Volume 12, No. 21 | October 15, 2013

eye on ethics

Q: I'm interested in updating my fee agreements. Does the State Bar provide any resources to help me review my current fee agreements or create new ones so I can make sure I comply with my ethical obligations?

A: Yes. The State Bar has recently updated and revised sample fee agreements for the four most common types of fee agreements to reflect changes to the ethics rules. You can review these resources either by contacting the State Bar's Lawyer Assistance Program at 602.340.7332 or by visiting their website here.


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member news

Did you know? National Pro Bono Week is from October 20 through October 26. Attorneys and programs below are making a difference today, to help create a better tomorrow!

Arizona Attorneys Volunteer to Answer Real Estate Questions: The State Bar of Arizona continues to offer quality consumer-related programs because of the generosity of committed lawyers. On Tuesday, October 8, volunteer attorneys Carlos Arboleda, Lat J. Celmins, Dave Degnan, Richard Drake, Cody Hayes, Jeffrey Katz, Ellen Lawson, John L. Lohr, Kevin Rattay, and Steve Vondran answered consumers' real estate law questions on the State Bar of Arizona and 12 News' Lawyers on Call program. The State Bar thanks them for their continued commitment to providing access to justice.

Legal Aid Programs Thank Volunteer Lawyers During National Celebrate Pro Bono Week: More than 4,000 private lawyers are being thanked during the week of October 20 for volunteering through the Volunteer Lawyers Programs of Community Legal Services, DNA People's Legal Services and Southern Arizona Legal Aid. The programs celebrate the many ways members of the bar donate their time and support to help more people with low incomes gain access to civil justice. "Volunteering not only provides a critical service to individuals and families, it is also an amazing opportunity for lawyers to strengthen and diversify their skill set. It is wonderful to see the State Bar formally recognizing the diverse benefits pro bono service provides to the development of the legal profession and to the community," Stefanie Layton, Esq., VLP Advisory Committee Chair.

Volunteer Lawyers Play Vital Role in the State Bar's Access to Justice Initiatives: During National Celebrate Pro Bono Week, the State Bar of Arizona would like to thank members who have volunteered their time and expertise in offering free legal advice to consumers across the state. Their continued participation in public service programs, including Lawyers on Call, Abogados a Su Lado, Arizona StandDown, Speakers Bureau and Law Day Legal Aid Clinics, allows the State Bar to help fill the gap in limited free legal resources. Thank you!

In the news

U.S. Justices to Hear Race Case; One Side Has Two Voices: The U.S. Supreme Court today will delve into a decades-old debate over university admissions policies that favor racial minorities, hearing a Michigan case that picks up where the justices left off last session in a dispute from the University of Texas. more�

Justice's Wheels Slowed as Shutdown Hits Courts: The government shutdown is slowing the wheels of justice in federal courts by delaying civil cases, forcing prosecutors to operate with skeleton staffs and raising uncertainty about the system's immediate future if the stalemate continues past Thursday. That's when federal courts officials expect the reserve funds they have been using since the October 1 start of the shutdown will run out. more�

from the bar

New IOLTA Scam Targets Attorneys: The State Bar wants to warn you about a phishing scam that is directed at lawyers. The latest twist is that the scam email is mentioning IOLTA accounts. The email implies that the account doesn't have enough money to pay an outstanding check. It then asks the attorney to contact the sender to clear up the matter. more�

Deadline Looms to Have Your Opinion Considered on Whether "Personal Consultation" Should Precede a Motion for Sanctions: The State Bar's Professionalism Committee is proposing to amend Rule 41, Ariz. R. Sup. Ct., to require that counsel make a good-faith effort to consult with the opposing counsel or party (as appropriate) before filing a request for sanctions. The State Bar Board of Governors� Rules Committee is considering whether to recommend to the Board that the petition be filed. What do you think about such a requirement? more�

Three Commissions and Two Legal Services Organizations Seek Your Talent and Experience: The State Bar Appointments Committee encourages you to apply by November 15th to serve on one of the State's three judicial nominating commissions. Two of Arizona's legal services organizations also seek to fill seats on their governing boards. more�

Two Days Left to Apply for Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Judgeships: The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit invites applications from highly qualified candidates for two (2) Bankruptcy Judgeships for the District of Arizona. These positions will be available in June and September, 2014, respectively. Please be aware that the selection process may take up to 10 months to complete. The official duty stations for these positions are in Phoenix and Tucson. Application deadline is Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. more�

