Closing Argument

Issue: Winter 2022

Tales of Law Degrees and Love

No one heads to law school expecting to find love, but when you put a bunch of bright young adults together, the occasional spark is bound to fly. We celebrate a few of the law students who found love as well as a law degree at the College of Law.

Donna Somma & Bob Tamietti (class of 1985)

Donna and Bob met at first year orientation, but they didn’t truly get to know each other until the famous Salt Lake City floods of 1983. A group of law students (including Bob and Donna) volunteered to help sandbag State Street, and all the lifting and hauling gave the two of them plenty of time to talk. “We admired each other from afar most of the way through school,” Bob said.  Bob and Donna went their separate ways after graduation (Bob to San Francisco and Donna to New York City), and it would be another three decades before they would meet again. They reconnected at their 30th class reunion in 2015, and the same connection they shared in law school was still there. They started dating long distance soon afterwards, and now they live together in Truckee, California. “We both believe the best is yet to come,” Donna said.  Donna recently retired from a tech startup called ComplexIQ that she cofounded. She spent most of her career working in the legal department at Scholastic, eventually becoming Vice President of Business Affairs for the Software and Internet Group. She has also been an adjunct and guest lecturer for business law, contracts, and licensing. Bob has spent the past 17 years as a Superior Court Judge in Truckee and plans to retire later this year.

Mike & Sheri Mower (class of 1993 and 1992)

Sheri was acting as the teaching assistant in Professor Ed Firmage’s Constitutional Law II class when she first met Mike. “I attended her tutorials to not only learn more about Con Law, but also to learn more about Sheri herself,” Mike said. Mike must have been intently paying attention to Sheri’s lessons, because he took over as TA for the same class the following year. Sheri spent the next summer clerking in Newport Beach and Phoenix, and a lovestruck Mike flew back and forth in order to court her. Both former congressional staffers in Washing-ton, D.C., they bonded over their passion for politics and public policy. Sheri and Mike got married during winter break of Mike’s 3L year. After graduation, Sheri worked for the law firm Holme Roberts & Owen and later for Wood Crapo. Mike worked as the Director of Community & Government Relations for Provo and was more recently appointed as the Deputy Chief of Staff to Utah Governor Gary Herbert. Together, Sheri and Mike had four children – Mallory, Christian, Abigail, and Alex. Sheri was diagnosed with cancer in 2002 and, after a long and hard battle with the disease, passed away in 2004. “Sheri was one of the nicest and brightest people I knew,” Mike said. “And the outpouring of love and support from our friends at the College of Law at the time of her passing was so appreciated.” And the Mower’s legacy continues – Mike and Sheri’s daughter, Abigail Mower Rampton, was recently admitted to the S.J. Quinney College of Law’s class of 2023. “Sheri and I thoroughly enjoyed our time in law school together, and it’s exciting that our daughter is heading there this fall,” Mike said.

Justin Fouts & Abigail Brammer Fouts (class of 2018)

It was a fateful fall day in Professor Terry Kogan’s Contracts class when Justin decided to introduce himself to Abigail. “She had recently been elected as our SBA Rep, and I was new to Utah, so I figured ‘Hey, here’s a person who is obligated to be my friend!’” Justin said. After coordinating costumes for Halloween and truly missing each other over the fall break, Abigail and Justin started dating during the fall of their 1L year. Their relationship grew during their time at law school, culminating in a proposal on the roof of the law school building on graduation day. “That was my favorite law school memory!” Abigail said.
The Fouts sealed the deal last fall and now live in Arizona. Abigail is currently working for Jewish Family and Children’s Service, helping their clinics promote health equality throughout the Phoenix area. Justin is an associate attorney at Elardo Bragg Rossi & Plaumbo.

Maura Murphy & Dallas West (class of 2019)

Depending on who you ask, Maura and Dallas first met either at the beginning of orientation week during the Intro to Law class or at the end of orientation week at an afterparty. “This is quite the point of contention for us, and we both think we are 100% right,” Maura jokes. “Could our ‘meet cute’ sound any more like two attorneys?!” Maura and Dallas didn’t waste much time before becoming permanent study buddies. “Prior to entering law school, I was committed to avoiding intimate relationships like the plague, especially those involving fellow law students,” Dallas said. “However, Maura was (and still is) very convincing.” Dallas must be pretty convincing too, because Maura enthusiastically agreed to marry him during a trip to Jackson Hole towards the end of their 3L year. Being engaged while in law school does have its perks, such as the chance to practice drafting and negotiating their own prenuptial agreement during Professor Laura Kessler’s family law class. (That’s the kind of hands-on experience you just don’t get at other law schools). Both Maura and Dallas currently work in the Office of Sponsored Projects at the University of Utah negotiating clinical trial agreements between the U. and large pharmaceutical companies. Dallas works with the Huntsman Cancer Institute and Maura works on the team that focuses on the Internal Medicine Departments.