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Ashley Kasarjian Athena Award 2015 1

Snell & Wilmer attorney Ashley Kasarjian accepts her Athena Award, Oct. 29, 2015, Arizona Biltmore Resort.

How do you ensure your own professional success? There are multiple ingredients in that recipe, but a vital one is to surround yourself with talented people.

In that life’s mission, I am pleased to report that attorney Ashley Kasarjian prevailed in the 2015 Athena Awards. The employment and labor attorney from Snell & Wilmer is the honoree in the Young Professional category.

Ashley is terrific in many ways, and we are privileged to have her serve as the Editorial Board Chair for Arizona Attorney. I’ve been lucky to work with great chairs over the years, but … gulp … she is our first Athena!

As the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce describes its award:

“The Athena is bestowed on a small and impressive group of women. Honorees ‘demonstrate inspiring leadership within their industry, have mentored women throughout their career, and have dedicated themselves to the community through various activities and charities.’”

More detail on Ashley’s achievement is here and here.

What? Did you say you’d like to view great video related to the event? The one where she accepts her award and crushes it in addressing the importance of education and education funding? Well, all you had to do was ask!

And in case you didn’t know it, Ashley is also the author of the terrific Employment and the Law Blog. It was named the top Labor and Employment Law Blog in 2011 by LexisNexis. You should bookmark and follow her here.

Congratulations, Ashley, on your honor! So well deserved!

You know the law ... but how's your practice know-how?

You know the law … but how’s your practice know-how?

Last month, I heard from a lawyer and law professor. He had written an article for publication on the blog of the Washington State Bar Association, and he wondered if I was interested in publishing it too.

I was intrigued—and not just because John Lande and I graduated from the same law school (in different years; we don’t know each other). I was interested because the material could be useful to practicing lawyers.

Let’s begin with the title: Tips For Lawyers Who Want To Get Good Results For Clients And Make Money”

So right off the bat, we see that John knows how to draw readers in.

Here is a little about John:

“At the University of Missouri School of Law, John Lande is the Isidor Loeb Professor Emeritus and former director of the LLM Program in Dispute Resolution. He received his J.D. from Hastings College of Law and Ph.D in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before coming to MU, he was director of the Mediation Program and assistant professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law, where he supervised a child protection mediation clinic.”

John Lande

John Lande

You can read his more complete bio here.

Most important for today’s purposes, he contributes to the Indisputably blog of ADR law professors.

In his post, he examines with some detail multiple areas of law practice. An initial glance may suggest to you that you “already know this stuff.” In fact, most lawyers should have some facility with each of John’s topics (I’d hope!). But a more leisurely read reveals nuggets that would serve attorneys well.

Here are the topic areas he discusses:

  • Understand Your Clients’ Interests
  • Pay Attention to What’s Really Important in Your Cases, Not Just the Law or Winning
  • Recognize the Importance of Emotions–Especially Yours
  • Get to Know Your Counterpart Lawyer
  • Make a Habit of Preparing to Resolve Matters at the Earliest Appropriate Time
  • Be Prepared to Negotiate More than You Might Expect
  • Get Help From Mediators When Needed
  • Be Prepared to Advocate Hard and Smart

You can read John’s complete blog post here.

And he welcomes comments and questions; contact him here:

The movement to bring your own device is growing ... and offering workplace challenges. (Infographic via Wikipedia.)

The movement to bring your own device is growing … and offering workplace challenges. (Infographic via Wikipedia.)

Who dislikes BYOD policies? Many folks, I suppose. But in my experience, lawyers and IT pros top the list.

If you’ve ever been tempted to bring your own electronic device to work—rather than the hardware assigned to you—you’re part of the BYOD movement.

But toting your clearly superior technology to the office—and accessing work-related files with it—may cause challenges for your firm or company.

Well, leave it to a few lawyers to set things right. This Wednesday, Jaburg Wilk attorneys Neal Bookspan and Laura Rogal offer a free seminar—in partnership with Apple—that includes tips on “building your own BYOD program in the workplace.”

Laura Rogal - @Lawyer_Girl

Laura Rogal – @Lawyer_Girl

It will be held at the Apple store at the Biltmore (2502 E. Camelback) on Wednesday, October 28, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Neal Bookspan - @BusinessLawGuy

Neal Bookspan – @BusinessLawGuy

And it’s possible—wait for it—that there might be candy available, if we can trust a tweet by Laura Rogal (And if we cannot trust tweets, I’m not sure what the world has become!):

Here is more detail:

Attendees will learn how to establish a BYOD policy, security and device management and ideas to make the user experience great. Immediately following the presentation will be a networking event.

BYOD programs are thriving in companies due to the popularity of personal electronic devices and laptops, including iPhone, iPad and the iOS platform. Implementing a BYOD Program is known to reduce risks and keeps propriety information safe.

To register, send an email to the Apple Biltmore Business Team at


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.


Mobile Eateries and the Law. Yep, those are food trucks. Eat. Learn. Repeat.

