Part of the opening spread in the profile of Bar President Bryan Chambers, Arizona Attorney Magazine, Sept. 2015.

Part of the opening spread in the profile of Bar President Bryan Chambers, Arizona Attorney Magazine, Sept. 2015.

Some organizational moves at the State Bar of Arizona:

As you probably know, the new President of the Bar took his leadership position at the close of the June Convention. At that time, we offered congratulations to Bryan Chambers, from Globe.

While all that was going on, Superior Court Judge Peter Cahill announced his retirement, mid-term, from the Gila County Superior Court. Bryan applied for the judgeship.

Recently, we learned that Bryan had, indeed, been appointed to the bench by Gov. Doug Ducey. You can read about that here.

Of course, that meant Bryan could not serve as a Bar officer, per State Bar bylaws. So at a meeting last week, the Board of Governors elected a new President, Geoff Trachtenberg, of Phoenix. Detail on that is here.

In that press release, we also learn that the board elected: Jeffrey Willis to fill the second vice president post vacated by Trachtenberg; and Steven Hirsch, to fill the secretary/treasurer seat vacated by Willis.

Meantime, I was working on the annual profile of new President Chambers. And he will have served for about 60 days by the time her steps down on August 31, so of course he deserves a profile. That’ll be in the September issue of Arizona Attorney. But now I suppose I’ll gear up to write one on Geoff Trachtenberg too. (That’s OK; it’s one of the perks of the job!)

State Bar of Arizona building

State Bar of Arizona building

Career news from the State Bar of Arizona:

The Bar has an opening for Intake Bar Counsel. The Intake Bar Counsel conducts initial assessments of new bar charges to determine whether a full screening investigation is warranted. Duties may include performing the following functions: extensive telephone contact with complainants and respondents; evaluation of charges, both written and telephonic, to determine ethical issues; conducting follow-up investigations as warranted; monitoring diversion cases; drafting letters and diversion agreements. On occasion, duties may also include handling formal litigation of discipline charges.

State Bar of Arizona SBA_Logo_ColorA J.D. required, as well as: being an active member in good standing of the State Bar of Arizona; and minimum five years’ successful practical legal experience (solo or small-firm practice preferred).

The complete job description and application form can be found here.

The State Bar is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes and encourages applications from diverse candidates.

 

A State Bar of Arizona seminar on Thursday, June 25, will focus on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Arab Middle East

A State Bar of Arizona seminar on Thursday, June 25, will focus on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Fair warning: Next week will largely be all State Bar Convention news/all the time. I alert you to that to ensure you’re ready and well hydrated.

The hashtag is #azbarcon

But in advance of that great annual event, I share news about a program I’ve heard much about. Amidst what may be the bread-and-butter of lawyer conferences—updates and nuts-and-bolts sessions on developments in practice and substantive-law areas—a few programs are harder to categorize but sometimes offer a unique and valuable view.

One of those seminars promises to be a robust dialogue about legal pitfalls and possible solutions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has continued for more than a generation. Its description is in the image below and described online (though the online version has a faculty list that has been altered since press time). The program is presented by the Bar’s World Peace Through Law Section.

Excerpt from the State Bar of Arizona Convention brochure, World Peace Through Law Section seminar on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Excerpt from the State Bar of Arizona Convention brochure, World Peace Through Law Section seminar on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

More information on the Convention is here.

And the full Convention brochure is here.

In what may be a preview of the complexity of a topic on which strong advocates argue, its (overlong) title is “The Israeli–Palestinian Conflict Moves From the Battlefield and the Conference Room to National and International Legislative, Diplomatic and Judicial Bodies.”

Tony Zimbalist, the Vice Chair of the WPTL Section, described the seminar for me:

Dylan Williams

Dylan Williams

“Its subject is the new forms that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has taken in recent months. It features speakers representing the full spectrum of perspectives on the conflict, including those of the ‘pro-Israel, pro-peace’ advocacy group J Street and the Palestine Liberation Organization.”

“The J Street representative will be Dylan J. Williams, Vice President of Government Affairs. A member of the New York Bar, he served as Counsel for Foreign Relations, Trade and Immigration to former U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME).”

