October 2015


The Tucson City Court is the recipient of a nearly half-million-dollar grant.

The Tucson City Court is the recipient of a nearly half-million-dollar grant.

As we come to the end of October and Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I share some news from the Tucson City Court and the Arizona Supreme Court:

“Tucson City Court this month received a three-year $497,000 Justice for Families grant. The grant is from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women and is the second such grant that Tucson City Court has earned. The grant will be used to continue the specialty domestic violence court program.”

“Judge Wendy Million launched a specialty court to handle domestic violence cases in 2013. Domestic Violence Court is not a separate building, rather it is a program that bundles all serious domestic violence cases on one judge’s calendar. Instead of spreading these cases among several judges, Judge Million hears all of these cases and works with advocacy groups to provide services to victims of domestic violence.”

City of Tucson-logo“‘The idea is to be able to provide a social and community safety net to families and individuals touched by domestic violence,’ Judge Million explained. ‘This new grant allows me to continue having a dedicated domestic violence court. The money will be used to help with extra security in the courtroom and for continuing education programs for judges, court staff, and attorneys who handle these cases. It also funds two victim advocates from Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse who will work at City Court.’”

“According to its website, the Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse is a Tucson-based charitable organization that is the largest provider of domestic abuse prevention services in Southern Arizona. Judge Million said the two victim advocates will float between the court’s protective order office and the courtroom to provide direct aid to victims.”

“The grant will also allow Judge Million to continue doing outreach to the Deaf and hard-of-hearing. National studies have shown that deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals experience a greater incidence of domestic violence, which often goes unreported. Judge Million plans to use some funds to pay for American Sign Language interpreters when domestic violence victims with a hearing impairment need court services.”

Read the entire news release here.

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You know the law ... but how's your practice know-how?

You know the law … but how’s your practice know-how?

Last month, I heard from a lawyer and law professor. He had written an article for publication on the blog of the Washington State Bar Association, and he wondered if I was interested in publishing it too.

I was intrigued—and not just because John Lande and I graduated from the same law school (in different years; we don’t know each other). I was interested because the material could be useful to practicing lawyers.

Let’s begin with the title: Tips For Lawyers Who Want To Get Good Results For Clients And Make Money”

So right off the bat, we see that John knows how to draw readers in.

Here is a little about John:

“At the University of Missouri School of Law, John Lande is the Isidor Loeb Professor Emeritus and former director of the LLM Program in Dispute Resolution. He received his J.D. from Hastings College of Law and Ph.D in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before coming to MU, he was director of the Mediation Program and assistant professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law, where he supervised a child protection mediation clinic.”

John Lande

John Lande

You can read his more complete bio here.

Most important for today’s purposes, he contributes to the Indisputably blog of ADR law professors.

In his post, he examines with some detail multiple areas of law practice. An initial glance may suggest to you that you “already know this stuff.” In fact, most lawyers should have some facility with each of John’s topics (I’d hope!). But a more leisurely read reveals nuggets that would serve attorneys well.

Here are the topic areas he discusses:

  • Understand Your Clients’ Interests
  • Pay Attention to What’s Really Important in Your Cases, Not Just the Law or Winning
  • Recognize the Importance of Emotions–Especially Yours
  • Get to Know Your Counterpart Lawyer
  • Make a Habit of Preparing to Resolve Matters at the Earliest Appropriate Time
  • Be Prepared to Negotiate More than You Might Expect
  • Get Help From Mediators When Needed
  • Be Prepared to Advocate Hard and Smart

You can read John’s complete blog post here.

And he welcomes comments and questions; contact him here: landej@missouri.edu

Nonprofit boards generally don't look like this anymore. But if they did, can you spot the attorney?

Nonprofit boards generally don’t look like this anymore (if they ever did). But if they did, can you spot the attorney?

