This month, attorney Clint Bolick was selected as a new Arizona Supreme Court Justice by Gov. Doug Ducey.

This month, attorney Clint Bolick was selected as a new Arizona Supreme Court Justice by Gov. Doug Ducey.

It cannot be easy to select a new state supreme court justice. So much is involved in the job that a panel must weigh a broad array of talents and experiences. And at the end of the day, the old adage applies: You can’t please everybody.

Clint Bolick is a longtime litigator for the Goldwater Institute and an occasional columnist for Arizona Attorney Magazine. (Read a few of his pieces where he discussed courts, judges, and legal services here, here, and here. And he discusses a book on immigration reform he coauthored with Jeb Bush here.) And now he can add Arizona Supreme Court Justice to his roster of accomplishments (though I’m sure columnist will always be his favorite achievement!)

You can read news stories about his appointment by Gov. Doug Ducey here, here, and here.

Arizona_Supreme_Court_SealThose also up for the job had ample experience as appellate judges, which the new Justice lacked. That, plus his previous advocacy litigation, meant that his selection was not met with unanimous positive reviews. (for a negative take, here is E.J. Montini’s column in the Arizona Republic.)

Whatever your view of his appointment, I was pleased to watch Clint Bolick’s interview as he sat before the appointments panel (and I urge you to watch it here). Sitting in the hot seat, Clint did extremely well. He did not appear there as a man who lacks the skill and experience for the job. Nor did he overcompensate by appearing prideful about his litigation record. Instead, he was—and is—soft-spoken and self-effacing. And that has been my experience of him as a colleague and writer.

If there is an entry for “disarming interview” in the dictionary, he would occupy the spot.

Of course, none of that means you will necessarily be pleased (or disappointed) in his subsequent opinions. His judicial record will now roll out over a course of years. Until then, I congratulate Justice Bolick and wish him the best.

pass the torch succession planning for lawyers

“Effective January 1, 2016, Arizona lawyers must have a succession plan. Yes, that’s must.”

And so opens a helpful blog post written by Arizona ethics expert Patricia Sallen. Yes, you should read the rest, here. And then set up your own succession plan. And don’t forget to follow her blog for valuable tips and updates.

Meanwhile, bookmark and read another article by Pat on recent law-practice rule changes, which we published in the January issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine.

pass the torch lawyer succession planning wrestling pdO0XZE

Succession planning for lawyers requires careful thought, and it’s all in the hand-off.

Arizona_Supreme_Court_SealNews from the Arizona Supreme Court:

The Arizona Appellate Courts seek your input in assessing whether the National Model Time Standards for State Appellate Courts should be adopted by Arizona.

Chief Justice Scott Bales established the Committee on Arizona Appellate Case Processing Standards, which is chaired by Justice Ann A. Scott Timmer. The committee is charged with evaluating the national standards and developing and recommending case processing standards for the Arizona Supreme Court and both divisions of the Arizona Court of Appeals. The national standards are presented here as a starting point for this evaluation.

You are invited to comment on whether the National Model Time Standards should be adopted by Arizona or if alternative time standards should be considered. To provide comments, please click here. Comments must be submitted no later than February 7, 2016, for review at the next committee meeting.

clock watch gears kencondal3

Arizona Supreme Court building

A new Arizona Justice will be appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey. Applicant interviews will be held on Nov. 20, 2015.

Note: The following post was edited to reflect changes announced by the Arizona Supreme Court at 9:40 a.m. The changes indicate that the judicial-applicant interviews will be taped and posted later, but not streamed live. The Court announced, “We reviewed how interviews were done in the past and we have not previously simulcast/webcast the interviews.  A decision was made to be consistent with previous interviews.” The interviews will still be open to the public.

The Arizona Supreme Court has announced that on this Friday, November 20, interviews for applicants for a vacant Justice position will be held and be open to the public, beginning at 8:00 a.m.

The interviews will also be taped, recorded, and then posted in their entirety later on the Court’s website. The Court anticipates posting all the video by 5:00 p.m. the same day.

The nine individuals to be interviewed in the public meeting were selected by the Arizona Commission on Appellate Court Appointments. At the end of the meeting, the Commission members will vote on a slate of at least three nominees to send to Gov. Doug Ducey, who will be making his first appointment to the Arizona Supreme Court.

Arizona_Supreme_Court_SealI provided the list of applicants previously here.

The Court has posted each individual’s application on its website. The agenda for the meeting is here. “As noted on the agenda, there may be executive sessions before and after the public interviews. Interviews will be 30 minutes long and will be taped and available for viewing by 5:00 p.m. on November 20. The landing page for our webcast and archived videos is here.”

