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Well-known civil rights attorney Brian Barnard dies at 67

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 4 2012 4:38 p.m. MDT

There is nothing suspicious about his death, he said. It was unknown how long Barnard had been dead, when his body was discovered or who found the man.

Karen McCreary, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah, called Barnard's death "a huge shock."

McCreary remembered him as a passionate, determined man with a great sense of humor.

"He's just an amazing person, a great lawyer, a big supporter of the work we do supporting free speech rights of young people to protest," she said. "It's a huge loss. Brian has been fabulous. I can't imagine Utah without him. It's who we all think of for civil rights work in Utah."

McCreary and Gollan both said they hoped they can help continue in the work that meant so much to Barnard. Gollan conceded, though, that the cases they worked on together will be difficult without him.

"They're certainly going to be much more of a challenge without Brian's both experience and just incredible skill," he said. "He was an incredibly adept and skilled attorney.

"I've been working with Brian for quite some time, and a great deal of what I know about practicing law came from Brian," Gollan said. "I hope that we can move forward on those cases and that I can make Brian proud and the things Brian taught me will serve our clients well."

Gollan said the loss is "an incredibly difficult blow" both personally and professionally. He said Barnard was a dear friend who he respected and loved.

"I just think it's certainly a sad day," he said. "Our community is a much more just place because Brian chose to do what he did for an entire career. I certainly hope that this organization and I — and certainly others in the community — will take up his banner and continue to fight for those who have a hard time finding a voice."

Contributing: Pat Reavy and Mike Anderson

E-mail: emorgan@desnews.com, pnelson@desnews.com Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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