A smiling Justice Antonin Scalia in 2010, by photographer Stephen Masker, Wikimedia Commons

A smiling Justice Antonin Scalia in 2010, by photographer Stephen Masker, Wikimedia Commons

Justice Antonin Scalia came to Phoenix in May, where he spoke to a warm Federalist Society audience.

I was unable to attend, but I am happy to recommend a blog post by Ashley Kasarjian, who did dine and listen to the Justice’s musings.

Ashley is an employment and labor attorney at Snell & Wilmer, as well as the chair of the Arizona Attorney Editorial Board.

Here is a link to her post, which covers the event, which sounds like it was highly entertaining.

I have opted to head my post with an open-source image of Scalia, rather than hijack and copy Ashley’s own great photo of him (though I’m soooo tempted!). To see that, you need to click through and scroll to the bottom of her post (it’s worth it!).

Ashley explained to me that as she approached to get her book signed, she realized her phone-camera settings were not right. So the good Justice had to be delayed for a flicker of a moment (my estimation, not hers), leading to the curmudgeonly gaze (my review, not hers).

But the reaction Ashley engendered may not be unique. I just came across another shot of Justice Scalia, this one on the Arizona GOP website. If anyone had their photo filters set to “charmed” for this particular photo subject, it would be them. And yet … grimace.

You also can see the same photo in this tweet from the @AZGOP:

(Maybe “grimace” is unfair. But he would not be the first public figure to “check out” after, say, the 2,000th photo of the day.)

In any case, it’s always an honor to have a Justice in Arizona to dine, speak, sign, and dash. Enjoy Ashley’s summary.


The 'G' on the mountainside means you're in Globe, Ariz.The 'G' on the mountainside means you're in Globe, Ariz.

The ‘G’ on the mountainside means you’re in Globe, Ariz.

Earlier this month, I described my trip to Globe, Ariz., to cover a story. That day, I promised some photos from my trip east. Today, I offer the images. They include my tours of the historic courthouse and jail that are noteworthy elements of a historic mining downtown.

Have a terrific—and historically legal—weekend.

Click a photo to enlarge and see it in a slideshow.


It was Bar events like this one in March that made me wonder: Should we publish more member photos?

It was Bar events like this one in March that made me wonder: Should we publish more member photos?

In my work life, I receive a lot of magazines in the mail. A lot.

Most of them come from other bar associations. Between many other tasks, I strive to at least flip through each one, seeking ideas that spur my own thinking and, perhaps, my own stealing.

One idea I routinely see in others’ magazines is the use of member photos from events. Folks mill about, smile (or not), and the publication is able to capture numerous lawyers every month enjoying and engaging.

Arizona Attorney has never done too much of that—with one exception. When I first started as editor almost 15 years ago, our annual Convention coverage included pages of those party shots. I paged through them, grimaced, and deep-sixed them. No one (and I mean no one) complained.

But as I read other bars’ magazines, I wondered if I was too hasty. Maybe those that publish these photos are on to something. After all, if statistics are right, fewer and fewer people want to belong to associations (or participate if they are in a mandatory organization). Would seeing their own faces or the faces of their colleagues turn that frown upside-down?

Lawyers gather at The Duce Phoenix, on March 26, 2015.

Lawyers gather at The Duce Phoenix, on March 26, 2015.

I asked that question in my May Editor’s Letter. I’m awaiting some feedback from readers to my musings: “If lawyers want to gather and nosh and talk and listen, would they like to see those moments captured in photos? Maybe they would. Perhaps it would be useful and entertaining to find a way to publish some event photos in the magazine, in print and online.”

You can read the whole column here.

I can tip my hand about one thing: At our most recent meeting, the Editorial Board offered a resounding blecccchhh at the idea. They reside firmly in the camp that I have occupied for a decade, believing that seeing what may be the same recurring faces month after month won’t do much for readership.

Hmmm. Well, as I say in my column, it does not have to be a feature of the print magazine; we have an online presence too. Maybe those faces of mingling lawyers would do better in the cloud.

Let me know what you think about member photos (especially if you belong to multiple bars and associations that take varying approaches to the issue). Write to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

Lobby at 111. West Monroe in downtown Phoenix

Lobby at 111. West Monroe in downtown Phoenix

Yesterday, I attended a downtown Phoenix chamber-type luncheon. When I first RSVPed, I was told the location was TBA. But it turned out to be a great choice, and not only because the space is a high-rise going through an adaptive reuse. It’s also my old building.

