e-legal

Volume 16, No. 7 | March 28, 2017

eye on ethics

Q: I plan to leave my current firm in one month to start my own law firm. Who is responsible for notifying my clients�the firm, or I?

A: Both the firm and the departing lawyer have ethical obligations to clients when a lawyer leaves a firm, such as informing clients and avoiding prejudice to clients due to the lawyer's departure. See Ariz. Ethics Op. 10-02 for more details.

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Lawyer Quirks That Irk
What drives you crazy about your own profession and the people in it? Two attorneys explore their own bafflement at some lawyer traits.

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member news

Legal Professionals Came Out in Droves to Help Arizona's Veteran Community: Adding to the success of the Bar's Civil Legal Clinic at the Arizona StandDown in February were the numerous volunteers in the Courts and Legal Services area. During the three-day event, 1,204 veterans received assistance in the Courts and Legal Services area coordinated by Gary Kula, City of Phoenix Public Defender.

Onsite county superior courts were staffed by volunteers including 15 judicial officers, 11 bailiffs, 71 defense attorneys, 21 county attorneys, 19 court reporters, 3 court administrators, and 16 courtroom clerks. Justice courts were staffed by 6 justices of the peace and 15 volunteers. Phoenix Municipal Courts were staffed by 7 judges, 68 public defenders, and 14 court staff volunteers. Avondale, Carefree-Cave Creek, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Goodyear, Paradise Valley, Peoria, Scottsdale, Surprise, Tempe, Tolleson, and Wickenburg municipal courts were also onsite.

In addition to the court volunteers, 75 Maricopa County Public Defenders, 18 private attorneys, 11 ASU law students, 21 Summit law students, and the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division helped to get veterans back on track with their legal matters.

On behalf of veterans across the state, the State Bar of Arizona thanks every volunteer who helped make the Courts and Legal Services area a great success!

In the news

Proposed Trump Budget Cuts Legal Services Funding: More than 35,800 Arizonans received federally funded free legal help last year � help that could be eliminated if Congress adopts President Donald Trump's budget proposal. Community Legal Services, one of many legal services organizations in Arizona, gets 75 percent of its budget from the Legal Services Corporation. According to Lillian Johnson, Executive Director of Community Legal Services, proposed cuts would have a devastating impact on the number of clients they could serve. "We are a little panicky over the impact of the loss of such a significant amount of our funding," she said. Read more here.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Mental Disability Standards for Death-Penalty Eligibility: The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down the standards used by the state of Texas to determine whether an inmate has a mental disability that makes him ineligible for the death penalty. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the majority of the 5-3 decision. Click here to learn more on how the court ruled on the case.

from the bar

Plan to Join Us in Tucson for the State Bar Annual Convention: Save the dates of June 14 through June 16. This year's convention will be held at the beautiful Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson. If you've never experienced convention, you're missing out on a great opportunity. With the June 30 deadline to complete your CLE requirements rapidly approaching, you'll be able to choose from 48 seminars that cover most major practice areas. Worried about the cost? Apply for a fee waiver. Be on the lookout for the convention catalog which will ship next week. It includes full details on seminars, registration, and lodging. Online registration should be available next week. You'll hear more about what Convention has to offer over the next months.

DEADLINE TOMORROW - Client Protection Fund Board Seeks Trustee: Apply by March 29 to serve as a Trustee of the State Bar's Client Protection Fund. The Fund's purpose is to promote public confidence in the administration of justice, and to preserve the integrity of the legal profession by reimbursing people who have sustained losses caused by the dishonest conduct of lawyers admitted and licensed to practice law in Arizona. Each lawyer licensed to practice law in Arizona contributes $20 per year to the Fund. The Trustees act as fiduciaries of monies deposited in the fund, invest those funds, and pay claims in appropriate cases. For more information and an application click here.

DEADLINE TOMORROW - Get Engaged in Selecting Scottsdale City Judges: Apply by March 29 to serve on Scottsdale's Judicial Appointments Advisory Board. Applicants must reside in Scottsdale. Volunteer Board members screen and recommend municipal court judicial candidates to Scottsdale's City Council for its selection. For more information and an application click here.

DEADLINE TOMORROW - Help Select Surprise City Judges: Apply by March 29 to serve on Surprises Judicial Selection Advisory Commission. Applicants must reside in Maricopa County. Volunteer Commissioners screen and recommend municipal court judicial candidates to Surprise's City Council for its selection. For more information and an application click here.

You Can Still Attend the Bar's Diversity and Inclusion Conference: Spring Training for Lawyers is this Thursday and Friday, March 30 & 31. Program topics educate attendees on the latest legal developments affecting diverse clients and offer practical tips and skills to meet the needs of Arizona's diverse legal community. Online registration has ended but onsite registration is available the day of the event. Click here for more information.

Attorneys in Pinal County Needed to Help with Merit Selection Process: Apply by Wednesday, March 28 to serve on the Pinal County Commission on Trial Court Appointments. Applicants must reside in Pinal County Supervisorial District 2. The Commission screens judicial applicants and submit nominations to the Governor for his ultimate appointment to fill positions on the Pinal Superior Court bench. For candidate criteria and an application click here.

Civil Rights Activist Karen Korematsu to Speak at AAABA Annual Dinner: The Arizona Asian American Bar Association invites you to attend their 21st Annual Scholarship Awards and Installation Banquet on Thursday, April 20 featuring Karen Korematsu of the Fred T. Korematsu Institute. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are still available. Click here to learn more and to reserve your seat.

