppose DeMarlo’s Petition after remand from the Nevada Supreme Court, in the fall of 2016 the Clark County District Attorney’s Office formed a Conviction Review Unit (“CRU”) to review cases where there was evidence of a wrongful conviction. RICHARDS BRANDT asked the CRU to review DeMarlo’s case as its very first case. The CRU agreed to review it provided that all agreed to a stay of all other proceedings pending that review. With information provided by RICHARDS BRANDT and WEIL & DRAGE, the CRU looked into DeMarlo’s case in the first half of 2017. After completing that review, the CRU ultimately recommended that DeMarlo be released and the charges against him be dismissed. On June 30, 2017, after more than 22 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit, DeMarlo celebrated Independence Day a little early (or, as DeMarlo called it, his new birthday). He was exonerated and released, an innocent man.

At a press conference on Friday morning, DeMarlo described the experience as “surreal.” DeMarlo said that he would not have been there, and Justice would not have prevailed in his case, without the tireless efforts of RMIC, RICHARDS BRANDT, and WEIL & DRAGE. The dedicated team of attorneys who believed in DeMarlo’s innocence and fought for him for over three years was comprised of Lynn Davies, Craig Coburn, Steven Bergman, Joel Kittrell, Jack Reed, and Samantha Wilcox at RICHARDS BRANDT (Salt Lake), as well as John Wendland at WEIL & DRAGE (Las Vegas), and Jensie Anderson and Jennifer Springer at RMIC.

RICHARDS BRANDT MILLER NELSON is a full service law firm located in Salt Lake City, Utah. RICHARDS BRANDT, or RBMN, is dedicated to providing advice and expertise at the highest levels. The firm has achieved exceptional results throughout the years, based on the foundation of a unified team of lawyers focused on solving its clients’ most important problems. The firm provides specialized legal counsel across focused practice areas, helping businesses and individuals through some of their toughest times.

WEIL & DRAGE is a law firm that specializes in a wide range of complex construction and business-related matters in California, Nevada, and Arizona. The firm was founded on the principle of “Excellence from the Beginning.”

The Rocky Mountain Innocence Center provides innocence investigation and litigation services – for free – in the states of Utah, Nevada and Wyoming. RMIC does this through a unique program that combines the efforts of trained and supervised law students from local law schools, as well as local volunteer attorneys. The students earn academic credit by conducting the investigations in RMIC’s cases to uncover the evidence that will prove innocence. The local attorneys get the opportunity to provide pro bono litigation services for the innocent person – which can be the most rewarding experience of one’s legal career.

RICHARDS BRANDT MILLER NELSON
www.rbmn.com
801.531.2000

WEIL & DRAGE
www.weildrage.com
702.314.1905

Rocky Mountain
Innocence Center
www.rminnocence.org
801.355.1888

Richards Brandt Miller Nelson Joins the Local First Leaders Circle

http://localfirst.org/think-local/blog/item/338-thank-you-to-richards-brandt-miller-nelson-for-joining-the-local-first-leaders-circle

A vibrant local economy is about more than retailers and restaurants. It’s also about the service-based businesses that keep our economy running at full speed. We’re happy to welcome Richards Brandt Miller Nelson, with their legal expertise and longstanding engagement in our local community, to the Local First Leaders Circle. We spoke with Barry Scholl, to learn more about Richards Brandt Miller Nelson, and why they support the Local First Movement.

Q: What is the story behind Richards Brandt Miller Nelson?

A: Richards Brandt Miller Nelson has been a premier Salt Lake City law firm for more than 30 years. Each of its practice areas is highly regarded, and our attorneys are recognized both locally and nationally for their commitment to the representation of our clients’ interests.

Q: How does your firm contribute to the vitality of our community?

A: The firm offers services in areas ranging from business and corporate governance to intellectual property to construction law to immigration law to non-profit law to labor and employment law, healthcare law and litigation. In all of its practice areas, Richards Brandt prides itself on providing excellent service to clients, regardless of their size. The firm also has the RBMN Foundation which supports many local charities and community causes.

Q: What are 2-3 of your favorite locally owned, independents businesses?

A: Personally, several of my favorite independent local businesses include Weller Book works and the King’s English Bookshop, Acoustic Music, and any number of restaurants, including, most recently, Frida Bistro; however, we’re fortunate to have so many excellent locally owned choices when it comes to shopping, dining, and other services.

Q: Why do you support the Local First movement?

A: Without a robust local business economy, a city can easily lose its unique character and become an “Anyplace, U.S.A.” Local businesses also contribute to the local economy by providing local jobs, fostering sustainable economic stability, and supporting educational advancement. The Local First movement is vital to Utah’s future, and helps shape our quality of life.

Join us in this powerful movement. Engage with Local First Utah by actively branding your business as locally owned. Create anEnhanced Listing, making use of the tools and resources Local First Utah provides. Or, help lead the movement by joining the Local First Leaders Circle. Each step we take, together, helps us create livable, thriving places to call home. If you’re interested in joining the Local First Leaders Circle, please contact Kristen Lavelett at .

