Time-to-Listen clock gaugeI’m a fan of a few things, among them: legal-writing experts, and lawyers who listen.

When they’re combined, good things may happen.

That’s why I was pleased to hear from legal-writing teacher and writing coach Jennifer Romig, who pointed me (and thus you) toward an interesting event in Tucson later this week. On Thursday, March 10, you have the chance to attend a two-part session titled “Better Lawyering Through Better Listening.”

It is being held as part of the International Listening Association’s annual convention. (Yes, there’s an International Listening Association.)

More event detail is here.

International Listening Association ILA logoAnd Jennifer offers more background on what you may get out of the seminar here.

Meantime, I recommend to you a few opportunities to learn more about listening right in the pages of Arizona Attorney Magazine:

Here’s hoping you read, listen, and learn.

Arizona lawyer—and our arts competition music winner—Stu De Haan made a devilish argument about free speech and freedom of religion.

Arizona lawyer—and our arts competition music winner—Stu De Haan made a devilish argument about free speech and freedom of religion.

If politics and religion are two topics we should never discuss in polite company, the Phoenix City Council seems like the ideal place to address both.

This week has seen a firestorm of hellish indignation over the news that a group of satanists petitioned the Phoenix city clerk’s office to offer the “invocation” at an upcoming City Council meeting. After reviewing the request and the fact that municipalities cannot be in the business of “picking winners and losers” when it comes to deities, it OKed the request.

As Phoenix City Attorney Brad Holm said in a statement, “Consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s direction, the city cannot dictate religious viewpoints or the content of a prayer.”

Imagine that—following the law.

Cue the choirs, celestial and otherwise.

Read a news story about the devilish quandary here.

To the surprise of almost no one, there is not unanimous agreement with the decision—though the February 17 meeting will likely be standing-room only due to the controversy.

One Phoenix councilman said it’s “a dumb idea,” and another insisted the Satanists should have been denied and simply let them sue. Knowing there’s often fire where there’s smoke, media are all over this. Here’s a video news story:

I confess I’m surprised by the uproar. I’ve been in that chamber many times, and I’m pretty sure I’ve spotted Lucifer at numerous zoning hearings. And who hasn’t smelled the distinct odor of sulfur as countless variance requests are rubber-stamped? Or maybe I need to get my eyes and nose checked.

Wherever you stand, this is a fantastic lesson in the First Amendment, playing out right in the heart of our state. You’re welcome, America.

Stu De Haan and his instrument in Arizona Attorney Magazine, May 2015.

Stu De Haan and his instrument in Arizona Attorney Magazine, May 2015.

And yes, there is an even more intimate legal angle to this. Spokesman and legal adviser to the Satanic Temple (and a “Satanic Templar”) is Arizona lawyer Stu De Haan. And here at Arizona Attorney Magazine, we are a big fan of him—and his music.

Those with good memories will recall that Stu was the winner in the Music category in our 2015 Creative Arts Competition. He appeared on our cover and inside pages, and we featured “Don’t Get Stuck in a Roadside Ditch” online. That song is by his band Scar Eater, “a five piece post-hardcore band from Tucson.”

As Stu described his song, “This song is about facing fears, shedding one’s negative past, and embracing an aggressive but positive outlook on the inevitable difficulties of life.”

You can read more what I wrote about Stu, and listen to “Roadside Ditch,” here.

Arizona Attorney Magazine May 2015 cover arts competition winnersA final thought: It bears noting that Stu and his fellow Satanic Templar Michelle Shortt are traveling north from Tucson to deliver an invocation—and make a point, I suppose—because the Tucson City Council gets to the work of its meetings without bothering with a prayer of any kind. No muss, no fuss.

Imagine that—focusing on governing.

As we head into our Friday, please enjoy “Sympathy for the Devil” by the Rolling Stones. “Pleased to meet you; hope you guess my name.”

Have a terrific—and free-speech-filled—weekend.

