e-legal

Volume 15, No. 20 | September 27, 2016

eye on ethics

Q: I represent a plaintiff. I just learned that the defendant's attorney is suspended. May I communicate directly with the defendant without running afoul of the ethical rules?

A: Yes. You may communicate with the defendant directly until you learn that the defendant is represented in this matter by an attorney in good standing. See ER 4.2. See also ER 4.3 regarding communications with an unrepresented person.

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Binding Clauses
Binding mandatory arbitration clauses are a part of modern existence. Here�s what you need to know to draft them well.

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member news

Volunteer Attorneys and Judges Help Veterans With Their Legal Issues: On Saturday, September 24, 2016, the State Bar of Arizona and 11 of its members participated in the 2016 Glendale Stand Up for Veterans event at Glendale Community College. The State Bar and volunteer attorneys joined several service providers at the one-day event that offered a variety of free health and human services to 324 veterans in our state.

Attorneys provided 77 consultations during the legal clinic for the 63 veterans who were seen. In addition, many attorneys offered pro-bono legal services after the Stand Up to veterans who needed additional help. Adding to the legal services provided for veterans, on-site courts coordinated by Hon. Elizabeth Finn, Presiding Judge of the Glendale City Court, saw 231 veterans who needed to address court-related issues. Volunteer judges included Judge Finn; Justices of the Peace Hon. David Osterfield, and Hon. Don Watts; and Hon. Kevin Kane, Presiding Judge of the Tempe City Court.

Volunteer attorneys were Dorothy Brogan, Law Office of Dorothy E. Brogan; Doug Edmunds, Edmunds Law; Rebecca Elliott, Rebecca Elliott Attorney at Law; Nathan Finch, Catalyst Legal Group; Tim R. Geiger, Geiger Law Offices; Steven D. Keist, Keist Law; Tonya MacBeth, Burch & Cracchiolo, PA; Cindy Greene, Simmons & Greene, PC; Ian Hasegawa, Hasegawa Paulsen, PLC; Brant Hodyno, Brant Hodyno, Compassionate Counsel; and Janis Villalpando, Community Legal Services. Volunteers attorneys from the Maricopa County Public Defender's Office included Tennie Martin, Jeremy Mussman, Barbara Rees, Jerald Schreck, and Cathryn Whalen. The State Bar offers its sincerest appreciation to all the volunteers!

In the news

Fired Wells Fargo Workers Fight Back With Federal Lawsuit: Six former Wells Fargo employees filed a class action lawsuit on Monday in federal court against the bank seeking $7.2 billion or more for workers nationwide who were fired or demoted after refusing to open fake accounts. More.

Porsche-driving Lawyer Was Houston Shooter: Police found two semiautomatic weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition but no firm reason why a Porsche-driving lawyer went on a shooting rampage in southwest Houston that concluded with his own death. Read the story here.

from the bar

Changes Coming to the Lawyer's Oath and Creed? The Arizona Supreme Court is considering a proposal to modify The Oath of Admission to the Bar and A Lawyer's Creed of Professionalism of the State Bar of Arizona. You can read the proposed version here. If you'd like to comment you can do so here. Comments must be received by October 28, 2016.

Fee Sharing Among Other Rules Changes That Took Effect in January: Earlier this year, the practice of law changed for lawyers in Arizona, as several amendments to the Arizona Supreme Court Rules took effect. Changes were advanced by a rule-change petition filed by an Arizona Supreme Court ad hoc committee tasked with review of Arizona's Supreme Court Rules governing professional conduct and the practice of law. More.

Apply by October 3 for CLE Institute: The CLE Institute is a professional development program for CLE presenters who want to increase their proficiency in presenting CLE programs. This program is ideal for newer CLE presenters seeking to sharpen their presentation skills and experienced speakers looking for the latest strategies in adult education. Applicants will be notified of their selection status by October 10. For more information and to apply, click here.

Public Asked for Input on Candidates for Superior Court Vacancies: The Maricopa County Commission on Trial Court Appointments is seeking public input on 16 candidates for an opening on the Maricopa County Superior Court. Written comments must arrive to the Commission by October 18 to be considered or they can be made in person at the hearing on October 20. Click here to view 16 candidates.

Arizona Supreme Court Approves Amended Bar Governance Rules: The Arizona Supreme Court has approved changes for the governance of the State Bar of Arizona and other aspects of legal practice in Arizona. These changes resulted from recommendations made in September 2015 by a Task Force on the Review of the Role and Governance of the State Bar. Learn more about the approved changes here.

Order Your Copy of the 2016 Economics of Law Practice in Arizona! Learn how members responded to our questions about hourly billing rates, total compensation, and amenities and benefits being offered by Arizona's law firms. This report was last published in 2013, so it's time to see how economic changes have affected our professional lives today. Order online at azbar.org/ordereconomicsreport. For more information email Pat Giallanza.

