Volume 13, No. 5 | March 4, 2014

eye on ethics

Q: I am about to leave my current firm to open my own practice. When I do so, am I required to open a trust account?

A: It depends. If you will hold unearned fees, unspent costs, or money that does not belong to you or your law firm, then you must have a trust account. Common examples of funds that must be held in a trust account include settlement funds, advanced fees that you will bill against, advance payments for expected costs. ER 1.15(a); Rule 43, Ariz. R. Sup. Ct. Contact the State Bar's Law Office Management Assistance Program if you need help opening a trust account.


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member news

Attorneys Offer Free Legal Help on Employment and Labor Law Issues: Nine employment and labor law attorneys will come together next Tuesday to offer free legal advice at Lawyers on Call, a public service program co-sponsored by the State Bar of Arizona, 12 News, and azcentral.com. During the two-hour program, attorneys will answer viewers' questions regarding their employment and labor law issues. The State Bar of Arizona offers its sincerest appreciation to the volunteer attorneys who will help consumers across the Valley through this access to justice program. They include: John Collins, Sean Davis, Trey Dayes, Richard Galvan, Laura Lawless Robertson, Leah Lewandowski, Kraig J. Marton, Shari C. Mauney, Dawn Sauer, and Paul J. Sheston.

In the news

Holder and Republicans Unite to Soften Sentencing Laws: Shortly after Senator Rand Paul filed suit last month against the Obama administration to stop its electronic dragnet of American phone records, he sat down for lunch with Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in his private dining room at the Justice Department. Mr. Paul, a Kentucky Republican, is one of the Obama administration's most vocal critics. But their discussion focused on an issue on which they have found common cause: eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenders. more�

Sex Crimes Trial of Army General Highlights U.S. Military Justice: The rare court-martial of a U.S. Army general charged with sex crimes will delve into explicit details of his adulterous affair with a female captain in two war zones, and alleged inappropriate email exchanges with several other subordinates. The accusations led to Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair's removal from command in Afghanistan in 2012 and his trial, set to begin on Tuesday at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, will shed light on how the military handles such complaints. more�

Osama Bin Laden's Son-in-Law Goes on Trial in NYC: Osama bin Laden's son-in-law was introduced to prospective jurors on Monday at the start of his trial on charges that he conspired to kill Americans and support terrorists in his role as al-Qaida's spokesman after the Sept. 11 attacks. U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan asked Sulaiman Abu Ghaith to turn and face the potential jurors before asking if any of them knew him. None did. more�

from the bar

Board of Governors Approves Fee Increase: At its February meeting, the State Bar Board of Governors approved a fee increase that will see most active members paying $15 per year over the next four years. The board also approved reducing the Bar's expenses by $300,000 starting next year. You can learn more about the changes at by clicking here.

Important Changes to E-Service Using AZTurboCourt Effective Next Week: Beginning March 8, 2014, any attorney of record in a matter for which AZTurboCourt is available in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals Division One and Maricopa County Superior Court may be served electronically through AZTurboCourt. Since August 22, 2013, AZTurboCourt users have been allowed to electronically serve case documents on opposing counsel who consent, as provided for in Rule 5(c)(2)(D), Ariz. R. Civ. P. Under Administrative Order 2014-23, consent no longer is required to electronically serve through AZTurboCourt. In addition, service is complete upon transmission, and five calendar days will be added to any time period. Read the order here.

Are You Interested in Joining a State Bar Committee? We are now accepting applications for the 28 standing and ad hoc committees that advise and serve the State Bar of Arizona. Applications must be received no later than April 16, 2014. To learn more about the various committees and to fill out an application click here.

Commission Invites Public Comment of Performance of Justices and Judges on 2014 General Election Ballot: The Arizona Commission on Judicial Performance Review will hold public hearings on March 3, 2014 in Tucson, March 7, 2014 in Phoenix, and March 21, 2014 in Florenceto take comments from the public about the judges on the 2014 retention election ballot. Any citizen may appear at a public hearing or send written comments by April 11, 2014 to the Commission on Judicial Performance Review. Comments can also be sent through the Commission's web page at www.azjudges.info. more�

Did You Miss the February 3 Deadline to File Your State Bar Annual Statement and Dues? You can still file, but late filing fees are now in effect. Your 2014 statement is available for you to complete, review and submit online at www.azbar.org/fees. A paper statement will not be mailed to you. Payment can be made by credit card or E-check through the Bar's secure website. When you submit your statement and submit dues online, your receipt will include a temporary Bar Card for use until the permanent one is mailed to you. 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 26, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. more�

