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:

 

Tim Hogan speaks at the University Club, Phoenix, Oct. 29, 2015.

Tim Hogan speaks at the University Club, Phoenix, Oct. 29, 2015.

Last week, an organization that does great legal work took a moment—as it does every year—to honor a lawyer for work that goes above and beyond.

Congratulations to the William E. Morris Institute for Justice for taking that moment on Thursday, October 29, to honor Tim Hogan, Executive Director of the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest.

The event at the University Club was the Morris Institute’s annual Phoenix fundraiser, but it was also an opportunity to hear from some of our legal community’s smartest folks as they weighed in on Tim and his impressive legal career.

Among those who spoke was the Sierra Club’s Sandy Bahr, who recounted numerous times Hogan had collaborated with others on important litigation.

You probably couldn’t put it better than Bahr did as she said, “Tim is a friend to Arizona.”

Sandy Bahr, University Club, Phoenix, Oct. 29, 2015.

Sandy Bahr, University Club, Phoenix, Oct. 29, 2015.

Paul Eckstein spoke warmly about Tim Hogan, “the legal polymath.” Eckstein said there’s hardly an area of law Hogan hasn’t touched, including education, finance, school funding, consumer protection, utility rates, environmental protection, the constitutionality of laws (I stopped writing after a while!).

Eckstein reminded attendees that “60 Minutes is in the waiting room” were once the words most feared by powerful people. Smiling, Eckstein said that dreaded sentence has been replaced by “Tim Hogan has just sued us.”

Paul Eckstein, University Club, Phoenix, Oct. 29, 2015.

Paul Eckstein, University Club, Phoenix, Oct. 29, 2015.

When Hogan rose to offer his obligatory remarks, the typically taciturn attorney would have none of it. He reminded listeners that, “We’re all in this together, and we all contribute to each others’ successes.”

Virtually every lawsuit named that evening, Hogan said, was a collaboration between organizations and multiple lawyers. In particular, Hogan praised the Morris Institute’s Ellen Katz, who has advanced so many cases and causes in Arizona.

William E. Morris Institute for Justice logoHogan’s wry sense of humor was on display, though, when he admitted it was sometimes necessary for him to be absent from settlement discussions, as “Some other folks just self-incinerate when they see me.”

He also reminded the group that he routinely gives Ellen Katz a hard time for not charging for this annual event. (Her response, as always: a smile.)

The experienced Hogan used his remarks to tell attendees that they needed to contribute however they could, and to step up to help communities with little: “Next to English-language learners,” Hogan said, “poor people are probably those who are most despised at the Arizona Legislature.”

In the same week, Tim Hogan was inducted into the Maricopa County Bar Association Hall of Fame. Congratulations again to Tim and the many communities his work benefits.

Maricopa County Courthouse 1800sThis week, I’m sharing some Arizona Attorney content that may have slipped by you unnoticed. As we are about to launch the September issue, I wanted to be sure you saw a few items that I think are significant. (Yesterday, I mentioned a data list that may be of great help to attorneys wondering what’s on the minds of jurors.)

My second mention of the week for magazine content is a column that honors a special bar anniversary—not of the State Bar, but of the Maricopa County Bar Association.

Stan Watts is not only a lawyer but also a historian. And our back-page story by Stan is the result of a collaboration between Maricopa County Bar Association Executive Director Allen Kimbrough, Stan and me.

When I heard from Allen about the MCBA’s 100-year anniversary, I agreed it would be ideal for us at the State Bar to recognize the achievement. But how?

Fortunately, Allen suggested Stan could draft something evocative, as he has so many times in the past. And that he did, well in advance of the County Bar’s September 20 Centennial event.

You can read Stan’s great piece here. And then head over the MCBA to secure a seat at their centennial banquet.

(Of course, as we hurried toward the magazine deadline, I managed to miss the flawed headline touting the bar’s “decade of service.” I think readers understood that we meant a century. Here’s hoping the blog title above will make up for that.)

Tomorrow, on the final day of July, I take a grammatical turn in magazine content. I hope you join me.

Do you have an opinion on a possible dues increase by the State Bar of Arizona?

