Kent Winward's Writings
Since 2012, Kent Winward, the lead attorney at The Bankruptcy Firm, has been a community legal columnist for the Ogden Standard Examiner where he discusses current legal issues. In addition, he has had his writings published in other newspapers.
Below are links to some of his articles.
No One Can Fill Scalia's Role As A Judicial Malcotent
I have a love-hate relationship when it comes to judges. Any attorney who practices in front of actual judges will tell you the same thing. We love it when a judge rules our way. We hate it when the judge doesn’t. No matter how skilled or how right you think you are, the judge — not you — will be deciding.
PayPayday lenders use legal system as their collection muscle
January 17, 2015
The Tribune recently ran an article about the nearly 8,000 lawsuits in small claims court directly related to payday lenders. Wendy Gibson, a spokesperson for the payday loan industry, responded by saying she would "welcome discussion and debate about the state of the industry."
We say, Bravo! Utah's payday loan industry is very much in need of further discussion and debate.
Intellectual property laws can't diminish future research
September 18, 2015
Myriad Genetics, Inc. is a Utah company awaiting a decision from the High Court of Australia, the down under version of our U.S. Supreme Court. The case was argued back in June of this year and the Australian Court hasn’t ruled yet. At issue is whether Myriad Genetics can patent the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which research has shown are genes that can predict a predisposition to breast cancer.
We need checks and balances on land policy
September 11, 2015
Land issues are a big deal in Utah, although a drive through some of the state’s more desolate and inhospitable regions may make you wonder from the air conditioned comfort of your car why sagebrush is such a big deal. The Utah Legislature approved a study in 2013 at a taxpayer cost of $500,000 to look at the economic impact of transferring federal land in Utah directly to the State of Utah.
The law respects the past and present
September 4, 2015
The law tends to be very focused on the past and the present. Changes in the law, even when they are seemingly large are still only incremental steps from where the law was. This is why despite election hype and doomsday warnings, significant change doesn’t really happen.
Last week's column sparked lots of emails ... from the incarcerated
August 21, 2015
I enjoy hearing from readers of my column. I’m often surprised at what strikes a chord with people and last week was no exception: I received more emails from readers than any of my other previous columns. Last week I wrote about the United States’ number one ranking for incarcerating its citizens. Utah, while having the estimated incarceration rate of North Korea (620 per 100,000 people), is still well below the more disgraceful national average of 910.
The U.S. is 'the land of the jailed'
August 14, 2015
In 1970, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn won the Nobel Prize in Literature for his novels, including The Gulag Archipelago, a three novel series detailing the Soviet forced labor camps. He was eventually exiled from the Soviet Union, and then used his literary career to fight against the totalitarian regime.
Sneaky financial fraud soaks people for billions
August 7, 2015
have a problem imagining "a billion." I really have a hard time imagining 10 times a billion. If you traveled a billion miles toward the sun, you would go too far. If you traveled away from the sun, 10 times a billion would take you right out of the solar system. Now think about $10.8 billion.
Vanity license plates ruled government, not private speech
July 24, 2015
My daughter, Emily, hates vanity license plates. Whenever I see one that I think will give her fits, I grab the little computer in my pocket and take a picture and text it to her. Like PED-CAR on the back of a Honda Odyssey (unsure if that is a pediatrician, pedicurist with lots of kids, or the lack of horsepower that makes the Odyssey feel like you are peddling.)
Harper Lee's 'Watchman' is necessary for our time
July 17, 2015
I read Harper Lee’s new novel, “Go Set A Watchman,“ this week. Anyone who has read ”To Kill a Mockingbird“ or seen the Gregory Peck movie is familiar with the attorney, Atticus Finch, and his two children, Jem and the tom-boy Scout. By a large consensus, To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic novel and story that plays to our national ego of “justice for all.”
Legal system a bulwark against chaos
July 10, 2015
Nothing happened this week in the law. Nothing to report on today. ... Actually, those comments aren’t exactly true, because laws were enforced, lawsuits were filed, appeals courts issued decisions, legislation was passed and the wheels of justice chugged on down the track.
Noise of same-sex ruling reaction obscures facts
July 3, 2015
Happy Fourth of July! Contrary to Justice Scalia’s dissent in the same-sex marriage case, American democracy is not threatened, but rather, still thriving after 239 years. (And my inner sixth-grade civics teacher wants to remind Justice Scalia that America isn’t really a democracy, but a representative republic — the republic for which the flag stands, and to which we all swear allegiance on this national holiday — but I digress a little.)
Health coverage ruling a work of common sense
June 26, 2015
The law is a conceit. We tend to pretend the law is a solid, statutory base on which we build our society, but the overall solidity is an illusion. The law in places can be quite ... mushy. The illusion, however, is built on a solid theoretical foundation.
Supreme Court goes easy on Rapper's Facebook threats
June 5, 2015
Do you remember Tone Dougie, aka Anthony Douglas Elonis? Tone Dougie was the would-be Facebook rapper who got charged with five counts of communicating threats in violation of federal law to the FBI, local law enforcement, a kindergarten class, amusement park employees and his ex-wife.
Data applications reduce legal research workloads
May 29, 2015
In 1988, I got my first job as a law clerk in a downtown Salt Lake law firm. My summer clerkship introduced me to a world I hadn’t even known existed, where a college student could get paid $10 an hour while the law firm would bill him out at $40 or $50 an hour.
Society must wrestle with the implications of big data
May 22, 2015
The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling in the case of ACLU v. Clapper -- the name of the lawsuit sounds as if the ACLU has moved from school prayer, KKK protests and nativity scenes to fighting against sound technology that allows you to turn your lights on and off simply by clapping your hands.
There are more people spying than you might think
May 15, 2015
I don’t want to be spied on.
I also don’t want to be victimized by a terrorist attack. None of us do, but we have a problem.
Our laws and our ideas of how the world works are mired in the past. Our laws can’t catch up if the public, our judges, our leaders, and our legislators don’t understand how our current world works.
Public vision of the legal system skewed by the news
May 8, 2015
You can’t escape your own skin. Sure, there are some who claim they can astrally project outside their bodies, but astral projection isn’t going to go to work for you, pay the bills, eat dinner, sit on the couch and watch Netflix, or go out for a jog.
Charles Manson can marry but my safe-sex (sic) stylist can't?
May 1, 2015
At 9 a.m. (11 a.m. Eastern time) on Tuesday, I sat in my office consulting with a couple about their legal problems. The couple had been together for nine or so years, as I recall, and had a 4-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter. Due to a significant reduction in pay due to a job change, they found themselves in my office.
Roosevelt's 2nd Bill of Rights could have changed America
April 10, 2015
The Magna Carta exhibit is going to be at Weber State next week on April 13-14, along with a lecture by Dr. Stephen Francis on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. I wrote about the Magna Carta a couple of weeks ago, going back the full 800 years of its history. . . .
Awful customer service from health insurance carriers
January 17, 2015
I like rules. Rules provide structure and consistency. A large part of human existence is spent trying to predict how other people will behave and rules speed that process up and allow for a quick determination of cause and effect. Rules don’t have to be written down.
Due process keeps legal drama from becoming theater
September 6, 2014
My wife has written a play, The Waiters, that is being produced and is now showing at Ogden’s Good Company Theater (tonight through Sept. 20). I have watched...