Lawyer kudos


Board members of the Arizona Asian American Bar Association for 2016-17 (photographed at C-Fu Gourmet, Chandler, Ariz., April 14, 2016.

Board members of the Arizona Asian American Bar Association for 2016-17 (photographed at C-Fu Gourmet, Chandler, Ariz., April 14, 2016.

Back on April 14, the Arizona Asian American Bar Association hosted its 20th scholarship fundraiser and installation banquet. It was as remarkable and delicious as ever. In fact, this event broke all records, as about 450 people crowded into C-Fu Gourmet in Chandler to collaborate and hear from great speakers such as Incoming State Bar President Lisa Loo.

I recommend you read AAABA President Amanda Chua’s letter here. And to see more photos and some great video regarding the legal pioneers who were honored that evening—Thomas Tang, Dr. Pearl Tang, Anthony Ching, and Wing Ong—go here.

L to R: Then-AAABA President-Elect Amanda Chua, State Bar of Arizona President-Elect Lisa Loo, then-AAABA President Nicole Ong, April 14, 2016.

L to R: Then-AAABA President-Elect Amanda Chua, State Bar of Arizona President-Elect Lisa Loo, then-AAABA President Nicole Ong, April 14, 2016.

The BLI 2015-16 graduating class. From left to right:

The BLI 2015-16 graduating class. From left to right: Seated: Edward Myers III, Ivan Hannel, Rekha Nair, Sandra Bensley, Juan Flamand, Donielle Wright Standing: Virjinya Torrez, Jamiel Allen, Kristina Guerrero-Sisneroz, Pouria Paknejad, Mae Innabi, Candy Marrufo, Rebekah Bell, Kristin Whitaker, Alanna Duong Not pictured: Joanna Reihing

One week ago, a smart group of people graduated from the Bar Leadership Institute of the State Bar of Arizona. Congratulations to everyone involved!

Above is a photo of the BLI 2015-16 graduating class.

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing many of the BLI’s graduates since its start in 2007, and I am routinely impressed by their talents and their accomplishments. Which takes me to today’s reminder: Applications for the 2016-2017 Bar Leadership class are now being accepted, through June 17.

You can read more about the program—and apply—here.

You should note that you may urge someone to apply, and you may apply yourself. And if you’re curious about whether you or others are a good fit for this BLI thing, read the information below.

The Bar Leadership Institute is a nine-month professional development program whose mission is to foster the professional growth and enhance the leadership skills of a diverse and inclusive group of lawyers.

Since its inception in 2007, the BLI has prepared more than 100 diverse attorneys for leadership positions within the Bar and the community-at-large. Program sessions cover a variety of topics including leadership development, ethics and career development and include conversations with judges, government attorneys, in house counsels and executives. Each participant in the class of approximately 15 students receives:

  • Up to two years of CLE credit
  • Leadership training and legal practice education in an experiential and mentoring learning environment
  • Opportunities to foster relationships within the State Bar of Arizona, partner bar associations, government and community leaders

Participation in the program is limited to attorneys with active status with the State Bar of Arizona. Program fee is $250; fee waivers are available for participants with a demonstrated financial need. Upon completion of the BLI, participants commit to one year participation in a State Bar committee or section or other professional association or community organization.

Click here for more information, or contact Elena Nethers at elena.nethers@staff.azbar.org

The BLI relies on referrals from lawyers and community leaders and applications by great candidates. Please share this with whomever you think would benefit from this transformative experience.

state-bar-of-arizona-bar-leadership-institute-banner BLI

Our April 2016 issue features the stories of a small number of Arizona lawyers committed to access to justice through pro bono service.

Our April 2016 issue features the stories of a small number of Arizona lawyers committed to access to justice through pro bono service.

I fear I let a great April event fly by without properly acknowledging it—and the accomplishments of so many great attorneys.

The April issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine featured Access to Justice advocates—attorneys selected by the state’s VLPs (Volunteer Lawyers Programs) for their unstinting commitment to offering pro bono service.

The issue also allowed me to praise some law students from the University of Arizona for their accomplishments in a writing competition I was pleased to judge.

Here, I reprint my column and their photo. And be sure to read about all the A2J Advocates here.

Last month in this space, I wrote about courage and what it requires of us, in our choices and in our commitment to an accurate retelling of history.

Some of you have contacted me with feedback and insight about my words. If you haven’t, please feel free to read the column (http://ow.ly/Z1XfW) and send me your thoughts.

As I said there, it’s great when we can spot courage. But advocating for it and advancing it? That’s the role of leaders.

This month, we’re all about those courageous leaders. Our cover and story beginning on page 18 offer legal exemplars. In a month focused on access to justice, we raise a toast to lawyers who step into the breach to fill unfilled needs.

And in law school, leadership may be nurtured, as well.

As in years past, I’m privileged to report on some leaders-in-training, law students who prevailed in a rigorous writing competition at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. Congratulations to: Jillian Andrews (2L), first place ($2,500 award); Max Bradley (1L), second place ($1,500); Julie Pack (1L), third place ($1,000); and Kayla Bernays (1L), honorable mention ($750).

Richard Grand UA Law School legal writing awards 2016-page0001

As a competition judge, I can tell you that their work was moving and compelling—exactly what I would have expected!

Though I’m always happy to serve as a judge, I have nothing to do with the annual event’s theme or approach, which is developed by talented law school faculty. And so I was delighted to see the selected topic this year—courage.

