Legal events


Downtown Phoenix Sheraton

Downtown Phoenix Sheraton

On Thursday, another in a popular series of networking events for lawyers will be staged in downtown Phoenix. You should consider stopping by.

Hosted by the State Bar of Arizona (Mentor Committee and Young Lawyers Division), it will be held on Thursday, September 18, at the downtown Phoenix Sheraton Hotel, in its District American Kitchen and Wine Bar.

This is the fourth annual such kick-off event, and the previous ones have been crowded and enjoyable affairs.

Here is an image with more particulars:

State Bar Networking event 09-18-14And here is a map:

Lawyers and history buffs (and many more) should read this month's Wired Magazine coverage of Edward Snowden.

Lawyers and history buffs (and many more) should read this month’s Wired Magazine coverage of Edward Snowden.

I can suggest a few reasons you should read the cover story in this month’s Wired Magazine.

First, you should always read the cover story in Wired Magazine. But you probably want more reason than that.

OK. Second, the legal-lover in you knows you’re aching to gain some insight into Edward Snowden’s role in an ongoing international incident. How does he justify his actions? Will the American people ultimately view him as a villain or as an aid to American transparency?

The U.S. government’s response to that second question is a complicated and not entirely coherent one. It has ranged from throwing around the word “treason” to claiming pleasure at the resulting dialogue about the NSA and the CIA (always, of course, without praising Snowden).

If that legal insight is all you aspire to, the Wired feature story based on exclusive one-on-one conversations with the former intelligence operative should please you very much. You can read the whole story here.

BUT … if you, like me, enjoy gaining insight into how magazines are created, then you really need to read the opening letter by the editor-in-chief too. (Yes, some of us read those too!)

It is only in Scott Dadich’s column that you will learn how Platon’s phenomenal photos came to be. You’ll read about the machinations that led to surreptitious meetings in Russian hotel rooms. And you’ll marvel at how random inexpensive props bought in Manhattan spurred the imagination of Snowden thousands of miles east.

Kudos to the editor, writer James Bamford, director of photography Patrick Witty, and photographer Platon. This is an amazing accomplishment.

What value do dark skies hold? An Arizona Republic article examines the issue.

What value do dark skies hold? An Arizona Republic article examines the issue.

This week, the Arizona Republic offered a comprehensive view of a topic that dogs the west—and most urban areas. Writer Megan Finnerty explored the value of maintaining dark skies over our heads—and how challenging that goal is.

The path that led to ensuring dark skies over Flagstaff may provide a roadmap to do so in other places. But the opposition that masses against such an effort is robust—and strategic.

Reading the story, I started to wonder whether there is a Dark Skies go-to lawyer in Arizona. Has anyone—perhaps someone who represented darkness advocates in the past—carved out a niche and reputation as an expert in the area?

If you know, write to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org. There may be a legal story in the skies above us.

ABA blog question and data (Chart via Bob Ambrogi's Law Sites Blog.)

(Chart via Bob Ambrogi’s Law Sites Blog.)

Recent data from the American Bar Association suggests that fewer lawyers are blogging than have in the past. What this means … well, it could mean a few things.

Many folks—myself included—have advocated for the power of a blog to alter an attorney’s work life. Will a blog transform your law practice and rake in the clients? Probably not. Just like any tool at your disposal, this one can serve your particular needs—but you still have to identify what those needs are.

The hard work of determining your blog’s goals may have resulted in disappointment in the results—which were never clearly aimed for in the first place.

A very good roundup of the ABA’s new data is written by Bob Ambrogi. Among his mentions:

“Blogging was down among lawyers in all firm sizes except those in firms of 10-49 attorneys, where the percentage of lawyers who blog rose a point from 5% in 2013 to 6% this year. Among solos, the percentage who blog dropped from 12% to 10%; among those in firms of 2-9 attorneys, the percentage dropped from 11% to 8%; and in firms of 100 or more attorneys, the percentage went from 10% in 2013 to 9% this year.”

One interesting element of the ABA’s queries relates to its asking lawyers whether they “personally” maintain a blog (see chart above). Well, what else would they do?

As I have mentioned before, a debate exists over whether a lawyer’s blog is just another marketing tool, which no one (let alone potential clients) expects is penned by the lawyer herself.

Others (like me, for instance) see the blog as an opportunity to share your own thinking. It is not just like a lawyer bio, which we know a PR pro wrote. Neither is it like a brief, which everyone understands was drafted with the assistance of partners, associates and clerks.

As long as lawyers believe they can “farm out” the drafting of their own insights and legal perambulations, I’d wager that the decline in blogging may not be a bad thing.

What do you think?

 

Arizona family law attorneys answer consumer questions during Lawyers on Call, September 2, 2014.

Arizona family law attorneys answer consumer questions during Lawyers on Call, September 2, 2014.

Some news from my State Bar colleague Alberto Rodriguez:

On Tuesday, September 2, volunteer lawyers offered their time to answer family law questions as part of the State Bar’s successful Lawyers on Call program.

Those volunteer attorneys answered 96 calls on family law issues—66 of which were addressed via social media. That resulted in a total of 162 people who were helped.

State Bar of Arizona SBA_Logo_ColorThe volunteer attorneys were: Steven Clark, Cody L. Hayes, Heidi Lukacsik, Kelly Mendoza, Jennifer Moshier, Felicia Schumacher, Mike Skupin and Margo A. Shorr.

Two of the eight attorneys were first-time volunteers.

Attorneys received a wide variety of consumer questions. Among them:

  • How can I enforce a child support order? Can I modify a current child support order?
  • How can I terminate child support?
  • Do I have to allow for parenting time if I’m receiving child support?
  • What should I do if I can’t locate my child’s parent to request child support?
  • Do I have any rights as a grandparent?
  • Can I file for a divorce if my spouse doesn’t want to?
  • Can I file bankruptcy if I’m going through a divorce?
  • How do I enforce a divorce decree?

Social media has increased in popularity during the years Lawyers on Call has been in place. On September 2, 75 consumers asked their questions via the 12 News Facebook page, 66 of which attorneys Heidi Lukacsik and Margo Shorr responded to with their recommendations/advice.

Next month, volunteer lawyers will answer consumers’ bankruptcy and foreclosure questions on Tuesday, October 7.

Arizona Attorney Magazine cover September 2014, grandparent visitation laws

Our September 2014 cover

Not to be timely or anything, but …

The September issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine has a great and detailed story on the twists and turns grandparent-visitation legislation has taken—in Arizona and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, National Grandparents Day falls this weekend, on September 7.

And yes, although it will not play for me, there is apparently an official song for the occasion (at least, according to Wikipedia).

A hat tip to Art Director Karen Holub for locating our aww-inspiring cover image. If that doesn’t make you want to call your grandfolks, I don’t know what will.

And thank you to our terrific author Michael K. Goldberg (read his feature article here). And thank you to the calendar for your unintentional cooperation.

 

Gila County, Ariz., courthouse, by Ken Lund

Gila County, Ariz., courthouse, by Ken Lund

Arizona’s landscape is dotted with some beautiful courthouses, many still in operation. But for those that are not, finding a suitable “chapter two” can be a challenge.

In Gila County, a wonderful old courthouse faced an empty future. But, as an Arizona Republic story explains, it has been transformed into the Cobre Valley Center for the Arts.

I may be on an adaptive reuse kick this month (see my story from yesterday about auto dealerships transforming in Boston), but I was very taken with this Arizona story. You can read the whole thing here.

And for more information on the Cobre Valley Center for the Arts, go here and here.

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