According to seminar materials, J Street “advocates for American leadership to end the Arab–Israeli and Palestinian–Israeli conflicts peacefully and diplomatically. … Williams is responsible for developing and executing the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement’s legislative strategy in Washington.”

David Schoen

David Schoen

Also on the panel is lawyer David Schoen, a member of the national board of the Zionist Organization of America. He also is “a founding member of the Center for Law and Justice, a member of a committee formed under the auspices of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations to defend Israel’s security fence, and Co-Chair of the Middle East and Africa Subcommittee of the ABA’s International Litigation Committee.”

Offering the Palestinian view will be George Bisharat, a Professor of Law at the University of California–Hastings College of Law. He is a frequent commentator on law and politics in the Middle East. He has also “worked with the Palestinian Legislative Council to develop and reform its judiciary system and sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Palestine Studies.” In 1989, the University of Texas Press published his book Palestinian Lawyers and Israeli Rule: Law and Disorder in the West Bank.

George Bisharat

George Bisharat

Bisharat came to law professoring after serving as a deputy public defender in San Francisco and having earned a J.D. and a Ph.D. (anthropology and Middle East studies) from Harvard. He was born in Topeka, Kansas but says he came to better understand his Palestinian identity in the 1967 war.

Daniel Rothenberg

Daniel Rothenberg

Full disclosure: Bisharat was my law school criminal-law professor (and yes, I did well in the class). I also came to know him well as he was a faculty adviser on a team trip to Rhode Island (in 1992 or so) for a trial-advocacy competition with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Perhaps that background suggests why I’m happy to also note that Bisharat is an accomplished blues singer and harmonica player. I will point you toward his musical chops in another blog post … promise!

As Tony Zimbalist adds, “Moderating what sparks these panelists will be ASU Professor Daniel Rothenberg, Professor of Practice at the School of Politics and Global Studies and Lincoln Fellow in Ethics and Human Rights Law.” (I’ve written about Dan Rothenberg numerous times, including here.)

In what promises to be a week packed with great legal programs, I’m looking forward to how this compelling topic can be addressed in a timely and revealing way.

John Dean was Time Magazine's cover subject more than once. (And the answer: No, Nixon could not survive Dean's testimony.)

John Dean was Time Magazine’s cover subject more than once. (And the answer: No, Nixon could not survive Dean’s testimony.)

Just like politically motivated burglars in 1972, a sad American anniversary furtively passed me by yesterday—for it was on June 17 in that year that “five men, one of whom says he used to work for the CIA, are arrested at 2:30 a.m. trying to bug the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate hotel and office complex.” (A full timeline of related events and stories, via the Washington Post, is here.)

The break-in at the Watergate and the subsequent executive branch cover-up caused turmoil from coast to coast and eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. (But also a pardon by President Gerald Ford for his secretive predecessor, an event that entirely ruined my 12-year-old birthday on September 8, 1974. I related my own experience of that pardon here.)

If you’d like to hear from someone who was intimately involved with that remarkable moment in American history, head over to San Diego in July, where the State Bar’s CLE By the Sea will feature speaker John Dean, who served as White House Counsel for President Richard Nixon for a thousand days from 1970 until 1973. (He has had other life achievements, but this is the resume line we regularly recall.)

I have never been to CLE By the Sea (I’m as surprised as you are), but this is a speaker who makes me want to break my perfect streak.

You can read more about Dean and his program here.

The pen Gerald Ford used to sign his pardon of Richard Nixon, Sept. 8, 1962. (Wikimedia Commons)

The pen Gerald Ford used to sign his pardon of Richard Nixon, Sept. 8, 1962. (Wikimedia Commons)

When many Americans, including me, think back on the infamy that emerged from the Oval Office, we also recall a few people who stepped up and spoke truth or otherwise acquitted themselves well.

Many people distinguished themselves by doing their jobs well or even going above and beyond the call of duty. Among them were Judge John Sirica, Sen. Sam Ervin, special prosecutor Archibald Cox, Attorney General Elliot Richardson, and Deputy Attorney General William D. Ruckelshaus. (And let’s not forget the Washington Post’s own publisher Katharine Graham and reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.)

