December 2014


The President's recent Executive Order on immigration may provide more questions than answers for immigration attorneys ... and their clients.

The President’s recent Executive Order on immigration may provide more questions than answers for immigration attorneys … and their clients.

Recently, I have mentioned some efforts by the State Bar of Arizona to provide guidance in the wake of the President’s Executive Order on immigration. And there will be more news on that front later this week (maybe even tomorrow).

In the meantime, I’m pleased to say that there is so much on offer that I entirely missed a 1.5-hour seminar on the topic offered by the CLE Department (and yes, it’s still available online).

Titled (no surprise), The President’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions,” it is led by three attorneys as faculty: Ayensa Millan, Alma Montes de Oca, and Ruben Reyes.

Topics include:

  • Enforcement Priorities
  • Deferred Action for Parents (DAP)
  • Expansion of DACA
  • New U/T Visas
  • 601a Waivers
  • Parole in Place
  • Visa Modernization

The seminar is available here.

Tucson attorney Ann Haralambie (photo by Chris Hinkle)

Tucson attorney Ann Haralambie (photo by Chris Hinkle)

A brief item on this Change of Venue Friday, one that congratulates an Arizona lawyer and that highlights a legal matter that is little noted.

Tucson attorney Ann Haralambie practices in child welfare and custody. That, paired with her experience as a former chair of the ABA Family Law Section’s Juvenile Law and Needs of Children Committee, made her an ideal person to quote in regard to the issue of “re-homing” adopted children: the re-placement of children from their adopted home into another situation.

As the ABA Journal story notes, those new placements may be with complete strangers and have been known to subject the children to abuse. Writes Leslie A. Gordon, “Often those re-homed children report gruesome tales of physical, sexual or emotional abuse by their new guardians.”

You can read the complete article here.

The piece explores the contrasting views of how such a problem should be resolved—and even how widespread the problem is. Should re-homing (outside the auspices of a court or agency) be criminalized? Or could that cause more problems than it solves? And should responses come from state legislatures, or from the U.S. Congress?

Well done on a concise, timely and thought-loaded article. Have a wonderful weekend.

November 2013 coverToday, I share some good news about the State Bar—and Arizona Attorney Magazine. It involves the Bar’s recognition with the prestigious Award of Excellence in Education from the Arizona Society of Association Executives.

Back in November 2013, you may recall we published the results of an attorney survey that examined Arizona lawyers’ experience with violence in the profession. You can read the story by attorney Stephen Kelson here.

That story was being developed and drafted soon after the horrific murder of attorney Mark Hummels and his client at the hands of an angry man. I wrote about it here.

Following the crimes, the Bar launched a webcast on violence in the legal profession that garnered a national audience.

The Bar’s CEO/Executive Director John Phelps also wrote an op-ed on the topic in the Arizona Republic.

Below you can read the press release about the recent award recognizing all the Bar’s efforts. Please let me know how we should continue to advance the dialogue in the magazine.

Mark Hummels

Mark Hummels

“The State Bar of Arizona won the Award of Excellence in Education from the Arizona Society of Association Executives (AzSAE) and will be recognized at the organization’s 50th anniversary gala in December. Each year AzSAE recognizes outstanding programs and projects implemented by associations in Arizona.”

“The State Bar of Arizona was recognized for its “Violence Against Lawyers Education Project,” which transformed the unfortunate shooting death of an attorney into an evaluation and education initiative. The initiative, which surveyed members and ignited dialogue, resulted in two educational components: a 75-minute live webcast with more than 1,000 viewers nationwide and an in-depth article Arizona Attorney magazine regarding violence against attorneys.”

“According to the AzSAE, winning entries are showcased at the AzSAE Annual Awards Celebration and serve as inspiration to other associations.”

John Phelps headshot

John Phelps

“Commenting on the award, State Bar CEO John Phelps said, ‘This award is the result of teamwork and a commitment to excellence by State Bar staff and volunteers. It reflects what we do, day in and day out, in our service to the public and our members.’”

“The AzSAE Annual Awards were held on Dec. 3, 2014, at the Embassy Suites Phoenix-Scottsdale.”

David Bodney, of Ballard Spahr, chairs the upcoming ABA Forum on Communications Law

David Bodney, of Ballard Spahr, chairs the upcoming ABA Forum on Communications Law

One thing that always draws me in to speakers and conferences is their occasional attempt to offer some hands-on learning.

That is one of the pluses I spotted in the upcoming ABA Forum on Communications Law. The 20th annual conference will be held February 5-7, 2015, at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.

