Q: Can several sole practitioners share a common receptionist and common phone number, for use by Spanish-speaking prospective clients?

A: Yes if the receptionist simply routes calls to lawyers in the group based upon practice area. Such an arrangement would not be deemed a "referral service," but appears to be group advertising. If the receptionist's only interaction with the prospective clients is to forward the calls to the appropriate attorney, then his or her common employment by the separate firms probably will not impute conflicts among the group members. Ariz. Op. 01-09.

Winning Attorneys

At this year's State Bar Convention, we honored some lawyers -- and some nonlawyers -- who went beyond the call of duty. See who was worthy of note. Read more...

Relegating Files to Inactive Status

Do you have an established (preferably in writing) procedure for handling client files once the matters contemplated in the retention have been completed?

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Mistrials blamed on Internet use
Several recent court cases in Maricopa County have ended in mistrials because jurors did research on the Internet during deliberations.

School Religious Groups Get Equal Benefits
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that student religious groups should be afforded the same First Amendment protections as other campus organizations.

Ashcroft wants to crack down on immigration judges
The court of last resort for many immigrants is about to undergo a radical transformation that lawyers say will result in more deportations and fewer grants of asylum.


Florence Project Sponsors Pro Bono Training
The Florence Project is sponsoring an immigration law pro bono training seminar on October 24th. The cost is free for attorneys who agree to take one pro bono case within the next year.
For more details...

2002 Criminal Code Sentencing Chart Available
The Arizona Supreme Court has released its annual sentencing chart in electronic format.

Federal Regulation of Corporate Attorneys
On July 30, 2002, the President signed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 into law. The Act (formerly H.R. 3763) subjects attorneys representing companies and accounting firms to new federal ethical standards.


Arizona Court of Appeals
Division One Division Two

September 12, 2002 - CV 01-0095 - Donlann v. Macgurn
Which state's law governs whether a foreign marriage is recognized as valid in Arizona? Is a marriage invalid under the law of Jalisco, Mexico recognized as valid in Arizona?
Read opinion...

September 12, 2002 - 2CA-CR 2000-0517 - State v. Booker
Did the trial court's jury instruction on premeditation essentially eliminate the distinction between first and second degree murder and, therefore, constitute reversible error?
Read opinion...

9th Circuit Court of Appeals

September 13, 2002 - No. 00-15652 - PMG Intl. Div., L.L.C. v. Rumsfeld
A ban on the sale or rental of sexually explicit material on Department of Defense property, under the Military Honor and Decency Act, is not government speech, and because military exchanges are non-public fora, the Act is a reasonable and viewpoint neutral regulation of speech.
Read opinion...

September 5, 2002 - No. 01-35184 - Neighbors of Cuddy Mountain v. Alexander
A challenge to the U.S. Forest Service's approval of a timber sale on national forest land is not moot merely because any violation already occurred, where harm to old growth species may yet be remedied by any number of mitigation strategies.
Read opinion...