This week's journalism conference in Phoenix covers many topics of public interest. spj valley of the sun header cropped

This week’s journalism conference in Phoenix covers many topics of public interest.

I am pleased to share news of two conferences in Phoenix this week (April 28-30) that may serve your needs—in multiple ways. Aimed primarily at journalists, they will be of interest to anyone attuned to public policy, communications, criminal justice, and immigration.

I am helping to organize one of the journo conferences, with the Society of Professional Journalists, and I urge you to consider attending both of them. Links and agendas to each are below:

The Society of Professional Journalists Western Regional conference is on Friday and Saturday, April 29 (evening reception) and 30 (all day):

  • The Friday evening reception will be at Macayo’s. The conference will be at the Heard Museum. And the post-conference mixer on Saturday evening will be at the Clarendon Hotel’s Sky Deck.
  • The keynote of Saturday’s offerings will be a one-on-one interview of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio with Arizona Republic columnist E.J. Montini (for reals).
  • The full conference schedule is here.

Unity Journalists for Diversity logoAnd the UNITY: Journalists for Diversity conference is on Friday, April 29 (all day) at the ASU Cronkite School in downtown Phoenix:

  • The full conference schedule is here.
  • A day before the summit, Thursday, April 28, UNITY in partnership with ONE Arizona will hold a free special town hall meeting and panel discussion on immigration. The town hall will take place at Puente Human Rights Movement from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Register here.
  • UNITY also will be hosting a free rooftop networking reception at Hotel San Carlos on Friday, April 29, immediately following the Regional Summit from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served. Register here.

I’m helping organize the SPJ event, and I’ll be attending the UNITY conference Friday too. For a pretty modest outlay of dollars, this looks like some great content. I hope you can attend some or all of this!

prison_green haven NYYou may not have known that a Prison Awareness Club was a thing. But in a nation apparently committed to that growth industry, it only makes good sense that college students might engage on the topic of corrections.

This Friday, March 28, the third annual Prison Education Conference will be staged at ASU.

The all-day event is sponsored by the Department of English, the School of Social Transformation, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The free event (open to the public) will include speakers, discussion panels and the screening of what looks to be a compelling film.

Writer Sought

I may be able to attend, but I currently have a conflict. If you are a law student, student of the law (most generally defined), or a lawyer—and you are NOT one of the event organizers—I invite you to contact me to discuss a guest blog post. It might cover the entire event, or perhaps be just a review of the film Zero Percent. Write to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

Keynote Speaker

The conference includes a keynote by author Marshall Frank. As a news story describes his work:

“This year’s conference features keynote speaker Marshall Frank, a retired police captain from Miami, Fla., who led more than a thousand homicide investigations during his career and has since written hundreds of op-eds and articles about the state of America’s justice system.”

“In his most recent book ‘Criminal InJustice in America,’ Frank explores inequities of the prison system, “a multi-billion-dollar industry, which would collapse if there was a sudden downturn in inmate residency.” Perhaps that’s why the United States has 5 percent of the world’s population, but a staggering 25 percent of its prisoners. Critics have hailed ‘Criminal InJustice’ as ‘challenging,’ ‘thought-provoking’ and “daring.’”

Read the complete ASU News story here.

Panels Cover Prison Education

The complete agenda is here.

Among the speakers will be a representative from the Arizona Department of Corrections, and his compatriot from the New Mexico prison system. The organizers also feature the insights of educators from three Arizona prison complexes.

A second keynote will be Sean Pica, head of Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison. And it is the Hudson connection that may yield one of the day’s most enlightening aspects—a film.

Zero Percent Film To Screen

The film trailer for Zero Percent explains—a little—about the challenges faced by incarcerated individuals. Watch the trailer here.

More information about Hudson Link is here. And you can follow their posts on Facebook too.

The event location is the University Club on the ASU campus. A scalable map is here.

RSVP: peac.org@asu.edu

flier Prison Education Conference 2014_opt

ediscovery lock on computer screenNext week, a conference that’s become an annual standout occurs again: The e-discovery conference at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU.

Scheduled for March 12 to 14, the third annual “ASU-Arkfeld eDiscovery and Digital Evidence Conference” features some talented panels of lawyers and judges. Those judges include some of the leading jurists who have rendered major e-discovery opinions: Judges Shira A. Scheindlin, John Facciola and Craig Shaffer.

Judge John Facciola at the 2013 ASU conference. eDiscovery 1

Judge John Facciola at the 2013 ASU conference.

I wrote here about Judge Facciola’s previous appearance at the E-Discovery conference.

More information and registration are here.

Judge Shira Scheindlin

Judge Shira Scheindlin

If any lawyer or law student is headed to the conference (just part of it or the entire two days), and if you would like to write a blog post, please feel free to contact me. I’d be pleased to run it following the ASU event. (Photos are welcome too!)

Bud Selig, Major League Baseball Commissioner

Bud Selig, Major League Baseball Commissioner

Bud Selig, Commissioner of Major League Baseball, will be the keynote speaker at this Saturday’s Conference on Sports and Entertainment Law—the fourth such annual event at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.

The yearly panel-filled occasion is hosted by the school’s Sports and Entertainment Law Journal.

(I’ve mentioned past events here and here.)

ASU Sports and Entertainment Law Journal 2013 logoHere are the details for the “day of discussion on critical issues in sports and entertainment law”:

  • Date: Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013
  • Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, followed by a reception for attendees and speakers
  • Location: Arizona State University Memorial Union, Arizona Ballroom 221 (2nd Floor), 1290 S. Normal Ave., Tempe, AZ, 85287

The full agenda (with registration page) is here.

Given the breaking news involving the MLB and Alex Rodriguez, I’m thinking attendees may have some interesting legal questions for the Commissioner.

If an attorney or law student (one who is not an event organizer) would like to pen a follow-up guest blog post about the conference, contact me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org. And yes, I like photos too.

AJEI logo Appellate Judges Education Institute

When it comes to terrific legal events (here and here), why should we confine ourselves to Arizona—especially when the pleasures of San Diego are so close?

That’s my thinking as I pass on news of an appellate law event that really deserves your attention. What? You don’t have an appellate practice? That little fact should not dissuade you from considering attending quite an impressive learning opportunity.

The 10th annual Appellate Judges Education Institute will be held at the Marriott Harbor and Marina Hotel in San Diego on November 14-17 (next month). Organizers of the AJEI Summit say that they’ve designed the programming to appeal to appellate judges, appellate lawyers, and appellate staff attorneys—legal editors are likely to be wowed, as well.

The conference website is here. As the materials indicate, the summit will include a reception at the U.S.S. Midway on Thursday, November 14. The conference is sponsored by the Appellate Judges Education Institute (AJEI), the Appellate Judges Conference of the American Bar Association’s Judicial Division (AJC) and by the SMU Dedman School of Law.

The complete agenda is here.

I have been told that the summit is typically attended by more than 200 state and federal appellate judges, lawyers and staff attorneys. And although the program focuses on appellate law, many of the sessions will be of general interest to lawyers.

I’d have to agree with that last point. The speakers will include Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (Ret.), U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., more than a dozen appellate judges, including Chief Justice Rebecca Berch, and many nationally recognized appellate advocates and legal scholars.

The event also will include a Supreme Court civil case round-up by Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, University of California, Irvine School of Law (whom I interviewed when he visited Arizona; excerpts from our conversation are here).

Presenters include even more Arizona notables:

  • Hon. Scott Bales, Vice Chief Justice, Arizona Supreme Court
  • Hon. Ruth V. McGregor, Supreme Court of Arizona (Ret.)
  • Professor Jane Bambauer, University of Arizona Rogers College of Law

(Our own Justice Bales serves as the summit’s Program Chair. Just yesterday, we received the Supreme Court Order noting that Chief Justice Berch’s five-year term as Chief will end in June 2014, and Hon. Scott Bales has been elected by his peers to serve as Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court for a five-year term, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Congratulations!)

Appealing as the summit is, I will be unable to attend. So if there is a lawyer or judge planning on attending who would like to author a blog post (or perhaps a magazine article) on the event, write to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org. I’m not seeking an overview of the whole multi-day event so much as some cutting-edge appellate topics or takeaways that would be of help to the appellate practitioner—or lawyers generally.

technology and law elawyerTypically I reserve Fridays for Change of Venue Day, when I locate a less law-ish topic that we all can enjoy. But then I recalled a great free event next Thursday that deserves a little sharing love. I’m hoping you agree.

Mark your calendar for Thursday, October 10, when a talented panel will address the topic “eLawyering and the Future of Legal Work.” It will run from noon to 1:00 (e-lawyers are very efficient), at the Phoenix School of Law.