As far back as I can recall (and that recall gets shorter every day), lawyers have played a valuable role on the boards of nonprofits. They could lend a hand—hopefully not opining beyond their skill-level—while getting better known in the community. Win–win.

It seems to me that as law practice has gotten tougher and more challenge-filled, those attorneys who seek out board positions has decreased. If I’m right, that would be unfortunate, as nonprofit organizations do more and more of the heavy lifting in our society, and they need more and more specialized services. Lawyers can still be of service.

That challenge was in mind when I came across a meeting notice (from the ever-informative Arizona Asian American Bar Association) about a “nonprofit board speed networking event.”

Here’s their description: “Typically it is very hard to just jump on an organization board, but there are hundreds of nonprofits in the Valley seeking innovators and professionals like you to help them build their organizational capacity.”

Foundation for Senior Living FSL-logoSo true, so why not attend the event tomorrow?

Hosted by Polsinelli Law Firm, the event occurs Thursday, October 29, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The special-guest moderator is Tom Egan, President and CEO of the Foundation for Senior Living, who “will share how organizations and board members can build strong partnerships to help grow the organization and your professional skills and network.”

And when event organizers say “speed,” they mean it. Attendees will spend three to five minutes learning about each of the nonprofit’s programs and services. Who knows? You may feel a deep connection that you’ll want to act upon.

Where: Polsinelli Law Firm (at Cityscape in downtown Phoenix), 1 E. Washington St. #1200, Phoenix, AZ 85004

For additional information, email attorney Nicole Ong at nicole.ong@dlapiper.com.

Arizona Supreme Court building

A new Arizona Justice will be appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey. Comments on applicants are due by Nov. 18, 2015.

News from the Arizona Supreme Court:

The Commission on Appellate Court Appointments is asking for public comment on nine candidates for an opening on the Arizona Supreme Court created by the retirement of Justice Rebecca White Berch. The candidates are:

  • Clint D. Bolick, Vice President for Litigation at the Goldwater Institute
  • Michael J. Brown, an Arizona Court of Appeals Judge – Division I
  • Kent E. Cattani, an Arizona Court of Appeals Judge – Division I
  • Daisy J. Flores, of Flores & Clark LLC
  • Andrew W. Gould, an Arizona Court of Appeals Judge – Division I
  • Maurice Portley, an Arizona Court of Appeals Judge – Division I
  • Timothy J. Thomason, a Maricopa County Superior Court Judge
  • Samuel A. Thumma, an Arizona Court of Appeals Judge – Division I
  • Lawrence F. Winthrop, an Arizona Court of Appeals Judge – Division I

The agenda and applications for the office can be viewed online at the Commission’s website.

Arizona_Supreme_Court_SealThe Commission will meet at 8:00 a.m. on November 20, 2015 to hear public comment and interview the candidates. Written comments can be sent to 1501 W. Washington, Suite 221, Phoenix, AZ 85007 or by e-mail to jnc@courts.az.gov. Comments should be received no later than November 18 to be considered. Anonymous comments cannot be considered.

After the interviews the Commission will recommend at least three nominees for the opening to Governor Doug Ducey, who will appoint the new justice.

 

The movement to bring your own device is growing ... and offering workplace challenges. (Infographic via Wikipedia.)

The movement to bring your own device is growing … and offering workplace challenges. (Infographic via Wikipedia.)

Who dislikes BYOD policies? Many folks, I suppose. But in my experience, lawyers and IT pros top the list.

If you’ve ever been tempted to bring your own electronic device to work—rather than the hardware assigned to you—you’re part of the BYOD movement.

But toting your clearly superior technology to the office—and accessing work-related files with it—may cause challenges for your firm or company.

Well, leave it to a few lawyers to set things right. This Wednesday, Jaburg Wilk attorneys Neal Bookspan and Laura Rogal offer a free seminar—in partnership with Apple—that includes tips on “building your own BYOD program in the workplace.”

