2015 Fall Forum

Your 2016 Fall Forum Keynote Speakers


It’s been 16 years since Julia Roberts starred in the Oscar-winning tour de force Erin Brockovich. The film turned an unknown legal researcher into a 20th century icon by showcasing how her dogged persistence was the impelling force behind the largest medical settlement lawsuit in history, exposing PG & E for leaking toxic Chromium 6 into ground water for 30 years; Anderson v. PG&E. As President of Brockovich Research & Consulting, she is currently involved in numerous environmental projects worldwide.  Brockovich has had requests for her help in ground water contamination complaints in every state of the US, Australia, and other international hot spots. She is currently working on cases in California, Texas, Florida, Michigan, Illinois, and Missouri.


Two years earlier on the silver screen, John Travolta portrayed Jan Schlichtmann in A Civil Action, highlighting another water contamination case (in Woburn, MA), this one against W. R. Grace and Beatrice Co.; Anderson v. Cryovac.  Schlichtmann’s pioneering work brought together leading experts in science, medicine, and engineering for the first time and used a novel multi-disciplinary approach to unravel the complex interaction between industrial activities and public health. This groundbreaking work has been the subject of a number of legal and scientific journals and books, television and radio shows, press reports, and magazine stories, as well as a national best seller and the film it was based upon. Schlichtmann believes that law and science that is collaborative and healing offers humankind its best hope for a safer, healthier, and better future.


Professor Medwed teaches Criminal Law, Evidence, and Advanced Criminal Procedure: Wrongful Convictions and Post-Conviction Remedies at Northeastern University School of Law. His research and pro bono activities revolve around the topic of wrongful convictions. His book, Prosecution Complex: America’s Race to Convict and Its Impact on the Innocent (New York University Press, 2012), explores how even well-meaning prosecutors may contribute to wrongful convictions because of cognitive biases and an overly-deferential regime of legal and ethical rules. Prior to joining Northeastern in 2012, Professor Medwed was professor of law at the University of Utah and helped oversee the Brooklyn Law School’s Second Look Program, where he worked with students to investigate and litigate innocence claims by New York state prisoners.


Governor Gary Richard Herbert has led Utah’s recovery from the Great Recession to a position of national economic prominence. His unwavering focus on economic development includes attracting businesses and investment to the state while helping homegrown businesses flourish. The governor is focused on four cornerstones to strengthen Utah’s economy: education, jobs, energy, and self-determination. As a result, Utah has become a premier destination for business, jobs, and an unsurpassed quality of life. As Utah’s 17th governor, he took the oath of office on August 11, 2009. Prior to becoming the state’s chief executive, Governor Herbert served as lieutenant governor for five years. He is the past chair of the Western Governors Association and National Governors Association.


Justice Christine Durham has been on the Utah Supreme Court since 1982 and served as Chief Justice and Chair of the Utah Judicial Council from 2002–2012. She previously served on the state trial court after a number of years in private practice. She received her A.B. with honors from Wellesley College and a J.D. from Duke University, where she is an emeritus member of the Board of Trustees. She is a member of the Council of the American Law Institute, the Board of Overseers for the Rand Corporation’s Institute for Civil Justice, and is a Fellow of the American Bar Association. Past professional service includes the governing boards of the American Inns of Court Foundation, the Appellate Judges Conference of the ABA, the ABA’s Commission on Women in the Profession, and the Federal Judicial Conference’s Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure.


Melinda Bowen is currently a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Carolyn B. McHugh on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. When she completes her clerkship, she will return to Snow, Christensen & Martineau and resume her work in the white collar defense and commercial litigation practice groups. Melinda served as President of the Utah Minority Bar Association from 2013 to 2015 and currently serves on the Women Lawyers of Utah Special Projects Committee. She is also a member of the Executive Committee of the UCLI Board of Governors.


The Utah State Bar invites you to attend the 2016 Fall Forum at the Little America Hotel on November 17 and 18, 2016. The Fall Forum has been updated to meet the needs of Utah’s diverse legal community. The presenters will include some of the most prolific and engaging continuing legal education providers in America.

We would like to express our gratitude to the members of the Fall Forum committee, who are working tirelessly to ensure that the 2016 Fall Forum continues its tradition as the most well attended Bar conference in Utah. Their work provided a dramatic increase in value for attendees and greatly increased the ingenuity and diversity of our efforts.


Gabriel K. White
2016 Fall Forum Committee Co-Chair

Amy N. Fowler
2016 Fall Forum Committee Co-Chair