Arizona Attorney October 2008, where we got courts and judges

Back in October 2008, Arizona Attorney covered the history of courts and judges.

Sometimes, a good image is all you need to get you through the day.

And on this Change of Venue Friday, I’m operating on that principle. Occasionally, an image is so gripping, so arresting, that its appearance can transform your day from *yawn* to Wow. Kind of like:

cat flip-flop tumblr_nrgrapQ4ZE1s2yegdo1_400

Thank you to Dianna Náñez and Kerry Lengel for the great pic.

But no, that’s not the image I want to share. Today’s legal blog post is connected to judges and the ways they dress. It’s related to a post I wrote a few weeks ago about a crackdown on judge-robe-variety by the Florida Supreme Court. The post allowed me to recall Chief Justice Rehnquist’s golden chevrons.

After that post, I heard from Nedra Brown, a former State Bar of Arizona colleague. An attorney herself, she is now the Registrar (regulator) for the Ontario Association of Architects. And she reminded me about the amazing sartorial choices of the Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Here they are, in all their glory:

Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada

Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada

Who’s in the picture? Nedra explains:

Top Row L-R: The Honourable Clément Gascon; The Honourable Andromache Karakatsanis; The Honourable Richard Wagner; The Honourable Suzanne Coté

Bottom Row L-R: The Honourable Thomas Albert Cromwell, The Honourable Rosalie Silberman Abella; The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada; The Honourable Marshall Rothstein; and the Honourable Michael J. Moldaver.

Nedra also provided me a list of what you have to wear to be admitted, the “Required Court Apparel For Call.” She explained, “Every candidate for call to the bar must appear before Convocation in full court apparel, which consists of:

  • black shoes
  • black or dark grey socks or black, dark grey or natural hose
  • black, dark grey or dark grey striped trousers or skirt
  • black gown vest
  • black gown
  • white shirt with stiff wing collar and white tabs”

I’ve never argued before any Supreme Court (never say never!), but I think the Supreme Court of Canada is now in my Top Two.

More closeup detail about what barristers have to wear to court is here, via Imperial Robes.

And if you’re in need of legal garments, Harcourts may be your haberdasher.

Thank you, Nedra! And everyone, enjoy your weekend—bewigged or not.

Proposition 115 is on the November ballot in Arizona, and its passage would lead to changes in the way we select certain judges (appellate court judges and superior court judges in Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties).

This past month, State Bar CEO John Phelps co-wrote an article in Arizona Attorney that described the history of merit selection. The authors also explored what would change under the new law.

As John pointed out, there is a wide variety of opinion among the state’s lawyers and judges over the wisdom of passing Prop 115. The State Bar is supporting its passage and has written a ballot-pamphlet statement on its behalf.

(To read the text of the Proposition as well as all of the “For” and “Against” statements, go here.)

An event tomorrow night may allow you to hear both sides state their cases. The Maricopa County Bar Association (which wrote an “Against” statement in the voter pamphlet) is hosting a forum on the topic. It will be held at their offices at 303 E. Palm Lane in Phoenix, from 4:30 to 5:30.

More information on the event is here.

As the MCBA describes it:

“All sides of the issue will be debated by a distinguished panel moderated by Michael Grant of Gallagher & Kennedy.”

“The panelists are Hon. Ruth V. McGregor, retired chief justice, Arizona Supreme Court; Mark I. Harrison, Osborn Maledon; Peter Gentala, counsel to the majority, Arizona House of Representatives; and Joseph A. Kanefield, immediate past president of the State Bar of Arizona of Ballard Spahr.”

Admission is free, but they’ve asked people to register their attendance with

I may see you there.

Here’s a map to the location:

Curious to know what judges think of Facebook?

It may not be advisable to stroll up to a jurist and ask her or him; they may get kind of prickly. Instead, on this Change of Venue Friday, flip through a comprehensive new report from the Conference of Court Public Information Officers (or, as I like to call them, some of the hardest-working PIOs in any sector; follow them on Twitter here).

The complete report, titled “2012 CCPIO New Media Survey,” is here, and it paints an evolving picture of judges’ comfort level with social media, at least in regard to the propriety of using it themselves. (Use by lawyers and—ugh—jurors is left for another study.)

Or, as the cheeky Wall Street Journal Law Blog said, judges today appear to be “less freaked out” by Facebook and Twitter.

Reporter Joe Palazzolo writes, “Fewer of them hate the idea of incorporating new media in their professional lives, and more of them are convinced they can use such tools in their personal lives without ethical issues.”

Ha! “Fewer of them hate” it. That may not sound like we should break out the bubbly, but it is quite a change from even a few years ago.

Here is a chart from the CCPIO study showing the shift.

Judges are warming to social media, a new study says in August 2012

And here are a few of the findings from the study:

“The 2012 data reveal several major conclusions:

  • “The participation of judges in the survey continued to climb, as did their use of the technologies surveyed.
  • “The percentage of judges who strongly agree that their own use of the technologies in the survey poses no threat to professional ethics has doubled since the first year of the survey. This applies whether the technologies are used in personal or professional lives.
  • “The percentage of judges who strongly agree that courts as institutions can use the technology without compromising ethics has also doubled since 2010.
  • “The percentage of judges who strongly agree that new media are necessary for public outreach has doubled since 2010.”

Very impressive.

(I am amused, though, that we continue to hold fast to that moniker “New Media.” Ironically, the last time I hectored readers about the oddity of that phrase was when I covered an event put on by court personnel. Is “New Media” a court thing? Let’s all just stop it. After all, social media is descriptive; New Media is kind of a throwback, sort of a Steamboat-Willy-gapes-at-moving-pictures vibe. New Media is old. If judges can change, so can we. Onward.)

