News from my colleague Alberto Rodriguez, Public Relations Manager at the State Bar of Arizona:

sba_logo_color State Bar of ArizonaThe State Bar of Arizona and ABC15 held the year’s first Let Joe Know, Ask a Lawyer Phone Bank on Wednesday, January 10. This new partnership between the Bar and ABC15 is proving to be a valuable resource for our community as volunteer lawyers answered an impressive 166 calls during the two-hour phone bank focused on family law.

The Bar’s role as a partner and organizer of the phone bank is to help connect ABC15 viewers, and the community at large, with licensed attorneys for sound legal advice.

ABC15 logo

The following is a brief recap of the phone bank:

 Nine attorneys volunteered at the 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. event:

  • Angela Duhon, Duhon Law
  • Rachel Frazier Johnson, Rachel Frazier Johnson Law
  • Paul A. Jozef, Center for Complete Communication
  • Diana K. March, Law Offices of March & March
  • Robert A. March, Law Offices of March & March
  • Sonia Martinez, Law Office of Sonia Martinez
  • Ashley B. Rahaman, Stewart Law Group
  • Daniel A. Rodriguez, Law Office of Daniel A. Rodriguez
  • Billie Tarascio, Modern Law
Joe Ducey of ABC15's Let Joe Know program

Joe Ducey of ABC15’s Let Joe Know program

ABC15’s Joe Ducey used his Let Joe Know Facebook page to promote the phone bank and encouraged social media enthusiasts to ask their questions during his live broadcast. He also had lawyers answer their questions during the newscast. An additional 14 consumers were helped via social media.

The Bar thanks the attorney volunteers for committing their time and expertise to consumers through this access to justice program. And it thanks ABC15 for its continued partnership with the Bar, which provides this valuable program to its viewers.

Click here for quick video recap.

Law students (maybe not really) await their mascot auditions (not really) in a new video from UC-Hastings College of Law.

Law students (maybe not really) await their mascot auditions (not really) in a new video from UC-Hastings College of Law.

There are a lot of things that might stir pride in your alma mater, even including your law school (OK, that’s a stretch.) But I’m not sure what emotion is stirred by a recent humorous announcement that Hastings Law is trying … mascots.

Before you get too deep into law school irritation (yes, it’s a thing), take a deep breath and realize: It’s a joke.

Yes, the University of California–Hastings College of Law did put out a video of a faux mascot competition. But they only did it to drive home the message that they are wholly focused on law, and not those many other things schools of general knowledge spend time on.

uc-hastings-logo-2

Here’s the video, which I rather enjoyed.

But then I started thinking: Maybe a mascot wouldn’t be so bad. Ever so briefly, it might take your mind off tax law, and damages, and civil procedure, and all those horrible things we discovered in torts that a vacuum could do. I mean, what if law schools around the nation lent their imaginations to the effort to select mascots that befit their mission and their clientele? What would they come up with?

And what would you come up with? I really wanna know. Send me a note (arizona.attorney@azbar.org) indicating your best law school mascot idea, which I may share, depending on the absence of obscenities.

Just so you know, sharks or shark-related ideas will be declined by me as the decider. Not because they’re not funny. But just because they’re altogether too easy.

Happy Change of Venue Friday. Enjoy your weekend—and always keep swimming.

CLE by the Sea 2016 web banner

First of all, before anyone complains that I’m being braggy about a great trip I’m taking: I have never attended the State Bar’s CLE By the Sea; nor is it in my likely future.

So why am I touting the July 10-13 event today? One reason: boffo marketing

Never having been, I cannot vouch for the event’s content—though the roster of topics and speakers looks great. But what specifically got my attention was a video from the Business Law Track (which I’m told was created by Janet Nearhood of Off Melrose). You can watch it here:

And here is the background on the Business Law Track.

No fear, other presenters! You can see the detail about all the tracks here. And click here to view a printable brochure.

