Volume 15, No. 14 | July 5, 2016

eye on ethics

Q: I represent a client in a slip-and-fall case. My client is very poor, and I'm worried that he doesn't have any food in his house. Can I give him a grocery store gift card to purchase food, or would that be prohibited financial assistance?

A: No. You are ethically permitted to make such a gift to an existing client, if it is truly charitable and without expectation of repayment. If you require the client to repay you, this could violate ER 1.8(e). See Ariz. Ethics Op. 91-14.

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member news

Consumers Get Free One-On-One Consultations From Volunteer Immigration Attorneys: Ten volunteer immigration attorneys came together at St. Agnes Church in Phoenix on Tuesday, June 28 to offer free legal advice at an informational session and legal assistance clinic hosted by the State Bar of Arizona and its partner, Univision Arizona. This access to justice program was organized to help the immigrant community understand the impact of the Supreme Court of the United States' divided decision regarding President Obama's immigration executive actions.

An estimated 350 consumers attended the 3-hour access to justice event and 120 families received one-on-one consultations by volunteer attorneys. A phone bank was held on Thursday, June 23 prior to the forum and clinic. Volunteer attorneys answered 63 calls during the two-hour phone bank.

The State Bar of Arizona offers its sincerest appreciation to the volunteer attorneys who helped answer consumers' immigration law questions through these access to justice programs. They include: Marisol Angulo, Hernandez Global; Emilia Ba�uelos, Ba�uelos Law Office; Josh De La Ossa, De La Ossa and Ramos Law; Seth Draper, Salvatierra Law; Ezequiel Hernandez, Hernandez Global; Claudia Lopez, Law Office of Claudia P. Lopez; Karina Ordo�ez, Karina Ordo�ez Law Office; Jose Pe�alosa, Jose Pe�alosa Attorney at Law; Edwin Ramos, De La Ossa and Ramos Law; Fae Sowders, Sowders Law; and Ray Ybarra Maldonado, Law Office of Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado.

Jeff Brodin Elected as College of Labor and Employment Lawyers Fellow: The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers has elected Phoenix employment lawyer Jeff Brodin of Brodin HR Law as a Fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Being elected as a Fellow is the highest recognition by one's colleagues of sustained outstanding performance in the profession, exemplifying integrity, dedication and excellence. The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers was established in 1995, and recognizes those who, by long and outstanding service, have distinguished themselves as leaders in the field of labor and employment law.

In the news

Who Are the World's Richest Practicing Lawyers? Some on the List Went to Prison: Money Inc.'s list of the world's richest practicing lawyers includes some lawyers who are banned from practicing law and one lawyer who, Money acknowledges, died last year. More.

Two Women Are Killed Outside Arizona Courthouse After Custody Hearing: Two women were shot and killed outside a courthouse in Navajo County, Arizona, amid a dispute following a custody hearing. A suspect is in custody and a third person was wounded by a gunshot to the leg. More.

Robot Lawyer Overturns $4 Million in Parking Tickets: A chatbot lawyer service set up by a teenage programmer to appeal parking tickets has helped overturn over $4m in fines since 2014. More.

from the bar

12 Applicants Being Considered for Arizona Court of Appeals: The public is asked for comments on 12 applicants for an opening on Division I of the Arizona Court of Appeals created by the retirement of Judge John C. Gemmill. The Commission on Appellate Court Appointments will review the applications and hear comments at a public meeting on August 4. Applications can be viewed online here.

Applications Being Accepted for Two New Positions on the Arizona Supreme Court: Applications are being accepted for two new positions on the Arizona Supreme Court. The Commission on Appellate Court Appointments will review applications, interview selected applicants, and recommend at least three nominees for each position to Governor Doug Ducey. Applications must be submitted by 3 p.m. on August 8. More.

Interim Suspension Ordered for Attorney Charles W. Bassett of Mesa: Attorney Charles W. Bassett of Mesa was placed on an interim suspension for failing to comply with the State Bar of Arizona's request to appear for deposition or provide documentation associated with two bar charges. More.

Apply Now for the Arizona College of Trial Advocacy: Want to get hands-on training to develop your trial skills? Taught by judges and experienced trial lawyers, the college offers 36 hours of CLE, one of which is ethics. The program is held in Phoenix and runs from August 2-6. More.

