Yavapai County Courthouse (court website)

Yavapai County Courthouse (court website)

News from the Superior Court in Yavapai County:

Please join the Arizona Superior Court in Yavapai County for an open-house celebration of the 100th anniversary of the laying of the Yavapai County Courthouse cornerstone. This event will take place on Saturday, October 15, 2016, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Prescott Courthouse, 120 S. Cortez in Prescott.

Yavapai County Courthouse cornerstone

Yavapai County Courthouse cornerstone

We are extremely excited about the addition of an exhibit area on the first floor near the Law Library that will showcase historical items that were used in the courthouse through the last century. Along with exhibits, we will have historical photos displayed throughout the courthouse (images courtesy of the Sharlot Hall Museum) depicting the jewel of Yavapai County.

sharlot-hall-museum-logo

We will have docents onsite to share their knowledge and help guide you through the courthouse. We also will have folks dressed in period costumes to enhance your experience while celebrating this milestone.

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AZ Center for Law in Public Interest squibUnbelievably, May is about to pass. Before it does, I urge you to read a great article in this month’s issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine.

Every spring, I weigh the wisdom of putting non-arts content into our May issue. After all, over the past decade-plus, readers have grown accustomed to enjoying the amazing work of the lawyer-winners of our Creative Arts Competition in that issue. Non-arts content, I fear, may get lost in the sauce.

But when I heard from Tim Hogan about an anniversary of the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest, I was hooked. There may be no public interest law firm that has touched on so many vital aspects of a state’s legal health as ACLPI has.

And when I read the draft by Timothy Hogan & Joy Herr-Cardillo, I was doubly impressed. Here’s how the article opens:

Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest logo“The Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. The Center started from humble beginnings in 1974 to become one of the most successful public interest law firms in the country. No one could have predicted that the Center would still be an important force for justice in Arizona four decades years after the organization began with nothing more than a desk, a phone and a typewriter—with only one young lawyer to type on it. This is a story about that law firm’s journey.”

Here is the complete story. Please let me know what you think. And let me know which of the Center’s many significant cases have made the biggest impression on you, as an attorney and an Arizonan.

Arizona_Supreme_Court_SealI received some interesting news recently from Heather Murphy (she is the Director of Communications for the Arizona Supreme Court and Administrative Office of the Courts). Heather let me know that judicial education—what we all know as COJET—turned 30 this week. (It doesn’t look a day over 20!)

The anniversary was on November 18, to be precise. (And when you’re dealing with continuing education, you want to be precise!)

When it comes to lawyer education—MCLE—I have heard an earful over the years. But many attorneys may be unaware of all the continuing ed that judicial officers must obtain.

I am looking for stories of court innovation that we can tell in 2014 as part of our NextLaw initiative, and I’m expecting some of those stories may come from our own Supreme Court. I appreciate this story, which is a jump-start on that effort.

Here is a great retelling of the events that led up to this year’s anniversary, as told by the Court itself:

Arizona Supreme Court building

Arizona Supreme Court

 

On this date in 1983, the Arizona Supreme Court established the Council on Judicial Education and Training (COJET). The purpose was to establish educational policies and standards for the court system. Training through COJET covers everything from changes in law, best practices, innovations in court settings, and current issues or topics affecting the administration of justice in our communities.

Now 30 years later, COJET courses have evolved from classroom or seminar-based learning to courses delivered through the internet, via webinars and other technology-based delivery methods. Technology has made it possible to deliver training to the entire state judiciary on a cost-effective basis.

Every full-time employee of the court system is responsible for adhering to a 16-credit hour COJET training requirement to ensure that the staff receives timely, relevant continuing education to enhance and support their role in the courts. People working fewer than 40 hours per week also have training requirements varying from four to 12 hours.

“COJET training is required for everyone, from human resources and support staff to detention and probation officers, managers, clerks and administrators,” said Jeff Schrade, Education Services Director at the Arizona Supreme Court. “For the 2012 calendar year, we delivered training to 8,822 employees statewide.”

For the typical employee, training can be a combination of self-study courses, seminars or conferences. At least six of the credit hours must be facilitated learning in a workshop, seminar, conference, educational group broadcast or college course that meets certain accreditation requirements.

