Volume 16, No. 12 | June 6, 2017

eye on ethics

Q: My father asked me to prepare his will. His intent is to name me as the recipient of his vintage guitar collection, worth over $50,000. Am I ethically permitted to prepare his will?

A: Yes. ER 1.8(c) prohibits a lawyer from preparing on behalf of a client an instrument giving the lawyer any substantial gift, unless the lawyer is related to the client. But, you should still check for conflicts of interest under ER 1.7 and ER 1.9, as you would for any client.

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Frank X. Gordon, a former Arizona Chief Justice, just wrote his autobiography. Here's our review.

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member news

Lisa Loo to be Recognized for Her Leadership in Social Justice: Lisa Loo, VP of Legal Affairs and Deputy General Counsel at Arizona State University, and first woman of color to be President of the State Bar of Arizona's Board of Governors has been named the recipient of the Social Justice Leadership Award of the 10th Annual Positively Powerful Woman Awards. Organizers say the awards are committed to bringing attention to the hard-working, culturally diverse, and critically important women in various industries throughout Arizona. Well-deserved, Lisa! Congratulations.

In the news

New York Judge Arrested, Led From Courthouse in Handcuffs: Judge Leticia Astacio was arrested last week after she missed a Tuesday court appearance related to an August drunken-driving conviction. Judge Stephen Aronson of Canandaigua City Court, who issued the warrant and is overseeing her drunken-driving case, ordered her held without bail in Monroe County Jail until a Thursday hearing. "You're doing everything to show you don't care what happens to your public trust," Aronson said. Read more on this unusual story here.

Contractor Charged in NSA Document Leak Case: A 25-year-old government contractor Reality Leigh Winner has been charged with mishandling classified information after authorities said she gave a top-secret National Security Agency document to a news organization. She was accused of gathering, transmitting or losing defense information � the first criminal charge filed in a leak investigation during the Trump administration. Winner was arrested Saturday and the case was revealed Monday. A person familiar with the case said the charges stem from the document given to the Intercept. Read more on this developing story here.

from the bar

You Can Still Register for Convention! How? You can register at the convention site � the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson. Senior lawyers 65 and older who attend the Senior Lawyers Breakfast on Friday are welcome to attend seminars on Friday at no extra cost. All other attorneys must pay the registration fee to attend the CLE seminars. Click here to find out more.

In Case You Missed It ... Ten Attorneys Elected to Serve on State Bar Board: Members of the State Bar of Arizona have elected ten attorneys to serve as their representatives on the Bar's Board of Governors. The Board is the governing body of the State Bar, a nonprofit association that exists to serve and protect the public with respect to the provision of legal services and access to justice. View the newly elected members here.

Application Deadline for Vacancy on Division Two Extended to June 16: The application period for the vacancy on Division Two of the Arizona Court of Appeals created by the retirement of Judge Michael O. Miller has been extended to June 16, 2017. Applicants must be at least 30 years of age, of good moral character, and admitted to the practice of law in Arizona, as well as a resident of Arizona, for the past five years. To be eligible, an applicant must also have resided in Pima County for the past three years. Learn more on the application process by clicking here.

Don't Miss Your Chance to Comment on 20 Applicants Vying for Two Vacancies on Pima County Superior Court: The public is invited to comment on 20 applicants for two vacancies on the Superior Court in Pima County created by the retirement of Judges Jane L. Eikleberry and Richard Nichols. The Pima County Commission on Trial Court Appointments will review the applications and take public testimony at a meeting on June 29, 2017. Written comments must arrive by June 23, 2017 to be considered. Click here for more information.

Three Nominees for Arizona Court of Appeals Announced: The Commission on Appellate Court Appointments has recommended three nominees to Governor Doug Ducey for an opening on Division Two of the Arizona Court of Appeals. The nominees for the opening created by the retirement of Judge Joseph W. Howard are Laura A. Cardinal, Sole Practitioner at Cardinal Law, PC; Karl C. Eppich, Judge for Pinal County Superior Court; and Timothy M. Wright, Judge for Gila County Superior Court. The Governor will appoint the new judge. Read the news release here.

Moon Valley Justice of the Peace Andrew Hettinger Reprimanded: On May 31, 2017, the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct issued an amended order reprimanding Moon Valley Justice of the Peace Andrew Hettinger for violating a number of rules in the Arizona Code of Judicial Conduct during his 2016 election campaign for the position of justice of the peace. A public reprimand is a public sanction issued when a judge's conduct is unacceptable under one or more grounds for judicial discipline, but is not so serious as to warrant further discipline by the Arizona Supreme Court. Read more on this disciplinary matter here.