Political memories linger, and a campaign button in 1976 reminded voters of Ford's first big presidential decision.

Political memories linger, and a campaign button in 1976 reminded voters of Ford’s first big presidential decision.

Other people initially found themselves in a place that appeared ethically challenged or perhaps even illegal. And within that tawdry chapter of U.S. history, a subset of those decided to speak up and try to make things right.

John Dean was one of those people. As I’ve related before, my household and tens of thousands of others were riveted to Senate hearings at which John Dean played a historic role. We gazed in wonder at the laundry list of allegations emanating from the highest reaches of our government. It was hard not to marvel at the resolve Dean exhibited as he offered the Senate an accounting of the administration’s excesses. Others testified, but none riveted the attention as did John Dean.

John Dean when he was a young government lawyer.

John Dean when he was a young government lawyer.

In San Diego in July, Dean and his co-presenter James David Robenalt will offer insights for attorneys who may confront trouble in their own entities. As a description opens:

“As lawyer for the organization, what are the duties and obligations if a report up to the highest authority within an organization has failed and crime or fraud continue? Rule 1.13 of the Code of Professional Conduct (the ‘Model Rules’) provides that the lawyer may ‘report out’ what the lawyer knows, regardless of the duty of confidentiality imposed by Rule 1.6. And the lawyer’s duties become even more complicated if the lawyer has participated, knowingly or not, in the wrongdoing that gives rise to the reporting obligation. How then does the lawyer extricate himself or herself? When is resignation enough? When does a lawyer need to engage in a ‘noisy’ withdrawal?”

Here’s hoping you get the chance to gain some ethics education just steps from the beaches of Coronado. The complete program and a link to register are here.

State Bar of Arizona Leadership Institute header

Here is some news from the State Bar of Arizona. The Bar Leadership Institute has been a remarkable program for years now. It may be a great fit for you or another attorney you know.

The Bar Leadership Institute is a nine-month professional development program beginning in September 2015. The goal of the program is to foster the professional growth and enhance the leadership skills of a diverse and inclusive group of lawyers.

Attorneys selected to participate receive:

  • Up to two years of CLE credit.
  • Leadership training and legal practice education in an experiential and mentoring learning environment.
  • Opportunities to foster relationships within the State Bar of Arizona, partner bar associations, government and community leaders.

Complete your application here.

The application deadline is Friday, June 19, 2015.

Wills for Heroes logoLast Thursday, June 4, Wills for Heroes marked its 10th year “providing free estate plans for those who put their lives on the line protecting the people of Arizona.” The Bar reports that those affiliated with the program have assisted more than 8,000 first responders since it began in 2001. “In the ten years that followed, Arizona attorneys have volunteered more than 12,500 hours of time at 175 clinics across 14 counties.”

You can read the Bar’s whole story here.

Here, you can read a 2006 Arizona Attorney story that explained how the Bar recognized Jeff Jacobson, the original Arizona organizing attorney.

“Jacobson also helped to create the Wills for Heroes Foundation in 2007, which now serves first responders across 29 states. Based in Tucson, the Foundation provides both support, services, financial assistance and supplies to the various programs that help eligible emergency first responders and their families in the United States.”

Here are a few statistics describing the program’s reach. From 2005 into 2015, attorneys offered 12,650 hours of their time to the initiative. That resulted in 8,622 wills.

In that time, Arizona lawyers attended and assisted at 175 clinics to create wills for first responders. Ninety-one events were held in Maricopa County, 40 in Pima County, and the remainder were held in 12 counties.

Wills for Heroes event at Arizona Cardinals Stadium

Wills for Heroes event at Arizona Cardinals Stadium

To learn more about Wills for Heroes, visit the organization’s website.

A gift from a previous delegation from Moldova was this beautiful booklet of pictures from the country. Scroll to the bottom to see how you can become the proud owner of it (and to see it open and extended).

A gift from a previous delegation from Moldova was this beautiful booklet of pictures from the country. Scroll to the bottom to see how you can become the proud owner of it (and to see it open and extended).

This spring brought a variety of international delegations to Arizona. These groups of lawyers and judges offer the opportunity to exchange ideas and to learn how justice is rendered around the world.