[twitter-follow screen_name=’azatty’ show_count=’yes’

AZTurboCourt e-filing logoToday I share the following item from the Arizona Supreme Court about their next step in making Arizona an e-filing state. As they say, the automated case system launched on Tuesday in Pima County.

The next generation of court automation has arrived in the Superior Court in Pima County. AZTurboCourt is available for civil case initiation and civil subsequent filing in the Pima County Superior Court beginning February 17, 2015. Opening a civil case and submitting additional materials related to the case used to require a visit to the Clerk of the Superior Court. In-person trips to the Clerk to file a Pima County civil case will be a thing of the past with the launch of AZTurboCourt.

Law offices will need to establish an account in AZTurboCourt before making their first filing. Please be aware that it may take three to four days to set up your payment account. For information on how to register and set up a payment account please go here and click on the “Training Manuals” or “Tutorial Videos” link.

Live and online training classes will be available starting February 9. The training sessions will include step-by-step instructions on launching an account, e-filing a case, attaching documents, and other tips to ensure that an electronic submission is not delayed due to errors.

A training manual and self-paced training videos are available on our website here. There are several differences between the Maricopa County application and the Pima County application, so training is highly encouraged. To sign up for an in-person or WebEx training class, please visit here.

The Zanes law firm hosted a school-supply giveaway at its Tucson office on August 2.

The Zanes law firm hosted a school-supply giveaway at its Tucson office on August 2.

Those of us who recently packed some children off to school will appreciate this item, regarding a Tucson law firm that assisted teachers with a school-supply giveaway.

The Zanes law firm hosted its fourth annual giveaway on Saturday, August 2. That morning, the parking lot of its office at 3501 East Speedway Boulevard served as the sharing spot where 200 teachers gathered.

Below are some more photos from the event. And you can read more about the firm’s community efforts here.

Is your law firm or law office engaged in great community activity? Write to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

Zanes School Supply Giveaway_02

Zanes School Supply Giveaway_03

Zanes School Supply Giveaway_04

Tucson, Ariz., in 1909 (Wikipedia)

Tucson, Ariz., in 1909 (Wikipedia) (click to enlarge)

Imagine a legal system in which your property rights could not be assured, and where your land holdings could be stripped of you based on your marital status.

That scenario is not beyond imagining. As you might surmise, that situation was faced by approximately half of the U.S. population at one time (and continues for many more globally today).

In the June issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine, we were privileged to feature a story that occurred right in Tucson not so very long ago.

It was titled Anna’s Story, and here is how author and attorney Marjorie Cunningham opened the real-life tale:

“Buying, selling and trading land has been a part of Arizona’s booms and busts since colonial times. One shrewd and successful land speculator during the 1800s was a French woman named Anna Charauleau. Ms. Charauleau also exhibited the strong will and relentless nature needed to pursue the protection of her legal rights. Those qualities became important in Arizona legal history, as she was a party to several landmark cases decided by Arizona’s Supreme Court in the 1870s and 1880s in which women’s property rights were at issue.”

Read the whole article here.

And be sure to read carefully the excerpts from the Supreme Court opinion regarding the land matters. Here is how a wise justice analyzed things:

“Before her marriage, the law presumes [a woman] competent to buy and sell and convey property, and supposes she acts in such matters as intelligently as if she were the opposite sex; but during the existence of the marriage relation somehow this condition of ignorance and stupidity is supposed to settle down upon her, to benumb her faculties, to cast a cloud upon her intelligence, to be lifted only by the death of her spouse or other severance of the marriage. … ”

“We are certain that the presumption contended for by the counsel, that a woman of mature years, and an American wife, ceases from the day of her marriage to know what she is doing in the execution of a conveyance until advised … should no longer obtain in a court of justice.”

Thank you to our author for sharing such a compelling piece of Arizona history.

Are there other historic stories that are evocative to you? Contact me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

The Westin La Paloma Resort, site of the State Bar of Arizona Convention, June 11-13, 2014.

