Loyal to the democratic process? You may want to vote in a Bar election before it closes Wednesday afternoon. I voted sticker dog

Loyal to the democratic process? You may want to vote in a Bar election before it closes Wednesday afternoon.

[Note: This post was corrected to indicate that voting is done not on the State Bar website but via a link and credentials emailed directly to each affected Arizona attorney.]

Many of you may have done your civic duty and voted on some high-profile statewide propositions. But did you know that if you are an Arizona-admitted attorney in certain counties, you should be voting in another election too—one that determines who will sit on the State Bar Board of Governors?

And that online election closes at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, May 18.

State Bar of Arizona SBA_Logo_ColorAs the State Bar says:

“An election will be held this year to elect one member each from District 1 (Apache, Coconino, Mohave, and Navajo Counties), District 3 (Gila, Graham, and Greenlee Counties), District 4 (Cochise County), and District 7 (La Paz and Yuma Counties). Three members from District 5 (Pima and Santa Cruz Counties) will also be elected. Each elected member will serve a three-year term starting this June.”

So, yes, there are some contested elections. You can read how the candidates described themselves and their values here in Arizona Attorney Magazine.

And for even more functionality in reading about and seeing the candidates, go to the Bar’s user-friendly website here.

Finally, in order to cast your ballot, see the email sent directly to you from State Bar CEO John Phelps. That email contains a link to the ballot and your specific credentials to do so.

(Click to enlarge the images below.)

A sampling of all NABE's creatures, great and small. Pet Dog Cat

A sampling of all NABE’s creatures, great and small.

Gather enough battle-weary association communicators, and who knows what you’ll get?

Actually, we now know: #PetsofNABE (A link to the entire story via Storify is here.)

The hashtag idea arose at the annual meeting of the National Association of Bar Executives. At a luncheon banquet in the Chicago Hyatt Regency, more than a dozen folks shoehorned themselves around a table to discuss the NABE website—which we as a committee were charged to do.

Over the hour, we also chatted about the other NABE channels, including Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter.

It was the Twitter that got us sidetracked. It’s always the Twitter.

I can’t (won’t) recall who first came up with the idea—though it would surprise no one if it turned out to be Kallie Donahoe and Sayre Happich of the Bar Association of San Francisco (just sayin’).

“What about a contest hashtag to engage people?” the chat began innocently enough. “Or what about just urging, I don’t know, pictures of your pets?”

Seminar-addled, the committee rapidly agreed to the experiment. We have the Twitter, we have the dogs (etc.), let’s get jiggy with it. Done. A hotel dessert has never tasted so sweet.

After that, I conveyed this hashtag notion to the NABE’s Web Editor, Brad Carr. Brad has been a legal association executive for decades, and therefore he: (1) has seen it all, and (2) is unflappable. Still, I thought he might be a tetch … flapped.

But no. He just listened and nodded (at least I think he nodded during our Arizona-Alabama phone call). On Friday morning, I awoke to the following tweet:

Would folks respond? Would they tear themselves away from their Friday duties to post their pets and to gaze lovingly at those of their colleagues?

I’m totally kidding right there. Of course they would.

As I mention in my Storify of the hashtag, #PetsofNABE may not have broken the Internet, but it did sneak onto its couch for a little bit.

The story exists here, but the hashtag lives. More animals are added all the time—and with it, the growing engagement of busy and talented people.

A serious tip of the hat to the pioneering Brad Carr and to the website committee that can’t stop ‘til it gets enough.

Have a wonderful—and pet-filled—weekend.

Old_Drum_dog Statue cropped

Old Drum

Yesterday, I shared what I believe is a great and substantive story from the July/August Arizona Attorney. And before that issue shuffles off this mortally digital coil, let me suggest you read one more item.

Retired Judge Bill Schafer offered us this story about Old Drum, a dog who trotted into legal infamy even as he died.

Like many remarkable events, this one started unremarkably:

“During its 1872 July term, the Missouri Supreme Court announced what appeared to be an innocuous opinion concerning $100. It opened with these words ‘Suit was brought originally before a justice of the peace for killing plaintiff’s dog, and damages were laid at $100’ and ended 10 sentences later with a decision for the dog’s owner. That was 106 years ago, and we are still talking about the case. You may recognize it as ‘Senator Vest’s Tribute To The Dog.’”

“The dog was named Old Drum. He was a black hound dog and had been Charles Burden’s companion for years. They lived in Warrensburg, Missouri. Burden’s brother-in-law, Leonidas Hornsby, lived next door, and they were both farmers.”

Well, if you watched Old Yeller or any other countless artistic works about dogs, you probably know it did not end well for Old Drum. But out of his story, we got a touching soliloquy on the relationship a person may have with his companion animal.

In my editor’s column this month, I urged folks to read Judge Schafer’s essay. In so doing, I poked some fun at my December 2005 column that had been “guest-written” by our dog Cleo.

Cleo tries her hand at a little writing, Ariz. Attorney, Dec. 2005

Cleo tries her hand at a little writing, Ariz. Attorney, Dec. 2005

The month’s poignancy was multiplied, though, when within a few weeks Cleo took ill and died on July 11. It was a traumatic event in our house, though we knew that our 17-year-old friend had lived a good and full life.

Enjoy the judge’s article. And then go home and, if you’ve got one, pat the head of your four-legged friend.

Cleo on porch 07-06-13

Cleo considers whatever it is dogs consider, July 6, 2013.

Dogs and why we love them is the foundation for another news story about the impact canines can have on our well being. And yes, it’s true for lawyers too

Last year, I wrote about the use of therapy dogs in courthouses. In that post, I noted that our own past State Bar of Arizona President Ray Hanna had highlighted the same thing in one of his Arizona Attorney columns.

As I wrote then:

“Over the past few years, animals—usually dogs—have been used more and more in courtrooms around the country, even in Arizona. It’s been discovered that they have a soothing effect on parties and other trial participants. Thus, in their own unique way, dogs may contribute to the administration of justice.”

Ray Hanna and companion in a 2010 President's Message

Today, we read a story confirming the doggie effect, this time for law students. As finals season grinds to a close, here is how the news story out of Emory Law opens:

In the hallowed library of Emory Law, you can hear the sounds of finals week:
“Oohhhhh!”
“Sit! Sit!”
“Lap!”
The students making these noises are not delirious from studying for exams, but maybe they would be, if not for … therapy dogs.

If your experience is anything like mine, those are not the typical sounds of law school (except for the barked admonition “SIT,” but that’s another post).

Here is the video portion of the story.

Do you agree that dogs could or do improve your legal work life? Write to tell me how.