Utah Fathers Rights Attorney

In Utah, does a father have a right to get visitation, even if paternity has not yet been established? Does the law regarding an Utah Father’s Rights include the right for the father to request temporary orders regarding visitation or custody, even if paternity has not yet been established?

Utah Father's Rights Attorney

The answer is YES.  Since the husband is presumed to be the biological father when a child is born to a couple who is married, this issue applies to Utah Father’s Rights situations where the mother and father of a child were never married.  Temporary Custody Order While Action is Pending allows the following regarding an Utah Father’s Rights to visitation and/or custody while a court case is pending, or temporary orders:

In any proceeding pertaining to the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities for the care of a childwhen requested in the complaint, answer, or counterclaim, or by motion served with the pleading, upon satisfactory proof by affidavit duly filed with the clerk of the court, the court, without oral hearing and for good cause shownmay make a temporary order regarding the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities for the care of the child while the action is pending.

If a parent and child relationship has not already been established pursuant to section 3111.02 of the Revised Code, the court may take into consideration when determining whether to award parenting time, visitation rights, or temporary custody to a putative father that the putative father is named on the birth record of the child, the child has the putative father’s surname, or a clear pattern of a parent and child relationship between the child and the putative father exists.

There are several things about that statute that you want to read carefully.  Every word matters.  Here is some additional information about important phrases from the statute:



  • First, this means a COURT  It does NOT apply to an administrative proceeding for child support through the ORS.  The ORS has no authority to order visitation.  Sometimes, during an administrative child support proceeding, if the parties agree, the ORS attorney or liason will give the parties a form to seek court ordered visitation, but that form is still submitted to the COURT, and is not ordered by the ORS.
  • Second, notice the phrase “parentalrights and responsibilities”.  This means that if a Father files a motion in an actions which was only filed as a grandparent visitation proceeding, the court may find that it has no authority to make temporary orders for visitation for the Father.  The Father may file a motion to be made a party to the grandparent visitation proceeding, but unless he files a Complaint for the Allocation of Parental Rights and Responsibilities (and, if applicable, for establishment of paternity), the court may find that the action is not a “proceeding pertaining to the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities), and therefore deny the Father’s request for Temporary Visitation.  (The Mother would, at that point, still have full custody of the child pursuant to Utah law and would not need temporary orders for visitation.)
  • Temporary Orders are available during the INITIAL proceeding, not in post-decree proceedings.
  • Temporary Orders of visitation are not available in a court proceeding which is merely an objection to an administrative child support order.  The court proceeding has to include a complaint, answer or counterclaim for parental rights and responsibilities.


To establish an Utah Father’s Rights to temporary visitation or custody, the Father, or his Utah Father’s Rights Attorney, should request temporary orders pursuant to the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure in his Complaint, or his Answer to the Mother’s Complaint, if the Mother filed the Complaint.  In the alternative, the Father can seek his Utah Father’s Rights by filing a motion.  It is unclear from the statute whether his Motion must be served with his Complaint, Answer or Counterclaim, but it is the better practice to file the Motion at the outset of the case.  In addition, sometimes a request tucked at the end of a Complaint Answer or Counterclaim escapes the notice of the court at the initial hearing, but a Motion which is pending on the Court’s Docket is more likely to be noticed and addressed at the first hearing.

Something that is important to note is that if child support is not yet established, but paternity is established (perhaps through an Affidavit signed at the child’s birth which allows the Father’s name to be on the child’s birth certificate), Utah judges and magistrates almost always establish a temporary order of child support.  If the father, or his attorney, has not already filed a Motion for Temporary Orders or requested temporary orders in his complaint, this would be a great time to point out that Utah law allows the following:

Whenever a court issues a child support order, it shall include in the order specific provisions for regular, holiday, vacation, parenting time, and special visitation in accordance with the sections of the Utah Code or in accordance with any other applicable section of Utah law.

