November 2014

Idea Lightbulb

Yes, your ideas would be helpful here!

The title “What don’t bar associations know?” is more than just an invitation to easy humor. It is my way of considering how such associations can serve multiple constituencies well.

My day job is putting out a monthly magazine aimed at lawyers. But today’s inquiry is related to a future presentation, one in which solid lessons must be imparted to some folks who lead bars.

This may surprise some of you, but most all of those people are extremely bright. And they also maintain their own practices, so they typically have a good handle on what’s up (and down) in the legal economy.

But still, it’s worth asking. So let me put it this way: Would it be helpful for bar leaders to become adept at topics covered in seminars that promised to teach “10 Things You and Your Bar Should Know About

  • Reaching your younger members
  • What senior members want from your bar
  • Why law practice succession planning matters to your bar
  • Why poor access to justice is your bar’s problem
  • Technology that is transforming law practice
  • Modern challenges facing small firms and solos (and how to support them)
  • Modern challenges facing large law firms (and how to support them)
  • Modern challenges facing your law schools (and how to support them)
  • Modern challenges facing your courts (and how to support them)

I could go on, but you may get the idea. Useful? Yes? No? Maybe?

Even if these topics are OK, what would you add to the list?

What should bar leaders know? Write to me at

Arizona Attorney ideas

Yes, I found the Scrabble tile in the street. The “I” just spoke to me.

Veterans Day 2014 1

Many of you, I expect, are nowhere near a computer today. Instead, you may be out honoring Veterans Day. Here’s hoping.

If you do happen to be scanning the blogosphere today, though, I offer just a few links … to Veterans Day activities.

First, right here in Phoenix is quite a large parade. It starts at 11 am, so get hopping.

Starting at the same time is the Tucson parade.

If you cannot attend either, or simply want something to do afterward, enjoy the detailed coverage that the Arizona Republic lent to the holiday.

And if you never saw it, you really should watch as Linus from the Peanuts recites “In Flanders Fields.”

Finally, here is an excellent video describing the creation and history of the Tomb of the Unknowns in Washington, DC.

Vietnam Memorial DC Veterans Day

Major medical health insurance is now available through the State Bar of Arizona.

Major medical health insurance is now available through the State Bar of Arizona.

Recently, the State Bar of Arizona entered into an agreement with a company that helps members locate and secure health insurance. I’ve heard from many attorneys over the years who are insurance-insecure, so I hope this is a helpful program.

Open enrollment comes on November 15. So take some time now to explore this program and get your questions answered.

Here is more detail on the program:

“This Health Insurance Exchange can help provide members, their employees, and families with comprehensive major medical insurance coverage. The program is brought to you by AHIX, a division of JLBG Health, the largest health insurance provider to associations in the US.”

ahix_blue health insurance azbar“To learn more about the options available to lower your health insurance costs and maintain comprehensive coverage, visit here for an INSTANT online rate or contact JLBG Health at 866.708.6578  for more details, member rates, and a 15-minute phone enrollment.”

Among the multiple features are these:

  • Shop multiple quality carriers like: Blue Cross, Aetna, Assurant, Cigna, Humana and many others.
  • Apply online or over the phone.
  • No medical questions asked.

Read more about it here.

For a set of questions and answers regarding the exchange, click here.

Finally, to get started on or after November 15, go here.


State Bar of Arizona Chief Bar Counsel Maret Vessella interviewed by KPHO reporter Dave Cherry

State Bar of Arizona Chief Bar Counsel Maret Vessella interviewed by KPHO reporter Dave Cherry

If you’re a lawyer, you may not make it a habit to hire other lawyers (but who knows?). However, a recent news story sheds light on the topic. I found it fascinating, and I encourage you to share it with anyone who’s engaged in an attorney search.

In the story, titled “Research lawyers just like you would contractors,” reporter KPHO Dave Cherry interviews Chief Bar Counsel Maret Vessella. She discusses the importance of checking for a lawyer’s discipline history before you retain someone.

So far so good.

But then she relates a story about a lawyer who got into discipline trouble after a client had already retained him. How many of us think about checking whether our attorney is still admitted to practice after he has already done work for us?

Not often, I’m sure. But I can see how it could be vital.

Go here to see the whole video.

Stephen Wade Nebgen

Stephen Wade Nebgen

Stephen Nebgen is at it again—offering information that may be helpful to artists and writers—and the lawyers who serve them.

I wrote about Stephen and his entertainment law mixers before. And next Wednesday, November 12, he holds another in his series of entertainment law workshops. This one will be in downtown Phoenix at MonOrchid Gallery and Studio (214 E. Roosevelt Street, Phoenix 85004).

Here is how Stephen describes the November 12 event:

“These events will be a little different than the seminars that you may have attended in the past. The biggest difference is that there will be a hands-on application of the information presented. For example, the first workshop will address issues of Copyright Law. After discussing the important nuances of Copyright, we will then go through the process of filling out a Copyright Application online.”

The event opens with a 7:00 pm reception, followed by the 7:30 program. The cost is $50 (or less if you’re a student or a member of IFP/Phx).

monOrchid phoenix-arts-collab-logo 6Stephen tells me that the event is aimed more for artists, but he believes attorneys would get a benefit also. And monOrchid shares a building with Songbird Coffee and Tea, so you can’t go wrong.

Follow-up workshops will be held on the second Wednesday of every month.

To RSVP, call (602) 253-0339.

The workshop is presented in collaboration with monOrchid’s own Shade Projects (which is worth its own story entirely!).

University of Arizona Law School

The University of Arizona Law School will be the location of Arizona Supreme Court oral arguments on Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014.

