Social Media


This past week, two lawyers contacted me, asking how to be included in the Arizona Attorney Blog Network.

Fortunately, they contacted the right guy. After a few questions and a quick view of what kind of content they were posting, they were listed on our site.

But then I wondered, as I often do: What do those lawyers and law firms get out of the blogging experience? What are their goals for using the medium? And do they feel they’ve been successful?

(I know; I could simply ask them those questions. Well, they really just wanted us to post their content without a lot of jibber-jabber. But maybe next time.)

I admire those lawyers who opt to blog. They not only carve time out of busy practices; they also weather the critique, overt and covert, of others, who insist that blogging is either a time-sink or an ethical minefield—or both.

If you’ve ever wondered about the same issues, and if you think the answer is to abandon blogging, take a look at an interesting post from the U.K. Titled “Are Blogs Any Use to Law Firms?” it examines some of the elements that may make a blog not worth a lawyer’s time.

But if you’re nodding in agreement, you should pause your head-bob to read Joe Reevy’s complete post carefully. No; he’s really not saying that blogging is a waste of time—quite the opposite. Instead, he makes concrete suggestions that may yield more positive results for your legal blog.

If you consider and implement Reevy’s three strategies for success, you will likely see a spike in engagement with your audience. And that—not just increased billings—is what it’s really all about.

Self-portrait: Gaining management Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki

Self-portrait: Gaining management Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki

Every market has a vacuum that agile providers seek to fill. So if there has been a giant sucking sound in the presentation industry, eagerly filled by upstarts and platforms like Keynote, Prezi and Emaze (among others), that sucking must be attributed to one lethargic giant: PowerPoint.

I wrote yesterday about what comprises a great presentation, and I said I would offer some additional thoughts about PowerPoint.

My rule of thumb regarding PowerPoints is illustrated by the opening image of this post, and it falls along these lines: If your PowerPoint is entirely understandable to an uninformed audience simply by looking at your slides, and without any additional explanation, you’re probably doing it wrong. Just. Stop.

If, however, viewers were to gaze at your slides alone, without your explanatory presence, and as a result they experience some psychic discord and confusion, and if they begin to mutter “wtf” and scratch their collective head, you may (MAY!) be on the right track.

So, again, that opening image of the bottom of my shoes. A wtf moment.

Hmmm? WHAT is he saying about President's columns? (wtf?)

Hmmm? WHAT is he saying about President’s columns? (wtf?)

Why would that be? How can I claim that ready comprehension and ease of reading are markers for a sucky presentation?

Why? Because:

  • Because you are not charged with creating a shopping list. You are charged with informing and inspiring.
  • Because a presentation is not about reading. (It so pains me to point this out in 2014.)
  • Because you (the presenter) are supposed to bring something to the whole presentation deal-io.
  • Because if I can view your slide deck and master the subject easily, you probably have packed it with too many words (a premier suckiness marker).

But … if your presence enriches and illuminates your points, that tells me you have value, and it tells me that you are not simply using your PP as cue cards to be read to snoring people.

My title mentions “tone.” Know your audience, which may even include sober-minded (and perhaps sober) lawyers. But know that even serious folk are swayed (just like real people) by brevity, wit and humor. Your takeaways may be recalled better if they are encapsulated in an image rather than in 7,000 words.

Well, I complained about too many words and then proceeded to give you a 420-word blog post. But I’ll end with a few slides I have offered before on the topic of providing stellar content and even better social media engagement. In each instance, I made the point as the presenter; the image merely got the assist.

Don't work harder; work Corgi-er. Or something. Attendees had to listen to me (not my PowerPoint) to get my point.

Don’t work harder; work Corgi-er. Or something. Attendees had to listen to me (not my PowerPoint) to get my point.

Atticus Finch is prized by lawyers. But my use of him in a PowerPoint was to illustrate a non-Mockingbird point.

Atticus Finch is prized by lawyers. But my use of him in a PowerPoint was to illustrate a non-Mockingbird point.

Your PowerPoint could bomb, or you could feature one on your title slide. Just sayin'. (Gotta love Slim Pickens!)