Free Consultation with a Utah Father’s Rights Lawyer

If you have a question about child custody question or if you need to protect or enforce your rights, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Business Lawyers in Utah for Gold and Silver

“Shafting” the IRS is the verbiage used in the article in Forbes, not ours, though who hasn’t dreamed of evading, er, we mean finding loopholes in taxes at least once in their lives? Well, now the secret is out, thanks to writer Brian Domitrovic, who may be onto something. Obligatory disclosure: he’s not a tax lawyer. Interestingly, he cites a 2011 law that was passed in Utah “banning taxes on the use of gold and silver coins as currency and permitting residents to remit taxes in these coins.” Apparently Oklahoma recently did something similar. But before business lawyers in Utah as well as entrepreneurs and wealth management specialists across the Beehive State dismiss this small bit of legislation as trivial, Domitrovic points out that transacting in gold can save you tons on taxes.

Business Lawyers in Utah for Gold and Silver

Maybe not literally tons, and almost certainly not tons of gold, whose current market value is something like $1,267 per ounce. So here’s the first thing: gold’s official Treasury price is $42.22 per ounce, meaning that some savvy individuals or companies who leverage the legal know-how of their business lawyers in Utah could be saving hundreds of thousands of dollars on taxes each year if they worked in gold. So, Business lawyers in Utah may be called on in greater demand for transacting in gold because it can shaft the IRS.

But hold on a minute, some of you astute readers of legal news might say. What about the “federal law” that requires you to “declare as taxable the gain on any market appreciation of the gold you use to make purchases”? Well, that’s the other thing: it’s a “federal law” in quotation marks. It’s not a real law. It’s what Dimitrovic calls “administrative law,” which is basically an idea that the Internal Review Service came up with and tossed back and forth in a series of emails (8,000 pages worth, as discovered under the Freedom of Information Act) and said “okay, we’re doing this requirement of market appreciation on gold thing.” How enforceable is administrative law? You’d have to ask your business lawyers in Utah: legal counsel isn’t superseded by Dimitrovic’s blog-based advice.

Just think about it, though: if enough people get together and decide to make transactions in gold, “somebody might clear, for example, $3,000 in gold income a year, or $90,000 if translated into paper dollars.” And given Utah’s 2011 statute, even the most experienced business lawyers in Utah would be hard pressed to disagree that everything with that plan seems above board. And when you’re only paying taxes on $3,000, why wouldn’t you get on board with this idea?

Part of the problem is finding enough people to get together to decide to make the transactions in gold. If the gold movement does get traction though, “it could have the effect of requiring business in this country to cut their taxation costs by arbitraging the gold-note dollar spread that the United States has allowed to emerge over the past century of serious inflation.” Gold has the potential, like Bitcoin to stick it to the man (i.e. the IRS), with the added bonus of being constitutionally protected since 1787 and time tested through copious amounts of litigation in the 19th century. Pony, up, people; together we can “shaft the IRS.”

Free Consultation with a Utah Business Lawyer

If you are here, you probably have a business law issue you need help with, call Ascent Law for your free business law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Financial Misconduct in Utah Divorce Cases

What is financial misconduct?  In Utah, it is a basis upon which an Utah divorce court can make a distributive award.  

Financial Misconduct in Utah Divorce Cases

Consider this:

If a spouse has engaged in financial misconduct, including, but not limited to, the dissipation, destruction, concealment, nondisclosure, or fraudulent disposition of assets, the court may compensate the offended spouse with a distributive award or with a greater award of marital property.

So what does this mean in plain English?  It means if you are getting divorced and your spouse is destroying, ruining, hiding, or getting rid of assets in a sneaky way, the court can give you some of their separate property to punish them.  When a court does this, it is called a distributive award. 

So what is separate property?

(a) “Separate property” means all real and personal property and any interest in real or personal property that is found by the court to be any of the following:

(i) An inheritance by one spouse by bequest, devise, or descent during the course of the marriage;

(ii) Any real or personal property or interest in real or personal property that was acquired by one spouse prior to the date of the marriage;

(iii) Passive income and appreciation acquired from separate property by one spouse during the marriage;

(iv) Any real or personal property or interest in real or personal property acquired by one spouse after a decree of legal separation issued under section 3105.17 of the Revised Code;

(v) Any real or personal property or interest in real or personal property that is excluded by a valid antenuptial agreement;

(vi) Compensation to a spouse for the spouse’s personal injury, except for loss of marital earnings and compensation for expenses paid from marital assets;

(vii) Any gift of any real or personal property or of an interest in real or personal property that is made after the date of the marriage and that is proven by clear and convincing evidence to have been given to only one spouse.

