Utah Court of Appeals Comes to Southern Utah University

Published: October 10, 2016 | Read Time: 3 minutes

Judges Gregory K. Orme, J. Frederic Voros Jr., and Michele M. Christiansen of the Utah Court of Appeals will be holding a special live session at SUU as part of the fourth convocation of the Fall 2016 semester. The court will hear two cases – Mike’s Smoke v. St. George and in re Morris – in the Hunter Conference Center on Thursday, October 13 at 11:30 a.m. Sponsored by SUU Convocations, this event is free and open to the general public.

“We are delighted that the Utah Court of Appeals would return to SUU,” said Dr. Danielle Dubrasky, director of SUU Convocations. “This unique on-campus experience will give students, faculty, and community members an opportunity to witness the real-life application of law and jurisprudence.”

The case of Mike’s Smoke v. St. George came about when the city of St. George revoked the shop’s business license on the ground that it was selling a “controlled substance analog,” which is an illegal substance. On appeal, Mike’s Smoke Shop is arguing that the district court misread the controlled substance statute and that it does not apply to the sale of the substance in question.

In re Morris looks to resolve the problem of a witness who, though subpoenaed to testify in a murder trial, has refused to so testify. While witnesses may avoid compliance with subpoenas “if compliance would be unreasonable,” the case seeks to find whether compliance is unreasonable for a witness who fears retaliation from his fellow prisoners.

Judge Gregory K. Orme is Associate Presiding Judge of the Utah Court of Appeals and has served on the court’s bench since 1987. A graduate of the University of Utah and George Washington University Law School, Judge Orme has served in various legal capacities throughout his life, from law firm partner to four terms on the Judicial Council, from chair of the Ethics Advisory Committee to the Utah Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on the Rules of Appellate Procedure. He received the Utah State Bar’s annual award for Judge of the Year in 2007 and the award for Young Lawyer of the Year in 1986.

Judge J. Frederic Voros Jr. has served on the Utah Court of Appeals since 2009. A graduate of Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School, Judge Voros clerked for Justice Dallin H. Oaks of the Utah Supreme Court before serving as general counsel to Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho). He joined the Utah Attorney General’s Office in 1991 and served as chief of the Office’s Criminal Appeals Division from 1999 to 2009. Judge Voros currently is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law (University of Utah) and sits on the Utah Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Rules of Appellate Practice. 

Judge Michele M. Christiansen has served on the Utah Court of Appeals since 2010. She previously served as Third District Court Judge, general counsel to Gov. Jon. M. Huntsman Jr., and executive director of the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. Her general counsel roles in the Governor’s Office included: chair, Utah Sexual Violence Council; co-chair, Utah Methamphetamine Joint Task Force; member, the Governor’s Violence Against Women and Families Cabinet Council; among other duties. Judge Christiansen received her juris doctorate from the University of Utah and currently serves as Adjunct Professor at her alma mater. She also serves on the Executive Board of Women Lawyers of Utah, as co-chair of the Utah State Bar’s Pro Bono Commission, and as chair of the Judicial Council’s Commissioner Conduct Committee.

As this convocation will be a real court session, there will be a security check at the entrance. Please arrive fifteen minutes early.

Judge Michele M. Christiansen
Judge J. Frederic Voros Jr.
Judge Gregory K. Orme

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