Volume 11, No. 4 | February 14, 2012


eye on ethics

Q: I think another lawyer violated the ethical rules. Do I have to report her to the State Bar?

A: You must report only if the ethical violation raises a substantial question as to the other lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects. See ER 8.3(a).

azbar.org for more news about the State Bar.

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The Top 50
Read about the leading cases that shaped Arizona’s first 100 years. 

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member news

Successful Lawyer Call-In Show Focuses on Bankruptcy, Foreclosure: The State Bar would like to thank attorney volunteers Brian Blum, Diane Drain, Doug Edmunds, Tracy Essig, Macie Hawkes, Kristin Mathers, Leonard Sominsky, and Madeleine Wanslee for dedicating two hours of their time to answer an impressive 158 calls on the Lawyers on Call public service program on February 7. more�

In the news

Love and the Law in the Match.com Legal Department: Valentine’s Day nets lots of hearts for online dating company Match.com and, not surprisingly, lots of work for the legal department, led by general counsel Curt Anderson. The Dallas-based outfit, which counts 1.6 million paid subscribers and operates dating websites in 25 countries, typically garners a 130 percent uptick in subscribers between Christmas and Cupid’s busiest day, the Wall Street Journal reports. And that translates into a steady flow of peak-season contracts, Anderson says. more�

Law Allows Probate-free Transfer of Cars, Trucks: If you haven't checked on your estate plan in a while, here's a reason to do so: A fairly new state law allows people to make a probate-free transfer of cars and trucks at death. more�

from the bar

State Bar of Arizona Offices Closed: The State Bar will be closed on Monday, February 20 in observance of Presidents' Day. Regular business hours will resume on Tuesday, February 21.

Run For Election to the Board of Governors: Active members in District 6 (Maricopa County) are encouraged to run for an open seat on the State Bar of Arizona's Board of Governors. Nomination packages are due by March 5. more�

Reflections on the Holocaust and the Role of the Justice System: Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch and Dr. William Meinecke of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will join ASU Professor David Kader and Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk for a discussion that explores how the justice system failed Germany during WWII. more�

Superior Court of Arizona's South Court Tower Opens Today: Take a quick virtual tour of the Superior Court's new South Court Tower by clicking here. Changes in court security, services and building entrances are now in place. Click here for a memo from the Clerk of the Superior Court. If you have official court business, make sure to familiarize yourself with new security measures and court entrances. 

Are You Interested in Joining a State Bar Committee? Applications are available online and must be submitted by April 27, 2012. more�

Nominate a Colleague for Annual State Bar Awards: Here’s your chance to see that your colleagues, deserving of recognition, receive their just rewards. Nominations for the annual State Bar awards are now being accepted through March 16, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. more�

Explore Azbar.org in Language of Your Choice: Did you know that every page on the State Bar's website can be translated into 52 languages by simply selecting the language of your choice on the top right-hand corner of the webpage? more�

Work From Almost Anywhere? Learn How at ABA TECHSHOW 2012: Does the idea of working from home, your cottage, or even when travelling abroad sound like an impossible dream? Turn that dream into a reality! Don't miss the"Mobile Lawyering: Tools of the Trade" session. Read more on the ABA Techshow blog by clicking here.

Dead Man Walking Author Featured at two Arizona Events: Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty will share her journey of helping to spark a national dialogue on the death penalty. For more information on the events she will be featured in, click here.


court decisions

Arizona Court of Appeals

Division One
| Division Two

February 2, 2012 - CV 10-0690 - Higginbotham v. AN Motors
When an employee-driver’s job affords him significant “downtime” between driving assignments, does the doctrine of respondeat superior apply when the defendant is on a personal errand between assignments during his normal working hours and not acting in contravention of his employer’s instructions? Read Opinion.

January 27, 2012 - 2 CA-CV 2011-0070 - Democratic Party of Pima County v. Beth Ford; Pima County Board of Supervisors
Whether the trial court erred in denying an award of attorney fees, under A.R.S. � 39 121.02(B), after finding that neither party “substantially prevailed.” Whether the trial court erred in denying an award of costs, under A.R.S. � 12-341, in a special action brought pursuant to title 39, chapter 1, article 2. Read Opinion.


9th Circuit Court of Appeals

February 13, 2012 - 10–16778 - Watison v. Carter
In a prisoner's suit under 42 USC section 1983 against prison officials, the district court's dismissal of the complaint is: 1) affirmed as to the dismissal of an Eighth Amendment claim against two defendants; and 2) reversed as to four defendants, where the plaintiff sufficiently pleaded First Amendment retaliation claims against them. Read Opinion.


February 13, 2012 - 10–55163 - Hunt v. County of Orange
In a suit by a former lieutenant officer in the sheriff's department against the county sheriff under 42 USC section 1983 claiming that his placement on administrative leave and subsequent demotion were in unconstitutional retaliation for mounting an election challenge against the sheriff, the district court's judgment as a matter of law in favor of the sheriff is affirmed, where: 1) the officer did not fall into the policymaker exception to the general rule against politically motivated dismissals; but 2) the sheriff was entitled to qualified immunity because a government official in his position reasonably but mistakenly could have believed that political loyalty was required by someone with the officer's job responsibilities at the time he ran against the sheriff; and 3) the district co urt did not abuse its discretion in denying the plaintiff's motion to amend a pretrial conference order. Read Opinion.

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