Well, not mine, of course. My employer’s. For years, the State Bar of Arizona officed at 111 West Monroe. Eventually, the leadership decided to buy rather than lease, and that’s how we ended up near 24th Street and Indian School Road.

And ol’ 111? I miss that building quite a bit. It not only had the midcentury charm that takes you back. It also participated in an urban vibe that is all too rare in Arizona. Our views from the 17th through the 19th floors were often spectacular. And it was nice to stroll out on the street to buy a hot dog or a cup of soup.

Since we moved out, of course, downtown has become even more vibrant (thanks to many great people, many of whom toil at Downtown Phoenix Inc., on whose board I proudly sit).

Yesterday, the event was held in the 19th-floor space, gutted and ready for tenant improvements. But while everything was open, I slipped down a floor to my old office (sigh). And I spied where the Communications Department used to wield our mighty pen (and website, also mightier than the sword).

Afternoon sun in my old office at 111 W. Monroe

Afternoon sun in my old office at 111 W. Monroe

And who would’ve guessed, but when I walked up the fire stairs one floor, the door to the roof was open! I enjoyed the breeze and the view, one eye peeled for an angry security guard. But I enjoyed my brief perch over the sixth-largest city in the country.

Below are some more photos, including the old boardroom. (Click to enlarge and widen the images and to view them in a slideshow.)

How many of you attended meetings or events at the old State Bar spaces?

Let's start the lawyer-love by foreswearing attorney jokes, for one day at least. Be Kind to Lawyers Day no jokes. Snoopy Peanuts cartoon.

Let’s start the lawyer-love by forswearing attorney jokes, for one day at least

Yesterday, I am slightly bemused to note, was Be Kind to Lawyers Day.

Understand, I am not in favor of the opposite. I tend to like lawyers in the aggregate, and many in particular. But there are a few reasons I’m a day late (and a dollar short, as my dad used to say) with my attorney affection.

1. I’m in a vortex in which I miss significant dates by exactly one day. For example, April Fools’ Day came a day late in my mind (and blog). I’m sure it’s some kind of cry for help, but let’s move on.

2. Upon hearing of this “holiday,” my first thought was that the day exists for one reason only: To help blog writers. After all, we have a news hole to fill. And how many of us are willing to muse on the nexus between lawyers and kindness? (OK, not that many.) (And did I just use “nexus” and “kindness” in the same sentence? Someone cite me for contempt.)

3. Finally, yesterday was also Equal Pay Day. Before you start telling me it’s not official or nationally sanctioned, let’s remember that (a) you’re reading a blog and not the Federal Register and (b) you’re rising up in defense of something called Be Kind to Lawyers Day. We really must get over ourselves, mustn’t we?

So yes, it irked just a bit to advocate embracing advocates as others were advocating for equal pay for women and men. As a woman I respect stated, “Annoyed that we even have to have a day about this, so I’ll defer to Queen Bey: ‘smart enough to make the millions, strong enough to bear the children, then get back to business.’ Yep, we run the world.”

But today is another day, and the more I think about it, the more the idea grows on me.

So I’m (semi)officially extending the festivities another day. (And won’t attorneys be surprised to be hugged the day after the holiday!? Brilliant, right?)

In case you missed it, here’s how the State Bar’s CLE Department reminded us on Facebook. Good job!

Be Kind to Lawyers Day hug

Bring it in here, buddy.

And if you’d like a reminder of how others celebrate a joyous lawyer holiday, read how I described the festivities surrounding World Intellectual Property Day. As I recall, I recommended you all hug a patent lawyer that day. How many did that? Uh-huh, I thought so.

To encourage the lawyer love, I will happily post a photo of you hugging a lawyer you love (or at least like quite a bit), plus a brief (100 words, tops) explanation of the non-billing-based foundation for your affection.

Let’s get this hugapalooza started.

University of Arizona Law School logoIn the March Arizona Attorney, which just went live online, I take the opportunity to praise some law student leaders. Among them are the winners of an annual writing competition at the University of Arizona law school. That competition is named for attorney Richard Grand.

If you read my column, you’ll see that I also get to share a nice photo of the winners.

Here’s the portion of my column pertaining to the UA Law School:

“A January ceremony provided the announcement of the UA Law winners: Kate Hollist (first place), Jessica Schulberg (second), Matt Smith (third), and Omar Vasquez and Tim Butterfield (both honorable mention). Congratulations to all.