Over the past 30 years, the Council has become the Committee on Judicial Education and Training and the scope has widened to include monitoring the quality of educational programs, recommending changes in policies and standards and approving guidelines for training programs.

Schrade outlined some of his group’s milestones over the last 30 years:

  • The first COJET training videos were produced in 1988.
  • In 1991, the topic of domestic violence was selected for the first statewide broadcast training, which was delivered to five remote sites.
  • An all-day broadcast on victims’ rights followed in 1992.
  • The first national broadcast program took place in 1993 on the topic of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • The Probation Officer Certification Academy was launched in 1995.
  • In 1998, Arizona became one of a small number of states authorized to deliver locally the accredited programs normally offered at the National Center for State Courts in Virginia.
  • The Judicial Education Center opened in 2001, providing a central location with multiple classroom configurations for large or small training events.
  • The Arizona Supreme Court began delivering courses via webcast in 2009.
  • In 2012, training requirements were temporarily pared back to 12 hours for non-judge court staff due to budget constraints at the state, county and municipal court levels.
  • In 2013, the 16-hour COJET requirement for full-time staff was restored.
  • The Presiding Judges Leadership Academy was also launched in 2013.

“The secret to our success is that we deliver highly relevant training on issues that court staff encounter on a regular basis but we also focus on emerging issues and trends,” Schrade explained. “We have a great committee that helps us plan training classes, study and respond to evaluations and develop new curriculum as needed.”

So what tastes good, confuses Accounting, and celebrates Access to Justice?

A cake, of course.

Here is just a slice of our delicious cake cover for the July/August Arizona Attorney Magazine.

Here is just a slice of our delicious cake cover for the July/August Arizona Attorney Magazine.

The upcoming issue of Arizona Attorney features a history-sharing cover story. We’re pleased to cover the 35th anniversary of the Bar Foundation—currently named the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education. To do so, we are publishing the memories of many of their past Presidents.

At the magazine, we brainstormed what an anniversary needs, and of course we thought of a cake.

Search around in online stock art and you’ll see a lot of cakes. But a great sister like the Foundation only turns 35 once, so Art Director Karen Holub and I agreed a real, honest-to-goodness cake was best.

The craftsmanship was done by the talented Tammie Coe. You should see more of her work here.

cake maker Tammie Coe

Tammie Coe

The cake image above reveals a small part of the beautiful creation. I promised Karen I would not give away The Big Reveal. The whole thing will be visible on our July/August cover.

Oh, and the Accounting-confusion thing? Try sending a cake invoice to your Accounting Department coded for “Professional Services” rather than for “Food/Meals.” You’ll get a phone call.

Here was my emailed explanation to them:

“The cake was made as a prop for our photo shoot. Though it was edible (after quite awhile under hot lights), the bakery was hired first and foremost for its design skills and craftsmanship, not for eatin’!”

We try to keep it interesting.

Because I know you like to see how the cake (and sausage) is made, I share an early conceptual drawing for this cake project (below). The final result was quite a bit different, but we’re all about the process!

cake mockup AZFLSE v2

Cake concept drawing

Have a wonderful Independence Day. The blog and I may take a few days off (I consulted James Madison, who urged me to write more, a la The Federalist Papers. But my man Ben Franklin urged relaxation, which I will heed.)

Martin Cooper, chairman and CEO of ArrayComm, holds a Motorola DynaTAC, a 1973 prototype of the first handheld cellular telephone, on April 2, 2003, in San Francisco. The device is 10 inches long and weighs 2.5 pounds.

Call me! Martin Cooper, chairman and CEO of ArrayComm, holds a Motorola DynaTAC, a 1973 prototype of the first handheld cellular telephone, on April 2, 2003, in San Francisco. The device is 10 inches long and weighs 2.5 pounds.

Did you sense it? Lawyers, could you feel the significance of this week in history?

If not, it may because you were busy using your Smartphone and so completely missed a remarkable anniversary: Mobile phones have been around for 40 years.

Granted, the devices you may have hefted four decades ago may not bear any resemblance to the iPhone you pocket today, but the birthday is still real.

