Legal events


Corporatization of the Criminal Justice System ASU Law School

This Friday, speakers at ASU Law School will offer a seminar titled “Corporatization of the Criminal Justice System.”

According to organizers, the event will include a variety of speakers including scholars, attorneys, and advocates “working on the pressing issue of the role of private prisons in mass incarceration and immigration detention.”

The keynote speaker will be Ben Jealous, former CEO and President of the NAACP.

The event opens at 1:30 p.m. and ends with an 8:45 p.m. reception.

The complete agenda with panel titles is here.

Other organizations involved include Abolish Private Prisons, Changing Hands Bookstore, Osborn Maledon, the American Constitution Society, and the Carolina Academic Press.

Organizers plan to address numerous topics, including the relationship between private prisons and:

  • the length and severity of sentences and availability of parole
  • mass incarceration’s impact on communities of color

Speakers at the event will examine prisons, parole, immigration detention, bail, and probation.

The complete conference website is here.

The website for the speaker information is here.

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Attorneys assist at Abogados a Su Lado phone bank, March 1, 2017.

News from my colleague Alberto Rodriguez:

The State Bar of Arizona and Univision Arizona hosted the first Abogados a Su Lado (attorneys on your side) phone bank of the year on Wednesday, March 1, 2017. This access to justice program was held to help the immigrant community understand the impact of the President’s Executive Orders.

The Bar’s role as a partner and organizer of the phone bank was to help the immigrant community connect with licensed attorneys for sound legal advice. The immigrant community is often victimized by notarios and document preparers during high-profile activity associated with immigration law.

The phone bank on immigration law was held on Wednesday, March 1, from 5:00 to 10:30 p.m.

sba_logo_color State Bar of ArizonaThere were nine volunteer attorneys:

  • Marisol Angulo, Hernandez Global
  • Emilia Banuelos, Banuelos Law Office
  • Vanessa Black, Vanessa Black Law Immigration Law Firm
  • Joshua De La Ossa, De La Ossa & Ramos
  • Seth B. Draper, Salvatierra Law Group
  • Judy Flanagan, Judy C. Flanagan, PC
  • Ayensa Millan, CIMA Law Group
  • Edwin G. Ramos, De La Ossa & Ramos
  • Javier Sobampo, Sobampo Law Firm

Volunteer attorneys answered 381 calls regarding immigrant rights and changes in immigration law during the five-and-a-half-hour phone bank.

We thank the attorneys as well as Univision Arizona for its continued partnership in providing this valuable program for the Spanish-speaking community. We also thank the volunteers from Mi Familia Vota who helped with event logistics.

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The worst award is the one that goes ungiven, and with that in mind, you should consider who in your circle may deserve to be honored with an award by the State Bar.

Nominations for the 2017 awards are now being accepted through March 22, 2017 at 5 p.m. That’s tomorrow. Giddyup.

You can read a list of the awards here. That page also includes detail on the day they will be presented, a description of each and a list of previous recipients by year.

New this year is a State Bar of Arizona Award Nomination form, click here. Use that form for each nomination, along with any supporting nominations.

Here are photos of the three attorneys who were honored in 2016 as Members of the Year.

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Since November 1, the Arizona Attorney Magazine staff have been writing a new newsletter for a new generation of newsletter readers. Sent by email every afternoon, the Daily 5 offers 4 news stories + 1 case of the day.

You can get through that content in about 5 minutes–10 if you’re really enjoying yourself.

I wrote about the Daily 5 in my February editor’s column, which I share again today:

You probably think you’re reading a magazine right now. And of course you’re right. But that’s only part of the picture. Because what you’re truly reading is a concept, an idea with personality, that has formed over decades. Arizona Attorney is a magazine, but it’s also a way of thinking and—dare I say it—a brand.

A brand that grew a little bit this fall.

Over the past 18 months, we decided to take that voice—that brand—into another channel. You may already be familiar with what we do in social media (for example, on Twitter @azatty, yo). But we wondered: How could that approach to the legal world play out in a daily newsletter?

So in November, after laying a year’s worth of groundwork, we launched the Arizona Attorney Daily 5.

5 news headlines a day, snappy writing, great design, all emailed once a day to readers. How hard can that be?

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When a Facebook message makes an Editor’s day.

 

Pretty hard, it turns out. But where the Daily 5 has succeeded, it has done so for a few reasons. Let me offer, well, 5 of them.

Voice matters: Arizona Attorney may be a legal publication, but we’re no law journal. We believe that in the life of every practicing attorney there’s room for humor and a lighter outlook. The Daily 5 is your informative colleague at the 5-minute water-cooler break.

Story choice matters: Yes, we offer substantive summaries of court opinions. But we think you enjoy some articles that require lighter lifting, too. Cue the Kardashians’ legal struggles.

Writing matters: Even if our choices are solid, readers will flee if the writing comes from the 19th century. Our tone and approach show we are not your grandfather’s newsletter.

Knowing your audience matters: We’ve spent decades-plus interacting with Arizona lawyers. Since November, we’ve heard from a large number of readers who appreciate our lighter touch and our lively writing. Is everyone a fan? No, but we do what we can to win them over.

Colleagues matter: Each Daily 5 contains about 500 words, 600 max. But that sparseness masks the input of so many people. From having the newsletter’s title contest-crowdsourced among State Bar staff, to an elegant logo designed by our Art Director, to all the writing and curating done in-house, to the ad sales that make the newsletter smart and profitable, this is a capital-T Team effort. Kudos to everyone involved.

