I am a “Double Y,” receiving both my undergraduate degree and law school degree from BYU. But my roots at BYU are even deeper: I was born in Provo, and attended Timpanogos Elementary, Rock Canyon Elementary, Farrer Junior High and Provo High, all within the shadow of Y Mountain. My friends and I were members of the “Knot Hole Gang,” which is what they called the kids who sat on what was then a grassy slope and is now the north end zone of Lavell Edwards Stadium, when we watched football games back in elementary school.
After graduating from law school in 1982, I started my career in Los Angeles, with the law firm of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. While I don’t discuss my private clients, it is a matter of public record that in those early years I had the good fortune of working on many very interesting and complex matters, such as the Estate of Howard Hughes, the Estate of Conrad Hilton, planning for President Ronald Reagan, and late stage estate work for the Disney family and estate, among others. I loved working with wealth creators and their families and continued honing my skills in that area when I returned to Utah to work at Van Cott, Bagley, Cornwall & McCarthy, and then in my current firm, Durham Jones & Pinegar. I find great personal satisfaction in helping to solve problems and trying to provide useful counsel to others and believe that my enthusiasm and love for my practice is even stronger now than it was in those exciting early years.
I am a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (“ACTEC” or the “College”), and am active in my service there, currently acting as the ACTEC State Chair for Utah (my second time in that position), as a Member of the Amicus Review Committee, and as a long-time member of the Business Planning Committee, and having previously served on ACTEC’s State Chair Steering Committee and the Nominating Committee for the College. I also previously served as an adjunct professor at the University of Utah, teaching Business Law in the David Eccles School of Business.
Awards and recognitions includes: (1) Ranked Band 1, Chambers High Net Worth Guide, Private Wealth Law; (2) recognized in Best Lawyers, including 2017 Utah Lawyer of the Year for Trusts and Estates; (3) recognized in Super Lawyers in Estate Planning; (4) recognized in Utah Legal Elite in Estate Planning.
I am involved with the Gift Planning Council because I believe in the mission and vision of the Council, the good that it does, and all that it represents.
Can you please share with us some of your favorite experiences that you’ve had serving on the Gift Planning Leadership Council or at the conference? I value the great people in the Gift Planning Leadership Council, and everyone associated with Philanthropies. I can honestly say that every contact I have with the people in this great organization has made my life richer, deeper and more meaningful. Some other favorite experiences come from what I have been able to pass on to my clients – and others as well – about the mission and vision of Philanthropies, and to see people become engaged in and contribute to one or more of the great causes we all love and support. Finally, I always gain something personally meaningful and powerful from our conferences or other gatherings. I consider myself to be a lifelong learner, and it is difficult, and may not really be fair, to single out any particular experience. But some examples might be the dinner presentation from Dr. Kauwe, regarding the research his team is doing at BYU on Alzheimer’s disease, which I found fascinating (perhaps for what I hope will not, but potentially could be, part of my own future!) Then when I came home from the Gift Planning Council Conference in 2015, which included presentations from Elder Ballard, Clayton Christensen and President Worthen, Nancy asked me how it had gone, and I said to her “I don’t want to overstate this, but I think the personal message I received there may turn out to be life changing for me.”
Do you have a favorite experience you can share regarding a client who gave to a Church entity? One example might be the help and counsel Philanthropies provided to one of my clients in connection with setting a donor advised fund in connection with the sale of his company, and the gifts he and his family have been able to make from that DAF for so many causes since that time.
For a detailed discussion of the services we provide you and your advisors, please contact us at 1-877-650-5377 or by email.