 

University of Arizona Law School

The University of Arizona Law School will be the location of Arizona Supreme Court oral arguments on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2015.

Today, I share some news from the Arizona Supreme Court about its holding oral arguments in Tucson tomorrow, Tuesday, November 10, 2015:

“The justices have identified two cases to be presented, and attorneys representing each side will be given 20 minutes to present their arguments. After the second case, the justices will take questions from the audience, as long as those questions do not pertain to the case or cases they just heard.”

When: Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, 2-4 p.m. Guests must arrive no later than 1:10 p.m. in order to go through security screening.

Where: Ares Auditorium, Room 164, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, 1201 E. Speedway Blvd.

Who may attend: Seating is limited and available to those who have preregistered here. Members of the public are welcome on a first-come, first-served basis as remaining space allows. Note that food and beverages are not permitted past security.

Arizona_Supreme_Court_SealThe Court will hear appellate arguments in two cases (click the case name for more detail):

2-2:40 p.m.: State v. Joseph Javier Romero, CR-15-0039-PR (issue regards the Daubert standard for expert witnesses)

3-3:50 p.m.: Jackie Abbott et al. v Banner Health Network et al., CV-15-0013-PR (issue regards a patient class-action against Arizona hospitals in which patients claim hospitals engaged in “balance billing” in liens, precluded by federal law)

The Supreme Court oral arguments will be live-streamed/simulcast and archived for later viewing here. The Court’s Tucson visit is hosted by the William H. Rehnquist Center at the James E. Rogers College of Law.

Event questions may be directed to Bernadette Wilkinson, senior program coordinator, UA College of Law, bwilkins@email.arizona.edu, 520-626-1629.

Arizona Supreme Court building

A new Arizona Justice will be appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey. Comments on applicants are due by Nov. 18, 2015.

News from the Arizona Supreme Court:

The Commission on Appellate Court Appointments is asking for public comment on nine candidates for an opening on the Arizona Supreme Court created by the retirement of Justice Rebecca White Berch. The candidates are:

  • Clint D. Bolick, Vice President for Litigation at the Goldwater Institute
  • Michael J. Brown, an Arizona Court of Appeals Judge – Division I
  • Kent E. Cattani, an Arizona Court of Appeals Judge – Division I
  • Daisy J. Flores, of Flores & Clark LLC
  • Andrew W. Gould, an Arizona Court of Appeals Judge – Division I
  • Maurice Portley, an Arizona Court of Appeals Judge – Division I
  • Timothy J. Thomason, a Maricopa County Superior Court Judge
  • Samuel A. Thumma, an Arizona Court of Appeals Judge – Division I
  • Lawrence F. Winthrop, an Arizona Court of Appeals Judge – Division I

The agenda and applications for the office can be viewed online at the Commission’s website.

Arizona_Supreme_Court_SealThe Commission will meet at 8:00 a.m. on November 20, 2015 to hear public comment and interview the candidates. Written comments can be sent to 1501 W. Washington, Suite 221, Phoenix, AZ 85007 or by e-mail to jnc@courts.az.gov. Comments should be received no later than November 18 to be considered. Anonymous comments cannot be considered.

After the interviews the Commission will recommend at least three nominees for the opening to Governor Doug Ducey, who will appoint the new justice.

 

Arizona_Supreme_Court_SealNews from the Arizona Supreme Court:

The Administrative Office of the Courts is pleased to announce the approval of Arizona’s application for funding through the John R. Justice Program. The goal of the JRJ Program is to recruit and retain qualified prosecutors and public defenders by lessening the burden of student loan obligations.

“Acknowledging the need to recruit and retain lawyers who ensure the integrity of our criminal justice system, Congress enacted the John R. Justice Prosecutors and Defenders Incentive Act (42 U.S.C. § 3797cc-21) to encourage qualified attorneys to choose and continue in careers as prosecutors and public defenders. The John R. Justice Program (JRJ), named for the late John Reid, Justice of South Carolina, provides loan repayment assistance for state and federal public defenders and state prosecutors who agree to remain employed as public defenders and prosecutors for at least three years.”

The Bureau of Justice Assistance has authorized a funding allotment of $35,767 to Arizona for this program. The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) is supporting the effort in Arizona by acting as administrator for the JRJ Program. Last year, the AOC awarded JRJ grant funding to 25 public defenders and prosecutors statewide. Fortunately, this year, federal funding availability remained relatively the same as last year; as such, the AOC will strive to award the JRJ grant to similar numbers of public sector attorneys this year.

Prosecutors and public defenders are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to be considered for awards under the JRJ Program. Applications must be postmarked by Friday, October 30, 2015.

Information about eligibility, the application process and required materials can be found on the Arizona Judicial Branch website.

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