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.

 

On Tuesday, after the formal State Bar Board photos, Bar CEO John Phelps invited two leaders to participate in what has become a photographic tradition at Convention: the choo-choo photo.

Here it is.

Leaving the station: Whitney Cunningham, Richard Platt, John Phelps

Leaving the station: Whitney Cunningham, Richard Platt, John Phelps

Who is captured? From left, here is State Bar 2013-14 President Whitney Cunningham, 2014-15 President Richard Platt, and John Phelps.

I presume there is an underlying message about organizational change and a parade of talented leaders, some coming, some going.

But why should I presume? Instead, I’d like to know what you think.

Yes, it’s a caption contest. Tell me how you would title this photo. But, because lawyers, we have rules:

  1. Nothing obscene.
  2. Nothing you wouldn’t share with your mother.

OK, I guess I’m saying the same rule twice. But you get the picture (see what I did there?).

(You need not be a lawyer to submit a caption.)

I will take submissions three ways: posted below (always a risk); tweeted with the hashtags #caption and #azbarcon; or emailed to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

What’s the prize? How about a $20 Starbucks gift card, and the praise and admiration of your legal colleagues (and your mother).

Who’s the judge? I’m the judge. But all complaints will be heard by your mother.

Deadline: 9:00 am, Friday, June 13, 2014.

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.

Whitney Cunningahm presides over his last board meeting as President, June 11, 2014, Tucson. Ariz.

Whitney Cunningahm presides over his last board meeting as President, June 11, 2014, Tucson. Ariz.

Here’s an easy way to start your Convention morning: Enjoy some photos from yesterday’s Board of Governors meeting. (More photos are below.)

And don’t forget that you can participate too. Send me brief stories or story suggestions. Or if you have convention photos, we’d be glad to share them with readers.

And don’t forget to tweet from convention. Use the hashtag #azbarcon.

Questions or suggestions? Reach the Editor, Tim Eigo, on-site at the Westin La Paloma, at 602-908-6991.

State Bar of Arizona Officers, 2014-15: (L to R): Alex Vakula, Bryan Chambers, Richard Platt, Lisa Loo, Geoffrey Trachtenberg

State Bar of Arizona Officers, 2014-15: (L to R): Alex Vakula, Bryan Chambers, Richard Platt, Lisa Loo, Geoffrey Trachtenberg

At its regular annual meeting at the State Bar Convention this afternoon, the State Bar of Arizona Board of Governors confirmed its slate of officers for the coming year. The new roster includes the newest officer, Secretary/Treasurer Geoffrey Trachtenberg, elected today:

  • President: Richard T. Platt
  • President-Elect: Bryan B. Chambers
  • First Vice President: Lisa Loo
  • Second Vice President: Alex Vakula
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Geoffrey Trachtenberg

Following board bylaws, the new slate of officers assume their positions at the close of the annual meeting.

Follow more news via this Convention Daily and on Twitter, hashtag #azbarcon

The new Board of the State Bar of Arizona, June 10, 2014, Westin La Paloma, Tucson

The new Board of the State Bar of Arizona, June 10, 2014, Westin La Paloma, Tucson

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