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.

The Tucson City Court is the recipient of a nearly half-million-dollar grant.

The Tucson City Court is the recipient of a nearly half-million-dollar grant.

As we come to the end of October and Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I share some news from the Tucson City Court and the Arizona Supreme Court:

“Tucson City Court this month received a three-year $497,000 Justice for Families grant. The grant is from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women and is the second such grant that Tucson City Court has earned. The grant will be used to continue the specialty domestic violence court program.”

“Judge Wendy Million launched a specialty court to handle domestic violence cases in 2013. Domestic Violence Court is not a separate building, rather it is a program that bundles all serious domestic violence cases on one judge’s calendar. Instead of spreading these cases among several judges, Judge Million hears all of these cases and works with advocacy groups to provide services to victims of domestic violence.”

City of Tucson-logo“‘The idea is to be able to provide a social and community safety net to families and individuals touched by domestic violence,’ Judge Million explained. ‘This new grant allows me to continue having a dedicated domestic violence court. The money will be used to help with extra security in the courtroom and for continuing education programs for judges, court staff, and attorneys who handle these cases. It also funds two victim advocates from Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse who will work at City Court.’”

“According to its website, the Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse is a Tucson-based charitable organization that is the largest provider of domestic abuse prevention services in Southern Arizona. Judge Million said the two victim advocates will float between the court’s protective order office and the courtroom to provide direct aid to victims.”

“The grant will also allow Judge Million to continue doing outreach to the Deaf and hard-of-hearing. National studies have shown that deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals experience a greater incidence of domestic violence, which often goes unreported. Judge Million plans to use some funds to pay for American Sign Language interpreters when domestic violence victims with a hearing impairment need court services.”

Read the entire news release here.

Cup o Karma domestic violence coffee shop 1

Cup o’ Karma, a coffee shop that supports domestic violence survivors.

A lawyer educational event this week lets me mention a coffee shop—that supports domestic-violence survivors. That is important year-round, but it’s especially highlighted in October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

State Bar colleague Shannon Henrie alerted me to Thursday’s event titled “Domestic Violence: What All Lawyers Need to Know.” It will run from 9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at the Bar’s CLE Center, and is available online too.

Before I share the detail about the program, I wanted to mention that the seminar includes a speaker representing the survivor perspective. She is MonaLou Callery, the founder of National Advocacy & Training Network. Among its other great work, the Network has a coffee shop that supports domestic violence survivors. It’s called Cup O’Karma, a Workforce Development and Job Training Café; you can read more about it here. Its locations (in Mesa and Chandler) and varying hours are also shown.

And here is NATN’s mission:

“Through grassroots efforts, the National Advocacy & Training Network (NATN) was founded in 2002 by a group of survivors, volunteers, advocates, and professionals working to end violence against women and children. Our mission is to address the health, safety, economic and social justice issues related to domestic violence, sexual assault, and substance abuse. To achieve our mission we deliver services using a three-pronged approach: 1) Training & Technical Assistance; 2) Public Awareness and 3) Direct Services.”

Cup o Karma domestic violence coffee shop-page0001PROGRAM DETAILS

Domestic Violence: What All Lawyers Need to Know

October 22 @ 9:00 am – 12:15 pm

This panel consists of practitioners from various practice areas and the discussion will inform practicing attorneys in any area about the law and practical considerations that arise when dealing with a client who has a domestic violence incident in their background or currently pending.

McAuliffe CLE Center, 4201 N. 24th Street, Phoenix

You can register for the program here.

Seminar Chair

  • Blaine D. Gadow, Office of the Arizona Attorney General

Seminar Faculty

  • Commissioner Erin Otis, Maricopa County Superior Court
  • Timothy J. Agan, Office of Legal Advocate
  • Felicia Schumacher, Davis Faas and Blasé
  • Ariel N. Serafin, Deputy County Attorney – Family Violence Bureau, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office
  • MonaLou Callery, National Advocacy & Training Network
The experience of some immigrants in the Southwest is described in new research.

The experience of some immigrants in the Southwest is described in new research.

Last month, I had the pleasure to attend an event commemorating the Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project. (In an upcoming issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine, we hope to cover their 25th anniversary year.) It’s always great to catch up with the staff and lawyers who work hard to ensure fair processes and aim for optimal outcomes for their clients.

Dr. Emily Bashah

Dr. Emily Bashah

While at the gathering hosted by Lewis Roca Rothgerber, I met a researcher who has been studying the “lived experiences of undocumented immigrants.” Dr. Emily Bashah, with her colleagues, has spoken with many of those who have sought a better life through migration.

I learned that she not only does research on important public issues, but she is adept at synopsizing them into readable blog posts.