So what does this all mean?  It means if your spouse has separate property, and they are playing games with the marital property, the court can remedy this by giving you some of their separate property.

Retroactive Arrearage Modification Not Prohibited

The Supreme Court has decided that parties to a support order may modify child support by agreement.  In Byrd v. Knuckles the Supreme Court held that nothing prohibits a juvenile court from adjusting an existing arrearage in child support if the parties agree to do so.

In this case, as part of an agreement to consent to a step-parent adoption, the Mother agreed that the Father’s child support arrearage would be reduced by 50%.  After the adoption was completed, the Father attempted to have his child support arrearage reduced pursuant to this agreement, and the Court found that it had no authority to reduce this arrearage under the Law.  This matter was appealed, and then brought before Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court noted that this decision does not mean that a court MUST accept a parties’ agreement to reduce a prior arrearage, but that a court is not prohibited from doing so pursuant to the Law.  As in this case, this issue is particularly relevant where one party is willing to sign away their legal rights in order to be released from future, and possibly past child support obligations.

Free Consultation with a Utah Divorce Lawyer

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Child Sexual Abuse Investigation

In rape and sexual abuse of child investigations, the detective will usually call the suspect to get her “side of the story.”  After charges are filed, a defendant calls to ask me if the interview can be thrown out because the officer did not read her Miranda warnings. This is important for you to think about because as a child sexual abuse defense lawyer, you want to do everything you can to protect yourself before, during, and after the investigation phase.

Child Sexual Abuse Investigation

Most people, because of crime shows, are very familiar with the Miranda warnings.  But most do not realize that an officer does not have to read a suspect her Miranda warnings unless she is in custody.  So, if the officer is questioning the suspect at her home, it is not likely that the officer needs to give any Miranda warnings.

If you are being questioned and are unsure if you are in custody or not, ask the officer if you are “free to leave.” If you are questioned without being Mirandized, but you were not in police custody, your interview is still admissible at trial.

If a suspect is in the back of a police car or at the police station, she is in custody fo purposes of Miranda and the warnings must be given before an interrogation begins.  If the officer fails to issue Miranda warnings, the interview will likely be tossed at a motion to suppress hearing, meaning the prosecutor cannot use the interview at trial.

If, however, the defendant testifies at her trial and she says something different than she said in the police interview, the prosecutor will be allowed to use the interview to impeach her.  By talking to police, a suspect is potentially compromising her case.  Don’t talk to the police.  The police are not your friend, even if they are acting like they are.  The prosecutor won’t deal with your case more leniently if you talk, even though the police will tell you this.  You can always talk later –with the assistance of an attorney– if there is something you’d like the prosecutor to know.

If you are ever contacted by a detective for an interview, ask for a lawyer.  The police have to stop questioning you until a lawyer is provided to you.  Don’t compromise your rape or sexual abuse of a child case because of something you say.

Rape And Child Sex Cases At The Investigation Phase In Utah

Being investigated for rape or sexual abuse of a child?  Too many make the mistake of waiting to hiring a lawyer.  This is the most critical portion of the case sometimes.  Police officers often tell suspects they don’t need a lawyer and that telling their side of the story will curry favor with the prosecutor.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  Giving a statement to the police locks you into a specific defense if they case goes to trial.  You provide the prosecutor ammunition on cross-examination if you have spoken before.  If your testimony varies at all from your interview with the police, the prosecutor will impeach you with the prior interview and tell the jurors that you are lying.  And, the inconsistencies don’t have to be on major points.  Something that you may think is insignificant may become significant at trial.  Make sure that you ask for an attorney before giving an interview.  You have a right to remain silent and the prosecutor cannot use that silence against you, such as “John Doe must be guilty because he refused to tell us his side of the story.”  That is improper.

Once a rape or child investigation is completed, a warrant will go out and you could be picked up. A rape or sexual abuse of a child case is a high priority case for law enforcement and officers are going to focus on picking up these individuals once charges are filed.

If you have an attorney, most times the detective will work with your attorney to do a surrender.  Before going into court, the “wheels are greased” and a release or bail reduction is already worked out.  Remember, it’s easier to stay out of jail than to get out of jail.

Don’t make the mistake of waiting to call an attorney after the prosecutor decides to file charges.  Hire a competent lawyer to help you through the process.

