Volume 14, No. 5 | March 3, 2015

eye on ethics

Q: If I have settlement funds in my trust account and my client disputes the amount that is to be disbursed to me for my fee, should I hold the entire amount in the trust account until our fee dispute is resolved?

A: No, not the entire amount. ER 1.15(e) provides that the lawyer must hold only the disputed property until the parties reach an agreement on the distribution of the property; a court order resolves the competing claims; or distribution is allowed under 1.15(f).


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Campaign Finance Crossroads
Two authors explore a recent court case that has complicated Arizona's campaign-finance regime.

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member news

Justice Timmer Receives High Honor from ASU: Arizona State University's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law honored Justice Ann A. Scott Timmer at an annual luncheon held on February 3, 2015. The law school's Alumni Association chose Justice Timmer as its Distinguished Alumnus for 2015. Each year, the Association selects only one person for this honor from its ranks of more than 7,000 law school alumni. Justice Timmer was chosen for her career achievements as a Supreme Court Justice, judge on the Arizona Court of Appeals and for her many contributions as a role model and mentor law students and lawyers statewide.

In the news

Petraeus Reaches Plea Deal With Justice Department: Former CIA director David Petraeus has reached a plea agreement with the Justice Department, concluding a years-long investigation into his divulging to his mistress secret information, including names of covert officers and war strategy, according to court documents. More.

Justices Seem Skeptical of Independent Electoral Map Boards: The Supreme Court, unwilling to limit partisan influence in redistricting in earlier cases, now seems poised to stop states that have tried to take matters into their own hands by removing map-drawing power from elected lawmakers. The justices heard arguments Monday in a challenge to Arizona's independent redistricting commission's drawing of U.S. House seats in a case that could also affect a dozen other states, including California. More.

Supreme Court Calendar - 12 Cases to Watch in March: The U.S. Supreme Court has a busy March to look forward to, with 12 cases scheduled for oral arguments. With Confederate license plates, environmental regulations, criminal procedure questions, and patent cases on the docket, there's something here for everyone. More.

from the bar

Application Deadline for State Bar Public Board Member This Friday: The State Bar of Arizona's Board of Governors is accepting applications from non-lawyers from throughout the state to fill one seat on its Board. The application deadline is Friday, March 6, 2015. Participation of public members is essential to the State Bar's mission of serving the public and its efforts of making sure the people of Arizona have a strong voice in the legal system. More.

Did You Miss the February 2 Deadline to File Your State Bar Annual Statement and Dues? You can still file, but late filing fees are now in effect. Your 2015 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.

Volunteer Applicants Sought for City Judicial Selection Boards by March 6: Help screen and recommend candidates to serve as presiding and associate municipal court judges for the City of Glendale and the City of Peoria. Apply by March 6, 2015. More.

Don't Miss Your Chance to 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 27, 2015 at 5 p.m. More.

You Still Have Time to Register for Spring Training for Lawyers: Spring Training for Lawyers is a day-and-a-half conference offering CLE programming and networking opportunities for Arizona attorneys. Program topics educate attendees on the latest legal developments affecting diverse clients and offer practical tips and skills to meet the needs of Arizona's diverse legal community. More.

State Bar Committees Want You. Are You Ready? As of February 1, 2015, the State Bar is 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 2, 2015. To learn more about the various committees and to fill out an application click here.

Applications Being Accepted for a Vacancy on the Maricopa County Superior Court: The Maricopa County Commission on Trial Court Appointments will review applications, interview selected applicants and recommend at least three nominees for the vacancy to Governor Doug Ducey, who will appoint the new judge. More.

Supreme Court Approves Establishment of Commercial Court Pilot Program: Civil commercial disputes may soon be handled in a new venue thanks to an Administrative Order by the Arizona Supreme Court that was signed this week. In May 2014, the Supreme Court established an 18-member advisory committee to study the feasibility of establishing a special venue within the Superior Courts to address the unique needs of businesses engaged in commercial civil litigation. The Superior Court in Maricopa County is in the process of launching a three-year pilot Commercial Court program. More.

