Prop 207 Blooming Rock panel

Does Prop 207 protect or harm neighborhoods? It may depend on where you hang your hat.

This evening, another panel that has had a lot of engagement will occur. The topic is the controversial Proposition 207 (which you can read here, at A.R.S. § 12-1134).

Titled “Diminution in value; just compensation,” the law has done more to protect property owners from a loss in value—or to doom neighborhoods to zero improvements, depending on your position—than almost any statute.

The panel discussion includes Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and runs from 6 to 8 p.m. It is sponsored by Women Design Arizona and Blooming Rock Development. I covered a previous panel of theirs on water use and conservation, in their “sustainable urbanism” series.

It will be held at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market. (I understand a fleet of food trucks will be available to increase the value of the parking lot and to meet our every culinary need.)

Over here at Arizona Attorney, we haven’t covered eminent domain and property issues like this since 2006. Kelo v. City of New London (remember Kelo?) changed the landscape, you could say, quite a bit. Shall we cover it again? What’s changed? (You can see our opening spread below.)

Here is more detail from the panel’s organizers. I hope to see you there. But I’ll also be tweeting with the hashtag: #Prop207Phx

“Join panelists of the March 20 Sustainable Communities Lecture Series in a discussion about the status of Proposition 207, enacted by Arizona voters in 2006, and its impact on property rights, neighborhood blight and safety, and historic preservation. Does Prop 207 really protect property owners or does it make it harder for municipalities to protect themselves from slumlords, criminals, and developers with little or no interest in neighborhood and community revitalization?

Panel:

  • Mayor Greg Stanton, City of Phoenix
  • Christina Sandefur, Staff Attorney at the Goldwater Institute
  • Grady Gammage, Jr., attorney, real estate developer, author, Morrison Institute for Public Policy

More information (and Join-ability) is on Facebook.

Tickets are $5 in advance (supposedly by March 19), and $10 at the door. Buy them here, if you’re still able.

AZ Supreme Court logoToday, I share some news and request for comment from the Arizona Supreme Court. Your input could have an impact on the disposition of future cases as they proceed through Arizona courts.

Here is the news from the Court:

In 2011, the National Center for State Courts published the “Model Time Standards for State Trial Courts.” These standards for the disposition of cases in the state courts were developed and adopted by the Conference of State Court Administrators, the Conference of Chief Justices, the American Bar Association House of Delegates, and the National Association for Court Managers.

Model case processing time standards provide a reasonable set of expectations for courts, lawyers and the public. Part of the vision for Arizona’s Judicial Branch, as set forth in its Justice 2020 Strategic Agenda, is to strengthen the administration of justice. Timely justice promotes public trust and confidence in the courts. The establishment of case processing time standards emphasizes the need for judicial officers and court personnel to renew focus on this essential part of their work.

The Arizona Supreme Court Case Processing Standards Steering Committee is gathering input and feedback from all key justice partners regarding the establishment of case processing standards for Arizona courts.

Steering Committee Preliminary Recommendations

The Steering Committee has completed a review of the national time standards, statutory requirements, court rules, court jurisdiction and other relevant factors in the development of case processing standards for Arizona. The preliminary recommendations for case processing standards in the superior, justice and municipal courts have been posted on the link below and you are invited to post your comments. Please feel free to share this website with members of the legal community in your jurisdiction.

Comment Period

The comment period runs through March 29, 2013. The Steering Committee will review the comments posted on the website and make the appropriate revisions to the proposed case processing standards. A final draft of the proposed case processing standards will be presented to the following standing committees for recommendation to the Arizona Judicial Council: Committee on Superior Court; Limited Jurisdiction Committee; Committee on Juvenile Courts; Commission on Victims in the Courts; and Committee on the Impact of Domestic Violence in the Courts.

Submit Your Comments Online Here.

The link above will take you to the registration page. To view the case processing standards webpage you will need to register first. Click on register and complete the information on the page. If you have previously registered on the website enter your username and password.

For more information contact:

Committee Staff:

Cindy Cook at ccook@courts.az.gov

Chris Bliss speaks at the dedication of the nation's first capitol-city Bill of Rights Monument, Dec. 15, 2012

Chris Bliss speaks at the dedication of the nation’s first capitol-city Bill of Rights Monument, Dec. 15, 2012

In the current Arizona Attorney Magazine, I took the opportunity to channel our inner James Madison. Who wouldn’t like to do that?

The occasion was my editor’s letter in which I praised the recent dedication of a Bill of Rights Monument in Phoenix. (detail is here).

It was an impressive event, as was the concept itself. I’m still stunned at the commitment and success of Chris Bliss, Executive Director of mybillofrights.org.

