Some timely questions are posed here by a colleague in New York State, Kevin Ryan. What are your thoughts on the recent candid comments by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg? Appropriate? Something less than that?

Bar View

By Kevin Ryan, Esq.

Three times in the past week Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has offered strong opinions on the presidential race and her views of Donald Trump as a presidential hopeful. “I can’t imagine what the country would be with Donald Trump as our president,” she told an interviewer from The New York Times. Previously, in an interview with The Associated Press, she said she didn’t “want to think about the possibility [of a Trump victory],” because then “everything would be up for grabs.” She has labeled Mr. Trump as an inconsistent “faker” who “says whatever comes into his head,” noting “he really has an ego.”

Now, no matter what one thinks about Mr. Trump or his candidacy, such comments from a sitting Supreme Court justice seem to cross the line. Historically, justices on the Court have shied away from making political statements – and they certainly have…

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Before National #TypewriterDay ends, I share an item from last year …

AZ Attorney

A Contessa never looked so sweet (or clacked so loudly). typewriter A Contessa never looked so sweet (or clacked so loudly).

Who doesn’t love a typewriter?

Well, the world, apparently. As a whole, things may look bad for this most useful of tools.

But as individuals, many of us maintain a soft spot in our hearts for the clatter of the lettered keys. For in a digital world, it’s a blast to recall how much we once actually used our digits in a tactile way.

I got to thinking about that in February when I read a terrific essay titled “The Last of the Typewriter Men.” It tells the tale of New Yorker Paul Schweitzer and his everyday battle to help ever-older typewriters to function well.

On this Change of Venue Friday, I wonder if you, like me, still have a typewriter around the home or office.

I still hear from folks that an IBM Selectric is kept…

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Craig Morris, U.S. Patent & Trademark Office

Craig Morris, U.S. Patent & Trademark Office

Learning how the U.S. trademark application system works will be made easier this Wednesday, October 21, when U.S. Patent Trademark Office Managing Attorney Craig Morris appears at the State Library of Arizona in the historic state capitol.

As the state’s division of Library, Archives and Public Records describes it, Morris’s talk will include:

  • Live demonstration of the USPTO’s online application system
  • Help resources within the application
  • How to avoid common mistakes

There is no cost to attend the presentation, but seats are limited. Reserve your seat here.

The event will be held at the State Library of Arizona, Con Cronin Commons Meeting Room, 1700 W. Washington St., Phoenix, at 3:00 pm, Oct. 21.

For more information, contact the State Library of Arizona at research@azlibrary.gov or 602-926-3870.

And here is more information about speaker Craig Morris:

“Craig Morris works within the Office of the Commissioner for Trademarks in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Alexandria, Va. Currently, he is the Managing Attorney for Trademark Educational Outreach, spearheading the effort for increased USPTO educational activities in the area of trademark fundamentals. For 14 years prior, he was the Managing Attorney for the Trademark Electronic Application System, focusing on making the Trademark Operation a total e-government environment. Mr. Morris has been with the USPTO since 1983, previously serving as a Law Office Examining Attorney, Senior Attorney, and Managing Attorney.”

uspto_seal US Patent and Trademark Office

On a beautiful Monday when many readers may be on vacation, enjoy this terrific piece on Presidents Day.


WSBA offices will be closed on Monday, Feb. 16 in observance of Presidents Day.

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U.S. Supreme_Court

This Wednesday, September 17, we get another in a popular series of analyses from the recent U.S. Supreme Court Term.

Organized by the State Bar CLE folks, it will include the thoughts of Judge George Anagnost as moderator, as well as panelists ASU Law Professor Paul Bender, Arizona Summit Law Professor Dave Cole, and attorney–scholar Bob McWhirter.

As they describe it:

“This symposium will review significant cases for the October 2013 Term including the Hobby Lobby and the Town of Greece case. The program will feature scholars on the Court focusing on cases presenting important questions of law, comments on individual justices’ legal perspectives, and a preview of petitions for certiorari for this coming October Term 2014.”