The panelists are national experts on virtual law (see below). I’m doubly pleased that it appears I’ll get to interview them after the panel is complete (OK, OK, they haven’t all weighed in, but I’m confident.). READ the event description below and TELL ME what questions you’d like me to put to them.

Phoenix School of Law logoThe event comes courtesy of the American Bar Association eLawyering Task Force (Law Practice Management Section).

Here’s how organizers describe the discussion:

“eLawyering is doing legal work—not just marketing it—over the Web. Pioneering practitioners have found dramatic new ways to communicate and collaborate with clients and other lawyers, produce documents, settle disputes, interact with courts, and manage legal knowledge. There are exciting initiatives underway now that deserve attention by all lawyers—present and future.”

“The legal profession is being disrupted from without and from within. To be successful in the coming era, lawyers will need to know how to practice over the Web, manage client relationships in cyberspace, and offer ‘virtual’ legal services. Come hear about the knowledge and skills you need to prosper in the years ahead.”

“eLawyering also offers major opportunities to improve access to justice by those who can’t afford or don’t like traditional commercial modes of service delivery.”

“This free program is open to all area law students and lawyers with an interest in the innovative use of technology. Refreshments will be served.”

Panelists will include:

  • Marc Lauritsen, President and Founder, Capstone Practice Systems—Helping Lawyers Work Smarter—Harvard MA; and former director of clinical programs at Harvard Law School; presently Adjunct Faculty, Suffolk Law School
  • Richard Granat, CEO and Founder, DirectLaw, a virtual law firm platform provider; and Co-Director, Center for Law Practice Technology, Digital-Lawyer.com

Go on; don’t be a noob. Follow each of them on Twitter, at @marclauritsen, @rgranat and @StephKimbro.

Want to attend? RSVP to, the Joe P. Perez, Asst. Dean of Professional Development, either by email at jperez@phoenixlaw.edu or by telephone at 602-682-6841.

In 2014, we plan to cover what’s cutting-edge in law practice in Arizona Attorney Magazine. Will that involve e-lawyering? Probably. Will those changes affect your law practice? Let me know if you have a law practice story to share.

Have a great e-weekend.

Society of Professional Journalists logoOh, what a luxury it is to be learning.

This past Saturday through today (Monday), I am in Anaheim, Calif., to attend an annual conference of journalists. (The hosts are the Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio Television Digital News Association.)

As I’ve said before, people learn in all kinds of ways. I’ve had great luck with the podcast and the webinar. But it is hard to beat the occasional face-to-face gathering, where you are not tempted to multitask as a national webinar streams into your office. Sure, it may be more challenging for busy folks to attend in-person conferences, but boyoboy they still have a place in professional education and development.

For example, I am always on the prowl for the best way to cover Arizona’s legal profession. How does a small staff analyze and share what’s important for a state full of attorneys? I am sure that lessons I learn in Anaheim will help me in that challenge.

EIJ13 Journalist conference app screenshot

#EIJ13 Journalist conference app screenshot

I plan to tweet some from the Excellence in Journalism conference (Find me here.). You can follow all the tweets at the dedicated hashtag: #EIJ13

And the conference website is here.

There is a telltale sign that this is a valuable conference: Using the terrific conference app, I started building my own schedule of preferred seminars. Much to my chagrin, in every single time period, there are competing seminars I want to attend. That, I assure you, does not happen at every event I attend!

Like all learning, the seminars run the gamut from skill-building I can use this week all the way up to aspirational tools that might improve Arizona Attorney Magazine next year. But it will be good have the mental gears turning.

(With my conference registration, I also receive two park-hopper passes to Disneyland, which is just across the street. Will I manage to get over to the Happiest Place on Earth? Time will tell.)

I will report back later with some things I learned (I reported on some previous SPJ learning here). But here (in no particular order) are a few seminars I may attend:

  • Working and thinking digital first
  • Digging deeper with social media
  • Data mining: Finding important demographic trends in Census data
  • Facebook usage survey
  • Geek out: The latest tech innovations
  • Best practices for journalists on Facebook
  • Journalism, coding and you
  • Storytelling with Instagram
  • Journalism, the Department of Justice and national security
  • Storytelling with Google Maps and Google Earth
  • Mobile newsgathering with your Smartphone
  • Immigration coverage beyond the fence
  • Effective use of social tools for reporting
  • The perfect interview: Improving your skills

When I return, I’ll give you a roundup of my takeaways (and whether I met with Mickey Mouse).