Laura Rogal - @Lawyer_Girl

Laura Rogal – @Lawyer_Girl

It will be held at the Apple store at the Biltmore (2502 E. Camelback) on Wednesday, October 28, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Neal Bookspan - @BusinessLawGuy

Neal Bookspan – @BusinessLawGuy

And it’s possible—wait for it—that there might be candy available, if we can trust a tweet by Laura Rogal (And if we cannot trust tweets, I’m not sure what the world has become!):

Here is more detail:

Attendees will learn how to establish a BYOD policy, security and device management and ideas to make the user experience great. Immediately following the presentation will be a networking event.

BYOD programs are thriving in companies due to the popularity of personal electronic devices and laptops, including iPhone, iPad and the iOS platform. Implementing a BYOD Program is known to reduce risks and keeps propriety information safe.

To register, send an email to the Apple Biltmore Business Team at BiltmoreBusiness@apple.com.

 

Arizona_Supreme_Court_SealNews from the Arizona Supreme Court:

The Administrative Office of the Courts is pleased to announce the approval of Arizona’s application for funding through the John R. Justice Program. The goal of the JRJ Program is to recruit and retain qualified prosecutors and public defenders by lessening the burden of student loan obligations.

“Acknowledging the need to recruit and retain lawyers who ensure the integrity of our criminal justice system, Congress enacted the John R. Justice Prosecutors and Defenders Incentive Act (42 U.S.C. § 3797cc-21) to encourage qualified attorneys to choose and continue in careers as prosecutors and public defenders. The John R. Justice Program (JRJ), named for the late John Reid, Justice of South Carolina, provides loan repayment assistance for state and federal public defenders and state prosecutors who agree to remain employed as public defenders and prosecutors for at least three years.”

The Bureau of Justice Assistance has authorized a funding allotment of $35,767 to Arizona for this program. The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) is supporting the effort in Arizona by acting as administrator for the JRJ Program. Last year, the AOC awarded JRJ grant funding to 25 public defenders and prosecutors statewide. Fortunately, this year, federal funding availability remained relatively the same as last year; as such, the AOC will strive to award the JRJ grant to similar numbers of public sector attorneys this year.

Prosecutors and public defenders are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to be considered for awards under the JRJ Program. Applications must be postmarked by Friday, October 30, 2015.

Information about eligibility, the application process and required materials can be found on the Arizona Judicial Branch website.

Former Arizona Attorney General will be the keynote speaker at the Jan. 14, 2016, banquet honoring the winners of the Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards.

Former Arizona Attorney General will be the keynote speaker at the Jan. 14, 2016, banquet honoring the winners of the Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards.

You thought you missed it, didn’t you? The deadline for a terrific annual award that recognizes the vital role in-house counsel play in the success of a business.

No need to worry. The deadline for this year’s Arizona Corporate Counsel awards is Monday, October 26. Given your likely wide circle of colleagues to nominate and the blazingly simple nomination form, you won’t even have to break a sweat to offer up a colleague’s name.

Have you met or worked with in-house counsel who impress you with their skills and approach? Organizers of an annual award event seek your nominations.

The awards were founded by AZ Business Magazine and the Association of Corporate Counsel state chapter.

More detail is here. And the nomination form is here.

The 9 categories are listed below. Nominations are welcome in all, but I have heard that award organizers would be very pleased to receive more nominations in the final four areas listed (I have thoughtfully bolded them for your convenience!):

  • Public company (large)
  • Public company (small)
  • Private company (large)
  • Private company (small)
  • Up-and-comer
  • Nonprofit company
  • Government/municipal/public sector
  • In-house law department of the year
  • Intellectual property attorney of the year

The Awards Dinner will be held on January 14, 2016 at the Camby Hotel in Phoenix. Grant Woods will once again be the keynote speaker, so prepare to be entertained.

As in the past, the State Bar of Arizona is a presenting partner for the program.

Arizona Corporate Counsel Awaards logo

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