Our History

Brief History of Legal Regulatory Reform in Utah

The Innovation Office and Sandbox are the result of two years of research into legal regulatory reform led by the Utah Supreme Court.  In August 2018, the Court established a Work Group on Regulatory Reform, led by Justice Deno Himonas and former Utah State Bar President John Lund.  In August 2019, the Work Group submitted a report, “Narrowing the Access to Justice Gap by Reimagining Regulation.”  The report recommended implementation of a legal regulatory sandbox to allow new legal business structures and services to operate in Utah.  The Court  formed a Task Force to implement the recommendation.

In August 2020, the Utah Supreme Court issued Standing Order No. 15 which launched the Innovation Office and the legal Sandbox. In 2023, the Innovation Office moved to the Utah State Bar and the Court formed an advisory LSI Committee to direct the Innovation Office’s regulatory activities.

What is a sandbox?

A regulatory sandbox is a policy tool through which new models or services can be offered and tested to assess marketability and impact and inform future policymaking. The sandbox tool was first used in the financial services industry, in which a highly regulated market was grappling with significant technological advances that did not fit under the traditional regulations – think cryptocurrency. The sandbox model offers similar advantages in the legal space, a traditionally highly restricted market in which the market, and particularly services driven by technology, are outstripping the traditional regulatory approach. In the sandbox, regulations can be relaxed, data gathered, and policy improved.