September 2014


electionsToday, I share some information from the State Bar of Arizona. They have devised a smart and witty way to remind you about ALL the races that can be found on our ballots, and the vital importance of completing that ballot all the way to the end. Here you go:

The November election is just weeks away and soon your friends and family will be asking you the same question they ask every election: How should they vote the judges on the ballot? We want to help, so this election we’ve come up with a way for you to answer that question.

Watch our Finish the Ballot video below:

That’s it.

Send them the Youtube link and the two-minute cartoon will answer their questions. It explains why we vote for judges, and where to find the information to make that vote.

finish_the_ballot_laptop

In fact, it’s something you should send to all your friends whether they ask or not (hey, maybe even you should watch it). Retention elections are an important part of the merit selection process. The more you help you friends and family understand the process, the better it works.

We also have a fun way to promote our Finish the Ballot campaign. Click here to read more about a chance to win $250 in our Instagram “Finish the Ballot” contest. (The page even includes a sample video.)

finish_the_ballot_instagram contest header

Dick Segal when a student at North Phoenix High School

Dick Segal when a student at North Phoenix High School

Recalling attorneys who have done great things for the community is always a pleasure, and that is what took me to an event back on September 10. In the old Phoenix courthouse, fellow leaders from the Phoenix Community Alliance gathered to remember the achievements of Richard Segal.

He had died suddenly on April 18. (I noted his passing here. And read his obituary here.)

Among other things, Segal was the longtime managing partner of Gust Rosenfeld and former State Bar President. In a historic conference room, though, in an event deftly led by PCA President Don Keuth, folks mainly recalled Dick as a founding officer of the PCA.

Marty Shultz recalls Dick Segal, Sept. 10, 2014.

Marty Shultz recalls Dick Segal, Sept. 10, 2014.

Marty Shultz reminded listeners of Segal’s calm in the face of chaos. He would routinely “pipe in with a soft voice with the most useful solutions to problems.”

Terry Goddard praised the organization and the man.

Terry Goddard recalls Dick Segal, Sept. 10, 2014.

Terry Goddard recalls Dick Segal, Sept. 10, 2014.

“PCA’s formation as a triumph of hope over reality,” he said. “Quietly, competently, he kept PCA on track, on mission.”

Hon. Glenn Davis (ret.)  recalls Dick Segal, Sept. 10, 2014.

Hon. Glenn Davis (ret.) recalls Dick Segal, Sept. 10, 2014.

Retired Judge Glenn Davis praised Segal’s support for the Maricopa County Justice Museum & Learning Center, which shared a floor with the conference room. He urged attendees to view the Legal Hall of Fame display next door, which included Segal, “a lawyer’s lawyer.”

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton recalls Dick Segal, Sept. 10, 2014.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton recalls Dick Segal, Sept. 10, 2014.

The current Phoenix Mayor, Greg Stanton, estimated that Dick Segal had worked with 13 mayors, “always prodding them toward excellence.”

Dick Segal

Dick Segal

“Dick knew that positive change wasn’t a spectator sport,” Stanton continued. “He was present, always there.”

Mayor Stanton told those assembled that the accumulated value of the legal time given pro bono by Dick and his firm “must run into the 10s of millions of dollars.”

The Mayor also noted that Dick was instrumental in launching the Downtown Phoenix Partnership and in bringing an office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation to Arizona. He also helped in creating the Human Services Campus near downtown.

“Our city needs more Dick Segals,” the Mayor concluded.

For more information on the gathering and the man, read the Downtown Devil article.

And if you have not visited the Museum, head over there soon. Here are a few images (click to enlarge).

Society of Professional Journalists logoThis next item is a little market-y. Let me state that up front.

But if any of you have marketing and communications professionals in your firm or office (or if you do that work yourself), consider stopping by ASU SkySong tomorrow morning.

That’s where you’ll get to: (1) hear directly from news professionals across multiple media, (2) pitch your story (if you’d like), targeting your idea/story to the channels and niches that best serve your goals, and (3) have coffee with me.

OK, that last one may not be a big draw. But this is about my third year participating in the Society of Professional Journalists event, and it’s terrific. It includes some great panel discussions, followed by speed-pitching. Communications pros are there pitching ideas to TV, radio, newspapers, and even us monthly magazine folks.