Free Consultation with Child Sexual Abuse Defense Lawyer

When the police are coming after you for child sexual abuse or rape crimes, call us for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Change of Circumstances and Grandparent Custody

The concept of “change of circumstances” is an important on in the context of child custody, but it’s complicated concept in family law.  When a person wants to change the court’s custody orders, there has to be a change in circumstances.

The first important question is “Whose circumstances have to have changed?”  The answer to that depends on whether the order is a shared parenting decree (two residential parents), joint custody (one parent and one non-parent) or whether a person (or persons) have legal custody (aka residential parent or sole custody).  In a nutshell, the question is “Shared Parenting, Joint Custody or Sole Custody?”

Change of Circumstances and Grandparent Custody

When a person has sole custody of a child (aka “legal custody” or sole residential parent), then the change of circumstances must be a change in the circumstances of the child or legal custodian.  It does not matter if the parent who has visitation only, (or has no visitation but simply retains his or her residual parental rights) has changed his or her circumstances, even if his or her circumstances have changed substantially.

In Alexander v. Alexander, the court of appeals for found that the trial court did not abuse it’s discretion when it overruled the Mother’s Motion to Change Allocation of Parental Rights and Responsibilities regarding her three children.  The children were in the custody of their paternal grandmother as a result of the agreement of the Mother and Father during their divorce.  The Mother had visitation (parenting time).

During the trial on the Mother’s Motion to Reallocate, Mother testified that she had been working for some time to make a more stable home for the children.  Among other things, Mother testified that she was employed and had lived in her apartment for a year and a half.  The trial court found that the change of circumstances must have occurred “in the circumstances of the child, the child’s residential parent, or either of the parents subject to a shared parenting decree“.  In this case, the changes were in the Mother’s circumstances.  In addition, the trial court found that the children have become more stable in the grandparents’ home, and so the “harm of a change in environment for the children outweighs any advantages that may have now arisen to justify a change.”

Even if there HAS been a change in circumstances of the RIGHT person, the court should not change custody unless the change is in the child’s best interest AND one of the following is true:

(i) The residential parent agrees to a change in the residential parent or both parents under a shared parenting decree agree to a change in the designation of residential parent.

(ii) The child, with the consent of the residential parent or of both parents under a shared parenting decree, has been integrated into the family of the person seeking to become the residential parent.

(iii) The harm likely to be caused by a change of environment is outweighed by the advantages of the change of environment to the child.

Free Consultation with Child Custody Lawyer

If you have a question about child custody question or if you need to collect back child support, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will aggressively fight for you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

SEC Charges Pastor with Defrauding Retirees

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced fraud charges and an emergency asset freeze obtained against a Michigan-based pastor accused of exploiting church members, retirees, and laid-off auto workers who were misled to believe they were investing in a successful real estate business.

SEC Charges Pastor with Defrauding Retirees

The SEC alleges that Larry Holley, the pastor of Abundant Life Ministries in Flint, Mich., cloaked his solicitations in faith-based rhetoric, replete with references to scripture and biblical figures.  Holley allegedly told prospective investors that as a person who “prayed for your children,” he was more trustworthy than a “banker” with their money.  According to the SEC’s complaint, Holley held financial presentations masked as “Blessed Life Conferences” at churches nationwide during which he asked congregants to fill out cards detailing their financial holdings, and he promised to pray over the cards and invited attendees to have one-on-one consultations with his team.  He allegedly called his investors “millionaires in the making.”

According to the SEC’s complaint, which also charges Holley’s company Treasure Enterprise LLC and his business associate Patricia Enright Gray, approximately $6.7 million was raised from more than 80 investors who were guaranteed high returns and told they were investing in a profitable real estate company with hundreds of residential and commercial properties.

According to the complaint, Gray advertised on a religious radio station based in Flint and singled out recently laid-off auto workers with severance packages to consult her for a “financial increase.”  Gray allegedly promised to roll over investors’ retirement funds into tax-advantaged Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) and invest them in Treasure Enterprise.  The SEC alleges that no investor funds were deposited into IRAs, and Treasure Enterprise struggled to generate enough revenue from its real estate investments to support the business and make payments owed to investors.  Treasure Enterprise owes investors an estimated $1.9 million in past due payments, according to the SEC’s complaint.