Your PowerPoint could bomb, or you could feature one on your title slide. Just sayin’. (Gotta love Slim Pickens!)

Recent online conversation has resurrected one of the more important debates of the modern age. In a nutshell: Why does PowerPoint suck, and what can be done about it?

Here’s my philosophy on PowerPoints:

  1. They may, indeed, be a sign of the downfall of civilized society.
  2. Most often, they are a force for evil rather than good.
  3. And, yes, many people sleep through them.

But I have come to be something of a convert to their hidden power—when wielded properly. That may be why this post’s opening image showing one of my own PowerPoint title slides comes not from a law book (booo) but is adapted from one of my favorite movies (yaaay). More on all that later in another post.

My PP dander was raised again recently when colleagues at the National Association of Bar Executives (no, not the good kind of bar) shared a few articles on presentations and PowerPoint. Read one of them here.

(So versatile are those social media mavens that the sharing was done via Facebook and Linkedin. Linkedin! Time to take another look.)

They also shared an article about presentations from the view of Guy Kawasaki. (I reviewed a Kawasaki book here. It included one of just two appearances of my shoes via social media. Ask, and I may unearth the second.)

Smart fellow, that Guy. Enjoy his article, but do not skip the reader comments beneath; they are worth the price of admission.

The best part about that article, though, was that it took me back to a PowerPoint expert whose work I very much appreciate—Eugene Cheng. Eugene is one of those folks who are my favorite people I don’t know yet. Look at what he does with PP, and you may agree he’s worth meeting.

Niche Media Digital Conference logoThe talented Eugene got me thinking about other digital thinkers and doers who do it right, PP-wise. That group includes the folks at Niche Media.

I have admired Niche’s tone and substance before, so let me do it again.

I get no benefit except happiness to tell you: If you or anyone in need of a creative jump-start are anywhere near a Niche conference this year, you really should drop in. True, they’re not free, but maybe you can sneak in, through the hotel kitchen or something. Try not to look lawyerly, and you may pass as part of the creative class.

The first will be in Minneapolis from September 30 to October 1. That is where you can learn an amazing amount about online revenue (you know, how to get more).

Niche Media Event Fest logoThe second nichey opportunity will be in the Big Easy November 3-5. The Niche Event Fest in New Orleans will offer learning raising your in-person events to be top-drawer.

Here is one thing I know about both events: If a PowerPoint is on the premises at all, it will not suck.

Later this week, I’ll offer some of my own thoughts about PowerPoint and what is missing in the worst of the lot.

The complaint process for Arizona contractors has changed. ROC Contractor complaint process button_opt

Continuing legal education may never be the same again. After an event yesterday, W.E.B. DuBois, Temple Grandin, Ann Sullivan and every other famous educator may have spun in their graves. Why is that? Well, I participated in a CLE program.

What? You ask. You’ve never been a presenter or panelist on a Bar program? Alas, it’s true. (Well, there was one time I played a bumbling and confused attorney for a Solo Section program at the 2004-or-so Convention. But that was hardly acting, and barely educational.)

But then a few months ago, the Bar launched CLE Snippets, and I still wasn’t sure I’d have a part to play.

cle snippets teaser logo. This teaser signifies a new and innovative way to combine magazine content with online learning.Do you remember my discussing the Snippets? They are 15- to 30-minute CLE videos. There will be one a month, each based on an article in the upcoming month’s Arizona Attorney Magazine. The inaugural video covered a topic from the Eye on Ethics column. So it made sense that columnist Dave Dodge and Bar Ethics Counsel Patricia Sallen illustrated the points in the video Q&A.

Our second Snippet, though, covers significant changes being launched to the complaint process regarding contractors. So the story affects lawyers who represent a whole raft of professionals. It’s good stuff.

Much to my surprise, I got to frame and ask questions of the author, Matt Meaker of Sacks Tierney. The questions covered everything from an explanation of what specifically changed, to asking which lawyers and other professionals will be most affected, and whether this is or could be a good thing (or not) for contractors and consumers.

As this is my inaugural CLE, I decided we should be as un-CLE-like as possible. So here is a selfie of me and Matt before the heated (not) conversation. What followed the photo was a casual but substantial Q&A (Matt provided the substantial portion!).

