My professional career is devoted to appellate practice. I’ve handled more than 150 appeals and delivered over 50 oral arguments. I also enjoy my work as a clinical professor at the S.J. Quinney College of Law, where I teach a course in Appellate Practice, coach the National Moot Court Team, organize the Traynor Moot Court Competition, and supervise the Appellate Clinic. I have given presentations and published a number of articles on different aspects of the appellate process. I currently serve on the Utah Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Rules of Appellate Procedure.

Experience

2011-Present
Appellate Attorney, Zimmerman Booher

2011-Present
Clinical Associate Professor of Law, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law

2002-Present
Adjunct Professor, University of Utah, Department of Political Science

2003-Present
Adjunct Instructor, University of Utah, Department of Philosophy

2007-2011
Adjunct Professor, S.J. Quinney College of Law

2005-2011
Appellate Attorney, Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.

2004
Judicial Clerk to Honorable Judith M. Billings, Utah Court of Appeals

2002-2003
Appellate Attorney, Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.

Recognition

2014-Present
The Best Lawyers in America® in Appellate Practice

2013-Present
Mountain States Super Lawyers

2016
Mountain States Super Lawyers - Top 100

2013
S.J. Quinney College of Law, Excellence in Teaching Award

2008-2012
Mountain States Super Lawyers - Rising Stars Edition

2008
Hearts & Hands Award, Volunteer of the Year, Utah State Bar

2007
Young Alumnus of the Year, S.J. Quinney College of Law

Memberships

2018-Present
Appellate Judicial Nominating Commission

2015-Present
Fellow of the American Bar Foundation

2014
Chair, Utah State Bar Summer Convention Planning Committee

2012-2016
Co-Chair, Utah State Bar Committee on the New Lawyer Training Program

2011-2019
Utah Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Rules of Appellate Procedure

2011-2015
Utah Supreme Court Task Force on Representation for Indigent Defendants in Post-Conviction Proceedings

2006-Present
David K. Watkiss, American Inns of Court

2008-Present
ABA, Judicial Division, Appellate Judges Conference Council for Appellate Lawyers

2009-2012
Utah State Bar Committee on the New Lawyer Training Program

2008-2009
Chair, Appellate Practice Section, Utah State Bar

2007-2008
Chair, Constitutional Law Section, Utah State Bar

Education

2010
University of Utah, Department of Philosophy, Ph.D.

2002
University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, J.D.
◦  National Moot Court Team
◦  Executive Board, Utah Law Review

1996
Metropolitan State College of Denver, B.A., Philosophy

1994
Metropolitan State College of Denver, B.A., History

Presentations & Publications

Books, Book Chapters and Articles

  • Utah Appellate Practice, in Appellate Practice Compendium, ABA Council of Appellate Lawyers (book chapter with Michael Zimmerman) (2012)

  • Utah Originalism, 25 Utah Bar Journal 22, 22-25 (2012)

  • Drugs and Justice: Seeking a Consistent, Coherent, and Comprehensive View, with Battin et al., Oxford University Press (2007)

  • Taking Liberty with Humean Necessity: Compatibilism and Contingency, in Moral Psychology Today: Essays on Values, Rational Choice, and the Will, ed. David Chan, Springer (2008)

  • Rolling The Dice For Deep Pockets?: Why Nevada Courts Should Find $500 Million Punitive Award Excessive, 19 Washington Legal Foundation Legal Backgrounder, September 16, 2010 (with Gregory Brower and Andreea Micklis)

  • J.S. Mill’s Test for Higher Pleasure, Studies in the History of Ethics (December 2007)

  • Putting Meaning in Its Place: Originalism and Philosophy of Language, Journal of Law and Philosophy, vol. 25, no. 4 (Spring 2006)

  • Finding Religion for the First Amendment, 38 The John Marshall Law Review 469 (2004)

  • Scrutinizing Commercial Speech, 15 George Mason University Civil Rights Law Journal 69 (2004)

  • The Case for National E-mail Regulation, Defense Counsel Journal, vol. 70, no. 3, pp. 355-64 (July 2003) (with Mark Morris)

Papers, Talks, and Commentaries

  • Know Your Audience: How to Write an Effective Appellate Brief Under Amended Rule 24, Invited Speaker, Utah State Bar Convention, Sun Valley, Idaho (July 2018)

  • Appellate Practice, Invited Speaker, Florida Young Lawyer Section, Park City, Utah (February 2018)

  • Writing Effective Appellate Briefs: How to Persuade Judges and Comply with Rule 24’s New Requirements, Invited Speaker, Utah State Bar Convention, St. George, Utah (March 2017)

  • Changes to the Civil and Appellate Rules, Invited Speaker, Paralegal Section of the Utah State Bar, Salt Lake City, Utah (Sept. 2015)

  • Recent Changes to the Civil and Appellate Rules That You Need to Know, Invited Speaker, Utah State Bar Convention, Sun Valley, Idaho (July 2015)

