Magna Carta Exhibit Reception Invite header

Eight hundred years is a long time, even across the Pond in Great Britain. That’s why they—and we—sit up and take notice when a remarkable document reaches 800 years old.

Officially, of course, Magna Carta is now 801 years old. But who’s going to quibble?

News arrived this week that a traveling banner exhibition commemorating the anniversary is headed to Arizona. Titled “Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy 1215-2015,” its kickoff reception occurs this Friday, March 4. Sponsored by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, the event will be held at the state Capitol building. All the detail is below.

(And be sure to read our own coverage of the document’s birthday in our recent November issue.)

Though it's unlikely to have happened this way, here is one artist's rendition of Magna Carta being signed at Runnymede.

Though it’s unlikely to have happened this way, here is one artist’s rendition of Magna Carta being signed at Runnymede.

According to the organizers:

The reception begins at 5:00 p.m., and will take place in the Arizona Capitol Museum Rotunda (1700 W. Washington). Michael Bailey, Chief Deputy Counsel for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, will offer brief remarks, and attendees will have the opportunity to preview the exhibit itself.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Developed by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress and by the Library of Congress and its Law Library, the exhibition focuses on Lincoln Cathedral’s 1215 manuscript of Magna Carta, which stands as one of only four surviving original exemplifications from that year.

The banner exhibit will be on display in the Capitol Museum from March 4-23, 2016. The museum is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

RSVP to Kileen Lindgren at

In what has become an annual tradition, on Wednesday, the Arizona Women Lawyers Association hosted a debate of the candidates for Arizona Attorney General. Held at the University Club in Phoenix, it featured a packed-to-the-gills room, candidates committed to their goals, and organizers who were committed to: (1) a value-packed event and (2) getting people out on time.

Organizers succeeded on both counts. The candidates? Well, attendees may each have had their own favorites.

AWLA Arizona Women Lawyers Association logoThe format was composed of 10-minute candidate statements, followed by 10-minute rebuttals, and finally audience question. The candidates are Republican Mark Brnovich and Democrat Felecia Rotellini.

Rather than give a blow-by-blow, let me share a few of the candidates’ main points.

Mark Brnovich speaks at the debate of Arizona Attorney General candidates at a forum sponsored by the Arizona Women Lawyers Association, Sept. 24, 2014.

Mark Brnovich speaks at the debate of Arizona Attorney General candidates at a forum sponsored by the Arizona Women Lawyers Association, Sept. 24, 2014.


“We as a society cannot tolerate when our most vulnerable are unprotected.”

“I am fully ready to push back against the Obama administration and its job-killing carbon regulations, which have a devastating impact on the economy and jobs.”

“He is such a fiscal conservative, he won’t even buy vowels for his last name.” (quoting Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery)

Felecia Rotellini speaks at the debate of Arizona Attorney General candidates at a forum sponsored by the Arizona Women Lawyers Association, Sept. 24, 2014.

Felecia Rotellini speaks at the debate of Arizona Attorney General candidates at a forum sponsored by the Arizona Women Lawyers Association, Sept. 24, 2014.


“I want to return the Attorney General’s Office to its core mission; it should be an independent watchdog for the people. I worked to be sure mortgage fraud was made a criminal act.”

“I will take politics out of the office. When you’re in the trenches, you’re colorblind. There’s no red; there’s no blue.”

“It is important that the Attorney General not be an ideologue, and that the elected official appreciates the awesome power of the office.”

On rebuttal, the candidates became considerably more impassioned. In response to Rotellini comments, Brnovich told the audience that he is not an ideologue or an extremist.

Rotellini countered by discussing her opponent’s positions on pro-choice issues, SB1062, the Corrections Corporation of America, and Medicaid restoration, among other topics. She also mentioned the $700,000 in “dark money,” which she claims came from the Koch Brothers, which was spent in the primary in a successful effort to defeat incumbent Tom Horne.

Audience questions covered sex trafficking, same-sex marriage laws, lawsuits regarding federal mandates, and what changes each would make in the ranks of career prosecutors in the Attorney General’s Office.

Both candidates urged attendees to view all their positions on their respective websites:

President Joe Kanefield in Arizona Attorney Magazine, July/August 2011

In the current issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine, we’re running a profile of Joe Kanefield (which I wrote, love it or hate it). Joe is the new President of the State Bar of Arizona, and our July/August profile is an annual feature we’ve been running for decades.

You can read the article here.

Among Joe’s many talents, he also is a formidable runner. As I write in the story:

Kanefield’s hobbies may be as interesting as many people’s careers. They range across media, from music, to photography, to running.

Joe Kanefield, center, 2006, at Leg 1 of the Baker to Vegas Challange Relay

James Schwegel, a Special Agent Supervisor in the Attorney General’s Office, recalls the young lawyer’s contribution to a unique endeavor: the 120-mile law enforcement relay race known as “Baker to Vegas.” It begins near Death Valley, goes over a mountain and finishes in Las Vegas. Schwegel says their goal is always to finish in less than 18 hours. To do that, they need 20 strong runners and 15 dedicated crew members.

“Joe was the perfect fit for the [AG’s] team,” Schwegel says. “Fast, competitive, upbeat and always supportive of his teammates. This combination of qualities resulted in Joe being chosen to start the race for Team AG three years in a row. He always set the perfect tone for the rest of the team—competitive but always friendly and good-natured.”

Jim Schwegel provided me some great background for Joe’s contribution to the team. As a writer, I sure appreciate that.

But Jim went further than that: He sent me a few photos of Joe in action, contributing to his team. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to use the photos in the print story. But it gives me great pleasure to share them here.

Thanks, Jim.

Run, Joe, run!

More information on the Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay is here. Click on “Race History” for a colorful jog through an event that’s been around since 1977.

2006: Joe Kanefield gets his number from Chief Agent Tina McMillion of the Attorney General's Office, while then-Assistant Attorney General Ward Parker looks on.


2006: Joe Kanefield on Leg 1 of the Baker to Vegas Challenge Relay