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ABOUT ROB LATHAM

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A UTAH NATIVE

Born in 1969 in Salt Lake City to a family that operated Utah's first care facility for vulnerable adults, after attending schools in Utah and Arizona, Rob earned degrees from the University of Southern California and S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah with the help of scholarships and student loans.

A LEGACY OF LEADERSHIP & SERVICE

Upon graduation from law school, Rob worked with a family friend who had a civil law practice that included personal injury and water law. Using his background in broadcast journalism, Rob produced trainings delivered by video for the American Bar Association's Lawyers Communication Network. Rob's interest in public policy lead to his advocacy on behalf of professional associations for several years at the Utah Legislature.

Rob took his lived experience to begin his own law practice, where he found his calling representing individuals responding to State interventions in their lives. And -- after a brief interlude as the Town Attorney for Big Water, Utah in Kane County, mostly prosecuting criminal cases but also representing the town in civil matters -- Rob returned to representing the citizen accused in Utah's courts.

And like so many who have come to live in southern Utah, when Rob saw the opportunity to reside amongst our spectacular red rocks and sunny skies, he took it.

After several years of traditional criminal defense practice, Rob pursued an opportunity to practice in Washington County's juvenile courts. There, he represented both young individuals responding to petitions alleging delinquent conduct, and parents responding to family regulation petitions.

In 2015, the Parental Defense Alliance of Utah recognized Rob as its New Parental Defender of the Year. A few years later, Rob won a landmark case protecting family integrity before the Utah Court of Appeals, and successfully defended its appeal to the Utah Supreme Court.

Protecting the integrity of families from the DCFS and asserting the process due young people in juvenile court spawned enmity from some within those institutions and their lawyers, including one former deputy county attorney -- Angela Adams (also known as Angela MacKey or Mackay ... and recently nominated by the incumbent governor and confirmed by the Utah State Senate to be a juvenile court judge) -- who not only prosecuted Washington County's youths in juvenile court but also traded on her past experience with the Office of Guardian ad Litem to handle ... adoption cases (for more information, see childtrafficking.exposed). 

Eventually, a scheme was hatched: Washington County Commissioners Gil Almquist, Victor Iverson, and the late Dean Cox would create an indigent defense "committee" -- the only such county-level committee in Utah to date -- to field complaints about public defenders. Only, that plan backfired because -- after considering the complaints made by those who opposed Rob in court, not his clients -- the newly-formed committee recommended that Rob's contract be renewed.

In the course of defending the autonomy and integrity of his clients' families, on a few occasions Rob subpoenaed Washington County Commission Administrator Nicholle Felshaw, Indigent Defense Committee member Jenny Jones, and a region director and case supervisor for DCFS, Kyle Garrett and Deanna Bigelow, respectively, to court.

Another then-deputy Washington County attorney, Eric Clarke, prepared an objection to the subpoenas for Felshaw and Jones. Clarke's draft objection claimed "grave[] concern[] with the potential precedent of having staff and appointed indigent defense committee members subpoenaed to testify" in cases ... or at least in the case involving a complaint coordinated by one of Clarke's former child-trafficking colleagues.

However, DCFS preferred to give Rob's clients the relief they sought rather than have the actions of its region director and case supervisor scrutinized in court, and Clarke's objection wasn't filed.

The following year, the Washington County Commissioners decided not to renew Rob's contract to defend the autonomy and integrity of southern Utah families, without a stated reason.

Washington County Attorney Brock Belnap announced his departure from the office a few weeks later.

When one door closes other doors open, and Rob is now living his dream of championing our constitutional rights in Utah's courts as a roster attorney contracting with the Utah Indigent Defense Commission.

Rob's experience in both the criminal legal system and family policing system advocating on behalf of the respondent citizen-accused is one reason he supports implementing evidence-based policy reforms that have been shown to improve community safety and family well-being.

He asks for your support to grow the vote for liberty and join your voice with others for meaningful change!

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