We do enjoy hearing your thoughts about our daily work. Send praise, critiques and suggestions to us at Daily5@azbar.org. And yes, we’ll write back.

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State Bar Governors sought for two Districts.

The State Bar of Arizona calls for candidates to apply for a position on its governing board, the Board of Governors. Complete packets are due to the Bar by tomorrow, Tuesday, February 28, at 5:00 p.m.

Openings exist in two counties/Bar districts. There are nine openings in Maricopa County (District 6), and one opening in Pinal County (District 8).

State Bar of Arizona logo
Among the interesting aspects to this election:

  • For the first time ever, out-of-state members can vote (in the District of their most recent Arizona residence or place of business or, if none, in Bar District 6/Maricopa County).
  • Terms for those prevailing in this election will be for two years. Although Board terms are typically three years, in 2019 the Board of Governors faces a “reset,” required by an Arizona Supreme Court change to Rule 32, Ariz.R.S.Ct., which will result in a recomposition of the Board and staggered terms for members.

More information on the process and required documents for the nomination packet are here.

If you have any questions about nominations or the election process, contact Carrie Sherman at 602-340-7201 or at Carrie.Sherman@staff.azbar.org.

In partnership with the Florence Project, The Rogue Trio will perform February 24 at ASU's Katzin Hall.

In partnership with the Florence Project, The Rogue Trio will perform February 24 at ASU’s Katzin Hall.

This month’s headlines were filled with developments regarding immigration law and significant changes that are proposed for its enforcement.

If you’re seeking a very creative way to be imbued with the immigrant experience, an event this Friday night at ASU may be the (free) ticket—or the boleto, if you’d prefer.

Florence Project logo 25 years

As organizers describe it: For one night only, The Rogue Trio partners with the Florence Project to create a unique musical experience, featuring testimony of Florence Project clients. Making his southwest debut, composer Ralph Lewis takes powerful testimony of immigrants detained in Arizona and combines their accounts with live and electroacoustic music for a moving musical juxtaposition that brings hope amongst fear.

Did you catch that? Migrant testimony in combination with music.

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The performance will be held at Arizona State University’s Katzin Hall on Friday, February 24, at 7:30 p.m. Doors will open at 7:15 p.m., and admission is free. Parking information can be found here. If you have any questions, reach out to Greer Millard at gmillard@firrp.org or 602-795-7407. More information on the The Rogue Trio is here.

And who are The Rogue Trio? They are: Justin Rollefson on saxophones, Kathleen Strahm on violin, and Mary Strobel-Price on piano. They describe their work as “a contemporary chamber ensemble that explores the diverse color palate of an unconventional assortment of instruments.” Color me interested. You can visit their website here, and find them on Facebook here.

Meantime, in other legal news related to the high-profile nature of immigration cases today, here’s an ABA Journal article about a website that connects volunteer lawyers with travelers affected by the immigration ban.

As ABA Journal reporter Debra Cassens Weiss writes, “Airport Lawyer allows users to input information about people targeted by the ban who are traveling to the United States—whether it’s the user, a friend or family member. The information can be shared with lawyers who can be available at the airport to monitor arrivals. … A list of the airports where volunteer lawyers are available through the app is here.”

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The future of legal search will be embedded in artificial intelligence.

The future of legal search will be embedded in artificial intelligence.

Bob Ambrogi is an experienced and talented journalist who covers the legal profession. And all of that means he has the essential element of skepticism. So when he covers the evolving horse race in legal research, I tend to trust his takeaways.

Oh, you didn’t know there’s a horse race? Well, that could be a problem. Because strategic thinkers are assessing the best and most efficient ways to do legal research. Time was, we’d all sit at tables with mounds of books. And don’t forget your Shepard’s, unless you like malpractice claims.

We’ve advanced, of course, and most all of us know the ins and outs of some legal software, be it Lexis, Westlaw, Fastcase, Casemaker … what have you.

But the world is not standing still while the Lexises of the world (Lexii?) run the board. Instead, ROSS has entered the scene.

You may know ROSS Intelligence as the artificial-intelligence tool that has become adept at beating world-class chess pros. Bored, or something, ROSS has turned its attention to the legal field. I’m guessing there may be a few extra dollars in the legal field rather than in board games.

It was bound to happen, but someone has made a head-to-head (byte-to-byte) comparison of Westlaw, Lexis, and ROSS.

The takeaway: In certain areas, those first two had better get to the gym, because they are being outpaced by their artificial intelligence cohort.

You can read all of Bob’s takeaways here.

Part of the research into ROSS Intelligence included the user experience. (Source: Blue Hill Research)

Part of the research into ROSS Intelligence included the user experience. (Source: Blue Hill Research)

As you’ll see and maybe appreciate, he couches his conclusions with a number of caveats—not the least of which, the test was performed in a practice area—bankruptcy—in which ROSS was initially developed. So maybe that robot intelligence simply is most at home on that playing field.

But its competitors probably should not reside in that comfortable excuse. Clearly, the search landscape is changing.

And of course, in that change may be opportunities for lawyers. Especially those who are forward-thinking and recognize the strategic advantage in better, more efficient search.

Meantime, if you want an even deeper dive, here is the report from Blue Hill Research, the company that did the comparison tests, and detail from the ROSS folks themselves.

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