Yep, those are food trucks. Eat. Learn. Repeat.

Here comes some news that is bound to nourish your body and your soul, that will feed your brain’s need for relevant CLE and your stomach’s desire to not grumble loudly through CLEs.

In a mobile stroke of genius, the State Bar is hosting a CLE titled Dinner is Curbed: Mobile Eateries and the Law.” You read it right: It’s all about food-truck law.

No surprise, the Bar is partnering with the Young Lawyers Division for this event, as the young lawyers know where to get the finest in modern-day truck-borne delicacies. (there may even be an app for that.)

Short Leash Hot Dogs logo

Short Leash Hot Dogs, ready to serve.

It will be held on Wednesday, October 14, from 9:00 am to 12:15 pm. At which point the assembled throng steps outside, only to be greeted by local favorite local Short Leash Hot Dogs and dessert from Rollover Doughnuts. Both are included with your registration cost for Phoenix attendees. As organizers say, “Come spend your morning learning about food truck basics. We’ll talk about everything from ordinances to business start-up finance basics to employment issues. And then, we’ll feed you.” FEED YOU!

Yes, lunch will also be served at the Tucson simulcast program. But webcast people—those at neither the Phoenix or Tucson Bar location—really need to examine their life choices, for there will be no soup (or anything else) for you.

Rollover Doughnuts logo


Register here for the live, belly-filled, seminar.

Register here for the Tucson simulcast that includes chow but perhaps not from a food truck.

Register here, if you must, for the empty-stomach-make-your-own-PBJ webcast.

In Phoenix, food trucks plus learning occur at the McAuliffe CLE Center, 4201 N. 24th Street.

I will see you there, for a dog and a doughnut.

The legal deets:


  • Basic legal set-up and basic city and county ordinances
  • How to design and finance your food truck
  • Hiring and firing do’s and don’ts
  • Restaurants versus restaurants on wheels
  • Hear firsthand from local food truck owners of Short Leash Hot Dogs

Seminar Chair:

  • John Frutkin, The Frutkin Law Firm

Seminar Faculty:

  • Michelle Swann, Schneider & Onofry
  • Kim Warshawsky, Ballard Spahr LLP
  • Brad Moore, Short Leash Hot Dogs
  • Kat Moore, Short Leash Hot Dogs

Short Leash Hot Dogs logo big

public speaking and how to present are my topics at an upcoming conference

How to present best is my assigned topic at an upcoming conference. Help a fellow out.

As I finish up a PowerPoint presentation, it occurred to me: Why haven’t I asked you all for your insight?

And so I seek your input on my presentation topic. My assigned title is “The Art of Presenting.”

Pretty high-falutin’, right?

So what I wonder is this: What are your one or two best ideas that transform a presentation from “Meh” to “Wow!”??

Enough already with dull presentations

Enough already with dull presentations …

To give you a sense of my presenting obligation, here is the program language:

“A lot of what we do comes down to how we engage with people, communicate and get our message across. When you are asked to create a presentation, your presentation style and visuals need to be spot on. Our presenters will discuss the art of getting your presentation just right. They will share thoughtful tips on how to communicate clearly and concisely during your presentation, followed by tips on how to engage your audience visually.”

My presenting cohort will be the terrific Catherine Sanders Reach of the Chicago Bar Association. You can read about the conference here. (And no; I will not be going to Harry Potter World.)

... let's bring on the must-see, compelling presentation. keanu_reeves_ intense hands 1

… let’s bring on the must-see, compelling presentation.

We’ll be the first to admit that “the art of presenting” may be setting the bar a tetch high. But we’re up to the challenge.

Your idea(s) on what makes a presentation terrific (and the opposite) are welcome. Please send them to me at


The owl of the Superb Owl Night Run with co-organizers Tricia Schafer (left) and Johnny Lookabaugh (right).

The owl of the Superb Owl Night Run with co-organizers Tricia Schafer (left) and Johnny Lookabaugh (right).

You may recall how back in January I predicted a particular legal outcome. A recent contrary result demonstrates why writing rather than lawyer-predicting was a better career course-correction for me.

Back in January, I chuckled over an annual fundraising race called the Superb Owl. Hosted around the time of the Super Bowl, the organizers—and I—thought the charming diction would help the Owl fly beneath the radar of The Big Game’s organizers.

Owls aren't the only wise creature when it comes to avoiding trademark trouble. A lawyers group avoids Super Bowl with their Superb Owl 5K.

Superb? Yes? Super? That question is headed toward litigation.

No so fast.

As we see in last week’s story, the NFL has filed a trademark objection about the race, co-organized by attorney Tricia Schafer. The race is a 5K called the Superb Owl Shuffle. But the website is named So you see the problem.

As the Superb Owl would probably say, Who who who would have guessed the NFL would be prickly about its trademarks? Who would have predicted that such a smile-inducing name would ruffle feathers?

Not this guy, clearly. Happy running.

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