June 22, 1944: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs the G.I. Bill of Rights, which offers educational assistance to veterans.

June 22, 1944: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs the G.I. Bill of Rights, which offers educational assistance to veterans.

It was just two weeks ago that I noted the ribbon-cutting for a memorial to the talented Ernest McFarland.

But wait. There’s more.

Tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 28, a new exhibit titled “Ernest McFarland and the G.I. Bill” opens at the Arizona Capitol Museum (11 am sharp).

Here is the news as transmitted from the state:

“Since 1944, more than 19 million service members nationwide have benefit=ted from Senator McFarland’s legislation,” said Secretary of State Michele Reagan. “A veteran of World War I, it was important to McFarland to assist veterans transitioning back into civilian life.”

Ernest McFarland

Ernest McFarland

Ernest McFarland, or “Mac” as he liked to be called, served Arizona as a U.S. Senator (1941-1953), Governor (1955-1959) and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (1965-1971). His impact on Arizona is still being felt today; whether it was fighting for water rights, his tireless work on the G.I. Bill of Rights or the impressive amount of opinions he wrote as an Arizona Supreme Court Justice; McFarland has left a lasting legacy of change and improvement across Arizona.

The McFarland room is the latest addition to the exhibit Arizona: Defense to Development, which explores the impact World War II had on the state.

Want to go? Here is information about the Museum.

Ariz. Chief Justice Scott Bales

Ariz. Chief Justice Scott Bales

Here is some news from Community Legal Services, Phoenix:

On February 6, 2015, Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Scott Bales collaborated with members of the team at Community Legal Services (CLS) to discuss ideas to assist low-income Arizonans’ access to justice. Community Legal Services is a non-profit, civil legal aid program serving low-income persons in Maricopa, Mohave, La Paz, Yavapai and Yuma counties. Of primary consideration were the barriers to equal access to justice, including those litigants face prior to and during court.

This past year, Justice Scott Bales announced the formation of the Access to Justice Commission, headed by Arizona Court of Appeals Judge Lawrence Winthrop. Justice Bales said that there have been significant successes in Arizona’s goal of increased access. This new commission is recognizing current challenges, and it will help to focus and achieve tailored plans for success.

The plight of accessing equal access to justice is an everyday occurrence at Community Legal Services, whose client community have legal problems in several areas of law, including family law, housing, consumer, employment, health and economic stability.

Community Legal Services logoJustice Bales discussed the goals of the Commission with CLS attorneys. Commission members are studying and will make recommendations on innovative ways to promote access to justice for individuals who cannot afford legal counsel and will evaluate best practices within Arizona and other states, identifying possible changes in court rules or practices designed to reduce barriers to access, identify and encourage the adoption of best practices among legal service providers, and consider potential long-term funding options.

This opportunity for Justice Bales to meet with CLS attorney staff was facilitated by Pamela Bridge, CLS Director of Litigation and Advocacy, who stated:

“Community Legal Services is extremely grateful for Chief Justice Bales’ dedication to improving access to justice in Arizona. We are excited to continue to collaborate with Chief Justice Bales and advocates throughout the state in order to work together to find meaningful, practical solutions to barriers to access to justice.”

Phoenix Startup Week logo-page0001

Those of us at our desks this week are clearly doing innovation wrong. That’s all I can conclude as Phoenix Startup Week is kicking off. Time to get our creative on.

Don’t know what the week entails? Here’s a description:

Phoenix Startup Week is a five-day celebration of our community happening February 23-27th 2015. Over 130 free events created by other entrepreneurs to give back and make our community better. Each day will focus on a certain part of the valley:

  • Feb 23 – Downtown Phoenix
  • Feb 24 – Downtown Scottsdale
  • Feb 25 – Tempe
  • Feb 26 – North Scottsdale
  • Feb 27 – Arcadia Biltmore

So my note to you today is already what we call “late.” But there is still time to get out of your box and into someone else’s creative session.

The complete details are here, and you can register here.

They’re on Facebook too.

As a service to all the readers who think that my blog posts must be legal in some way, I provide the following community service. Here is a list of the attorneys who are speaking at Startup week events, and the title of their presentations. I leave it to you to head over to the Internets and locate the time and place of their wow-ishness:

  • Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton: Kickoff
  • Brian Burt, Snell & Wilmer: How To Negotiate Contracts
  • Ruth Carter, Venjuris PC: The Lawyer Is In! Open Q&A on Starting a Business, Contracts, & Social Media Law
  • Joe Chandler, Fennemore Craig PC: Beyond Start-Up: Evolving Legal Challenges as Your Business Grows
  • Michelle Gross, Booth Udall Fuller PLC: Patent Basics for Entrepreneurs
  • Laura Rogal, Jaburg Wilk: You Have An Idea—Now What? Protecting Your IP For Startups

(I apologize in advance if I missed any lawyers in the extensive speaker list. Nobody’s perfect.)

And for some fun, please enjoy this essay titled “5 Reasons Your Lawyerless Startup Is Doomed From the Start” by Raad Ahmed. It’s rip-out-and-save useful.

Finally, you may agree with me that there is more to the entrepreneurial life than the legal side. So if you have a moment, do seek out and attend sessions by the following great people, whom I’ve had the great pleasure to know and learn from personally:

  • Amy Donohue, NetworkingPhoenix, social media workshop coach: Twitter 101 Workshop
  • Park Howell, President of Park&Co: Conjure Your Innate Power as a Storyteller
  • Christina Noble, architect and owner of Contour Architecture: Creative City: How Architecture Impacts Collaboration

Let’s get Started.