Volunteers Sought for Judicial Conduct Commission and Legal Services Board: Apply by October 5 to serve on the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct or the DNA-People's Legal Services, Inc. Board of Directors. Candidate criteria and an application form are available here.

Join the Bar Flys for a Full or Half Marathon, or 10K or 5K, at a Reduced Registration Fee! Arizona's legal community is coming together for the eighth consecutive year to run in the Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon, Half Marathon, and 10K "Rock Corporate," to be held on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017. This year, you can also run in the 5K on Saturday, January 14, 2017. For more, click here.

Help Consumers by Writing Law-Related Tips! The State Bar of Arizona seeks attorneys in all practice areas to offer consumer tips via its social media platforms. We'll be sharing tidbits of information to help consumers begin addressing their legal issues associated with family law, landlord/tenant, estate planning, personal injury, immigration, and DUI among others. If you're interested, email Alberto Rodriguez for more information.

Keep Sharing Your Good News With Us! Have you recently been recognized for contributions you make to the communities you serve? Did your firm raise money for charity over the holidays? Are you a leader who is being recognized for advancing the legal profession? If so, we want to hear about it! Email Alberto Rodriguez to be considered for inclusion in a future issue of eLegal under Member News.

Practice Tip - What Is the Psychology of Settlement Negotiations? Click here to register for this free one-hour webinar on October 18, presented by attorney Claude E. Ducloux. Webinar is provided by LawPay, a State Bar Member Discount Provider.

Wish You Had a Full-time Receptionist, but Don't Have the Budget to Hire One? Check out Ruby Receptionists, a live, custom virtual receptionist service. State Bar members receive a 10% discount. To learn more, go to www.callruby.com/azbar or call 866.611.7829.

Looking for Practice Management Software? State Bar members receive a 10% lifetime discount on Clio, the practice management software specifically designed for small to medium-sized firms. Use promo code AZBAR and click here.

Save on UPS Shipping, Diamondbacks Tickets, OfficeMax and More: Click here for the full list of companies offering discounts to State Bar members.

court decisions

Arizona Court of Appeals
Division One
Division Two

September 1, 2016 - 1 CA-CR 15-0342 - State of Arizona v. Elroy Gutierrez
1. Whether A.R.S. � 13-3102(A)(8) (using or possessing a deadly weapon during the commission of a drug felony) creates a single offense, regardless of the number of weapons possessed or used. 2. Whether the defendant's due-process rights were violated when the trial judge, who personally participated in a pretrial settlement conference that ended unsuccessfully, sentenced the defendant at the conclusion of trial to a longer term of incarceration than the judge had promised to impose pursuant to a plea. 3. Whether a defendant convicted of transportation of methamphetamine for sale under A.R.S. � 13-3407(A)(7) is eligible for early release. Read Opinion.

August 31, 2016 - 2 CA-CR 2015-0300 - State of Arizona v. Lynn L. Burbey
1.Does A.R.S. � 13-3822(A) require a registered sex offender to notify the sheriff, in person and in writing, within seventy-two hours of leaving the sex offender's previously registered address and becoming homeless? 2.Did the trial court's instruction to the jury, which did not include a mens rea element, violate due process and constitute fundamental error when the evidence showed the defendant was aware of the ongoing reporting requirements imposed by A.R.S. � 13-3822(A)? Read Opinion.

9th Circuit Court of Appeals

September 26, 2016 - 14-15790 - Vincent de Fontbrune v. Alan Wofsy
In an action seeking to protect plaintiff's copyright in photographs of Pablo Picasso's artworks, and to enforce a French judgment of two million euros in astreinte in federal court against defendant-American art editor under the California Uniform Foreign-Court Monetary Judgment Recognition Act, the District Court's Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) dismissal is reversed where: 1. Fed. R. Civ. P. 44.1 authorizes district courts to consider foreign legal materials -- including expert testimony and declarations -- outside the pleadings in rulings on a motion to dismiss because Rule 44.1 treats foreign law determinations as questions of law, not fact; and 2. the district court erred in concluding that the award of an astreinte in this case constituted a 'fine or other penalty' for the purposes of California's Uniform Recognition. Read Opinion.

September 23, 2016 - 14-15976 - Arizona Green Party v. Michele Reagan, Arizona Secretary of State
In an action brought under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 by the Arizona Green Party and a supporter challenging the constitutionality of Arizona's filing deadline for new party petition, the District Court's summary judgment in favor of the Arizona Secretary of State is affirmed where: 1. the Green Party did not meet its burden of showing that Arizona's 180-day petition-filing deadline significantly burdened its First and Fourteenth Amendment rights; and 2. the Secretary demonstrated that the restriction served Arizona's important interest in administering orderly elections. Read Opinion.

 

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