A record-number of legal seminars are on offer at the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

A record-number of legal seminars are on offer at the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

In 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 the responses of those whose seminars are calendared for the first morning of Convention, Wednesday, June 15. (Note: Not all seminar chairs responded.) Click on the seminar title to read more detail as published in the Convention brochure.

Wednesday, June 15, 8:45 a.m. – noon

W-1 Securities: Tackling Future Issues Today

Co-chairs: Stephen Boatwright, Todd Lenczycki

Who should attend this seminar?

Business attorneys with large or small, public or private clients who want to know the latest regarding raising capital and what shareholder activism is all about.

What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

Shareholder activism is a concern for public and private companies. Knowing the building blocks and how they fit together can enable the Arizona business lawyer to be ahead of the curve if something like this becomes an issue for your client.

State Bar Conventions often draw outstanding speakers from their local bar but not often one of national standing who regularly speaks at the National Securities Convention in San Diego. The timely topic and compelling speaker make this a must attend event.

It is a great privilege to have John Huber who may be the first former director of corporate finance at the SEC to speak in Arizona as these caliber people are very hard to get here! John literally wrote many of the rules of the Securities Act and has an incredible knowledge of how important financial statements are in conjunction with legal analysis.

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?)

Shareholder activism is no longer an exceptional event. It is affecting the largest public companies as well as the smallest. Private companies contemplating going public should be aware of how activists operate, who supports them, and what to do to prepare for and react when an activist appears. The building blocks used for handling shareholder activism are equally applicable to advising clients who aren’t confronting activists. The building blocks help companies with raising money in Arizona by providing the latest, ever-changing guidelines and best practices for business lawyers in Arizona.

What is the most common misconception about this issue? In other words, what do lawyers think they know, but don’t?

Lawyers may believe that it takes special expertise to address shareholder activists when the building blocks to do so are already known and understood by business lawyers. The building blocks are supplemented by having specialized advisers such as forensic accountants who can review and analyze financial and business data as impartial third parties. The same building blocks and outside advisers are important to a lawyer advising either a public or private company on raising capital. Continuous education on the latest issues, laws, and regulations faced by business attorneys on the topic is invaluable.

Hearing the comments of former SEC Director John Huber, who has frequently been the keynote speaker at national bar conventions, and having the knowledgeable panel available for your questions is a must attend event.

W-3 Representation Considerations for a Growing Population of Vulnerable and Disabled Adults

Co-chairs: Jennifer Kupiszewski, Bridget O’Brien Swartz

Who should attend this seminar?

Any lawyer that represents individuals and families. Our clients are aging or their parents are aging and challenges associated with aging and disability affect all areas legal representation. Criminal, family, juvenile, elder and probate law and special needs and estate planning attorneys would benefit from the seminar.

What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

The clientele we serve is aging and more likely to be disabled or experience a period of incapacity. Attorneys need to adapt and understand the implications of aging and disability in their legal representation to better serve clients and to protect their practice.

How is this seminar timely?

The number of Americans ages 65 and older will double over the next 30 years to 80 million.  A significant number of our aging population will suffer from some form of Dementia. One-quarter of all U.S. divorces involve people over 50. And Arizona has a larger aging population than most states. As people live longer they are more likely to experience periods of incapacity and need a guardian or have someone acting as their power of attorney. This creates challenging ethical issues for attorneys and this seminar is focused on preparing attorneys to handle those issues.

What is the most common misconception about this issue?

Attorneys often do not consider the issues of aging and disability. They aren’t informed about Dementia and financial exploitation so they may not recognize it in their office. The attorney may unwittingly be assisting the exploiter if they can’t assess client’s capacity or if they don’t know how, when or where to obtain assessment.

W-4 Thinking Like a Lawyer: A Game-Show Approach to Implicit Bias

Co-chairs: Javier Grajeda, Hon. Laura Lowery, K Royal

Who should attend this seminar?

All attorneys should attend, along with any legal staff. This issue impacts us professionally and personally.

What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

The main takeaway is that we all have implicit biases, but may not realize we do. We should be aware of these subconscious thoughts and work consciously to reduce them. Implicit biases are unknown to the individual because they are implicit by their very definition.  One of the main goals of our seminar is to make the implicit explicit.

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?)

Relationships are critically important especially as we meet the incoming generation of lawyers and business owners. We live in a mobile and technology-based world, where written communication is the norm – people read emotions and attitudes into words based on what they know of the person. Therefore, it is critical that individuals be aware of how they are perceived.

What is the most common misconception about this issue? In other words, what do lawyers think they know, but don’t?

The most common misconception about implicit biases is that we think we don’t have them – or if we do, that they don’t influence our actions.

W-6: A Discussion of the Complete Family Violence Dynamic

Co-chairs: Joan Bundy, Lydia Peirce Linsmeier

Who should attend this seminar?

Anyone, attorney or not, who is interested in protecting and assisting domestic violence victims—including human and non-human victims—or ever gets inquiries from prospective clients regarding legal situations that involve domestic violence or otherwise must deal with it in their practice.

What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

How to incorporate protections for animals into domestic violence prevention and remediation strategies, both within and outside the court system, covering everything from protective orders to divorce decrees and emergency escape plans to temporary housing.

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?)

Unfortunately, domestic violence has always occurred as long as there have been people living on the earth and, sadly, it shows no signs of going away anytime soon, let alone slowing down.

What is the most common misconception about this issue? In other words, what do lawyers think they know, but don’t?

Lawyers, and people in general, think domestic violence victims are allowing themselves to be victimized and should just walk away from their abuser. However, a victim is most likely to be killed or seriously harmed when they try to escape. It takes most victims years and multiple “trial runs” or attempts before they finally succeed in leaving and starting a new life, if ever. One of the most sobering statistics is that approximately a third of all DV victims do not leave or delay leaving because they fear for the safety of one or more pets left behind, and two-thirds indicate their batterer has either threatened to harm or kill a family pet or has done so.

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