Heather Mac Donald

Heather Mac Donald

Tonight, Thursday, Nov. 12, conservative commenter Heather Mac Donald will visit ASU to deliver a talk titled “Is the American Great Crime Decline Sustainable?

The free public lecture will be delivered at 6:30 pm on the ASU Tempe campus, ISTB4, Marston Theater.

According to event organizers, Mac Donald’s work has largely focused on crime rates and race. She “pushes back against common arguments of racism in policing and the criminal justice system as a whole to argue for preventative policing that she believes contributed to the 20-year decline of crime in America.”

Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. Her work covers a range of topics, including homeland security, immigration, policing and racial profiling, homelessness and homeless advocacy, and educational policy.

You can see more of what the speaker advocates here, via C-SPAN:

Heather Mac Donald book cover policing racismIntroducing Mac Donald will be Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

Following Mac Donald’s talk, the former director of the Office for Victims of Crime, John W. Gillis, will give a brief talk about his career and experiences. He is a founding member of Justice for Homicide Victims and the Coalition of Victims Equal Rights.

More information and a Q&A with Montgomery and Gillis are here.

The event is free. RSVP here.

Parking is available (for a fee) in the Rural Road Parking Structure.

Friday, November 6, is the day to reach out and show some love to the lawyers in your circle.

Friday, November 6, is the day to reach out and show some love to the lawyers in your circle.

Knock it off with the lawyer jokes, already.

That is an ineloquent way to wish you a Happy Love Your Lawyer Day, to be celebrated this Friday, November 6. This will be the 15th year that the American Lawyers Public Image Association has urged America—nay, the world—to set aside anti-lawyer antipathy and to thank JDs for all the good that they do. (Spread the hashtag: #LoveYourLawyerDay)

Pucker up, SCOTUS: America’s coming in for a kiss.

Intl #LoveYourLawyerDay

Here’s how ALPIA describes the event:

“Since 2001, ALPIA has designated the first Friday of every November as a day to show love, appreciation and thanks to lawyers and judges everywhere. We encourage the American public to shower their favorite legal eagles with sincere affection: a phone call, a card, or even flowers or a gift. That also means no lawyer jokes and no lawyer bashing on that day! In return, we ask all attorneys to perform one hour of pro bono work or donate one billable hour to a charity like the Make-A-Wish Foundation.”

(The organization was oddly silent on whether your favorite legal magazine staff members should benefit from your sincere affection. An oversight, I’m sure.)

The organization and its executive director, Nader Anise, are—let’s admit it—charming in their earnestness. I mean, there may be no bigger fan of lawyers and their work than I, but it had not occurred to me to shower fellow attorneys I know with affection, let alone a flower or a gift.

Intl #LoveYourLawyerDay

The steady determination of ALPIA has paid off, though—at least if you call making inroads into the ABA a success. As the organization says in one of the odder ABA-related press releases I’ve ever come across:

“‘National Love Your Lawyer Day has officially reached a tipping point,’ proclaims Nader Anise, Executive Director of the American Lawyers Public Image Association. ‘We are absolutely delighted that the American Bar Association Law Practice Division has passed a resolution to adopt National Love Your Lawyer Day as an occasion worth embracing and celebrating.’ Anise believes this is a game-changer: ‘Having such an influential backer gives this annual lawyer celebration—our entire mission, in fact—a huge boost. Things are about to get very interesting.’”

(You can read the proclamation from the ABA Law Practice Division here.)

But this 15-year effort goes beyond mere affection, for the pacifist organization ALPIA has declared war on the lawyer joke. Or, as their website puts it, “First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers (jokes).”

ALPIA has a plan in that regard. For in that same press release, ALPIA explains how it will strike a death blow against lawyer jokes:

“Don’t forget—no lawyer bashing on November 6th. Tell a lawyer joke that crosses the line and you’ll have to pay a $20 fine per violation. Asked whether the ‘fine’ should be paid to ALPIA, Anise responds, ‘Absolutely not. The money should go to the person’s charity of choice.’”


Congratulations and best of luck to Nader on November 6—and on all days throughout the year when people should appreciate the hard work of lawyers.

But because this is a full-service blog, I do offer a fallback plan.

So what if you hear someone boorishly mutter a lawyer joke in your presence on Friday? Step 1 is to remind them what day it is, and to suggest they make amends by ponying up a 20 to a great charity.

But what if … I don’t know … they’re a total knob and are not swayed by the wisdom of your approach?

That’s where Malcolm Kushner comes in, with what I call Step 2. Malcolm is the author of “Comebacks for Lawyer Jokes: The Restatement of Retorts” (Museum of Press, 2015).

