August 17, 2011
Earlier this month, the State Bar of Arizona announced the names of those selected to participate in its almost-year-long Bar Leadership Institute. As the Bar described:
The State Bar of Arizona’s Diversity Department has selected 17 attorneys from across the state to participate in the 2011-2012 Bar Leadership Institute (BLI).
For the fifth year in a row, the BLI will provide its participants with a nine-month leadership program that will foster their professional growth and enhance their leadership skills.
The Bar Leadership Institute provides participants with a rigorous education and training program that includes leadership, ethics, and career development along with up to two years of CLE credit. It also includes sessions that prepare them for interaction and relationship building with members of the legal, judicial, and executive government sectors as well as diverse organizations and communities.
This year, more than 40 accomplished attorneys applied for the BLI, which made the selection process a difficult task for the selection committee. The 17 participants were selected based on their legal and non-legal community contributions as well as their statements of interest and qualifications. All participants must be active Bar members in good standing. The participants represent a diverse range of racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious communities, among others.
Upon completion, the BLI participants must commit to a full year of active involvement with the State Bar and/or the community.
For more information on the Bar Leadership Institute, contact Rosie Figueroa at 602-340-7393.
August 16, 2011
Posted by azatty under Arizona Attorney Magazine
, Lawyer kudos
, Legal events
, Social Media
| Tags: Arizona
, Arizona Court of Appeals
, Judge Lawrence Winthrop
, Justice Scott Bales
, Supreme Court of Arizona
| Leave a Comment
The September issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine includes a short article titled “Civics Lesson.” Written by Supreme Court Justice Scott Bales and Court of Appeals Judge Larry Winthrop, it describes some initiatives that have been launched to honor the state’s centennial, and it urges lawyers to get involved and to donate their experience to the effort.
The article ended with a quiz. Social creatures that we are, I opted to have readers come online to this blog to see the answers.
No cheating—take the quiz before looking at the answers! (The questions and answers are below.)
Think you know your Arizona history? Pretty sure you understand how our state’s legal past stacks up against the national past? Take our 5-minute quiz to discover if you’re a Grand Canyon Guru.
Q1: When was school segregation abolished in Arizona?
A1: In 1953, when the Arizona Superior Court for Maricopa County ruled that segregation in elementary and high schools was unconstitutional.
Q2: When was school segregation determined nationally to be unconstitutional?
A2: In 1954, when the U.S. Supreme Court held in Brown v. Board of Education that school segregation is inherently unequal, and therefore illegal.
Q3: When did women in Arizona win the right to vote?
A3: In 1912, by initiative measure.
Q4: When did women nationally obtain the right to vote?
A4: In 1920, by constitutional amendment.
Q5: When did Native Americans win the right to vote?
A5: In 1948, the Arizona Supreme Court held in Harrison v. Laveen that Native Americans were eligible to vote in Arizona elections.
Q6: Who was the first woman to hold public office in Arizona?
A6: Sharlot Hall, appointed territorial historian in 1909.
Q7: Who was Arizona’s first Congresswoman?
A7: Isabella Greenway, a Representative from 1933-1937.
Q8: Which Arizonan served in the U.S. Congress for 57 years?
A8: Carl Hayden, a Representative from 1912-1927 and a Senator from 1927-1969.
Q9: How many times has the United States Constitution been amended?
A9: 27 times.
Q10: How many times has the Arizona Constitution been amended?
A10: More than 100 times.
August 15, 2011
Former Ariz. Gov. Raúl Castro (Jack Kurtz/Arizona Republic)
A delightful way to start your week has been offered up by the Arizona Republic, which ran a story about former Arizona Governor Raúl Castro. Take a few moments to read an article that will remind you of the difference one person can make.
The difference I’m talking about was not spurred by the highly talented Castro, whose accomplishments are many. Instead, writer Bill Hermann points out that the retired governor gives credit for his success to a schoolteacher.
“As a fifth-grader, Castro did not seem destined for greatness. He had just moved from Mexico that year with his mother, father and 11 siblings. Castro never did his homework. Not because he couldn’t, but because he said he was lazy.