Besides that interactivity, I also was pleased to see Arizona’s own David Bodney is the conference chair. Whether you’re a lawyer or a journalist (or both), you know David is a national leader on the topic of media and communications law.

Back to that interactivity.

Among other things, the conference will include a one-day “Media Advocacy Workshop” on February 5. I understand that in the hands-on advocacy training, participants in small groups will focus on media-law problems and will:

  • Argue a motion to quash a subpoena to a blogger in a civil case based on the First Amendment
  • Argue a summary judgment motion involving an invasion of privacy claim based on a leaked sex video and a defamation claim based on comments by an anonymous blog poster
  • Review a television story and related social media promotions based on public records and confidential sources

This is relevant, timely stuff, which would benefit attorneys and maybe even journalists.

Another highlight is the keynote speaker, Mary Beth Tinker, a plaintiff from the landmark students’ rights case Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District, which involved the freedom of speech.

You can view the conference brochure here.

Early conference registration is December 15; the deadline to register for the Workshop is January 30, 2015.

I plan to attend parts of the conference (and hopefully the workshop too). I’ll let you know how the hands-on learning goes.

A new pro bono program will offer lawyers the opportunity to brief and argue cases at the Arizona Court of Appeals.

A new pro bono program will offer lawyers the opportunity to brief and argue cases at the Arizona Court of Appeals.

A brand-new program launches this week at the Arizona Court of Appeals through which attorneys may be approved to brief and argue appellate cases on behalf of self-represented litigants. If you’ve had a hankering to stand and deliver at the CoA, this may be your opportunity.

As the court says, “Attorneys interested in arguing a case at the Court of Appeals are being recruited as volunteers for this pro bono program.” To be considered, the court requires you to contact one of the designated lawyer–coordinators, who will be developing lists of counsel for both Division One and Division Two of the Court of Appeals.

The administrative order creating the program is here.

Here are the attorney–coordinator contacts:

Division One Pro Bono Attorney Coordinator:

Kimberly A. Demarchi, Esq.

Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP

201 East Washington Street, Suite 1200

Phoenix, AZ  85004

(602) 262-5728 or KDemarchi@LRRLaw.com

Division Two Pro Bono Attorney Coordinator:

Andrew M. Jacobs, Esq.

Snell & Wilmer LLP

One South Church Avenue, Suite 1500

Tucson, AZ  85701-1630

(520) 882-1207 or AJacobs@SWLaw.com

As the court has indicated, “Attorneys who want to volunteer for the program are encouraged to contact the coordinator nearest to them. The coordinators are not accepting requests from pro se litigants; they only will coordinate counsel for specific cases referred to them by the Court of Appeals.”

In the coming weeks, I aim to speak directly with some of those most involved in this novel program, including Division One Presiding Judge Diane Johnsen and Judge Sam Thumma, as well as the lawyer–coordinators, Kim Demarchi and Andrew Jacobs.

Until then, you can click here to read:

Arizona Court of Appeals logoAnd here is more information from the court:

“The Arizona Court of Appeals today launches a new program that seeks to improve access to justice for self-represented litigants while also creating opportunities for attorneys to brief and argue cases in the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals will identify specific civil cases in which one or more parties are self-represented and offer the litigant(s) in those cases an opportunity to be paired with a volunteer lawyer.

“The Court of Appeals expects to select cases for the new program that are complex, cases that involve a new issue of law, or cases that require specialized legal research. The Court will select cases that fit these criteria and refer them to one of two volunteer attorney coordinators. The coordinators will work to find a volunteer lawyer to serve as counsel for the unrepresented party.

“‘This program will directly benefit the litigant, but it will also benefit our court in that we will receive briefs and hear arguments that have been prepared by trained lawyers,’ Court of Appeals Division One Presiding Judge Diane Johnsen said. ‘It will also give young lawyers, or attorneys who rarely argue cases on appeal, a chance to have oral argument at the court.’

“‘It is important to distinguish this program from other pro bono programs. The assessment of which civil cases qualify for the program will be conducted exclusively by the court. The court will not be accepting motions for the appointment of counsel from civil pro se litigants, nor will the court be accepting motions for a particular case to be included in the program,’ Division Two Presiding Judge Peter Eckerstrom said. ‘We aren’t forcing the unrepresented party to work with a volunteer attorney. The person involved in the case has final say, but we think they will welcome the free legal help.’

“Judges Eckerstrom and Johnsen are hoping that attorneys will welcome the chance to offer their services for free because they will get to brief a case and participate in an oral argument at the Court of Appeals while providing representation to a pro se party.

“The program is modeled after a similar program at the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Presiding Judge Johnsen said that Judge Samuel Thumma developed the program for the state court of appeals.

