Today I share an opportunity to participate in moot court—as a judge.

The ASU Moot Court Executive Board seeks volunteer judges for its competition on February 17 and 18. Here is the news from Tyler Carlton, the Chair of the Hosted Competitions Committee:

The ASU Moot Court Executive Board is looking for volunteers to judge the ASU Law and Science Mock Trial Competition on February 17 (Friday) and 18 (Saturday). We are looking for volunteers for all times slots, which are provided below.

Trials will be about three hours longs. We are very excited to host our competition this year in the new downtown Phoenix building with teams from Arizona, California, Colorado, and Texas. Volunteer judges will also be provided both breakfast and lunch. Volunteers can sign up for any times slots that they are available.

First day (2/17):

  • Judge Orientation: 9:00
  • First trial: 10:00-1:00
  • Lunch: 1:00-2:00
  • Judge Orientation: 2:00
  • Second trial: 2:30-5:30

Second day (2/18):

  • Judge Orientation: 8:00
  • First trial: 9:00-12:00
  • Lunch: 12:00-1:00

For more information or to sign up, contact Tyler at

ASU Law School logo

State Bar of Arizona logoIn case you were not yet recovered from a terrific Independence Day, I share some remarkable news from my State Bar colleague Alberto Rodriguez about an event that aimed to educate and assist the immigrant community. Thank you to all the Arizona attorneys and others who participated:

The State Bar of Arizona and Univision Arizona hosted a special edition of Abogados a Su Lado (attorneys on your side) public service program on Thursday, June 23, along with a community forum and legal help clinic on Tuesday, June 28. Both access to justice programs were held to help the immigrant community understand the impact of the Supreme Court of the United States’ divided decision regarding President Obama’s immigration executive actions.

State Bar of Arizona Abogados a Su Lado Phone Bank and Community Forum, June 2016

State Bar of Arizona Abogados a Su Lado Phone Bank and Community Forum, June 2016

The Bar’s primary role as a partner and organizer of the events was to help the immigrant community understand its role as a consumer protection organization, as well as to connect them with licensed attorneys for sound legal advice regarding the SCOTUS decision. The immigrant community is often victimized by notarios and document preparers during high-profile activity associated with immigration law.

The following are recaps of both programs.

Phone Bank Details

What: Abogados a Su Lado Phone Bank

Date:  Thursday, June 23, 2016

Time: 5 to 7 p.m.

Topic: Immigration Issues – DAPA/DACA

The volunteers were five attorneys:

  • Marisol Angulo, Hernandez Global
  • Ezequiel Hernandez, Hernandez Global
  • Claudia Lopez, Law Office of Claude P. Lopez
  • Karina Ordoñez, Karina Ordoñez Law Office
  • Jose Peñalosa, Jose Peñalosa Attorney at Law

The volunteer attorneys answered 63 calls regarding the SCOTUS decision and immigration law. This special-edition phone bank was two hours.

Forum and Legal Help Clinic Details

What: Community Forum and Legal Help Clinic

Date: Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Time: 6 to 9 p.m.

Topic: Immigration Issues – DACA/DAPA

The volunteers were 10 attorneys:

  • Marisol Angulo, Hernandez Global
  • Emilia Bañuelos, Bañuelos Law Office
  • Josh De La Ossa, De La Ossa and Ramos Law
  • Seth Draper, Salvatierra Law
  • Ezequiel Hernandez, Hernandez Global
  • Claudia Lopez, Law Office of Claude P. Lopez
  • Jose Peñalosa, Jose Peñalosa Attorney at Law
  • Edwin Ramos, De La Ossa and Ramos Law
  • Fae Sowders, Sowders Law
  • Ray Ybarra Maldonado, Law Office of Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado

An estimated 350 consumers attended the three-hour access to justice event and 120 families received one-on-one consultations by volunteer attorneys.