Here’s a poster:

SPJ Publicity Summit 2014 pubsum14updated

Over the years, I’ve heard quite a few great pitches. But the great part about it is the speed-dating quality. A few minutes’ investment gets you some feedback, at least, and maybe a bite on the line.

More information is here and here. (Pre-registration may be closed by the time you read this, but there will likely be availability at the door.)

The location, again, is 1475 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale (2nd floor of SkySong 1 building, the NE building of the complex).

And because I know you’re curious, here is the latest list of journalists who will be there:

“JOURNALISTS SIGNED UP TO ATTEND INCLUDE: Kathy Tulumello, business editor, Arizona Republic; Nicole Crites, morning anchor, KPHO-TV (CBS5); Eric Watson, assignment editor, KPNX-TV (12 News); Al Macias, managing editor and Carrie Jung, reporter, KJZZ-FM;  Paul Ihander, news director/assistant program director, Bonneville Media-Phoenix (KTAR-FM/KTAR-AM); Melody Birkett, news director, KFYI-AM; Ilana Lowery, editor, and Hayley Ringle, technology/startups reporter, Phoenix Business Journal; Jennifer Jones, managing editor, Local News Service (CBS5, Fox10, ABC15); Heather Dunn, content director, Cronkite News Service; Sue Doerfler, deals reporter, Arizona Republic; Laurie Merrill, digital business reporter and former public safety reporter, Arizona Republic; Eric Mungenast, assistant managing editor, East Valley Tribune; Marie Look, editor-in-chief, Scottsdale MagazineCory Galvan, content editor, Frontdoors; Amanda Ventura, associate editor, AZ Big Media; Tim Eigo, editor, Arizona Attorney magazine; Kate Crowley, contributing blogger, “Chow Bella,” Phoenix New Times; RaeAnne Marsh, editor, In Business Phoenix Magazine; Teri Carnicelli, editor, North Central News; T. F. Thornton, North Valley news editor, Independent Newsmedia Inc. USA; Sondra Barr, managing editor, North Valley Magazine/East Valley Magazine; Debra Utacia Krol, freelancer specializing in environmental reporting, issues involving Indian country and travel writing; Tom Gibbons, editor, Talk of Arizona online quarterly, Kristy Durkin, blogger, whereshouldweeat.com, Michelle Jacoby, editor-in-chief/publisher of the soon-to-debut (October) dining/libations quarterly, Bite (the Magazine).… ”

In what has become an annual tradition, on Wednesday, the Arizona Women Lawyers Association hosted a debate of the candidates for Arizona Attorney General. Held at the University Club in Phoenix, it featured a packed-to-the-gills room, candidates committed to their goals, and organizers who were committed to: (1) a value-packed event and (2) getting people out on time.

Organizers succeeded on both counts. The candidates? Well, attendees may each have had their own favorites.

AWLA Arizona Women Lawyers Association logoThe format was composed of 10-minute candidate statements, followed by 10-minute rebuttals, and finally audience question. The candidates are Republican Mark Brnovich and Democrat Felecia Rotellini.

Rather than give a blow-by-blow, let me share a few of the candidates’ main points.

Mark Brnovich speaks at the debate of Arizona Attorney General candidates at a forum sponsored by the Arizona Women Lawyers Association, Sept. 24, 2014.

Mark Brnovich speaks at the debate of Arizona Attorney General candidates at a forum sponsored by the Arizona Women Lawyers Association, Sept. 24, 2014.

Brnovich:

“We as a society cannot tolerate when our most vulnerable are unprotected.”

“I am fully ready to push back against the Obama administration and its job-killing carbon regulations, which have a devastating impact on the economy and jobs.”

“He is such a fiscal conservative, he won’t even buy vowels for his last name.” (quoting Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery)

Felecia Rotellini speaks at the debate of Arizona Attorney General candidates at a forum sponsored by the Arizona Women Lawyers Association, Sept. 24, 2014.

Felecia Rotellini speaks at the debate of Arizona Attorney General candidates at a forum sponsored by the Arizona Women Lawyers Association, Sept. 24, 2014.

Rotellini:

“I want to return the Attorney General’s Office to its core mission; it should be an independent watchdog for the people. I worked to be sure mortgage fraud was made a criminal act.”