“One day, his teacher, Eileen Wright, put her hand on his shoulder. She told him that he had the makings of being a good student if he applied himself.
“It was the personal touch Castro needed. ‘On the way home, I thought to myself, That teacher is interested in me, Castro said. ‘I don’t want to disappoint her.’
“‘So, starting the following day, I did become a very good student all the way through.’”
In a time when schoolteachers are thrown under the political bus, that’s refreshing. And if a teacher was able to encourage a young, poor immigrant boy in Douglas, Arizona, I imagine educators still can make a difference today.
We have been pleased to run stories about Governor Castro in Arizona Attorney Magazine. Click though here to read our 2010 coverage of him, written by the remarkable Don Carson. (Our opening spread is below.)
August 12, 2011
The other day, thinking I was keeping current, I posted the following photo on the Arizona Attorney Magazine Facebook page:
Head-gripping fear and anxiety
The debt crisis and the ensuing Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the United States have been in the news a lot lately, so why shouldn’t we reflect that on our page? (I thought.)
Little did I know that I was merely swept up in a cliché—the Trader With His Hands On His Head Photo.
It’s true. News outlets around the world appear to have captured people on trading floors hands-on-head—a lot! So much so that a wise and smart-assy person created an entire Tumblr page dedicated to the prevalence of that recurring image.
I felt a little silly, until I remembered, that’s why they call it pop culture. It’s popular.
Have a great weekend, and don’t hold your own head too tightly.
By the way (not to bury the lede), I’ve decided to launch my own Tumblr page. It’s quiet so far, but its potential is mighty!
August 12, 2011
Posted by azatty under Change of Venue
, Lawyer kudos
, Legal events
, Social Media
| Tags: Arizona
, flash mob
, Ruth Carter
, social media
| Leave a Comment
Even TV's Modern Family enjoys a good flash-mob.
Happy Change of Venue Friday. Today, I’m interested in the intersection of communal activities, crime and choreography.
Of course, I’m talking about flash mobs, those wacky syncopated routines that lead passers-by to drop their jaws and wonder how line-dancing got cool all of a sudden. (Free suggestion of the day: Don’t do a Google image search for “flash.”)
But it is cool, as we know if we watch any TV or music video. And there is something amazing about the rhythmic release that accompanies a crowd acting in unison.
Unfortunately, like vodka slipped into the punch at a school dance, some people have to ruin a good thing. And that is giving flash mobs a bad name.
An AP story this week noted that some criminals are using flash mobs as a cover for their own nefarious activities.
As the story says,
“Flash mobs started off in 2003 as peaceful and often humorous acts of public performance, such as mass dance routines or street pillow fights. But in recent years, the term has taken a darker twist as criminals exploit the anonymity of crowds, using social networking to coordinate everything from robberies to fights to general chaos.”
Well, as the famed choreographer George Balanchine was once heard to utter, “Gimme a break!” “Darker twist”? (Though that does sound like a cool name for a dance move.)
If that’s not enough, we now have the U.K. riots providing another opportunity to demonize not only flash mobs, but also social media, public gatherings, speaking in groups, sharing ideas—and maybe even leaving your house.
One voice against this hijacking of the term “flash mob” is Arizona law school graduate (and soon lawyer) Ruth Carter (whose blog The Undeniable Ruth you really should follow). She examines the history of flash mobs and cautions against rushing to conclusions.
I wish Ruth luck in her battle for education. But she’s taking to an embattled rampart; just the other day I spotted another story on the topic, this one out of Pennsylvania. In the article, Philadelphia’s mayor uses the term “flash mob” to describe criminal activity.
That’s unfortunate. Because the first step in over-criminalizing behavior is often to rename legal activities, to brand them as illicit, and to appropriate a long-accepted term for your own purposes.
To counter that, click on some of the links in Ruth’s blog post. They will make you smile. And be sure to watch the following video, about a “frozen” flash mob that entranced and amazed commuters in New York’s Grand Central Terminal.
No crime, no looting, no vandalism. Just inspiration, creativity and stunning ingenuity. Flash me some of that anytime.
Have a great weekend.
