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Lawyers Convene to Consider Polygamy and the Law

Lawyers are convening today at the Snowbird Resort in Snowbird, Utah, for the first-ever conference focused on the legal implications of polygamy. Sponsored by the polygamy advocacy group Principle Voices, the conference is designed to provide a snapshot into the family, criminal law and constitutional issues that often confront plural families, Principle Voices Director Mary Batchelor told Associated Press.

Given that polygamy is a crime in every U.S. state, you might think there would not be much for lawyers to talk about here. But the full-day conference, Family or Felony?, features a full slate of speakers. They include two legal-aid lawyers from Texas who will discuss their role in last year's Texas Supreme Court ruling ordering the return of children taken into custody by state authorities in the raid on the Yearning for Zion Ranch.

Other speakers on the agenda include Utah Attorney General (and 2010 Senate candidate) Mark Shurtleff, whose topic is vaguely described as "Utah's Approach"; Kirk Torgenson, Utah's chief deputy attorney general, speaking on criminal prosecution of polygamy; Utah Legal Clinic attorney Brian M. Barnard on the constitutionality of laws banning polygamy; Salt Lake City criminal-defense lawyer Grant W.P. Morrison on family law and polygamy; and Ken D. Driggs, an Atlanta lawyer and polygamy historian, on legal case histories involving polygamy.

The day's final speaker will be Allie Darger, a woman who will share her insights on what it was like to be raised in a polygamous family.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on September 25, 2009 at 11:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)


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