“This year’s competition asked for the students to locate the storyteller within them. They were asked to write a profile of a real person who had some experience with the law or legal system. The diversity of responses was matched only by their compelling writing. Well done.”

“The UA competition holds a special place for me due to Richard Grand. The successful and talented attorney died last April, making this the first contest without his involvement. I am pleased to see the continued passion for the student writing experience in his wonderful widow, Marcia. I am sure I will raise a glass to Richard’s memory on February 20, when he would have turned 84.”

But because law school folks are some of the nicest in the legal profession, I also get to share with you, here, a second photo. You see, the school’s own Juan J. Arévalo insisted I step into a shot with the winners. That let Dean Marc Miller and me bookend the talented writers.

Thanks, JJ!

The 13th annual Richard Grand Writing Competition winners. L to R: me (not a winner!), Tim Butterfield, Katherine Hollist, Jessica Schulberg, Matt Smith, with UA Law School Dean Marc Miller. (Not pictured: Omar Vasquez)

The 13th annual Richard Grand Writing Competition winners. L to R: me (not a winner!), Tim Butterfield, Katherine Hollist, Jessica Schulberg, Matt Smith, with UA Law School Dean Marc Miller. (Not pictured: Omar Vasquez)

Please let me know if you hear of any other law student and young lawyer honors.

Today is not only Change of Venue Friday; it’s also Friday the 13th. Therefore, I will tread lightly and offer nothing but images for your easy viewing.

Here are a few photos from Tuesday’s hearing at the Supreme Court regarding the ethics charges against three lawyers: Andrew Thomas, Lisa Aubuchon and Rachel Alexander. The photos were mainly shot in the Court parking lot after the hearing. There, media interviewed, among others, independent counsel John Gleason, County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, activist Randy Parraz and respondent’s counsel Scott Zwillinger.

John Gleason, independent investigator, interviewed. April 10, 2012

Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, April 10, 2012

You can read the Court’s complete ruling here.

Then, on Wednesday, Andrew Thomas and Lisa Aubuchon spoke at a press conference in downtown Phoenix.

Andrew Thomas, April 11, 2012

Lisa Aubuchon, April 11, 2012

All of the photos are at the Arizona Attorney Magazine Facebook page. Have a great weekend.

The other day, thinking I was keeping current, I posted the following photo on the Arizona Attorney Magazine Facebook page:

Head-gripping fear and anxiety

The debt crisis and the ensuing Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the United States have been in the news a lot lately, so why shouldn’t we reflect that on our page? (I thought.)

Little did I know that I was merely swept up in a cliché—the Trader With His Hands On His Head Photo.

It’s true. News outlets around the world appear to have captured people on trading floors hands-on-head—a lot! So much so that a wise and smart-assy person created an entire Tumblr page dedicated to the prevalence of that recurring image.

I felt a little silly, until I remembered, that’s why they call it pop culture. It’s popular.

Have a great weekend, and don’t hold your own head too tightly.

By the way (not to bury the lede), I’ve decided to launch my own Tumblr page. It’s quiet so far, but its potential is mighty!

Goofy and committed to service: The staff of the State Bar of Arizona

Yes, I know I just posted the State Bar’s first-ever staff photo (originally written about here). But what was I thinking when I omitted the fun version?

Moments after the first photo was snapped, a variety of embarrassment-inducing items were produced, and many of us adorned ourselves, slaves to fashion that we are.

Among our choices: clown nose, Mardi Gras beads, pirate eye patch, and the classic eyeglasses-with-nose-with-moustache.

Enjoy (click on the image for a larger version). And I’m the one with the red nose.

Smile ... I said SMILE!

Recently, I told you about a new tradition that the State Bar of Arizona has launched: the staff photo.

Sure, we already have an inside-the-group online headshot of everyone. That is helpful if you cannot recall who Buddy in Accounting is, or whether Trent in Lawyer Discipline is the bald one or the balder one.

But we’ve never had a full-blown all-staff, stand-up-and-look-Bar-ish photo.

Until now.

Here is the official 2011 staff shot of the State Bar of Arizona (click for a larger image). As people come and go, there may be Kremlin-esque airbrushing of the dearly departed. But until then, here we are, standing up and serving (when we’re not being posers). I’m the one with the glasses.