Westin La Paloma 1

So would you like to know who won the State Bar of Arizona annual awards? Or would you rather be surprised when you settle into your luncheon seat at the annual Convention? (Don’t forget to register.)

Just in case: Spoiler alert! Stop reading if you’re in the second group.

The State Bar of Arizona has announced the winners of its prestigious annual awards. Here is the news from the State Bar:

sba_logo_color State Bar of Arizona
The State Bar of Arizona will recognize 9 individuals and one legal program for their contributions to the legal profession at the 2017 State Bar of Arizona Annual Convention at the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson, June 14-16.

  • Member of the Year Award: Jo Ellen McBride, City of Phoenix
  • James A. Walsh Outstanding Jurist Award: Hon. Patricia K. Norris, Arizona Court of Appeals, Div. One
  • Tom Karas Criminal Justice Award: Stephen M. Weiss, Karp & Weiss PC
  • Michael C. Cudahy Criminal Justice Award: Hon. John S. Leonardo, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Sharon A. Fullmer Legal Aid Attorney of the Year Award: Golden E. McCarthy, Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project
  • Award of Appreciation: Meredith Peabody
  • Award of Special Merit: Hon. Robert L. Gottsfield (Ret.)
  • Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Award: Arizona Collaborative Bar
  • Hon. John R. Sticht Excellence in Disabilities Accessibility Award: William R. Jones, Jr., Jones Skelton & Hochuli PLC (posthumous)
  • Outstanding In-House Counsel of the Year Award: Michael J. O’Connor, Salt River Project

The only award presented at convention that is not decided by the Board of Governors is the President’s Award. The president chooses someone who has made significant contributions to the Arizona legal community. This year, two recipients will receive this recognition:

President’s Award:

  • Sheena S. Chiang, Maricopa Legal Defender’s Office
  • Thom L. Hudson, Osborn Maledon PA

For a complete list of 2017 award descriptions and recipient bios click here.

 

No, it's not Trump Tower, but close. Welcome to Orlando, site of the 2015 meeting of the NABE Communications Section.

No, it’s not Trump Tower, but close. Welcome to Orlando, site of the 2015 meeting of the NABE Communications Section.

In early October, a few of us from Arizona Attorney Magazine had the opportunity to present at a national conference. Today, I’m happy to share great recaps of those two presentations.

Karen Holub, our Art Director, and I spoke at the annual conference of the National Association of Bar Executives Communications Section. It was held in Orlando, which is a (head) trip of its own.

My plenary presentation was on the topic of “the art of presenting.” It was a blast, and I was privileged to share the podium with the talented and long-suffering Catherine Sanders Reach of the Chicago Bar Association. She provided invaluable content to the banquet room of communicators. And I provided … well, why don’t you read the terrific coverage we got from the talented and generous writer Marilyn Cavicchia.

Attendees gather to hear us talk about the art of presenting.

Attendees gather to hear us talk about the art of presenting.

True professional Catherine Sanders Reach exudes patience while Communications Section Chair Russell Rawlings and I trade picture-taking.

True professional Catherine Sanders Reach exudes patience while Communications Section Chair Russell Rawlings and I trade picture-taking.

The day before, Karen presented with terrific colleagues from San Francisco and Nashville on design for the non-designer. Her presentation was funny and valuable, and she simply crushed it. Here’s how Marilyn described that session.

And here is a photo of Karen presenting.

Karen Holub explains design for a roomful of non-designers. She spoke slowly.

Karen Holub explains design for a roomful of non-designers. She spoke slowly.

Her slides were eye-opening (which is what you want in slides). Among my favorites was this one, which chastised all of us in legal publications for our often too-easy use of images like gavels (and scales of justice, omigod the scales) to illustrate complex concepts. Try harder, she suggested, and you’ll be surprised what can happen.

Enough with the gavels in legal journalism, ok?

Enough with the gavels in legal journalism, ok?

Finally, at the Friday closing luncheon, those of us in the State Bar of Arizona were recognized for professional achievement. My terrific colleague Alberto Rodriguez accepted an award for the Bar’s “Finish the Ballot” campaign. And I got an award for leadership.

Alberto Rodriguez and I with awards from the National Association of Bar Executives, Orlando, Fla., Oct. 2, 2015.

Alberto Rodriguez and I with awards from the National Association of Bar Executives, Orlando, Fla., Oct. 2, 2015.

You can read more about the honors here.

Alberto Rodriguez, State Bar of Arizona, right, and fellow honorees at the National Association Of Bar Executives Communications Section workshop, Oct. 2, 2015.

Alberto Rodriguez, State Bar of Arizona, right, and fellow honorees at the National Association Of Bar Executives Communications Section workshop, Oct. 2, 2015.

Over time, I’ve learned that presenting and participating in professional service yield great benefits, and that the considerable time we put in garners much in return. I hope you agree.