The Westin La Paloma Resort, site of the State Bar of Arizona Convention, June 11-13, 2014.

By now, you’ve received your State Bar Convention brochure. No? It’s also available online here.

I’ll be on-site in Tucson for the entire event, from Tuesday through Friday, June 10-13. If you can make it, look for me strolling among seminars and special events. But if you can’t attend, tell me which events or seminars you’d like me to cover—live and in-person. Tell me what you’re interested in, and I’ll try to cover it in my Convention Daily updates. Follow all of the updates and links to stories through Twitter. And follow the action via the Convention hashtag: #azbarcon

State Bar of Arizona SBA_Logo_ColorAnd if you want to cover an event yourself as a bylined author or guest blogger, contact me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org. Or if your skill is shooting photos, contact me too; we may be able to share them with Arizona’s legal community.

In the coming week, I’ll share some previews of the seminars that will be presented at Convention. Maybe that will spur your interest even more.

Pima County Bar Association logo

Law Day events continue across Arizona and the nation. Today, I share news of what is happening this weekend in Tucson.

There, the Pima County Bar Association is offering free consultations with lawyers. Surely, you or someone you know could benefit from a conversation about legal issues.

The “Meet a Lawyer” legal clinic will be held on Saturday, May 3, at the Tucson Mall, from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm. There, you and others can have your legal questions answered for free.

As the PCBA says:

“Attorneys will be available to assist individuals one-on-one, for brief, 15-minute intervals. Legal help is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Attorneys will cover a variety of legal topics, yet we cannot guarantee that all legal areas or questions can be addressed throughout the event. Helpful legal resources & handouts will also be available.”

You can download a flier here.

And here is a snapshot of the legal areas and when they will be represented at the clinic:

Pima County Bar Association Law Day will provide free legal advice on many topics.

Pima County Bar Association Law Day will provide free legal advice on many topics.

More information is available at the PCBA website or by calling 520-623-8258.

And be sure to tweet something about #LawDay – let’s get the term trending on Twitter, at least in Arizona!

Ornament on historic Tucson, Ariz., courthouse

Ornament on historic Tucson, Ariz., courthouse

Just a short item today pointing you to a long article—but you didn’t want to work too much today anyway, right?

I recently was sent a story by Tucson Judge José Luis Castillo Jr. He has penned an essay online that tells us much about legal history and what preservation really is (and what it is not).

He writes about the history of Arizona’s oldest working courtroom. Read his article here.

“Working” is an important word, because much of what makes it vital as a teaching tool may be endangered. Jump to the closer paragraphs of his piece, if you must, to read his insightful conclusion.

But give yourself the time to read the whole thing. There, you will see the role a room has played in our history—and even in Hollywood.

Have a great weekend.

 

court rule aids lawyers who are military spouses

This month in Arizona Attorney, we published an article on assistance now available for lawyers who are married to active-duty servicemembers.

Given how unpopular taking a bar exam is for most lawyers, I cannot imagine the challenge of following a military spouse around the country, where you would face varying admissions rules and exams. It would be enough to go inactive.

And that’s exactly what has faced many attorneys, and state supreme courts have been listening—thanks largely to a few women who have raised the issue nationwide. And among those people are two woman with Tucson ties named Mary Reding and Rachel Winkler.

Former Tucson resident Mary Reding, founder of the Military Spouse JD Network.

Former Tucson resident Mary Reding, founder of the Military Spouse JD Network.

Together, Reding and Winkler started the Military Spouse JD Network, “a national association that works to find solutions to the challenges of lawyers who happen to have military spouses.”

Read a great story about their work here.

And you can Like the network on Facebook here.

Our Arizona Attorney story is one written by Rodney Glassman. He is a lawyer and airman, and he describes well the changed Arizona rule that makes our state a leader in assisting military spouses.

Read Rodney’s article here.

And here is a list of requirements in the Arizona rule.

court rules aids military spouses bullet points

Tom Chandler, 1920-2013

Tom Chandler, 1920-2013

We received the very sad news this week that Tom Chandler had died on November 29. The Tucson attorney was 94.