Matt Meaker and Tim Eigo clearly have no game face, as they prepare for a Q&A on changes to the Arizona contractor-complaint process.

Matt Meaker and Tim Eigo clearly have no game face, as they prepare for a Q&A on changes to the Arizona contractor-complaint process.

While the camera rolled, I also had the great pleasure to reveal—to viewers and to Matt himself—that his article was to be our cover story in the July/August 2014 magazine. So not only were we providing excellent practice pointers—we were breaking news!

Matt Meaker headshot

A better, more professional headshot of Matt Meaker of Sacks Tierney.

Matt and I may have similar non-reverential approaches to legal matters. Serious stuff, yes, but why can’t it be delivered in punchy and enjoyable ways?

Of course, I may never be asked back, so that would spell the end of that little experiment.

I’ll share a link of the preview once I have it. And here’s hoping I’ve got a future in legal education! (In this day and age, we all need a back-up plan.)

Civil Rights Act of 1964 President Johnson signs

President Lyndon Johnson signs into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Beginning Friday and continuing through next week, a series of Arizona events marks the anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Phoenix events are covered in some detail on a dedicated Facebook page. They include:

  • The unveiling of a commemorative mural, Burton Barr Library, Friday, 10 a.m.
  • Voter registration/civic engagement event, State Capitol lawn, Saturday, 9 a.m.
  • Celebration dinner, First Institutional Baptist Church, Saturday, 5 p.m.
  • Community celebration, Carver Museum and Cultural Center, Wednesday, 5:30 p.m.

Civil Rights Act of 1964 newspaper headlineAs the site describes the legislation:

“The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88–352, 78 Stat. 241, enacted July 2, 1964) is a landmark piece of civil rights legislation in the United States that outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public (known as ‘public accommodations’).”

“Powers given to enforce the act were initially weak, but were supplemented during later years. Congress asserted its authority to legislate under several different parts of the United States Constitution, principally its power to regulate interstate commerce under Article One (section 8), its duty to guarantee all citizens equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment and its duty to protect voting rights under the Fifteenth Amendment. The Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 2, 1964 at the White House.”

If your article gets this many comments, you've clearly sparked a conversation (or shouting match). NYT Magazine boomerang kids story comments

If your article gets this many comments, you’ve clearly sparked a conversation (or shouting match).

Again with the millennials.

Forgive me for raising another story on the topic of this generation of new thinkers and doers. But a recent story in the New York Times Magazine—and some pushback it’s received—made me think there’s quite a bit more to say on the topic.

In the Times story, writer Adam Davidson (or the copyeditor) poked the millennial bear with a stick, starting with his headline: “It’s Official; The Boomerang Kids Won’t Leave.”

OK, so a little fun is OK, right? Here’s some content not far from the top of his piece:

“One in five people in their 20s and early 30s is currently living with his or her parents. And 60 percent of all young adults receive financial support from them. That’s a significant increase from a generation ago, when only one in 10 young adults moved back home and few received financial support. The common explanation for the shift is that people born in the late 1980s and early 1990s came of age amid several unfortunate and overlapping economic trends. Those who graduated college as the housing market and financial system were imploding faced the highest debt burden of any graduating class in history. Nearly 45 percent of 25-year-olds, for instance, have outstanding loans, with an average debt above $20,000. (Kasinecz still has about $60,000 to go.) And more than half of recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed, meaning they make substandard wages in jobs that don’t require a college degree. According to Lisa B. Kahn, an economist at Yale University, the negative impact of graduating into a recession never fully disappears. Even 20 years later, the people who graduated into the recession of the early ’80s were making substantially less money than people lucky enough to have graduated a few years afterward, when the economy was booming. Some may hope that the boomerang generation represents an unfortunate but temporary blip … .

Intrigued? Offended? Read the whole thing here.

The article’s tone—and its pronouncements—may be why (at last count) the story had garnered 1,600+ comments. That’s one thousand six hundred. Millennials may be underemployed, but that means they’ll read all the way to the end of a 2,196-word article, and then take the time to vent some spleen.

