January 19, 2012
An intriguing post was published today over at the Wall Street Journal Law Blog. (Haven’t bookmarked it yet? What are you waiting for?)
In it, reporter Joe Palazzolo examines a unique company structure and muses on the issue of “When a Company Sounds Suspiciously Like a Law Firm.” The companies are legal staffing firms.
As Palazzolo notes, many of these firms go so far as to tout the depth of experience and legal expertise available to customers (clients?). And if they do that, “And if they’re not law firms, then the question is this: What services can they provide without violating regulations that prohibit them from practicing law?”
The question is not a hypothetical one. He points out that a regulatory committee of the D.C. Court of Appeals—the District’s equivalent of a state high court—has drafted an opinion on the matter (“Applicability of Rule 49 to Discovery Services Companies”). You can read it here.
What do you think of the situation? Do you see similar activities in Arizona that give you pause?
January 18, 2012
Are you interested in the intersection between dolls and murder?
Perhaps that matrix has never occurred to you, but the role that dolls have played in forensics may be more palatable. And that is just what is offered in a film screening tomorrow night.
At the Scottsdale Museum for Contemporary Art, the film “Of Dolls and Murder” will explore crime-fighting of a unique variety. As the producers describe it, “In the 30s and 40s before forensics, DNA, and CSI, crime-fighting grandmother Frances Glessner Lee created dollhouses of miniaturized real-life crime scenes. These creations are still used today to train detectives.
This documentary looks at the dioramas, the woman who created them, and their relationship to modern-day forensics.
The film is being screened by No Festival Required Independent Cinema. And while I’m thinking of it, go ahead and “Like” them on Facebook. Its Executive Director is Steve Weiss, and this is just the latest of a long string of amazing films he has brought to Arizona.
Where was I? Oh, yes, be sure to go here for more information on the film. It will be screened on Thursday, January 19, at SMoCA. The cost is $7, and tickets are available either by calling the Museum (480-874-4666) or at the front admission counter. Doors to the SMoCA Lounge open at 7:00 pm, and the film begins at 7:30. Seating is general admission, and a no-host bar is available.
Frances Glessner Lee
The screening is sponsored by Woodesign.
SMoCA’s Lesley Oliver reported that a few experts from the Scottsdale Police Department will attend the screening and the Q&A portion of the evening. As she wrote, “Come meet some real CSI people before we watch this intriguing documentary!”
January 17, 2012
For most of us, the term “judicial independence” remains a remote and pretty theoretical term. An event this week attempts to bring its meaning into stark relief.
For at least the past decade, courts local and national have sought to educate the public on the value of an independent judiciary, what is now termed by them “fair courts.” Their efforts are in response to initiatives launched by others to more firmly control the courts and the outcomes that flow from them. Those initiatives—often branded attacks by the courts and their supporters—range from the possible to the unlikely. And in Arizona, 2012 will see even more dialogue on judges and those who select them.
(I’ve written on the topic a few times this year; see here and here.)
This week, an intriguing speaker weighs in on the question at the University of Arizona Law School. There, on Thursday, a former state Supreme Court Chief Justice will speak at the invitation of a student group, the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy.
Former Iowa Chief Justice Marsha Ternus
Marsha Ternus was the Iowa C.J., and in 2010 she was at the losing end of a bruising and nationally watched ballot fight. By the time the votes were counted, she and two other sitting justices had been ousted following their ruling in one high-profile case, on gay marriage.
Here is the press release from the school (also found on their Facebook page):
The Increasing Politicization Of Judicial Elections And The Impact On Judicial Independence
The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law is holding an event on judicial independence featuring Justice Marsha Ternus, former Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court. She will discuss the increasing politicization of judicial elections and the impact that has on judicial independence and the fairness and impartiality of judicial decision making.
When: Thursday, January 19, 2012, 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm
Where: Ares Auditorium, Room 164, James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona
Address: 1201 E. Speedway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85719
Justice Ternus was appointed to the Iowa Supreme Court in 1993 by Governor Terry Branstad and members of the court elected her chief justice in 2006. She was the first woman to serve as chief justice of Iowa’s highest court. Justice Ternus grew up on a farm near Vinton, Iowa and received her bachelor’s degree with honors and high distinction from the University of Iowa. She earned her law degree with honors from Drake University, Order of the Coif, where she was editor-in-chief of the Drake Law Review.