Here is how newspapers described the anniversary: “This week in 1973, using a prototype Motorola DynaTac, inventor Martin Cooper made the first call on a mobile phone. Forty years later, it’s considered a brick compared with the diminutive devices we carry around.”

Brick is right.

Click through for more photos of mobile phones throughout history, including some with the utterly charming Cooper bearing his cutting-edge technology.

More news on the topic, and smile-inducing clips from movies and TV, are here. Have a great, phone-filled weekend.

On Friday, I will be heading over to an event at the Phoenix law firm Snell & Wilmer. The gathering is a two-day conference titled “In-House Counsel Global Symposium.” It promises to give some fascinating insights into international practice, and I’ll report back on what I hear.

But sitting in the Snell conference room will be odd, for I have always thought of it as an important part of Dan McAuliffe’s house. Let me explain.

Dan was a legendary lawyer, who practiced the bulk of his career at Snell. He was always everywhere that lawyers needed his assistance. He served as  State Bar President, and wrote books and treatises on professionalism, and ethics, and civil practice.

That’s the nutshell version. But it doesn’t explain why he’s still on my mind a year after he’s shuffled off this mortal coil.

To do that, I point you to a few things I wrote. A few are long-winded, but one won’t take you more than a few moments. I’d start with that one.

In another conference room—this one at the State Bar of Arizona—Dan’s picture smiles over a room dedicated to legal education. He’d like that. And next to it is a plaque that I am pleased to say I was asked to write. The call was for something brief and less bio-awful than many such plaques that we all have read a hundred times. So here’s what I wrote:

“Dan McAuliffe wrote numerous books and articles on ethics and professionalism, including the Arizona Legal Ethics Handbook. Those works have been and will continue to be invaluable guides to Arizona lawyers. But Dan’s accomplishments run far beyond those works.”

“Dan was a leader in every group in which he sat. He was smart, perhaps smarter than anyone you’re likely to come across in a career of law practice. He was generous of his time and of his opinion, even when you’d rather decline the offer. He was a friend to lawyers, especially those new to practice. He was an advocate for the unfortunate and a tireless champion of justice. His legacy is commemorated every time an Arizona lawyer chooses the path of ethics, education and professionalism.”

I knew Dan, and I suspect he would smirk at those words, roll his eyes, and say, “Eigo, that’s too much.” But he was all that, and more.

Besides that plaque, I got the chance to write about Dan a few other times. One of the first was as he was about to become the new State Bar of Arizona President. One of the last was after he had passed away on March 12, 2010.

I thought about Dan on the anniversary of his death. But writing something that day felt misguided, somehow. Instead, I think of him now, on the day he was born in 1945, a Bronx baby who would grow up to become a respected attorney.

RIP, Dan. We think of you still.

"We're 1!" I typed.

Later, I will post a story about an annual awards ceremony at which three Arizona lawyers were honored. But before we get to that, I have to tell why that event is significant to me and this blog.

It was one year ago, on March 17, 2010, that I launched my daily posting on this blog, AZ Attorney (and yes, I generally mean weekdays only – cut a guy some slack). And the story that historic day was a post about the same awards banquet, in the 2010 version.

Yes, I had blogged more occasionally before over the preceding six months. And I had started it originally to write my novel-in-a-month, called The Supremes. (The entire thing is still online. Go here to read the Prologue and Chapter 1. And if you want to keep reading about Dedrick, Duckworth, Castro & Paine—“Dead Duck”—have at it.)

I’m not much for birthdays, but I do feel a sense of accomplishment. Writing is a wonderful outlet, and I am pleased that it has become an essential part of my daily routine. It’s as second nature as drinking too much coffee and failing in my battle to not roll my eyes at nonsensical directives.

When I tell others that I write, I often feel that I should add an asterisk. After all, I live and work in Arizona, where the circus never leaves town, and where everyone from the governor on down happily shovels piles of steaming ideas on my writer’s doorstep every day. The primary challenge: selecting among the piles for just the right material for that day’s entries.

And now, I’ll turn to writing about the awards ceremony: the American Jewish Committee’s 2011 Learned Hand Awards Luncheon Honorees.

In the meantime, feel free to send some drinks to my table, or tell the waiter it’s my blog’s birthday—we’ll take the free cake.