State Bar of Arizona News


An April 3, 2015, Arizona Forward event at the Arizona Supreme Court gathered advocates and legal experts to addr4ess access to justice issues.

An April 3, 2015, Arizona Forward event at the Arizona Supreme Court gathered advocates and legal experts to addr4ess access to justice issues.

Our offices will be closed for the Fourth of July holiday on Friday, July 3. But before I head for the hills, I’ll share one more post for this week, this one written by my prolific colleague Alberto Rodriguez.

His piece is in regard to a noteworthy event held earlier this spring. Arizona Forward was a gathering of people and organizations committed to access to justice. Held at the Arizona Supreme Court on April 3, 2015, speakers included American Bar Association President William C. Hubbard.

Now, the event organizers have released their report, which Alberto summarizes for us here (more event photos are at the end of this post; click to enlarge and to view them in a slideshow):

Speakers at the April 3, 2015, Arizona Forward event included (L to R) State Bar CEO John Phelps; ABA President William Hubbard; Arizona Chief Justice Scott Bales; State Bar Governor Jeff Willis; and State Bar President Richard Platt.

Speakers at the April 3, 2015, Arizona Forward event included (L to R) State Bar CEO John Phelps; ABA President William Hubbard; Arizona Chief Justice Scott Bales; State Bar Governor Jeff Willis; and State Bar President Richard Platt.

Legal professionals and community leaders are one step closer to solving the shortage of accessible legal services in Arizona. Arizona Forward, a day-long conference held in April that focused on finding new and better ways to deliver legal services, has released its findings, which included the following.

To move Arizona forward in the future delivery of legal services to its citizens, the significant changes in demographics, economies and technology must be considered by leaders from all sectors of the community-at-large.

  • (We) need to consider further augmentation of the legal services profession, beyond licensed document preparers, to include greater use of non-lawyers and paraprofessionals.
  • (We) need to communicate more effectively to those who need legal services about access to the legal system and recognize when legal advice is needed.
  • (We) must harness technology in every imaginable way to reach and assist those in need of legal services.

The underlying theme in the report was the need for increased communication. Advancements in technology will help to tackle this communication barrier. As technology continues to advance, it will play a key role in ensuring that it provides the gateway in linking those who need legal services to those who can provide it. Mobile and virtual technology are two elements being considered.

As Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Scott Bales has said, “Having meaningful access to legal services is vital to fulfilling the promise of justice for all. The goal of Arizona Forward is to find new, innovative solutions that advance justice for all Arizonans.” That first step was taken, and the first goal met by the State Bar of Arizona, the Arizona Supreme Court, the American Bar Association and the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU, who co-sponsored the event, along with community leaders from across the state, was to identify the issues and offer attainable solutions.

For more information on Arizona Forward and to read the report, click here or contact Carrie Sherman at 602-340-7201. To learn more about the nationwide initiative led by the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services, click here.

Hon. Patricia Norris and President-Elect Lisa Loo share a decisive moment, June 26, 2015, Phoenix, Ariz.

Hon. Patricia Norris and President-Elect Lisa Loo share a decisive moment, June 26, 2015, Phoenix, Ariz.

More news from the Convention will be in this space Monday. But as #azbarcon 2015 draws toward a close, I share a great photo snapped by the Bar’s Rick DeBruhl. Above you’ll see a historic moment: When Court of Appeals Judge Patricia Norris (L) acquiesced to the urging of President-Elect Lisa Loo to … serve as a Convention Co-Chair for next year’s Convention!

Thank you in advance, Judge Norris, for giving of your time and talents in the coming year!

George Bisharat is Big Harp George, and he's a presenter at the 2015 #azbarcon

George Bisharat is Big Harp George, and he’s a presenter at the 2015 #azbarcon

Last week, I wrote about an #azbarcon panel discussion on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. I’ll be there when it starts at 2:00 today.

But in the meantime, you should take a moment to hear from one of the panelists, Professor George Bisharat. (I disclosed before that he was my law school crim-law professor.) Today, he’ll be giving insight on the Palestinian side of the dialogue. But more pertinent for your lunchtime listening? He is Big Harp George, an accomplished harmonica player.

He’s released a CD (maybe more), but here is one of his songs.

Here is news that he was nominated for Best New Artist Album at the Blues Music Awards.

And here is his website and Facebook page.

Here’s hoping you have some chromatic blues in your day!