“I will take politics out of the office. When you’re in the trenches, you’re colorblind. There’s no red; there’s no blue.”

“It is important that the Attorney General not be an ideologue, and that the elected official appreciates the awesome power of the office.”

On rebuttal, the candidates became considerably more impassioned. In response to Rotellini comments, Brnovich told the audience that he is not an ideologue or an extremist.

Rotellini countered by discussing her opponent’s positions on pro-choice issues, SB1062, the Corrections Corporation of America, and Medicaid restoration, among other topics. She also mentioned the $700,000 in “dark money,” which she claims came from the Koch Brothers, which was spent in the primary in a successful effort to defeat incumbent Tom Horne.

Audience questions covered sex trafficking, same-sex marriage laws, lawsuits regarding federal mandates, and what changes each would make in the ranks of career prosecutors in the Attorney General’s Office.

Both candidates urged attendees to view all their positions on their respective websites:

Judge George Anagnost moderates the We the People panel, Sept. 17, 2014. He gestures toward panelists Bob McWhirter and Doug Cole.

Judge George Anagnost moderates the We the People panel, Sept. 17, 2014. He gestures toward panelists Bob McWhirter and Doug Cole.

Last week, I attended the annual “We the People” CLE program, which gathers smart folks and lets them loose on the most recent High Court Term. The follow-up was complete and often enlightening.

Paul Bender, Doug Cole and Bob McWhirter offered insightful and often humorous takes on a wide variety of the cases taken by SCOTUS. Led by moderator Judge George Anagnost, they were a formidable intellectual team.

(I appreciated Professor Bender’s unintended error when he misquoted the opening words for the Court’s day: “God save the United States from this honorable Court.” Who doesn’t agree with that occasionally?)

And yet I continue to wonder about the marrying of content with the panelists who discuss it. I have covered this topic—diversity—before, and so let me mention it again.

As always, the cases explored by the panel touch on nearly all areas of human experience. But, as an example, how would the treatment of even one case—Hobby Lobby—have varied had there been even one woman scholar on the panel? Some closely held businesses apparently are untroubled by any medical product or procedure save one—and that one affects women most of all. Would a woman scholar’s view have offered a different, compelling vision?

Of course, I do not believe that all women—or all of anyone—think the same way about legal topics. But, conservative, liberal or in between, a woman panelist may have taken more than an academic interest in the issue.

Professor Paul Bender, seated, at the We the People panel, Sept. 17, 2014.

Professor Paul Bender, seated, at the We the People panel, Sept. 17, 2014.

The same is true of the Shelby case regarding the Voting Rights Act, or the Schuette case regarding affirmative action, or the McCullen case regarding abortion-clinic buffer zones, all ably examined. A mandatory number of African American scholars, or women, per panel is not what I’d expect. But their complete absence is surprising. (Imagine attendees’ surprise if they walked in and saw an all-woman panel, or an all-Black panel. THAT would be news!)

Adding to the oddity of the absence of diversity was the extended discussion on that very topic by the panel. Professor Bender, for example, took pains to note that all of the current Supreme Court Justices have had professional lives as professional judges, rather than some form of law practice (except for Justice Kagan). And he and others noted that the Court may be diverse in some ways, but not in socio-economics, or geography, or even religion (currently, the Court has no Protestants, six Catholics and three Jews).

An attendee could be excused for feeling some disconnect, sympathetic to the desire to see a diverse bench, while at the same time looking around the very room in which we sat …

Bob McWhirter presents at the We the People panel, Sept. 17, 2014.

Bob McWhirter presents at the We the People panel, Sept. 17, 2014.

Again, and in advance of the usual commenters who will say this is window-dressing (or worse): This is about excellent legal education, and a topic on which the State Bar of Arizona has pledged its focus. I found the discussion to be first-rate, but how can we know all of the excellent diverse commentary we are missing? A consistent absence of diverse voices on legal topics that disproportionately affect those very voices is odd, at best. And it makes you wonder if you are getting a full and complete examination of the issues underlying a Supreme Court docket.

That, after all, is what is promised.

OK, have at it in the comment box below.

