Biography

My legal career began with exposure to the appellate decisional process as a law clerk to Chief Justice Warren E. Burger of the U.S. Supreme Court. My resulting fascination with decision making, and with what persuades decision makers, was kindled then. As a young litigator in Los Angeles, I spent much of my time on federal and state appellate matters, including several matters before the United States Supreme Court, working with outstanding advocates. As a litigator in Utah, I continued to handle appeals, as well as trial level matters. As a law professor, I coached the Utah law school’s moot court team in written and oral appellate advocacy for half a dozen years. As special counsel to Utah’s Governor Scott M. Matheson, I was a participant in both public policy advocacy and decision making. And then as a member of Utah’s Supreme Court for 16 years, including four as Chief Justice, I participated in the decision of several thousand cases. Since leaving the court, I have returned to appellate advocacy, and have simultaneously maintained the decision maker’s perspective through regular service as an arbitrator in many matters.

Today, I remain a student of the subtle art of persuasion, and the often difficult-to-plumb process of decision making. I believe that the years have given me some insight into what persuades. My fascination with the appellate process, which is shared by the other lawyers in our firm, motivated us to start Utah’s first appellate boutique. I know that our team brings to bear a focus and depth of experience in this specialty that few can offer.