Courts


Ornament on historic Tucson, Ariz., courthouse

Ornament on historic Tucson, Ariz., courthouse

Just a short item today pointing you to a long article—but you didn’t want to work too much today anyway, right?

I recently was sent a story by Tucson Judge José Luis Castillo Jr. He has penned an essay online that tells us much about legal history and what preservation really is (and what it is not).

He writes about the history of Arizona’s oldest working courtroom. Read his article here.

“Working” is an important word, because much of what makes it vital as a teaching tool may be endangered. Jump to the closer paragraphs of his piece, if you must, to read his insightful conclusion.

But give yourself the time to read the whole thing. There, you will see the role a room has played in our history—and even in Hollywood.

Have a great weekend.

 

prison_green haven NYYou may not have known that a Prison Awareness Club was a thing. But in a nation apparently committed to that growth industry, it only makes good sense that college students might engage on the topic of corrections.

This Friday, March 28, the third annual Prison Education Conference will be staged at ASU.

The all-day event is sponsored by the Department of English, the School of Social Transformation, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The free event (open to the public) will include speakers, discussion panels and the screening of what looks to be a compelling film.

Writer Sought

I may be able to attend, but I currently have a conflict. If you are a law student, student of the law (most generally defined), or a lawyer—and you are NOT one of the event organizers—I invite you to contact me to discuss a guest blog post. It might cover the entire event, or perhaps be just a review of the film Zero Percent. Write to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

Keynote Speaker

The conference includes a keynote by author Marshall Frank. As a news story describes his work:

“This year’s conference features keynote speaker Marshall Frank, a retired police captain from Miami, Fla., who led more than a thousand homicide investigations during his career and has since written hundreds of op-eds and articles about the state of America’s justice system.”

“In his most recent book ‘Criminal InJustice in America,’ Frank explores inequities of the prison system, “a multi-billion-dollar industry, which would collapse if there was a sudden downturn in inmate residency.” Perhaps that’s why the United States has 5 percent of the world’s population, but a staggering 25 percent of its prisoners. Critics have hailed ‘Criminal InJustice’ as ‘challenging,’ ‘thought-provoking’ and “daring.’”

Read the complete ASU News story here.

Panels Cover Prison Education

The complete agenda is here.

Among the speakers will be a representative from the Arizona Department of Corrections, and his compatriot from the New Mexico prison system. The organizers also feature the insights of educators from three Arizona prison complexes.

A second keynote will be Sean Pica, head of Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison. And it is the Hudson connection that may yield one of the day’s most enlightening aspects—a film.

Zero Percent Film To Screen

The film trailer for Zero Percent explains—a little—about the challenges faced by incarcerated individuals. Watch the trailer here.

More information about Hudson Link is here. And you can follow their posts on Facebook too.

The event location is the University Club on the ASU campus. A scalable map is here.

RSVP: peac.org@asu.edu

flier Prison Education Conference 2014_opt

A nose for news could be turned to other pursuits wine

A nose for news could be turned to other pursuits. True?

Writing a daily blog yields many advantages. You’re forced to read widely, listen intently, and converse often with readers near and far. And sometimes, you feel compelled to travel overseas.

Well, not often. But I’d appreciate your insight on that last element.

Happy Change of Venue Friday, a day a legal blogger might fantasize about taking a wine tour of France. No, I probably won’t be going. But the idea has a great nose.

My usual invitations are along the lines of a lawyer CLE staged in a wood-paneled conference room: “Nuts and Bolts of Administrative Law,” “What Attorneys MUST Know About the New UCC Changes” “Everything They DON’T Want You To Know About the Revised Securities Regulations”

You get the picture. Important. Significant. A bit drowsy.

So when I received another note headed “Press Invitation,” I did not expect much.

But then I spied the words “international wine competition held in France.”

It’s on April 5. And did I mention it’s in FRANCE? Could I go? Dare I go?

Here’s a piece of their marketing.

wine competition invitation for Bourg, FranceBut … How could I miss the administrative law extravaganza? The insurance business coverage limits analysis? And that panel discussion on employment law tips for the feedlot industry? How could all of that odorous content remain uncovered? Sacré bleu!