The forum included an overview of the State Bar’s consumer protection services by Alberto Rodriguez; endorsements for the Bar by the Consulate General of Mexico in Phoenix, Mi Familia Vota, and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services; and a presentation covering the SCOTUS decision by attorney Ezequiel Hernandez. The entire access to justice program was offered in Spanish.

All attorney volunteers were extremely satisfied with their participation in these access to justice events. We thank them for committing their time and expertise, which helped the Bar continue connecting consumers with legal professionals.

We thank Univision Arizona for their continued partnership in providing this valuable access to justice program for the Spanish-speaking community, as well as volunteers from Mi Familia Vota who helped with event logistics.

pro bono gavelToday, here is some news you may be able to use—and definitely news you can share. (And please do!)

The State Bar of Arizona is hosting its fifth annual Law Day Legal Aid Clinics this coming Saturday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This valuable event has become one of the Bar’s signature access to justice events.

Law Day 2016 poster in english v2-page0001Co-hosting the event with the State Bar are ABC15 and Univision Arizona.

What happens at the event? Volunteer lawyers will provide free legal consultations on the following topics: divorce and child support/custody, bankruptcy and foreclosure, wills and trusts, and immigration.

And how has the Bar made the day even more accessible? By providing the consultations at two locations: At the Bar offices in Phoenix and at Glendale Community College. Spanish-speaking translators will be available.

All the details, including specific addresses, are here. Or call 602-340-7337 for more information.

Law Day 2016 poster in spanish-page-0_opt

And again, please share this with whomever you think could benefit.

State Bar of Arizona SBA_Logo_ColorOn Tuesday, May 19, the State Bar of Arizona and 12 News hosted the Lawyers on Call public service program. There, four attorneys volunteered their time and expertise to answer viewers’ questions on landlord/tenant issues.

The following update comes from my colleague Alberto Rodriguez:

Four attorneys volunteered their time:

  • Henry Alzate, Alzate DuComb Law Firm
  • Jack Escobar, Escobar Law Firm
  • Charles Oldham, Dickinson Wright
  • Bret Rasner, Community Legal Services

The attorneys answered an impressive 84 calls during the two-hour phone bank.

12 News logoSample consumer questions:

  • How do I recover my deposits (security, utilities, pet, etc.)?
  • What are the landlord’s responsibilities for property maintenance/repairs?
  • What can I do if my landlord is not repairing items around the rental property?
  • How do I report and remove bed bugs?
  • How do I process an eviction?

Two of the four attorneys were first-time volunteers. All volunteers were extremely satisfied with the quality of the questions overall and were excited to have participated in the Lawyers on Call public service program.

Click here for a brief news story (video) leading up to the phone bank.

State Bar of Arizona SBA_Logo_Color

Here is some great news about a monthly State Bar event in which lawyers volunteer their time. Thanks for the news to Alberto Rodriguez.

The State Bar of Arizona, and 12 News hosted the Lawyers on Call public service program on Tuesday, March 11. Volunteers answered viewers’ calls regarding their employment and labor issues.

Eight volunteer attorneys participated:

  • Denise Blommel
  • Richard Galvan
  • Richard Klauer
  • Stephanie Leach
  • Leah Lewandowski
  • Dawn Sauer
  • Paul Sheston
  • Sandra Shoupe-Gorga

The attorneys answered 83 calls on employment and labor law. An additional 34 consumers were assisted via social media, which means a total of 117 people were helped.

Here is a sample of the consumer questions:

  • Since Arizona is a right-to-work state, what does that mean to me and my issue?
  • Can employers harass and discriminate against its employees?
  • When are you covered by workers’ compensation?
  • I haven’t been paid overtime wages. How do I go about getting them paid?
  • I was fired for reasons I believe to be unfair; what can I do?

Several questions regarding employment discrimination were asked, including in the areas of age, pregnancy, ethnicity and disabilities.

AZBAR labor and employment lawyers on call 03-11-14

Volunteer Arizona labor and employment lawyers answer consumer questions, March 11, 2014.