More information is here. I hope to see you there.

Screen-shot from Federal Bar Association video on its Women and the Law conference, to be held on July 11, 2014.

Screen-shot from Federal Bar Association video on its Women and the Law conference, to be held on July 11, 2014.

How do you visually preview your events? Not at all? Maybe you need a new plan.

I became a convert to the in-person conference about a decade ago. That’s when I attended some events that provided an educational experience that could not be replicated in a webcast or podcast.

Many people agree with that sentiment. But far too few use all available channels to tout their upcoming event. Among the channels that are underused? Video.

Federal Bar Association FBA logo_optI previously shared my take on how the State Bar of Arizona and Niche Media proclaimed their coming educational conference. (And more on Niche later this week.)

But today’s thumbs-up goes to the Federal Bar Association. Many of you attorneys who practice in federal court may already be FBA members (and if not, you should consider it).

On July 11, the FBA hosts its Women in the Law Conference. You can read more about it here.

If I were in DC later this week, I would attend. But in the meantime, thank you to Stacy King, the FBA’s Deputy Executive Director, for sharing the organization’s video touting the conference. Here it is:

Well, if there’s one thing all my conference experience has taught me, it is to replicate the best ideas you see floating around. So congratulations to the Federal Bar Association for a terrific video; hello to wideo, a portal I will grow familiar with as I muddle through creating my own video.

Is anyone else planning to make a video in the near future? Let me know if you try wideo. Let’s get people looking even more at our content.

If a license plate is named after one of the deadly sins, you might want to avoid it (unless you're Al Pacino).

If a license plate is named after one of the deadly sins, you might want to avoid it (unless you’re Al Pacino).

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to be in Los Angeles—which I really like, before you start with the grimaces. But maybe my pleasure came partially from the fact that I was not driving. The few times I had to travel about the freeway system, battle-weary cabbies did it for me.

My passenger status allowed me the luxury of looking at my surroundings as they flew by in a blur. But L.A. traffic jams also allow a more relaxed view of Southern California, and that is when I got to see my share of vanity license plates.

A strange thing, the vanity plate. Many (to me) are merely inscrutable, making me wonder why someone would spend money on an inside joke. (Of course, I’m famously clueless about deciphering the words. Years ago, I gazed at a plate, muttering, “Flaming Oz?” over and over. Until my daughters realized I was being dense, not funny, and they kindly informed me the plate meant “flamingoes.” Which was still stupid, but whatever.)

I’ve remarked before on the presence of lawyer license plates, and Above the Law has had some fun at the drivers’ expense.

Well, this past weekend, I saw one of my favorite attorney plates ever. As we drove east on the 10 out of Santa Monica, traffic ground to a near-halt as we entered the lane to head south on the 405. And that’s when a gorgeous black Porsche 911 Carrera slipped in ahead of us. It took me a moment to stop savoring the vehicle itself and for me to glance down at the plate: “Mns Rea.”

lawyer license plate mens rea

Yes, counselor, we’re very impressed. (Click for larger version.)

Even in the required shortened form, I understood immediately we were behind Mens Rea. Can’t recall law school? Well, it’s that quotable bit of Latin that refers to criminal intent, a necessary element to establish guilt.

Why a lawyer would gleefully holler “malice” from his plate, I don’t know. But it seems to fall in nicely with the humblebrag, the sly sharing of mundane personal information that covertly tries to toot your own horn.

An Arizona license plate of a decidedly different variety. immigration Anti SB1070

An Arizona license plate of a decidedly different variety.

Not impressive enough that the driver’s in a Porsche? Well, he (or she, I couldn’t tell) is also happy to let you in on the secret that a successful lawyer career paid for that machinery from Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen.

What do you think of vanity plates? If you catch a photo of one that makes you laugh—or seethe—send it to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

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