“‘This program meshes nicely with the statewide goal of increasing access to justice for self-represented parties,’ Division One Judge Thumma said. ‘The crucial step now is to recruit attorneys who would be willing to help advance this program.’

“Arizona’s Court of Appeals is divided into two divisions. Division One is based in Phoenix and serves the counties of Apache, Coconino, La Paz, Navajo, Maricopa, Mohave, Yavapai and Yuma. Division Two hears appeals from Cochise, Gila, Greenlee, Graham, Pima, Pinal and Santa Cruz Counties. Both divisions will be participating in the program.”

stress-word-blur-cloud

Law practice is a stress-prone profession. We know this through research and experience. But what can be done when we—or our colleagues—are responding to the stress in damaging ways?

As much as we might like to see stress in law practice simply evaporate, that is unlikely to happen. And it is stress and its multiple outcomes that make a State Bar seminar this Friday worth considering.

The title is “Protecting Your Practice: Ethically Dealing with the Impaired Lawyer,” and you can get more information (and register) here. As you’ll see, the panel of experts will examine how you can address—and maybe help—a colleague who is exhibiting warning signs of impairment.

The seminar will be held on this Friday morning, December 12. Because you’re likely busy, I’ll lighten your stress level by copying in here the seminar description:

“With the demands and stresses of the profession increasing every day, lawyers have an increased risk of suffering from mental illness and substance abuse. If you encounter an impaired lawyer, what should you do? This program will teach you:

  • The warning signs of alcohol or substance abuse, mental health and stress-related issues
  • The ethical duties under ER 8.3 to report
  • Employment issues including HIPAA and ADA requirements
  • How to handle a client of an impaired lawyer
  • Guidelines for policies, procedures and practical advice

“Don’t wait for a crisis, learn how to avoid one.”

State Bar of Arizona SBA_Logo_ColorFaculty

  • Chair: James P. O’Sullivan, Tiffany & Bosco, PA
  • Chair: Roberta L. Tepper, Esq., Lawyer Assistance Programs Director, State Bar of Arizona
  • Nancy Greenlee, Esq.
  • Denise M. Blommel, Denise M. Blommel, PLLC
  • Christine Colwell, Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP
  • Dr. Dan Gross, Sovereign Health of Phoenix

So, how do we even know these are important and life-threatening issues? You told us, in the State’s Bar’s most recent member survey. (You can read the results here, in “Stress, Ethics, Professionalism Top Attorney Concerns.”)

And in our November 2012 story about that year’s member survey, even as members exhibited some optimism about the profession, research still described problematic aspects that face attorneys, among them depression, substance abuse and career dissatisfaction.

Later in the same issue, we shared candid remarks from attorneys, many of whom find the practice’s challenges—including law school debt—debilitating.

And don’t even take your colleagues’ word for it. In a 2013 issue, Dr. Martin Blinder explained many of those challenges in his article “Psychic Trauma, Emotional Burnout and the Practice of Law.”

A tip of the hat to Friday’s panelists, who aim to be part of the solution.

New York City Deputy Police Commissioner John A. Leach (at right in the jaunty straw hat) watches agents pour liquor into a sewer following a raid during the height of prohibition in an undated photo held by the Library of Congress. (REUTERS)

New York City Deputy Police Commissioner John A. Leach (at right in the jaunty straw hat) watches agents pour liquor into a sewer following a raid during the height of prohibition in an undated photo held by the Library of Congress. (REUTERS)

Eighty-one years ago today, a constitutional amendment ended America’s experiment in helicopter parenting, when Prohibition came to a tee-totaling halt with the passage of the 21st Amendment.

I leave you to read more about the foolhardy attempt to get the country to go dry. And you may have noticed that some watering holes in Arizona are seeking to capitalize on the anniversary of the 18th Amendment’s repeal.

Here is one example from downtown Phoenix:

18th Amendment Prohibition repeal Bitter Twisted

I’m not sure if people like the drinks more, or simply the nostalgia for old-timey black & white photos.

In any case, wherever you may pull up a stool, with an alcoholic beverage or something decidely more sober, have a toast-worthy weekend.

Judges of CLEO Hall of Fame logoCongratulations to three esteemed Arizona legal leaders, each recognized for their outstanding work as judges.

Judges Maurice Portley (Ariz. Court of Appeals), Carol Scott Berry (Phoenix Municipal Court), and Margarita Bernal (formerly of the Tucson Municipal Court) have been named to the “Judges of CLEO” Hall of Fame by the Council on Legal Education Opportunity.

All of the honorees are online here.

