Volume 14, No. 7 | March 31, 2015

eye on ethics

Q. May I have my legal assistant be a signer on the trust account?

A. The rules do not prohibit a non-lawyer as a signer on a client trust account. Consider, however, whether you want to have a non-lawyer as a signer, because you are ultimately responsible for any problems with the trust account. Planning in advance can avoid the need to have someone other than a lawyer be a signer on the trust account. See Rule 43(b)(1)(B), Ariz. R. Sup. Ct.


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A Justice's Influence
Cases like Citizens United make news, but a former Justice from Arizona warned against their effects.

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member news

Consumers Will Get Free Legal Advice from Volunteer Attorneys on Tax Law: Six attorneys will come together this evening for the March edition of Lawyers on Call, a public service campaign sponsored by the State Bar of Arizona, 12 News, and azcentral.com. The phone bank is organized to help clarify consumers' questions regarding tax law. 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: Nathan Carr, Carr Law; Tracy Essig, Essig Law; David Jojola, Frazer Ryan Goldberg & Arnold; Derek Kaczmarek, Frazer Ryan Goldberg & Arnold; Eliot Kaplan, Squire Patton Boggs; and Robert Lord, Robert J. Lord, PLC.

In the news

Indiana Governor Wants Changes to Religious-Objections Law: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said Tuesday that he wants legislation on his desk by the end of the week to clarify that the state's new religious-freedom law does not allow discrimination against gays and lesbians. More.

Amanda Knox Acquitted: Will She Sue For Wrongful Conviction? Amanda Knox. You may have heard her name a few times in the last eight years. During that time, she was accused of murder, convicted, acquitted, convicted again, and, finally, acquitted one more time. More.

Teen Law School Program for Youth Seeks to Expand: Teen Law School, a crime prevention education program, is in the process of trying to expand to all high schools in Yuma County as well as elsewhere across the state. More.

from the bar

Board of Governors Election for Seat in Pinal County: Attorneys and judges in Pinal County (Board District 8) will elect one member to a two-year term on the State Bar's governing board. The online election opens May 6, 2015. Meet the candidates here.

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.

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.

Help Guide Your Bar Through the Next Five Years: The State Bar of Arizona's Strategic Planning Committee has created a series of goals for the next five years. We want your help to make sure we haven't missed anything. Please take a moment to review our plan and give us your comments by April 7, 2015. You can read the strategic plan outline here.

April Declared Access to Justice Month in Arizona: Governor Doug Ducey issued a proclamation on March 6, 2015 declaring April as Access to Justice Month in Arizona. Click here to view the proclamation.

Are You New to the State Bar? Join us for the Welcome Orientation on April 22, 2015 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Boardroom of our Phoenix location. Register by contacting Patricia.Giallanza@staff.azbar.org.

Save the Date for the State Bar Convention: Join us from June 24-26 at the Arizona Biltmore & Spa. A limited number of seminar fee waivers are available. 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.

Certified Child Welfare Law Specialists � A First for Arizona: Fourteen Arizona attorneys were recently certified as Child Welfare Law Specialists. Offered by the National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) and recognized by the State Bar of Arizona, this certification acknowledges their significant experience and knowledge of the child welfare process. The Dependent Children's Services Division of the Administrative Office of the Courts, through its Court Improvement program, is proud to support these attorneys as they raise the bar for child welfare representation.

Even a Dog Can Figure Out the Fake Check Scam: Scammers have been known to send fake checks to babies, dead people, and now dogs, too. This case only further illustrates how easy the fake check scam is to spot and avoid. More.

Looking for a Way to Help Your Colleagues? Volunteer to provide peer support to lawyers, judges, or their families suffering from issues with substance abuse, mental health, stress or work-life balance. Volunteers must attend a day-long training (CLE offered). Click here to apply.

Lower Cost Credit Card Processing: If you accept credit cards from clients, you can save up to 25% on standard credit card processing fees with LawPay. LawPay is exclusively for attorneys and meets the requirements for trust account guidelines. To learn more, call 866.376.0950 or visit www.lawpay.com/azbar. No contract required.

Save on Payroll Processing: Save time and money when processing payroll with SurePayroll, a provider of online payroll services. You can even process payroll from your mobile device. Click here for the State Bar member discount, or call 877.954.7873 to find out more.

More Savings: To see all 25 companies that offer State Bar member discounts, please click here.

court decisions

Arizona Court of Appeals
Division One
Division Two

March 31, 2014 - 1 CA-JV 14-0082 - Angel S. v. Arizona Department of Child Safety
1. Whether the trial court abused its discretion in terminating Father's parental rights based upon abandonment, where the evidence showed Father failed to maintain a normal parental relationship, no testimony regarding the "reasonableness" of the amount of support was provided at trial, and contact was limited to brief, bi-weekly, telephone calls with a child less than five years of age, prior to the filing of the severance petition by the child's Guardian Ad Litem. 2. Whether the trial court abused its discretion in finding severance was in the child�s best interests. Read Opinion.

March 12, 2015 - 2 CA-CV 2015-0017 - Debra Arrett and Shirley Lamonna v. Julie K. Bower, Oro Valley Town Clerk
Did the trial court err in denying Appellants' request for a writ of mandamus pursuant to A.R.S. � 19-122 compelling the clerk of the Town of Oro Valley to accept and transmit to the Pima County Recorder for certification a referendum petition Appellants had submitted and which the clerk had rejected for lack of compliance with the serial-number requirement of A.R.S. � 19-111(B), and in finding that requirement did not impermissibly burden the constitutional right to referendum? Read Opinion.


9th Circuit Court of Appeals

March 27, 2015 - 13-30224 - United State of America v. Maria L. Moe
Defendant appeals her conviction for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. section 846. Defendant's contentions rest on the "buyer-seller rule," under which a conviction for conspiracy cannot be based solely on the purchase of an unlawful substance. Defendant contends that the evidence presented to the jury established only that she purchased methamphetamine from a supplier, a buyer-seller transaction, and that she was not engaged in a conspiracy with the seller in connection with subsequent distribution. She contends that the district court should have given an instruction to the jury regarding the buyer-seller rule. The judgment is affirmed, where: 1) the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction for conspiracy, given that there was an ongoing relationship of mutual trust, there was testimony that defendant was involved in the business of trafficking, there was evidence that defendant's supplier knew that defendant was engaged in redistributing the methamphetamine she was buying from him, and the supplier had an interest in fostering downstream sales; and 2) the district court did not err in refusing to instruct the jury regarding the buyer-seller rule, given that the instructions as a whole accurately informed the jury that a conspiracy could not be found based only on the sales by the supplier to defendant. Read Opinion.

March 27, 2015 - 13-50136 - United State of America v. Lawrence E. Shaw
Defendant's conviction for a scheme to defraud a financial institution in violation of 18 U.S.C. section 1344(1), in which defendant used PayPal to convince banks that he was a particular bank customer and thus had authority to transfer money out of that customer's bank accounts and into the Paypal account under defendant's control, is affirmed, where, for a violation of section 1344(1), the government need not prove that defendant intended the bank to be the principal financial victim of the fraud, and the district court therefore correctly refused jury instructions that included such a requirement. Read Opinion.



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