An attorney's failure to comply with the standards of professionalism and civility is not grounds to set aside a judgment.

April 18, 2019

Cox v. Hefley, 2019 UT App 60 (Filed April 18, 2019).

In this case, a Mother and Father signed an agreement to modify the previous orders relating to the Mother’s parent time and certain conditions the Mother would have to be in compliance with to have unsupervised visitation. The Mother signed the agreement, but her attorney did not. Later the Mother attempted to set aside the stipulation on several grounds, including that her attorney failed to comply with the Utah Standards of Professionalism and Civility. The court found:

"¶22 Next, Hefley asserts that Cox’s attorney acted “inappropriately” and in violation of the Utah Rules of Professional Conduct. This argument is equally unavailing. As this court has previously explained, “[w]hile compliance with the Utah Standards of Professionalism and Civility is encouraged of all attorneys, an attorney’s failure to comply is not grounds for setting aside a judgment.” Aghdasi v. Saberin, 2015 UT App 73, ¶ 9, 347 P.3d 427. We stop well short of determining that Cox’s attorney violated any professional rule. But even if we were to accept Hefley’s assertion that Cox’s attorney “violate[d] the Utah Rules of Professional Conduct,” that conclusion, by itself, would not require reversal in this case. See id."

Cox v. Hefley, 2019 UT App 60 (Filed April 18, 2019).

To read entire case, click HERE.

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