I will pause here, as I am sure you’re laughing at my simple-minded question.

pause buttonMy point is that everyone seems to have an opinion on the possibility of an increase, which would be the first since 2005.

If you’re curious to hear contrary views on the topic staked out, this Wednesday afternoon will be a good opportunity.

Maricopa County Bar Association MCBA logoAt 5:00 pm, Wednesday, Feb. 19, the Maricopa County Bar Association is hosting what it calls an “informational session” (let’s hope that means more light than heat). It is free, but they would prefer that you RSVP here.

I spoke with Allen Kimbrough, the MCBA Executive Director, and I’m happy to report that Arizona Attorney content will be part of the dialogue. Attendees will receive copies of our February issue FAQs, as well as our published pro and con.

The Wednesday event will feature two speakers who were our same authors—State Bar President Whitney Cunningham on the pro side, and Bar Governor Sam Saks taking up the con gauntlet.

I look forward to seeing you there. As always, feel free to share your thoughts with me about a possible increase; I may include them in an upcoming blog post.

possible dues increase calculator

Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch receives MCBA Hall of Fame Award

Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch, left, receives an MCBA Hall of Fame Award from President Jennifer Cranston, Oct. 30, 2012.

Congratulations to all those who were honored at Tuesday’s Maricopa County Bar Association annual Hall of Fame Induction. As always, the selections made by the MCBA’s committee were superb.

Hon.Glenn Davis was named the Member of the Year.

The 2012 Hall of Fame inductees are:

  • Pioneers: Hon. Ernest McFarland and Jubal Early Craig
  • Modern Era: Hon. Rebecca White Berch, Walter Cheifetz, Hon. Robert L. Gottsfield, Hon. Michael Daly Hawkins, William R. Jones, Jr., Alan A. Matheson, Hon. Janet Napolitano, and Hon. Robert W. Pickrell 

As the MCBA describes the honor:

“Through the Hall of Fame, created in 2008, the MCBA seeks to honor in perpetuity those remarkable individuals who have built the legal profession in this country and beyond, who have made extraordinary contributions to the law and justice, and who have distinguished themselves at the highest levels of public service. The Hall of Fame’s goal is to preserve and foster the legal profession’s history in our country and to showcase the best and brightest lights to the larger community.”

MCBA Hall of Fame honoree William R. Jones, Jr.

MCBA Hall of Fame honoree William R. Jones, Jr.

The bios and photos of all the honorees are available at the recently opened Maricopa County Justice Museum and Leaning Center (which I wrote about here).

William R. Jones, Jr., one of Tuesday’s honorees, opted to use his 60-second remarks to highlight the value of merit selection, much in the news this year and this election season. In so doing, he lived up to the MCBA’s wish to recognize those who “distinguish themselves at the highest levels of public service.” I end with Bill’s remarks:

“The courts and our profession are under attack, and we have been given the fiduciary duty to be protectors of the legal system. How we ultimately perform will say much about us. We are at a crossroads when we need to stand up and protect the court system and the judicial selection system. Now is the time to put our money where our mouth is and to say we have the greatest dispute resolution system in the world.”

Here are a few other photos from the event (thank you to the MCBA’s Isolde Davidson for sharing them; photos and more can be found at the MCBA Facebook page).

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L to R: Joe Kanefield, Peter Gentala, Hon. Ruth McGregor (ret.), and Mark Harrison.

Well done to the panelists in Tuesday’s Maricopa County Bar Association discussion of Proposition 115, this fall’s ballot issue that would alter the way we select and retain some state court judges.

Each side did their best to describe the merits of their position—as well as the one-hour format would allow.

The panel, moderated by Michael Grant (of Gallagher & Kennedy), was: former Arizona Chief Justice Ruth McGregor; Osborn Maledon attorney (and former State Bar President) Mark Harrison; Peter Gentala, counsel to the majority, Arizona House of Representatives; and Ballard Spahr lawyer (and immediate past president of the State Bar) Joe Kanefield.

More photos are at the Arizona Attorney Magazine Facebook page.

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 bboehlke@maricopabar.org.

I may see you there.

Here’s a map to the location:

This past weekend, the State Bar of Arizona carried out its Law Day event, which I mentioned before (and hope to report more on soon).