In April 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court, in Varnum v. Brien, unanimously declared the state’s same-sex marriage restriction unconstitutional, making Iowa the third state in the country to allow same-sex marriages. The three justices up for retention in 2010 were then targeted by a well-organized and well-financed campaign to unseat them and in November 2010, Iowa voters removed Justice Ternus and two other justices from office.
About ACS: ACS sponsors speakers, events and policy debates with the goal of providing a progressive viewpoint. ACS is transforming legal and policy debates in classrooms, courtrooms, legislature and the media. Through these efforts, ACS aims to ensure American legal institutions reflect the highest values of our nation and serve the needs of its people.
January 13, 2012
Just days before the celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday, a local group is honoring some men who broke down their own barriers.
Tomorrow in Mesa, the Tuskegee Airmen will be recognized for their remarkable accomplishments. The Commemorative Air Force Arizona Wing will take the time to praise at least six of those who still survive.
As the Airmen’s own organization describes them:
“In spite of adversity and limited opportunities, African Americans have played a significant role in U.S. military history over the past 300 years. They were denied military leadership roles and skilled training because many believed they lacked qualifications for combat duty. Before 1940, African Americans were barred from flying for the U.S. military. Civil rights organizations and the black press exerted pressure that resulted in the formation of an all African-American pursuit squadron based in Tuskegee, Alabama, in 1941. They became known as the Tuskegee Airmen.”
As a news story explains, the Saturday event at Falcon Field in Mesa “will include an overview of the history of the Tuskegee Airmen, a group that included 450 pilots and more than 14,000 members of air crews and ground-support units, as well as doctors, nurses and other personnel in the then-segregated U.S. Army Air Corps.”
Also featured will be a documentary, narrated by Cuba Gooding, Jr., titled “Double Victory.” It was made to accompany the January 20 release of the George Lucas film “Red Tails,” which celebrates the Airmen and their contributions.
Members of the Tuskegee Airmen relax during World War II. Arizona members of the group will be honored Saturday (Jan. 14) at a tribute in Mesa.
Lawyer Herb Zinn has been involved with the Commemorative Air Force Arizona Wing Aviation Museum for years, and he was quoted in the news story.
“When ‘Red Tails’ was announced, we thought it would be a moment for us to celebrate these guys in a compelling setting,” said Herb Zinn of the museum, which has a working B-17 bomber and working P-51 Mustang cq fighters like those featured in the film. “These guys were giants, by what they did, aside from their bravery in combat.”
As Zinn explains, the Airmen’s contributions helped pave the way for desegregation, in the military and the nation as a whole.
Click here to purchase tickets to the event.
And for some interesting stories about George Lucas and the (difficulty of) making “Red Tails,” click here and here.
Have a great weekend. I’ll be back Tuesday, after the MLK Holiday.
January 12, 2012
The other day, the newspaper published what may be one of the finest obituaries you’re likely to ever come across. It was for me.
I did not know Cory Schafer, but her husband Bill Schafer is a longtime member of the Arizona legal community—and a terrific writer, to boot.
I can’t be sure that Bill penned this tribute to his lovely wife, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the last. In fact, Bill wrote for Arizona Attorney Magazine, where he prevailed more than once in our annual Creative Arts Competition (read his pieces here and here.)
Reading the obituary tells you not just a lot about Cory Schafer. It also gives us a window into life and law practice, in Washington, Alaska and Arizona, for one hectic and happy family.
As the obit writer put it, Cory “kept [Bill] extremely happy—and thankful that he asked the guy next to him in study hall the first year in high school who the pretty blonde was walking up the aisle. They were together for 65 years after that.”
My condolences to Bill and his family.
Read the complete obituary here.
January 12, 2012
Law practice can be solitary work. Too often, you find yourself alone with your pen, your research and your second-guesses.
That’s why the State Bar of Arizona seeks to get you out of your office, at least on a semi-regular basis. Tonight, the Young Lawyers Division of the Bar hosts a networking mixer at Talking Stick Resort. It’s time for a break.
Here is the detail:
What: Networking, live music, breathtaking views and free delicious appetizers
When: Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012, 5:30-8:30 pm
Where: Talking Stick Resort Orange Sky Lounge, 9800 E. Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85256 (101 and Indian Bend Road)
A map and directions are here.
