Meet the 2019 Board of Governors Candidates

The Board of Governors elections are conducted online. Does the State Bar have your email address of record? (Rule 32(c)(3), Ariz.R.S.Ct.)

Elections will be held this year in the following Board Districts:

  • District 1:  Apache, Coconino, Mohave and Navajo Counties will NOT hold an election as President-Elect Brian Furuya will automatically ascend to the office of president in June 2019
  • District 2:  1 Board Seat Available: Yavapai County will elect one Governor to a two-year term
  • District 3:  1 Board Seat Available: Gila, Graham and Greenlee Counties will elect one Governor to a three-year term
  • District 4:  1 Board Seat Available: Cochise County will elect one Governor to a one-year term
  • District 5:  2 Board Seats Available: Pima and Santa Cruz Counties will elect one Governor to a one-year term and one Governor to a two-year term
  • District 6:  7 Board Seats Available: Maricopa County will elect two Governors to one-year terms, two Governors to two-year terms, and three Governors to three-year terms
  • District 7:  1 Board Seat Available: La Paz and Yuma Counties will elect one Governor to a two-year term
  • District 8:  1 Board Seat Available: Pinal County will elect one Governor to a three-year term

Recent amendments to Rule 32, Ariz.R.S.Ct.:

• Effective January 1, 2017, Active out-of-state Members may vote in the District of their most recent Arizona residence or place of business or, if none, in Bar District 6. (Rule 32(e)(2)(D))

• Effective 2019, all sitting Governors’ terms conclude and elections will be held in all eight Board Districts.  In Districts with more than one Governor, and in certain Districts, the Governors’ terms will be staggered.  Incumbents would be eligible to run for re-election. (Rule 32(e)(2) and (4))

The candidate bios and responses to the following questions follow.

  • Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors?
  • What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? 
  • If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

The online election will launch on Tuesday, March 26 and will close at 5:00 p.m. on April 9.

For questions, please contact Carrie Sherman at 602.340.7201 or carrie.sherman@staff.azbar.org

Meet the candidates

 *Asterisk = Incumbent

District 2: Yavapai County

Photo of Sharon Marie Flack
*Sharon Marie Flack
Musgrove Drutz Kack & Flack, P.C.

I was born in Detroit and attended college nearby. Upon early graduation from Arizona State University’s law school, in 2002 I began practicing in Cottonwood.  I am currently a partner at Musgrove Drutz Kack & Flack in Prescott.

In addition to serving as the 2018-2019 District 2 representative, I have been involved in various organizations, including: Yavapai County Bar Association (past President); Arizona Trial Lawyers Association; Federal District Court Local Rules of Practice Committee; State Bar Military Legal Assistance Committee; Yavapai County Superior Court Pro Tem Judicial Appointment Committee;  Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters Board of Directors; Yavapai County Women Lawyers; and Every Native Vote Counts.  I am a member in good standing of the Navajo Nation Bar Association and White Mountain Apache Tribal Court.


     Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

Thank you for electing me to serve as your 2018-2019 District 2 Representative.  As a Yavapai County resident, I am proud to be part of our growing and diverse legal community.  Although ‘online legal services’ compete with the traditional ‘brick and mortar’ model, I believe that there will continue to be a need for personalized legal representation.  This means advocates who understand the intricacies of law, possess the skills to wisely apply the law to their client’s unique circumstance, and – when necessary – change the law.  Consequently, it is critical that our State Bar continue to offer both mentoring services and educational resources to its members, not only in an online, ‘streaming’ format, but also in-person, including live CLE programs in our more rural areas.  This is a critical component of fostering professional working relationships among the members so they can interact on a personal level and create a mentorship atmosphere for new Bar members.  This was an important goal as president of the Yavapai County Bar Association.  As your representative, one of my goals is to advocate for such programs, thereby ensuring our profession’s delivery of quality legal services and the State Bar’s core mission of protecting the public.

District 3: Gila, Graham and Greenlee Counties

Photo of Hector M. Figueroa
*Hector M. Figueroa
Town of Payson Attorney

A 1988 graduate of Arizona College of Law. Former City of South Tucson Chief Magistrate (5 years). Former City of South Tucson City Attorney (12 years). Former City of Willcox City Attorney (5 years). Current Town of Payson Town Attorney (almost 4 years). Current District 3 Member on the Board of Governors (3 years). Designated Board Liaison to the SBA Indian Law Section. SBA President’s appointment to the Senior Lawyer Task Force. A Member of the Native American Bar Association.


     Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

I am interested in running for re-election to the Board. Have served since chosen to replace the Hon. Bryan Chambers 3(+) years ago. I was elected to District 3 by my fellow attorneys in District 3 (Gila, Graham & Greenlee). Significant issues include working with new CEO. The Mandatory Bar decision and State Legislature will need Board participation. I personally know 4 of the newly elected Legislators and Senators. I hope to assist with these issues by actively participating on the Board.

District 4: Cochise County

Photo of D. Christopher Russell
D. Christopher Russell
The Russell's Law Firm, P.L.C.

