Volume 16, No. 16 | August 1, 2017

eye on ethics

Q: I just concluded representation of a client. The client was so pleased with the outcome that she gave me a $50 gift card to my favorite restaurant (in addition to the legal fee). Am I ethically permitted to keep this gift?

A: Yes, if the gift card is (a) unsolicited, and (b) the transaction meets general standards of fairness. Keep in mind that additional considerations will apply to substantial gifts and gifts requiring preparation of a legal instrument. See ER 1.8(c) and cmts. 6-8, or call the Ethics Hotline for guidance.

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Riding the Trail
New State Bar President Alex Vakula practices in Prescott. Read about what took him there.

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member news

Attorneys Volunteer to Help Telemundo Viewers: The State Bar of Arizona offers its sincere appreciation to attorneys Emilia Banuelos, Banuelos Law Office; Hugo Larios, Hugo F. Larios Law; Edwin G. Ramos, De La Ossa & Ramos; Randall Rowberry, Sanchez Immigration; and James Winings for volunteering at an immigration law phone bank held with Telemundo on Wednesday, July 19. This access to justice program was held to give Telemundo viewers an opportunity to ask their immigration law questions in Spanish. The five volunteer attorneys answered 96 calls during the two-and-a-half-hour phone bank. Telemundo also incorporated an online element via its website, as well as encouraged Facebook followers to submit questions there, adding an additional 82 consumer questions. The Bar thanks the volunteers for committing their time and expertise to consumers through this access to justice program.

In the news

Joe Arpaio's Guilty Verdict ... What's Next? Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio's trial on a criminal contempt-of-court charge lasted five days. His sentencing after Monday's guilty verdict, and whatever comes after that, could take much longer. Click here to read what's next, based on interviews with former federal prosecutors.

7th Circuit Judge Backs 19-Member Supreme Court, Comments on 'Pompous Lawyers': The U.S. Supreme Court may be too small, according to Judge Richard Posner of 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A 19-member court would increase diversity and might have more quality justices, Posner said at a recent talk at the University of Chicago. Justices and other federal judges are appointed by politicians, with Senate confirmation, Posner pointed out. "Those politicians don't care about quality beyond a minimum, a very low minimum," he said. Read more on the judge's "opinion" here.

from the bar

State Bar Now Subject to Public Meeting Policy: Effective today the State Bar of Arizona became subject to the Public Meeting Policy adopted in an administrative order by the Supreme Court of Arizona on April 5, 2017. In addition to the Board of Governors, committees affected by the Policy are: Appointments, Board of Legal Specialization, Civil Jury Instructions, Criminal Jury Instructions, Civil Practice and Procedure, Criminal Practice and Procedure, Family Practice and Procedure, Finance and Audit, Human Resources, Mandatory Continuing Legal Education, and Rules Review. For additional information and to view the policy, click here.

Online MCLE Affidavit Filing Now Open! The deadline to file your 2016-17 MCLE affidavit is September 15. Avoid paying late filing fees by visiting your personalized CLE tracking page on the State Bar of Arizona members' website. You can quickly and easily submit your affidavit today. Click here.

Comment on Small Claims Case Processing at the Arizona Supreme Court by Friday: The Committee on Improving Small Claims Case Processing at the Arizona Supreme Court is proposing changes to a set of court rules for small claims cases to assist in expediting the process for litigants. These rules would change the process of a small claims case, so it could proceed through the court with more similarity to an eviction case. A hearing would be set at the time the complaint is filed, and the filing of an answer by the defendant would be optional, instead of mandatory. Because of this shift in case processing, the Committee invites your feedback on the current draft set of rules by Friday, August 4. Please send feedback to Committee staff person Marretta Mathes at MMathes@courts.az.gov. Click here to learn read proposed changes.

Apply for Vacancy on Pinal County Superior Court: Applications are being accepted for a vacancy on the Superior Court in Pinal County created by the appointment of Judge Karl C. Eppich to Division Two of the Arizona Court of Appeals. The Pinal County Commission on Trial Court Appointments will review applications, interview selected applicants, and recommend at least three nominees for the vacancy to the governor, who will appoint the new judge. The application deadline is at 3 p.m. on Monday, August 28, 2017. Click here to begin the process.

