State v Beckering

Beckering appealed her conviction for vulnerable adult abuse. The panel affirmed. It held there was no ineffective assistance of counsel as the jury instructions were not confusing, accurately set out the elements of the offense except for one part and that part actually benefited Beckering as it narrowed the grounds the jury could base a conviction. The panel also held the photographs of the victim were not gruesome as they did not show unnatural body contortions, blood or oozing wounds and the relevance of the photos to the issue of abuse outweighed any prejudice and thus the photos were properly admitted.

Right Way Trucking, LLC. v Labor Commission

Right way petitioned for review of commission’s decision affirming the finding that a driver’s illness was work related. The panel affirmed. It held there was no error by the administrative law judge in accepting the medical panel report which contained oral history from the driver and his wife as the factual difference were trivial to minor and none of them undermined the finding the illness was triggered by heat exhaustion or stroke. The panel noted the same reasoning required affirmance on Commission’s determination that the medical board did not need to be asked what facts they relied upon as the facts are basically the same with or without the oral histories. It also held there was no need for the commission to send Right way’s physician’s opinion to the medical panel as it merely restated his initial objection and the physician acknowledged he was not an expert in heat related illness. The panel finally held that the driver was entitled to attorney fees and remanded for the Commission to set the benefits award and attorney fee award of 30% of that amount.

Utah Department of Transportation v TBT Property Management, Inc.

TBT appealed the jury award of damages in this condemnation proceeding arguing the district court erred in allowing mitigation evidence and in limiting cross examination of Department’s expert. The panel affirmed. It held Department’s creation of an entryway form TBT property to the limited access highway was mitigation as a matter of law and the issue of mitigation was thus properly submitted to the jury. The panel also held that statute barred inquiry to valuation for immediate occupancy and thus limits on that front were proper and there was no abuse of discretion in allowing the jury to view the property as the issues were complex and the visit would help clarify the facts for the jury. The panel finally rejected TBT’s claim for attorney fees deferring to the district court’s conclusion the mitigation issue was not raised in bad faith.

State v Apadaca

Apadaca appealed his sentence. The panel affirmed. It held that the district court adequately afforded Apadaca an opportunity to allocate at sentencing through his attorney and thus the appeal of his sentence was barred as untimely. It also held the appeal clock should not be reset as Apadaca waived his appeals right in his plea agreement and failed to file any appeal or post-conviction relief petition and in any event he did not challenge the trial court’s action of dismissing one of two counts he plead guilty to.