So in case you missed it, here is my own riff on one of this nation’s most important documents. And tell me: How you would have transformed the Bill of Rights? Write to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org. And have a great weekend.

Here is my column:

There are few events for which Arizonans will stand in the drizzle. We may be a hardy people, but precipitation strains our resolve.

In December, the presence of a light rain simply added to the noteworthy nature of a historic and well-attended event: the dedication of the nation’s first capitol-city monument to the Bill of Rights.

Congratulations to organizer Chris Bliss, generous Arizona lawyers, legislative leaders and others who made the limestone monoliths a reality.

Our Last Word this month includes the eloquent remarks by Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton that day (more background and photos are here and here).

In honor of the achievement, I offer—à la the Bill of Rights itself—10 ways that the ceremony and the accomplishment impress:

I. The Weather shall make no drizzle that keeps a committed People from their celebration of a unique Bill of Rights, as they enjoy gathering, assembling, speaking and sharing space with chilly members of the Press.

II. A well-organized Program, being necessary to the success of an early-morning event, the right of a cold and coffee-deprived people to be exhilarated by concepts of liberty, shall not be infringed.

III. No Speaker did, without the at-least-grudging consent of the assembled People, go on and on in a Tyrannical manner or in a style proscribed by Common Sense.

IV. The right of the People to be reassured that their elected leaders of all Parties support and defend liberty shall not be violated.

V. No monument to our own Bill of Rights shall be relegated to a back corner of our State’s Capitol plaza, but shall be given a place of Prominence and Respect, where viewers may appreciate the Liberties espoused, sited hard against a monument to brave servicepeople who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of those liberties.

VI. In the development of public Monuments, Arizonans shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public process, yielding an awe-inspiring setting achieved through the impartial efforts of many people, and with the assistance of Counsel—Arizona attorneys who stepped up in amazing ways.

VII. In Monuments to which we have grown accustomed, where the cost has skyrocketed beyond Imagining, the right of the People to have a Monument erected with the expenditure of no Public Monies, at a modest cost and with a noteworthy portion of donated contributions, shall be preserved.

VIII. Excessive verbiage or sponsor names shall not be required, nor excessive ornaments imposed, for the simple words of the Bill of Rights are sufficient, and the sculptor’s stunning simplicity of vision shall foreclose the possible infliction on succeeding Generations of a cruel and unusual Artifice.

IX. The enumeration in this Monument of certain rights arose as the vision of a single man, who brought humor, drive and equanimity to the challenge of delivering a limestone embodiment to the people of Arizona, and in the process helped present what may be the best comedy concert fund-raiser in the history of these United States.

X. The power of this dedication Ceremony shall remind all present or hereafter standing in silent appreciation of the Monoliths that these rights, like the final word of the Bill of Rights, reside in and end with “the People.”

Arizona Attorney Magazine Editor Letter Feb 2013 Bill of Rights

Gov. Jan Brewer as she unveils the Tenth Amendment monolith at the Arizona Bill of Rights dedication ceremony, Dec. 15, 2012 (photo: Arizona Attorney, Tim Eigo)

Gov. Jan Brewer as she unveils the Tenth Amendment monolith at the Arizona Bill of Rights dedication ceremony, Dec. 15, 2012 (photo: Arizona Attorney, Tim Eigo)

 On this Change of Venue Friday, I invite you to look at some photos (below) from last Saturday’s Bill of Rights Monument dedication in Phoenix. (I’ve covered this quite a bit; see here for more background.)

And here is an Arizona Republic story on the dedication day.

Congratulations again to Chris Bliss, who spearheaded this effort on behalf of his organization.

More photos are on the Arizona Attorney Magazine Facebook page.

Have a great weekend.

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Dec 2012 Arizona AttorneyWhat’s in a name? Shakespeare wondered. And a wise Arizona lawyer pondered the same question as she considered the state of law firm trade names. Through December 31, those marketing terms are a no-no. But after January 1, it’s another story.

Before it passes by your desk unnoticed, I wanted to point out our cover story in the current Arizona Attorney Magazine. It was written by Patricia Sallen, who is the ethics counsel for the State Bar of Arizona. (Pat’s also the Bar’s Director of Special Services and Ethics, as well as the Deputy General Counsel, but who can keep track?)

Her blissfully concise article is worth a read (see the entire piece here). Here’s how she opens it, with a few famous lines from the Bard:

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet.”

“And that which we call a law firm? Will a colorful and creative law-firm name smell as sweet as a lawyer’s plain name?

