Volume 16, No. 13 | June 20, 2017

eye on ethics

Q: I am an inactive member of the State Bar of Arizona. My brother asked me to represent him in evicting a tenant from his Prescott rental property. I do not plan to charge a fee. Is this permissible?

A: No. According to Rule 32(c)(4), "[i]nactive members shall not practice law in Arizona, or hold office in the State Bar or vote in State Bar elections." There is no exception for pro bono representation.

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member news

Spanish-Speaking Lawyers Volunteer to Help Consumers: The State Bar of Arizona and Univision Arizona hosted an Abogados a Su Lado (attorneys on your side) phone bank Thursday, June 15, 2017. This access to justice program was held to connect the Spanish-speaking community with volunteer attorneys who could help address their family law issues in their language. Volunteer attorneys answered 25 calls regarding family law issues during the two-hour phone bank. Volunteers included: Sylvina Cotto, Cotto Law Firm; Carlos Mendez, Slack-Mendez Law Firm, Daniel Rodriguez, Diaz Rodriguez & Associates; and Javier Sobampo, Sobampo Law Firm. The State Bar of Arizona expresses its sincerest appreciation to the attorney volunteers and Univision Arizona. Thank you!

In the news

New York Attorney General Sues Anti-abortion Protesters: New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has sued anti-abortion protesters for allegedly menacing patients and staff at a clinic in Queens. The federal lawsuit alleges "a weekly pattern of threatening, obstructive, and violent activity" at the Choices Women's Medical Center. Read what the suit seeks by clicking here.

Hold the Phone. Did Colorado Just Make It Legal to Text and Drive? The electronic signs above Colorado highways offer a warning to drivers who reach for their cellphones: "New texting law fines increased to $300." What it doesn't mention: Texting while driving is now legal in Colorado as long as it isn't done in "a careless or imprudent manner." Click here to learn why.

from the bar

Bar Leadership Institute Application Deadline is THIS Friday: Is this your year to lead? We're confident that it is! More information on the BLI and online application form are available here.

Share Your Thoughts on the Proposed New Civil Jury Instructions: State Bar members are invited to comment on proposed new civil jury instructions covering "Nuisance Damages." Please submit your comments to Ilona.Kukan@staff.azbar.org by July 21, 2017. Click here to learn more and get started.

Arizona Supreme Court Seeks Committee Members: Apply by September 6 to serve on the Court's Committee on Character and Fitness or its Committee on Examinations. For candidate criteria, estimated time commitment, length of terms and an application form click here.

Attorneys in Pinal County�We Need You! Attorneys in Pinal County Needed to Help with Merit Selection Process: Apply to serve on the Pinal County Commission on Trial Court Appointments. Applicants must reside in Pinal County Supervisorial District 2. The Commission screens judicial applicants and submits nominations to the Governor for his ultimate appointment to fill positions on the Pinal Superior Court bench. Applications accepted until the position is filled. For candidate criteria and an application click here.

Seven Applicants Being Considered for Arizona Court of Appeals: The public is asked for comments on seven applicants for an opening on Division Two of the Arizona Court of Appeals created by the retirement of Judge Michael O. Miller. The applicants include: Sean E. Brearcliffe, David J. Euchner, George O. Krauja, Jacob R. Lines, D. Douglas Metcalf, Regina L. Nassen, amd Jonathan Reich. Click here to view the comment deadlines.

Tucson Attorney Barry W. Rorex Suspended: Attorney Barry W. Rorex of Tucson was suspended for six months and one day after abandoning three clients. Click here to read more on this sanction.

Felony Domestic Violence Leads to Interim Suspension of Attorney Thomas A. Germuska: The Presiding Disciplinary Judge of the Arizona Supreme Court issued an order placing Thomas A. Germuska on interim suspension. On March 29, 2017, Thomas A. Germuska was convicted by a jury in Maricopa County Superior Court of a Class Four Felony Domestic Violence, and a Class One Misdemeanor Assault, Domestic Violence committed on June 26, 2016. Click here for more.