Law Day, of course, is a nationwide celebration of the rule of law. Communities and entities celebrate it in many ways. That makes tomorrow’s event sponsored by the Maricopa County Bar Association worth your attention.

The MCBA’s event is titled “The Crisis in Court Funding.” That is an endeavor that brings attention to one of the most serious impediments to widespread access to justice.

Among the panelists will be former Arizona Chief Justice Ruth McGregor.

More information, and a registration page, are here.

Former Arizona Chief Justice Ruth V. McGregor

Hon. Jean Williams, 1925-2011

We learned this weekend that a legal pioneer had died after a short illness. As the story says, Judge Jean Williams was the first African American Municipal Court Judge in Phoenix. In fact, she was the first to be appointed in both Phoenix and Tucson.

Jean Williams was a leader, first on the national stage and then here in Arizona. She worked with Martin Luther King, Jr., and later spearheaded efforts for a state holiday to honor him. You can read more of her accomplishments below, but ponder on this for a moment: When she enrolled as a new law student—in 1948—she was the only African American woman in her class at Loyola in Chicago.

Reading about her passing reminded me of a great event that occurred at a recent State Bar of Arizona Convention. At the 2010 event held in Glendale, a terrific group of people gathered to honor Arizona’s minority judges. Speakers included Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch and Phoenix Municipal Court Presiding Judge Roxanne Song Ong. So important were (and are) the contributions of these jurists that almost all of the members of the Supreme Court attended.

Arizona is proud to be represented by so many great lawyers and judges, past and present. But among those luminaries, many had higher hurdles to overcome than others. We are saddened by the passing of Judge Williams, but we marvel at the path she and others paved.

Here, thanks to the Maricopa County Bar Association, is more information on the remarkable life and career of Judge Jean Williams:

Honoring Minority Judges, 2010 State Bar Convention: Arizona's Justices with Hon. Lynda Howell (ret.), center

“Judge Williams is the first African American woman to be appointed to a municipal court judgeship, both in Tucson and in Phoenix. Now retired, she received her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 1951 and passed the bar in Illinois that same year. From 1951-1970, she practiced in Chicago, representing welfare recipients and criminal defendants. She was notably active in defending protesters for civil, housing and voting rights in Chicago during the protest marches associated with Dr. Martin Luther King. She was also a legal consultant to the Chicago Coordinating Committee and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

“Judge Williams came to Arizona in 1971 to be near her retired parents in Tucson. She was admitted to the State Bar of Arizona in 1972 as only the second African American woman. After a brief stint as the executive director of a senior citizens law center in California, her parents’ deteriorating health brought her back, and she served as an attorney for the Southern Arizona Legal Aid Society.

“From 1973-74, she was a Pima County Public Defender and then was selected as a judge of the Tucson Municipal Court beginning in 1974. In 1976 accepted a judgeship in the Phoenix Municipal Court where she served until her retirement in 1996.

“Along the way, Judge Williams repeatedly confronted the double-edged sword of being both a woman and black. Described as feisty and outspoken, she was the only African American woman in her entering law school class of 200 in 1948. Throughout her career she faced both overt and subtle discrimination, which she challenged firmly but gracefully. Judge Williams has received many awards for her distinguished legal career and for the fact that she prevailed as a pioneering black woman lawyer in Arizona.”

ABA President Carolyn Lamm

Well, our title’s not entirely accurate. I attended a breakfast meeting this morning with legal leaders and ABA President Carolyn Lamm. The breakfast conversation—and my follow-up Q&A with President Lamm—were so extensive that I’ve not managed to return to the conference this morning.

This afternoon, I head over to another great event: the graduation of the State Bar of Arizona’s newest class of the Bar Leadership Institute. That is a premier initiative of the Bar’s Diversity Department, headed up by I. Godwin Otu. Be sure to read our interview with Otu (his preferred moniker) in the June Arizona Attorney Magazine.

I’ll have information about both events in an upcoming story. But in the meantime, here are a few photos from the breakfast, generously sponsored and hosted by the Maricopa County Bar Association (special thanks to MCBA Executive Director Allen Kimbrough!).

Have a great weekend, everyone!