I attended Gonzaga Law School and graduated in 1996.  I am barred in Washington, Arizona and Idaho.  I served as a U.S. Army Judge Advocate from 1997 until retirement in 2015.  As a Judge Advocate, I served as a legal assistance attorney, a Federal Torts Claims Act attorney, prosecutor, Brigade Judge Advocate, ethics advisor, liaison to foreign courts, Senior Defense Counsel, and Chief of Military Justice. I left active duty in 2003 and joined a Sierra Vista law firm where I ultimately became the managing partner.  I left that firm to open The Russell's Law Firm, PLC in 2012.  I currently focus our practice on personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice and criminal and military defense.

I enjoy traveling with my family, sailing, scuba diving, kite boarding, hiking, biking and general adventuring. I have four children, and three grandchildren.


     Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

I believe it is important for the attorneys in our county to have a voice and advocate at the state level. As a trial lawyer, and retired U.S. Army Judge Advocate, I have the experience and awareness to recognize the trending degradation in our citizen's abilities to get equal access to justice.  In the work that we do, we all typically see people who are most vulnerable and in need of passionate, competent and understanding attorneys. To that end, we, as their advocates, must be attentive and dedicated to ensuring that the rules are set to allow people the access to the justice system that they are entitled and to protect their rights.  If elected, in addition to being our voice at the state level, I will seek appointment to the Rules Committee so that I can be an advocate for our attorneys, as well as for our citizens.

District 5: Pima and Santa Cruz Counties

Photo of Thomas J. Bouman
Thomas J. Bouman
Bouman Law Firm

Thomas J. Bouman provides legal counsel in the areas of estate planning, estate administration, and asset protection. He brings a highly systematic approach to the practice of law, which is critically important when wading through the complex, and often bizarre, legal requirements associated with estate and trust law.  Tom’s law firm evidences his entrepreneurial spirit, his desire to teach, and his passion for integrating new technology into the legal profession.

Tom is author of the Arizona Estate Administration Answer Book and a prominent member of WealthCounsel, the nation’s premiere organization of estate planning attorneys.

Tom is a graduate of the University of Arizona College of Law (2000) and the University of Michigan.  Tom resides with his wife and four daughters in northeast Tucson.


     Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

I intend to provide enthusiastic representation for all State Bar members in Pima and Santa Cruz counties, with a special emphasis on solo and small firm attorneys.  I also recognize the State Bar’s renewed efforts to adapt to new technology in the marketing and practice of law and want to contribute my passion, skill, and experience toward achieving this objective.

As technology changes how we communicate and store information, the legal profession must adapt willingly and assertively to the changing expectations of the public regarding access to legal services and the administration of our court systems.  We must be realistic about the threats to our profession posed by society’s growing reliance on artificial intelligence and our own resistance to change.  By facing these challenges with a proper balance of analysis and synthesis, the legal profession can and will maintain its integral role in our society. 

If elected, I will work cooperatively with State Bar leadership to better understand how the legal profession can serve the residents of Arizona and what role the State Bar should play in the process going forward.  I will pursue opportunities to get involved with projects that help the State Bar adapt to new technology.

Photo of Chris Gast
Chris Gast
University of Arizona College of Law

I currently serve as Director of the Foreign Diplomat Training Program in U.S. Law at the University of Arizona. This novel program trains foreign service officers posted to the United States on the fundamentals of American law. In the community, I am the three-time treasurer of the Pima County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, a commissioner on the City of Tucson Planning Commission, an executive committee member of the United Way of Tucson Young Leaders Society, and an informal policy advisor to a member of the Arizona legislature. I received my B.A. from Arizona State University and my J.D. from the James E. Rogers College of Law where I served as an editor for the Arizona Journal of Environmental Law & Policy.


     Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

I am running as a younger and non-traditional member of the Bar. Our organization needs new leaders who are willing to maintain the quality and standards of our profession while bringing diverse backgrounds and experiences to the table. Shortly after being admitted to the Bar, I was diagnosed with a rare blood disease that led to a bone marrow transplant and a double-hip replacement all before age 30. During this time, I received invaluable support from the Bar’s member services team while trying to navigate the early years of my career. If elected, I will focus on ensuring high quality services and enhancing our organization to be nimble and responsive. The State Bar of Arizona should be innovative and a leader in professional regulation. I support bold ideas and rejecting the “we’ve always done it that way” paradigm. As a young lawyer in the public sector, I am deeply committed to carefully justifying fees and costs. The profession must be accessible and costs should not be oppressive to entrepreneurs starting their own firms. In short, decisions are made by people who show up. And I am showing up. I would appreciate your support and your vote.

Photo of Leticia Marquez
Leticia Marquez
Federal Public Defender's Office

Leticia is a supervising attorney with the Federal Public Defender and has been with the office since 1999. Leticia has been an attorney for 23 years and practices in the area of federal habeas, and has experience in capital cases at all levels of appeal. She provides training locally and nationally on capital issues.

Leticia is also very involved in the legal community and with the State Bar. She serves on the board of the AMBA, is the immediate past Chair of the Bar Leadership Institute and served on the Rules of Professional Conduct (Ethics) Committee.

Leticia’s work has been recognized through various awards, including the second ever PCBA Robert J. Hooker Criminal Justice Award and the prestigious AJC Learned Hand Community Service Award.


     Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

As a diverse candidate from Tucson, I would bring a different perspective to the Board of Governors. The members of this Bar have different needs, and between specialization of practice and the differences between rural and urban settings, the State Bar's challenge is in meeting everyone's needs. Over the years, the State Bar has strived to be more inclusive for members outside the Phoenix metropolitan area, but more can be done. I hope to be a voice for District 5 while at the same time contributing to the professionalism of the State Bar.

