The 5 Stages of Scandal

We are probably all familiar with the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.  It seems lately as we have watched political scandals unfold in Utah, those stages also apply.  Some take a little longer to move through the steps of scandal than others, but you must admit, there’s a lot of predictability. So, if your friendly neighborhood politico has been caught in a political scandal – or if YOU are the politico, here’s a little guide on the 5 steps of political scandal to help see…

It’s not a question of if Rep Justin Miller will resign, but of when and how

Utah is no stranger to elected officials forced to resign under a cloud of controversy. There is, however, a pretty stark difference in how they do it. Most recently, we saw John Swallow forced to finally resign as Attorney General as the evidence piled up that he ran a pay-to-play operation inherited from mentor and former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. It took ten full months of near-daily bombshells in the news for him to make this decision. During that time employee morale sank and his office accomplished little. The scandal meant he…

Who Should Read the John Swallow Report? Everyone.

Utah Attorney General John Swallow resigns

When I was a new attorney (OK, even newer than I am now), I heard a more experienced lawyer say, in response to an internal discussion about an attorney who had just been censured by the Utah Bar, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”  This, of course, referred to the fact that it can be quite easy to be going along, trying to do the right thing, and look up to find that you’ve crossed a technical or ethical line, even if you’ve tried to act with…

Egg on its face: the Utah Bar and the Swallow Complaints

Utah Attorney General John Swallow resigns

Has the Utah Bar failed in its duty to the public to self-regulate? That’s a question a pair of lawyers have asked in the wake of the John Swallow scandal, still unfolding as prosecutors in Davis and Salt Lake Counties continue their investigation into John Swallow, Mark Shurtleff, and their associates. Wrote Russell Fericks and David Irvine in the Salt Lake Tribune: The Bar’s refusal to act on the two Swallow complaints is not a convincing demonstration of its ability and willingness to self-regulate. The legal profession in Utah, and the public…