“Maybe Shakespeare had the answer, as Juliet continues in her famous dialogue from Romeo and Juliet:

“So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,

Retain that dear perfection which he owes

Without that title.”

“Beginning in 2013, Arizona will see if law-firm names retain that ‘dear’—perhaps even quaint—’perfection’ now that they can be something other than lawyers’ names.

“The state that begat lawyer advertising (remember Bates v. State Bar of Arizona?) will, effective January 1, finally join the vast majority of U.S. jurisdictions and allow private law firms to use trade names. Arizona’s Ethical Rule 7.5(a) will mirror the American Bar Association’s Model Rule 7.5(a).”

The rule change occurred after a comment period that allowed folks to weigh in on both sides. How do you think the rule change will affect law practice?

Write to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

And here are a few humorous lawyer-branding images, via this website.

law firm trade name drive-thru

law firm trade name shark


[i] 433 U.S. 350 (1977).

Workers prepared to install a limestone slab that is part of a monument to the Bill of Rights at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix. It will be dedicated Saturday. (Joshua Lott for The New York Times)

Workers prepared to install a limestone slab that is part of a monument to the Bill of Rights at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix. It will be dedicated Saturday. (Joshua Lott for The New York Times)

Over the past year, I’ve spoken quite a bit with you about the Arizona Bill of Rights Monument (most recently here). But now the nation’s newspaper of record has even written about it. Time to pay attention.

I was pleased this past week to see the New York Times take note of the remarkable achievement of a man named Chris Bliss—and the fact that Arizona leads the nation on this. Amazing.

Arizona Bill of Rights posterHere is how NYT reporter and Phoenix Bureau Chief Fernanda Santos opens her article about MyBillofRights.org Executive Director Chris Bliss:

“It started as a joke about 10 years ago. Chris Bliss, a juggler and stand-up comedian of Internet fame, had been scanning the headlines for inspiration and discovered the controversy over a granite monument to the Ten Commandments in the rotunda of Alabama’s state judicial building.”

“‘Instead of arguing over whether to leave up or take down these displays of the Ten Commandments,’ he said in a comedy routine, ‘my suggestion is to put up displays of the Bill of Rights next to them and let people comparison shop.’”

(Want to see what she’s referring to when she mentions juggling? Go here.)

Tomorrow morning, December 15, is the dedication of the first capital-city monument to the Bill of Rights. I’m hoping a good-sized crowd comes out to see something that will be there for generations (the limestone, that is; we’re hoping the same for the rights themselves).

To get ready for the day, enjoy this article by the First Amendment Center.

And on Change of Venue Friday, enjoy a time-lapse video of the monument’s installation, followed by detail on tomorrow’s dedication.

Bill of Rights Monument dedication invite p1

Bill of Rights Monument dedication invite p2

Arizona Bill of Rights posterIf you heard a loud rumbling throughout November, it may have been the sound of liberty.

Over at the State Capitol in Phoenix, the ground was prepared and limestone monoliths began to arrive on the site of what will be the nation’s first capitol-city monument to the Bill of Rights.

I’ve written about the topic before (here and here, for example), and November has been an incredibly busy month for the project and its Executive Director, Chris Bliss. Let me tell you a little about what’s going on, and point out that the effort is thiiiiis close to its financial goal. I’m sure Chris would agree that the next rumbling sound he’d like to hear is you reaching for your wallet.

For all the Bill of Rights have done for us, it’s the least we can do. When those monoliths are finally placed on Wesley Bolin Plaza, I’m confident we’ll all come together to agree, “Those courageous founding fathers had some stones.”

Anyhoo, one thing you should be sure to see is E.J. Montini’s Arizona Republic column on the monument or, as he calls it, “Arizona’s Monument to Compromise.” Wisely, the columnist quotes Bliss, whom I call “the most quotable limestone monument organizer in America.” As Chris says:

“Those 10 amendments to the Constitution are like our marriage vows. If we could put a monument to them in each state capitol we could have a powerful daily reminder of what should be guiding us forward.”

And here is where the project is as we enter the home stretch, as reported by Bliss himself:

Nov. 5: As of last week, we are within $25,000 of fully funding America’s 1st monument of the Bill of Rights, at the Arizona Capitol. This last $25,000 gift was given as a matching challenge grant for that amount, good from now through December 15th. Help us make history for future generations, and double the impact of your gift.

Arizona Bill of Rights monoliths November 2012

As of November 12: All ten monoliths have been completed, and we now expect to make our target dedication date of December 15—Bill of Rights Day.

Nov. 14: Executive Director Chris Bliss poses for the obligatory ground breaking photo on the site of the soon-to-be first monument of the Bill of Rights, across the street from the Arizona Capitol complex.

