Ethics Q&A
Q: ER 1.5 now requires that lawyers communicate in writing to their clients (1) the scope of representation and (2) the basis or rate of the fee and expenses for which the client will be responsible. Does the lawyer need to get the client's signature to make the "fee agreement" binding?

A: No, unless the lawyer is charging a contingent fee, the client does not need to sign the document. See the new ER 1.5.

Need ethics advice? Members of the State Bar can get free ethics advice concerning their own prospective conduct by calling the State Bar's Ethics Hotline at 602-340-7284.

Antitrust Revived
Antitrust law may be on the upswing in Arizona, thanks to a recent Arizona Supreme Court case. Read how it may lead to more antitrust suits and more national class action cases. Read the article.

Pay Your Dues Online
You can now pay your 2004 State Bar Dues online. It's secure and cost-efficient. Pay Now.

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Turning the Tables on Stress
Come explore personal, professional, and ethical survival of law practice and learn the impact of stress on you and solutions for a healthier and happier life in this all-day seminar on January 9, 2004. Seminar info.

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Kyl Urges Limit on Malpractice Awards
Arizona Senator Jon Kyl is pushing for new federal limits on malpractice lawsuits. Read more.

High Court to Hear Appeal of 9th Circuit's Mexican Trucking Ruling
The Supreme Court agreed to intervene in a two-decade-old fight over allowing Mexican trucks and buses on U.S. roadways. Read more.

O'Connor Again Decides Issue
The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding campaign finance once again reveals Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's role as the key swing vote on the nation's highest court. Read more.

Legislature Delays UTC
The effective date of the Uniform Trust Code, which was set for January 1, 2004, has been postponed until January 1, 2006. Read more. For more info contact the State Bar.

State Bar Creates Animal Law Section
More than 100 attorneys are getting ready to enroll in a new State Bar Section that will focus on laws relating to animals. Read more.

E-filing Required for Some Superior Court Cases
Beginning December 8, 2003, all designated complex civil cases are required to be electronically filed. Read more.

Arizona Court of Appeals
Division One Division Two

December 4, 2003 - SA 03-0185 - Parent v. State
May a sentencing court permit the State to allege prior felony convictions for sentence enhancements after another superior court judge has already accepted the defendant's guilty plea without any allegations of prior convictions? Read opinion.

December 10, 2003 - 2 CA-CV 2003-0009 - Bridgestone Firestone v. Montano
Despite Arizona's abolition of joint and several liability in A.R.S. § 12-2506, when the alleged fault of two tortfeasors caused a single accident and the same injuries and plaintiffs already recovered and received their full compensatory damages in a first action they deliberately filed against only one tortfeasor, do principles of satisfaction of judgment and collateral estoppel bar plaintiffs' subsequent action against the other tortfeasor for compensatory and punitive damages? Read opinion.

9th Circuit Court of Appeals

December 12, 2003 - No. 02-72723 - Biehl v. Comm. of Internal Revenue
Attorneys' fees paid to plaintiffs' lawyers pursuant to a settlement agreement with a previous employer must be treated as a miscellaneous itemized deduction, rather than an adjustment to gross income stemming from a reimbursed employee expense under I.R.C. section 62(a)(2)(A). "Services as an employee" were not being performed by the taxpayer at time of bringing suit, thus that section's requirements are not met. Read opinion.

December 12, 2003 - No. 02-56592 - Kalantari v. NITV, Inc.
The Iranian trade embargo does not prohibit the commercial importation of movies from Iran, the copyright of such movies, or the assignment to a United States person of rights to obtain and enforce such copyrights. Summary judgment for defendants is reversed and remanded. Read opinion.