Meet the 2017 Board of Governors Candidates: The online Board election will launch May 4. In District 6/Maricopa County, 20 candidates are vying for nine seats. In District 8/Pinal County, the incumbent is running unopposed. Meet the candidates here.

Judicial Ethics Charges Filed Against Moon Valley Justice of the Peace: The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct announced that the commission's disciplinary counsel has filed formal ethics charges against Moon Valley Justice of the Peace Andrew Hettinger. The statement of formal charges alleges that the judge violated a number of rules contained in the Arizona Code of Judicial Conduct during his 2016 election campaign to become a justice of the peace. Click here to find out more.

Comment on Proposed Changes in Local Rules of Practice for Pinal County: The current Local Rules of Practice for Pinal County were adopted in 1986 with minor revisions throughout the years. The rules contain provisions that have since been codified by the Arizona Legislature and are no longer necessary. In addition, new rules to address technological advances are being proposed. Click here to comment on the proposed changes by April 20.

Lend Your Professional Knowledge to the Arbitration Process of the Securities Industry: FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is seeking to expand the depth and diversity of its arbitrator roster in Arizona, and invites members of the State Bar of Arizona to apply to become FINRA arbitrators. FINRA operates the largest securities dispute resolution forum in the United States, providing both arbitration and mediation services. Industry knowledge is not required, and there is absolutely no cost associated with applying. Don't forget to mention the State Bar of Arizona in the "How Did You Hear About Us" section of the FINRA arbitrator application. Click here to learn more.

Public Asked for Input on Eight Candidates for Pima County Superior Court Vacancy: The Pima County Commission on Trial Court Appointments is asking for public input on eight candidates for a vacancy on the Pima County Superior Court created by the retirement of Judge K.C. Stanford. Written comments must be submitted by April 14, 2017 or in person at a hearing on April 20, 2017. Click here to view candidates.

Cardinal's Bruce Arians Challenges Arizonans to Step Up for Foster Children: Bruce Arians, head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, will be appearing on TV screens, billboards and mobile phones statewide this month, encouraging folks to get involved in his "Red Flag Challenge" by volunteering their time as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA volunteer. CASA volunteers speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children whose futures are being decided during juvenile court proceedings. The campaign aims to recruit at least 100 new CASA volunteers statewide by the end of April. Learn more here.

Are You An Attorney Who Has Good News to Share? Have you recently been recognized for contributions you make to the communities you serve? Is your firm raising money or collecting food 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.

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.

Practice Tip - How to Hire for Success: 5 Secrets to Growing Your Law Firm: Read this whitepaper authored by Jules Miller, cofounder at Evolve Law, here. You�ll gain insight into five key recruitment practices. Published in partnership with State Bar Member Discount provider Clio.

At Outset of a New Client Engagement, Screen for Risky Clients: Some clients pose a higher risk of malpractice claims, bar grievances and failure to pay fees than other clients. Read a brief tip about how to spot them here from State Bar Member Discount provider Ahern Insurance, a professional liability insurance brokerage firm.

Do You Accept Credit Cards From Clients? Save up to 25% on standard processing fees with LawPay. LawPay is a credit card processing service exclusively for attorneys, and meets the requirements for trust account guidelines. Call 866.376.0950 or visit www.lawpay.com/azbar. No contract required.

Save on Avis, Budget and Hertz Car Rentals, UPS Shipping, Legal Software 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

March 14, 2017 - 1 CA-SA 17-0010 - Philip Brailsford v. Hon. George H. Foster/Sup. Ct. Az
1. Whether a magistrate may preclude some of the defense witnesses at a preliminary hearing. 2. Whether a magistrate must resolve a contested justification defense at a preliminary hearing. Read opinion.

March 13, 2017 - 2 CA-CR 2015-0357 - State of Arizona v. Fuller W. Smith
1. Whether Smith's Confrontation Clause rights were violated by the admission of saliva test results through the testimony of an expert who did not conduct the test and who did not reach any independent conclusions about the results. 2. Whether Smith's third trial, following two mistrials, violated his due process rights. 3. Whether the evidence sufficiently supported the jury's verdicts. Read opinion.

9th Circuit Court of Appeals

March 24, 2017 - 15-55924 - George Williams v. Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.
In an action alleging violations of federal and state warranty law and other claims, brought by appellants who purchased allegedly defective outboard motors that defendant designed and manufactured in Japan and that defendant imported and marketed in California, the district court's dismissal of defendant for lack of personal jurisdiction and Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) dismissal of plaintiffs' claims are affirmed where: 1. the district court lacked general jurisdiction over defendant because defendant itself did not have sufficient contacts with California for the exercise of general jurisdiction, and plaintiffs failed to plead sufficient facts to make out a prima facie case that related entities were 'alter egos'; 2. the district court lacked specific jurisdiction over non-resident defendant, and plaintiffs did not allege any action that defendant 'purposefully directed' at California; and 3. plaintiffs failed to plead a prima facie. Read opinion.

March 24, 2017 - 13-73455 - Charles C. Eleri v. Jefferson B. Sessions, Attorney General
In a petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals' decision finding petitioner ineligible for a waiver of inadmissibility under the aggravated felony bar, the petition is denied where: 1. because petitioner was admitted to the U.S. as a conditional permanent resident, he is 'an alien who has previously been admitted to the U.S. as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence'; and thus 2. petitioner was ineligible for a waiver of inadmissibility pursuant to 8 U.S.C. section 1182(h) because he had an aggravated felony conviction. Read opinion.

 

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