In the matter of the Discipline of Brian w. Steffensen (Utah state Bar v Steffensen)

Steffensen field an interlocutory appeal arguing due process requires the Bar to prove his alleged criminal activity which forms the basis for the disciplinary charge against him beyond a reasonable doubt. The Court affirmed the district court’s ruling that the preponderance of the evidence standard applied as Utah Rules for Lawyer Discipline 14-517 adopts that standard and Steffensen provide no basis to change the rule as part of an adjudicative proceeding instead of the normal rulemaking process. It also rejected Steffensen’s argument that Rule of Professional Responsibility 8.4(b) requires the use of the criminal beyond a reasonable doubt standard as attorney discipline is civil, not criminal, and 14-517 specifically addresses the issue while 8.4(b) at most implicitly does.