Have a great weekend. And as you post a status update in social media, think of a judge.

At Arizona Attorney Magazine, we have been known to claim that we represent “Arizona law with a global viewpoint.” Now, we have some evidence for that assertion.

In December, a delegation of judges and lawyers from Turkey visited the United States. And Arizona was honored that we were one of a short list of their must-stop locations.

It wasn’t just our glorious December weather that drew them here. They explained that this state’s high-quality judges (and merit selection), as well as the good reputation of our lawyers, was the attraction.

I wrote about their visit to the State Bar of Arizona here. And then I followed up with a related story in Arizona Attorney Magazine’s February issue (online February 1).

But our online story caused a bit of a ruckus – not a full-blown international incident or anything, but still a minor cause célèbre (as they say across the Pond).

As reported to me, the “fallout in Turkey” included the following.

Apparently, a Turkish newspaper, called Venicag, found our story and photo on this blog site. That led them to publish the photo that I took (credit, please!?) on the front page of their newspaper.

My photo of the visit by judges from Turkey

I’m told that the newspaper is very anti-government, and that their article claims the Turkish government was hiding secret meetings with the United States. Essentially, it asserted that the Turkish Ministry of Justice was in the States to learn how to create a federalist system within Turkey.

So I guess no good deed goes unpunished. So much for covering local dignitaries.

In the meeting I attended at the State Bar, I didn’t spy any scheming. Of course, I didn’t attend the rodeo with them, so who knows what was discussed at the roundup.

We made the Turkish tabloids!

If you are multilingual, you can read the original story online here.

If not, here is a translation of the Venicag story (I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the translation).

Here is the Hidden Picture

“We find the system ideal”

Ministry of Justice Undersecretary Ahmet Kahraman and eight head of the department judges have examined state system in Washington, Colorado and Arizona. Head of the Arizona Court of Appeals Daniel Barker said the Delegation has told him “We found Arizona system ideal”. National Security Council says “One nation, one state”; there is a state system research in U.S. This is the picture of 2011 Turkey…

The secret communication between U.S. and Turkish Justice Ministries was taken to Parliament and Minister Ergin had left questions unanswered. The next picture which shows Turkish and American delegations together documented the contacts which Minister of Justice is trying to hide persistently.

Depending on the information Yilmaz Polat provided, we had informed public before that Minister of Justice Sadullah Ergin participated in a meeting at Atlantic Council named institution which former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Eric Edelman is a member of board of management. The Istanbul MP of Republican Peoples Party (CHP), Ahmet Tan gave a parliamentary question to Presidency of Turkish Grand National Assembly and asked “ Does your meetings are related to wikileaks documents? Is the aim of this trip is to increase information and experience on site? Upon the order of the Prime Minister, is there any work is being made related to transformation to state system? Will there be any arrangements related to state system among the constitution changes which your government promised to do after the 2011 elections?”

Ergin was not able to answer these questions. Yilmaz Polat popped another news when we were on leave and informed that he has made it confirmed that Ergin has met with Edelman in the mentioned meeting. Ergin again has not made any explanation.

Polat has sent us an information, document and picture of Justice Ministry Ahmet Kahraman and eight judges’ U.S.  visit. The picture is taken from U.S. press. According to the information U.S. officials  gave, With invitation of OPDAT, Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training, an institution of U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. covering costs of the trip, Ministry of Justice Undersecretary Ahmet Kahraman and eight Head of the Department judges examined state legal system between the dates 2-11 December in Washington, Colorado (Denver) and Arizona (Phoenix). In order to resolve shortages in the Turkish legal system, the Arizona system was found ideal.

The Delegation went to Arizona after Denver and met with Head of the Court of Appeals Judge Daniel Barker, and was in touch with Supreme Court and Federal Court.

The Judge Daniel Barker said the Delegation told him that “We believe that there are shortages about guaranteeing public’s confidence in Turkish legal system. For this reason, we examine Arizona system which we know that it made a big progress.”

Head of the Arizona Bar John Phelps and Secretary General John Furlog also gave a briefing to Delegation around one hour at the Arizona Bar.

Arizona has a border with Mexico and Mexican origin  population in the State is significant.

The U.S. Justice Ministry has defined the aim of the visit as “being professional”.

The US people who professionalize Turkish Justice Delegation, did not skip saying that they took the Delegation to a lunch at Arizona Chase Field and rodeo as a social activity.

Well then, What is this OPDAT?

In the website of the U.S. Embassy there is an explanation  which says “A legal advisor is placed in U.S. Embassy in Ankara in 2006 affiliated to US. Justice Department Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training”.

In the American Justice Ministry’s internet site it is shortly said that OPDAT works in a close cooperation with Ministry of Foreign Affairs; The U.S. Government supports Turkish Government’s combat against murders committed by PKK and other terrorist organizations; develops legislation of combating terrorism and assists Turkey in criminal cases, financial fraud and public fraud.

Baris Terkoglu from OdaTV had said that OPDAT’s  U.S advisor in Turkey had a meeting on 25-26 January 2007 in Istanbul together with  Deputy Chief Prosecutors from 8 cities’ Courts which deals with terrorist crimes and organized crimes and also four judicial representatives. Mehmet Bozkurt from Aydinlik, had revealed that this U.S. prosecutor was Suzanne Hayden.

National Security Council says “One nation, one state”; there is a state system research in U.S.

This is the picture of 2011 Turkey…