SEAN D. REYES – Attorney General
Sean Reyes is among the most dynamic and successful young professionals in the country today. He has been recognized nationally and locally for his legal skills and professionalism, local and national Bar leadership and unparalleled commitment to public service. He has lent his legal expertise to media outlets ranging from Fox National Business News to the Economist.
Education and Select Legal Experience
After graduating summa cum laude from Brigham Young University in 1994, Sean earned his law degree with honors from U.C. Berkeley in 1997. He practiced for nearly fourteen years at Parsons Behle & Latimer, the largest law firm in the State, where he became one of the first minority lawyers to make partner at a major Utah firm. While there, Sean represented clients on some of the largest and most high profile litigation cases in the history of the State. He argued or briefed cases before state and federal courts throughout the country, including the Utah Supreme Court and Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. For years, Sean has maintained an “AV” rating, the highest ranking possible as determined by peer ratings.
During that time, Sean was honored as the first-ever National Outstanding Young Lawyer by the American Bar Association, a distinction bestowed on one lawyer out of millions nationwide. Sean was also recognized as the Utah Young Lawyer of the Year, one of the forty most influential business leaders under the age of forty and the first recipient of Brigham Young University’s Distinguished Young Alumnus Award. Sean has continued to be recognized with awards and accolades for his legal skill and excellence in his current role as General Counsel for eTAGZ, an up-and-coming Utah media and technology company.
In the legal community, Sean has served for over a decade as a small claims judge and spent two years serving on the governing body of the Utah State Bar. He was President of the Utah Minority Bar for which he received state and national honors and served in leadership for the Young Lawyers Division. Sean has lectured at both law schools, presented at numerous legal conferences and mentored countless students. His legal volunteer endeavors have included community education projects, free legal clinics, fundraising for pro bono legal services, clothing drives and service on various task forces and commissions.
Select Business and Non-Profit Experience
In the business community, Sean has served on boards for “for-profit” and “non-profit” entities, including organizations ranging from Utah Fast Pass (for fallen law enforcement officers) to United Way Heroes. He helped rebuild the Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and co-founded its education foundation. He was an early supporter of the Utah Asian Chamber and helped establish its education initiative. Sean has created programs to bring larger businesses together to mentor smaller ones. Sean was also a co-founder of Fraud College, a free-to-the-public symposium to educate everyday citizens on how to avoid being taken by scams with an on-line component for support. Fraud College has received national acclaim and been lauded as a model for combating fraud nationwide.
Sean’s deep appreciation and love of Utah has led him to devote thousands of hours to community and non-profit organizations and underserved individuals. As an example, Sean supervised hundreds of volunteers over a three year period who taught English classes to thousands of immigrants from all over the world. Sean speaks frequently at schools from the elementary level to higher education and even juvenile detention facilities to promote education, self-responsibility and self-reliance.
Select Political Experience
In addition to his legal career and volunteer service, Sean has been very involved in Utah politics. He has served as a county, state and national (alternate) delegate for the Republican Party and a member of the State Central Committee (the governing body of the Utah Republican Party). He is currently a leader in his local precinct. He was appointed by Governor John Huntsman to serve as one of the youngest members of the prestigious Third District Judicial Nominating Commission and spent several years on a National Congressional Commission started by President George W. Bush. Appointed by Congress and the President of the United States, Reyes conducted public hearings throughout the country to advise the Administration and Congress on Latino issues.
Sean and his wife, Saysha, currently live in Cottonwood Heights and are the proud parents of 6 children. In his free time, Sean is active in scouting and church organizations. He enjoys coaching little league football, baseball, and basketball as well as writing poetry, cooking, shooting guns and training in mixed martial arts.
BRIAN L. TARBET – Chief Civil Deputy
Major General Brian L. Tarbet was appointed to the position of General Counsel by John Swallow in January of 2013. Tarbet is a retired US Army Major General who commanded the Utah National Guard for 12 years of a 40 year military career. He brings to the office over 20 years of legal experience including prior service to the AG’s office and an in-depth knowledge of both local and state tax workings. General Tarbet previously served as the Division Chief of Tax & Revenue in the Attorney General’s Office which included service as counsel to the Utah State Tax Commission. During his service he was honored as Tax Attorney of the Year in 1998 by the Utah State Bar.
Major General Tarbet earned his certificate as part of the National Security Fellowship from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He graduated from The university of Utah with his Juris Doctorate and earned his B.A. in Political Science & Business from Utah State University.
