Volume 11, No. 10 | May 8, 2012


eye on ethics

Q: I want to change the hourly rate I charge for my services. What notice do I have to give my current clients?

A: ER1.5(b) was recently amended to address this issue. Now, any changes in the basis or rate of the fee must be communicated to the client in writing before the higher fees or expenses are actually incurred.



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Bill of Rights Comedy Concert
All proceeds from Sunday’s comedy concert go toward creation of an Arizona Bill of Rights Monument -– the first in the nation.

Read Magazine




member news

50 State Bar Members Donate Their Time to Make a Difference: Too often lawyers are given a bad rap and it’s due, in part, to the few individuals who practice law in a manner that is less than acceptable. more»


In the news

Nation's Longest-serving Appeals Judge Dies in CA: James Browning, the nation's longest-serving federal appellate judge, has died. He was 93. more»

Judge Backs Firm's Demand for $414,000 in Fee Dispute: Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Adaby is due more than $414,000 in fees from a disgruntled client who contended the law firm mishandled the accounting of a stock transfer transaction and other matters in what became an acrimonious attorney-client relationship, a judge has ruled. more»

Defense in Penn St. Case Digs Into Accusers' Past: The alleged victims of the Penn State child sexual abuse scandal are finding there isn't much in their pasts that the defense isn't trying to find out. Jerry Sandusky's defense team wants to know their IQs, how well they did in school and even their medical histories. more»


from the bar

Maricopa County Voting Begins Tomorrow for Board of Governors Position: Online voting begins May 9 for the Board of Governors election in Maricopa County. You will receive an email that day from support@votenet.com that contains your login and password. Please be aware of any filters/blocks you have set up that may impede this communication from the vendor. Meet the candidates here. Make your vote count!

State Bar of Arizona Membership reaches 22,000: Membership in the State Bar of Arizona has reached 22,000 for the first time. Numbers released by the Bar show that in April its total membership reached 22,005. more»

Applications Now Open for 2012-13 Bar Leadership Institute: The Institute is a one-year program designed to foster the professional growth and enhance the leadership skills of a diverse group of Arizona attorneys. Learn how you can participate by clicking here.

Convention Fee Waiver Deadline this Friday: The State Bar of Arizona offers a limited number of seminar registration fee waivers to assist attorneys who are financially unable to attend the annual convention. The waiver applies to the continuing legal education programs only and entitles the recipient to attend any of the seminars during the convention at no cost. Applications must be received by Friday, May 11 and will be reviewed by the Convention Committee. Fee Waiver Form.

Conference Exhibitors Offer Solutions: Looking for solutions to make your law practice more efficient?  Click here to view the companies exhibiting at this year’s convention, as well as access direct links to their websites where you will learn about the specialized products and services they offer to the legal industry. These companies are demonstrating their involvement and support of the legal community. While you’re attending the convention this June, please plan to stop by their booths, get informed, and thank them for supporting the 2012 State Bar Annual Convention!

Tickets Available for Comedy Concert To Help Fund Bill of Rights Monument: There's still time to purchase tickets for the funniest event Arizona has ever seen, the Phoenix Comedy Festival. The show will be held on Sunday, May 13 at Symphony Hall.For more information and to see how you may participate click here.

court decisions

Arizona Court of Appeals
Division One
| Division Two

May 1, 2012 - CV 10-0350 - Nardelli v. Metropolitan
1. Should the court have granted Defendants’ motion for judgment as a matter of law on bad-faith liability? 2. Should the court have granted Defendants’ motion for judgment as a matter of law on Plaintiffs’ entitlement to punitive damages? 3.  Was the superior court’s punitive damage award constitutionally excessive? Read Opinion.

April 26, 2012 - 2 CA-CR 2010-0338 - State of Arizona v. David James Yonkman 
1. Under Maryland v. Shatzer and Edwards v. Arizona, was a suspect’s Fifth Amendment right to counsel violated when, after he invoked the right, he was invited by police to take a polygraph test and make a statement within the two-week window in which police must not initiate further communication? 2. Did the trial court err in admitting other-act evidence of which the defendant had been charged and acquitted? And, if the evidence was properly admitted, was the defendant entitled to inform the jury of the acquittal? Read Opinion.

9th Circuit Court of Appeals

May 8, 2012 - 11-35343 - Karl v. City of Mountlake Terrace
In an action by a former city employee under 42 USC section 1983, alleging retaliatory dismissal in violation of her First Amendment rights, the district court's denial of the defendant assistant chief of police's claim to qualified immunity is affirmed, where: 1) the plaintiff's speech was a matter of public concern; 2) the plaintiff spoke as a private citizen and not pursuant to her official job duties; 3) the defendant did not meet his burden to show that the city would have fired the plaintiff even in the absence of her protected speech activities; and 4) a reasonable official in the defendant's position would have known that it was unlawful to retaliate against an employee for providing subpoenaed deposition testimony in connection with a civil rights lawsuit alleging government misconduct. Read Opinion.

May 7, 2012 - 08-16728 Veterans for Common Sense v. Shinseki
In a suit brought by two nonprofit veterans organizations against the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Ninth Circuit en banc holds: 1) the district court lacked jurisdiction to reach the plaintiffs' statutory and due process challenges to alleged delays in the provision of mental health care and to the absence of procedures to challenge such delays; 2) the district court lacked jurisdiction to reach the plaintiffs' claims related to delays in the adjudication of service-related disability benefits; 3) the district court had jurisdiction to consider the plaintiffs' challenges to the alleged inadequacy of the procedures at the regional office level; and 4) the district court properly exercised that jurisdiction to deny the plaintiffs' claim on the merits. Read Opinion.



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