Comebacks for Lawyer Jokes by Malcolm Kushner book coverYes, there is such a book. Its 191 pages offer you quick ripostes for those who think lawyer-bashing is a fun sport. Or, as Malcolm describes it, “It’s a couple hundred lawyer jokes and the perfect lines for the lawyer who wants to intercept them in a very intelligent way.”

Find the book here.

Here are a few examples (in the spirit of #LoveYourLawyerDay, I will omit the actual punchlines; contact me if you’d like them. But have some class; don’t ask me on November 6!):

  • The boor says: How many law professors does it take to change a light bulb?
  • You intercede before he voices his oh-so-witty bon mot and answer: None. That’s a job for a research assistant.

OK, let me try again:

  • The boor says: What’s the difference between a lawyer and an onion?
  • You answer: Lawyers don’t have thin skins.

Hmmm. How about:

  • The boor says: Why did the lawyer go to heaven?
  • You answer: He wanted to live in a gated community.

By now you may have decided you need a Plan C to address those wielding lawyer-jokes. I’m obligated to remind you that physical violence is never OK. So be sure to develop that thicker skin.

You can hear more directly from Malcolm Kushner here.

In any case, best of luck to ALPIA, Nader Anise, Malcolm Kushner, and all the lawyers they embrace! And even if you don’t spread your own love, spread the hashtag: #LoveYourLawyerDay

The Bill of Rights, illustrated and elucidated in a new book by Bob McWhirter and published by the American Bar Association.

The Bill of Rights, illustrated and elucidated in a new book by Bob McWhirter and published by the American Bar Association.

This Friday evening, you have the opportunity to meet a real, live historian!

Not grabby enough?

How about: Friday night is when you can chat up Bob McWhirter, author of many great Arizona Attorney Magazine articles and (most important) a new book from the ABA titled Bills, Quills, and Stills: An Annotated, Illustrated, and Illuminated History of the Bill of Rights.

As is evident, this guy knows his way around an adjective.

Bob also will offer a presentation that evening titled “Just What’s So Exceptional About America? Rights, ‘the People,’ and the Bill of Rights.”

He is a great writer. But his presentations are a creative tour de force (no pressure, Bob).

A full-service evening? You bet. And the icing on the cake? Bob will happily sign one of his books and sell it to you.

Arizona Attorney Magazine Feb. 2011 cover with Bob McWhirterAll of these things occur:

Where: Changing Hands Bookstore Phoenix, 300 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix 85013 (near the intersection of Camelback and 3rd Ave.)

When: Friday, Sept. 18, 2015 (the day after Constitution Day!) at 7:00 p.m.

You can read more about Bob and his book here.

I also get a kick out of how the Changing Hands website features that terrific picture we shot of Bob for the magazine Q&A I did with him. As the topic was his legal work in El Salvador, we decided where better to hold our taped conversation that a Salvadoran restaurant? Legal learning has never been tastier. Here’s the story (and yes, I got him to explain his fondness for hats).

And if you’ve never been to this branch of Changing Hands, I urge you to head over Friday night. The venue includes the First Draft Book Bar, which is just what it sounds like.

Changing Hands First Draft Book Bar-logo

NOTE: I just got news that Bob will also be speaking tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 17, at the Arizona Capitol Museum located in the Capitol building at 11 am. To commemorate the 228th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution, he will speak on the Ninth Amendment—regarding rights retained by people not listed in the First through Eighth Amendments.

At that event, Chief Justice Scott Bales will also present. His topic will be the Arizona Constitution.

Unimpressed with the world? You don't have to show it. Resting bitch face

Unimpressed with the world? You don’t have to show it.

Today, I point you to an article about “resting bitch face.” There are many reasons for this, including:

  • Because the author provides excellent strategies lawyers can use to convert their (typical?) expressions of disdain into something a bit more, um, neutral.
  • Because she points us to animal examples of said Resting Bitch Face. I can’t even.
  • Because the term itself is so expressive and so much fun to say.

Articulate Attorney book Johnson and HunterBut that’s not all. I also recommend it because Marsha Hunter is a great writer and thinker. I’ve read her stuff and even seen her present in person, and she understands on a very deep level what makes someone a communicator and what makes someone the opposite. Hence RBF.

You can read her recent article here.

And here are a few words I wrote about Marsha and her partner in communications crime, Brian K. Johnson. (And here is a great article that Brian wrote for us in Arizona Attorney Magazine.)

Finally, I heartily recommend their more recent book, titled The Articulate Attorney: Public Speaking for Lawyers. You can find it online here. Here’s hoping the face you offer the world grows more placid and less aggravated.

It's OK to let your inner emotions remain unexpressed.

It’s OK to let your inner emotions remain unexpressed. (Photo: Reddit/Doo1717)

It's been a long road: Final cover (ever) of the State Bar Membership Directory.