The and 12 News teams were successful in adding a social media component to the phone bank. Thirty-four consumers asked their questions via the 12 News Facebook page, and attorney Stephanie Leach responded with her recommendations/advice.

Four of the eight attorneys were first-time volunteers.

Next month, volunteer lawyers will answer consumers’ family law questions on Tuesday, April 8.

ASU hosts American Moot Court Tournament

Are you ready to pick up the gavel and give back to legal education at the same time? Does ASU Law School have a deal for you!

On January 17 and 18, the ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law will host the American Collegiate Moot Court Association’s national championship tournament. This is quite an impressive honor, and it will see undergraduates from all over the country traveling to Arizona to compete by mooting an issue in our Supreme Court.

That’s where you may come in. The law school is in need of JDs who are willing to volunteer as judges (I’ve been told they need about 250 total).

Hesitant? Well, the school is willing to sweeten the pot for those on the fence: If you sign up with a lawyer–friend, the organizers will aim to pair you together as a judging team.

Whaaat? A judging team? I don’t know about you, but nothing binds a friendship more than judging others. Come on out!

More detail is below. And to volunteer as a judge, sign up here.

ASU Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law logo“The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law is proud to host the American Collegiate Moot Court Association’s national championship tournament on January 17-18, 2014. 80 undergraduate teams from across the country will come to the law school to compete in this prestigious tournament to determine this year’s national champion.  The College of Law is excited to be this year’s competition host, and we hope that you will join us in making this a memorable experience for competitors.  Volunteer judging is a great way to contribute to the education and training of future legal professionals as well as showcase the strength and involvement of our local bar.”

The College of Law is looking for attorneys to volunteer as judges for the following times:

Friday, January 17:

  • 4:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
  • 5:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

Saturday, January 18:

  • 8:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
  • 9:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

Bring a buddy—sign up to judge with a friend and we will pair you to judge oral arguments together.

If you would like to volunteer but the above scheduled time blocks do not match your availability, please contact Adam Almaraz at

To volunteer as a judge, click here.

Volunteer lawyers counsel veterans at the 2013 Arizona StandDown. (photo: Alberto Rodriguez)

Volunteer lawyers counsel veterans at the 2013 Arizona StandDown. (photo: Alberto Rodriguez)

Today, I share some great news from the State Bar of Arizona, as communicated by my colleague Alberto Rodriguez. Congratulations and thank you to all the Arizona lawyers who participated:

On Friday, March 8, and Saturday, March 9, the State Bar of Arizona and 24 of its members participated in the 2013 Arizona Veterans StandDown. The State Bar and volunteer attorneys joined several service providers at the three-day event that offered a variety of health and human services to homeless and at-risk veterans in our state. Volunteer attorneys from across the valley fielded legal questions via one-on-one consultations with veterans seeking legal advice.

Volunteers Roger Ferland and Kay at the 2013 Arizona StandDown. (photo: Alberto Rodriguez)

Volunteers Roger Ferland and Kay Nehring at the 2013 Arizona StandDown. (photo: Alberto Rodriguez)

The “Civil Law Clinic” organized by the State Bar offered legal consultations by members who practice Family Law, Bankruptcy/Foreclosure/Tax Law, Elder/Mental Health Law, and Real Estate/Landlord & Tenant Law.

Volunteer attorneys provided 322 consultations during the two-day civil law clinic for the 254 veterans who were seen. In addition, many attorneys offered pro-bono legal services to veterans who needed representation.

