Arizona Supreme Court building

A new Arizona Justice will be appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey. Applicant interviews will be held on Nov. 20, 2015.

Note: The following post was edited to reflect changes announced by the Arizona Supreme Court at 9:40 a.m. The changes indicate that the judicial-applicant interviews will be taped and posted later, but not streamed live. The Court announced, “We reviewed how interviews were done in the past and we have not previously simulcast/webcast the interviews.  A decision was made to be consistent with previous interviews.” The interviews will still be open to the public.

The Arizona Supreme Court has announced that on this Friday, November 20, interviews for applicants for a vacant Justice position will be held and be open to the public, beginning at 8:00 a.m.

The interviews will also be taped, recorded, and then posted in their entirety later on the Court’s website. The Court anticipates posting all the video by 5:00 p.m. the same day.

The nine individuals to be interviewed in the public meeting were selected by the Arizona Commission on Appellate Court Appointments. At the end of the meeting, the Commission members will vote on a slate of at least three nominees to send to Gov. Doug Ducey, who will be making his first appointment to the Arizona Supreme Court.

Arizona_Supreme_Court_SealI provided the list of applicants previously here.

The Court has posted each individual’s application on its website. The agenda for the meeting is here. “As noted on the agenda, there may be executive sessions before and after the public interviews. Interviews will be 30 minutes long and will be taped and available for viewing by 5:00 p.m. on November 20. The landing page for our webcast and archived videos is here.”


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.

University of Arizona Law School

The University of Arizona Law School will be the location of Arizona Supreme Court oral arguments on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2015.

Today, I share some news from the Arizona Supreme Court about its holding oral arguments in Tucson tomorrow, Tuesday, November 10, 2015:

“The justices have identified two cases to be presented, and attorneys representing each side will be given 20 minutes to present their arguments. After the second case, the justices will take questions from the audience, as long as those questions do not pertain to the case or cases they just heard.”

When: Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, 2-4 p.m. Guests must arrive no later than 1:10 p.m. in order to go through security screening.

Where: Ares Auditorium, Room 164, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, 1201 E. Speedway Blvd.

Who may attend: Seating is limited and available to those who have preregistered here. Members of the public are welcome on a first-come, first-served basis as remaining space allows. Note that food and beverages are not permitted past security.

Arizona_Supreme_Court_SealThe Court will hear appellate arguments in two cases (click the case name for more detail):

2-2:40 p.m.: State v. Joseph Javier Romero, CR-15-0039-PR (issue regards the Daubert standard for expert witnesses)

3-3:50 p.m.: Jackie Abbott et al. v Banner Health Network et al., CV-15-0013-PR (issue regards a patient class-action against Arizona hospitals in which patients claim hospitals engaged in “balance billing” in liens, precluded by federal law)

The Supreme Court oral arguments will be live-streamed/simulcast and archived for later viewing here. The Court’s Tucson visit is hosted by the William H. Rehnquist Center at the James E. Rogers College of Law.

Event questions may be directed to Bernadette Wilkinson, senior program coordinator, UA College of Law,, 520-626-1629.

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.

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 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.


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.

The experience of some immigrants in the Southwest is described in new research.

The experience of some immigrants in the Southwest is described in new research.

Last month, I had the pleasure to attend an event commemorating the Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project. (In an upcoming issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine, we hope to cover their 25th anniversary year.) It’s always great to catch up with the staff and lawyers who work hard to ensure fair processes and aim for optimal outcomes for their clients.

Dr. Emily Bashah

Dr. Emily Bashah

While at the gathering hosted by Lewis Roca Rothgerber, I met a researcher who has been studying the “lived experiences of undocumented immigrants.” Dr. Emily Bashah, with her colleagues, has spoken with many of those who have sought a better life through migration.

I learned that she not only does research on important public issues, but she is adept at synopsizing them into readable blog posts.

Today, I invite you to read one of her posts, written by Emily and colleagues Lois M. Baca and Karen L. Suyemoto. It’s titled “Crossing the Line,” and it allows the migrants to describe their own sometimes harrowing experiences.

As the researchers note:

“Although not all undocumented immigrants who cross the Southwest border face coercion, exploitation, or other violations of human rights that constitute human and sex trafficking, the risks are prevalent.”

Among the compelling stories, the blog post also shared the Power and Control Wheel, which is stunning in its stark recitation of the variety of abuses that immigrant women and children may face.

Source: National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence. (2012). Immigrant power and control wheel

Immigrant power and control wheel. Source: National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence. (2012).

Dr. Bashah tells me that she also plans to publish another blog that more specifically speaks to the deported Latinas’ lived experiences. I’ll share that when I see it.


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