Today, I invite you to read one of her posts, written by Emily and colleagues Lois M. Baca and Karen L. Suyemoto. It’s titled “Crossing the Line,” and it allows the migrants to describe their own sometimes harrowing experiences.

As the researchers note:

“Although not all undocumented immigrants who cross the Southwest border face coercion, exploitation, or other violations of human rights that constitute human and sex trafficking, the risks are prevalent.”

Among the compelling stories, the blog post also shared the Power and Control Wheel, which is stunning in its stark recitation of the variety of abuses that immigrant women and children may face.

Source: National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence. (2012). Immigrant power and control wheel

Immigrant power and control wheel. Source: National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence. (2012).

Dr. Bashah tells me that she also plans to publish another blog that more specifically speaks to the deported Latinas’ lived experiences. I’ll share that when I see it.

 

Arizona Attorney's "End Notes," from the early 2000s.

Arizona Attorney’s “End Notes,” from the early 2000s.

One of the biggest challenges every magazine faces is: What do you do with your back page?

Specifically, that means the inside back page, typically the last “edit” page in the magazine, followed by a page or more of advertising. After the cover and the contents page, it is typically the most-read page in a magazine (aside from lawyer discipline, in our case!).

When I started at Arizona Attorney Magazine years ago, we tried a variety of things, including a page dedicated to legal trivia (and even incorporating a quiz), called “End Notes.” But as time went on, we gravitated back to a traditional inside last page with commentary from folks we thought readers would appreciate (or respond to, or both). We call the page The Last Word.

Our “stable” of regularly recurring columnists has varied, but it has stayed the same over the past few years (though we are open to ideas for people to add as a regular columnists; send a note to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org).

Over time, though, we found that there were more diverse voices among Arizona lawyers that should be shared. These are those people who may have no interest in writing regularly, but who have one great and compelling column in them. They have a message they feel should be conveyed. Aside from a letter to the editor, where is the magazine space for them?

Arizona lawyer Don Bayles. Jr.

Arizona lawyer Don Bayles. Jr.

That’s when we developed My Last Word—identical in appearance and word count to The last Word, but open to any lawyer who has something to say. (Like all content, submissions are reviewed for appropriateness, timeliness and relevance.)

If you or someone you know is interested in pursuing a column, write to me (arizona.attorney@azbar.org).

The May issue contains a compelling example of My Last Word. Written by Don Bayles, Jr., it addresses the heartbreaking problem of violence against women and girls in Indian reservations. The challenges include jurisdiction and vast distances, and they are substantial.

Here is how Don opened his column:

domestic violence“Horrific violence toward women and children on southwestern tribal lands continues to disappoint. Up to 90 percent of girls in Hopi villages can expect to be sexually molested, according to a September 2012 interview with Arlene Honanie, the wife of the tribe’s vice chairman. Ms. Honanie said that this happens, at least in part, because offenders are so rarely punished. A nearby advocate for reservation victims offered a similar observation in cases involving the Navajo Nation. Speaking to a New York Times reporter, Caroline Antone said, ‘I know only a couple of people who have not been raped, out of hundreds.’ If these reports are even roughly accurate, the Rule of Law within our adjacent Indian nations has lost credibility. As one human rights leader has said, ‘If you’re not safe, nothing else matters.’”

You should read Don’s entire column, here.

Victor Riches, Arizona House Chief of Staff

Two stories percolating this week demonstrate solidarity in the face of adversity. Oddly enough, both come out of the Arizona Legislature.

I say “oddly” because recent actions from lawmakers demonstrate an almost unwavering support for a variety of themes: law and order, personal responsibility, a dislike for excuses. But those things fall away when it’s one of your own whose ox is being gored.

The first story is about the chief aide to the House Speaker. He was stopped for extreme DUI, and cocaine was even found in the car he was driving. But both Speaker Andy Tobin and former Speaker Kirk Adams stand by Victor Riches. They say they appreciate his “candor” about the 2010 incident.

Here is another story about the arrest. It quotes a criminal defense attorney who muses on the different type of treatment that differently situated defendants receive.

House Speaker Andy Tobin and former Speaker Kirk Adams

That follows on the heels of the Scott Bundgaard domestic-violence case. Laurie Roberts in the Republic writes about that again today.

As Roberts described it, the matter is “perhaps the longest misdemeanor investigation ever.” But how much more abbreviated it might have been if lawmakers decided not to throw their unwavering support behind the state senator.

Optimistic readers may hope this all signals a new openness among leaders to arguments that the facts underlying criminal charges are often complicated, and that no one should be demonized until they get their day in court.

A hopeful lot, they.

State Senator Scott Bundgaard