Darcy is an experienced litigator, court-qualified mediator (https://tinyurl.com/3y68bcsz), counselor, and strategist, and was just named 2023 Lawyer of the Year by the Utah State Bar.
Darcy has practiced since 2000 in the areas of government defense, civil rights (including First, Fourth, and Eighth Amendments, privacy, and use of force), employment, personal injury, open government, law enforcement and corrections, appellate, internal investigations, intergovernmental and media relations, and legislative advocacy. She served most recently as the appointed Chief Policy Advisor for the civil division of the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office. Before that, she was the Legal Director of the ACLU of Utah and an Assistant Attorney General to then-AG Andrew Cuomo. She also spent several years at an AMLAW top 25 firm in NYC. Prior to law school, she lived and worked in Washington, D.C.
At Strong & Hanni, Darcy co-chairs the firm’s Government Practice Group and is in the final stage of qualifying for the advanced domestic relations mediation roster. In addition to her active litigation and mediation practices, Darcyprovides training to public sector entities throughout Utah on a wide range of topics, including litigation skills, ethics, First Amendment issues (including best practices for self-styled “First Amendment Auditors”), GRAMA, media relations, transparency, and inmate privacy and medical and mental health needs.
Darcy is originally (mostly) from Boise, Idaho. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Smith College in 1995 with a degree in Government and Ethics, and received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2000. She was a Notes Editor on the Virginia Law Review and a restaurant and movie reviewer for the student paper. (Ask which one she liked more!)
Immediately following law school, she spent one year clerking for the Honorable David M. Ebel on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Colorado. Darcy is admitted to practice in Utah, New York, and Colorado, and is a member of the bars of the Supreme Court of the United States and the Second, Third, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeal.
Darcy is a proud single mom to her favorite human, Atticus (age 10), and is a decidedly less proud human parent to 1 dog and 3.5 cats. Her favorite pastimes are English and Australian murder mysteries, crossword puzzles, killing plants, Pokémon Go, and the Secret Art of Dr. Seuss.
Professional Memberships and Recognitions:
- Utah Supreme Court Ethics and Discipline Committee
- Aldon J. Anderson Inn of Court
- Board Member, Statewide Association of Prosecutors and Public Attorneys, 2020-2022.
- Organizer/Emcee, Utah Prosecution Council, Fall Civil Practice Conference, 2017-2022.
- Chair, two-year Legislative Interim Committee addressing mental health and substance use treatment for incarcerated individuals, 2018-2019.
- Women Lawyers of Utah
- Salt Lake County Bar Association
- Utah State Bar Litigation Section
- Utah State Bar Government and Administrative Law Section
University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 2000.
- Notes Editor, Virginia Law Review, 1999-2000.
- Member, Virginia Law Review, 1998-2000.
- Clinical Intern, Criminal Prosecution Clinic, United States Attorney’s Office, Western District of Virginia, 1999-2000.
- Clinical Intern, Criminal Defense Clinic, 2000.
- Research Assistant, Professor James E. Ryan, 1998-1999.
Smith College, A.B. cum laude, Political Science, 1995.
- Phi Beta Kappa
- House President (1994-1995)
- Career Services Peer Counselor (1993-1995)
- Judicial Intern, Supreme Court of the United States (1993).
- ACLU of Utah, et al. v. State of Utah, et al., No. 20200281 (Utah) (co-lead). Issues: alleged violations of Eighth Amendment during COVID. Represented: County and elected Sheriff. Resolution: Won motion to dismiss, see 467 P.3d 832 (Utah 2020).
- Shurtleff v. Gill, No. 2:18-cv-445 (D. Utah). Issues: Alleged violations of Fourth Amendment, defamation, and malicious prosecution. Represented: Elected district attorney. Resolution: Won summary judgment, see 2019 WL 6830317 (D. Utah Dec. 13, 2019).