Of course, Tom was one of the most well-known Arizona lawyers, recognized for his legal achievements and his giving nature.

As the Arizona Daily Star article opens:

“Tom Chandler, a retired attorney considered to be among Tucson’s most dedicated philanthropists, has died. He was 94.”

“Chandler, who was born in a barn to an impoverished family and spent much of his life helping people in need, died Friday at home of prostate cancer.”

“No public services are planned. His family plans to sprinkle some of his ashes in the Catalina Mountains overlooking the city he loved.”

“‘It’s a huge loss,’ said U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, with whom Chandler had a decades-long friendship.”

“‘He was one of the great men of Tucson. His legacy is everywhere.’”

Read the whole article here.

As you might guess, Tom was “in” Arizona Attorney Magazine a few times over the years. Most recently, a U.S. District Court Judge in Vermont, Hon. Christina Reiss, took the time to write for us about her experience as a young law clerk to Tom’s firm. It says much about him that she wanted to write about him not just as a great lawyer, but as a mentor.

And just this past summer, an article by Richard Bellah examined the question “Who’s Number 1?” Who are the oldest-living Arizona lawyers with the lowest Bar numbers?

Tom Chandler came in at the number-three berth, with Bar Number 000365.

You can read our entire article here. But what follows is what the article said about one of Arizona’s greats. Rest in peace.

Third on our list is Tom Chandler, Bar Number 365.

Tom Chandler, holder of the third-lowest Arizona Bar number of still-living attorneys, remembers Arizona’s first licensed attorney, Ralph Bilby, as a longtime friend, colleague and opponent.

“He defended a railroad case that I had, as well as a real estate matter, an antitrust case, and a personal injury claim. Ralph was a premiere trial lawyer” who continued to work in his law office even in his later years.

Asked to recount memorable significant cases, Chandler responds that all of his client cases were significant. Whether it was a big-dollar case or small, he gave each case 100 percent effort. One case he thought unique involved the largest bond default in the country, with total exposure of $4 billion. It involved so many attorneys that a hotel conference room was used to hold court.

Law practice wasn’t Chandler’s first ambition. “I really wanted to be a professional baseball player but got my right arm and shoulder injured, so I couldn’t throw the ball from first base to home.” In 1942, Chandler earned his undergrad degree from the University of Arizona and started working for the Army Corps of Engineers. He started law school at the U of A in 1943 and graduated three years later, first in his class. He remembers the 1946 bar exam well.

“It was two days, no time off for lunch—well, you could take time off, but no time was budgeted. The first day went like a charm; I got through early and decided to celebrate.”

He went to a baseball game that lasted 19 innings, didn’t get much sleep, and struggled with day two of the exam. Nonetheless, he and 14 others passed the bar; they were licensed on September 30, 1946.

Chandler was a trial lawyer. He agrees that trying cases is stressful work and points out that his most difficult cases involved the death penalty, which he strongly advocated against. “If you want the acid test as a trial lawyer, get yourself a first-degree murder case where they’re seeking the death penalty,” he says.

Chandler’s advice to new lawyers reflects his belief that the law is a helping profession.

“If you want to be rich, go into business. If your aim in practicing law is to make money, then you’re on the wrong road; do something else. You’ve got to make a living, yes, but don’t get caught up in this rush and reverence to the bottom line.”

Chandler believes that lawyers are “supposed to be doing something good for mankind.” He urges lawyers to take on more pro bono cases.

“See if you can’t say, ‘I moved some rocks out of the road for a lot of people.’”

In 1999, the U of A College of Law created the Thomas Chandler Public Service Award, which awards scholarships to students pursuing careers in public service. Recently, Chandler was awarded the Tucson Founders’ Award for his many years of community service. And his daughter, Terry Chandler, a 1980 graduate from the U of A Law School, recently retired from the Pima County Superior Court bench.