On April 27, a delegation from Moldova came to the State Bar of Arizona. There, they heard about U.S. and Arizona processes regarding litigation, professional ethics, and lawyer discipline. Here is a photo of Bar Counsel Amy Rehm speaking with the Moldovan delegation.

State Bar of Arizona Bar Counsel Amy Rehm addresses a delegation of Moldovan judges and lawyers, April 27, 2015, Phoenix, Ariz.

State Bar of Arizona Bar Counsel Amy Rehm addresses a delegation of Moldovan judges and lawyers, April 27, 2015, Phoenix, Ariz.

On April 21, the Peoria Municipal Court and Tulane Law School hosted 35 judges from China in a cultural education forum. According to organizers, “The Court hosted a four-person panelist discussion addressing Access to Justice, both on a larger scale and also with a focus on limited jurisdiction courts. The panelists were led by the Hon. Presiding Judge George T. Anagnost and also included Dr. (attorney) Catherine Jiang, Mr. Patrick Scott (AOC / AZ Supreme Court), and Attorney / Judge Pro Tem Debbie Weecks.”

Finally, the Arizona Supreme Court in March met with eight members of Nepal’s judiciary. It was part of an initiative launched by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the government of Nepal. At the Arizona event, Senior Justice Kalyan Shrestha worked with the UNDP’s Rule of Law and Human Rights Program to plan a series of discussions with Arizona’s court professionals.

Arizona Office of the Courts Director David Byers (rear) with the delegates from Nepal, March 2015. Nepal Supreme Court Senior Justice Kalyan Shrestha is in the light-gray three-button suit in front of Mr. Byers.

Arizona Office of the Courts Director David Byers (rear) with the delegates from Nepal, March 2015. Nepal Supreme Court Senior Justice Kalyan Shrestha is in the light-gray three-button suit in front of Mr. Byers.

Here is more news from the Supreme Court on the Nepal visit. Congratulations to all Arizona participants on your local ambassadorship.

“Nepal has a three-tiered court system similar to American courts in which there are trial courts, appellate courts and a Supreme Court.  Subject matter experts and Arizona’s five justices met with the delegates to answer their questions and provide information about Arizona’s progress in key areas. The delegates were particularly interested in how the courts address the needs of the poor and disadvantaged as well as victims of crime.”

“‘Senior Supreme Court Justice Shrestha and the UN representative selected Arizona because Nepal faces some of the same issues we are working to address successfully,’ said Chief Justice Scott Bales. ‘We noted the importance of seeking input and support from the community broadly, including leaders from outside the judicial branch. Some of our best innovations have come by including non-judicial members from the public, private, and non-profit sectors in various court initiatives.’”

“Justice Shrestha and seven colleagues from the Nepal judiciary spent a day and a half last week meeting with state court subject matter specialists before also visiting the Sandra Day O’Connor Federal Courthouse and the Superior Court in Maricopa County. Later in the week, the delegates met with Nepalese students from Arizona State University and representatives from ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. They departed on March 5 for stops in Washington, DC and New York City before returning to Kathmandu, Nepal.”

“The representatives from Nepal included:

  • Senior Justice Kalyan Shrestha, Supreme Court
  • Honorable Judge Mr. Til Prasad Shrestha, Appellate Court, Hetauda
  • Honorable Judge Mr. Hemraj Pant, Appellate Court, Patan
  • Honorable Judge Mr. Radha Krishna Upreti, District Court, Rautahat
  • Mr. Lal Bahadur Kunwar, Joint Registrar, Supreme Court
  • Mr. Bhadrakali Pokharel, Bench Officer, Supreme  Court
  • Mr. Ratna Kaji Shrestha, Justice Sector Coordinator for the on Rule of Law and Human Rights Program, United Nations Development Program
  • Mr. D. Christopher Decker, Chief Technical Advisor on Rule of Law and Human Rights Program, United Nations Development Program”

Back to that Moldova booklet. Here it is extended:

Moldova postcards extended

The postcard booklet extended: That’s a lot of feet of a beautiful country.

To claim it as your own, just write to me with a few paragraphs about your (a) visit to Moldova or (b) your desire to travel there. Fair warning: Your submission may be used as a guest blog post! I’m at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

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