I’ll get to those comments in a moment. For now, it’s worth noting that they ranged from a startlingly deep derision toward an entire class of adults, to deep anger toward the author, his approach and his tone.

Whatever you do, be sure to view the slideshow of photos by photographer Damon Casarez. He is clearly a talented shooter. But was there ever a more depressing assemblage of life stories captured on film (or digitally)?

Life lesson and note to self: If a features reporter ever wants to write on my inability to land a job and launch a career, just say no when the photographer offers to shoot my portrait amidst my dirty-laundry-strewn bed, or among my life’s detritus that now hoarder-clogs my parents’ living room.

Stage tragic images, much?

Want to know how irked millennials can get about the stereotypical coverage? Just compare the Time Magazine cover that inflamed many folks … with just one of the parodies launched by web-savvy millennials (and don’t miss the parody’s eyebrow-headlines):

Time Magazine cover Millennial Me Generation original and parody

Time’s (not-so) original cover (left) and the parody (right).

(Um, Time Magazine, these “kids” may be a lot of things, but one of their greatest strengths is being scary-talented enough to make digital fun of your aged butt. Just saying.)

So you’re eager (I know) for a legal angle, and here it is.

Start reading a great blog called “The Law School Tuition Bubble.” That’s where Matt Leichter, an attorney admitted in Wisconsin and New York, holds forth on topics related to the legal profession. (More about him here.)

As you might guess, he is not greatly impressed by the NYT piece. He is an adept reader (and critiquer), so you should read his entire response here.

But I was struck by one of his concluding lines, which indicts not just this article but much of the reportage on the millennial or any “younger” generation:

“The only question I’m left with is, ‘Has reporting on young adults ever not been infantilizing and uninformative?’”

What do you think? Do commentators and reporters do a disservice to a generation that, first, must adjust to an economy nearly bankrupted by a generation not their own, and second, that now must suffer the additional indignity of being labeled lazy, or worse?

Finally, I promised to share a few of the NYT’s article’s comments. Here they are:

One commenter:

“When college costs three times what it did in 1970, adjusted for inflation (and that’s public and private school), and minimum wage is less than half what it was in 1970, adjusted for inflation, I find the term ‘Boomerang kids’ insulting. These aren’t kids, they are young adults facing the worst recession since the 1930s and living through the modern-day Dust Bowl. Nobody lectured people in the era of the Grapes of Wrath about how they should just ‘grow up.’”

Another:

“I’m somewhat annoyed by the Times’ (and others’) insinuation that if a young person lives at home after college, he or she has somehow failed at becoming a real and responsible adult. When you have heavy student loans and work at an entry-level position, it may actually be a mark of financial responsibility to live with your parents for at least a year or two while you work and build up your savings. I would love to see more stories about young people in their 20s and 30s living at home without the underlying tone of judgment that just because these people live with their parents, they have somehow failed at becoming adults.”

And finally:

“The comments about how this is normal in other (low and middle income) countries, and how it’s probably the fault of individual young people who didn’t major in science are equal parts infuriating and hilarious. Someone hasn’t looked for science jobs lately! Memo to the millennials: Older generations don’t care and they’re not going to try to help. These comments are proof of that. So, either get involved in politics or resign yourself to a substantially lower standard of living than your parents had. Or both.”

I'm guessing your dog doesn't greet clients at your law office. You may want to rethink that. (Meet Rosie, Ruth Carter's companion.)

I’m guessing your dog doesn’t greet clients at your law office. You may want to rethink that. (Meet Rosie, Ruth Carter’s companion.)

If you’re like most lawyers, your office probably did little or nothing to mark National Doughnut Day.

Well, that’s a shame.

If that’s the case, then your office must not be that of Arizona attorney Ruth Carter. Ruth has many attributes and high points in her brief career—including being named an ABA Legal Rebel and being an author of multiple books. And now we can add pastry-sharer.

I mentioned doughnuts, so let’s get to it.

Ruth is aware of the great value in social interactions. And why not: One of her areas of focus is flash-mob law. So a day dedicated to fried-dough goodness seemed to her as good a time as any to gather her myriad circles in her new law offices. A Venn diagram with smiles and Bosa doughnuts at the center, you might say.