August 11, 2011
I was pleased to receive the following news the other day: The Law School at the University of Arizona has named its alumnus of the year, and it is none other than Richard Grand. And for good measure, he shares the honor with his wife, Marcia.
Richard has been a subject in numerous posts here and stories in Arizona Attorney Magazine—for good reason. He is an accomplished lawyer and an individual of conflicting talents: He is community-minded yet solitary, a consummate plaintiff’s lawyer while not being exactly a people person.
It was my pleasure to deliver a keynote address in January at the Law School in which I honored Richard’s accomplishments. And here is what the school had to say about one of its most colorful graduates. Congratulations, Richard and Marcia!
Richard Grand Named 2011 Law Alumnus of the Year
Recognizing his outstanding support for students and his alma mater, Richard D. Grand has been selected as the 2011 Alumnus of the Year for the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. Grand, a 1958 graduate of the College, will receive the award jointly with his wife, Marcia Grand.
The couple has been actively engaged with the law school for decades, providing resources for student activities that emphasize practical lawyering skills. The Richard D. Grand Writing Competition, now in its 11th year, allows students to compete for cash prizes based on persuasive writing. The Richard Grand Damages Argument Competition, held since 1995, promotes excellence in crafting and delivering jury arguments. Mr. and Mrs. Grand are Arizona Law Fund Dean’s Fellows and are also longtime supporters of the University of Arizona Foundation.
Senior Director of Development Patricia-Coyne-Johnson nominated Mr. and Mrs. Grand for the honor, notes that “Richard and Marcia have continued to be close friends and generous benefactors of the University of Arizona for more than 50 years. This award is a long overdue recognition of their commitment to the University and dedication to the College of Law. We all benefit from their many many contributions and leadership, surpassing the bar for loyalty and dedication.”
Mr. Grand began his practice as a deputy county attorney in 1958, the same year of his graduation from the College of Law. Since 1962, Richard Grand’s practice has been limited to representing plaintiffs. On more than 100 occasions he has obtained either of verdict or settlement in excess of $1 million.
In 1972, Richard Grand founded the Inner Circle of Advocates, which is limited to 100 U.S. lawyers who have completed at least three verdicts in excess of $1 million for compensatory damages.
Since 1942, The University of Arizona Alumni Association has presented awards to alumni and friends for their outstanding achievements and service to the University of Arizona, the Arizona Alumni Association, their communities, and their professions. The 2011 Alumnus of the Year award will be presented to Mr. and Mrs. Grand at a campus-wide reception on Friday, November 4th, 2011. The ceremony will honor alumni from across the UA campus.
August 10, 2011
Posted by azatty under Arizona Attorney Magazine
, State Bar of Arizona News
| Tags: Arizona Attorney Magazine
, Arizona Judges Association
, Arizona Supreme Court
, David Rosenbaum
, Directors Roundtable
, Hon. Roslyn Silver
, Osborn Maledon
, Perkins Coie
, Shane Swindle
, State Bar of Arizona
| 1 Comment
On July 27, I attended a panel discussion that aimed to give insight into judges’ thinking. And that’s something that most lawyers find of interest.
The event was sponsored by the Directors Roundtable, based out of Los Angeles. The title was “Recognizing America’s Judiciary: A Dialogue with Chief Justices on Key Issues for Leaders of Business & the Community.”
In my editor’s column for the September issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine (on press now), I wrote about the event. (A preview of that column is at right and printed below.)
The roundtable was enjoyable, even if some of the topics are pretty well-worn. For even if we have heard quite a bit already about, say, merit selection of judges, it’s still a wake-up call to hear how vehemently the Arizona Chief Justice speaks about it.
I’ve covered merit-selection developments before (as in this March panel discussion). And in the coming year’s run-up to a voter referendum on altering judicial selection, I’ll cover the continuing dialogue and debate—assuming readers find it compelling.
(Before I get to the column, I have to apologize in advance for the abysmal photography. Whenever an event is slated for the Sandra Day O’Connor Federal Courthouse, I sigh and seethe, knowing that getting a decent camera into the edifice is akin to smuggling a file in a homemade cake—even when you have permission. I secured permission for my camera through the event organizers, who then apparently failed to tell the only people who mattered—the guards at security. So please bear with the cellphone shots below.)
