Volume 15, No. 17 | August 16, 2016

eye on ethics

Q: I have a solo criminal defense practice, and I only charge flat fees, earned upon receipt. Do I need to have a trust account, or can I deposit all my fees into my firm's operating account?

A: You do not need a trust account unless you receive funds belonging in whole or in part to a client or third person, such as advance fees. See Ariz. Sup. Ct. R. 43(a). In your situation, funds that are earned upon receipt should be deposited into your operating account. Be aware that your fee agreements must state that the client may discharge you at any time and in that event be entitled to a refund of all or part of the fee. See ER 1.5(d)(3).

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member news

Town of Guadalupe Teen Court Receives National Recognition: The National Association of Counties (NACo) honored Guadalupe Teen Court led by Presiding Judge Lilia Alvarez at the NACo annual meeting held in July. The Teen Court received the National Recognition Award for Innovation for being the only Teen Court in the entire state of Arizona that holds court in a library setting with a judge as their leader. More.

In the news

Pennsylvania Attorney General Quits on Heels of Perjury Conviction: Kathleen G. Kane, the Pennsylvania attorney general whose aggressive investigation of her predecessor unleashed a chain of scandal that ended with her conviction this week on felony and conspiracy charges, said Tuesday that she is resigning. More.

Florida Judge Accused of Smashing Windshield With Pipe Presided in Criminal Court While Warrant Was Pending: A Florida circuit judge accused of smashing the windshield of a youth's truck with a metal pipe briefly remained on the bench in criminal court while a warrant was pending for her arrest. More.

Arizona Summit Law School Announces Plan for University Relationship: Arizona Summit Law School (Summit), one of the nation's few independent law schools, intends to affiliate with a major university within the year. Read more on the AZ Attorney blog.

from the bar

Less Than One Month to File MCLE Affidavits Before September 15 Deadline: You don't need to wait! Online filing for your 2015-16 MCLE affidavit is available now. Filing deadline is no later than September 15, 2016. You may access your personalized CLE tracking page and MCLE affidavit on the members' website by clicking here.

Arizona Supreme Court Seeks Volunteers for Two Committees: Apply by September 7 to serve on the Court's Committee on Character and Fitness or its Committee on Examinations. Candidate criteria and an application form are available here.

Judicial Nominees for Maricopa County Superior Court Announced: The Maricopa County Commission on Trial Court Appointments has recommended 11 candidates to Governor Doug Ducey for three openings on the Maricopa County Superior Court. View the nominees here.

11 Applicants Being Considered for Two New Positions on the Arizona Supreme Court: The Commission on Appellate Court Appointments seeks comments from the public on 11 applicants for two new positions on the Arizona Supreme Court. The Commission will review the applications and hear comments at a public meeting on September 1, 2016, which will determine who will be interviewed for the openings. View the applicants here.

Become a Mentor and Give Back to Your Profession: The State Bar of Arizona is currently seeking mentors in all law practice areas. Participation as a mentor through the Mentor Program qualifies as voluntary pro bono publico service under Ethical Rule 6.1. Mentors may also receive up to 2.0 hours of ethics CLE credit. If you're ready to give back, please review our program guidelines and email your completed application form to Jayde Ely or fax to 602.416.7532.

Applications Being Accepted for a Vacancy on the Maricopa County Superior Court: Applications are being accepted for a vacancy on the Superior Court in Maricopa County created by the retirement of Judge Kristin C. Hoffman. Applications must be received by 3 p.m. on August 31, 2016. More.

Apply for Vacancy on Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals: Applications are being accepted for a vacancy on Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals, created by the retirement of Judge Maurice Portley. The Commission on Appellate Court Appointments will review applications, interview selected applicants, and recommend at least three nominees to Governor Doug Ducey. Learn more about the vacancy here.

Solo or Small Firm Lawyer? Here's a Fast-Paced Program Designed for You: Whether you are a lawyer just starting out, or transitioning into a solo or small firm practice, this day-long institute will provide you with practical tips and strategies. Register here.

Help Consumers by Writing Law-Related Tips! The State Bar of Arizona seeks 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.

Keep Sharing 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: Free one-hour webinar. Learn about the 'mobile revolution' including the importance of optimization of your website in order for you to be found online. Speaker is Rieva Lesonsky, an expert on small business and entrepreneurship. Click here to register. Webinar on August 31 is presented by Citrix ShareFile.

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.

Are You Insured for That? Find State Bar member discounts on several types of insurance, including liability, long term care, disability, auto, and business. Click here for the full list.

Looking for Discounts on Rental Cars, Hotels, Office Products 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

August 9, 2016 - 1 CA-JV 15-0333 - Jennifer S. v. Arizona Department of Child Safety
Whether the juvenile court erred in finding the Department of Child Safety proved by clear and convincing evidence the chronic substance abuse ground for severance under A.R.S. � 8-533(B)(3). Read Opinion.

July 29, 2016 - 2 CA-CR 2015-0117 - State of Arizona v. Brian K. Hancock
1. Was the defendant denied his right to a public trial when members of his family, previously disclosed as potential witnesses, were excluded from the courtroom pursuant to Arizona procedural rules providing for witness exclusion from certain trial proceedings? 2. Was there sufficient evidence to support the defendant�s conviction for sexual conduct with a minor based on masturbatory conduct? 3. Was the defendant�s sentence properly aggravated under A.R.S. � 13-701(D)(18), based on the presence of another child who was asleep and unaware of the offense? 4. Was betrayal of trust properly applied to both enhance the defendant�s sexual conduct with a minor conviction and to aggravate his sentence as a catch-all aggravating factor under A.R.S. � 13-701(D)(25)? Read Opinion.

9th Circuit Court of Appeals

August 12, 2016 - 15-15233 - Bourne Valley Court Trust v. Wells Fargo Bank, NA
In a Trust's action to quiet title on real property that it had acquired after the property had been foreclosed by a homeowners' association, the District Court's grant of summary judgment to plaintiff is vacated where Nevada Revised Statutes section 116.3116's 'opt-in' notice scheme, which required a HOA to alert a mortgage lender that it intended to foreclose only if the lender had affirmatively requested notice, facially violated the lender's constitutional due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Federal Constitution. Read Opinion.

August 12, 2016 - 15-50141 - United States of America v. Carlos Herrera-Rivera
Sentence and conviction for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute is: 1. affirmed as to conviction where the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying an evidentiary hearing on the defendant's motion to suppress; but 2. vacated and remanded as to sentence where the District Court's failure, in applying an obstruction of justice enhancement, to explicitly find that the defendant's testimony was willful and material is plain error affecting the defendant's substantial rights. Read Opinion.


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