Volume 12, No. 10 | May 14, 2013 

eye on ethics

Q: I have a long-term relationship with a company who is my client.  The person who owns the company now wants me to represent her as an individual in matters unrelated to the company.  Do I need a new fee agreement to  represent the owner?

A:  Yes. Generally, a fee agreement or other confirmatory writing is not required for regularly represented clients. Owners, managers, or officers who give authorization for a lawyer to act on behalf of an entity are not the entity itself, however.  The owner would therefore be a new client and must be provided with a written fee agreement or other confirmatory writing within a reasonable time of commencing the representation. ER 1.5 and ER 1.13.


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member news

Congratulations to This Year�s State Bar Award Winners! They are being recognized in sixteen different categories, including the Justice Michael D. Ryan Award for Judicial Excellence, Outstanding Young Lawyer Award, and President's Award.  Nominated by their peers, these members represent the best in Arizona's legal profession. Learn more about the award criteria and the winners' qualifications here.

In the news

Lawyers - Experts Diagnose Holmes' Mental Illness: Lawyers for Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes formally told a judge on Monday that he wants to change his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity after outside experts diagnosed his mental illness. more�

Judge Lashes Out at 'Fraud' in Porn Infringement Claims: A federal judge, describing a massive fraud involving the enforcement of copyrights to pornography, has referred four lawyers to licensing authorities for possible misconduct and to federal prosecutors for possible criminal violations of the U.S. Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. more�

Debating the Death Penalty for Arias: Piers Morgan and guests talk about the factors that may decide if Jodi Arias gets the death penalty or not. Watch video.

from the bar

More Volunteers Sought for Judicial Selection Commission: If you reside in Supervisorial District 4 or 5 in Pinal County, apply by June 6 to serve on the newly forming Pinal County Commission on Trial Court Appointments. more�

One Week Left to Vote in the 2013 Board of Governors Election: Six candidates are running for election in four Board districts. Election closes at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 22. more�

Violence Against Attorneys Survey Closes Tomorrow: The State Bar is conducting a study of all active and judicial members to determine if they have experienced threats and/or violence because of their profession. The results will be shared in a future issue of Arizona Attorney magazine. The survey takes less than five minutes. If you did not receive a link to the survey, please email Pat Giallanza or call 602.340.7226.

Ethics Committee Proposes Amending Conflicts Rule: The State Bar's Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct (Ethics Committee) is proposing that the State Bar file a rule-change petition to modify the ethical rules on screening and imputation of conflicts. more�

Mark Your Calendars for the 2013 State Bar of Arizona Convention: The State Bar of Arizona's Annual Convention, "Serving Justice," will be held from June 19th through the 21st at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix. The three-day convention promises to educate and inspire you by offering more than 45 seminars that include nationally recognized speakers, as well as unique social and networking opportunities. more�

Bar Leadership Institute Accepting Applications for 2013-14 Class: The State Bar of Arizona invites attorneys across the State to participate in the upcoming Bar Leadership Institute class. The Bar Leadership Institute is a nine-month professional development program beginning in September 2013. The goal of the program is to increase participation and visibility in the State Bar and community at-large, particularly for attorneys identifying with historically under-represented populations including those groups emphasizing racial, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability and geographic diversity. more�

Have You Chimed-in On the Admissions Subcommittee Review Process? The Attorney Regulation Advisory Committee's (ARC) admissions subcommittee has been meeting regularly to review the admissions process. The fourth forum, to be held on May 22, will review information-gathering and initial review process by Supreme Court staff and assigned Character and Fitness Committee members. All interested persons are invited to attend forums addressing discrete parts of the admissions process. more�

Gilbert Attorney Reinstated After Completing Suspension: Thomas A. Walcott has been reinstated as an active member of the State Bar of Arizona after serving a 30-day suspension that resulted from misconduct that was resolved by a consent agreement between him and the Bar. more�

Attorney Daniel T. McCarthy of Phoenix Placed on Interim Suspension for Misappropriating Client Funds: After a one-day hearing, the Presiding Disciplinary Judge of the Arizona Supreme court issued an order placing Daniel T. McCarthy on interim suspension for misappropriating client funds. more�

Black Women Lawyer's Association Annual Awards Dinner Rapidly Approaching: Join the Black Women Lawyer's Association of Arizona as it hosts its annual awards dinner on Friday, June 7 at the Phoenix School of Law. The awards will recognize five deserving attorneys in the State and will feature Ida Wilber, Deputy Defense Attorney from the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community, as their keynote speaker. Registration deadline is Friday, May 31. more�

Program Grant Encourages Firms to Hire Students by Matching Wage: The Phoenix School of Law Valley of the Sun Law Clerk Program is designed to attract private law firms and business employers to hire students as summer law clerks, and provide them with high quality practice experience. The program, made possible by a grant from PSL to participating employers, matches the hourly wages paid to the student by the employer. If you're interested in participating in the program, click here.

Are You Prepared for Responding to Disaster? Click here for this week's tip from Ahern Insurance Brokerage, the State Bar�s Member Benefit Partner providing Professional Liability Insurance to attorneys.

Discount on Clio and Free Webinar: State Bar members receive a 10% discount on Clio, a practice management system specifically designed for small to medium-sized firms. To learn more about the software and how it can help you manage your practice or to sign-up for a 30-day free trial, click here.

Free Webinar: Clio's next free webinar is Disaster Preparedness and Cloud Computing, Thursday, May 23, 2013 (10:30 AM Pacific). Call 1.888.858.2546 x 112 or email george.psiharis@goclio.com for more information.

For a listing of all your State Bar member discounts, please click here.

court decisions

Arizona Court of Appeals
Division One
Division Two

May 2, 2013 - SB-12-0039 - In the Matter of Rachel R. Alexander
The Arizona Supreme Court accepts the panel's determination that Rachel R. Alexander violated Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct ("ERs") 1.1, 1.7(a)(1), 3.1, and 8.4(d) and former Arizona Supreme Court Rule 53(d) and (f).1 We disagree she violated ERs 1.7(a)(2), 3.4(c), and 4.4(a). We reduce her suspension to six months and, as a condition for reinstatement, require her to take ten hours of classes focusing on the ethical responsibilities of Arizona lawyers. Read Opinion.

April 4, 2013 - 2 CA-CR 2012-0153 - State of Arizona v. Albert Junior Lopez 
Did the trial court err in reducing defendant's monetary penalties to a criminal restitution order at sentencing and by ordering that "no interest, penalties, or collection fees" would accrue while the defendant was incarcerated? Read Opinion.


9th Circuit Court of Appeals

May 10, 2013 - 11-16920 - McCullough v. Graber
Habeas corpus petition is dismissed as moot, where: 1) petitioner sought reconsideration of the Bureau of Prisons' rejection of his application to the Second Chance Act's elderly offender pilot program, which no longer exists; 2) the requested relief is therefore no longer available; and 3) even on the merits, petitioner's claim fails, because the Bureau is not required to consider good time credits in evaluating eligibility for the elderly offender pilot program. Read Opinion.

May 9, 2013 - 11-16751 - Righthaven LLC v. Hoehn
Dismissal of two copyright infringement suits is:1) affirmed in part, where agreements assigning plaintiff the bare right to sue for infringement of newspaper articles, without the transfer of any associated exclusive rights in the articles, did not confer standing to sue; and 2) vacated in part, as to the portion of the district court's order granting summary judgment on fair use in one of the suits, because given plaintiff's lack of standing, the district court lacked jurisdiction to rule in the alternative on the fair use defense. Read Opinion.




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