“As alleged in our complaint, Holley and Gray targeted the retirement savings of churchgoers, building a bond of trust purportedly based on faith but actually based on false promises,” said David Glockner.

According to the SEC’s complaint, Holley, Gray, and Treasure Enterprise were not registered to sell investments.  The SEC encourages investors to check the background of anyone offering to sell them investments by doing a quick search on the SEC’s investor website.

The SEC has obtained a temporary restraining order in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Utah that freezes the assets of Holley, Gray, and Treasure Enterprise.  The court’s order also appoints a receiver and imposes other emergency relief.

The SEC’s complaint alleges violations of Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5.  The complaint seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus interest, penalties, and permanent injunctions.

The SEC’s investigation, which is continuing, is being conducted by Ana P. Doncic, Delia L. Helpingstine, and Sruthi Koneru of the Utah office.  The case is being supervised by Steven L. Klawans, and the litigation is being led by Jonathan S. Polish.


The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it has adopted amendments to increase the amount of money companies can raise through crowdfunding to adjust for inflation.  It also approved amendments that adjust for inflation a threshold used to determine eligibility for benefits offered to “emerging growth companies” (EGCs) under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act.

“Regular updates to the JOBS Act, as prescribed by Congress, ensure that the entrepreneurs and investors who benefit from crowdfunding will continue to do so,” said SEC Acting Chairman Michael S. Piwowar. “Under these amendments, the JOBS Act can continue to create jobs and investment opportunities for the general public.”

The SEC is required to make inflation adjustments to certain JOBS Act rules at least once every five years after it was enacted on April 5, 2012.  In addition to the inflation adjustments, the SEC adopted technical amendments to conform several rules and forms to amendments made to the Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”) and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) by Title I of the JOBS Act.

The Commission approved the new thresholds March 31. They will become effective when they are published in the Federal Register.


Section 101 of the JOBS Act added new Securities Act Section 2(a)(19) and Exchange Act Section 3(a)(80) to define the term “emerging growth company” (“EGC”).  Pursuant to those sections, every five years the SEC is directed to index the annual gross revenue amount used to determine EGC status to inflation to reflect the change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (“CPI-U”) published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”).  To carry out this statutory directive, the SEC has adopted amendments to Securities Act Rule 405 and Exchange Act Rule 12b-2 to include a definition for EGC that reflects an inflation-adjusted annual gross revenue threshold.  The JOBS Act also added new Securities Act Section 4(a)(6), which provides an exemption from the registration requirements of Section 5 under the Securities Act for certain crowdfunding transactions.  In October 2015, the SEC promulgated Regulation Crowdfunding to implement that exemption.  Sections 4(a)(6) and 4A of the Securities Act set forth dollar amounts used in connection with the crowdfunding exemption, and Section 4A(h)(1) states that such dollar amounts shall be adjusted by the SEC not less frequently than once every five years to reflect the change in the CPI-U published by the BLS.  The SEC has adopted amendments to Rules 100 and 201(t) of Regulation Crowdfunding and Securities Act Form C to reflect the required inflation adjustments.

In addition, Sections 102 and 103 of the JOBS Act amended the Securities Act and the Exchange Act to provide several exemptions from a number of disclosure, shareholder voting, and other regulatory requirements for any issuer that qualifies as an EGC. The exemptions reduce the financial disclosures an EGC is required to provide in public offering registration statements and relieve an EGC from conducting advisory votes on executive compensation, as well as from a number of accounting and disclosure requirements.  The regulatory relief provided under Sections 102 and 103 of the JOBS Act was self-executing and became effective once the JOBS Act was signed into law.  The technical amendments that the SEC is adopting conform several rules and forms to reflect these JOBS Act statutory changes.

Free Initial Consultation with a Securities Lawyer

When you need help with an SEC or Securities matter, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Government Liability and Immunity in Utah

In its infancy, the United States had sovereign immunity for federal and state governments and their employees. It wasn’t until the mid-1900s that a trend developed that held the government accountable for any cases, including wrongful death or other legal actions.

Today the State Tort Claims Act provides a waiver of immunity with expectations that apply to certain claims against the government. This probably seems like a mouthful, but having the right lawyer on your side that knows government laws can help you with a case in Salt Lake City, Utah or elsewhere. Because I’m a West Jordan injury lawyer, I’ve seen all sorts of injuries and accidents and ones against the State of Utah can be difficult.