$100,000 Prize for Outstanding Administration to Justice Program: The American College of Trial Lawyers is seeking applications for its 2017 Emil Gumpert Award, an annual honor with a $100,000 prize which is awarded to an outstanding program that is designed to improve the administration of justice. The award is named in honor of the founder of the College, Emil Gumpert. The 2016 winner is the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. The deadline to submit an application is Friday, October 14, 2016. The application is available here and should be submitted to gumpertaward@actl.com.

Get Engaged in the Legal Profession in Arizona: The State Bar of Arizona frequently recruits qualified applicants for professional volunteer opportunities. Whether you have an interest in serving on a Supreme Court committee or representing the State Bar on a national level, several opportunities are presented throughout the year. Check the Bar's Appointments Committee page to see what's available. More.

Help Consumers by Writing Law-Related Tips! The State Bar of Arizona continues to seek attorneys in all practice areas to offer consumer tips via its social media platforms. We'll be sharing tidbits of information to help consumers begin addressing their legal issues associated with family law, landlord/tenant, estate planning, personal injury, immigration, and DUI among others. If you're interested, email Alberto Rodriguez for more information--program launches this month.

Share Your Good News With Us! Have you recently been recognized for contributions you make to the communities you serve? Did your firm raise money for charity over the holidays? Are you a leader who is being recognized for advancing the legal profession? If so, we want to hear about it! Email Alberto Rodriguez to be considered for inclusion in a future issue of eLegal under Member News.

Practice Tip - Know the Rules for Required Trust Account Records: Click here for a tip from Ahern Insurance, a State Bar Member Discount Provider offering professional liability insurance.

Special Offer From the Arizona Diamondbacks � 'Buy One, Get One': Now through July 15, any suite purchased for the 2016 season will also include a complimentary suite good for either August 7 vs. Milwaukee Brewers or August 22 vs. Atlanta Braves. Contact Garrett King, 602.462.4238, gking@dbacks.com, or click here.

How to Access the Untapped Potential of Your Existing Software: Free one-hour webinar from Clio on July 12. Click here to reserve your spot. State Bar members receive a 10% lifetime discount on Clio, the practice management software for small to medium-sized firms. Use Promo code AZBAR and click here.

Discounts on Rental Cars, Hotels and More: Click here for the list of companies offering discounts to State Bar members.

court decisions

Arizona Court of Appeals
Division One
Division Two

June 21, 2016 - 1 CA-CV 15-0138 - Maria T. Verduzco et al. v. American Valet et al
1. Whether allegations that a driver "was under the influence of drugs and extremely intoxicated and impaired" and "was incompetent to drive safely," and that Appellees "should have known that . . . [Driver], was incompetent to drive safely" state a claim for negligent entrustment sufficient to survive a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. 2. Whether Arizona should exempt valet parking services from negligent entrustment claims. 3. Whether under a general negligence claim, a valet parking company is liable for injuries caused to a third party where the company supplied a car to an impaired driver and the driver later operates the car negligently, injuring the third party. Read Opinion.

May 23, 2016 - 2 CA-CR 2015-0280 - State of Arizona v. Kyle A. Stoll
Under A.R.S. � 28-931(C), did a law enforcement officer have reasonable suspicion to stop defendant's vehicle because its license plate light emitted some white light to the rear of the vehicle, and if not, did the trial court err by denying defendant's motion to suppress evidence obtained during the stop? Read Opinion.

9th Circuit Court of Appeals

June 30, 2016 - 13-36048 - Emily Attmore v. Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security
In a Social Security disability action, the district court's grant of summary judgment is reversed where: 1) An ALJ should compare medical evidence of disability determination with the medical evidence at the time of an asserted improvement in closed period cases; and 2) in this case, substantial evidence did not support the ALJ's finding of medical improvement. Read Opinion.

June 30, 2016 - 12-55911 - Michael D. Cuero v. Matthew Cate
In a habeas corpus action, the district court's denial of the petition for relief is reversed where the state trial court's refusal to order specific performance on an original, judicially approved plea agreement, after the prosecution amended the complaint to charge petitioner's prior assault conviction as a second strike, was inconsistent with California contract law and an unreasonable application of federal law as established in Ricketts v. Adamson, 483 U.S. 1 (1987). The panel remanded with instructions to resentence petitioner in accordance with the original plea agreement. Read Opinion.


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