Every exuberant, Ruth Carter greets guests at her Doughnut Day open house.

Every exuberant, Ruth Carter greets guests at her Doughnut Day open house.

The June 6 event gave attendees the chance to visit with folks in different but affiliated industries. And we all got to catch up with what Ruth has cooking in her own practice. Smart move, that.

Plus, her wonderful Basset, Rosie, was present, as always.

Thanks, Ruth, for kicking off our June well. Here is the thank-you note I posted after the sweet, sweet event.

Doughnuts = the circle of life (or something, my thank-you note tried to convey).

Doughnuts = the circle of life (or something, my thank-you note tried to convey).

And how do you gather people informally in and around your practice? Doughnuts work, but they’re only one idea. Share yours!

Westin 3 Westin La Paloma Resort in TucsonHere is the last in a series of posts that lets Convention seminar chairs speak for themselves. In advance of the Bar Convention, I contacted seminar chairs seeking their response to four questions about their upcoming panel. Here are the questions I sent:

  • Who should attend this seminar?
  • What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?
  • How is this seminar timely? (That is: Why do attorneys need to learn more about this topic right now? What’s going on now in the world or in law practice that makes this topic important?)
  • What is the most common misconception about this issue? In other words, what do lawyers think they know, but don’t?

Today, I share the responses of those whose seminars are calendared for this afternoon, Friday, June 13. (Note: Not all seminar chairs responded.) Click on the seminar title to read more detail as published in the Convention brochure.

Friday, June 13, 2:00 pm

F-38: Mr. Smith Goes to Tucson

Co-chair: Alan Baskin

Who should attend this seminar?

Alan Baskin

Alan Baskin

Anyone who is interested in business, securities law, current events, and/or the impact and application of or potential changes to the JOBS Act.

What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

Attendees will hear from Congressman David Schweikert, one of the primary authors of the JOBS Act.  What better way to learn?

Is this seminar timely? (That is: Why do attorneys need to learn more about this topic right now? What’s going on now in the world or in law practice that makes this topic important?)

Yes.  The seminar involves the practical application of recent and important legislation. A fabulous opportunity to see if the Act has turned out as expected, learn of any unexpected pitfalls, and hear about what changes may be coming.

Friday, June 13, 2:00 pm

F-40: Embracing the Future of Construction

Chair: Rick Erickson

Who should attend this seminar?

Attorneys interested in construction design, financing, planning, development, administration and project delivery should attend this seminar.  In addition, attorneys should attend if they have an interest in construction industry claims, including litigation of lien disputes, breach of contract, design and construction defects, project delays and licensing complaints against contractors.

What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

Rick Erickson

Rick Erickson

Lawyers will better understand how builders and developers achieve success in Arizona and how they rely on their attorneys to succeed.

How is this seminar timely? (That is: Why do attorneys need to learn more about this topic right now? What’s going on now in the world or in law practice that makes this topic important?)

The seminar will focus on some of the most recognized projects in Arizona, including Intel Fab 42 in Chandler, University of Arizona Behavioral Sciences in Phoenix, Beal Derkenne’s student towers at UofA and ASU, Caliente’s work on Chase Field and numerous other buildings and Baker Concrete’s role in major projects for Target and other private developers.

What is the most common misconception about this issue? In other words, what do lawyers think they know, but don’t?

The most common misconception is that lawyers think they know what construction clients really want.  This seminar offers an opportunity to learn how to avoid giving construction clients what they don’t want.

 

2014 State Bar of Arizona Convention brochure cover hires_optHere is another post that lets Convention seminar chairs speak for themselves. In advance of the Bar Convention, I contacted seminar chairs seeking their response to four questions about their upcoming panel. Here are the questions I sent:

  • Who should attend this seminar?
  • What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?
  • How is this seminar timely? (That is: Why do attorneys need to learn more about this topic right now? What’s going on now in the world or in law practice that makes this topic important?)
  • What is the most common misconception about this issue? In other words, what do lawyers think they know, but don’t?