Government Liability and Immunity in Utah

State Claims Act

This act limits immunity to the state, and sets up a procedure for claims against the state. The board or commission will determine whether the claims are valid, and may also limit damages for certain liability. At least 33 state acts — including Utah’s — limit the damages that are recovered from judgments against the state. This is why it’s important for residents of Salt Lake City to have a lawyer that knows what actions to pursue against the state. If you plan to pursue a claim against the state, there are certain facts and assertions that need to be sent in. The government then has 60 days to inform the claimant if the claim has been approved or denied.

If immunity is waived against the government, then the department or entity will be considered as if it were a private person. This would be the case if a wrongful death occurred on government property, but again this can be a tough call against the government. According to Utah Code Ann. 63-30d-301 (5)(a), “immunity is not waived if the injury resulted from an exercise of discretionary function.” This case would determine whether a lawyer could successfully sue the Salt Lake City or Utah government for negligent acts.

There are different parts of the government that function outside the Act, including 911 emergency medical services, government volunteers and hazardous materials. All of these could lead to a wrongful death case, in which you might require a wrongful death lawyer.

Make sure you hire a lawyer that knows the law well, and what they can do to help your case against government officials in Salt Lake City or elsewhere throughout the state of Utah.


There are many great reasons to ride bikes. Bicycling saves money and helps preserve your health and the environment. If you are going to ride your bike to celebrate National Bike Month, make sure you and your children wear a helmet. Many people think helmets are just for children, but most cyclist casualties are adults (88 percent) as opposed to children (12 percent). In 2014, 21,827 cyclists were injured in reported accidents. This can often be grounds for an auto accident lawsuit. Consider speaking to a lawyer today if you are a victim.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, each year two percent of car accident crash deaths are cyclists. Driver/rider error is the most frequent reason for car accidents with cyclists involving 73% of cases. The most serious injuries are to the head and neck. Helmet use has been estimated to reduce the odds of head injury by 50 percent, and the odds of head, face, or neck injury by 33 percent.

Although the accident might not be your fault, getting hit by a car will always be worse for the cyclist than the vehicle. Just this last month, a cyclist was killed in a hit-and-run accident in West Valley City. This death could have been prevented if the driver would have been paying attention and seen the victim. There are some things that you can do to make your chances being seen and avoiding a car accident less likely. In the unlikely event that you are involved in an accident, make sure you see an attorney or a lawyer for help.

The first is to get a headlight. If you are going to ride at night, you drastically reduce your likelihood of being involved in an auto accident when you use a headlight.

The next step is to wave or make eye contact with the drivers. Being noticed is one of the best ways you can avoid an accident.

Finally, slow down. It may be inconvenient, but it is better than getting hit. Slowing your speed allows you to have more time to stop if the driver does not see you.

Enjoy the fresh air this May and join in the celebration of National Bike Month. Just remember to take precautions and if something happens to you, seek a lawyer that can fight to get you the care you need.

Free Initial Consultation with an accident and injury Lawyer

When you need legal help, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

How Do I Send a DMCA Take Down Notice?

A DMCA take-down notice is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to have your copyright protected materials removed from a website hosting company servers, or a search index on Yahoo, Google, or Bing. The first thing you need to know about how to send a DMCA notice is that you must be the copyright owner in order to send the notice. The copyright owner is typically the person who put their fingers to the keyboard, their finger to the click button on the camera, or their pen to paper. The person who is the author of the work is most often the copyright owner. Sometimes the copyright owner will license or sign their interest to an employer or third party which may then have the impact of transferring the copyright to someone who is not the author.

How Do I Send a DMCA Take Down Notice

The next thing you need to understand about how to send a DMCA take-down notice is who to send it to. As noted above, any third party who is a service provider with a DMCA copyright policy is potentially a target for a DMCA notice letter. So, for instance, the company hosting the website is often the primary DMCA notice target. People don’t realize they can also send a DMCA notice to Google, Yahoo, and Bing in order to have their materials removed from the search index. That often gets the job done since the infringing material doesn’t come back on search.