Photo of Dee-Dee Samet
*Dee-Dee Samet
Dee-Dee Samet P.C.

Dee-Dee Samet, B.A., L.L.B, J.D. U of A.; past President Arizona Bar, Federal Bar Association (FBA), Tucson Chapter; Pima County Bar; Executive Committee, Federal Bar; past co-chair; Alternative Dispute Resolution Section and Worker’s Compensation Section. Judge Pro Tempore, Pima County Superior Court, 1985-present. Past Member, Committee on Examinations, Quick Court, Appellate Case Processing, Judicial Evaluation, Public Trust and Confidence in the Judiciary, State Judicial Evaluation Commission, State Judicial Council, Disabilities Committee; Past president and member Casa de Los Ninos Board, President Casa de los Ninos Foundation Board, 2017-present; Member Invisible Theatre Board, Alice Truman Award from Arizona Women Lawyers (AWLA), Sarah Herring Sorin Award AWLA; Fred Kay Award from the William Browning FBA, Tucson Chapter; Minority Bar Association Award, Soroptimist Award Advancing Status of Women.


     Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

There are still problems facing attorneys including independence of the judiciary, admission of lawyers, and regulation by the legislature. There are prospective changes to the practice of law due to the electronic age and the need for revisions of various rules.  This is critical to us as attorneys and District Five needs to have a strong voice. It is important that information from the various county bars, specialty bars and from interested attorneys is given to the Board before a decision is made. I am committed to seeing that this is accomplished.

It is important that the Bar benefit the public and allow access to the courts but we must also find ways to make our lives as lawyers more rewarding.  Working together we can improve the legal profession.  My experience working with the Bar, staff and many attorneys will help me represent you in a dedicated, responsive and efficient manner. Arizona stands for a progressive legal system. We need to continue to make our system the best for all those involved.  I hope you will vote for me to be a member of the Board and represent your interests.

District 6: Maricopa County

Photo of Kellen W. Bradley
Kellen W. Bradley
Levenbaum Trachtenberg, P.L.C.

Kellen Bradley is a trial lawyer with Levenbaum Trachtenberg.  Kellen focuses on representing plaintiffs in personal injury and wrongful death matters.  Prior to joining Levenbaum Trachtenberg, Kellen ran his own firm representing English and Spanish-speaking clients in criminal, bankruptcy, business and consumer matters through appellate levels and appearing in state and federal courts throughout the state.

Kellen is an Arizona native and graduated from Arizona State University for college and law school where he earned the Dean’s Award and Pro Bono Honors.  Kellen is a member of the Arizona Association for Justice and has been a member of the Thurgood Marshall Inn of Court since 2011, serving as President in 2017.

Outside of the office, Kellen enjoys spending free time traveling with his wife.


     Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

I am running for Board of Governors to advance the practice of law in Arizona and enhance access to justice. 

Today, members face issues including access to courts and justice for their clients, the economics of law practice, work and life balance, ethics challenges, and technology changes.  If elected, I would bring all of my background and experience working in small and large law firms to address these issues and others. 

Over seven million Arizonans need lawyers to provide the opportunity for justice.  Helping Arizonans find the right lawyer to navigate the legal landscape is of the utmost importance.  Recent developments from the Bar itself now include offering lawyers the ability to search for potential clients with specific needs.  This progress dovetails with technological advancement and communication tools now available to lawyers, clients, and the courts.  Such growth should continue in the future to further promote the State Bar’s Mission to serve and protect the public.

As a member of the Board of Governors, I will champion the Mission of the State Bar under the supervision of the Arizona Supreme Court in helping to oversee thousands of practitioners.

I would greatly appreciate your support and the privilege to serve.

 

Photo of Trent R. Buckallew
Trent R. Buckallew
Law Offices of Trent R. Buckallew

I began my career working for the Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office where I became a Senior Attorney in that organization before leaving to start my own law practice.  Since May 2004, I have maintained a private practice where I represent individuals in both criminal and DUI cases statewide.  I also maintain a civil defense practice where I represent individuals facing involuntary civil commitment proceedings, as well as representing individuals under the jurisdiction of the Psychiatric Security Review Board at the Arizona State Hospital.


     Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

It would be an honor to serve on the Board of Governors representing Maricopa County and its diverse group of lawyers.  Fiscal management and responsibility remains one of the primary functions of the Board of Governors and if elected my priority would include advocating fiscal discipline to maintain the solvency of the State Bar of Arizona by working to resolve the current fiscal deficits in the budget.  According to the most recent Finance and Audit Committee (F&AC) Report (released at the time of this writing) the year to date loss on the budget was estimated at $144,000 primarily resulting from higher than expected IT expenses.  These increased IT expenses, when combined with overall reduced revenues in other categories including Dues Penalty Revenues (down $130K), Court Discipline expense ($38K less than budgeted) and unanticipated legal expenses ($36K higher than anticipated) have combined to create a current budgetary challenge that needs to be properly addressed by the incoming Board.  Additionally, in furtherance of the State Bar stated mission to assist with lawyer regulation and discipline [Supreme Court Rule 32(a)(2)(D)] I would be a strong advocate for policies and procedures that insure lawyers are treated fairly within the disciplinary system.