Here’s my column:
Choosing Our Judges
Those of you who just tumbled to Earth—or even to Arizona—from Mars may be forgiven your misunderstanding.
Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch, July 27, 2011
You may be laboring under the Mars-y notion that the way we select our judges is likely noncontroversial and straightforward.
Kind of like raising the debt ceiling.
From whatever galaxy they hailed, attendees at a July event had that impulse checked. Sponsored by the California-based Directors Roundtable Institute, the panel of judges and lawyers provided a dialogue on “Key Issues for Leaders of Business & the Community.”
Participants were Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch, Hon. Roslyn Silver, Chief U.S. District Judge for Arizona, David Rosenbaum of Osborn Maledon, and Shane Swindle of Perkins Coie. Jack Friedman of the Institute moderated.
The dialogue by the panelists ranged far and wide, from commentary on media coverage, to crushing caseloads and security issues, to e-discovery. But the topic of how we select judges came up numerous times.
Perhaps it’s the black robes that give away little, or the judicial silence that typically repays public scorn heaped on that branch. Whatever it is, the courts have been in critics’ crosshairs for quite awhile.
David Rosenbaum, July 27, 2011
“Courts are the only branch not identified with the political process,” said moderator Jack Friedman. “But if you look at the media, we think that judges get up in the morning and say, ‘I can’t wait to get to the office to impose my views on everyone else.’”
Chief Justice Berch may not be “identified” with the political process, but she can see it from her porch. And though she shared news about court advances in technology and education, she also described the political challenges “to give a flavor of what the courts face.”
She recounted nine bills that the Legislature has considered that would alter—for the worse, in her thinking—the operation of the judicial branch. Worst of all, she said, those bills appear to solve problems that don’t exist.
If the Chief’s words treaded carefully on the matter, those of lawyer David Rosenbaum spoke more plainly.
Five years ago, he said, a similar roundtable featured then-Chief Justice Ruth McGregor and Justice Scott Bales, both of whom talked about attacks on the judiciary.
“The winds are blowing as strong now,” said Rosenbaum. “If not stronger.”
He described recent U.S. Supreme Court cases that have affected court operation and judicial selection, including Citizens United and Massey Coal. And statistics show that expenditures in judicial elections have more than doubled from the decade of the 1990s, when it came in at $84 million, to the 2000s, when it hit almost $207 million.
Here in Arizona, he and others said, we have a merit-selection system in at least a few counties. But it’s a system that’s been under fire.
A solution may lie in a ballot referendum that passed out of the Legislature in April. It will be on the general ballot in November 2012 (the State Bar has a good explanation of the legislation here).
This was a compromise among the Bar, the Court, the Arizona Judges Association, as well as the House and Senate.
Rosenbaum raised questions about the referendum: Without it, would far more harm be done to merit selection? Is it an effective compromise?
On page 76, Clint Bolick asserts his agreement with the State Bar that the compromise does its job well.
As we get closer to the 2012 election, we’ll hear from Arizona lawyers on the topic’s pros and cons. Write to me with your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 9, 2011
President Joe Kanefield in Arizona Attorney Magazine, July/August 2011
In the current issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine, we’re running a profile of Joe Kanefield (which I wrote, love it or hate it). Joe is the new President of the State Bar of Arizona, and our July/August profile is an annual feature we’ve been running for decades.
You can read the article here.
Among Joe’s many talents, he also is a formidable runner. As I write in the story:
Kanefield’s hobbies may be as interesting as many people’s careers. They range across media, from music, to photography, to running.
Joe Kanefield, center, 2006, at Leg 1 of the Baker to Vegas Challange Relay
James Schwegel, a Special Agent Supervisor in the Attorney General’s Office, recalls the young lawyer’s contribution to a unique endeavor: the 120-mile law enforcement relay race known as “Baker to Vegas.” It begins near Death Valley, goes over a mountain and finishes in Las Vegas. Schwegel says their goal is always to finish in less than 18 hours. To do that, they need 20 strong runners and 15 dedicated crew members.