Phoenix Attorney Kristi M. Morley of Phoenix Disbarred for Abandoning Clients and Burdening Courts: Attorney Kristi M. Morley of Phoenix was disbarred from the State Bar of Arizona after abandoning clients, keeping unwarranted fees, subjecting a client to a large judgement, and burdening courts with her incompetence. Read the entire news release here.

Attorney Greg Clark of Phoenix Reinstated to the Practice of Law: The Presiding Disciplinary Judge of the Arizona Supreme Court ordered that Greg Clark of Phoenix be reinstated as an active member of the State Bar of Arizona. Clark wasn reinstated to the active practice of law after serving a 60-day suspension that resulted from misconduct in three separate counts while representing clients during their criminal matters. Read more here.

BLI Ready for New Crop of Leaders After Graduating Tenth Class: The Bar Leadership Institute (BLI) graduated its 10th class on May 5. These lawyers received professional development skills and advice that will help them be more successful in their practices and more effective leaders in the legal profession and greater community. Don't miss out on the opportunity to be a part of the next class. The application deadline is June 23, 2017. More information and the online application form are available here.

Are You An Attorney Who Has Good News to Share? Have you recently been recognized for contributions you make to the communities you serve? Is your firm raising money or collecting food 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.

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.

Practice Tip - Are You Retirement Ready? Click here to see "Your Retirement Blueprint: the Six Areas of Financial Panning", an on-demand one-hour webinar, presented by Member Discount Provider ABA Retirement. The ABA Retirement Funds Program provides affordable 401(k) plans exclusively to law firms of all sizes, even solo practitioners.

Save Money on 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.

Do You Accept Credit Cards From Clients? Save up to 25% on standard credit card processing fees: LawPay is a credit card processing service exclusively for attorneys, and meets the requirements for trust account guidelines. Call 866.376.0950 or visit www.lawpay.com/azbar. No contract required.

Save on Avis, Budget and Hertz Car Rentals, UPS Shipping, Office Depot, Practice Management Software and More: Click here for the full list of companies offering discounts to State Bar members.

court decisions

Arizona Court of Appeals
Division One
Division Two

May 18, 2017 - 1 CA-MH 16-0026 - In the Matter of Colton P.
Given the absence of a hearing transcript, did the superior court properly comply with A.R.S. section 36-539(B), which requires the testimony of at least two acquaintance witnesses to support an involuntary commitment order? Read opinion.

April 7, 2017 - 2 CA-CV 2016-0130 - Ciena Capital Funding, LLC v. Krieg's Inc.
1. Is this contract dispute governed by Arizona law or by New York law? 2. Did the trial court err in granting partial summary judgment for the creditor and holding the guarantors liable for breach of contract following the debtor's bankruptcy? 3. Was there a genuine issue of material fact as to the date of breach? Read opinion.

9th Circuit Court of Appeals

June 5, 2017 - 15-15542 - D.L., a Minor v. United States of America
In a suit under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) brought by a minor plaintiff, alleging that his mother died of postpartum hemorrhage due to medical malpractice by a physician, who was a deemed employee of the U.S. Public Health Service, the district court's dismissal for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction on exhaustion grounds is reversed because plaintiff's initial failure to exhaust his administrative remedies as to a defendant whom the plaintiffs reasonably did not know was covered by the FTCA did not deprive the federal courts of subject-matter jurisdiction over that plaintiff's FTCA claim where the plaintiff dismissed his initial suit against that defendant, and then exhausted his administrative remedies before amending his complaint in state court to add the defendant again. Read opinion.

June 1, 2017 - 15-15428 - Barry Bauer v. Xavier Becerra, California Attorney General
In an action challenging, on Second Amendment grounds, California Penal Code section 28225, which requires the allocation of $5 of a $19 fee on firearms transfers to fund enforcement efforts against illegal firearm purchasers through California's Armed Prohibited Persons System, the district court's grant of summary judgment to the State of California is affirmed where the use of the fee to fund enforcement efforts survived intermediate scrutiny because the government has demonstrated an important public safety interest in this statutory scheme, and there was a reasonable fit between the government's interest and the means it has chosen to achieve those ends. Read opinion.


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