Congratulations to my great fellow-workers on your achievements and willingness to lead.

AZ Black Bar logoLast fall, I attended and wrote about the annual banquet of the Arizona Black Bar. Held at the Phoenix Art Museum, it included well-deserved awards as well as a timely and compelling keynote speaker. (I wrote about the evening here.)

Memories of that event lead me to happily share the Black Bar’s announcement regarding this fall’s annual event. Thus, the 2015 Hayzel B. Daniels Scholarship Award Dinner will be held on Thursday, October 22, from 5:30 to 9:00 pm, once again at the Phoenix Art Museum.

I’ll share more detail in a minute, but note first that the ABB is seeking nominations for its prestigious awards. As the ABB says, it created the ABB Excellence in Diversity Awards “to recognize attorneys, law firms, corporations, academic institutions and other agencies which have gone above and beyond the call of duty to promote, implement, and advance diversity and inclusion in the Arizona legal profession.”

Ignore the fact that the submission deadline appears to be September 1; I’ve learned that the ABB has moved the deadline back to September 15. So send some nominations their way.

Aiming for timely topics again, the theme of this year’s program is “Changing the Game: Sustainability in the Legal Profession.” That matches the keynote speaker, Rose McKinney-James, “one of the nation’s foremost experts on solar energy.” The ABB describes her in detail here:

“Ms. McKinney-James served as a member of the Obama-Biden Transition Team with responsibility for the U.S. Department of Energy and served as Team Lead for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Ms. McKinney-James was the first African-American to win a statewide primary in Nevada during an earlier candidacy for Lieutenant Governor. She is currently the managing principal at McKinney-James & Associates and Energy Works Consulting, LLC of Las Vegas.”

Rose McKinney-James

Rose McKinney-James

To learn more of McKinney-James, view or download the PDF announcement and attend the 2015 Hayzel B. Daniels Scholarship Award Dinner.

Tickets and the sponsorship form are here.

Hon. Randall Howe, Ariz. Court of Appeals, surrounded by law school classmates, Arizona Center for Disability Law, May 15, 2015.

Hon. Randall Howe, Ariz. Court of Appeals, surrounded by law school classmates, Arizona Center for Disability Law, May 15, 2015.

Earlier this month, I mentioned a remarkable story told in the May Arizona Attorney. In it, Judge Randall Howe relates his mother’s advocacy for his quality education—though his school deemed him unfit for such due to a disability.

The 6-year-old Howe had a remarkable champion in his corner in 1969. Since then, he has been a champion for others, which led to his being named the recipient of an esteemed Vision Award from the Arizona Center for Disability Law.

AZ Center for Disability Law logoOn May 15, the Center celebrated its 20th anniversary. In a terrific evening, awards were given, including Judge Howe’s and a Disability Justice Award given to the law firm Perkins Coie.

You can see my aggregated tweets from the evening here. They includes links to the Judge’s story and other helpful information.

Congratulations to Judge Howe. He is a champion and an advocate—as well as a terrific former Chair of the magazine’s Editorial Board!

Have a great weekend.

Attorney George Chen, named the State Bar of Arizona 2015 Member of the Year.

Attorney George Chen, named the State Bar of Arizona 2015 Member of the Year.

The State Bar of Arizona has announced the winners of its 10 annual awards. The honorees will be recognized at the Bar Convention’s June 26 luncheon.

I was pleased to see Bryan Cave lawyer George Chen was named Member of the Year. Among many accomplishments, George is currently the President of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. His full bio is here.

You can read the names and affiliations of all the winners here.

And you can read the entire Convention brochure here (and register to attend here).

The information about the Friday luncheon is here.

Arizona Corporate Counsel Awaards logoHave you met or worked with in-house counsel who impress you with their skills and approach? Organizers of an annual award event seek your nominations.

Founded by AZ Business Magazine and the Association of Corporate Counsel state chapter, the Arizona Corporate Counsel Award nominations are due by Thursday, October 23.

More detail and a nomination form are here.

Categories include:

  • Public company (large and small)
  • Private company (large and small)
  • Nonprofit company
  • Government/municipal/public sector
  • Up-and-comer
  • In-house law department of the year
  • Litigator of the year
  • Intellectual property attorney of the year
  • Community/pro bono attorney of the year

The Awards Dinner will be held at the Camelback Inn on January 15, 2015.

The State Bar of Arizona is a presenting partner for the program.

Bill Klain AZBAR member of the year 2013

Bill Klain, State Bar of Arizona 2013 Member of the Year

’Tis the season … to honor someone who deserves it.

I’m pleased to report that you still have a few days left to nominate an Arizona attorney for a prestigious award from the State Bar of Arizona. The awards will be given at this June’s Bar Convention in Tucson, and there may be no better way to recognize the highest commitment to the legal profession.