Major General Brian Tarbet is well known for his military career having served has Adjutant General of Utah from October of 2000 to September of 2012, shouldering the responsibility for the 7,500 Soldiers and Airmen of the Utah National Guard. In his military service he has been awarded a number of honors including the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, and Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon. He has also been recognized by the state of Utah for his service and has been awarded the Utah Medal of merit, Utah Joint Staff Medal of Merit, Utah Achievement Ribbon, State Partnership Award, Utah Service Ribbon, and 2002 Winter Olympic Games Service Ribbon. Internationally Major General Tarbet has been awarded the Wissam al-Istihkak al-Askari (Order of Military Merit) by the Kingdom of Morocco.
Spencer Austin – Chief Criminal Deputy
Spencer Austin joins the Attorney General’s Office with nearly four decades of legal experience as a recognized leader in the Utah and national legal communities. In 1979, he joined Parsons Behle & Latimer’s litigation practice group where he concentrated on commercial litigation, environmental law, and white collar crime matters. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Austin was a deputy Salt Lake County attorney from 1975-1979. As a deputy county attorney, he was assigned to the Career Criminal Prosecution Unit that specialized in prosecuting high profile cases within the state of Utah. Mr. Austin was an adjunct professor of law at the University of Utah College of Law in the Trial Advocacy Program from 1980 to 1993. He has also been a faculty member for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy in Tucson, Arizona. He has spoken at numerous conferences and seminars on environmental white collar crime and related topics. He received his B.S. from the University of Utah in Psychology and is a graduate from the University of Utah, S.J. Quinney School of Law.
Parker Douglas – Chief of Staff/General Counsel
Parker Douglas joins the Attorney General’s Office after serving in the Utah Federal Public Defender’s Office as an Assistant Federal Defender, handling both trials and appeals. Before joining the Defender’s Office in 2008, he practiced both criminal and civil law at several law firms: Hatch, James and Dodge, Latham & Watkins’ Washington, D.C. office, and Parsons Behle & Latimer, where he primarily handled constitutional and statutory appellate litigation.
He served as a law clerk to the Honorable Tena Campbell of the United States District Court for the District of Utah, and the Honorable Michael W. McConnell of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He is a graduate from the University Utah, S.J. Quinney School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Utah Law Review and Order of the Coif. Prior to law school, he received his Ph.D in English with honors from the University of California, Santa Barbara where he was a Regents’ Fellow. He received his B.A. with a double major in English and History from Pitzer College of the Claremont Colleges.
He is a currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Utah Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, the local rules committee of the United States District Court for the District of Utah.
Bridget Romano – Solicitor General
Under the direction of Attorney General Sean D. Reyes, the office of Solicitor General has been elevated to join the attorney general’s leadership team. Since July 2011, Bridget Romano has served as Utah Solicitor General/Division Chief, Civil Appeals. In her new role, she will continue to oversee Civil Appeals along with the addition of Criminal Appeals as Solicitor General. Prior to becoming Solicitor General, she held the positions of Assistant Attorney General, Litigation Division/Appellate Section, where she represented the State of Utah, its school districts and institutions of higher education in civil appeals before Utah’s appellate courts and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and Litigation Division/Employment Section where she defended state agencies, school districts and institutions of higher learning before Utah’s state and federal court and Career Service Review Board. Bridget has been with Utah Attorney General’s Office since 1996, leaving for two short periods to work in private practice. She currently serves as Chair of the Utah State Bar, Appellate Practice Section and is on the Utah Supreme Court and the Appellate Rules Advisory Committee. She graduated with a double major Political Science/Economics – Magna Cum Laude from the University of Utah where she was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Beta Kappa Honor Societies. She received her law degree from the University of Utah, S.J. Quinney School of Law.
Missy Larsen – Chief Communications Officer
For over two decades Missy has been a key communications professional in Utah. She launched her career in 1991 as Press Secretary/Spokesperson for the late U.S. Congressman Bill Orton. Since that time, she has represented a diverse list of local and national clients in political, technology, travel and leisure, non-profit, crisis management and brand awareness. In 1994, Missy solely founded The Intrepid Group, an award-winning full service public relations firm, now Intrepid Hybrid Communications and in 2004, she launched MWL Communications. In addition to her work as a public relations specialist, Missy co-founded the Utah Refugee Coalition in 2009 and was the Republican-nominee for Salt Lake County Council, District 4 in 2012. She serves on many non-profit boards, is a member of the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable and mentors a refugee Somali-Bantu family. Missy graduated from the University of Utah with a BS in Communications with a minor in English.