Utah state government officials and prominent attorneys will participate in the seventh annual "State and Local Government Conference" March 24 in Provo.

The conference runs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Excelsior Hotel.Participants will choose among three separate agendas, which will address political, criminal and civil law.

Former Utah governor Scott M. Matheson will be the featured speaker at a combined luncheon at noon.

The political law section will feature four sessions. Bud Scruggs, chief of staff to Gov. Norm Bangerter, will discuss "The Transition from Politics to Government: A Lawyer's Perspective" at 9:30 a.m. He will be followed by a discussion of the "Controversies in Election Polling" at 11 a.m. featuring David B. Magleby, professor of political science at BYU, and Dan E. Jones, president of Dan Jones and Associates, Inc.

At 1:30 p.m., a panel will discuss "Political Action Committees Under the New Utah Statute." The final session of the political law section will be at 3 p.m. and will focus on the issues facing election initiatives.

The agenda for the criminal law section of the conference has four sessions as well. At 9:30 a.m., Justice Christine Durham, Utah Supreme Court, will speak on "Employing the Utah Constitution in the Courts of Utah." She will be followed at 10:45 a.m. by Joan Watt, appellate trial counsel, Salt Lake Legal Defenders, who will discuss techniques for handling claims in the court system.

After the luncheon, Judge Judith Billings, Utah Court of Appeals, will speak on "Practicing Before the Utah Court of Appeals" at 1:30 p.m. The final session of the criminal law section of the conference will be a panel discussion.

The third section of the conference will concentrate on civil law.

Sessions beginning at 9 and 10 a.m. will give updates on legislation and cases affecting state and local government. At 11 a.m., "Ethics in Government" will be discussed by Eugene Jacobs, professor of law emeritus at BYU. Other topics of the civil law section include state and local bonds, land use and property tax.

The conference is open to the public. Fee is $7 for the luncheon, and $20 for conference materials.