College of Law to Honor Alumni at Annual Dinner, April 29

On April 29, the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law will honor alumni from the classes of 1976, ’82, and ’05, as well as Honorary Alum Sim Gill at its Annual Alumni Dinner, to be held at Rice Eccles Stadium.

Festivities, which begin at 5:30 p.m., include dinner and beverages, an awards ceremony and remarks by guest speaker Margaret Plane, ’02, Senior City Attorney with Salt Lake City Corporation. Plane helped develop the Utah Supreme Court’s New Lawyer Training Program and currently serves as co-chair of the Supreme Court Committee overseeing the program. She chairs an Ethics and Discipline Committee screening panel and is a member of the Aldon J. Anderson American Inn of Court.

Alumni to be honored at the event include the following:

Alumna of the Year Cecelia Espenoza ‘82, Senior Associate Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review. Espenoza, who was the second Latina admitted to the Utah State Bar, began her legal career in Utah, where she worked as a city prosecutor and a special assistant U.S. Attorney in Salt Lake City from 1986 to 1990, and as a city prosecutor in Sandy from 1984 to 1986. She was director of the migrant unit and bilingual attorney for the Utah Legal Services, Inc., from 1982 to 1984.

Alumnus of the Year Randy Dryer, ‘76, Presidential Honors Professor and Of Counsel, Parsons, Behle & Latimer. Dryer, a recognized expert in First Amendment law, social media law, crisis management, and crisis communications, has advised numerous business clients in drafting their social media policies. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America each year since 1993. Out of 1.1 million lawyers in the United States, Dryer was one of 500 named to the Lawdragon 500 Leading Litigators Guide in 2006.

Young Alumnus of the Year Mathew Higbee, ‘05, Founding Attorney, Higbee & Associates. At the College of Law, Higbee served as president of the SBA and earned a nomination as finalist for the ABA’s President of the Year honor. He has successfully argued appeals that have led to published opinions that provide important guidance to California’s expungement law.

Honorary Alumnus of the Year Sim Gill, Salt Lake County District Attorney. Gill graduated from the U of U with a B.A. degree in history and philosophy. He received his J. D. degree rom Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Gill was elected as Salt Lake County District Attorney in November 2010.  As a veteran prosecutor, he has been a champion on issues of therapeutic justice, criminal prosecution and alternatives to prosecution.

For more information, or to purchase tickets for the alumni dinner, contact Miriam Lovin, 801- 585-3479. Free parking is available in the Rice-Eccles Stadium parking lot or take TRAX University Line to the Stadium stop.