Volume 14, No. 22 | October 27, 2015

eye on ethics

Q: I am a public defender appointed to represent a criminal defendant in post-conviction relief petition based on an ineffective assistance of counsel claim against another attorney in my office. Is this a conflict of interest?

A: Yes, if the claim appears to have merit it is a conflict of interest that imputes onto the entire office. See ER 1.7, ER 1.10, and Ethics Op. 96-03.


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member news

Attorney Hector Figueroa Appointed to Fill District Three Vacancy by State Bar Board of Governors: The State Bar of Arizona has announced the appointment of attorney Hector Figueroa of Payson to its Board of Governors. He will replace Hon. Bryan Chambers, the District Three (Gila, Graham, and Greenlee counties) representative, who was appointed by Governor Ducey to serve as a Gila County Superior Court Judge. Figueroa is the attorney for the town of Payson. According to Figueroa, he and his wife plan to work and retire in this community. He hopes to continue his involvement in the community and his appointment will help him accomplish this.

Chief Justice Presents Annual Strategic Agenda Awards: Each year, the Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court presents awards to individuals, teams, or projects that support each of the five main goals outlined in the Strategic Agenda for Arizona's Courts entitled Advancing Justice Together: Courts & Communities. Click here to view the winners who were recognized on October 20.

Superior Court Judge Earns National Award for Probate & Mediation Programs: The National College of Probate Judges (NCPJ) selected Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Andrew Klein as the 2015 recipient of the William W. Treat Award for his accomplishments in the areas of probate and mediation. The award will be presented during the NCPJ fall conference in November. More.

In the news

Study Cites Lower Standards in Law School Admissions: As law schools across the country try to keep their classrooms full, many are admitting students with lesser qualifications, including those with a lower admissions test score�considered an important predictor of whether a graduate will earn the credentials to practice law. More.

Justices Reject Administration's Advice More Often Lately: From gay marriage to the health care overhaul, the Obama administration's top Supreme Court lawyer has won more often than not in some of the biggest cases in recent years. So why is the court ignoring his advice�after asking for it�at a higher rate than usual when it comes to deciding which cases to take up in the first place? More.

Alabama Judge Accused Of Telling Offenders To Give Blood Or Go To Jail: The actions of a circuit judge in Marion, Ala., are raising all kinds of questions about the ethics of essentially sentencing someone to have a medical procedure. In a recording released by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Judge Marvin Wiggins told a courtroom full of offenders that if they did not have money to pay their fines, they could go right outside the courthouse and donate blood. More.

from the bar

State Bar CEO Explains the Purpose and Benefits of the Organization at Legislative Ad Hoc Study Committee: A legislative committee is looking into whether the State Bar of Arizona should be mandatory. The legislature considered a bill earlier this year that would have moved lawyer regulation to the State. That bill was defeated in the Arizona House of Representatives. More.

Prosecutors and Public Defenders Encouraged to Apply JRJ Grant Program by Friday: The Administrative Office of the Courts is pleased to announce the approval of Arizona's application for funding through the John R. Justice Program. The goal of the JRJ Program is to recruit and retain qualified prosecutors and public defenders by helping with their student loans. Applications must be postmarked by Friday, October 30. Click here for more information.

Public Asked for Input on Candidates for Pima County Superior Court Vacancy: The Pima County Commission on Trial Court Appointments is asking for public input on eight candidates for a vacancy on the Pima County Superior Court created by the retirement of Judge Karen Adam. The candidates are: Justin Castillo, Thomas "Tad" Denker, Peter Hochuli, Daniel Jurkowitz, Nanette Morrow, Lee Ann Roads, Ryan Schmidt, and Anita Simons. More.

Public Asked for Input on Candidates for Arizona Supreme Court: The Commission on Appellate Court Appointments is asking for public comment on nine candidates for an opening on the Arizona Supreme Court created by the retirement of Justice Rebecca White Berch. Comments should be received no later than November 18 to be considered. More.

Applications Being Accepted for a Vacancy on the Pima County Superior Court: Applications are being accepted for a vacancy on the Superior Court in Pima County created by the appointment of Judge Christopher Staring to Division II of the Arizona Court of Appeals. Applicants must submit their applications by Monday, November 30. More.

Bar Seeks Family Law Attorneys for November Lawyers on Call Program: The State Bar and 12 News will host the highly popular consumer assistance program on Tuesday, November 10. If you're interested in volunteering for the two-hour phone bank, contact Alberto Rodriguez at alberto.rodriguez@staff.azbar.org.

Ladder Down Helps Female Attorneys Rise in Profession: More women are becoming lawyers, but they are struggling to earn positions as equity partners and shareholders at their firms. Ladder Down, founded by Fitch and Christian, provides women with the tools they need to get ahead as lawyers. This year-long program is broken up into monthly sessions focusing on three areas: leadership empowerment, business development and mentoring. Learn more by clicking here.

Financial Tip From John Driscoll & Associates: Does insurance determine your debt limit? Click here for information from John Driscoll & Associates, a State Bar Member Discount Provider offering disability income insurance.

Need a Receptionist for a Fraction of the Cost? State Bar members receive a 10% discount with Ruby Receptionists, a live, custom virtual receptionist service. To learn more, go to www.callruby.com/azbar or call 866.611.7829.

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

Discounts on Rental Cars, Hotels, Insurance and More: Click here for the complete list of special offers from 27 companies for State Bar members.

court decisions

Arizona Court of Appeals
Division One
Division Two

October 20, 2015 - 1 CA-SA 15-0223 - Robert J. Halt v. Hon. Richard Gama
Whether the amended version of Arizona Rule of Civil Appellate Procedure 21 regarding claims for attorneys' fees effective January 1, 2012, to December 31, 2013, requires fee claimants to request both their pre-appeal fees and fees incurred on appeal in their appeal briefing or in a motion before oral argument? Read Opinion.

September 24, 2015 - 2 CA-CR 2015-0004 - State of Arizona v. Ronald Vassell
Did the trial court abuse its discretion in denying defendant's oral request for a self-defense jury instruction pursuant to A.R.S. �� 13-405(A) and 13-404(B) where the defendant shot at uniformed police officers executing a warrant after they had announced themselves as police and where there was no evidence the defendant did not know they were in fact police? Read Opinion.


9th Circuit Court of Appeals

October 26, 2015 - 13-17327 - Steven E. Crittenden v. Kevin Chappell
In a habeas corpus action alleging a prosecutor's exclusion of an African-American juror in a 1989 murder trial violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the district court's grant of the petition is affirmed where the prosecutor's peremptory challenge of the juror was substantially motivated by race. Read Opinion.

October 23, 2015 - 11-17948 - Mirsad Hajro v. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
In a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) case alleging that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services engaged in a pattern or practice of violating FOIA time limits, in violation of 5 U.S.C. section 552(a)(6)(A)-(C), the district court's grant of summary judgment to plaintiffs is reversed where plaintiffs failed to show an unequivocal waiver of sovereign immunity and the district court did not retain jurisdiction over a 1992 settlement agreement in lieu of the retroactive application of Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S., 375 (1994). Read Opinion.



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