The Changing Practice of Law

Barry Scholl, Of Counsel Attorney with Richards Brandt, is the Editor of Res Gestae, a publication for alumni and friends of the S.J. Quinney College of Law. In it’s latest edition, Barry authored an article on “The Changing Practice of Law – Graduates Contemplate the Future of the Legal Profession.” Below is an excerpt from the article, with commentary from Russell Fericks, a Shareholder with the Firm.

In July 2015, the Futures Commission of the Utah State Bar released a document entitled Report and Recommendations of the Future of Legal Services in Utah. The Commission, made up of more than two dozen legal practitioners and educators, business executives and non-profit representatives, produced an ambitious and thoughtful work focused on how “current and future lawyers can provide better legal and law-related services to the public, especially to individuals and small businesses in Utah.”

Inspired by the report, Res Gestae approached 15 alumni with a related question: in a fast-evolving world characterized by enormous social and technological change, from self-driving cars to intelligent machines to near-instantaneous worldwide communications, how might the practice of law change in the next 10 years (and beyond)? Their answers, not surprisingly, are as diverse as the field of respondents.
Russell Fericks, ’82, predicts, “The practice of law will continue to see accelerating and increasingly unsettling changes wrought by technology in this age of information. And legal practice will continue to fray at the margins as non-lawyers, including laymen, weave their way into the traditional domains of attorneys.”

“What won’t change are the three fundamental elements of good lawyering,” Fericks elaborates. “First, a mastery of legal terms and concepts; second, the ability to implement effective legal solutions in real time; and third, a refined judgment — ‘wisdom,’ if you will — about the what, when, why and where of those legal solutions. This simple model will not change because it is the definition of good lawyering. The mastery of terms and concepts starts in law school, which is essentially a language and rhetoric academy. Developing effective, efficient skills is an ongoing process, but one which is frontloaded in the early years of practice. And attaining outstanding judgment — the ‘legal wisdom’ factor — takes a long time, lots of experience, and constant intentionality, coupled with the fortuity of good role models.”

The challenge to this model is the growing propensity to digitize and commoditize everything, according to Fericks. “We are slouching into a belief that anything worth knowing or doing can be downloaded or Googled. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately, now that I think about it), mastery of the language of the law, mastery of the mechanics of the law, and mastery of the meaning or wisdom of the law cannot be digitized. These are not fungible commodities. They are learned and practiced by analogue humans. They always have been; they always will be.”

RCF res gestae

 

IN MEMORIAM

Mark L. McCarty

IN MEMORIAM

Mark L. McCarty 1963-2016

So Mark we’ll miss you,
Sly satirist,
Our proud partner, friend
and anarchist.

-Richards Brandt Miller Nelson

Mark L. McCarty passed away June 20, 2016 due to complications from the HIN1 flu virus.

Mark practiced law at Richards Brandt for 20 years. He was a member of the firm’s Board and Chair of the firm’s Business Practice Section. Mark built RBMN’s practice groups in employment law and the representation of religious groups and organizations. He served on the Board of Trustees for Catholic Community Services. Mark attended law school in Michigan and later worked for the Attorney General’s office. After joining the law firm of Richards Brandt Miller Nelson, Mark made friendships as close as family.

RBMN’s Pro Bono Efforts Before the Nevada Supreme Court Advance a Just Cause

January 2016
On Christmas Eve 2015, the Nevada Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Nevada Eighth District Court and ruled that RBMN’s pro bono client DeMarlo Berry is entitled to an evidentiary hearing to establish his actual innocence. Mr. Berry has been incarcerated since 1994 for a murder conviction based on shaky eyewitness and jailhouse snitch testimony. From the outset, Mr. Berry has maintained his innocence. RBMN became involved in DeMarlo Berry’s case when the firm hired Samantha Wilcox, who as a law student volunteered for the Rocky Mountain Innocence Project, gathered the affidavits, and evidence demonstrating Mr. Berry’s innocence.

On May 2, 2014, RBMN filed a post-conviction petition for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of Mr. Berry, alleging that newly discovered evidence – including a written confession from the actual perpetrator – establishes Mr. Berry’s actual innocence. The district court in Las Vegas dismissed Mr. Berry’s petition without an evidentiary hearing, concluding that the confession and other newly discovered evidence of innocence were not credible. RBMN’s team of attorneys filed an appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court on Mr. Berry’s behalf, seeking an appellate reversal of the district court’s decision. A three-member panel of the Nevada Supreme Court heard oral argument on November 13.
In its opinion, the Nevada Supreme Court agreed with RBMN that the trial court had erred in dismissing Mr. Berry’s petition, holding that “this new evidence, if true, shows that it is more likely than not that no reasonable jury would convict Berry beyond a reasonable doubt. As such, the district court abused its discretion by denying Berry an evidentiary hearing, and we remand for an evidentiary hearing on whether Berry is actually innocent.” At that time, the “district court should examine the evidence that led to the original conviction and especially whether the new evidence diminishes the strength of the evidence presented at trial.”

RBMN’s team of attorneys includes Samantha Wilcox, Craig Coburn, Lynn Davies, Steve Bergman, and Joel Kittrell. RBMN has also worked extensively with the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center, particularly Jensie Anderson and Jennifer Springer, and with Nevada counsel John T. Wendland of Weil & Drage, in their pursuit of justice for Mr. Berry.

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