Photo of Tyler J. Carrell
*Tyler J. Carrell
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie, L.L.P.

Tyler Carrell is an Arizona native and a real estate and banking attorney at Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP.  Tyler currently serves on the State Bar of Arizona Board of Governors and is the Treasurer of the Maricopa County Bar Association (MCBA).  Tyler is passionate about serving the legal community, and in 2015, became the first attorney in Arizona history to serve concurrently as the President of the State Bar and MCBA Young Lawyers Division.  In 2017, Tyler received the MCBA's Steven A. Hirsch Outstanding Young Lawyer Award.  Tyler has also served on several bar committees.  When he is not participating in Bar activities, Tyler enjoys spending time with his wife and poorly coaching his two sons in tee ball and soccer.


     Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

If re-elected, I will continue my commitment to increasing the Bar's value to members and the general public.  I believe my service on the Bar's Finance and Audit Committee as well as the Strategic Planning Committee gives me a unique perspective on the challenges for the Bar and how to address them.  I will continue to support policies that focus on:


• Controlling the Bar's expenses
• Avoiding unnecessary dues increases
• Protecting the independence of the judiciary
• Addressing concerns including technology, wellness, and succession planning

In my time on the Board of Governors and as an officer of the Maricopa County Bar Association (MCBA), I have worked to create and promote quality programming and services using the most modern and efficient methods.  I remain committed to finding new ways to ensure Arizona lawyers are well positioned in the changing legal landscape.  With your support, I believe we can improve the diversity in our profession, promote the public service of our members, and increase access to justice in our communities.

Photo of David R. Fuller
David R. Fuller
City of Phoenix Public Defender’s Office

I have been an attorney practicing in Arizona for approximately 27 years.  I have practiced in Federal Court, District of Arizona, Superior courts in Maricopa and Pinal counties, along with numerous Municipal and Justice Courts around the valley.  I am a frequent CLE presenter in the areas of criminal law and improv for lawyers.  I am an active member of our State Bar Association, on several Boards and Committees.  Perhaps more importantly, I am also actively involved in many community groups and organizations.  I embrace the diversity of life.  I am committed, in everything I do, to finding innovative and interesting ways to reach out and touch the lives of people.  Whatever the challenge, whatever the opportunity, my approach will always be positive and imaginative.


     Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

We need to be there for our members.  I would welcome the opportunity to serve on the State Bar Board of Governors and advocate for those in public service and private practice, who give their time and resources to assist others navigate the legal landscape.  I have worked both as a Public Defender and a private practitioner during my 27 years of practicing law.  I operated a successful small firm, where keeping the doors open and lights on was often a challenge.  I am aware of the difficulties of both private and public practice.


I have been active in developing, coordinating and presenting CLE to many attorneys.  I would like to assist the State Bar with the development and direction of our CLE programs.


The State Bar is an asset to its members and bringing the message to members across the state is important.  A very real by-product of taking on others’ troubles is stress.  The ABA reports that lawyers experience depression, substance abuse and suicide at higher rates than the general population.  The State Bar has the resources and influence to make a difference in the personal lives and professional careers of attorneys.  I would like to help.

Photo of Mark I. Harrison
Mark I. Harrison
Osborn Maledon, P.A.

B.A., Antioch College, 1957; L.L.B., Harvard Law School, 1960; Law clerk for Justice Lorna E. Lockwood, 1960-61.  I have remained continuously active in the private practice of law and am a partner at Osborn Maledon.  I served as President of the MCBA (1969-70); the State Bar (1975-76); the Arizona Bar Foundation (1991); in the ABA House of Delegates from 1981-2000; on the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession; the Brown v. Bd. of Education Commission; and as Chair of the ABA Commission to Revise the Model Code of Judicial Conduct.  I received the Walter E. Craig Award from the State Bar in 2002.  My wife, Ellen, and I have been married for 60+ years and we have two daughters and two granddaughters.


     Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

I want to serve on the Board of Governors (“BOG”) because of my admittedly immodest belief that my experience would add value to the work of the BOG.  I have been actively involved in the private practice of law and in local, state and national bar issues for more than fifty years.  I believe that experience equips me to help the BOG constructively address and resolve issues affecting all Arizona lawyers and the Bar as an organization serving its members and the public.  Some of the issue the BOG is likely to confront are perennial:  how to better serve the public; how to improve the lives of lawyers; how to improve the discipline system.  An issue which has been raised in the past but which the BOG and the Supreme Court may be forced to once again address is whether the Bar should continue as an integrated (i.e., mandatory) or voluntary bar.  If elected, I would encourage the BOG to make its decision-making process as transparent and democratic as possible by soliciting and listening to the views of as many lawyers and specialty bars (there are 13 listed on the Bar website) as possible.

 

 

Photo of Christopher R. Kaup
Christopher R. Kaup
Tiffany & Bosco, P.A.

Education:  Lehigh University, B.A. History 1988.   University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., 1991.


Practice Areas: Commercial Bankruptcy; Creditors Rights; Commercial Litigation.


Professional Activities:

American Bar Association - Member of Council, Membership Committee and Publications Board of the General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division.  Member of the Joint Ad Hoc Committee on Bankruptcy and Insolvency Process.

State Bar of Arizona - Member of Bankruptcy Section.