The Arizona Attorney Convention booth

The Arizona Attorney Convention booth

Keep up with what’s happening at the State Bar Annual Convention by following the editor on Twitter! Get short, timely messages (including photos, speaker presentations and more) from Arizona Attorney Magazine’s staff. If you, your firm or employer are active on Twitter, just insert the hashtag #azbarcon into all of your Convention tweets to allow them to be read and searched by fellow attendees and the entire legal community.

The Twitter links will take you to updates in our Convention Daily—news items and photos that will appear on the magazine blog, Facebook and Tumblr pages, and in our News Center:

And feel free to stop by the Arizona Attorney booth in the Frank Lloyd Wright building, or contact the editor, who is wandering about the Biltmore attending sessions.

He’s at 602-908-6991 and arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

The Arizona Attorney booth is circled in red (Booth # 10!).

Remember, the Arizona Attorney booth is circled in red (Booth # 10!).

Convention app social media screenshot

Good news: The State Bar of Arizona has launched an app to help you navigate the annual Convention. Well, it’s more of a mobile-friendly web page than an app, but I won’t quibble. It is totes better than flipping through reams of paper as you wander the Arizona Biltmore hallways.

You can read more about it here.

Or, even easier: With your cellphone, just navigate to this page. Here are some screen shots of what I found (there’s a lot more than the few I show).

The Arizona Attorney booth is circled in red (Booth # 10!).

The Arizona Attorney booth is circled in red (Booth # 10!).

Click to biggify!

And just to show you how helpful the site is, I’ve highlighted on the map exactly where the Arizona Attorney booth is located. We’re in the Frank Lloyd Wright Ballroom, booth 10. When you enter the building, turn right, and we’re next to the Ladies bathroom. (I know, I tried to think of an elegant way to put that.) We’re not far from the Cyber Café. So after you check your email, stop by to say hi!

The Arizona Attorney Convention booth

The Arizona Attorney Convention booth

 

New State Bar of Arizona officers, L to R: Jeff Willis (Secretary/Treasurer; Bryan Chambers, President; Lisa Loo, First Vice President; and Alex Vakula, Second Vice President, June 23, 2015, Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix.

New State Bar of Arizona officers, L to R: Jeff Willis, Secretary/Treasurer; Bryan Chambers, President; Lisa Loo, President-Elect; Alex Vakula, First Vice President, June 23, 2015, Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix. (Not pictured: Geoffrey Trachtenberg, Second Vice President.)

At its regular annual meeting at the State Bar Convention this afternoon, the State Bar of Arizona Board of Governors confirmed its slate of officers for the coming year. The new roster includes the newest officer, Secretary/Treasurer Jeff Willis, elected today:

  • President: Bryan B. Chambers
  • President-Elect: Lisa Loo
  • First Vice President: Alex Vakula
  • Second Vice President: Geoffrey Trachtenberg
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Jeff Willis

Following board bylaws, the new slate of officers assume their positions at the close of the annual meeting.

Follow more news via this Convention Daily and on Twitter, hashtag #azbarcon

The Arizona Biltmore is the site for the 2015 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

The Arizona Biltmore is the site for the 2015 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

This is annual Convention week at the State Bar of Arizona. As always, a large selection of educational seminars (and fun activities) are packed into the three-day event held in Arizona Biltmore.

More detail about the Convention is here.

As always, Arizona Attorney Magazine staff (yes, that’s me) will cover the annual event.

And as in the past, we will not print a once-a-day hard-copy “Convention Daily.” Instead, I’ll will cover Convention news closer to real time, via the editor’s blog and social media. We will use multiple channels to communicate what’s going on. But the surest way to be sure you see everything is to follow me on Twitter. My name in Twitter is @azatty. You can view all the evolving content here (or at http://twitter.com/azatty, to be specific). I will be tagging everything with the hashtag #azbarcon – so be sure to search for that.

Want to participate? Send me brief stories or story suggestions. Or if you have convention photos, we’d be glad to share them with readers.

And don’t forget to tweet from convention. Use the hashtag #azbarcon.

Questions or suggestions? Reach the Editor, Tim Eigo, on-site at the Biltmore, at 602-908-6991 or via arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

And always feel free to stroll up and say hello. I’ll be hiking all over the Biltmore to cover the goings-on. Or you may catch me at the Arizona Attorney table in the Exhibitor area. If you miss me there, leave your card or a note.

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