Here is more information from CLEO, and well done to Arizona’s judges.

“For more than 45 years, the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) has worked to make the law a more diverse profession by expanding opportunities for underrepresented persons to pursue a legal career.”

“This virtual ‘Judges of CLEO’ Hall of Fame recognizes the outstanding careers and accomplishments of some of our CLEO alumni who have made it to the highest levels of the profession, and are some of the nation’s most distinguished current and former members of the judiciary.”

Filmstock Film Festival logoMaybe it’s the artist in all of us, or perhaps many attorneys hear from artist friends with legal questions—whatever the case, I’ve heard positive murmurs when I report out about attorney Stephen Nebgen’s workshops, aimed to assist on artist-related topics.

More on his next workshop in a moment. But first, let me mention that he will be a panelist on a symposium focused on “Breaking in and Staying in The Business” at the Filmstock Film Festival:

“Filmstock is a short-film festival that stretches over four cities: Albuquerque, New Mexico in September; Denver, Colorado in October; Salt Lake City, Utah in November; and Tempe, Arizona in December. Each festival event has its own unique official selections, programming and venues, but films that win awards at any one of these events are eligible to be screened at the other three, garnering more regional exposure to short films than any other festival.”

This is a festival that includes more than 40 short films, a live actor’s showcase, plus other opportunities to meet the filmmakers and industry pros.

More Festival info is here.

Curious about the Festival? (You know you are.) Here’s a trailer:

As Stephen says of his panel, “It’s free and the various panelists will be discussing many important aspects of getting a toehold in the industry—and then staying there!”

Stephen Wade Nebgen

Stephen Wade Nebgen

When: Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, 1:00 p.m.

Where: Harkins Valley Art, 509 S. Mill Ave., Tempe 85281

Parking: 117 E. 5th St., Tempe (validated at Filmstock Arizona)

So that’s Saturday. And then the second in his series of Entertainment Law Workshops will be held next Wednesday, December 10, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Collins College – 14th Street Studios, 1425 W. 14th Street in Tempe. Stephen’s first workshop was on copyright (I mentioned it here); this next workshop focuses on trademark law.

(Subsequent workshops will be held on the second Wednesday of every month.)

The workshop cost is $50, but it’s $35 if you are a member of any arts organization, or $25 if you are a student. RSVP: (480) 463-3055

See you at the movies.

On Nov. 21, 2014, volunteer attorneys answered almost 400 calls from Arizona consumers regarding immigration and the November 20 presidential executive order on the topic.

On Nov. 21, 2014, volunteer attorneys answered almost 400 calls from Arizona consumers regarding immigration and the November 20 presidential executive order on the topic.

Talk about timely: One day after historic action was taken by President Barack Obama on the topic of immigration, the State Bar of Arizona fielded a call-in program to address the inevitable questions that would arise.

As Alberto Rodriguez reports:

The State Bar of Arizona and Univision 33 hosted a special edition of Abogados a Su Lado (attorneys on your side) public service program on Friday, November 21. In response to the executive order issued by President Obama on Thursday, November 20, both the Bar and Univision organized a phone bank that would help clarify consumers’ questions regarding immigration law, as well as inform them of the initial details regarding the President’s executive order. The following is a recap of the program.

Nine attorneys volunteered their time and knowledge from 5:00 pm until 10:30 pm:

  • Emilia Banuelos, Banuelos Law Office
  • Tony Colon, Colon & Associates
  • Seth B. Draper, Salvatierra Law Group
  • Mark Egan, Gunderson Denton & Peterson
  • Magaly Fontes, Law Office of Magaly Fontes
  • Bruno Gitnacht, Law Office of Bruno Gitnacht
  • Ray Ybarra Maldonado, Law Office of Ray Ybarra Maldonado
  • Christina Ortecho, Ortecho Law
  • Matthew Thomas, Thomas Law Firm

The attorneys answered an astounding 385 calls regarding the President’s executive order and immigration law. This special edition phone bank was extended and offered during a five-and-a-half-hour time period.

Sample consumer questions:

  • When will the details be released? When and how do I apply for deferred action?
  • What are the specific details regarding the tax returns?
  • Does this cancel removal/voluntary departure procedures?
  • I got a DUI in the past, does this count as criminal activity?
  • How do I prepare? What documents do I need to provide?
  • I am already in the process of applying for citizenship, does this affect me?

All volunteers were satisfied with the quality of the questions overall and were excited to have participated in this special edition of Abogados a Su Lado public service program.

We thank Univision 33 for their continued partnership in providing this valuable “Access to Justice” program for the Spanish-speaking community.

« Previous PageNext Page »