Wednesday, June 11th, 2014


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.

Relax the Back rising (standing) desk, as displayed at the 2014 State Bar Convention.

Relax the Back rising (standing) desk, as displayed at the 2014 State Bar Convention.

This morning, Arizona lawyer Ruth Carter writes in the great Attorney at Work blog about standing desks. In that piece, she gets the positive viewpoints of many lawyers who have experienced them.

Read that here.

And if you’re at the State Bar Convention, stop by Booths 32 and 33 (lower level), where exhibitor Relax the Back displays not just super-comfy work chairs, but also a standing desk. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

And yes, Relax the Back is displaying chairs (lots of 'em!) at Convention this year. Take a load off.

And yes, Relax the Back is displaying chairs (lots of ’em!) at Convention this year. Take a load off.

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 SBA_Logo_ColorGood news: The State Bar of Arizona has launched an app to help you navigate the annual Convention. Well, it’s more of a mobile-friendly web page than an app, but I won’t quibble. It is totes better than flipping through reams of paper as you wander the Westin La Paloma hallways.

You can read more about it here.

Or, even easier: With your cellphone, just navigate to this page. Here are some screen shots of what I found (there’s a lot more than the few I show).

Click to biggify!

State Bar of Arizona Convention app opening page

State Bar of Arizona Convention app choices page

State Bar of Arizona Convention app social networks

State Bar of Arizona Convention app exhibitor map

And just to show you how helpful the site is, I’ve highlighted on the map exactly where the Arizona Attorney booth is located. We’re on the lower level, booth 30, across from the Cyber Café. So after you check your email, stop by to say hi!

App exhibitor map AZAT location