The State Bar of Arizona's Government Relations Department interacts with, and is a resource to state and federal governmental entities, as well as members of the Bar. Please feel free to contact the Government Relations Department if you have questions about these processes, specific legislation or rule changes, or the Bar's position on particular issues.
The Government Relations Department monitors the legislative priorities of the State Bar of Arizona based on the directive of the Board of Governors, and as set forth in Rule 32, Arizona Rules of the Supreme Court.
Any State Bar Section or committee may initiate a request for Board support of new legislation. Their proposals may be vetted among other relevant sections or committees for their review in advance of the Board of Governor's consideration.
Proposals are then submitted to the Board during the fall preceding the beginning of the legislative session in January. If the Board endorses a proposal, the State Bar lobbyist will guide the bill through the legislative process.
The basic public positions the Bar may take are: support or oppose, or no position if a bill is not sufficiently relevant to the Bar's mission. This process is limited to a relatively small number of bills in order to preserve the Bar's lobbying effectiveness; and is reserved for bills which are seen as central to the interests of the Bar and which appear to have some viability in the legislature.
Members, of course, may support or oppose any legislation in their individual capacity.
Keller v. State Bar of California 496 U.S. 1 (1990) requires the State Bar's legislative positions be narrowly limited to regulation of the practice of law or improving the quality of legal services, as set forth by Keller and Keller’s progeny. The State Bar may not lobby for political or ideological causes not related to these purposes. Supreme Court Rule 32 also mandates compliance with Keller and provides a member who objects to particular State Bar lobbying activity may request a refund of the portion of their annual fee allocable to those activities at the end of the membership year. You can read more here.
The State Bar's ability to maintain an effective legislative program is directly dependent upon its members continuing to devote their time and efforts to legislative analysis, and their active involvement in the legislative process. If you have questions regarding the State Bar's government affairs, email Joe Hengemuehler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a courtesy to members during each legislative session, the State Bar publishes Bar Track, a weekly legislative newsletter tracking bills that could affect the legal profession in Arizona. To be added to the distribution list, email email@example.com.
Other Legislative Resources: