The Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass will be the site for the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

The Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass will be the site for the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

 Today, I’ll offer a few more in a series of posts describing legal seminars at the upcoming State Bar Convention. (All the detail is here. And the complete Convention brochure is here.)

What follows are questions I asked seminar chairs, followed by their responses.

Today, I share the responses of chairs for all-day programs on Friday, June 17.

Click on the seminar title to read more detail as published in the Convention brochure. (Note: Not all seminar chairs responded.)

8:45 a.m. – 5:15p.m.

F-55: Bankruptcy

Chair: Krystal Ahart

F-55 Krystal Ahart

Krystal Ahart

Who should attend?

All bankruptcy practitioners should attend this day-long event, which will cover a broad range of consumer & commercial topics, including student loans and real property issues, healthcare bankruptcies, and disgorgement of fees. Student loan issues, both in and out of bankruptcy, are quickly becoming a hot topic item, and attendees will get to hear from “THE Student Loan Lawyer,” Joshua Cohen, who is a true expert in his field. A case law update will also be included, as well as an hour of ethics in the form of a debate\hearing.

F-56: Labor & Employment Law: The Present State and the Future

Co-chairs: Kathryn Hackett King, Magdalena Osborn, Jennifer Phillips

Who should attend this seminar?

Both in-house and private practitioners who routinely deal with labor and employment law issues.

What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

A record-number of legal seminars are on offer at the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

A record-number of legal seminars are on offer at the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

Labor and employment law is constantly developing due to new administrative regulations, state and federal legislative action, the Supreme Court’s input, and of course, new judicial rules and procedures. This seminar educates attendees about some of biggest changes, and how they affect our day-to-day practice.

How is this seminar timely? (That is: Why do attorneys need to learn more about this topic right now? What’s going on now in the world or in law practice that makes this topic important?)

The “the rules of the game” in labor and employment law change from one day to the next. Staying up-to-date on these changes is the key to providing quality legal services.

What is the most common misconception about this issue? In other words, what do lawyers think they know, but don’t?

Some legal changes have a grace period allowing people time to adjust—others do not. It would be a mistake to “wait and see” before working with clients to ensure compliance.

 

The Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass will be the site for the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

The Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass will be the site for the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

This is annual Convention week at the State Bar of Arizona. As always, a large selection of educational seminars (and less-educational activities) are packed into the three-day event held at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass.

More detail about the Convention is here.

As always, Arizona Attorney Magazine staff (yes, that’s me) will cover the annual event.

And as in the past, we will not print a once-a-day hard-copy “Convention Daily.” Instead, I’ll cover Convention news closer to real time, via the editor’s blog and social media. We will use multiple channels to communicate what’s going on. But the surest way to be sure you see everything is to follow me on Twitter. In Twitter, I’m @azatty. You can view all the evolving content here (or at http://twitter.com/azatty, to be specific). I will be tagging everything with the hashtag #azbarcon – so be sure to search for that.

Want to participate? Send me brief stories or story suggestions. Or if you have convention photos, we’d be glad to share them with readers.

And don’t forget to tweet from convention. Use the hashtag #azbarcon.

Questions or suggestions? Reach me, the Editor, Tim Eigo, on-site at the Sheraton, at 602-908-6991 or via arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

And always feel free to stroll up and say hello. I’ll be hiking all over the hotel to cover the goings-on. Or you may catch me at the Arizona Attorney table in the Exhibitor area. If you miss me there, leave your card or a note.

A record-number of legal seminars are on offer at the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

A record-number of legal seminars are on offer at the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

The Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass will be the site for the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

The Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass will be the site for the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

Today, another in a series of posts describing legal seminars at the upcoming State Bar Convention. (All the detail is here. And the complete Convention brochure is here.)

What follows are questions I asked seminar chairs, followed by their responses.

Today, I share the responses of chairs for programs this Friday morning, June 17.

Click on the seminar title to read more detail as published in the Convention brochure. (Note: Not all seminar chairs responded.)

Friday, June 17, 8:45 a.m. – noon

F-42: Evidence Law Update

Co-chairs: Hon. Sam Thumma, Mark Armstrong

Who should attend this seminar?

Trial lawyers, litigators and anyone who may deal with, or need to know about, litigation.

What is the main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

Better knowledge of recent significant cases addressing the admissibility of evidence and a better appreciation of how the Arizona Rules of Evidence apply to real world situations.

How is this seminar timely?

Trials and evidentiary issues are ongoing, constantly, including through motion practice and in litigation strategy, including in guiding alternative dispute resolution strategies.

What is going on now in the world of law practice that makes this topic important?

That evidentiary outcomes are impossible to predict and that the Arizona Rules of Evidence do not provide helpful guidance in addressing evidentiary issues.

What is the most common misconception about this issue?

The view that the common law of water determines water rights in Arizona. Since the landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Arizona v. California in 1963, which recognized the federal statutory allocation of Colorado River water, and continuing with the historic 1980 Arizona Groundwater Management, which established state administrative management of groundwater in Arizona, increasingly the state and federal regulators determine water rights.

F-44: Professional Licensing After North Caroling Board of Dental Examiners

Co-chairs: Cole Schlabach

Who should attend this seminar?

Anyone whose clients work in regulated industries such as healthcare providers, accountants, and lawyers. Administrative lawyers and antitrust lawyers will have special interest.

What is the main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

When do Arizona regulatory or licensing agencies overstep their bounds by engaging in anticompetitive behavior? What is next for regulated professions (including the Bar) in Arizona?

How is this seminar timely?

The seminar is timely because recent court decisions have spurred potential legislation affecting state agencies, including at least two bills this session—H.B. 2501 and H.B. 2613, involving the potential restructuring and elimination of certain licensing boards.

A record-number of legal seminars are on offer at the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

A record-number of legal seminars are on offer at the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

The Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass will be the site for the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

The Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass will be the site for the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

Today, I mention just one legal seminar that will be offered on Thursday, June 16, at the upcoming State Bar Convention. (All the detail is here. And the complete Convention brochure is here.)

Here is what I asked seminar chairs, followed by their responses.

Click on the seminar title to read more detail as published in the Convention brochure.

Thursday, June 16, 2:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

T-31: Regulating Arizona’s Desert Water Supply: An In-Depth Discussion of Public Regulation of Water Rights

Chair: Bill Ralls

T-28 Bill Ralls

Bill Ralls

Who should attend this seminar?

All business, real property, environmental, administrative and regulatory attorneys and members of the State Bar of Arizona whose clients depend upon the availability of water to sustain future development in Arizona.

What is the main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

There will be a future reduction in the water delivered to Arizona from the Colorado River, probably as early as 2018, With Colorado River water shortages on the horizon and limited groundwater, our interactive panel will analyze the priorities of water use under the Law of the Colorado River and state water policies to achieve sustainable development in Arizona.

How is this seminar timely?

State, federal and regional water officials are now developing water plans to meet the reductions in water supplies, and it is timely for all water stakeholders in Arizona to be involved in the development of water priorities and policies. Also this includes involvement of attorneys in state regulation of groundwater by the Arizona Department of Water Resources, particularly proposed changes in water regulation in rural areas to protect diminishing groundwater.

A record-number of legal seminars are on offer at the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

A record-number of legal seminars are on offer at the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

What is going on now in the world of law practice that makes this topic important?

Important active litigation in Arizona courts challenging state water regulators, including the federal Bureau of Land Management challenge to the ADWR for the approval of groundwater withdrawals which may impact the San Pedro River, one of the last free flowing rivers of Arizona, and the court challenge of the Residential Utility Consumers Office to the Arizona Corporation Commission rate ruling to recognize water improvements in rates between formal rate cases for customers of privately owned water companies.

What is the most common misconception about this issue?

The view that the common law of water determines water rights in Arizona. Since the landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Arizona v. California in 1963, which recognized the federal statutory allocation of Colorado River water, and continuing with the historic 1980 Arizona Groundwater Management, which established state administrative management of groundwater in Arizona, increasingly the state and federal regulators determine water rights.

The Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass will be the site for the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

The Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass will be the site for the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

Today, another in a series of posts describing legal seminars at the upcoming State Bar Convention. (All the detail is here. And the complete Convention brochure is here.)

What follows are questions I asked seminar chairs, followed by their responses.

Today, I share the responses of those presenting on the morning of Thursday, June 16.

Click on the seminar title to read more detail as published in the Convention brochure.

Thursday, June 16, 8:45 a.m. – noon

T-23: ADR Talks

Chair: Steven P. Kramer

 

T-23 Steven P. Kramer

Steven P. Kramer

Who should attend this seminar?

Any practitioner involved in resolving disputes. Lawyers seeking pointers on planning, participating in and maximizing the benefits of mediation will be informed, entertained and come away with new insights. Practitioners who participate in mediation and arbitration will also learn about recent cases and legislative developments.

What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

Lawyers and clients can derive great benefit from devoting careful attention to planning and preparing themselves for mediation. During mediation, there are effective approaches, tools, practices and strategies lawyers can and should employ that will make mediations more productive, meaningful and successful for their clients.

How is this seminar timely? (That is: Why do attorneys need to learn more about this topic right now? What’s going on now in the world or in law practice that makes this topic important?)

Mediation is becoming an increasingly prominent method of reaching resolution in the contexts of litigation, family law, employment and commercial disputes. Settlement conferences, rather than a step in the litigation process, can be a practitioner’s best opportunity to reach a desired result. Skillful mediation techniques and strategies are becoming a vital part of a lawyer’s arsenal.

What is the most common misconception about this issue? In other words, what do lawyers think they know, but don’t?

Misconception: The skills lawyers use to “control” the litigation process, such as the ability to take over and dominate a courtroom, serves their clients well in mediation.

Reality: This approach is often counter-productive. Mediation is not about the advocate, but about the parties. An advocate’s most important role in mediation is that of counselor and advisor. The more deeply both sides become invested in the process, the better the chance that the process will lead them to an agreement they both can accept. Attempts to intimidate, cut down or dominate the other side often cause opponents to communicate less freely, shut down or withdraw.

T-24:  Preparing for Cyber Armageddon:  Practical Tools for Law Firm Data Security, Privacy and Cyber Liability

Chair: Pat Fowler

 

T-24 Pat Fowler

Patrick Fowler

Who should attend this seminar?

This seminar should be useful to any lawyer whose practice involves using computers, mobile devices, the Internet and any form of digital technology, either in their professional capacity or in their personal life.  In other words, basically everyone.  Our speakers will include experts in cybersecurity, information technology, data breach response and cyber liability insurance.

What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

Cybersecurity (including steps to reduce the risk of a breach, and a plan for quickly and effectively responding once it happens) is not something that you should put off until next month. It’s like failing to brush your teeth—ignore it long enough and bad things will happen.

How is this seminar timely? (That is: Why do attorneys need to learn more about this topic right now? What’s going on now in the world or in law practice that makes this topic important?)

Lawyers and law firms are being targeted by hackers more frequently because they are perceived as relatively easy targets. Cyber attacks on law firms can result in hackers accessing and releasing confidential and privileged client communications and records, or perhaps a ransomware attack that can lead to the total loss of all of the data on the lawyer’s computer. A data breach can result in devastating damage to a small business’ brand and reputation and can lead to the failure of that organization.

What is the most common misconception about this issue? In other words, what do lawyers think they know, but don’t?

A common misperception is that “my firm is too small for a hacker to bother with, so I don’t need to worry about it.” In fact, hackers target small businesses like small law firms because they know they don’t devote sufficient attention and resources to cyber security, and often provide the hackers with access credentials that the law firms uses to access client servers, like for electronic billing or for data rooms.