Other videos available cover the Probate Law Track:

… and the Family Law Track:

You’ll spy some different approaches to videos there, but I come not to praise one over another. I merely suggest that most all programs (and content generally) could benefit from a 1-minute video to draw folks in. It gives you a quick insight into what’s on offer and why you should head over to the program.

Do you agree?

Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, site of the State Bar of Arizona CLE By the Sea.

Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, site of the State Bar of Arizona CLE By the Sea.

Legal deposition regrets? I've got a few. rotating chicken

Legal deposition regrets? I’ve got a few.

You know what’s funny? Civil litigation.

Of course, litigation is rarely a barrel of monkeys. But on this Change of Venue Friday, take a moment to marvel at the wonders of a deposition. Part of the “Verbatim” series that I’ve mentioned before, the video is a production of the New York Times. Yes, it casts actors, and yes, it’s a movie set. But the script? Taken verbatim from depositions in civil litigation.

In a New York Times video drawn from a real deposition transcript, a poultry farmer gets his beak out of joint.

In a New York Times video drawn from a real deposition transcript, a poultry farmer gets his beak out of joint.

As the editors describe the project:

“The series, presented by Op-Docs, transforms verbatim (word for word) legal transcripts into dramatic, and often comedic, performances. Here you will find re-creations of actual events from the halls of law and government. You, our readers, can help us find material for future episodes. Have you come across court trials, depositions or government hearings that you think are surprising, bizarre or baffling—and lend themselves to performance? We especially seek original, publicly available transcripts, along with details about the source. Email us at opinion.video@nytimes.com and include “Verbatim” in the subject line.”

The video I share today depicts a 2001 case that sounds in trespass and tort. There, a Mississippi man sued a lumber company for damaging his chicken pasture. He sought $300,000.

Sounds normal enough? It kind of goes south at 01:23, when he asserts that he knows where Osama bin Laden was in the world. And it gets worse.

Let’s just say the deponent went a little free-range himself. Enjoy the video.

Have a wonderful—and poultry-free—weekend.

Faced with a bird-crazed deponent, the attorney rethinks his life choices. (Been there?)

Faced with a bird-crazed deponent, the attorney rethinks his life choices. (Been there?)

A proclamation by Ariz. Gov. Doug Ducey declares that March 2016 is Women's History Month.

A proclamation by Ariz. Gov. Doug Ducey declares that March 2016 is Women’s History Month.

Sharing some news from the Governor’s Office you may have missed, a proclamation of March as Women’s History Month. The proclamation posted above bears careful study, as it praises the achievements of attorneys and jurists Sandra Day O’Connor and Lorna Lockwood. Here is the Governor’s announcement:

In honor of National Women’s History Month, Governor Doug Ducey has signed a proclamation honoring the brilliant and courageous women who shaped Arizona’s history. His office also released a video that celebrates just some of the many Arizona women who have torn down barriers throughout the decades.

“In Arizona, women aren’t just a part our history,” said Governor Ducey. “They’ve led it. These women have been Supreme Court Justices, Governors, Congresswomen and more. This month, we commemorate the achievements of Arizona women as we look forward to the next generation of female leaders in our state.”

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (ret.) and Gov. Doug Ducey, September 2015.

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (ret.) and Gov. Doug Ducey, September 2015.

This month, attorney Clint Bolick was selected as a new Arizona Supreme Court Justice by Gov. Doug Ducey.

This month, attorney Clint Bolick was selected as a new Arizona Supreme Court Justice by Gov. Doug Ducey.

It cannot be easy to select a new state supreme court justice. So much is involved in the job that a panel must weigh a broad array of talents and experiences. And at the end of the day, the old adage applies: You can’t please everybody.

Clint Bolick is a longtime litigator for the Goldwater Institute and an occasional columnist for Arizona Attorney Magazine. (Read a few of his pieces where he discussed courts, judges, and legal services here, here, and here. And he discusses a book on immigration reform he coauthored with Jeb Bush here.) And now he can add Arizona Supreme Court Justice to his roster of accomplishments (though I’m sure columnist will always be his favorite achievement!)