Sophisticated Scam Against San Diego Attorney Nets Nearly $300,000: A San Diego attorney is speaking out after hackers used an elaborate scam to steal nearly $300,000 from his firm's account. Experts say it is an example of a phishing scam gone into overdrive. More.

CLE by the Sea Sticks Around for a Few More Years: After announcing that CLE by the Sea had set sail last year, the State Bar of Arizona is thrilled to say that it's back at the beautiful Hotel Del Coronado for another exciting year. Don't miss your chance to fulfill a full year of MCLE credits, including 3 hours of ethics, while enjoying the quiet sandy beach of Coronado. This year's tracks are Trial, Family, Labor and Employment and Estate Planning, Trusts and Probate. Keep an eye out for the delivery of a detailed brochure for the event schedule from July 19 through the 22. More.

16 LinkedInTips for Lawyers: Whether you're a beginner or a pro, LinkedIn can help you market your professional experience and make valuable connections. You can view the 16 tips here or learn all 50 tips at ABA TECHSHOW 2015. Register before March 6 to obtain the early bird rates. State Bar of Arizona members must use the Discount Code TECHSHOWEP2015. Download the registration form here.

No Annual Fee - Save with the State Bar of Arizona Platinum MasterCard: Apply now and earn double reward points on purchases for the first 60 days. See full terms and conditions here.

Are You Covered? Did you know that the State Bar offers exclusive member discounts on many types of insurance, including liability, long term care, disability, auto, business? Click here for more information.

More Ways to Save: 25 companies offer State Bar member discounts, please click here for the complete list and all the details.

court decisions

Arizona Court of Appeals
Division One
Division Two

February 26, 2015 - 1 CA-CV 12-0657 - Monica J. Milinovich v. Anthony D. Womack
1) Whether the trial court erred by concluding that Father's deferred compensation, portions of which were subsequently withdrawn from a short-term account on a monthly basis as part of his retirement strategy, fell within the definitions of gross income under the Arizona Child Support Guidelines. 2) Whether the trial court deviated from the monthly combined adjusted gross income cap of $20,000 in setting Father's monthly child support obligation. Read Opinion.

February 3, 2015 - 2 CA-CR 2013-0566 - State Bar of Arizona v. Craig A. Williamson
Whether the trial court erred by denying defendant's motions: 1) to dismiss on due process grounds based on outrageous government conduct; 2) for a mistrial when a police officer gave an opinion on an ultimate issue while testifying at trial; 3) for a jury instruction concerning the state's destruction of evidence; and 4) for a judgment of acquittal and a new trial, on the basis defendant proved entrapment as a matter of law. And, whether the court erred by requiring him to stipulate to the elements of the offenses in order to receive a jury instruction on the affirmative defense of entrapment. Read Opinion.


9th Circuit Court of Appeals

March 3, 2015 - 13-15175 - California Dump Truck Owners Association v. Mary D. Nichols
In this case, plaintiff made a federal preemption challenge to a California environmental regulation addressing diesel trucks. Dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction is affirmed, where: 1) the Environmental Protection Agency's approval of the regulation as part of California's state implementation plan divested the district court of jurisdiction under Clean Air Act section 307(b)(1); 2) as a practical matter, the suit challenged the state implementation plan itself; and 3) because the court of appeals has exclusive jurisdiction over such challenges pursuant to section 307(b)(1), the district court lacked jurisdiction. Read Opinion.

March 3, 2015 - 12-70174 - Plott Nursing Home v. Sylvia Mathews Burwell
In this case, a civil money penalty was imposed on petitioner nursing home by the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services for petitioner's violations of the Medicare Act's standards of care for nursing home patients. The judgment is affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded, where: 1) the Secretary's determination that the nursing home violated the quality of care for bed sores was proper; 2) the Secretary's determination that the nursing home violated the quality of care for urinary tract infection was in error; 3) the nursing home was entitled to administrative review of all cited deficiencies; and 4) the agency need not afford review before survey results were posted on their public website, but must allow review and correction as required by the Medicare Act. Read Opinion.



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