Get an In-Depth Look at Cutting Edge Issues on Warranties and Construction Projects: On March 14, experienced attorneys and judges will explore construction project warranties including express contractual warranties, those imposed by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors, implied warranties, contractual waivers, manufacturer and supplier warranties and more. more�

Spring Training for Lawyers: Spring Training for Lawyers, formerly Minority Bar Convention, is a day-and-a-half conference offering continuing legal education programming and networking opportunities for Arizona attorneys. Programs educate attendees on the latest legal developments affecting their diverse clientele and offer practical tips and skills to meet the needs of Arizona�s changing legal community. more�

Nominees Announced for Superior Court in Pinal County: The Pinal County Commission on Trial Court Appointments has recommended four nominees to Governor Jan Brewer for an opening on the Superior Court in Pinal County. The nominees for the opening created by the retirement of Judge Robert Carter Olson are: Karl C. Eppich, 52, Republican, a Judge for the City of Mesa Municipal Court; Danielle Harris, 35, Democrat, Administrative Law Judge for the Arizona Department of Transportation; Craig A. Raymond, 47, Republican, a Commissioner for the Superior Court in Pinal County; and, Delia Reeves Neal, 46, Independent, a Commissioner for the Superior Court in Pinal County. Governor Brewer will appoint the new judge.

Have You Calendared the 2014 State Bar Convention in Tucson? This year, the State Bar of Arizona convention heads south and will be held on June 11-13 at the Westin La Paloma in Tucson. Start making plans to attend now! 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.

Do Your Clients Pay by Credit Card? Save up to 25%: If you accept credit and debit card payments from clients, members can save up to 25% off standard credit card processing fees with LawPay. LawPay meets the requirements for the American Bar Association trust account guidelines as well as the Attorney's Professional Code of Conduct. The program is on a month-to-month contract. Call 866.376.0950 or visit www.lawpay.com/azbar to take advantage of this offer.

Save with all your Member Discounts: For all your State Bar member discounts, please click here.

court decisions

Arizona Court of Appeals
Division One
Division Two

February 13, 2014 - 1 CA-CV 12-0740 - Estate of Deborah A. Ethridge v. Recovery Management Systems, Inc. et al
Does Part C of the Medicare Act and its associated regulations preempt Arizona's anti-subrogation doctrine so that a Medicare Advantage plan may recover the medical expenses it paid for one of its enrollees from the settlement of personal injury claims asserted on behalf of the enrollee? Read Opinion.

February 12, 2014 - CA-CR 2012-0214 - State of Arizona v. Louis John Felix
Did sufficient evidence support Appellant's conviction for kidnapping his girlfriend's son when the jury did not find him guilty of kidnapping his girlfriend? Do the mitigation provisions of the kidnapping statute, A.R.S. �13-1304(B), which reduce the felony classification if the victim is released unharmed, apply when the victim is under the age of fifteen? Read More.


9th Circuit Court of Appeals

March 3, 2014 - 12-10362 - United States of America v. Thomas Tanke
Defendant's conviction and sentence for mail fraud are: 1) affirmed in part, where mailings sent to avoid detection or responsibility for a fraudulent scheme fall within the mail fraud statute, 18 U.S.C. section 1341, when they are sent prior to the scheme's completion and to determine when a scheme is completed, the court looks to the scope of the scheme as devised by the perpetrator, and a reasonable jury could have found that the defendant's September 16, 2004, letter was sent before the completion of the embezzlement scheme he devised; 2) affirmed in part, where the district court properly applied sentencing enhancements for making a misrepresentation during the course of a bankruptcy proceeding and for using sophisticated means; and 3) reversed in part and remanded, where the district court plainly erred by including $44,715.21 in restitution for fraudulent credit card charges and $1,851.38 in restitution for wage overpayments that were not part of the offenses of conviction and by failing to note the waiver of interest on restitution on the judgment. Read More.

March 3, 2014 - 13-15625 - Wells Fargo & Company v. ABD Insurance & Financial Services, Inc.
The district court's denial of plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction in a trademark infringement case is reversed and remanded, where the district court abused its discretion: 1) in its analysis of plaintiffs' likelihood of success on the merits of their claims; 2) when it did not consider a false advertising claim separately from a trademark infringement claim; and 3) in its analysis of the abandonment defense to the trademark infringement claim. Read More.




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