  • Preservation and Brief Writing, Invited Speaker, Utah Bankruptcy Lawyers Forum, Salt Lake City, Utah (June 2015)

  • Improving Appellate Advocacy, Invited Speaker, Utah State Bar Convention, St. George, Utah (March 2015)

  • Advanced Legal Writing, Invited Speaker, Utah State Bar Convention, St. George, Utah (March 2015)

  • Don’t Doom Your Appeal in the Trial Court, Invited Speaker, Family Law Section Meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah (December 2014)

  • The Problems with Eyewitness Identifications and the Utah Supreme Court’s Attempts to address Them, Invited Speaker, Annual Meeting of the University of Utah Office of General Counsel, Deer Valley, Utah (October 2014)

  • Utah Court of Appeals Real Property Update, Invited Speaker, Real Property Section Meeting, North Salt Lake, Utah (April 2014)

  • How Not to Lose Your Appeal in the Trial Court, Invited Speaker, Annual Meeting of the Solo and Small Practice Section of the Utah State Bar, Salt Lake City, Utah (June 2013)

  • Appellate Advocacy for Non-Appellate Attorneys, Invited Speaker, Utah Annual Parental Defense Conference, Heber, Utah (April 2013)

  • Appellate Duties of Trial Counsel: Preserving Issues and Perfecting the Right to Appeal, Invited Panel Member, Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Salt Lake City, Utah (November 2012)

  • Don’t Lose Your Appeal in the Trial Court, Invited Speaker, Utah Defense Lawyer’s Association, Park City, Utah (September 2012)

  • Originalist Arguments that Persuade: What Works For Lawyers and Judges, Invited Moderator for Michael W. McConnell, Appellate Practice Section, Utah State Bar, Salt Lake City, Utah (January 2012)

  • Appellate Practice in Utah, Invited Speaker, Wasatch County Bar Association, Heber, Utah (October 2011)

  • Preparing a Criminal Case for Appeal, Invited Speaker, Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Annual Meeting, Midway, Utah (September 2011)

  • Commentary on Professor Michael Rappaport’s Views on Originalism, Invited Speaker, Utah State Bar, San Diego, California (July 2011)

  • Recent Appellate Decisions, Utah Defense Lawyers Association Annual Meetings, Salt Lake City, Utah (September 2010)

  • Appellate Practice: What Every District Court Lawyer Needs to Know, Tri-State Federal Bar Association Conference, Park City, Utah (September 2010)

  • Professionalism, Civic Virtue, and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Business Law Section of the Utah State Bar, Salt Lake City, Utah (April 2010) (with Michael Zimmerman)

  • The Next Step in Eyewitness Identification, Salt Lake Legal Defenders, Salt Lake City, Utah (March 2010)

  • Commentary on Professor Michael Perry’s Views on Religion and Politics, Utah State Bar Convention, Sun Valley, Idaho (July 2009)

  • Primer on Utah Appellate Courts, Southern Utah Bar Association Annual Meeting, St. George, Utah (December 2008)

  • The Unnecessary Rigor Clause in the Utah Constitution, Utah State Bar Convention, Sun Valley, Idaho (July 2008)

  • Civil Commitment for Drug Addiction, Symposium on Drugs: Addiction, Therapy, and Crime, S.J. Quinney College of Law, Salt Lake City, Utah (March 2008)

  • The Right to Counsel in Death Penalty Cases, Utah Criminal Justice Society, S.J. Quinney College of Law, Salt Lake City, Utah (March 2008)

  • Genetic Determinism, Moral Responsibility, and Legal Responsibility, for Genetics and Addiction Master Teaching Program, Salt Lake City, Utah (June 2004)

  • Liberty in Hume, Value Inquiry Conference on Values, Rational Choice, and the Will, Stevens Point, Wisconsin (April 2004)

  • Mill’s Higher Pleasures: Not What They Seem, American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division, Pasadena, California (March 2004)

  • Commentary on Mad Dogs and Englishmen, Moral Valence, Defeasibility, and Privileged Conditions by Mark N. Lance and Margaret Little, American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division, San Francisco, California (March 2003)

  • Philosophy of Language, Constitutional Interpretation, and the Death Penalty, AMINTAPHIL Conference, Washington, D.C. (November 2002)

  • Putting Meaning in Its Place: Philosophy of Language and Constitutional Interpretation, American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division, Seattle, Washington (April 2002)

  • Legal Protection for Youths Tried as Adults, Value Inquiry Conference on Crime & Punishment, Tulsa, Oklahoma (April 2001)

  • Taking Liberty with Humean Necessity, American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division, San Francisco, California (April 2001)

  • Commentary on Hume's Odyssean Reply to Palamedes by Dorothy Coleman, Mid-South Philosophy Conference, Memphis, Tennessee (February 2001)

Court Admissions

United States Supreme Court

United States Court of Appeals
◦  Fourth Circuit
◦  Ninth Circuit
◦  Tenth Circuit

Supreme Court of Utah

United States District Court, District of Utah