And that makes sense, as the competition is named for Arizona lawyer Richard Grand, who never shrank from a fight. As the school describes him:

Over the course of his five-decade-long career, Tucson attorney Richard Grand worked tirelessly to achieve justice for his clients. His clients were often ordinary people who had suffered extraordinary injuries. The opposing parties were often large corporations and powerful insurance companies. Mr. Grand never retired, and he handled cases up until the last day of his life. Mr. Grand valued competence, communication, and courage.

Richard died in 2013. He would have been 86 this year, and he was a zealous advocate when advocates were allowed to be zealous. He and his wonderful wife Marcia funded (and continue to fund and inspire) this writing endeavor.

Congratulations to those lawyers and law students, past and present, who aim to close the justice gap.

2016 law day by State Bar of Arizona

Today, an update about a great Law Day event by my colleague Alberto Rodriguez: (What he does not mention in his recap is the huge amount of important and complicated work he himself put in to have the multi-site event come off flawlessly. Thank you and congratulations, Alberto!)

On Saturday, April 30, the State Bar of Arizona held the 2016 Law Day Legal Aid Clinics where 24 of its members offered free one-on-one legal consultations from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at two Valley locations.

The clinics offered free legal consultations by members who practice Family Law, Bankruptcy/Foreclosure, Probate/Trust Law, and Immigration Law at State Bar of Arizona offices in central Phoenix, and Glendale Community College in the west valley. Once again, the Bar partnered with ABC15 and Univision Arizona to promote the day-long clinics, which were overwhelmingly successful.

State Bar of Arizona SBA_Logo_ColorVolunteer attorneys provided 325 consultations during law clinic to the 306 consumers who were seen—a dramatic increase from last year’s 216 consultations. Several attorneys offered free follow-up services after the clinic to consumers who needed additional help.

The State Bar of Arizona expresses its sincerest appreciation to its attorney and logistics volunteers, along with its media and community partners. Thank you!

A complete list of volunteers, along with photos and media coverage, can be viewed here.

Ernesto Miranda

Ernesto Miranda

Next week, we have two opportunities to her smart folks talk about a landmark Supreme Court case that arose in Arizona. The case, of course, is Miranda v. Arizona, whose 50 anniversary is this year:

“In 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Ernesto Miranda on kidnapping and rape charges because he was not informed of his rights during his arrest, making his written and signed confession null and void. After the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Miranda was retried by the state of Arizona and his confession was not used as evidence. Miranda was convicted and sentenced to 20-30 years in prison.”

The first event, on Monday, May 2, includes speakers and historic artifacts, and is hosted by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records.

  • The Arizona Capitol Museum is celebrating Law Day 2016 with “Miranda: More than Words,” May 2, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Historic Supreme Courtroom, 1700 W. Washington St., Phoenix. Admission is free.
  • The lineup of speakers includes the arresting officer in the case, and organizers have partnered with the Phoenix Police Museum for an exhibit on the case.
  • A day-long speaker series in the State Library of Arizona Marguerite B. Cooley Reading Room, one floor above the Historic Supreme Courtroom will include speakers Arizona Court of Appeals Judge Maurice Portley; attorney Bob McWhirter; and retired Capt. Carroll Cooley, Phoenix Police Department arresting officer in the Miranda case.
  • For more information, go here or contact the State Library of Arizona at 602-926-3870.

Miranda Arizona Law-Day-2016_Flyer_opt

The second event, on Wednesday, May 4, features a panel discussion, hosted by the Maricopa County Bar Association:

 

Protect Your Writings by Maria Crimi SpethDo you or someone you know have a book idea kicking around—or perhaps even an unpublished manuscript in your desk drawer?

No surprise to you, I’m sure, but there are laws that affect your book, article, and other creative output. This coming Saturday, April 30, attorney Maria Crimi Speth offers a presentation on what you need to know.

She will be one of five speakers to offer advice to authors. The topics also include marketing, personal and family stories, editing tips, and self-publishing.

Speth is an intellectual property attorney at Jaburg Wilk and the author of Protect Your Writings: A Legal Guide for Authors. At the event, “Attendees will learn about the laws relating to writing books, articles, blogs and how to avoid making common, costly legal mistakes.”

Host: Scottsdale Society of Women Writers

When: Saturday, April 30, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Where: Scottsdale Civic Center Library

Details and registration are here.

Maria Crimi Speth attorney Jaburg Wilk

Maria Crimi Speth

And here is more detail about Maria:

“Speth practices in the areas of intellectual property, internet law, and commercial litigation, representing clients throughout the United States. She focuses her practice on assisting businesses in protecting their trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, information technology, and other intellectual property through preventative measures to avoid disputes and through litigation when disputes arise. She has been practicing law for 28 years and has handled cases in state and federal courts around the country. Maria is the author of Protect Your Writings: A Legal Guide for Authors and Apple v. Samsung, The Balance Between Patent Rights and the Free Market.  She has numerous published articles and dozens of published court cases.”

pro bono gavelToday, here is some news you may be able to use—and definitely news you can share. (And please do!)

The State Bar of Arizona is hosting its fifth annual Law Day Legal Aid Clinics this coming Saturday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This valuable event has become one of the Bar’s signature access to justice events.

Law Day 2016 poster in english v2-page0001Co-hosting the event with the State Bar are ABC15 and Univision Arizona.

What happens at the event? Volunteer lawyers will provide free legal consultations on the following topics: divorce and child support/custody, bankruptcy and foreclosure, wills and trusts, and immigration.

And how has the Bar made the day even more accessible? By providing the consultations at two locations: At the Bar offices in Phoenix and at Glendale Community College. Spanish-speaking translators will be available.

All the details, including specific addresses, are here. Or call 602-340-7337 for more information.

Law Day 2016 poster in spanish-page-0_opt

And again, please share this with whomever you think could benefit.

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