Tuesday Night Bar offers legal advice for all
May 10, 2006
Park City hosts some flashy events from the 2002 Winter Olympics to the Sundance Film Festival, the town certainly offers its share of celebrity. But while those happenings attract a healthy share of attention, some other local services are often relegated to brief announcements and calendar listings.
The Tuesday Night Bar is one such event. Sponsored by the Park City Bar Association, the sessions take place on the first Tuesday of each month from 6-8 p.m. in Park City’s Miners Hospital. Each month, lawyers are present at the hospital to provide free, confidential legal advice to any member of the community.
"It’s a service of the Park City Bar Association," said Ned Stone, co-director of the Tuesday Night Bar. "It’s a service to the community."
Stone, who has his own practice, Stone Law Firm, has been in charge of the Tuesday Night Bar, along with fellow lawyer and co-director Lisa Peck, for two or three years. He said that most months, he and Lisa are both present to talk with anyone who needs a legal opinion no matter their income, and while the service is free, the discussions are strictly confidential.
"Any time that you’re talking to someone," said Stone, "attorney-client privilege applies."
The Tuesday Night Bar regularly provides advice on small claims cases, contract law and landlord/tenant laws. Stone and Peck also frequently talk to visitors about their specialties Stone works in domestic law, and Peck specializes in employment law.
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The only questions the Tuesday Night Bar will not address are those from criminal defendants, because those who cannot pay for their own council are offered public defenders. Otherwise, almost all other areas of the law are fair game. Stone said that, in addition to answering questions participating lawyers often advise people on their rights, how to resolve a situation and whether or not to hire an attorney.
"It provides all members of the community an opportunity to discuss, on an informal basis, with attorneys, various matters," said Park City Bar Association President Chris Hague. "And then a person can decide whether or not to pursue an issue."
Hague, who works as an attorney with Tesch Law Offices, said the Park City Bar Association offers the Tuesday night sessions to give something back to the community.
"We feel, especially to certain members of our community who don’t have the means to go to a lawyer right away, this is an important service," he said. "This way they can do [the Tuesday Night Bar] and get some information about the matter they’re concerned about."
The Park City Bar Association is the local organization representing Park City’s lawyers.
"We welcome any opportunity to serve the community," said Hague. "We’re here to serve the community."
Stone said the free counseling is one of the Park City Bar Association’s most concrete services, and while the events benefit the advisees, Stone noted that they also offer some reward for the lawyers. He said he always appreciated the opportunity to help victims of domestic disputes escape abusive situations and begin to rebuild their lives.
"That’s very satisfying," he noted, "to help someone get on the path where they’re getting themselves and their kids in a safe situation."
Stone said the program is a relatively unique one. He said he knew of one other Tuesday Night Bar in Salt Lake City and several in Northern Utah, but none in the immediate area.
"The Utah State Bar, he said, has made a push for local chapters to set up Tuesday Night Bars."
Hague said the Park City Bar Association was happy to provide the service.
"We lawyers welcome the opportunity to work with people who are either intimidated by going to a lawyer or who just want some more information about the matter they’re concerned about," he said.
"It’s a service where we give back to the public," said Stone, "and I invite people to come out to it."
The Tuesday Night Bar runs the first Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. at the Miners Hospital in Park City. All are invited to attend with any legal questions. There is no charge. For more information, contact either Ed Stone at 658-3366 or Lisa Peck at (801) 531-6088.