Grant Encourages Qualified Attorneys to Choose Careers as Prosecutors and Public Defenders: Oftentimes, talented lawyers are unwilling to accept positions as prosecutors or public defenders, creating real challenges for those offices in their quest to hire and retain capable attorneys. In an effort to attract them, the John R. Justice (JRJ) Program provides loan repayment assistance for local, state, and federal public defenders and local and state prosecutors who commit to continued employment as public defenders and prosecutors for at least three years. Applications will be accepted until November 1, 2013. more�

Constitutional Judging - The Proper Role of the Judiciary in Enforcing Our State and Federal Constitutions: Join the Goldwater Institute, League of Women Voters, Institute for Justice and Federalist Society as they present this fantastic legal discussion on October 25, 2013. The discussion will present a variety of perspectives on the proper role of the judiciary in enforcing state and federal constitutional law by panelists including Senior Judge Harold DeMoss of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit; Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Barry Anderson; California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu; and Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett. more�

A Nugget of Knowledge from the State Bar: Have you ever tried to find a fellow attorney's email address on azbar.org without any luck? Well, the information is there, all you have to do is login to access it. By using the member login, you'll have access to additional features, including member emails in the Find a Lawyer feature.

Save on Payroll Processing: The State Bar's partnership with SurePayroll, a provider of online payroll services to small businesses nationwide, helps you save time and money when processing payroll. Save up to 50% over traditional providers and automatically pay and file federal, state and local payroll taxes for a flat monthly fee. You can even process payroll from your mobile device. Click here or call 877.954.7873 to find out more.

Can You Hear Us Now? Save 22% on Verizon Cell Phone Service: State Bar members with eligible Verizon calling plans may qualify to receive a 22% discount on law firm/corporate monthly access fees. Employees and family members may also qualify for up to an 18% discount on their lines. Click here or call 800.810.3909.

State Bar Member Discounts: For a listing of all State Bar member discounts, click here.

court decisions

Arizona Court of Appeals
Division One
Division Two

September 19, 2013 - 1 CA-SA 13-0106 - Michael Grady and Jennifer Grady v. Hon. Michael L. Barth/Tri-City National Bank
Does a superior court have discretion to deny a stay to a defendant appealing a judgment in a forcible entry and detainer action simply because the plaintiff purchased the property at a non-judicial trustee's sale? Read Opinion.

September 12, 2013 - 2 CA-CV 2012-0118 - Jay Rice and Betty Rice v. Arlo B. Brakel, M.D., Center for Neurosciences
1) May a patient sue for medical battery when his surgeon had an undisclosed drug dependency at the time of surgery? 2) Is a surgeon's own knowledge of his drug dependency imputed to his employer, and, if so, should that constructive knowledge have precluded the entry of summary judgment on appellant's claim of negligent supervision? 3) Did the trial court err in granting summary judgment in favor of appellee on appellant�s tort claims on the ground that appellant failed to adduce evidence to establish the essential elements of his claims? 4) Did the trial court err in granting summary judgment in favor of appellee on appellant's breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing claim on the ground that appellant failed to adduce evidence to establish the essential elements of his claim? Read Opinion.


9th Circuit Court of Appeals

October 11, 2013 - 12-3563 - Luke M. Hunton v. Stephen Sinclair
The district court's dismissal of part of petitioner's habeas corpus petition which alleged that his due process right to discovery had been violated, is affirmed, where the claim was procedurally defaulted in state courts, and was not subject to the exception recognized in Martinez v. Ryan for instances where trial counsel was ineffective and the claim could not be raised earlier. Read Opinion.

October 11, 2013 - 11-10562 - United States v. Collins Max Christensen
Defendant's sentence imposed following his guilty plea to wire fraud in connection with a real estate investment scheme is affirmed, where: 1) the record supports the district court's conclusion that the Sentencing Guidelines did not properly take into account the harm caused by the egregiousness of the defendant's conduct, and that this conclusion did not constitute impermissible double-counting; 2) the district court did not err in applying a three-level Guidelines reduction for acceptance of responsibility even though defendant ended up with an above-Guidelines sentence; and 3) defendant's claims of procedural errors fails. Read Opinion.




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