Turnaround Management Association - Former President and Current Member of Board of Directors of the Arizona Chapter of the TMA.

Other Activities:

Penn/Wharton Alumni Club of Phoenix - Member, Board of Directors.

Orangewood Presbyterian Church - Former Member of the Session (governing board) and Former Chair of the Finance Committee.

Lehigh University Alumni Club of Phoenix- Former Member of Board of Directors.


     Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

I want to serve on the Board of Governors to develop programs to help the practice adapt to the challenges facing lawyers in 2018. Through my work in the ABA I learned about difficulties currently confronting lawyers and the clients they serve. Attorneys in all types of firms face increasing competition from the number of recent graduates and price pressures from clients. Negative consequences include many lawyers setting up their own firms with little experience and firms being unable to train associates by staffing matters with young lawyers. Many clients eschew hiring lawyers due to concerns regarding costs and unfamiliarity with finding quality legal assistance. Often to their own detriment they will use on line resources or attempt to handle matters on their own. If elected to the Board, I would like to develop intense practice skills programs in diverse areas for new attorneys, whether they practice as solos or in larger firms, run by the State Bar. In addition, I would like to build programs for consumers and small business persons about the options available to them. Finally, I want to learn how the State Bar can work with technology vendors to make software and hardware more affordable to smaller firms.

Photo of Michael Kielsky
Michael Kielsky
Udall Shumway, P.L.C.

Partner at Udall Shumway in Mesa. Admitted in Arizona, California, Arizona U.S. District Court. Practice areas include criminal defense, representing clients before administrative agencies, professional boards. 2001 summa and first in class graduate, Thomas Jefferson S.o.L., member of Law Review. East Valley Bar Association President 2011-12 and 2016-19. Maricopa County Bar Association Board Member since 2012, Executive Committee as of 2019. Community Legal Services Board Member since 2016, Executive Committee since 2018. Generations After, Descendants of Holocaust Survivors Board Member, 2013-18. Glendale Judicial Selection Advisory Board Member as of 2019. Libertarian candidate for Maricopa County Attorney in 2008, 2010, and 2012. Eagerly anticipating Fleck v. Wetch, U.S. Supreme Court case 17-886, petition granted, judgment vacated, remanded in light of Janus, 585 U.S. __ (2018).


     Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

The legal profession remains under significant pressures. The Bar must lead the way (not obstruct) efforts to align our profession with the new realities. Pioneering, championing, and guiding rule changes to better reflect modern practices must be a part of this, and we must anticipate some of the trends that are already looming on the horizon.

The Bar must squarely face that it will either change or it will be ordered to change. The warning signs are there and can no longer be ignored: Fleck v. Wetch, U.S. Supreme Court case 17-886, petition granted, judgment vacated, remanded in light of Janus, 585 U.S. ___ (2018). A mandatory, integrated bar, especially one doing anything outside of the core functions of regulating the legal profession and improving legal services is soon to be history. The Bar needs leaders who are focused on the future, the changes that are coming, who are willing to make the difficult decisions. I will be one of those leaders.

Photo of Lawrence Koplow
Lawrence Koplow
Koplow Law Firm

Lawrence Koplow is in private practice focusing in the area DUI and Criminal defense. Lawrence's practice involves litigating issues concerning the use of forensic toxicology, metrology and laboratory quality control.  He is a proud graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.


Lawrence is a former prosecutor with the Maricopa County Attorneys' Office and a trial lawyer for over 18 years. In 2015, Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice presented him with an "Outstanding Contribution to DUI Defense Award.”


Recently, while still in private practice, Lawrence also became Of Counsel to the ASU Law Group located in the Beus Center for Law and Society.  Lawrence supervises recent graduates of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law in the area of criminal defense.


     Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

We can do better. There are too many people that feel completely disconnected from our State Bar. There are too many people that only think about the Bar when our dues statement comes, or when we see someone we know in the back of its magazine.  For too many people, these events are their only connection to our Bar.

To be candid, I don’t know how we got here - a time when so many people feel the State Bar is like an exclusive club within our profession.  Regardless of whether these feelings match the reality of what actually happens at the State Bar, too many of its members feel this way.  Too many people feel they are not part of the club.


However, it does not have to be this way.  We are not obligated to keep the status quo.  We are self-governing.  We choose what we are.  We have the privilege of electing who we want.  If you feel the same as I do, let’s act to ensure that we all feel we are in the club.  Let’s do better.

Photo of Michael Mainwold
Michael Mainwold
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community

My name is Michael Mainwold.  I graduated with my J.D. from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University and was admitted to the State Bar in 2013.  While in law school, I earned the Indian Legal Certificate and focused my studies on Federal Indian Law with the goal of practicing in and on behalf of Indian Country.  I am an enrolled member of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community located in Scottsdale, Arizona, and currently serve as in-house counsel for the tribe.  I feel extremely privileged to work for my tribe and to contribute towards the continued success of my tribe.  I am married and have two young children – a 3-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son.

 


     Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

As a member of the State Bar since 2013, I offer a fresh perspective on the Bar and the services it provides to its members and to the public.  I am a young attorney serving as in-house counsel for my tribal community.  I recently participated in the Bar Leadership Institute (2017-2018), and was introduced to many of the programs and benefits that the Bar offers to its members.  During that time, it became clear to me that the Bar offers significant value; however, that value is diminished when its members and associations do not actively work together on a regular basis to achieve their goals.