You must strictly follow the DMCA take-down policy and rules set forth by the third party provider in order to successfully remove copyright protected materials from the internet. If a provider does not have a DMCA policy, then they may not have immunity from copyright infringement claims. This means you could send a copyright infringement threat letter directly to that third party provider unprotected by DMCA immunity provisions.

An experienced DMCA attorney can help you understand how to send a DMCA take-down notice, who to send it to and what to expect by way of response. Understanding how to send a DMCA notice correctly will save you a lot of time and money down the road.


While you may know what cybersquatting is generally and what potential legal action you can take for remedies under the Anticybersquatting Protection Act (“ACPA”), not knowing specific techniques used by cybersquatters may leave you unaware that you are currently being or have been a victim of cybersquatting. Cybersquatters use a variety of techniques to benefit from your trademark, so it is important for you to understand the variations of a cybersquatting in order to identify if your trademark has been illegally infringed upon by a cybersquatter.

One common form of cybersquatting is typosquatting. Typosquatting as a practice can be defined through a few different methods, which include misspelling or phrasing, as well as using a separate top-level domain (TLD). Misspelling or phrasing occurs when cybersquatters change the spelling of words or phrases slightly to benefit from internet users common typing mistakes to attract attention to a fake domain based on a misspelled legitimate domain, such as traverslegal.com instead of traverselegal.com. Notice the missing “e” in the first spelling? If not, you aren’t alone.

Another variation of typosquatting is top-level domain swapping by simply changing a .com domain to a separate TLD domain such as .org, or .net. A notable example was whitehouse.com, which adversely affected whitehouse.gov by displaying pornographic material. Mistakes in knowing which TLD is associated with a site like this are common, and cybersquatters take advantage of these mistakes by setting up a fake website cosmetically designed to imitate the original, and adversely affect your trademark by stealing your web traffic, compel you to buy the cybersquatted domain, or simply by spreading malware using your brand name.

Another form of Cybersquatting is a type of Identity theft associated with the registration of domain names. There are software products that a cybersquatter can use to monitor domain registration expiration, and if the domain is not renewed in time, they can purchase that domain, and either imitate your website to make your site’s visitors believe that the cybersquatter is you, or perhaps worse a website with your competitor’s products or services and redirect them to that site or advertisements that contain your competitor’s products or services.

A final type of cybersquatting is known as reverse cybersquatting or otherwise known as reverse domain hijacking. This is the practice of brand owners attempting to secure a domain name legally owned by another person and who is not otherwise a cybersquatter. A brand owner may claim that they own the rights to your domain, and threaten legal action unless you transfer that domain over to them. This practice by the brand owner is often perpetrated by large companies or famous individuals and is an abuse of their trademark rights making wrongful claims against your rightfully held domain name.

Free Consultation with a Utah Intellectual Property Lawyer

When you need help with a DMCA take down notice, cybersquatting or other IP related legal matters, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Tips for Effectively Using Your Business Lawyer

Savvy business people understand that lawyers play an indispensable role in the successful execution of a business plan. Here are seven keys to get the most from lawyers for your business.

  1. Call sooner rather than later. Problems are more expensive to solve than avoid. Call your lawyers before you get served with a lawsuit. Call them before you sign a lease or a loan or any other contract vitally important to your business. An hour or two of your lawyer’s time to review a document could save multiple hours down the road trying to unwind or modify a bad deal.

    Tips for Effectively Using Your Business Lawyer

  2. Understand the fees upfront. When hiring a lawyer, you should ask for a document (sometimes called an engagement letter or retainer agreement) to describe how your lawyer will charge for their work. Not all projects need be billed by the hour. If you are looking for more certainty as to cost, ask for an alternative, such as a cap on fees or a hard quote on the total cost. Alternative fee structures don’t automatically lower total legal fees. Getting certainty in your fees may come at a cost.
  3. Be prepared and do your homework. Prior to meeting with your lawyer in person or on the phone, spend time getting prepared. Read in advance any documents or contracts you would like the lawyer to review and have specific questions. Spend time to get a clear understanding of the deal you want to do and the goals you hope to accomplish. In short, use your lawyer’s time as efficiently as possible.
  4. Keep your lawyer in the loop. As your business plan unfolds and new developments arise, touch base with your lawyer through a quick email or phone call to apprise them of what’s going on. They may see issues that you haven’t thought about, and it could end up saving you thousands of dollars in legal fees down the road.
  5. Don’t hide the ball. Be totally honest with your lawyer. Your discussions will be protected by the attorney-client privilege and kept in strict confidence (assuming you don’t plan to commit a crime). Legal issues are driven by facts, and the more detail you provide your lawyer, the better they will be able to serve you.
  6. Get the right lawyer. Don’t ask a patent lawyer to review a loan agreement. The legal system is complicated. Like most professions, law has become incredibly specialized in the last few decades. Before your hire a lawyer, make sure they have experience handling your type of project. The lawyers at Ascent Law have deep expertise in business litigation and all aspects of business transactions.
  7. Treat your lawyer like a business partner. Unlike the caricatures in lawyer jokes, most lawyers are dedicated professionals with the knowledge and experience to safely guide you through the legal risks of running a business. Treat them as you would a business partner. You’ll find the value they add to your business far exceeds the cost.