You can read news stories about his appointment by Gov. Doug Ducey here, here, and here.

Arizona_Supreme_Court_SealThose also up for the job had ample experience as appellate judges, which the new Justice lacked. That, plus his previous advocacy litigation, meant that his selection was not met with unanimous positive reviews. (for a negative take, here is E.J. Montini’s column in the Arizona Republic.)

Whatever your view of his appointment, I was pleased to watch Clint Bolick’s interview as he sat before the appointments panel (and I urge you to watch it here). Sitting in the hot seat, Clint did extremely well. He did not appear there as a man who lacks the skill and experience for the job. Nor did he overcompensate by appearing prideful about his litigation record. Instead, he was—and is—soft-spoken and self-effacing. And that has been my experience of him as a colleague and writer.

If there is an entry for “disarming interview” in the dictionary, he would occupy the spot.

Of course, none of that means you will necessarily be pleased (or disappointed) in his subsequent opinions. His judicial record will now roll out over a course of years. Until then, I congratulate Justice Bolick and wish him the best.

Tense this holiday season? Maybe a roaring "fire" is good for what ails you. bill-murray-scrooged-holiday-movies GIF

Tense this holiday season? Maybe a roaring “fire” is good for what ails you.

The phrase “I can’t even” may have been invented for today’s blog post, which may be my last for the next week-ish of the holiday season.

How better to enjoy the holidays than gathered around a roaring fire with family and other loved ones? That is the notion behind the longtime TV version of the Yule log, which some stations traditionally have played while holiday music streams. Cheesy, but effective.

A roaring fire: You feel better already, don't you? fireplace norman rockwell

A roaring fire: You feel better already, don’t you?

An inspired “film” on Netflix has taken that a step further. “Fireplace for Your Home” is that tried-and-true approach. But wait … there’s more.

First of all, there is a trailer (yes, a trailer!) for this cinematic effort. Does it build your anticipation? Here it is:

And then, committed to the cinéma vérité of their effort, the auteurs added “behind the scenes” footage. For reals:

If this doesn’t make you chuckle, well, I can only recommend the movie Scrooged to you.

Happy holidays!

scrooged poster Bill Murray

It may take an old-timey miner and his canary to spot the depths we've sunk to in our pursuit for comfort.

It may take an old-timey miner and his canary to spot the depths we’ve sunk to in our pursuit for comfort.

I fear I’ve grown soft. Here’s the latest evidence.

In November, I confessed a certain … curiosity … about a chair that allows you to work as you recline. That cannot be a good thing, for me or for our nation.

And on this Change of Venue Friday, I point you to a video about … Netflix socks.

As you can see for yourself in the video below, these are socks that will pause your binge-watched program if they sense you have nodded off—in your Barcalounger or otherwise.

The bots at Netflix say this technology is part of actigraphy, “a non-invasive method of monitoring human rest/activity cycles. A small actigraph unit, also called an actimetry sensor, is worn … to measure gross motor activity. The unit is usually, in a wrist-watch-like package, worn on the wrist.”

… Or around your ankles, I suppose, as they are rapidly consumed by gout. ‘Murica.

Like most sensible people, I clicked the “news” video expecting to laugh uproariously at the depth to which we’ve plunged, civilization-wise. After all, this kind of product puts the “gross” in gross motor activity. Amiright?

Instead, as I watched, I caught myself musing on how smart that tech is, and what a boon to humankind. RED FLAGS! Here’s the video:

I’ll admit that the warning signs were there. I already have demonstrated a fondness for socks, as the following photos show (the second is a portion of my sock drawer—I reveal all to you, supportive readers!)

My socks at work, while my angle of recline indicates "not workin'."