 

My vision for the State Bar is to see effective leadership that represents its membership and collaborates with sister bar associations to achieve its mission.  I will work to keep dues low without reducing the services offered by the Bar; to advocate for innovative solutions to modern challenges; and to maintain high standards for the Bar moving forward.  I seek your vote for the Board of Governors to allow me to serve our membership and the public in achieving the Bar’s mission.

Photo of Robert J. McWhirter
*Robert J. McWhirter
The Law Offices of Robert J. McWhirter

Robert J. McWhirter is a nationally and internationally known speaker and author on trial advocacy, immigration law, and the history of the bill of rights.  He is a frequent guest on Arizona Horizon and KJZZ as a Constitutional expert and historian. 

McWhirter is a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law and is a well-known author on legal subjects and constitutional history.  The ABA published McWhirter’s book BILLS, QUILLS, AND STILLS: THE HISTORY OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS (working title) in 2014 and THE CRIMINAL LAWYER’S GUIDE TO IMMIGRATION LAW: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS, 2nd Ed. 2006 and THE CITIZENSHIP FLOWCHART, 2007.  McWhirter has served on the ABA’s Criminal Justice Section and its Standards Committee writing the CRIMINAL JUSTICE STANDARDS.  McWhirter continues his private practice in criminal defense.


     Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

Being a lawyer is always challenging and these times are no exception. The State Bar can provide us a great deal of support and I want to continue to help its focus in both protecting the public by helping our members. I wanted to join the Board of Governors to keep us as lawyers significant and provide every support possible to the practicing lawyer.

Photo of Pouria Paknejad
Pouria Paknejad
Paknejad Law, P.L.C.

My professional career has been dedicated to helping fellow attorneys.
* State Bar of Arizona Board of Governors (2016-2017)
- Chairman, Diversity and Inclusion Working Group
- Worked to keep bar dues at current rates while expanding attorney services
- Worked to improve the quality of the Bar by formalizing our Bar Leadership Institute
- Worked to End-of-Life the expensive and antiquated AZBar email system, which led to improved cybersecurity and better email options for members.

* President, North Phoenix Bar Association
* Secretary-Treasurer, Maricopa County Bar Association Litigation Section
* Judicial Performance Review Commission of the Supreme Court of Arizona
* Judge Pro Tempore, Maricopa County Superior Court
* Law Clerk to Hon. Jay Gandhi & Hon. Patrick Walsh, U.S. District Ct., C.D. Calif.


     Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

As your District 6 representative on the Board of Governors, I will continue pledging my time and attention to the following:
* Engage the state legislature to address their concerns regarding the State Bar
* Protect our independent judiciary from legislative interference
* Maximize Bar efficiency through careful examination of its programs
* Build on a modern referral network that benefits members as well as the public
* Increase your access to business through fewer, but better quality, networking events

The State Bar can and should serve its attorneys while protecting the public. I will continue working on your behalf to educate Arizonans on the value of our profession, of the importance of maintaining a self-regulated Bar, and of the indispensability of an independent judiciary. If you share my vision for the future of practice in Arizona, then I ask for your vote.

Photo of Greg Patterson
Greg Patterson
Munger Chadwick

Greg has worked as a:
• Certified Public Accountant--BSBA from University of Arizona 1985
• Attorney - Sandra Day O'Connor School of Law Class of 2009
• Legislator—Arizona State Representative 1991 to 1995
• Advocate—Residential Utility Consumer Office Director 1995 to 1999
• Chief of Staff—Arizona State Senate 1999 to 2001
• Director—Maricopa County Special Health Care District (MIHS) Board of Directors 2008 to 2012
• Regent—Arizona Board of Regents 2012 to 2017


     Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

The legal profession is undergoing the same types of fundamental changes that have already disrupted professions such as journalism, accounting, retail sales and healthcare.  Meanwhile, the profession also has to contend with the public’s increasing distrust in institutions that used to be considered fundamental to an organized society. As a result of these fundamental shifts, members of the Bar are facing increased economic and societal pressure.  If elected to the Board of Governors, I would work to broaden the level of service that the Bar provides to members while working to keep fees a low as possible.  I would also work to increase the standing of the legal community.  In addition to being an attorney, I am a CPA with nearly 30 years of public policy experience.  I served four years in the State House of Representatives, four years as Director of the Residential Utility Consumer Office, four years on the board of Maricopa Integrated Healthcare System and five years on the Board of Regents. I believe that I can use this experience to help the Board of Governors work with other stakeholders in order to increase the Bar’s responsiveness to members as well as its standing in society.

Photo of Jennifer R. Rebholz
*Jennifer R. Rebholz
Perry Childers Hanlon & Hudson, P.L.C.

I have been an active member of the Arizona Bar and its sister bars for over 12 years.  In 2014 I was elected to serve as a district representative for District 6, Maricopa County.  I have served on the Finance Committee and the Rules Committee.  I also have had the pleasure of serving on the Board for the Arizona Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the State Bar.  I am currently the public relations chair for the Bar Foundation.

I am an Arizona native who attended NAU and then Gonzaga University School of Law.  I returned to Tucson and started working as in-house counsel for Farmers Insurance.  I have since moved to Phoenix and just recently started working at Perry Childers Hanlon & Hudson.


     Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

I am running for re-election to the Board of Governors so that I can continue to provide quality representation to the members of District 6 (Maricopa County).  My civil litigation practice and experience allow me to be a voice for attorneys who have to use the Rules of Civil Procedure on a regular basis.  In my past terms, I have consistently brought the concerns of Maricopa County attorneys to the attention of the Board during discussions surrounding the changing rules.  Although rule changes continue to happen, the Board and the Supreme Court are made aware of the concerns of the practicing lawyers.

Additionally, I am an active member of several other organizations, including Arizona Association of Women Lawyers, Arizona Bar Foundation, Maricopa County Bar Association, Arizona Association of Defense Lawyers and American Board of Trial Advocates.  Belonging to these organizations allows me to bring the multiple perspectives from these groups to the Board of Governors.  I believe that it is important that our sister bars are supported by the State Bar and I will continue to make sure that they are.

Photo of Sam Saks
*Sam Saks
Smith Saks, P.L.C.

Sam Saks has served the Bar for over twelve years as a member of the Board of Governors, the Rules Committee, and chair of the Technology Committee. He has been active in the MCBA, the Thurgood Marshall Inn of Court, and the Solo and Small Firm Section. Sam practices commercial litigation at Smith Saks, PLC. Before joining the firm, Sam clerked at the Arizona Court of Appeals. Sam graduated from the University of Michigan and Wayne State University Law School, where he was the executive articles editor of the law review. Sam believes the Bar should make the lives of attorneys easier so they can focus on representing their clients, not Bar regulations. For more information and to view Sam’s voting record, visit www.SamForBOG.com.


     Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

If re-elected, I will continue working to increase the Bar’s value to members and the public. Among other things, I will work to:

• Keep dues low
• Simplify lawyer reporting requirements
• Increase free networking and referral opportunities
• Support the independence of the sections and voluntary bar organizations
• Control the Bar’s expenses

With good leadership, the Bar can improve every member’s practice—without instituting additional regulations. I will push to reform the rules governing our practice to make them more efficient and sensible while assuring the public is protected. For example, I will advocate for revamping CLE to make it easier to earn and track credits. I will also work to make selected Bar seminars and publications free. The Bar can do more to enhance professional development. If re-elected, I will ensure the Bar provides meaningful networking and referral opportunities. Finally, I will continue to advocate for controlling the Bar’s expenses rather than increasing dues.

With the Bar’s first new CEO in over ten years, electing Board members with experience is important. I have served the Bar for over twelve years, most recently as a member of the Board of Governors and the Rules Committee. For more information about me, visit www.SamForBOG.com

Photo of Jessica S. Sanchez
*Jessica S. Sanchez
Udall Shumway, P.L.C.

Mrs. Jessica Sanchez is a native Arizonan.  She received her undergraduate degree from Northern Arizona University and her juris doctor from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.

Mrs. Sanchez has practiced law since 2007 and focuses her practice primarily in the area of education law, representing school districts and charter schools throughout the state.  Mrs. Sanchez is a partner at Udall Shumway PLC, and has also served as in-house legal counsel for the Scottsdale Unified School District and the General Counsel for the three Tempe school districts.

Mrs. Sanchez serves on the Arizona State Bar Board of Governors, and is active in the Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association, the Hispanic National Bar Association, and the Maricopa County Bar Association.


     Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

I hope to be re-elected so that I can continue to serve District 6, the Bar, and the community.  Throughout my legal career, I have served in local, affinity, and other bar organizations and associations.  After participating in the Bar Leadership Institute, I became aware of how truly valuable the program and services are at the State Bar for both its members and the community.  After BLI, I served on the Bar’s Appointments Committee for almost five years (chair 2017-2018).  I had the privilege of being elected to the Board of Governors in 2017.  I continue to participate on several BOG committees.

Our members face a diverse array of challenges, including but not limited to increased competition for work, limited resources, maintaining a work-life balance, and finding purpose and ways to contribute to the greater good and society.  I believe in the mission and in the work of the State Bar to continuously evaluate and innovate programs and resources to meet all those challenges.  If re-elected I will continue to be an advocate for members, the community and all stake holders to have a place at the table to enable the Bar to meet the challenges of the future.

Photo of Sara A. Siesco
*Sara A. Siesco
Jones Raczkowski, P.C.

Sara is a 5th generation Arizonan who attended Xavier College Prep, the UofA, and KU Law.  She has been peer-voted as a Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Star (2014 to 2019) and has served as a District 6 Governor on the Arizona State Bar Governing Board (2017 to 2019).  She co-chairs the Ethics Seminar for the Arizona Association for Justice, was a faculty member at the Ethics Seminar and at the MCBA’s Personal Injury Seminar Series, has presented on the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and was moot court judge at national college competitions.  She is also a member of the AZ Women Lawyers Association and the American Association for Justice.  She has volunteered with many community organizations and is an avid outdoors-woman and runner.


     Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

For the past two years, I have had the privilege of serving on the Board of Governors.  That experience gave me valuable insight about the current issues confronting the Board and the mechanics of addressing and resolving matters important to the public and to practicing lawyers.  It is interesting and thrilling to have been involved in that process and to have the opportunity to work alongside some of Arizona’s most dynamic citizens and leaders.  It is my hope to continue working with an organization that truly affects society in a positive way.


