State Bar of Arizona SBA_Logo_ColorIn case you missed it, here is news about important changes to Rule 32, the Arizona Supreme Court rule that establishes and defines the State Bar. The changes were proposed by the Task Force on the Review of the Role and Governance Structure of the State Bar of Arizona, led by former Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch. The task force was created in 2014 (see the Order).

As the State Bar reports,

“The State Bar of Arizona’s consumer protection role has been enhanced thanks to a revised rule from the Arizona Supreme Court. The changes to Rule 32 … add language that refines the organization’s mission. While the State Bar has always focused its efforts on protecting the public, that language is now in the rule. The updated wording says, ‘The State Bar of Arizona exists to serve and protect the public with respect to the provision of legal services and access to justice.’”

Arizona_Supreme_Court_SealOther changes affect the Board of Governors and the Board of Legal Specialization, among other things.

You can read about the changes here.

And the full rule change is here.

Ernesto Miranda

Ernesto Miranda

Next week, we have two opportunities to her smart folks talk about a landmark Supreme Court case that arose in Arizona. The case, of course, is Miranda v. Arizona, whose 50 anniversary is this year:

“In 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Ernesto Miranda on kidnapping and rape charges because he was not informed of his rights during his arrest, making his written and signed confession null and void. After the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Miranda was retried by the state of Arizona and his confession was not used as evidence. Miranda was convicted and sentenced to 20-30 years in prison.”

The first event, on Monday, May 2, includes speakers and historic artifacts, and is hosted by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records.

  • The Arizona Capitol Museum is celebrating Law Day 2016 with “Miranda: More than Words,” May 2, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Historic Supreme Courtroom, 1700 W. Washington St., Phoenix. Admission is free.
  • The lineup of speakers includes the arresting officer in the case, and organizers have partnered with the Phoenix Police Museum for an exhibit on the case.
  • A day-long speaker series in the State Library of Arizona Marguerite B. Cooley Reading Room, one floor above the Historic Supreme Courtroom will include speakers Arizona Court of Appeals Judge Maurice Portley; attorney Bob McWhirter; and retired Capt. Carroll Cooley, Phoenix Police Department arresting officer in the Miranda case.
  • For more information, go here or contact the State Library of Arizona at 602-926-3870.

Miranda Arizona Law-Day-2016_Flyer_opt

The second event, on Wednesday, May 4, features a panel discussion, hosted by the Maricopa County Bar Association:

 

Arizona Supreme Court building

A new Arizona Justice will be appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey. Comments on applicants are due by Nov. 18, 2015.

News from the Arizona Supreme Court:

The Commission on Appellate Court Appointments is asking for public comment on nine candidates for an opening on the Arizona Supreme Court created by the retirement of Justice Rebecca White Berch. The candidates are:

  • Clint D. Bolick, Vice President for Litigation at the Goldwater Institute
  • Michael J. Brown, an Arizona Court of Appeals Judge – Division I
  • Kent E. Cattani, an Arizona Court of Appeals Judge – Division I
  • Daisy J. Flores, of Flores & Clark LLC
  • Andrew W. Gould, an Arizona Court of Appeals Judge – Division I
  • Maurice Portley, an Arizona Court of Appeals Judge – Division I
  • Timothy J. Thomason, a Maricopa County Superior Court Judge
  • Samuel A. Thumma, an Arizona Court of Appeals Judge – Division I
  • Lawrence F. Winthrop, an Arizona Court of Appeals Judge – Division I

The agenda and applications for the office can be viewed online at the Commission’s website.

Arizona_Supreme_Court_SealThe Commission will meet at 8:00 a.m. on November 20, 2015 to hear public comment and interview the candidates. Written comments can be sent to 1501 W. Washington, Suite 221, Phoenix, AZ 85007 or by e-mail to jnc@courts.az.gov. Comments should be received no later than November 18 to be considered. Anonymous comments cannot be considered.

After the interviews the Commission will recommend at least three nominees for the opening to Governor Doug Ducey, who will appoint the new justice.

 

It’s always good to see an Arizona Justice in the news.

Last week, I mentioned a draft report from an Arizona Supreme Court committee that examines many elements of the State Bar of Arizona. And this week, task force chair and Arizona Justice Rebecca White Berch spoke on the PBS program Horizon about the group’s work.

Justice Berch also invited viewers to read the report and to send their own comments via email to bargovernance@courts.az.gov.

Justice Berch and Horizon provide the email for public comment on the task force report.

Justice Berch and Horizon provide the email for public comment on the task force report.

The task force’s website includes detail about its members, information about its many meetings, and a link to the draft report.

You can link directly to the report here.

On Horizon, Justice Berch discussed why the task force chose to keep a mandatory bar (with one dissent), and how important it is for all attorneys to pay for the various programs whether they use them or not.

I have a link to the Horizon program with the Justice Berch interview, though I hesitate to have you click it. AZPBS is notorious for posting a link that should work but really won’t be ready for days (<buffer> <buffer> <buffer>). Fingers crossed on this link.

Justice Rebecca White Berch speaks with Horizon host Ted Simons, Aug. 18, 2015.

Justice Rebecca White Berch speaks with Horizon host Ted Simons, Aug. 18, 2015.

A Supreme Court task force report on the State Bar of Arizona is described by Justice Rebecca Berch, via video available on the Court's website.

A Supreme Court task force report on the State Bar of Arizona is described by Justice Rebecca Berch, via video available on the Court’s website.

In July 2014, Chief Justice Scott Bales signed an administrative order creating a task force to examine “the mission and governance of the State Bar.” The new group was charged with drafting its report by September 1, 2015. That draft report is now available, and the Court is seeking comment.

The task force’s website includes detail about its members, information about its many meetings, and a link to the draft report.

You can link directly to the report here.

Arizona_Supreme_Court_SealAlso on the website is an introductory video by Justice Rebecca White Berch, who chaired the task force.

Among multiple recommendations, the task force recommends: a reduction in the size of the State Bar Board of Governors (from 30 to between 15 and 18); and clarification of the Bar’s primary mission, which is to serve and protect the public.

One of the elements discussed by the task force was whether the Bar should be maintained as an integrated (mandatory) organization. The task force recommended that it should (though the decision was not unanimous among task force members).

After reading the report, public comment on it can be submitted by email to BarGovernance@courts.az.gov.

You can read Chief Justice Bales’ original Administrative Order here.

More information about the report (and maybe some coverage in Arizona Attorney Magazine) will follow as we head into the fall.