Ah, how beautiful Bourg, France, must be in the spring. Don’t we all deserve a junket?

Here is my analysis thus far. I would like you to chime in on whether a legal commentator should travel for a wine competition:

  • Pro: A wine competition and the legal industry both relate to the work of judges. I mean, that’s super-obvious.
  • Con: A junket of this sort might lead a writer to consider other paths and to desert equally deserving “serious” (“non-wine”) professions.

So you see my dilemma.

Let me know what you think. In the meantime, I will use the weekend to develop my nose on a variety of vintages and varietals. I await your counsel.

wine animated: Developing a new writing beat requires dedication, discernment.

Developing a new writing beat requires dedication, discernment.

Legal scholar Arthur Miller will deliver the ASU Pedrick Lecture on Friday, March 28, 2014.

Legal scholar Arthur Miller will deliver the ASU Pedrick Lecture on Friday, March 28, 2014.

I can already see all of you non-civil litigators smirking. Well, banish the smirk, because the 75-year anniversary of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is a big deal.

Fortunately, the ASU Law School is prepared to honor it in style.

The school reports that scholar Arthur Miller will delivered the annual Pedrick Lecture, which is titled “Revisiting the Rules: Celebrating 75 years of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.”

The event will be on Friday, March 28, at 10 a.m. It will be followed by a panel discussion comprised of a great group of judges and attorneys.

More detail, including the complete list of speakers, is here.

The event is free but registration is requested. You can do that here.

It appears that I will be racing between three noteworthy events that day. So if you are attending some or all of the FRCP festivities at the law school and would like to write a guest blog post, contact me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org. Special consideration will be given to authors who salt their post with Rule-based references.

court rule aids lawyers who are military spouses

This month in Arizona Attorney, we published an article on assistance now available for lawyers who are married to active-duty servicemembers.

Given how unpopular taking a bar exam is for most lawyers, I cannot imagine the challenge of following a military spouse around the country, where you would face varying admissions rules and exams. It would be enough to go inactive.

And that’s exactly what has faced many attorneys, and state supreme courts have been listening—thanks largely to a few women who have raised the issue nationwide. And among those people are two woman with Tucson ties named Mary Reding and Rachel Winkler.

Former Tucson resident Mary Reding, founder of the Military Spouse JD Network.

Former Tucson resident Mary Reding, founder of the Military Spouse JD Network.

Together, Reding and Winkler started the Military Spouse JD Network, “a national association that works to find solutions to the challenges of lawyers who happen to have military spouses.”

Read a great story about their work here.

And you can Like the network on Facebook here.

Our Arizona Attorney story is one written by Rodney Glassman. He is a lawyer and airman, and he describes well the changed Arizona rule that makes our state a leader in assisting military spouses.

Read Rodney’s article here.

And here is a list of requirements in the Arizona rule.

court rules aids military spouses bullet points

ediscovery lock on computer screenNext week, a conference that’s become an annual standout occurs again: The e-discovery conference at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU.

Scheduled for March 12 to 14, the third annual “ASU-Arkfeld eDiscovery and Digital Evidence Conference” features some talented panels of lawyers and judges. Those judges include some of the leading jurists who have rendered major e-discovery opinions: Judges Shira A. Scheindlin, John Facciola and Craig Shaffer.

Judge John Facciola at the 2013 ASU conference. eDiscovery 1

Judge John Facciola at the 2013 ASU conference.

I wrote here about Judge Facciola’s previous appearance at the E-Discovery conference.

More information and registration are here.

Judge Shira Scheindlin

Judge Shira Scheindlin

If any lawyer or law student is headed to the conference (just part of it or the entire two days), and if you would like to write a blog post, please feel free to contact me. I’d be pleased to run it following the ASU event. (Photos are welcome too!)

Former Chief Justice Ruth McGregor delivers keynote remarks at panel on judicial diversity, Phoenix, Ariz., Feb. 27, 2014.

Former Chief Justice Ruth McGregor delivers keynote remarks at panel on judicial diversity, Phoenix, Ariz., Feb. 27, 2014.

A busy spring is kicking the butt of Change of Venue. There are just too many great events.

