Last week, we got good news from State Bar of Arizona President Joe Kanefield that April has been named Access to Justice Month by Gov. Jan Brewer. Joe, as you probably know, was the governor’s lawyer (before he headed over to his partnership at Ballard Spahr). So we thank the governor, but also recognize the fingerprints of a man whose commitment to access to justice goes back decades.

(Here’s a profile of Joe I wrote last summer.)

And here is the proclamation itself (click to make the pages larger).

State Bar CEO John Phelps made the following announcement to Bar staff:

“As you all know, our mission statement was changed last year to add ‘access to justice.’ And this theme has been the primary focus of our president, Joe Kanefield. We should take pride in the State Bar’s historical commitment and recent re-commitment, under Joe’s leadership, to this important principle—that to make the promise of equal justice under the law a reality, all Arizonans must have access to the system that underwrites that promise.”

In the coming year, we at Arizona Attorney Magazine would like to tell some of the stories of Arizona lawyers who are improving access to justice. Contact me at