SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah State Bar has named Assistant Attorney General Joni J. Jones, Director of the Litigation Division as the 2021 Lawyer of the Year.
Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes reacted to the news of this honor by saying: “I’m extremely proud that Joni has received this deserved honor. Her continued dedication, hard work and devotion to excellence in the AGO’s Litigation Division is evident in case after case. She inspires and motivates her already hardworking staff. Congratulations, Joni!”
Joni Jones has been with the Attorney General’s Office for 20 years and has worked on a number of high-profile cases. Those include her close work with the University of Utah counsel to bring the Lauren McCluskey case to a resolution. She won an AG award for her work on the Parker Jensen case, where DCFS sought medical treatment for a child diagnosed with cancer when the parents refused to allow treatment. She was lead counsel on the same-sex “interim marriage” case and represented Paul Cassell in the defamation lawsuit brought by Alan Dershowitz, arising from Professor Cassell’s pro bono work on the Epstein sex-trafficking case, winning every motion against Mr. Dershowiz’s legal team. Ms. Jones has also worked on Supreme Court cases, including Frew v. Hawkins, where Ms. Jones was counsel of record for the State of Utah’s amicus brief in support of Texas officials in a case challenging the enforcement of a consent decree. Nineteen states joined Utah’s brief, which the Court cited with approval.
Joni manages a staff of 50 attorneys in the Litigation Division, which oversees all lawsuits against state agencies and state employees seeking money damages. She is also chair of the AG Ethics Committee and serves on the Utah Supreme Court Advisory Committee for the Rules of Professional Conduct.
See the AG’s Office Instagram account for a post featuring Joni and her accomplishment.