By way of explanation: Change of Venue is my attempt to have some lighter lifting on Fridays. A photo or two, a humorous (and maybe nonlegal) story, in, out, hello, weekend!

I mean, you like that too, right?

Well, yesterday I attended a powerful panel discussion on the topic of diversity on the bench. And I thought I should share what was said and ask for your thoughts.

Sponsored by the Arizona Advocacy Network and Justice at Stake, the event at the Carnegie Center in Phoenix was a kickoff to the groups’ efforts to address some judicial challenges in 2014. Here are a few of the day’s high points.

Judicial diversity forum 2014 3 v2

Judicial diversity forum, Feb. 27, 2014, Carnegie Center, Phoenix, Ariz.

It is always a privilege and pleasure to hear Ruth McGregor speak. The former Arizona Chief Justice was the keynote speaker, and she delivered some compelling statistics about the lack of diversity on the bench, nationally and locally.

But before you presume she’s in favor of a simple numbers game, understand that the quality of judicial decisions is her goal—and that of many engaged in the creation of diverse benches.

As Justice McGregor said, “Diverse experiences can be used in appropriate circumstances to better understand the case at hand.”

And yes, Justice McGregor has data. She cited studies from Tufts and Columbia that examined group decision-making. Here’s what they found.

In Tufts’ mock juries: “Diverse groups discuss significantly more case facts than non-diverse groups; and diverse groups exhibited significantly fewer inaccurate statements.”

Also at Columbia: The presence of even one female participant in a group increased the probability of a different decision. That’s one woman.

What are the results for judges? “Diversity may yield a more careful, more accurate and broader discussion of issues.”

“The presence of diverse voices,” Justice McGregor said, “broadens discussion and analysis.”

Would judicial results be different? We cannot say that. But “at least the discussion would be different,” she said.

Lisa Loo moderates judicial diversity panel, Feb. 27, 2014.

Lisa Loo moderates judicial diversity panel, Feb. 27, 2014.

She urged attendees to consider how certain blots on legal history may have been decided if there had been even a tiny bit of diversity on their judicial panels. Consider Korematsu, Bowers v. Hardwick, Plessy v. Ferguson. Would those rulings have been the same if one of the judges had been Japanese American, gay or lesbian, or African American? Can you doubt it?

Justice McGregor also urged listeners to try their hand at an online Implicit Association Test. Try one here!

Kudos also to moderator Lisa Loo, who strolled among the audience, tossing queries to panelists. And the panelists—Linda Benally, Judge Roxanne Song Ong and James Christian—offered excellent summaries of the challenges faced by diversity advocates.

(I reported from the event on Twitter, and you can see below how talented a moderator I found Lisa to be. Click the link to see the photo:)

At left, Lisa Loo @ASU @AZStateBar governor kicks butt as @JusticeStake moderator, strolls room, tosses Qs to panel. http://t.co/WfdTY8Knxg

— Tim Eigo (@azatty) February 27, 2014

Judge Song Ong said something that made me think of the old proverb about when it’s best to plant a tree. So here is a Change-of-Venue-style image to consider:

Plant a Tree Now revised judge

Have a great—and diverse—weekend.

Radley Balko

Radley Balko

“Are cops constitutional?”

With that opening and follow-up sentences just as damning, Radley Balko has caused a furor among U.S. experts in policing and the Constitution. And this Friday, Balko will be in Arizona to make his controversial arguments.

That opening sentence was the first line in an impressive ABA Journal article last July. Titled “How did America’s police become a military force on the streets?” it is definitely worth your time. I know, I know, it’s crazy long, and we’ve all been trained (said the blogger) to read little snippets of thought and snark. Well, get over it. Pour yourself a cup of coffee, tea, wine or whisky (depending on the time and your inclination) and settle in. It will reward your time investment.

What Balko does is deconstruct the path of military dollars as it has been funneled into many police agencies, probably in your very own community. And the trickle-down effect of the global war on drugs (which is where this money is targeted) has been to transform your local constables into a highly trained, armed-to-the-teeth platoon of peace-keepers—who to the casual observer may be indistinguishable from U.S. military.