Would a miner have worn these? My socks at work, while my angle of recline indicates “not workin’.”

A sampling of socks gaze out from a portion of my drawer (yes, there are more socks).

A sampling of socks gaze out from a portion of my drawer (yes, there are more socks).

But I must somehow be pulled back from the modern-ridiculousness abyss.

At work, someone has brought in factory-made Swiss Miss hot “chocolate” mix—with “marshmallows.” And I’m considering it. Seriously. Someone call for help—and I wish you a weekend free of techy socks.

The lying-down desk eases your work and smooths our national path to a less-impressive future.

The lying-down desk eases your work and smooths our national path to a less-impressive future.

It’s Change of Venue Friday, so I recline in comfort as I draft this easygoing piece.

Unfortunately, my laptop is perched uncomfortably on my lap, and my heels rest painfully on the sharp edge of a tabletop. While I muse that this may be the very definition of “First World Problems,” furniture engineers (yes, it’s a thing) toil to answer the question, “How can we end this long dark chapter in human history?”

Did someone say “lying down desk”?

Yes, they did, America. In fact, more and more folks are talking about this new product from Altwork. Even the ABA Journal took note of this reclining wonder. Because lawyers need to take a load off.

Lying down is not just for science-fiction heroes, Altwork says. Everyone can recline.

Lying down is not just for science-fiction heroes, Altwork says. Everyone can recline.

But who would use such a thing—and how does it work?

As Mashable tells us,

“This workstation is being marketed towards programmers, designers, writers and anyone else who uses a computer as their primary working tool. The Altwork Station offers four modes, all configurable with buttons on the desk surface; standing, collaboration, regular and focus. Standing and regular are exactly what you’d expect and collaboration is simply turning your monitor on the built in arm to work with others. Focus mode is where it gets interesting though, as that’s where you can recline the chair to be completely horizontal, with the desk and monitor following suit.”

Read more about the $5,900 chair here.

Yes, I say fifty-nine hundred dollars. But the more I read about it, the more I’m horrified and convinced I should have one. O, comfortable efficiency, you are an attractive siren!

At home, this is what I thought a work chair looked like. (And this one was used in the filming of feature film "Durant's Never Closes"!)

At home, this is what I thought a work chair looked like. (And this one was used in the filming of feature film “Durant’s Never Closes”!)

And if you need to know more (as you decide whether I should be gifted a better writing set-up than my current one), here is a video describing the whole dealio.

Have a wonderful—and topsy-turvy—weekend.

Arizona Supreme Court building

A new Arizona Justice will be appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey. Applicant interviews will be held on Nov. 20, 2015.

Note: The following post was edited to reflect changes announced by the Arizona Supreme Court at 9:40 a.m. The changes indicate that the judicial-applicant interviews will be taped and posted later, but not streamed live. The Court announced, “We reviewed how interviews were done in the past and we have not previously simulcast/webcast the interviews.  A decision was made to be consistent with previous interviews.” The interviews will still be open to the public.

The Arizona Supreme Court has announced that on this Friday, November 20, interviews for applicants for a vacant Justice position will be held and be open to the public, beginning at 8:00 a.m.

The interviews will also be taped, recorded, and then posted in their entirety later on the Court’s website. The Court anticipates posting all the video by 5:00 p.m. the same day.

The nine individuals to be interviewed in the public meeting were selected by the Arizona Commission on Appellate Court Appointments. At the end of the meeting, the Commission members will vote on a slate of at least three nominees to send to Gov. Doug Ducey, who will be making his first appointment to the Arizona Supreme Court.

Arizona_Supreme_Court_SealI provided the list of applicants previously here.

The Court has posted each individual’s application on its website. The agenda for the meeting is here. “As noted on the agenda, there may be executive sessions before and after the public interviews. Interviews will be 30 minutes long and will be taped and available for viewing by 5:00 p.m. on November 20. The landing page for our webcast and archived videos is here.”