Maricopa County Courthouse 1800sThis week, I’m sharing some Arizona Attorney content that may have slipped by you unnoticed. As we are about to launch the September issue, I wanted to be sure you saw a few items that I think are significant. (Yesterday, I mentioned a data list that may be of great help to attorneys wondering what’s on the minds of jurors.)

My second mention of the week for magazine content is a column that honors a special bar anniversary—not of the State Bar, but of the Maricopa County Bar Association.

Stan Watts is not only a lawyer but also a historian. And our back-page story by Stan is the result of a collaboration between Maricopa County Bar Association Executive Director Allen Kimbrough, Stan and me.

When I heard from Allen about the MCBA’s 100-year anniversary, I agreed it would be ideal for us at the State Bar to recognize the achievement. But how?

Fortunately, Allen suggested Stan could draft something evocative, as he has so many times in the past. And that he did, well in advance of the County Bar’s September 20 Centennial event.

You can read Stan’s great piece here. And then head over the MCBA to secure a seat at their centennial banquet.

(Of course, as we hurried toward the magazine deadline, I managed to miss the flawed headline touting the bar’s “decade of service.” I think readers understood that we meant a century. Here’s hoping the blog title above will make up for that.)

Tomorrow, on the final day of July, I take a grammatical turn in magazine content. I hope you join me.

Amidst the hubbub of a day marking Arizona’s 100th birthday, a courthouse event may escape your attention.

I reported last November about the opening of the new South Tower of the Maricopa County Superior Court. The demands placed on a writer by the need for punchy headlines made me inscribe “Court Tower Opens.” Of course, that was only partially true.

On Friday, November 11, the courthouse was, indeed, open—for a dedication ceremony. That is when the judges and administrators took possession of the building Certificate of Occupancy. It was a nice occasion.

Today, however, the South Tower is officially open for business. Public tours run from 9:00 a.m. and throughout the day, and the official official official ceremony occurs at 3:00 p.m.

Much to my pleasant surprise, the terrific communications folks at the court have put together a video that describes some of the unique building’s most noteworthy features. The court’s multimedia journalist Kelly Vail and ASU intern Liz Kotalik produced the video called (appropriately) “Quick Tour of the New South Court Tower.”

And as I pointed out before, the Tower has its own web page.

Take a look and try to come on down. I may see you there.

How does a state Supreme Court shape a state’s constitution?

That may sound an odd question, for the constitution likely preceded the supreme court. That and other brain-teasers will be addressed in a seminar tomorrow, sponsored by ASU Law School.

The event will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 14, Arizona’s statehood day, in the Jury Assembly Room of the Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. Courthouse on 401 W. Washington St. in downtown Phoenix. It is open to the public.

A panel of distinguished scholars and practitioners will explore “The Arizona Supreme Court and the Arizona Constitution: The First Hundred Years.” Among the things they will discuss are what elements make Arizona’s Constitution distinct. And what role has our Supreme Court played in forming the state and interacting with the Constitution.

Paul Bender

All of the panelists are writing an article for an upcoming special issue of the Arizona State Law Journal.

The panel will be moderated by ASU Law Professor and Dean Emeritus Paul Bender. The panel will be:

More on the panel discussion is here.

The September issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine includes a short article titled “Civics Lesson.” Written by Supreme Court Justice Scott Bales and Court of Appeals Judge Larry Winthrop, it describes some initiatives that have been launched to honor the state’s centennial, and it urges lawyers to get involved and to donate their experience to the effort.

The article ended with a quiz. Social creatures that we are, I opted to have readers come online to this blog to see the answers.

No cheating—take the quiz before looking at the answers! (The questions and answers are below.) 

Testing Arizona

Think you know your Arizona history? Pretty sure you understand how our state’s legal past stacks up against the national past? Take our 5-minute quiz to discover if you’re a Grand Canyon Guru.

Q1: When was school segregation abolished in Arizona?

A1: In 1953, when the Arizona Superior Court for Maricopa County ruled that segregation in elementary and high schools was unconstitutional.

Q2: When was school segregation determined nationally to be unconstitutional?

A2: In 1954, when the U.S. Supreme Court held in Brown v. Board of Education that school segregation is inherently unequal, and therefore illegal.

Q3: When did women in Arizona win the right to vote?

A3: In 1912, by initiative measure.

Q4: When did women nationally obtain the right to vote?

A4: In 1920, by constitutional amendment.

Q5: When did Native Americans win the right to vote?

A5: In 1948, the Arizona Supreme Court held in Harrison v. Laveen that Native Americans were eligible to vote in Arizona elections.

Q6: Who was the first woman to hold public office in Arizona?

A6: Sharlot Hall, appointed territorial historian in 1909.

Q7: Who was Arizona’s first Congresswoman?

A7: Isabella Greenway, a Representative from 1933-1937.

Q8: Which Arizonan served in the U.S. Congress for 57 years?

A8: Carl Hayden, a Representative from 1912-1927 and a Senator from 1927-1969.

Q9: How many times has the United States Constitution been amended?

A9: 27 times.

Q10: How many times has the Arizona Constitution been amended?

A10: More than 100 times.