We are used to noting in politics that money has a certain corrupting influence, but many folks resist observing the same effect when it comes to our police departments. Balko has no such hesitation.

Example of policing monies, from Radley Balko ABA Journal article.

Example of policing monies, from Radley Balko ABA Journal article.

So why is the well-known Washington Post journalist coming to Arizona? To debate Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

Having read a fair amount of Balko’s work, I have to admire Bill’s willingness to jump into this fight. I look forward to seeing the two men spar.

The event will be on Friday, February 21, at 11:30. The sponsor is the Phoenix Federalist Society Lawyers Chapter. The debate will be at Kincaid’s, 2 S. 3rd St., Phoenix 85004.

Here is how they describe the combatants—I mean speakers:

militarization of police - Federalist Society debateRadley Balko is a senior writer and investigative reporter for the Huffington Post and a former senior editor for Reason magazine. He is the author of Rise of the Warrior Cop, which argues that politicians’ ill-considered policies and relentless declarations of war against vague enemies like crime, drugs, and terror have blurred the distinction between cop and soldier.”

“Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery was first elected to his position in a Special Election in 2010 and re-elected in 2012 on a pledge to fight crime, honor victims’ rights, and protect and strengthen our community. As a West Point Graduate, decorated Gulf War Veteran, former Deputy County Attorney and a professional prosecutor, he has dedicated his personal and professional life to serving others.”

Interested? You should be. Register here.

I may write a follow-up post. But if you’re moved to do the same, contact me about a possible guest post.

Professor Saira Mohamed, UC Berkeley School of Law

Professor Saira Mohamed, UC Berkeley School of Law

Later this week, two dialogues are slated at ASU Law School that speak to global concerns about the limits and obligations of humanitarian law.

On Friday, Feb. 14, a UC Berkeley law professor discusses “Syria and the Future of Humanitarian Intervention.” Here’s a description:

“For supporters of humanitarian intervention and its younger cousin, the responsibility to protect, the years of violence in Syria have been a source of frustration and despair. In this presentation, Saira Mohamed, Associate Professor, UC Berkeley School of Law, explores what can be learned from the international community’s anemic response and whether there is any future for the notion that the international community has a duty to intervene to protect human rights.”

More detail is here.

That is followed on Saturday, Feb. 15, with the school’s third annual international humanitarian law workshop, which “features lectures and hands-on exercises.”

If any readers plan to attend either or both event and would like to write a follow-up blog post, contact me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

Syria humanitarian law ASU lecture

ASU hosts American Moot Court Tournament

Are you ready to pick up the gavel and give back to legal education at the same time? Does ASU Law School have a deal for you!

On January 17 and 18, the ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law will host the American Collegiate Moot Court Association’s national championship tournament. This is quite an impressive honor, and it will see undergraduates from all over the country traveling to Arizona to compete by mooting an issue in our Supreme Court.

That’s where you may come in. The law school is in need of JDs who are willing to volunteer as judges (I’ve been told they need about 250 total).

Hesitant? Well, the school is willing to sweeten the pot for those on the fence: If you sign up with a lawyer–friend, the organizers will aim to pair you together as a judging team.

Whaaat? A judging team? I don’t know about you, but nothing binds a friendship more than judging others. Come on out!

More detail is below. And to volunteer as a judge, sign up here.

ASU Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law logo“The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law is proud to host the American Collegiate Moot Court Association’s national championship tournament on January 17-18, 2014. 80 undergraduate teams from across the country will come to the law school to compete in this prestigious tournament to determine this year’s national champion.  The College of Law is excited to be this year’s competition host, and we hope that you will join us in making this a memorable experience for competitors.  Volunteer judging is a great way to contribute to the education and training of future legal professionals as well as showcase the strength and involvement of our local bar.”

The College of Law is looking for attorneys to volunteer as judges for the following times:

Friday, January 17:

  • 4:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
  • 5:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

Saturday, January 18:

  • 8:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
  • 9:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

Bring a buddy—sign up to judge with a friend and we will pair you to judge oral arguments together.

If you would like to volunteer but the above scheduled time blocks do not match your availability, please contact Adam Almaraz at aalmaraz@asu.edu.

To volunteer as a judge, click here.

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