Two fascinating issues will be addressed Thursday, November 6, when the Arizona Supreme Court holds oral arguments during a visit to Tucson. The arguments will occur at the UA James E. Rogers College of Law (1201 E. Speedway Blvd., Ares Auditorium, Room 164), from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.

The Court will hear appellate arguments in two cases (I have stated below the issue for each; for a fuller treatment, click on the cases):

Issue: Do individual legislators have standing to challenge a law simply by alleging that a supermajority was required for its passage?

Issue: Is a criminal defendant precluded from raising an ineffective assistance of counsel claim in a successive post-conviction relief proceeding when, without fault of his own, his prior two court-appointed attorneys failed to file a petition in the two prior post-conviction relief proceedings?

Arizona_Supreme_Court_SealThe travel to Tucson is part of the Court’s statewide public education effort.

As the law school reports:

“This judicial visit is hosted by the William H. Rehnquist Center for the Constitutional Structures of Government at the James E. Rogers College of Law.”

Seating is limited and available to those who have preregistered here.

“Others are welcome on a first-come, first-serve basis as remaining space allows.”

Among the speakers at this week's NAPABA Convention in Scottsdale will be journalist and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas

Among the speakers at this week’s NAPABA Convention in Scottsdale will be journalist and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas

In the November Arizona Attorney Magazine, I shared news about the upcoming convention of NAPABA—the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. As I mentioned, we’re fortunate that the annual event is being held in Arizona.

The convention will be held this week, November 6 to 9 at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale. The keynote speaker on Saturday will be Jose Antonio Vargas, “a journalist, filmmaker, and the founder of Define American, a campaign that seeks to elevate the immigration conversation.” AAABA President Jared Leung says, “Mr. Vargas will share his amazing journey from the Philippines to the U.S., who will inspire and perhaps even challenge our thinking of the current immigration debate and the definition of Americans.”

More information and registration are here.

Meanwhile, I also alert you to a Convention-related event. But note its location!

The free event is titled “Civil Liberties vs. National Security: Policy and Reality of Judicial Review.” (Note: Aside from this free lecture, there are registration fees for the rest of the convention.)

This lecture will not be held at the Convention site. Instead, this compelling presentation will be at the ASU Cronkite journalism school in downtown Phoenix (555 N. Central Ave. Phoenix, AZ, 85004). The presentation will be on November 6, from 8:00 to 9:30 am.

Shayana Kadidal, Senior Managing Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights

Shayana Kadidal, Senior Managing Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights

The speaker is Shayana Kadidal, Senior Managing Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York.

Here is more background from the organizers:

“We are told that the history of civil liberties involves a constant tug of war between two irreconcilable demands: collective security vs. individual rights. Following 9/11, almost all discussions of the excesses of the federal government—detention without charge, torture, and mass surveillance—start from the premise that safety and liberty are in conflict with each other, and must always be ‘balanced’; if we insist on rigorously enforcing Constitutional rights for all, we must also accept becoming marginally less safe. But does eliminating the right of judicial review of detentions, or the right to privacy against government surveillance, really make us safer? Join us for a wide-ranging discussion of these issues with attorney Shayana Kadidal, managing attorney of the Center for Constitutional Rights’ Guantanamo project.

Center for Constitutional Rights CCR logo“Shayana Kadidal is senior managing attorney of the Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative at the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York City. He is a 1994 graduate of Yale Law School and a former law clerk to Judge Kermit Lipez of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. In his twelve years at the Center, he has worked on a number of significant cases arising in the wake of 9/11, including the Center’s challenges to the detention of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay (among them torture victim Mohammed al Qahtani and former CIA ghost detainee Majid Khan), which have twice reached the Supreme Court, and several cases arising out of the post-9/11 domestic immigration sweeps.

“He was also counsel in CCR’s legal challenges to the ‘material support’ statute (Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, decided by the Supreme Court in 2010), to the low rates of black firefighter hiring in New York City, and to the NSA’s warrantless surveillance program. Along with others at the Center, he currently serves as U.S. counsel to WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. On behalf of plaintiffs including Assange, Glenn Greenwald, and other journalists, he led litigation that ultimately resulted in public release of over 550 previously withheld documents during the court-martial of Pvt. Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning.”

This Thursday, November 6, the group Women in eDiscovery meets in Phoenix. data computer board

This Thursday, November 6, the group Women in eDiscovery meets in Phoenix.

I pass on to you a recent announcement regarding eDiscovery. Please feel free to share with others who may have an interest.

The news comes from Lana Schell, co-founder and national Executive Director of Women in eDiscovery.

You can read more about the organization and its mission here. Here’s the announcement:

“The Phoenix Chapter of Women in eDiscovery (WiE) has officially been reactivated as a recognized chapter of WiE.

“The purpose of the chapter is to bring professional women in the legal industry together to provide educational sessions, professional development, networking and philanthropy. That includes attorneys, paralegals, litigation support, eDiscovery, IT, records management, consultants, etc.

Women in eDiscovery banner logo cropped“Encourage them to register on-line for free membership and to attend the meetings to learn about the organization.

“Our chapter email address is also activated. Please add this email address to your ‘safe sender’ list as this will be the address that you will receive future chapter email.

“If you haven’t registered, please go here and select ‘Register with WiE.’ You can select up to 3 chapters; make sure you select Phoenix and agree to the Non-Solicitation Statement.

“Once registered, you will be added to the membership list, ensuring receipt of meeting details and chapter information.”

The first official meeting is scheduled for:

  • Thursday, November 6 at 5:30 pm
  • Location:  Jennings, Strouss & Salmon – One East Washington Street – Suite 1900
  • Food will be provided by: Richo

Read more and RSVP here.

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