Hosts: State Bar Young Lawyers Division, Sole Practitioner & Small Firm Section, Mentor Committee, and Arizona Society of CPAs
Sponsors: Ahern Insurance Brokerage, Epps Forensic Consulting PLLC
Orange Sky Lounge at Talking Stick Resort
January 11, 2012
Arizona Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch speaks at the We the People competition, Jan. 6, 2012, at Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Ariz.
“What I don’t know is a lot,” ran through my head many times last Friday. That’s when I sat as a volunteer judge in the state finals of the We the People competition.
WTP is a remarkable program put on by the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education. It brings together a large group of high school students, who compete on school teams to demonstrate their stuff in regard to the United States Constitution.
On Friday after the judging was complete, I remarked to a high school teacher (whom I later noted had coached the top team) that the kids were amazing and truly talented—so much so that I was feeling a bit unschooled as the long day wore on.
If you’re ever feeling the slightest bit apprehensive about the depth of today’s youth, stop by WTP. That’ll fix ‘ya.
At lunchtime, the Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court, Rebecca White Berch, stopped by to praise the kids and to remind them of the state’s Centennial. In that effort, she said, the Court had helped create “Behind the Laws & Decisions,” a DVD box set that includes documentary series detailing Arizona’s history and court cases. The project was made possible by the Arizona Supreme Court, McCune Television, National Bank of Arizona and the Foundation.
More information on the DVD set is here.
I have posted some more photos at the Arizona Attorney Magazine Facebook page.
January 10, 2012
Posted by azatty under Change of Venue
, Law School
, Lawyer kudos
, Legal events
| Tags: Alexis Danneman
, Arizona Law Review
, Bernard Harcourt
, civil discourse
, Kenji Yoshino
, Marc Miller
, Margaret Jane Radin
, Polsinelli Shughart
, Richard Brooks
, University of Arizona Law School
| Leave a Comment
I received news about an event to be held this coming Saturday. Here is the information, from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law:
The Arizona Law Review will present a free, one-day symposium exploring the nature of political dialogue in contentious times. The symposium is sponsored by the law firm of Polsinelli Shughart.
Guest scholars from across the country will explore the role of incivility in political discourse and whether there is a causal relationship between incivility and various kinds of harm, from physical violence to psychological harm, including subtle forms of discrimination.
Political Discourse, Civility and Harm
Saturday, January 14, 2012
9:00 am – 3:00 pm
James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona
1201 E. Speedway
The program is free and open to the public, though reservations are required. Those wishing to attend may register by calling Alexis at 480-225-1879, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Parking is available immediately north of the College, on Helen St. just off of Mountain, or in the UA parking garage at Park and Speedway. There is no charge for Saturday parking.
A panel of legal scholars known for their work in various dimensions of the field will engage in a panel discussion about their scholarship:
Margaret Jane Radin
Founded in 1959, the Arizona Law Review is a general-interest academic legal journal. The Review is edited and published quarterly by students of the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. The Arizona Law Review covers wide-ranging topics of law and policy. Editor-In-Chief Alexis Danneman notes that, “We are thrilled to finally see to the civility conference happening. The conference has been the major endeavor of the Arizona Law Review over the past year. Many people and several organizations have contributed to this project, most notably Polsinelli Shughart. In recent years, Arizona has been in the center of the increasingly polarized national political discourse. We chose to organize this conference to foster legal thinking about the significance of this discourse on society.”
The symposium is funded in part by the law firm of Polsinelli Shughart and the National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona.
January 9, 2012
Ron Messerly receives the State Bar of Arizona Member of the Year Award, 2005
On December 29, Ron Messerly passed away. Among many other accomplishments, the Snell & Wilmer lawyer was honored by the State Bar of Arizona in 2005 as its Member of the Year. His obituary begins:
“Ronald Wayne Messerly, a diehard Arizona Cardinals fan, passed away on Thursday, Dec. 29, 2012 in Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona. He was 46. A giant kid at heart, Ron’s sense of adventure, his kindness, and his generosity live on.”
His complete obituary is here.
It was only this past November that I noted the death of another lawyer, Michael Mulchay. By terrible coincidence, Mike also was a State Bar co-Member of the Year, with Ron, in 2005.
Rest in peace.
January 6, 2012
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for my blog. Because I find those monkeys charming, I decided to share it here.
Happy Change of Venue Friday!
Here’s an excerpt of some of the goodness they’ve generated:
Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 69,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
Click here to see the complete report. And have a great weekend.
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