To give an idea of how moving the awards can be, here are the words of Bill Klain, who was the Bar’s 2013 member of the year:

“Receiving the Member of the Year award was both gratifying and humbling. While I greatly appreciate the Bar’s recognition of my work to improve civil practice and procedure through my committee service and involvement with continuing legal education, the award results from the collective efforts of a large number of people devoted to improving our justice system and with whom I have had the good fortune to collaborate. I am proud of the work we have accomplished and appreciative of the opportunity to contribute to these group efforts.”

In your own life and practice, you have likely come across an attorney or two worthy of recognition. Here is a description of what the Bar seeks:

“Each year the State Bar of Arizona honors members of the legal profession who go above and beyond. We want to know who you think should be recognized this year. Take a look at the awards listed below and think about lawyers you know who make a difference. There is even an award for a non-lawyer who helps the public understand justice and the legal profession.”

The deadline to submit nominations is March 26th at 5 p.m. That’s this Wednesday. Nominating is simplicity itself. Just write a letter telling the Bar about the person’s achievements and why they deserve the award. Send it to:

State Bar of Arizona

Awards Committee

c/o Nina Benham

4201 N. 24th St., Suite 100

Phoenix, AZ 85016-6266

Or email it to her at Nina.Benham@staff.azbar.org

The Bar has created a helpful page that provides detailed descriptions of the nine awards. It also includes a link to a list of previous winners.

Now the ball is in your court. You have two days to write a letter (brief or otherwise) nominating someone for an award. Get to drafting.

Leon Silver, center, and Judge Roxanne Song Ong, far right, are two of the honorees of the YWCA Leadership Awards. Photo taken at Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix, Dec. 9, 2013.

Leon Silver, center, and Judge Roxanne Song Ong, far right, are two of the honorees of the YWCA Leadership Awards. Photo taken at Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix, Dec. 9, 2013.

This month, the Arizona YWCA announced whom it is honoring this year for leadership in the community. I’m pleased to report that among the honorees are a few members of the bar.

Congratulations to Judge Roxanne Song Ong, Presiding Judge of the Phoenix Municipal Court, and Leon Silver, a partner at Poilsinelli.

Judge Song Ong was honored as a leader in public service, Silver as a leader in advocacy.

On Monday evening, that announcement was made at a cocktail reception at the Ritz-Carlton. The bigger-deal event will be a formal dinner on February 1 (also at the R-C).

More detail on the February 1 dinner (and names of all the honorees) is here.

Let’s get right to it: I come to you, hat in hand. For those who don’t know that expression, let me explain.

It’s that time of year again when the ABA Journal seeks input on the best legal blogs in the United States. Their list from last year is here, and it includes some top-notch content, in a wide variety of practice areas (or in no practice area at all).

So my awkward moment comes down to this: If any reader wants to submit a brief “amici” (recommendation) in support of this blog, AZ Attorney, I would appreciate it. No pressure: The Journal’s editors make their own determination, and the amici are not counted like “votes,” so the brief submission form is just a way to bring a blog to their attention. No need to get mushy or wax poetic; a few kind words would do. (And no, Kathy, thanks, but spouses cannot nominate their partners!)

I have nominated other blogs myself (because that’s the kind of guy I am), and I can assure you that the process takes about 3 minutes.

The submission form is here. The deadline is this Friday, September 7. (Would it help if I mentioned that’s the day before my birthday? Hmm?)

And even if you don’t nominate this blog, you should consider nominating another of your own favorite legal blogs. Take a look at our rotating roster of bloggers in the Arizona Attorney Blog Network, available at our News Center. And the ABA Journal keeps its own extensive list here; look around and recommend a great blogger or two; they’d appreciate it.

I recently described a national award that the Florence Project won. The legal services organization was recognized for its commitment to justice and its creation of valuable pro se materials.

The award, along with a $50,000 check, was given by the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Lindsay Marshall, Florence Project Executive Director, receives the award check from Thomas H. Tongue, President of the American College of Trial Lawyers, August 14, 2012.

On Tuesday, I took a drive down to Florence to attend the award event. It reminded me once again how fortunate Arizona is to have such dedicated individuals who daily commit to justice.

(Because the law world is so fascinating, I can’t help but share one oddity in the proceedings. A distinguished Fellow of the ACTL was speaking at the event, and he was emphasizing to the audience how impressive the achievement of the Florence Project staff and board was. He pointed out that it would be formally announced at the annual meeting of the ACTL. There, in a huge Manhattan banquet room, the Project would be described to hundreds of “trial lawyers and their wives.” Their wives? Did he just say “their wives,” as if women are not trial lawyers? Indeed, he did. But his genuine affinity for the Project and its mission—as well as the check he bore—guaranteed that bygones would be bygones.)

In an upcoming issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine, I’ll tell a little more about the day’s events (you can go directly to that page by clicking here). But in the meantime, you can see one photo above. More are available here on the Arizona Attorney Facebook page.