Hearing Scheduled to Consider Formal Charges Against Pima County Justice of the Peace: Formal charges allege that Judge Paula Aboud violated several rules governing the conduct of judges while attending Limited Jurisdiction New Judges Orientation during the week of January 9-13, 2017. The hearing to consider formal charges of judicial misconduct against Pima County Justice of the Peace Aboud will commence at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, August 14, 2017. Learn more about the allegations here.

AG's Office Assumes Navajo County DCSS Cases: Effective July 1, 2017, the Department of Economic Security/Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) will be assuming responsibility for the Title IV-D child support program in Navajo County. The Office of the Attorney General, Child Support Services Section, represents DCSS and will be assuming responsibility for all Title IV-D litigation for Navajo County child support cases. If you need further information, please contact Mitch Padilla, the Unit Chief Counsel for our North Balance of State offices at 928.759.1727 or Debra Tanner, Section Chief Counsel, at 602.542.9973.

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 - Consider Risk Factors When Deciding Whether to Accept a New Matter: The acceptance of some legal matters creates a higher risk of claims than others. To learn more, click here for information from State Bar Member Discount provider Ahern Insurance, a professional liability insurance brokerage firm.

Need to Refinance Your Student Loan? State Bar of Arizona members, family, and friends can receive a $300 welcome bonus* upon refinancing their student loans with SoFi, by visiting SoFi.com/AZBar. SoFi is the market leader of student loan refinancing and has originated $13+ billion in loans for over 200,000 borrowers. In order to receive the $300 welcome bonus*, applicants MUST apply through the SoFi.com/AZBar link.

Missed Calls Mean Missed Opportunities: Rely on Ruby� Receptionists to create stellar first impressions with your English and Spanish-Speaking callers, building trust and helping you win new clients. Learn more and get your 10% discount at www.callruby.com/azbar or call 866.611.7829.

Save on 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

June 8, 2017 - 1 CA-JV 16-0253 - In re Jessie T.
Whether the State presented sufficient evidence to support the juvenile court's delinquency adjudication that the juvenile knowingly or intentionally subjected an animal to cruel mistreatment (a class 6 felony) by shooting the animal with a pellet gun. Read opinion.

May 30, 2017 - 2 CA-CR 2015-0416 - State of Arizona v. Francisco M. Urrea
1. Did the trial court err in denying appellant's motion to suppress evidence based on his claim of an illegally prolonged traffic stop when a law enforcement officer directed him to leave his car and wait at the patrol vehicle while a "records check" was conducted? 2. After appellant successfully challenged three of the state's peremptory strikes under Batson v. Kentucky, did the trial court abuse its discretion in forfeiting the state's strikes and reinstating those jurors to the venire rather than granting appellant's motion for a mistrial? 3. Was improper "drug-courier profile" evidence admitted at trial when a law enforcement officer testified generally about drug transactions and the roles of individuals in them, as well as providing his opinion that the cocaine found in appellant's vehicle was for sale rather than for personal use? Read opinion.

9th Circuit Court of Appeals

June 20, 2017 - 15-56045 - Douglas Jordan-Benel v. Universal City Studios, Inc.
In the appeal of a breach of contract and copyright infringement case involving the movie 'The Purge,' the district court's denial of defendant's anti-SLAPP motion to strike a state law claim for breach of implied-in-fact contract, is affirmed where the breach of contract claim did not arise from an act in furtherance of the right of free speech since the claim was based on defendants' failure to pay for the plaintiff's idea, not the creation, production, distribution, or content of the films. Read opinion.

June 19, 2017 - 15-50459 - United States of America v. Steven Cervantes
In a criminal case in which police officers conducted a warrantless, suspicionless search of the defendant's hotel room pursuant to a condition of the mandatory supervision the defendant was serving for the final year of his three-year California county jail sentence, his sentence and conviction of felony counterfeiting and drug offenses are affirmed where: 1. for Fourth Amendment purposes, mandatory supervision is more akin to parole than probation, and 2. the search was authorized under the search condition because the officers had probable cause to believe that the hotel room constituted 'premises' under the defendant's control. Read opinion.


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