Today, I share the responses of those whose seminars are calendared for tomorrow morning, Friday, June 13. (Note: Not all seminar chairs responded.) Click on the seminar title to read more detail as published in the Convention brochure.

A final post will share the responses from the Friday afternoon chairs.

Friday, June 13, 8:45 am

F-33: Criminal Risks in Real Estate Deals

Chair: James A. Craft, Apogee Physicians

Who should attend this seminar?

James Craft

James Craft

Criminal defense counsel, real estate transactions counsel and antitrust counsel.

What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

In real estate deals and financing, what practices are being targeted today by state and federal prosecutors?

How is this seminar timely? (That is: Why do attorneys need to learn more about this topic right now? What’s going on now in the world or in law practice that makes this topic important?)

In Arizona, real estate scams have a colorful history. The 2008 crash created new enforcement priorities.  And buyer collusion in foreclosure and tax auctions became a national problem, according to recent DOJ prosecutions – including a jury trial recently in Sacrmento.

What is the most common misconception about this issue? In other words, what do lawyers think they know, but don’t?

“Joint ventures” to purchase real estate at a private or public auction are in some situations bid-rigging, which is a felony.

Friday, June 13, 8:45 am

F-34: ENRLS offers two seminars on Friday morning at the State Bar Conference. The first seminar, titled “Environmental Law: Where we are,”  will feature a panel of experienced environmental attorneys who will be discussing developments in the law for air quality, hazardous waste cleanups, water quality and NEPA.

Chair: Sonia Overholser, Department of the Interior, Phoenix Solicitor’s Office

Who should attend?

We tailor this seminar for attorneys and consultants who work in the area of air or water quality compliance, who have some responsibility for hazardous waste clean ups, or who advise or implement the NEPA process, but this seminar is also suitable for any attorneys or consultants who want to stay current in these areas for any reason.

What is the main takeaway?

Sonia Overholser

Sonia Overholser

Attorneys or consultants who attend this seminar will walk away knowing the very latest developments in each of these areas.

How is it timely?

Air and water quality, hazardous waste clean ups, and NEPA are complex legal areas that are constantly evolving and developing.  For this reason, we discuss the top developments in the last year so we can focus on the cutting edge of the law in each area.

What are some common misconceptions?

I believe it is a misconception to believe that environmental law has not changed from the way it was taught in law schools, if it was taught in law school.  In American legal jurisprudence, environmental law remains relatively young and it has evolved and developed to keep pace with developments in manufacturing and industrial processes, energy generation, land use planning, and scientific improvements for sustaining clean land, air, and water hand in hand with economic development.

Friday, June 13, 10:30 am

F-35: The second seminar offered by ENRLS on Friday morning is titled “Environmental Law: Where are we going?”

Chair: Sonia Overholser, Department of the Interior, Phoenix Solicitor’s Office

Who should attend?

In addition to attorneys or consultants who work in the area of solid or hazardous waste, air or water quality, or NEPA, this seminar would appeal to attorneys or consultants who have an interest in getting a glimpse at where the law might be headed in these areas.  This would be critical to any attorney or consultant working with clients who might be encountering any of these areas in the future.

What is the main takeaway?

No one can predict the future, but in this panel we have assembled top attorneys from private practice and the federal and state regulatory areas, as well as an environmental consultant, to share their observations about the major future trends in environmental law.

How is it timely?

Drought; an increasing awareness of climate change; the promises of energy independence; and technological developments transforming the work place are all recent trends that implicate environmental law and create questions about how the law will develop and evolve.

What are some common misconceptions?

I believe that many miss the connection between environmental law and many of the major social and economic trends that have dominated the last decade.  It may be easy to spot the relationship between energy generation and environmental law, but there are multiple other connections that may not be perceived as readily.  Environmental law remains a critical component for anyone who anticipates playing a role in the major trends of these times.

Friday, June 13, 8:45 am

F-36: Evidence Law Update

Co-chair: Hon. Sam Thumma

Who should attend?

Our program is on evidence and the target audience is litigators of all kind and other lawyers who have matters that may end up in litigation.

What is the main takeaway?

