This letter is in response to the recent article regarding our colleague, Ron Yengich, and the complaint concerning the physical contact he may have had with a bailiff at the security station in the 3rd District Court.
As members of the board of directors of the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and as people who have known Ron for many years, we strongly support him in his denial that any inappropriate conduct occurred. We have had the opportunity to see him interact with court staff many times, and we know that he holds them in high regard and has developed excellent relationships with many of them. Over the years most of us have gotten to know Ron very well, and we know he would never do anything to sexually harass anyone.As fellow members of the Utah State Bar, we have become aware of a number of circumstances in which complaints have been made against security personnel who may have been overzealous and even rude in their efforts to provide security for the court building. We believe that Ron's incident arises out of escalating tension between a few of the bailiffs and members of the bar.
These complaints involve only a few of the security staff, and we are hopeful that these few bailiffs will adopt the cordial, respectful and professional attitude of the vast majority of that staff who work with us on a daily basis.
We want to remind everyone that lawyers are officers of the court and are ethically bound to obey the law, which includes refraining from carrying weapons or contraband into our courtrooms. We know of no circumstance where any criminal defense lawyer has violated this obligation.
We realize that security is important, and we want our court buildings to be safe and peaceful. This has traditionally been accomplished with respect and cooperation between the security staff and members of the bar. We hope to continue to foster that respect and cooperation.
Lisa J. Remal
Candice A. Johnson
Richard P. Mauro
MacArthur J. Wright
L. Clark Donaldson
(Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers board of directors)