Maak v IHC Health Services, Inc.

Maak appealed the district court’s orders decertifying the class of plaintiffs and denying her motion to amend the class definition. The panel vacated and remanded.  It held that a district court must carefully analyze the Rule of Civil Procedure 23 criteria and offer reasoned explanation when analyzing a motion to decertify a class. It held the district court here failed to properly analyze the motion because it considered IHC’s purported counterclaims and it is unclear from the record whether the district court’s decision that those claims had not been waived is correct as it only made a brief statement without any analysis. Thus, the ruling was vacated and remanded for a new determination of the waiver issue. The panel held that the district court relied on the counterclaims in its Rule 23 analysis and thus the decertification order had to be vacated and the issue remanded. The panel chose to address the issue of mechanisms to ameliorate any problems arising from counterclaims by instructing the district court to consider and analyze any such mechanism proposed by Maak. It finally held that the district court must analyze Maak’s proposed amended class definition to see if it satisfies Rule 23.

State v Goodrich

Goodrich appealed the revocation of his probation arguing ineffective assistance of counsel and lack of notice. The panel affirmed. It held there was no prejudice from the alleged error by trial counsel in not obtaining probation documents from Oregon as Goodrich admitted violating probation and trial counsel followed a sound approach of presenting mitigation evidence in an effort to fend off revocation and if the documents actually showed Goodrich lied about the violations, they would have harmed, not helped Goodrich’s case. It also held there was no conflict of interest here as trial counsel’s actions reduced the seriousness of the allegations against Goodrich and Goodrich asked for the actions during the hearing. It held that Goodrich was not prejudiced by any lack of notice as he attended the hearing, was informed which allegations were being considered and offered a defense against them.

State v Valdez

Valdez appealed his consecutive sentences. The panel affirmed. It held that the district court considered all the evidence on rehabilitation Valdez wished to offer but permissibly concluded Valdez’s history of probation and prole violations and new crime involving a minor outweighed that evidence.

In re J.M. (E.M. v State)

E.M. appealed the order placing J.M. with relatives and closing the case. The panel affirmed holding evidence J.M. did not want to go back to E.M.’s custody, got physically and emotionally ill during visits and that E.M. had not made progress in overcoming alcohol addition and resulting neglect of J.M. were sufficient to sustain the order here. It also held the lack of family reunion services happened because J.M. needed therapy for his trauma and thus did not provide a basis to reverse.

Falkenrath v Candela Corporation

Falkenrath appealed summary judgment based on limitations grounds granted to Candela. The panel affirmed. It held that there were no exceptional circumstances justifying equitable tolling because Utah’s four year limitations period for a run of the mill tort claim is unusually generous compared to other states, injury caused by a machine (like the laser treatment machine here) routinely entail possible liability on the part of the manufacturer and Falkenrath knew several months before the limitations period ran that Candela made the machine and gave in person training to the person who operated the machine when Falkenrath was burned.

Mullins v Mullins

Husband appealed the alimony and debt division provisions in the parties’ divorce decree. The panel affirmed. It held the district court properly considered the need to equalize the standard of living for the parties as there was insufficient income to meet the needs of both parties and considered husband’s ability to pay in the context of the need to equalize the parties’ standard of living. It also held that the debt division was reasonable as the parties each were given responsibility for approximately the same amount of debt and husband had seven times the income of wife.