- U., et al. v. Salt Lake County, et al., No. 2:82-cv-1043 (D. Utah). Issues: Termination of 32-year-old consent decree alleging violations of the Eighth Amendment, due process, and equal protection. Represented: County, elected Sheriff, and named county employees. Resolution: Won summary judgment, see 2019 WL 1170767 (D. Utah Mar. 13, 2019).
- Cowley v. West Valley City, et al., No. 2:16-cv-143 (D. Utah). Issues: Alleged violations of Fourth Amendment, due process, and malicious prosecution. Represented: Elected district attorney. Resolution: Won motion to dismiss (no published opinion).
- Baer v. Salt Lake City Corp. et al., 2:13-cv-336 (D. Utah). Issues: Alleged violations of First, Fourth, Eighth Amendments and due process. Represented: County and named corrections officer. Resolution: Won summary judgment, see 2016 WL 11407816 (D. Utah Sept. 7, 2016).
- Eyring v. Fondaco, et al., 2:13-cv-1137 (D. Utah). Issues: Alleged violations of Fourth Amendment and due process. Represented: Named former county prosecutor. Resolution: Won motion to dismiss, see 2015 WL 136308 (D. Utah Jan. 9, 2015).
- Montano v. Salt Lake County, No. 2:11-cv-00174 (D. Utah). Issues: Alleged violations of Eighth Amendment. Represented: County. Resolution: Won partial summary judgment, see 2014 WL 792078 (D. Utah Feb. 25, 2014), then nominal settlement.
- Stevenson v. Salt Lake County, et al., No. 2:12-cv-44 (D. Utah). Issues: Alleged violations of Eighth Amendment and Utah Constitution “unnecessary rigor” clause. Represented: County and named individuals. Resolution: Won summary judgment, see 2014 WL 1819660 (D. Utah May 7, 2014).
- Kitchen Herbert, No. 2:13-cv-217 (D. Utah) (co-lead). Issues: Constitutional right to marriage. Represented: Elected Clerk. Resolution: Plaintiffs won summary judgment, see 961 F.Supp.2d 1181 (D. Utah 2013).
- Hawkins v. Salt Lake County, et al., No. 110919297 (Utah Third Jud. Dist.). Issues: Alleged violations of federal and state constitutions arising from ordinance change limiting authority of elected Auditor. Represented: County, all elected Council Members, and Mayor. Resolution: Won after evidentiary hearing and argument (no written opinion).
- Uroza v. Salt Lake County, Case No. 2:11-cv-713 (D. Utah) (co-lead). Issue: Alleged violation of Fourth Amendment, due process, and equal protection arising from ICE hold. Represented: Plaintiff. Resolution: Changed employers before case finally resolved (successfully).
- Utah Coalition of La Raza, et al. v. Herbert, et al., No. 2:11-cv-401 (D. Utah) (co-lead). Issues: Alleged violations of First, Fourth, Fourteenth Amendments, due process, and equal protection arising from State immigration law. Represented: Plaintiffs. Resolution: Argued successfully for preliminary injunction, see David Montero, Federal judge blocks Utah law targeting illegal immigration, May 11, 2011, available at: https://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=51788264&itype=CMSID (last visited Mar, 18, 2023)¸ but changed employers before case finally resolved (successfully in part).
- Successful pre-litigation resolution in student Free Speech, LGBTQ rights case, see Rosemary Winters, Four St. George high schools allow gay clubs, April 26, 2010, available at: https://archive.sltrib.com/story.php?ref=/ci_14963088 (last visited Mar. 18, 2023), and Erik Eckholm, In Isolated Utah City, New Clubs for Gay Students, Jan. 1, 2011, available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/02/us/02utah.html (last visited Mar. 18, 2023).
- Successful pre-litigation resolution in student Free Speech case, see Rosemary Winters, ‘I heart boobies’ bracelets allowed to stay at school, Dec. 21, 2010, available at: https://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=55176478&itype=cmsid (last visited Mar. 18, 2023).