Hon. Sam Thumma

Hon. Sam Thumma

The take away will be an overview of recent significant evidence cases and rules changes, as well as a more detailed discussion of selected areas of evidence law, and how to handle application of the Arizona Rules of Evidence to facts through a few dozen hypotheticals with responders, tabulated electronically and discussed with model answers.

How is the program timely?

The program is timely on that it will discuss up to date evidence developments for use in evidentiary hearings of all types.

What are some common misperceptions?

There are many misconceptions about the law of evidence.  Ones we will address include privilege issues, expert testimony and the hearsay rule and its exceptions.

Friday, June 13, all day

F-44: Lessons From Employment Law

Co-chair: Joe Kroeger

Who should attend this seminar?

Joe Kroeger

Joe Kroeger

This seminar is for the attorney engaged in the practice of labor and employment law.  Whether you represent employees or employers, are in private practice, work for the government, or serve as an in-house attorney, the program will provide updates and offer information that is immediately relevant to your labor and employment practice.

What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

This year, attendees will walk away with an improved understanding of the key emerging trends impacting their practice – including new initiatives impacting both union and non-union employers at the National Labor Relations Board, current employment issues impacting the sports world, workplace privacy and data security in the digital age, the continued move towards arbitration and evaluating the pros and cons of arbitration in the workplace, and the top five lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues facing employment lawyers.

How is this seminar timely? (That is: Why do attorneys need to learn more about this topic right now? What’s going on now in the world or in law practice that makes this topic important?)

The program centers on several of the most relevant trends and issues facing the practice today. The panelists will focus on the future of our practice in the ever-shifting labor and employment landscape and also evaluate the lessons we have learned from the past.

What is the most common misconception about this issue? In other words, what do lawyers think they know, but don’t?

Many attorneys, and certainly their clients, continue to operate under the misperception that the National Labor Relations Act only applies to unions and unionized companies.  Increasingly, the NLRB and the courts are applying the NLRB to non-unionized workforces in ever expanding ways.  This seminar will help to educate practitioners as to this developing area, as well as the rapidly developing areas of privacy and data protection and LBGT issues.

Friday, June 13, all day

F-45: Juvenile Law in the Digital Age

Co-chair: Gaylene Morgan

Who should attend this seminar?

  • Anyone interested in juvenile law, using technology in the practice of law, or bullying.
  • Of particular interest to:
  • Attorneys representing children and parents in dependency actions
  • Guardians Ad Litem for children
  • Assistant Attorneys General representing CPS
  • Attorneys representing juveniles or the State in delinquency actions
  • Family Law or other attorneys wanting to know more about juvenile law

What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

CURRENT information regarding juvenile law practice:

  • Appellate and Legislative Updates (Update on proposed 2014 Special Session legislation creating a new child welfare agency)
  • Using technology in the practice of juvenile law
  • What’s being done about bullying?  What do kids think about bullying—from the teen panel.

How is this seminar timely? (That is: Why do attorneys need to learn more about this topic right now? What’s going on now in the world or in law practice that makes this topic important?)

  • The digital age is changing the way that lawyers practice and  the JLS seminar will provide up-to-date information critical to
  • Lawyers to keep pace with the changes. The legislative update will include information on the 2014 Legislative Special Session
  • The creation of a new stand-alone child welfare agency

What is the most common misconception about this issue? In other words, what do lawyers think they know, but don’t?

That the Juvenile Law Section seminar is only of interest to those practicing in the juvenile law area.  Information on technology in the practice of law is of interest and can benefit any lawyer and the bullying topic should be of interest to all.  Hearing from teens about the bullying going on over social media and what they think of it is information not readily available.  The youth panel is always captivating and thought-provoking.

Friday, June 13, all day

F-47: Family Law and the Brain, 9:45 am session

Responded: Robert Barrasso

Who should attend?

Anyone interested in family law should attend this seminar.

What is the one main takeaway?

Robert Barrasso

Robert Barrasso

The one main take away would be how modern brain science information can help the family law practitioner.

Why is this seminar timely?

This seminar is timely because we are going to be hearing an actual court of appeals legal argument on a complicated property issue that will result in new case law. It is also timely because we will be hearing from three different University of Arizona professors about the leading research in brain science.

