A quick item today urging you to enjoy some free expression to its most hilarious extent. “Let Freedom Laugh!” Bill of Rights Comedy Concert debuts tonight. It is headlined by Lewis Black, who will be accompanied by Dick Gregory and Tom Smothers; rising stars Cristela Alonzo, Ahmed Ahmed, and John Fugelsang; and special appearances by Sarah Silverman, Wanda Sykes, and Penn Jillette. The event will be telecast on AXS TV (more detail below), and it is the brainchild of Chris Bliss and MyBillofRights.org. Yes, the same people who brought that stunning Bill of Rights Monument to downtown Phoenix. Not only did Arizona get the first monument (slated to be installed in every one of the 50 state capitals). We also witnessed the organization’s first comedy event, held at Phoenix Symphony Hall back in May 2012. The newest and most recent concert was shot at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. Interested in how and when to watch it on your own TV or device tonight? Go here for more information for your location. Celebrating the Bill of Rights may never have been as hilarious as this.Follow @azatty
Arizona Attorney Magazine
April 16, 2015
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April 13, 2015
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I was attending the groundbreaking for a condo project called Portland on the Park near downtown Phoenix. A downtown booster, I was there to applaud the creation of what looks to be a terrific structure.
Soon after the speeches were done, though, I gazed upward at what sounded like a lawnmower above our heads. But what I saw was a drone, hovering, zigging, and zagging. I realized we were being taped.
Just yesterday, via Facebook and Youtube, I got to view the fruits of the drone’s labors. You can see it below.
The view is great (even if the song choice is odd). I have to admit it gives you a new way to see things. But I wondered: Were there permits? Flight plans? Local or regional officials alerted?
Don’t misunderstand: I don’t insist all of that should be required if someone wants to view a simple groundbreaking or their kid’s T-ball game. But I had to wonder.
And so I wonder again, do any of our readers’ practice area involve the laws surrounding unmanned aerial devices? Do drones affect your day job? If so, write to me at email@example.comFollow @azatty
April 10, 2015
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Today I share a tale of periods, questions marks and other punctuation poorly served by those who come after.
If you are tired of the national dialogue about the number of spaces that must follow an end punctuation, I urge you to walk away from today’s Change of Venue Friday post. But I warn you: You may be part of the problem.
What brought the topic to my front burner was our own writing-columnist, Susie Salmon, penning a piece on the space issue in the March 2015 Arizona Attorney Magazine.
Susie’s piece, as always, was well written and in need of zero editing (o’ course). And I was pleased to see she was attacking the scourge afflicting our nation.
Until I got to her second graf. That’s where she reported:
“I remain agnostic … when it comes to what may be the biggest punctuation controversy of the modern era: how many spaces to insert after the punctuation at the end of the sentence. When I present to groups of attorneys, paralegals, or secretaries, I can be certain that at least one person will ask about the issue and that several people in the audience will have strong opinions one way or the other. Because I do not believe that the number of spaces after a period materially affects the accuracy or clarity of my written work, my personal rule is simple: Pick one option and be consistent.”
I must admit: I gulped deeply when I read that. Had my unfettered support for the First Amendment run its course? Could I—would I—strike the offending language and urge a better course of action upon readers?
Well, if you read the published magazine, you’ll see that I did not impose my own position on Susie’s column. But I was nervous: Were we encouraging a randomness among readers that would lead to sentential chaos? (Yes, I made up that word.)
This week, I saw that my worries were well grounded.
Outside the work space of a Bar colleague, a page from the magazine was posted proudly. Always pleased to see magazine content shared and touted, I strolled over to Sarah Fluke’s desk—and promptly gulped again. You can see it posted below (click to biggify.)
There, in the upper-right corner, Sarah had encouraged a vote on the 1-space/2-space question. Look at it; I mean, LOOK at it!
Dangerous democracy, I thought. But then I spied the emerging ballot results. As of yesterday, I am sorry to report, the votes rested at 9 to 7—in favor of two spaces.
Sarah is a wonderful colleague and is adept at delivering terrific continuing legal education. But here, in black and white, I thought I spied an abdication of her educative goals.
She, of course, is having none of my 21st-century nonsense and believes two spaces are absolutely fine. As I expressed my dismay, the conversation devolved into something along the lines of “Go away. Move away from my desk. Stop looking at my things.” (Vast and ridiculous amounts of space added in Sarah’s honor.)
My CLE colleagues may disappoint, and so I turn to you, my progressive readers. Please put aside your past experiences and your memory of my sad but true interactions at the Bar. Read the simple query below, and vote. The future of our nation hangs in the balance.
Have a wonderful—and space-conserving—weekend.Follow @azatty
April 9, 2015
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What appears on the back page of your favorite magazines?