Legal Marketing Association logoThis Friday, I have the pleasure of moderating a great annual event: a panel of corporate counsel at a lunchtime gathering of the Southwest chapter of the Legal Marketing Association.

Before I get to the meat of the matter, be sure to read and register here (the speaker names are at this end of this post).

And now, 3 reasons you should be there on Friday:

1. Your question could be asked.

That’s right. I am seeking (here and via Twitter) great questions to put to attorneys who are in-house counsel at companies and nonprofits. What do you want to know about their work life? Curious how to get hired, in-house or as outside counsel? Secretly yearn to know how not to get fired in either of those two roles? Send me your question(s) to arizona.attorney@azbar.org (or tweet it to me @azatty).

2. These people are canaries.

No, I am not insulting them with a bird reference. I merely analogize them to the proverbial canary in a coal mine. There, the little birds could spot trouble before humans could—and communicated it in a disconcerting way.

AzAt 2011 GC panel headline corporate counsel legal marketing associationCorporate counsel are likewise on the leading edge—of the legal profession’s economy. As purchasers of outside legal services, they are extremely well informed about the state of things. As a result, they hire more, hire less, and examine bills with a fine-tooth comb (or whatever the opposite of that is). They also can gauge our profession by the number of others gunning for their positions. So if you’re looking for guidance on how the legal profession is emerging (or not) from a bad recession, listening to a corporate counsel is a pretty good strategy.

3. They may talk about you.

Well, OK, not exactly you. But I have asked the panelists to consider some anecdotes (omitting names, of course) that explore some of the great things outside counsel have done. But I also asked for their cautionary tales, those that arise out of law firm fails. Nervous-making and exciting all at once, right? That’s our goal.

So, once more with the registration link. I hope to see you there.

And here are the great speakers on tap:

Panelists:

  • Karim Adatia – Insight, Associate General Counsel & Director, Legal (Global Sales, Corporate and IP)
  • Steve Beaver – Aspect, Senior Vice President & General Counsel
  • Lukas Grabiec – Microchip Technology Inc., Senior Corporate Counsel
  • Carmen Neuberger – Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs and General Counsel

State Bar of Arizona Bar Leadership Institute banner

Remember how I urged you and your talented lawyer friends to apply for the next class of the Bar Leadership Institute?

If you did—and prevailed—this post may be all about congratulating you.

Here is what the State Bar recently announced regarding the new class. Congratulations to you—or your successful colleagues.

Sixteen diverse attorneys from across the state have been selected to participate in the State Bar of Arizona’s 2014-15 Bar Leadership Institute (BLI).

For the eighth year in a row, the BLI will provide its participants with a nine-month leadership program that will foster their professional growth and enhance their leadership skills.

2014-15 Participants:

  • Jazmin Alagha, Law Office of Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado PLC
  • Rebekah Bell, Beauchamp Law Office PC
  • Yusra Bokhari, Arizona Attorney General’s Office
  • Joel Chorny, Pima County Legal Defender’s Office
  • Jennison Cox, Microchip Technology Inc.
  • J. Daryl Dorsey, American Airlines
  • Dominic Gomez, Salt River Pima–Maricopa Indian Community
  • John Gray, Perkins Coie LLP
  • Danielle Harris, Executive Hearing Office – ADOT
  • Claudia Lopez, Alcock & Associates PC
  • Magdalena Osborn, Rusing Lopez & Lizardi PLLC
  • Afshan Peimani, Titla & Parsi PLLC
  • Lizette Rubio, IHC Carrier Solutions
  • Laine Sklar, Town of Marana Legal Department
  • Barry Stratford, Perkins Coie LLP
  • Matei Tarail, Federal Public Defender

State Bar of Arizona SBA_Logo_ColorBar Leadership sessions cover topics ranging from leadership, ethics, and career development to conversations with judges, government attorneys, in-house counsel and executives. Participants can receive up to two years of CLE credit.

The 16 participants were selected based on their legal and non-legal community contributions as well as their statements of interest and qualifications. All participants must be active Bar members in good standing. The participants represent a diverse range of racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious communities, among others.

Upon completion, the BLI participants must commit to a full year of active involvement with the State Bar and/or the community.

For more information on the Bar Leadership Institute, contact Elena Nethers at 602-340-7393.

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