It’s been a long road: Final cover (ever) of the State Bar Membership Directory.

These days, the swan song of a print product could be sung every day of the week. And so I suppose few will mark the eventual passing of the State Bar of Arizona Membership Directory.

A “phone book,” yes, in some ways, but really much more than that, the directory has been around in one form or another for generations. But the growing size of the book (among other reasons) has led Bar leaders to say this will be the last year for the resource.

So why not go out swinging for the fences? Our cover encapsulates the long-road theme, with Route 66 peeling off into the horizon. (I’m still trying to track down my shot of the competing covers arrayed on a wall; staff all got to offer their input before the selection was made.)

If you’re in need of a keepsake that is bound to rise in value over time, head over here to read more about the book—and maybe order your own copy!

Stephen L. Pevar, author of The Rights of Indians and Tribes.

Stephen L. Pevar, author of The Rights of Indians and Tribes.

Today I share some news about an upcoming event that touches on Indian law.

The author of a book that explains the complexities of federal Indian law and tribes’ and their members’ relationships with each other and with non-Indians will speak on current legal issues facing Native peoples Aug. 7 at the Heard Museum in Phoenix.

Stephen L. Pevar, the author of the 2012 book The Rights of Indians and Tribes, will speak at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7, in the Monte Vista Room at the museum, 2301 N. Central Ave. Pevar will sign copies of his book, available at $25 per copy following his presentation. Since Aug. 7 is First Friday, evening (6 to 10 p.m.) general admission to the museum—and to Pevar’s talk—is free; a $5 gate fee will be charged to visitors wishing to attend the exhibit Super Heroes: Art! Action! Adventure!

Stephen L Pevar Rights of Indians and Tribes book coverFederal Indian law continues to be a complex subject for lawyers and non-lawyers alike. In his presentation at the Heard, Pevar will touch on several topics discussed in the book, which include the powers of Indian tribes; civil and criminal jurisdiction on Indian reservations; Indian hunting, fishing and water rights; taxation in Indian country; the Indian Civil Rights Act; the Indian Child Welfare Act; and tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians.

Pevar is senior staff counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. He taught a course in federal Indian law at the University of Denver School of Law for 16 years and has lectured extensively on the subject. He is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Virginia School of Law. He had served for three years as staff attorney for South Dakota Legal Services on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation. Since 1976, he has been a national staff counsel for the ACLU.

Pevar has litigated some 200 federal cases involving constitutional rights, including one case in the U.S. Supreme Court. His areas of specialty include free speech, Indian rights, prisoners’ rights and the separation of church and state.

When it comes to the ADA's 25th anniversary, should we celebrate? Do better? Or both?

When it comes to the ADA’s 25th anniversary, should we celebrate? Do better? Or both?

Yesterday, I pointed you toward a few news stories regarding the 25th anniversary of passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Today, I suggest some additional resources and reading.

Begin with an insightful op-ed by Erica McFadden. She’s an analyst at the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at ASU. As she opens her piece:

“Sunday marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and there is reason to celebrate the progress it ushered in over that quarter-century. But needed still is a call to action to affirm equality — especially in terms of employment.”

“Just one in three Arizonans with disabilities ages 16 to 64 were employed from 2008 to 2012, according to the census. That’s compared to more than two in three (71 percent) Arizonans with no disabilities who were employed during that time.”

“Perhaps even more sobering is the percentage of Arizonans with disabilities not even in the job market: 59 percent.”

And then follow it up with a My Turn column in the Arizona Republic by Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi where she examines the sad statistics surrounding employment of people with disabilities.

Understanding-the-ADA-Goren ABA bookThird, for the law practice-minded among you, head over the ABA website to consider purchasing a new book titled “Understanding the ADA,” by William D. Goren and described by the publisher:

“This new edition of Understanding the ADA delves deeper into many of the complex topics of disability claims. The updates offer expanded guidance on remedies if the law is violated; advice on when you have a right to sue; the statute of limitations for ADA claims; when a complaint will survive a motion to dismiss; and whether a class-action is a viable thing to pursue. There are new areas of discussion regarding standing, when a complaint is sufficient, statute of limitations, and mixed-motive jury instructions, and additional information on disparate treatment cases, class actions, jury selection, and Batson challenges. Expanded and new topics include: ADA as it relates to sports including the Office of Civil Rights guidance on § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act Utilizing negligence and negligence per se actions as an alternative to title III claims Highly detailed chapter on remedies and procedural issues Improved checklists and litigation forms.”

Finally, please enjoy the great article by Judge Randall Howe that we published in May. It reminds us how important advocacy is to progress. In the judge’s case, it was his mother who was driven for equity in her son’s education. For you? Well, everyone may have a different advocate.

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