The reason I ask is that a publication’s final page is routinely ranked as one of the “most-read” pages of a magazine. So editor-types tend to put a lot of thought into that content.
Our own last page has included written columns, photos, and even quizzes. Over the past few years we have engaged readers with “The Last Word,” columns by regularly recurring authors.
After a while, though, it occurred to us that someone may have an idea or two that they want to share, even if they do not commit to a nearly monthly writing regimen. And so we devised “My Last Word,” for those more sporadic and yet still compelling notions.
The April issue of Arizona Attorney contains one of my favorites.
And here he is again writing, this time on the life of a retired, rural lawyer. His essay opens:
“I am a shepherd tending his flocks, four rescue mutts and two elfin Cornish Rex kittens in one, seven medicinals in the other—hawked on TV with taglines like, ‘Ask your doctor if Cymbalta is right for you.’ One flock is messy but brings me joy. The other protects me from messes I am prey to in my eighth decade.”
“I am also a retired lawyer: Bar number 001880 (circa 1966). After a brief go as a courtroom lawyer—going nowhere fast—I turned to real estate law, paid to mine dense legal text and define ‘acts of god’ in elegant stacks of paper. But the emotional return on documenting a complex financial transaction could never match helping some poor soul out of a jam.”
Please read his whole piece here. (And the image of his back-page column is below.)Follow @azatty
April 2, 2015
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Congratulations to all the winners of the annual Arizona Attorney Creative Arts Competition. Each of them is featured in our May issue, which will be available in late April.
Because of obvious restrictions, our music winner’s work cannot be published in the magazine. But it is available, here, for you to hear and enjoy. Well done, Stu de Haan.
His band, Scar Eater, is on Facebook (adult language warning!). They are Gabe Garcia (guitar), Stu de Haan (guitar), Chris Shwanberg (drums), Sonny Sutherland (vocals), and Gigi Owen (bass).
Here is Stu’s background and bio:
Scar Eater is a five piece post-hardcore band from Tucson, Arizona, comprised of Sonny Sutherland, Gabe Garcia, Stu de Haan, Gigi Owen, and Chris Swanberg. STU DE HAAN has played metal since he got his hands on a guitar and will continue for as long as he can get away with it. After graduating Gonzaga University Law School in 2008, he began practicing criminal law and opened de Haan Law Firm, PLLC in 2011. His firm deals solely with criminal law at all levels in Southern Arizona and frequently sponsors Tucson Roller Derby, a non-profit sports league that promotes women’s athleticism and empowerment.
Here is the band’s song “Don’t Get Stuck in a Roadside Ditch” (click to listen):
March 30, 2015
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Recently, I was pleased to hear some great news out of a law firm and its Professional Women’s Group. Their efforts represent some of the best elements—and charitable impulses—of the Arizona Bar.
I have written about the Gallagher & Kennedy Professional Women’s Group before. That was when they committed themselves to a year’s worth of reading to school-aged children. You can read about that effort here.
“On March 16, 2015, the Gallagher & Kennedy law firm donated more than 300 professional clothing items as well as a monetary donation to the Arizona affiliate of Dress for Success (DFS), an organization that supports women reentering the workforce. Over three weeks in February, the law firm’s Professional Women’s Group collected new and gently used women’s business clothing to donate to the Dress of Success Phoenix boutique. Donations were gathered from others in the Esplanade Complex, vendors and employees of the law firm.”
“The Professional Women’s Group became a new partner for DFS Phoenix in 2014 with members participating in various mentorship opportunities including interview skills and resume writing workshops. ‘Gallagher & Kennedy has been a wonderful partner this year,’ said Pat Torres, boutique coordinator for Dress for Success Phoenix. ‘Their dedication to helping women in the community through their contribution of time, professional expertise and clothing items will have a lasting impact for our clients.’”
“Whether partnering to support the causes of their clients or serving organizations that meet unique personal or professional interests of their employees, hundreds of volunteer service hours are given to hundreds of nonprofit and professional organizations each year by Gallagher & Kennedy employees.”Follow @azatty
March 20, 2015
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The annual photo shoot for our Creative Arts Competition winners was held last week, and it looks like it was terrific.
I say “looks” because I was out of town and had to miss it. But that makes me doubly happy that Art Director Karen Holub thoughtfully provided me some “behind the camera” shots. (Which is kind of amazing, as she was herding cats, a photographer, and multiple lawyer-winners.)
All of the professionally shot photos will appear in the May issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine—along with the talented artists’ work. In the meantime, click here to see last year’s winning work.
Thank you to the Larsen Gallery in Scottsdale for hosting our shoot. As always, your space and the work you display are remarkable.
Have a great—and artful—weekend.
Here are a few more shots. (Click them to biggify.)