Seven Judicial Nominees Announced for Pima County: The Pima County Commission on Trial Court Appointments has recommended seven candidates to Governor Doug Ducey for two openings on the Pima County Superior Court. Nominees for the openings created by the retirement of Judges Jane L. Eikleberry and Richard Nichols are: Renee T. Bennett, Baird S. Greene, John Hinderaker, John N. Iurino, Mark D. Lammers, Nanette C. Morrow, and Wayne E. Yehling. Click here to read the Court's news release.

Public Asked for Input on Candidates for Maricopa County Superior Court Vacancy: The Maricopa County Commission on Trial Court Appointments is seeking public input on 12 candidates for an opening on the Maricopa County Superior Court. The Commission will meet to interview the candidates on August 23, 2017. Candidate applications can be viewed online at the Commission's website.

Fraudulent Billing Practices Leads to Interim Suspension of Attorney Judd S. Nemiro of Phoenix: The Presiding Disciplinary Judge of the Arizona Supreme Court issued an order placing Judd S. Nemiro of Phoenix on interim suspension. The State Bar of Arizona alleged that Nemiro engaged in conduct that has caused, or is likely to cause, immediate and substantial harm to clients, the public, or the administration of justice. The conduct included engaging in fraudulent billing practices, abandoning clients, and mismanaging his client trust account. Read more here.

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 submit 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.

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 - Stop Fraud Before It Happens: Fraud can ruin a day, week, or your entire identity. So how can you protect yourself? Read about some tips and tricks from the State Bar of Arizona ATIRAcredit Platinum Rewards Mastercard by clicking here.

The Rise of the Mobile Lawyer: Manage your practice from your Mac or PC, Phone or Tablet with Clio, the most widely-used, cloud-based practice management system in the world. Clio integrates with many applications including Fastcase, LawPay, and Quickbooks Online. State Bar of Arizona members receive a 10% lifetime discount on Clio. Find out more by clicking here.

Wish You Had a Full-Time Receptionist, but Don't Have the Budget to Hire One? Check out Ruby Receptionists, a live, custom virtual receptionist service. State Bar members receive a 10% discount. To learn more, go to www.callruby.com/azbar or call 866.611.7829.

Save on Car Rentals, Shipping, Insurance 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

July 6, 2017 - 1 CA-CV 16-0255 - Security Alarm Financing v. Amy Fuller
1. Whether state or federal law governs the issue of waiver by a party seeking to compel arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act of a claim brought in state court. 2. Whether, under the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. � 3, a party waives its right to arbitration by failing to assert arbitration as an affirmative defense in its answer to the complaint, when the party opposing arbitration cannot show prejudice from the delay. Read opinion.

July 28, 2017 - 2 CA-CR 2016-0303 - State of Arizona v. Bo Lucas Johnson
Is A.R.S. � 13-3102(A)(12), which prohibits possessing a deadly weapon on school property, unconstitutionally vague because the exception provided in � 13-3102(I)(1) for a "[f]irearm that is not loaded and that is carried within a means of transportation under the control of an adult" does not define the term "loaded"? Read opinion.

9th Circuit Court of Appeals

July 25, 2017 - 14-17492 - Derek Hoggett v. University of Phoenix
Dismissing a qui tam lawsuit under the False Claims Act because the appeal was untimely and the court lacked jurisdiction as a result because the plaintiff's post-decision motion was, in substance, merely a motion to stay the entry of judgment which, in itself, did not toll the time for filing a notice of appeal. Read opinion.

July 24, 2017 - 15-35018 - Anthony P. Reed v. Douglas Lieurancen
Reversing the district court's summary judgment, dismissals, and judgment as a matter of law where a reasonably prudent officer couldn't have probable cause to believe the defendant, volunteering to observe an interagency government operation to herd buffalo into Yellowstone National Park was obstructing the operation and that the court improperly invaded the province of the jury when resolving factual disputes as to probable cause, failed to provide notice and opportunity before a dismissal, and abused its discretion in excluding testimony, and dismissing attorney fees claims as outside the court's jurisdiction. Read opinion.


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