What is the most common misperception?

The most common misconception is that brain science has nothing to do with family law.

Friday, June 13, all day

F-47: Family Law and the Brain, 2:00 pm session

Responses by: Patricia Green

Who should attend this seminar?

Any attorney practicing or interested in practicing family law, and who desires to increase their knowledge of the various topics identified in the brochure.

What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

This seminar will present a rare opportunity to see the Court of Appeals in action – live oral argument on a current family law case – while also giving seminar attendees an opportunity to identify how they would rule on the case.

What is the most common misconception about this issue? In other words, what do lawyers think they know, but don’t?

Two sessions of the seminar will focus on the brain and have presentations from non-lawyers.  These sessions, in particular, are intended to assist attorneys in better understanding brain function for clients, witnesses and judges.

2014 State Bar of Arizona Convention brochure cover hires_optIn advance of the Bar Convention, I contacted seminar chairs seeking their response to four questions about their upcoming panel. Here are the questions I sent:

  • Who should attend this seminar?
  • What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?
  • How is this seminar timely? (That is: Why do attorneys need to learn more about this topic right now? What’s going on now in the world or in law practice that makes this topic important?)
  • What is the most common misconception about this issue? In other words, what do lawyers think they know, but don’t?

Today, I share, in two separate posts, the responses of those whose seminars are calendared for tomorrow, Thursday, June 12. (Note: Not all seminar chairs responded.) Click on the seminar title to read more detail as published in the Convention brochure.

What follows are the seminar responses I received for the morning programs.

Thursday, June 12, 8:45 am

T-17: Roadblocks to Reentry: Employment Obstacles Following Conviction and a Guide To Ease the Transition

Chair: Gary Restaino

Who should attend this seminar?

Gary Restaino

Gary Restaino

Criminal defense attorneys, legal aid attorneys and employment law attorneys should attend this seminar to better understand the barriers (including employment) faced by defendants reentering society from a period of incarceration, and the opportunities available to assist them.

What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

The biggest takeaway may well be the power of second chances.

How is this seminar timely? (That is: Why do attorneys need to learn more about this topic right now? What’s going on now in the world or in law practice that makes this topic important?)

One of the key current events with respect to this seminar is the growing “Ban the Box” movement, in which certain employers (either through voluntary action or local ordinances) push the background check process farther into the employee selection cycle, in order to enable a former criminal defendant to develop a rapport with the employer in lieu of outright rejection based on criminal history.

Thursday, June 12, 8:45 am

T-19: The Annual Ethics Game Show

Chair: Lynda Shely

Who should attend?

Lynda Shely

Lynda Shely

Anyone who needs 3 hours of ethics credit while having fun, wants to learn the latest ethics news, and earn a prize … several ethical rules changed this year – do you know how they apply to your practice?

What is the one main takeaway from attending?

No, it’s not the prize – it will be the latest ethics and risk management tips for all firms, including some checklists and templates.

What is the most common misconception about ethics?

IT IS NOT BORING – it can be fun and informative and everyone takes away not only a prize but useful ethics information to share with their offices.

Thursday, June 12, 10:30 am

T-20: The Unblinking Eye: High-Profile Cases and Cameras in the Courtroom

Co-Chair: Judy Schafert

Who should attend this seminar?

Judy Schaffert

Judy Schaffert

Practitioners who try cases, both criminal and civil; public lawyers; lawyers who represent potentially controversial or notorious clients; people who care about the public or the media; politically active practitioners; and anyone who cares about the courts as public institutions.

What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

Cameras have entered the courtrooms of our state, but when and how involves more implications and decisions than many might expect.

How is this seminar timely? (That is: Why do attorneys need to learn more about this topic right now? What’s going on now in the world or in law practice that makes this topic important?)

There has been a recent change in Arizona court rules — and the technology continuously leapfrogs.

What is the most common misconception about this issue? In other words, what do lawyers think they know, but don’t?

Many lawyers do not appreciate the extent to which cameras in the courts implicate their duties, and their clients’ and witnesses’ rights, especially under the new rules.

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