“Joe was the perfect fit for the [AG's] team,” Schwegel says. “Fast, competitive, upbeat and always supportive of his teammates. This combination of qualities resulted in Joe being chosen to start the race for Team AG three years in a row. He always set the perfect tone for the rest of the team—competitive but always friendly and good-natured.”
Jim Schwegel provided me some great background for Joe’s contribution to the team. As a writer, I sure appreciate that.
But Jim went further than that: He sent me a few photos of Joe in action, contributing to his team. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to use the photos in the print story. But it gives me great pleasure to share them here.
Run, Joe, run!
More information on the Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay is here. Click on “Race History” for a colorful jog through an event that’s been around since 1977.
2006: Joe Kanefield gets his number from Chief Agent Tina McMillion of the Attorney General's Office, while then-Assistant Attorney General Ward Parker looks on.
2006: Joe Kanefield on Leg 1 of the Baker to Vegas Challenge Relay
August 8, 2011
Another chapter in the battle of Arizona Medical Marijuana was opened today when Attorney General Tom Horne filed a lawsuit seeking to close four “cannabis clubs.”
Here is the press release:
For more information contact: Amy Rezzonico (602) 542-8019
HORNE FILES ACTION ASKING COURT TO STOP CANNABIS CLUBS FROM ILLEGALLY ATTEMPTING TO PROVIDE MARIJUANA UNDER THE ARIZONA MEDICAL MARIJUANA ACT
PHOENIX (Monday, August 8, 2011) – Attorney General Tom Horne today filed a civil action against four Phoenix-area cannabis clubs and one individual that falsely claim to be operating lawfully under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA). The action is for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief and is filed on behalf of the State and the Arizona Department of Health Services.
“The law permits one card holder to give marijuana to another card holder. But is does not permit the activities of these Defendants, who charge fees to members. These private entities and individuals are in no way permitted to legally transfer marijuana to anybody,” Horne said. “The operators of these clubs claim that they are protected under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act when they are not registered as non-profit medical marijuana dispensaries as required under that law. These people are marketing themselves as being able to lawfully transfer marijuana, and that type of deception and blatantly illegal activity must be stopped.”
The filing in Maricopa County Superior Court claims that The 2811 Club, The Arizona Compassion Association, Yoki A Ma’ Club, the Arizona Compassion Club and Michael R. Miller are all private cannabis clubs or owners/operators of clubs that have claimed they are able to lawfully participate in the possession, production, transportation, sale, or transfer of marijuana in accordance with A.R. S. § 36-2801 et. seq., the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. However the Act does not offer legal protection to cannabis clubs, cooperatives or any other person, association or entities that are not registered nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries. Nor does the act decriminalize the possession, production, transportation, sale, or transfer of marijuana by or through those entities.
This action asks the court to issue a declaratory judgment that each of the Defendants is violating the AMMA and prohibit them from engaging in activities that involve selling, producing, transporting, transferring or possession of marijuana.
August 8, 2011
Jean Williams in her younger years (family photo)
In late July, I wrote about the passing of a judge and civil rights pioneer, Hon. Jean Williams.
Yesterday, the Arizona Republic ran a great profile of Judge Williams. I’d recommend it for every lawyer, and for every person interested in learning how to live a life committed to justice.
The article is written by Connie Cone Sexton. And it’s linked to a slideshow of Jean Williams’ life.
Williams’ activism in civil rights and her progress as a lawyer and judge tracks the same qualities in our own state. As Sexton reports:
After [Martin Luther] King’s assassination in Memphis, Tenn., Williams moved to Tucson, where she became the first African-American woman to practice law in the state.
“I was warned not to come here,” she said in the ’87 interview. “I was told this was Goldwater country and they would hang me off a cactus bush.”
Hon. Jean Williams, 1925-2011
Her zeal and belief in the law won people over. She became an assistant public defender in 1974 and then a judge on the Tucson City Court in 1975. In 1977, she was appointed a judge to the Phoenix Municipal Court and would serve there for about 19 years.
As her son, a prominent attorney, said of his mother, “She had the urgency of now.” That is a lesson for a movement, for a state, and for each of us.
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