Volume 15, No. 24 | November 22, 2016

eye on ethics

Q: I am admitted to practice only in New Mexico. I'd like to start a family law mediation practice in Arizona. Should I be concerned about unauthorized practice of law?

A: Not if your practice consists solely of mediation, because serving as a mediator is not the practice of law. See Rule 31(a)(2)(D). Be aware that if you start drafting documents or advising on Arizona law, you could be committing unauthorized practice of law; see Rule 31(a)(2)(A) or call the Ethics Hotline for assistance.

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The Federal Courts
What you should know about federal courts, in a new book we review.

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member news

City Council Appoints Gaudreau as Associate Judge: The Surprise City Council appointed Catherine Ann Gaudreau to serve as the new Associate Judge for the Surprise City Court. "Catherine has a history of portraying a fair and balanced temperament at trial that is required at the next level on the bench as a judge and I look forward to working with her," says Surprise City Court Presiding Judge Louis Frank Dominguez. "Thank you to the City Council, the Judicial Selection Advisory Commission and to the public for weighing in on this important selection for our community." Read more on her appointment here.

In the news

Maricopa County Lab Director's Criminal Record Uncovered; What Does It Mean? The former lab director and chief toxicologist for the Maricopa County Office of the Medical Examiner who has offered expert testimony on a number of cases has been harboring a secret for nearly two decades. That secret is one prosecutors and defense attorneys in those cases should have known, and could put those cases and verdicts in jeopardy. Read more about the case here.

Jodi Arias Lawyer Kirk Nurmi Disbarred Over Book About the Case: One of Jodi Arias' lawyers has agreed to lose his license to practice law in the state of Arizona over a book he wrote about his experiences during the case. Nurmi's book presented a negative view of his client and her case, as well as disclosed confidential discussions he had with Arias and her family. Read more here.

from the bar

State Bar Closed on Thursday and Friday: The State Bar of Arizona's Phoenix and Tucson offices will be closed Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25, 2016 in observance of the Thanksgiving Day holiday. Regular business hours will resume on Monday, November 28, 2016.

In Pima County? Apply for a Vacancy on the Superior Court by Next Wednesday: Applications are being accepted for a vacancy on the Superior Court in Pima County created by the retirement of Judge Carmine Cornelio. Applications must be submitted by 3 p.m. on Wednesday, November 30, 2016. Learn more here.

Launching Soon: New Legal-News Source Daily 5: Curiosity and two minutes are all you need to enjoy the Daily 5, an innovative source of news stories from the staff of Arizona Attorney Magazine. Read more here about how this email news feed will inform your legal world.

Justice for All Task Force Publishes Report and Recommendations: The Fair Justice for All Task Force established by Chief Justice Scott Bales via Adminstrative Order has published its report and recommendations regarding court-ordered fines, penalties, fees, and pretrial release policies. Read the report and recommendations here.

Phoenix Attorney Peter K. Strojnik Suspended for Threatening Opposing Party With Public Shaming: Attorney Peter K. Strojnik of Phoenix was suspended for 30 days after using inappropriate means to compel a settlement. More.

Attorney Edward W. Matchett of Douglas Reinstated to the Practice of Law: The Presiding Disciplinary Judge of the Arizona Supreme Court ordered that Edward W. Matchett of Douglas be reinstated as an active member of the State Bar of Arizona. More.

Judge Robert J. Higgins Appointed to Presiding Judge for Navajo County: The Arizona Supreme Court has appointed Robert J. Higgins to the post of Presiding Judge for Navajo County. On January 1, 2017, he will succeed Presiding Judge Michala Ruechel, who will remain on the bench. The Presiding Judge has administrative authority over all courts, judicial officers, and court employees in Navajo County. More.

Order Your Copy of the 2016 Economics of Law Practice in Arizona! Learn how members responded to our questions about hourly billing rates, total compensation, and amenities and benefits being offered by Arizona's law firms. This report was last published in 2013, so it's time to see how economic changes have affected our professional lives today. Order online at azbar.org/ordereconimicsreport. For more information email Pat Giallanza.

Get Your Registration Reduced for the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in January! Arizona's legal community is coming together for the eighth consecutive year to run in the Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon, Half Marathon, and 10K "Rock Corporate," to be held on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017. This year, you can also run in the 5K on Saturday, January 14, 2017. For more, click 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 - "Fiduciary Duties and the Modern Lawyer": Attend this free one-hour webinar on Decemer 14 at 11 a.m. covering proper ways to engage in business with a client to serve their fiduciary relationship, and more. Click here to register or for more information. Presented by attorney Claude Ducloux, from State Bar Member Discount Provider LawPay.

Want Double Reward Points? Apply now and earn double reward points on purchases for the first 60 days with the no annual fee Platinum Rewards State Bar of Arizona MasterCard. See full terms and conditions here.

Ready to Save Money on Your Car Insurance? You could qualify for an exclusive State Bar member discount with GEICO. For a no-obligation quote, click here or call 800.368.2734.

Save on Car Insurance, Legal Research, Legal Software 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

November 8, 2016 - 1 CA-CV 15-0643 - Patrick McGovern (Deceased) v. AHCCCS Administration
Whether, under applicable law and regulations, AHCCCS is required to consider if an applicant would face difficulty or inconvenience in accessing his assets in deciding whether those assets are, legally, "countable" and "available" resources for the purpose of determining the applicant's eligibility for Medicaid benefits under Arizona's long-term care program. Read Opinion.

November 2, 2016 - 2 CA-JV 2016-0064 - In Re J.U.
1. Did the juvenile court abuse its discretion by awarding restitution to the Douglas Police Department pursuant to � 13-2907(B) for expenses incurred in responding to and investigating the juvenile�s false report of a terrorist attack against two schools? 2. Did the juvenile court abuse its discretion by ordering the juvenile to pay the Douglas Police Department mileage it had paid officers for travel to and from court hearings? Read Opinion.

9th Circuit Court of Appeals

November 18, 2016 - 15-16466 - Alika Atay v. County of Maui
In an action challenging a ballot initiative ordinance banning the cultivation and testing of genetically engineered (GE) plants, the District Court's grant of summary judgment to defendants is affirmed where: 1) the ordinance is expressly preempted by the Plant Protection Act, 7 U.S.C. section 7756(b), to the extent that it bans GE plants that the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) regulates as plant pests; and 2) the ban is not impliedly preempted by the Plant Protection Act in its application to GE crops that APHIS has deregulated, but is impliedly preempted in this application by Hawaii's comprehensive state statutory scheme for the regulation of potentially harmful plants. Read Opinion.

November 18, 2016 - 15-15246 - Robert Ito Farm v. County of Maui
In an action challenging a ballot initiative ordinance prohibiting the growth, testing, and cultivation of genetically engineered crops until the County conducted an environmental and health impact study, the District Court's denials of appellants' motions to intervene are affirmed where: 1) prospective intervenors are not 'parties' for purposes of section 636(c)(1); and 2) a magistrate judge who has the consent of the named parties to the suit may rule on a prospective intervenor's motion to intervene without the prospective intervenor's consent. Read Opinion.


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