Bill of Rights Chris Bliss Nov 2012

A man, a plan, a shovel: Chris Bliss breaks ground, Nov. 14, 2012.

Nov. 19: Incredible work from lead designer Joseph Kincannon and project manager Holly Kincannon. Joseph and Holly poured their talent and passion into every detail; from the shapes, sizes, site layout and landscaping right down to the font choice and layout of the words on each amendment monolith. The monoliths ship from Kincannon Studios tomorrow morning! (November 20)

Nov. 21: The latest photo from the site (below), courtesy of our project manager Jeff Esgar of Sundt Construction, who’s put together a terrific team. The monoliths will be brought in and placed by crane on December 4th. The front trench is where the electrical for the individual spotlights for the monoliths will be located.

Arizona Bill of Rights site preparation, November 2012

Thanks, Chris. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I am looking forward to December 15, Dedication Day. I’ll share more details when I get them.

In the meantime, follow the project on Facebook, and read all the details (and donate) on the website.

Finally, enjoy a brief video, which has the comic Lewis Black explaining “why he supports MyBillofRights.org.”

National Adoption Day 2012 Phoenix paper chain

Volunteers, judges and court staff hold a vinyl chain that represents every child adopted on National Adoption Day. Each link has a child’s name written on it. The chain is 12 years old and contains more than 2,000 names. (Photo: Maricopa County Superior Court)

This coming Saturday, November 17, is on track to be another historic event. That’s when the state and nation celebrate National Adoption Day. Once again, Arizona is predicted to have a remarkable day.

I wrote about Adoption Day back in 2008, and the commitment of so many people continues to amaze me.

A scene from National Adoption Day 2008

A scene from National Adoption Day 2008

Unlike the confidentiality that is necessary in almost all juvenile and adoption cases, National Adoption Day is open to the public. So if you’d like to enjoy watching the creation of hundreds of families, stop by the Juvenile Court Center, 3131 West Durango, Phoenix. It is the most fun you will ever have in a courthouse—guaranteed.

And to learn more, here is a video made by the talented folks at the Superior Court for Maricopa County.

What looks to be a remarkable program is on tap for this Friday at the ASU Law School.

Titled “Dialogues on Detention: Applying Lessons from Criminal Justice Reform to the Immigration Detention System,” it is part of the Public Dialogue Series of advocacy group Human Rights First. (CLE credit may be available.)

Discussions will focus on: gaps in legal representation, alternatives to detention, privatization; and conditions of detention. Panelists also will explore whether lessons we have learned from criminal justice reform can inform immigration detention reform.

Here is more information about the Friday event:

Speakers include:

  • Dora Schriro, former director of the Arizona Department of Corrections
  • Lindsay Marshall, Executive Director, Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project
  • Arizona State Representative John Kavanagh (R-8)
  • Dodie Ledbetter, Deputy Court Administrator and former Detention Director for the Pima County Juvenile Court Center (Tucson)
  • Victoria Lopez, ACLU Arizona
  • Milagros Cisneros, Assistant Federal Public Defender, District of Arizona
  • Andy Silverman, Joseph M. Livermore Professor of Law and Director of Clinical Programs, University of Arizona James E. Rodgers College of Law

You may register here. More detail on the Dialogues on Detention Series is available here.

Helpfully, organizers also provide a list of reading materials related to the dialogues.

Olympics london2012_logoWho else is following the Olympics this year? I always enjoy the athletics and the spectacle, and this year is no exception (though NBC’s lackluster coverage of it, as well as the incessant blathering during feats of physical prowess, may change my attitude).

The London Games put me in mind of a story we ran some years ago in Arizona Attorney. Back in 2003, we decided to focus on lawyer–athletes. In case you don’t recall it yourself, you can read it here.

This week, the Business Insider takes a similar tack by publishing some content you may enjoy. Their writers performed some legwork to create a roster of lawyers who used to be Olympic athletes.

Here is the complete story. Flip through the list and let me know if you spot anyone you know.

Our April 2003 cover

And is there a close connection between lawyers and a competitive spirit? Do those at the Bar exhibit the drive, tenacity and preparation needed to excel on playing fields?

That’s what writer Lauren Streib thought, as she opened her article:

“Tirelessness, determination and a competitive streak may define Olympic athletes, but those are also the characteristics of talented litigators and lawyers.”

If you look at our 2003 story, you’ll note that the Business Insider story didn’t get all the lawyer–Olympians. Congratulations, of course, to today’s Olympians—but we also tip our hat to those who have gone before.

I couldn’t resist including the mascots for the 2012 British Olympics.

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