The following is a list of committed attorney and logistics volunteers:

Attorney Volunteers:

Jennifer Alewelt

Jennifer Boucek

Steven Clark

Stasy Click

Kristen Coyne

Patrick Derksen

Ben Dodge

Tracy Essig

Meredith Flori

Kirk A. Guinn

Stacey L. Johnson

Harry Keidan

Cynthia Kelley

Katherine Kraus

Joseph W. Kruchek

Alyssa Medina

Bill Miller

Judy M. Miller

Kay A. Nehring

Louis G. Parker

Jane Proctor

Ryan Scott

Charles Sears

Gosia M. Zawislak

Logistics Volunteers:

Ann Bean, Dodge & Vega

Roger Ferland, MLAC Chair

Donene Olmstead, Dodge & Vega

Kay Nehring, Nehring Law Office

Veteran Edward Cook, alongside a photo of his younger self, at the 2013 Arizona StandDown. (photo: Alberto Rodriguez)

Veteran Edward Cook, alongside a photo of his younger self, at the 2013 Arizona StandDown. (photo: Alberto Rodriguez)

State Bar of Arizona SBA_Logo_ColorThis morning, an update from my colleague Alberto Rodriguez at the State Bar of Arizona:

The State Bar of Arizona and Univision 33 hosted the final Abogados a Su Lado (“Lawyers at Your Side”) of 2012 on Monday, December 10. The following is a recap from the public service program.

Summary: Volunteer attorneys answered 93 calls during the two-hour phone bank focused on criminal charges/issues. The following is a small sample of the questions that were received:

  • Can I get my license reinstated after receiving a DUI?
  • How does receiving a misdemeanor charge affect my immigration case/status?
  • How is a potential sentence determined?
  • Should I hire a private attorney or use a public defender? What are the differences?
  • What are the repercussions of getting a DUI?
  • How do I take care of a warrant issued in another state?Univision 33 logo

All the Abogados a Su Lado volunteers were first-time participants. Calls were consistent from 5 to 7 p.m., which led to another successful phone bank.

In 2012, 20 Abogados a Su Lado volunteer attorneys answered legal questions from 284 consumers during three separate phone banks.

The State Bar of Arizona and Univision 33 will continue to provide the Abogados a Su Lado public service program in 2013 and are currently identifying dates and topics for the new year.

The State Bar of Arizona hosts another in its series of successful lawyer-volunteer events this evening. “Lawyers on Call,” the successful longtime partnership with Phoenix’s 12 News KPNX TV, will focus tonight on divorce and child support. Read the Arizona Republic story here.

The event is held the first Tuesday of every month. As always, people with questions may call 602-258-1212 from 5 to 7 p.m.

I wrote before about the event and its remarkable track record of service to the public. That story includes the Bar’s upcoming roster of topics through the end of the year.

Congratulations and thanks to tonight’s volunteer lawyers (click on their names for more information):

    (The news story spelled one lawyer’s name wrong; it’s not Heidi Kukascik, but Lukacsik.)

An opportunity to serve the justice system is available for members of the public. Yesterday, the State Bar of Arizona issued the following press release about openings on the Character & Fitness Committee.

Here it is: 

Public Members Sought for Supreme Court Committee

PHOENIX – Aug. 1, 2011 – The State Bar of Arizona is supporting the Supreme Court of Arizona in its effort to recruit two public/non-attorney members for its Committee on Character and Fitness. Applications are available now.

This Committee is responsible for recommending applicants for admission to the practice of law in Arizona.  The Supreme Court then considers the recommendations and either grants or denies admission.  On a yearly basis, the Committee reviews and evaluates approximately 1,200 applications.

The Committee conducts at least one formal hearing monthly in either Phoenix or Tucson.  Members are expected to participate in each formal hearing, and in informal hearings held throughout the state on a voluntary participation basis.  In addition, membership requires independent review of applicant files amounting to approximately 25-40 hours per month.   

Expenses are paid for all meetings/hearings, but there is no other compensation for service as a Committee member.

Application forms to become a public member are due by Monday, Aug. 22, 2011, and can be obtained by contacting Nina Benham at the State Bar of Arizona at 602-340-7329 or at  Interactive application forms may also be downloaded from the Bar’s web site at  Interviews of selected candidates will occur in September.