Free Consultation with a Utah Business Lawyer

If you are here, you probably have a business law issue you need help with, call Ascent Law for your free business law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Moves and Relocation in Divorce

In situations where court ordered parenting time has already been established, and the residential parent or the school placement parent intends to move, the first issue that must be addressed is notice to the other parent. For information regarding notice of a move.

Once issues of notice have been properly taken care of, the next question becomes – what does this mean for your parenting order?  Are changes needed?  If so, what are they?

Moves and Relocation in Divorce

If the parents can agree regarding the appropriate changes to their parenting plan, if any, then the parties can submit appropriate paperwork to the Court to modify their parenting orders.  But what if the parties cannot agree?  If parties cannot reach an agreement on their own, if they wish, they may request the help of a mediator to reach agreement.  In addition, the Local Rules of your court or the terms of your parenting order or shared parenting plan may require you to attempt mediation before filing a motion with the Court.

If the move is imminent, and you believe time is of the essence to make sure that your Child is not permanently removed from the State, you may need to seek an Ex Parte Temporary Restraining Order.

If the non-moving parent is unable to reach agreement with the moving parent regarding moving the Child and/or the revised terms that should be in the parenting order, then the non-moving parent is left with two choices:

  1. Do nothing and hope that the other party will allow you reasonable access to your Child from the new location.  If you do this, your court ordered access remains the same as your prior order, although it may now be difficult and expensive to follow it.  Or,
  2. File a motion with the Court to change your custody, shared parenting, school placement parent, or parenting time.  In addition, you may wish to file a motion to modify child support to accommodate the travel expenses that are now involved in visitation.

Before an Utah court can modify custody, terminate shared parenting, or change the school placement parent, Utah law requires that the Court must first find there has been a change in

Moving or Relocation in Utah Custody, Shared Parenting and Visitation Cases

For purposes of this article, assume that moving parent and the non-moving parent have gone through the stages in the first three articles on this topic, and one or both parents have decided to go to court to seek a change of custody, shared parenting,  or the school placement parent in a shared parenting plan.  Utah law requires a court find that there has been a change in circumstances before making this modification.  In addition, the change cannot be a slight change; it must be a change of substance.

The court must find that:

…a change has occurred in the circumstances of the Child, the Child’s residential parent, or either of the parents subject to a shared parenting decree, and that the modification is necessary to serve the best interest of the Child. In applying these standards, the Court shall retain the residential parent designated by the prior decree or the prior shared parenting decree, unless a modification is in the best interest of the Child and one of the following applies:

(i) The residential parent agrees to a change in the designation of residential parent, or both parents, under a shared parenting decree, agree to a change in the designation of residential parent.

(ii) The Child, with the consent of the residential parent or of both parents under a shared parenting decree, has been integrated into the family of the person seeking to become the residential parent.

(iii) The harm likely to be caused by a change of environment is outweighed by the advantages of the change of environment to the Child.

In one court case, the appellate court found that a trial court abuses its discretion when it modifies custody based solely upon evidence that the residential parent intends to leave the State of Utah with the Child.  Many cases since have found that a move, in and of itself, does not constitute a change of circumstances.  However, there are also many cases that have found circumstances attendant to a move which, combined with the move itself, may constitute a change of circumstances.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

When you need moving, relocation, divorce or child custody help in Utah, call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506 for your free consultation. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506