Thursday, June 16, 10:30 a.m. – noon

T-26: Supreme Advocate: Arizona Solicitors General Speak Frankly About Appeals, Politics, Mistakes and Triumphs

Co-chairs: Christina Cabanillas, Kelly Y. Schwab

Who should attend this seminar?

Anyone who wishes to know more about the roles and duties of the Arizona Solicitor General and U.S. Solicitor General, how they form legal positions and interact with the legislative and judicial branches, and how they approach litigating high-profile, hotly-debated, or other cases before Arizona and federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court.  In other words, what the heck do they do?

What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

How invisible but essential a Solicitor General’s Office can be, both in Arizona, other states, and federally.

How is this seminar timely? (That is: Why do attorneys need to learn more about this topic right now? What’s going on now in the world or in law practice that makes this topic important?)

We can barely count how many cases dealing with controversial or cutting-edge subjects seem to come up in Arizona.  Understanding how the Arizona Solicitor General’s Office develops and forms legal positions and how it chooses what cases to appeal or what laws it should (or should not) defend against particular challenges is very topical.

What is the most common misconception about this issue? In other words, what do lawyers think they know, but don’t?

Some may think that the Solicitor General’s Office chooses to advocate legal positions based on the political affiliation of the Attorney General or executive branch head (governor or president).  The panelists can address this issue at the seminar.

T-28: Arizona’s Water Glass: Half Full or Half Empty? An In-Depth Discussion of CAP’s Colorado River Supply

Chair: Bill Ralls

 

T-28 Bill Ralls

Bill Ralls

Who should attend this seminar?

All business, real property, environmental, administrative and regulatory attorneys and members of the State Bar of Arizona whose clients depend upon the availability of water to sustain future development in Arizona.

What is the main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

There will be a future reduction in the water delivered to Arizona from the Colorado River, probably as early as 2018, With Colorado River water shortages on the horizon and limited groundwater, our interactive panel will analyze the priorities of water use under the Law of the Colorado River and state water policies to achieve sustainable development in Arizona.

How is this seminar timely?

State, federal and regional water officials are now developing water plans to meet the reductions in water supplies, and it is timely for all water stakeholders in Arizona to be involved in the development of water priorities and policies. Also this includes involvement of attorneys in state regulation of groundwater by the Arizona Department of Water Resources, particularly proposed changes in water regulation in rural areas to protect diminishing groundwater.

What is going on now in the world of law practice that makes this topic important?

Important active litigation in Arizona courts challenging state water regulators, including the federal Bureau of Land Management challenge to the ADWR for the approval of groundwater withdrawals which may impact the San Pedro River, one of the last free flowing rivers of Arizona, and the court challenge of the Residential Utility Consumers Office to the Arizona Corporation Commission rate ruling to recognize water improvements in rates between formal rate cases for customers of privately owned water companies.

What is the most common misconception about this issue?

The view that the common law of water determines water rights in Arizona. Since the landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Arizona v. California in 1963, which recognized the federal statutory allocation of Colorado River water, and continuing with the historic 1980 Arizona Groundwater Management, which established state administrative management of groundwater in Arizona, increasingly the state and federal regulators determine water rights.

A record-number of legal seminars are on offer at the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

A record-number of legal seminars are on offer at the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

The Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass will be the site for the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

The Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass will be the site for the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

Today, another in a series of posts describing legal seminars at the upcoming State Bar Convention. (All the detail is here. And the complete Convention brochure is here.)

What follows are questions I asked seminar chairs, followed by their responses.

Today, I share the responses of chairs of a Civil Litigation seminar, scheduled for the first afternoon of Convention, Wednesday, June 15.

Click on the seminar title to read more detail as published in the Convention brochure.

Wednesday, June 15, 2:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

W-15: Where We’re Going, We Still Need Rules: Back to the Future in Civil Litigation

Co-chairs: Sara Agne, Jodi Knobel Feuerhelm

Who should attend this seminar?

Civil practitioners and civil appellate practitioners.

What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

Lawyers who attend will get a trilogy of rules updates first (pending and adopted rule change petitions, overview of recent federal rule changes, and an Arizona rules-related case law update), followed by an in-depth panel discussion of the work of the Task Force on the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure.

A record-number of legal seminars are on offer at the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

A record-number of legal seminars are on offer at the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

How is this seminar timely? (That is: Why do attorneys need to learn more about this topic right now? What’s going on now in the world or in law practice that makes this topic important?)

Multiple, concurrent rule-change processes are likely to impact civil practice in Arizona, beginning as early as January 1, 2017. These include the Arizona Supreme Court’s regular, Rule 28 petition-and-comment process, the work of the Task Force to restyle the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure in their entirety, and now also the work of the Arizona Supreme Court’s Committee on Civil Justice Reform (expected to report and propose rule changes by October 1, 2016).

What is the most common misconception about this issue? In other words, what do lawyers think they know, but don’t?

Rule changes and revisions have been rapid and expansive, particularly in the past three years, and are poised to continue for the next three. Once these changes begin to take effect, lawyers who think they know the current civil rule standards may wish to read the new rules to know for sure. This seminar will give practitioners a preview of what is on tap and poised to affect the future of civil litigation in Arizona.

A record-number of legal seminars are on offer at the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

A record-number of legal seminars are on offer at the 2016 State Bar of Arizona Convention.

In advance of the Bar Convention, I contacted seminar chairs seeking their response to four questions about their upcoming panel. Here are the questions I sent:

  • Who should attend this seminar?
  • What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?
  • How is this seminar timely? (That is: Why do attorneys need to learn more about this topic right now? What’s going on now in the world or in law practice that makes this topic important?)
  • What is the most common misconception about this issue? In other words, what do lawyers think they know, but don’t?

Today, I share the responses of those whose seminars are calendared for the first morning of Convention, Wednesday, June 15. (Note: Not all seminar chairs responded.) Click on the seminar title to read more detail as published in the Convention brochure.

Wednesday, June 15, 8:45 a.m. – noon

W-1 Securities: Tackling Future Issues Today

Co-chairs: Stephen Boatwright, Todd Lenczycki

Who should attend this seminar?

Business attorneys with large or small, public or private clients who want to know the latest regarding raising capital and what shareholder activism is all about.

What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

Shareholder activism is a concern for public and private companies. Knowing the building blocks and how they fit together can enable the Arizona business lawyer to be ahead of the curve if something like this becomes an issue for your client.

State Bar Conventions often draw outstanding speakers from their local bar but not often one of national standing who regularly speaks at the National Securities Convention in San Diego. The timely topic and compelling speaker make this a must attend event.

It is a great privilege to have John Huber who may be the first former director of corporate finance at the SEC to speak in Arizona as these caliber people are very hard to get here! John literally wrote many of the rules of the Securities Act and has an incredible knowledge of how important financial statements are in conjunction with legal analysis.

How is this seminar timely? (That is: Why do attorneys need to learn more about this topic right now? What’s going on now in the world or in law practice that makes this topic important?)

Shareholder activism is no longer an exceptional event. It is affecting the largest public companies as well as the smallest. Private companies contemplating going public should be aware of how activists operate, who supports them, and what to do to prepare for and react when an activist appears. The building blocks used for handling shareholder activism are equally applicable to advising clients who aren’t confronting activists. The building blocks help companies with raising money in Arizona by providing the latest, ever-changing guidelines and best practices for business lawyers in Arizona.

What is the most common misconception about this issue? In other words, what do lawyers think they know, but don’t?

Lawyers may believe that it takes special expertise to address shareholder activists when the building blocks to do so are already known and understood by business lawyers. The building blocks are supplemented by having specialized advisers such as forensic accountants who can review and analyze financial and business data as impartial third parties. The same building blocks and outside advisers are important to a lawyer advising either a public or private company on raising capital. Continuous education on the latest issues, laws, and regulations faced by business attorneys on the topic is invaluable.

Hearing the comments of former SEC Director John Huber, who has frequently been the keynote speaker at national bar conventions, and having the knowledgeable panel available for your questions is a must attend event.

W-3 Representation Considerations for a Growing Population of Vulnerable and Disabled Adults

Co-chairs: Jennifer Kupiszewski, Bridget O’Brien Swartz

Who should attend this seminar?

Any lawyer that represents individuals and families. Our clients are aging or their parents are aging and challenges associated with aging and disability affect all areas legal representation. Criminal, family, juvenile, elder and probate law and special needs and estate planning attorneys would benefit from the seminar.

What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

The clientele we serve is aging and more likely to be disabled or experience a period of incapacity. Attorneys need to adapt and understand the implications of aging and disability in their legal representation to better serve clients and to protect their practice.

How is this seminar timely?

The number of Americans ages 65 and older will double over the next 30 years to 80 million.  A significant number of our aging population will suffer from some form of Dementia. One-quarter of all U.S. divorces involve people over 50. And Arizona has a larger aging population than most states. As people live longer they are more likely to experience periods of incapacity and need a guardian or have someone acting as their power of attorney. This creates challenging ethical issues for attorneys and this seminar is focused on preparing attorneys to handle those issues.

What is the most common misconception about this issue?

Attorneys often do not consider the issues of aging and disability. They aren’t informed about Dementia and financial exploitation so they may not recognize it in their office. The attorney may unwittingly be assisting the exploiter if they can’t assess client’s capacity or if they don’t know how, when or where to obtain assessment.

W-4 Thinking Like a Lawyer: A Game-Show Approach to Implicit Bias

Co-chairs: Javier Grajeda, Hon. Laura Lowery, K Royal

Who should attend this seminar?

All attorneys should attend, along with any legal staff. This issue impacts us professionally and personally.

What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

The main takeaway is that we all have implicit biases, but may not realize we do. We should be aware of these subconscious thoughts and work consciously to reduce them. Implicit biases are unknown to the individual because they are implicit by their very definition.  One of the main goals of our seminar is to make the implicit explicit.

How is this seminar timely? (That is: Why do attorneys need to learn more about this topic right now? What’s going on now in the world or in law practice that makes this topic important?)

Relationships are critically important especially as we meet the incoming generation of lawyers and business owners. We live in a mobile and technology-based world, where written communication is the norm – people read emotions and attitudes into words based on what they know of the person. Therefore, it is critical that individuals be aware of how they are perceived.

What is the most common misconception about this issue? In other words, what do lawyers think they know, but don’t?

The most common misconception about implicit biases is that we think we don’t have them – or if we do, that they don’t influence our actions.

W-6: A Discussion of the Complete Family Violence Dynamic

Co-chairs: Joan Bundy, Lydia Peirce Linsmeier

Who should attend this seminar?

Anyone, attorney or not, who is interested in protecting and assisting domestic violence victims—including human and non-human victims—or ever gets inquiries from prospective clients regarding legal situations that involve domestic violence or otherwise must deal with it in their practice.

What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

How to incorporate protections for animals into domestic violence prevention and remediation strategies, both within and outside the court system, covering everything from protective orders to divorce decrees and emergency escape plans to temporary housing.

How is this seminar timely? (That is: Why do attorneys need to learn more about this topic right now? What’s going on now in the world or in law practice that makes this topic important?)

Unfortunately, domestic violence has always occurred as long as there have been people living on the earth and, sadly, it shows no signs of going away anytime soon, let alone slowing down.

What is the most common misconception about this issue? In other words, what do lawyers think they know, but don’t?

Lawyers, and people in general, think domestic violence victims are allowing themselves to be victimized and should just walk away from their abuser. However, a victim is most likely to be killed or seriously harmed when they try to escape. It takes most victims years and multiple “trial runs” or attempts before they finally succeed in leaving and starting a new life, if ever. One of the most sobering statistics is that approximately a third of all DV victims do not leave or delay leaving because they fear for the safety of one or more pets left behind, and two-thirds indicate their batterer has either threatened to harm or kill a family pet or has done so.

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