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Firm Overview

I established a private practice in 1995 after having previously served as the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake. In March 2014 I joined the Salt Lake City Law firm of Van Cott, Bagley Cornwall & McCarthy. My practice is dedicated to cases involving family issues, with an emphasis upon alternative dispute resolution. I am a fully trained collaborative family lawyer and member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. Having handled thousands of cases in the courts, my philosophy has evolved to a firm belief that the courts should be used only as a place of last resort - that the best outcomes are agreed upon by the parties themselves, rather than imposed by a judge. I litigate when necessary, but I prefer private dispute resolution processes that build community and and peaceful outcomes.

I make a true effort to treat all I encounter with dignity and respect. At the same time I must function as a reality check for clients. I will tell you what I think and level with you, as opposed to telling what I think you want to hear. I try to be direct, to the point, provide good value, make the best use of client resources, and to be accessible.

Example cases
I serve in the capacity of litigator, mediator and collaborative practitioner in all types of family law matters including:

Divorce
Child Custody
Child Support
Parent-Time
Post-Decree Modification
Paternity
Child Abuse
Protective Orders
Stalking Injunctions
Adoption
Guardianship
Termination of Parental Rights
Main Office

Van Cott, Bagley, Cornwall & McCarthy
36 S. State Street, Suite 1900
Salt Lake City  UT  84111

Phone
  • (801) 532-3333
Fax
  • (801) 237-0801

Fees

Free Initial Consultation?

No.

Services Offered For Fixed Fees?

Fixed fees for initial consultations and truly uncontested matters.

Hourly Rates

$300.00

Office Information

Office Hours

Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Office Manager

Amy

Emergency After Hours

No

Languages Spoken

English

Divorce
I handle all aspects of divorce including child-related issues, financial issues, real and personal property issues, business interests, taxation issues, retirement benefits, prenuptial agreements, enforcement issues and post-decree modification.
I've been handling divorce maters from start to finish since 1989. To me obtaining a satisfactory outcome not only means a fair resolution, but well-drafted documents for guidance in the future, tying up loose ends and creating the best working co-parenting relationship possible in a post-divorce environment. Family practice is unlike other areas of the law, in that there are dynamics of parties who once were intimate and loved each other, who may still have feelings for each other, both positive and negative, and who in many instances will continue interacting with one another long after the case is resolved. I am sensitive to these dynamics and do my best to not make the situation any worse than it already might be.
Collaborative Divorce
I am a fully-trained collaborative practitioner, a member of the International Association of Collaborative Practitioner (IACP) and the Utah practice group. My IACP Profile can be found at http://tinyurl.com/9vcf5rz
I am a veteran of years and years of in-court family law litigation. I have witnessed over and over how the adversarial, litigation process harms children and destroys what might have been salvageable in terms of relationships and effective co-parenting. When questioning that there must be a better way, collaborative law is the best model I have encountered. A nice description of the collaborative process can be found at http://tinyurl.com/37kzra

How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

It was not by design. As indicated, my desire was to work in the public interest. At the the time of my graduation from law school there was one public interest agency in the Salt Lake City area with an opening, the Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake, which handles domestic relations matters for the indigent. Accepting the offer to work at Legal Aid set me on the course which would become my career area of practice.

What is your firm's point of view regarding clients educating themselves on legal issues?

I believe that greater client knowledge and participation results in a greater likelihood of satisfactory long-term outcomes. Although I am an attorney hired for certain expertise, I try never to forget that it is my client's life, children and money at issue.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

I am always willing to review client-generated documents and collaborate on the final product.

Is your firm willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves?

Yes. I am willing to provide assistance to self-represented persons to avoid default, to preserve rights, and to assist with procedural aspects, such as paperwork finalization. In addition, as an attorney mediator I am able to assist the parties in drafting the necessary court documents based upon the agreements reached in mediation.

Russell Minas

Experience:
• Of Counsel, Van Cott, Bagley, Cornwall & McCarthy (2014 - Present)
• Owner, Russell Y. Minas, PC, Attorney at Law, (1995 - 2014)
• Counsel, Mooney & Associates, Salt Lake City, UT (1994-1995)
• Executive Director, Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake (1993-1994)
• Domestic Violence Program Director, Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake (1990-1993)
• Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake (1989-1990)

Awards/Ratings:
• Utah State Bar Family Law Attorney of the Year (2013)
• Martindale-Hubbell AV Rated

Professional and Community Service:
• Utah State Bar Family Law Section Executive Committee (2003-Present) (Chair 2006)
• Utah Online Court Assistance (OCAP) Policy Board (2008-Present)
• Custody Evaluation Subcommittee, Utah Standing Committee on Children and Family Law (2012-Present)
• Utah State Courts Volunteer Guardian Ad Litem (2012-Present)
• Utah Child Support Guidelines Advisory Committee (2013 - Present)
• Utah State Bar Fall Forum Committee (2005-Present)
• Utah Standing Committee on Resources for the Self-Represented (2010-2014)
• Utah State Bar Diversion Committee (2008-2012)
• Utah Dispute Resolution Mediator (As Requested)
• Utah Legal Services Pro Bono Volunteer (As Requested)
• Utah State Bar Delivery of Legal Services Committee (1993-95)
• Utah State Bar Friend of Court Volunteer (1995-98)
• Utah Family Court Task Force (1993-94)
• Utah Domestic Violence Advisory Council (1990-94)
• Splore - Board of Trustees (1998-2004) (Chair 1999-2003)

Professional Memberships:
• Utah State Bar (1989-Present)
• United States District Court for Utah (1989-Present)
• Utah State Court-Approved Mediation Provider (2002-Present)
• International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (2003-Present)
• Utah Association of Collaborative Professionals (2003-Present) (Chair 2006)
• Utah Council on Conflict Resolution (2003-Present)
• Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (2013-Present)

Personal Interests:
I enjoy being a husband and father, rafting the rivers of the American West, summer outdoor music festivals, hiking the deserts Southern Utah, and skiing the Wasatch Mountains of Northern Utah.

License
  • Bar Number: 5522
    Utah , 1989
Education
  • University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law
    Juris Doctor , 1989
    Salt Lake City, UT

* Nolo has confirmed that every member attorney has a valid license and is in good standing with the state agency that licenses lawyers. Any past disbarments and suspensions (with possible exceptions for minor violations or nonpayment of dues, in our discretion) will be indicated accordingly in the badge. Member attorneys are required to notify Nolo immediately if they become the subject of any disciplinary action by any state licensing agency.

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