The single greatest problem facing our profession is the cost of participation in legal proceedings or anything having to do with lawyers.  Certain lawyers I know cynically joke about the fact that they cannot afford one another’s services.  Legal advice and assistance are not available to a large portion of the public and that is a situation that must be addressed.  How?  Through the consistent encouragement of volunteer work for lawyers, or, perhaps through a mandate compelling licensed attorneys to participate in some form of pro bono work annually.  My preference is for non-coerced volunteer time which, I believe, most attorneys would gladly provide if organized by the State Bar.

Photo of Benjamin P. Taylor, II
*Benjamin P. Taylor, II
Taylor & Gomez, L.L.P.

Benjamin Taylor is a partner at the law firm of Taylor & Gomez, LLP.  Taylor’s practice focuses on personal injury, family, criminal, and death penalty cases. He has been a media legal analyst. Taylor earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Arizona and a B.S. in Finance from Arizona State University.  He has worked for the Pima County Attorney’s Office and the Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office. Mr. Taylor is a board member of the Maricopa County Bar Association. Taylor was recognized as a top 35 entrepreneur under 35 by the Arizona Republic.  He has volunteered at the Veteran’s Stand Down for eleven years. Taylor was a 40 Under 40 National Bar Association and Phoenix Business Journal recipient. He is a Valley Leadership graduate.


     Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

Too many attorneys view the State Bar as punitive rather than supportive. If elected to the Board of Governors, I will work to elevate the Bar’s role as a resource for attorneys, especially for new attorneys. I will bring value and new ideas to the Board of Governors and further relationships with other legal and community organizations. My door will be open to make sure all attorneys are heard. I will listen to our members and put attorneys first so that they can fulfill their legal and professional obligations to their clients and society.

My top goals will be to:  

1) Make sure the Bar is here to help attorneys, not hurt them.

2) Fight to make sure that Bar dues are NOT increased

3) Ensure Bar dues promote and help attorneys.

4)  Increase communication with other Sister Bars.

5) Increase a working relationship with the Maricopa County Bar Association.

If elected, I will make sure that our members are the priority.  I will not be afraid to speak out and stand up for the rights of attorneys as they stand up for clients.

District 7: La Paz and Yuma Counties

Photo of Jimmie Dee Smith
*Jimmie Dee Smith
Attorney at Law

Education:  Associates Degree, Arizona Western College; B.S. Degree, Northern Arizona University; J.D. Degree, Arizona State University, College of Law

Professional Background:  Private Practice of Law (Solo) in Yuma, Arizona since 1970.  Branch Office in Parker, Arizona 1971-1975.

Professional Certification:  Certified Bankruptcy Law Specialist

I have been a member of the State Bar Board of Governors since 1998.  If re-elected, I will attend all Board meetings and continue to voice the views of rural Arizona lawyers from Yuma and La Paz counties.

 


     Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

Two significant issues facing members of the State Bar of Arizona and the State Bar organization are:  [1] continuing efforts from within and outside the Bar to eliminate mandatory bar membership and [2] inability of law graduates (new lawyers) to obtain employment.

I will continue to support the Bar’s opposition to proposals that would restructure the Bar and make the State Bar of Arizona a voluntary bar association.

There are more new lawyers than available jobs for new lawyers.  I will continue to support any and all programs of the State Bar and the law schools that will assist recent law graduates with learning the skills necessary to begin practice in the real world.

Re-electing me to the Board of Governors will not make America Great Again but I will continue to voice the views and concerns of the lawyers in Yuma and La Paz counties.

District 8: Pinal County

Photo of Denis M. Fitzgibbons
*Denis M. Fitzgibbons
Fitzgibbons Law Offices, P.L.C.

Educational Background:
1986 Graduate of Columbia College in New York
1989 Graduate of Arizona State University College of Law

Work Experience:
1989 to 1993 Associate with Snell and Wilmer, Phoenix, Arizona
1993 to present Fitzgibbons Law Offices, P.LC.

Judge Pro Tem for Pinal County Superior Court
Arbitrator with American Arbitration Association since 1995

Memberships and Associations:
American Bar Association
State Bar of Arizona, member
State Bar of Arizona, Board of Governors, District 8 representative (2015-present)
Pinal County Bar Association (Past President, 1996)
Pinal and Gila Counties Legal Aid Society (Past President, 1994)
Maricopa County Bar Association
Access Arizona—Economic Development Foundation (Past President)


     Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

For the last three years, I enjoyed the distinct honor to serve as District 8 representative on the Board of Governors. I appreciate the opportunity to serve in that capacity and hope to continue.

The SBA faces significant issues and opportunities with a new Executive Director; providing relevant and cost effective services and programs for our members; and looking forward, potentially reexamining the structure of the SBA. With my experience on the BOG, I believe I can offer leadership concerning these issues.

The SBA must assist our members to effectively manage the evolving economic environment, the demands of clients, advances in technology, and create an environment which provides everyone access to justice. Our profession evolves rapidly; members need to adapt quickly: while balancing their personal and professional lives.

As your District 8 representative, I promise to work hard to provide access to justice, to strive diligently to increase the standing of our professionals in our community, to continue to listen intently to any concerns you express and put a full measure of effort into addressing them. In service of these pursuits for our profession, I humbly ask for your support.




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