State Bar of Arizona News


CLE By The Sea 2014: The Last Beachhead

CLE By The Sea 2014: The Last Beachhead

Those of you attending CLE By the Sea this week may be unaware that you’re in the midst of an historic event.

In case you haven’t heard, this will be the last year for CBySea. I suppose a number of factors contributed to its being sunsetted. Among those factors are declining attendance and higher costs.

But I have heard from lawyers who have gone year after year, ever singing its praises. Let’s hear their stories.

So I wonder:

  • If any of you there at the Hotel del Coronado would like to share one favorite moment from this week?
  • And if any of you would like to share a great memory or two from any of the many years of the event?

Economics and shifting interests may have led to the elimination of the event. But I’d be happy to send it out in style, atop a sedan chair bedecked with memories and photos.

Contact me with either at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

Lodestar Day Resource Center Thirst_Aid_Logo

To the uninformed, the State Bar of Arizona offices may look like we’re getting ready for the next big disaster. But in fact, Bar staff are working hard to address a disaster that strikes unfortunate people every day.

A water drive to assist the Lodestar Day Resource Center and its Thirst Aid initiative has definitely caught the attention of staff. Here’s how Lodestar describes the summer water drive to serve homeless individuals:

“The Human Services Campus is asking the community to participate in the Thirst-Aid campaign by donating bottled water and/or monetary donations to help hydrate those experiencing homelessness. With support from the community, the Human Services Campus hopes to raise 500,000 bottles of water (approximately 20,000 cases) between May 1 to September 30.”

More information about the Center—and what you can do—is here.

Bar staff’s competitive side was roused by the Community Service Committee , which wisely decided a battle between colleagues on the first floor and on the third floor could result in a flood (get it?) of liquid submissions.

That appears to have worked wonders, for staff recently received an email reading, “There have been concerns about the amount of water being stored on the 3rd floor.”

Boom! When staff must be cautioned about a building’s very structural integrity, they have clearly brought it!

In truth, water is everywhere. It’s in the CLE Department’s classroom, multiple people’s offices, hallways, spare cubicles. I get thirsty just seeing it.

Water and tote boards collect on the State Bar's third floor.

Water and tote boards collect on the State Bar’s third floor.

At last count, here’s the tally: 1st floor, 128 cases; 3rd floor, 159 cases.

The drive continues through July 9, so it’s more neck-and-neck than it may appear. (And I have been officed on both floors, so I feel conflicting loyalties. But I guess I’m a 1st-floor person.)

Donated water sits amidst desks in the Bar's CLE Center.

Donated water sits amidst desks in the Bar’s CLE Center.

Besides the water, staff are also donating sunglasses, hats, sunscreen, and lightweight long-sleeved shirts.

In case you wondered, the prize is a pizza party. But honestly, no one I’ve spoken with is primarily driven by the saucy prize; they just want to roll like a river across the finish line.

One of the many State Bar of Arizona offices and cubicles you'll find donated water stored.

One of the many State Bar of Arizona offices and cubicles you’ll find donated water stored.

To help them cross that line, let’s enjoy some river music, as Tina Turner belts out a little Proud Mary. And then, go get more water.

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.)

Estate Planning wills trusts

I often communicate the results of the State Bar’s Lawyers on Call events after they occur. But as I looked at the topic for tomorrow’s pro bono lawyer event, I thought that many of us may have family or friends who could benefit from calling in. Please feel free to share this with them.

Tomorrow’s topic is estate planning (wills, trusts, more). The number to call is (602) 258-1212 (note: lawyers are only available at that phone number from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the days when Lawyers on Call is featured). Here is Bar news about the upcoming Lawyers on Call.

“If you should pass away unexpectedly, will your children be cared for by someone you love and trust? If you become incapacitated, will your business continue to thrive and grow? Will your family have to deal with bureaucracy during a time of sadness? Ease the stress associated with untimely death or accidents by seeking advice from an estate planning attorney for free on Tuesday, July 1.”

“Volunteer estate planning attorneys will answer your questions on the State Bar of Arizona, 12 News, and azcentral.com’s Lawyers on Call public service program. You can discuss your wills, trust, and estate planning issues with them for free from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 1.”

Whitney Cunningham, Richard Platt, John Phelps

Whitney Cunningham, Richard Platt, John Phelps

Was it only a week ago that I was at the State Bar Convention, and where I (unwisely?) launched a photo-caption contest?

No matter about my poor judgment: I promised to announce the winner today—Change of Venue Friday—and so I shall.

You can see the photo at the top of this post. As a reminder, this captures what has become an annual tradition as the Bar’s leadership changes. The photo includes the departing President, the incoming President, and the Bar’s CEO/ED. The train is leaving the station, you could say.

Here is the winning entry:

“Is there a choreographer in the house? Please tell me this doesn’t involve twerking.”

As I said in my initial post, the winner receives a Starbucks gift card. As if those in the legal profession need to be caffeinated any more.

I am obliged to disappoint interested readers, though, by saying that the winner must remain anonymous. Due to his or her workplace situation, she or he prefers it that way, and I acquiesce to that request.

I can assure you, though, that the winner is not a State Bar employee, me, or any member of my family.

Besides that, read my original blog post to see where you should file your complaints.

Have a wonderful—and caption-filled—weekend.

(Note: Some may wonder why I included the word “twerking” in the post title. Honestly, I’m simply curious what unique Twitter interactions that may create. We’ll see!)

Next week: A few brief follow-ups to some noteworthy Convention events. (And then we’ll be Convention-free until 2015!)

State Bar of Arizona Bar Leadership Institute bannerHere’s where the rubber hits the road: You know an attorney whom you think is going to tear up the profession (in a good way). Or you suspect you’ve got the leadership DNA within yourself. But how to channel it?

An ideal development tool is on offer by the State Bar of Arizona, which is seeking applicants for its 2014-15 Bar Leadership Institute class.

For my money, this has been one of the Bar’s programs that has had the most impact on ensuring the profession’s future.

But get off the stick, leaders: The application deadline is tomorrow, June 20.

No worries: The Bar makes the process pretty easy. Here’s some more background.

As the Bar describes it, the Bar Leadership Institute is an award-winning nine-month professional development program. Since its inception in 2007 the BLI has prepared more than 100 attorneys for leadership positions within the Bar and the community-at-large. Program sessions cover a variety topics ranging from leadership, ethics and career development, to conversations with judges, government attorneys, in-house counsel and executives. Sessions occur monthly starting with a weekend retreat in September.

Attorneys selected to participate receive:

  • Up to two years of CLE credit
  • Leadership and related education and training in an experiential and mentoring learning environment
  • Opportunities to foster relationships with the State Bar of Arizona, partner bar associations, government and community leaders

Applications—available online here—will be accepted through June 20, 2014.

For questions or additional information, contact Elena Nethers, the State Bar’s Diversity and Outreach Advisor: Elena.Nethers@staff.azbar.org

It’s been my pleasure to work with BLI students and graduates, and I’ve always been impressed. Here’s hoping you offer up a name (maybe yours!) to participate.

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.

Southern Arizona Children's Advocacy Center logo

More than 500 items await the discerning—and persistent—bidder at the annual State Bar Silent Auction. The items run the gamut, from jewelry, to artwork, to golf and resort packages. And the bidding all closes at 4:00 pm.

The Silent Auction is located in the Westin La Paloma lobby.

Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Southern Arizona Children’s Advocacy Center, “a safe and child-sensitive place where child victims of abuse undergo the initial steps of an investigation and begin to heal.”

You can read more about SACA here.

swag graffitiHere is my annual slideshow of select swag (OK, promotional items) provided by exhibitors at the Bar Convention.

A caveat: This is not all there is. What is shown here is an extremely subjective, personal selection made by me. I tend not to pick up pens (they’re nice, but meh).

Thanks again to the exhibitors for helping make the Convention more affordable.

Let’s get schwaggy.

 

 

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