Facebook knows its members may die or become incapacitated ... and is now offering solutions.

Facebook knows its members may die or become incapacitated … and is now offering solutions.

The other day I was informed by Linkedin of a friend’s “work anniversary.” That was jarring, as I know she died last spring.

Even more unfortunate, that kind of social media interaction happens quite a bit—and there’s rarely a systemic change that would reduce its occurrence.

For example, for a few years around 2010, Facebook would invite me to “connect with someone you might know.” Fair enough. The selection of options was good, including a lawyer friend whom I had known for years, and even written about in Arizona Attorney Magazine. Sadly, though, she had died the previous year. I tried to alert people whom I thought were closer friends, but they had no leads on who might have access to her social media accounts.

Those were simply more opportunities for social media to remind me of sad times—and to highlight the need for post-death decisions about social media accounts.

That’s why I was glad to see a story that attorney Michael Tucker shared. The article by Geoffrey Fowler is titled “Facebook Heir? Time to Choose Who Manages Your Account When You Die,” and it is a welcome read. It opens:

“You can finally decide what happens to your Facebook account when you die. In a change of heart, the world’s most popular social network will begin allowing its members to designate someone—what they call a ‘legacy contact’—to manage parts of their accounts posthumously. Members can also choose to have their presence deleted entirely.”

Is making this change to your Facebook account something you’ll consider?

See how the ranch and the bench intersected in Sandra Day O'Connor's life at an event Wednesday, Feb. 25.

See how the ranch and the bench intersected in Sandra Day O’Connor’s life at an event Wednesday, Feb. 25.

This Wednesday, a Phoenix event will include an opportunity to see a display of items related to Sandra Day O’Connor’s cowgirl days.

The mixer of the Phoenix Community Alliance will be held at the Irish Cultural Center in Margaret T. Hance Park on Wednesday, Feb. 25, from 4:30 to 6:30. The address is 1106 N Central Ave., Phoenix 85004.

Register here for the free event (a map and parking information are also available).

As organizers say:

“The Irish Cultural Center is also home to the McClelland Irish Library, which resembles a traditional 12th century Norman castle from the Emerald Isle. The library consists of 8,000 books from Irish authors, poets, and genealogical sources.”

On exhibit in the library is “The Cowgirl Who Became a Justice: Sandra Day O’Connor,” an interactive exhibit that shows how the ranch and the bench intersected. It “demonstrates how a cowgirl from a ranch in Arizona became the first female to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States of America.”

I wrote before about the connection between the Irish Cultural Center and Justice O’Connor.

For more about what you’ll see at the exhibit, click here.

Irish Cultural Center, Phoenix

Irish Cultural Center, Phoenix

AZTurboCourt e-filing logoToday I share the following item from the Arizona Supreme Court about their next step in making Arizona an e-filing state. As they say, the automated case system launched on Tuesday in Pima County.

The next generation of court automation has arrived in the Superior Court in Pima County. AZTurboCourt is available for civil case initiation and civil subsequent filing in the Pima County Superior Court beginning February 17, 2015. Opening a civil case and submitting additional materials related to the case used to require a visit to the Clerk of the Superior Court. In-person trips to the Clerk to file a Pima County civil case will be a thing of the past with the launch of AZTurboCourt.

Law offices will need to establish an account in AZTurboCourt before making their first filing. Please be aware that it may take three to four days to set up your payment account. For information on how to register and set up a payment account please go here and click on the “Training Manuals” or “Tutorial Videos” link.

Live and online training classes will be available starting February 9. The training sessions will include step-by-step instructions on launching an account, e-filing a case, attaching documents, and other tips to ensure that an electronic submission is not delayed due to errors.

A training manual and self-paced training videos are available on our website here. There are several differences between the Maricopa County application and the Pima County application, so training is highly encouraged. To sign up for an in-person or WebEx training class, please visit here.

State Bar of Arizona SBA_Logo_ColorNews from the State Bar of Arizona:

The State Bar of Arizona’s Board of Governors is accepting applications from non-lawyers from throughout the state to fill one seat on its Board. The application deadline is Friday, March 6, 2015. Participation of public members is essential to the State Bar’s mission of serving the public and its efforts of making sure the people of Arizona have a strong voice in the legal system.

A total of four public members, who serve three-year terms, sit on the 30-member Board. The Board establishes the vision, mission and policies of the association and ensures that there are sufficient resources for its management and operations.

Applicants for the public member positions may be from any county within Arizona and:

  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Must have resided in Arizona for at least three years
  • May not be an active or inactive member of any bar association
  • May not have, other than as a consumer, a financial interest in the practice of law

Individuals with experience in human resources or finance are especially encouraged to apply.

Members of the Board of Governors attend approximately ten all-day meetings each year. Meetings are usually held on the third Friday of the month at the State Bar’s office in Phoenix. Preparation in advance of the meetings, including review of related materials, is essential. In addition, members attend the Bar’s annual convention in June and a two-day retreat in July. Board members also serve on standing Board committees. Travel and meal expenses are paid for all meetings, but there is no other compensation for service as a Board member.

An application form must be submitted to the State Bar by Friday, March 6, 2015. The form can be found online here or by contacting Nina Benham at (602) 340-7329 or by email at Nina.Benham@staff.azbar.org.

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