Volume 16, No. 19 | September 12, 2017

eye on ethics

Q: My former client sent me a check to cover the outstanding balance on his legal fees. When I attempted to deposit, the check was returned for nonsufficient funds. May I report this to the county to initiate criminal action?

A: No. "Attorney may not instigate criminal prosecution against former client who pays fees with NSF check." Ariz. Ethics Op. 93-11.

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member news

Three Attorneys Recognized by State Bar Public Lawyers Section: The Public Lawyers Section of the State Bar of Arizona has named the three winners of their annual awards. This year, the Section recognized Bruce Washburn, Scottsdale City Attorney, with the Distinguished Public Lawyer Award; Cliff Frey, retired, with the Public Lawyer Career Achievement Award; and Hon. C. Steven McMurry, Encanto Justice of the Peace, with the Justice Michael D. Ryan Award for Judicial Excellence. Congratulations to all!

In the news

Mental Competency in Dispute in Slender Man Trial: A mental competency trial has started in Wisconsin for a teenager accused of stabbing a classmate to appease a fictional horror character called Slender Man. Attorneys presented their opening statements Tuesday morning to jurors in Waukesha County Circuit Court. Fifteen-year-old Anissa Weier has admitted to participating in the attack on Payton Leutner at a park in Waukesha in 2014. But, Weier says she's not guilty because of her mental illness at the time. Read more on this trial here.

Hurricane Irma - Florida Sheriff Who Threatened Arrests at Shelters Is Sued: A man who claims he was denied entry to a shelter unless he underwent a background check is suing Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, who got national attention after saying on Twitter he would jail anyone with an outstanding warrant who tried to seek shelter from Hurricane Irma. Judd called the lawsuit "frivolous" and said he would not change his policy. Read the suit details here.

from the bar

You Have Until Friday to File Your MCLE Affidavit! 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.

Estate Planning Attorney? Here's Your Chance to Help the Community! The State Bar of Arizona is partnering with ABC15 to launch its newest access to justice program "Let Joe Know, Ask a Lawyer Phone Bank," making its debut on Wednesday, September 27. We are seeking eight (8) estate planning attorneys to help answer viewers' wills and trusts questions during the two-hour phone bank. If you would like to make an impact on our community by sharing your legal knowledge and volunteering, please contact Alberto Rodriguez at alberto.rodriguez@staff.azbar.org by Friday, September 22, 2017.

Four Judicial Nominating Commissions Now Accepting Applications: Four non-partisan commissions, chaired by the Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court (or his designee), are seeking applicants. Primary responsibility is to screen, interview and recommend judicial candidates to the Governor of Arizona for the Governor's final selection to fill judicial vacancies. The four commissions are: Arizona Commission on Appellate Court Appointments (non-Maricopa County position); Maricopa County Commission on Trial Court Appointments (Supervisorial District 1 or 5); Pima County Commission on Trial Court Appointments (SD 4 or 5); and Pinal County Commission on Trial Court Appointments (SD 2, 3 or 5). To learn more, or apply, click here.

Public Comment Sought on Pinal County Superior Court Applicants: The public is invited to comment on six applicants 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 applicants are: DeLana Jacobs Fuller, Christopher J. O�Neil, Patrick K. Gard, Megan K. Weagant, Barbara A. Hazel, Lawrence M. Wharton. Looming deadlines and applications can be viewed here on the Commission's website.

Apply by October 2 for CLE Institute: The CLE Institute is a professional development program for CLE presenters who want to increase their proficiency in presenting CLE programs. This program is ideal for newer CLE presenters seeking to sharpen their presentation skills and experienced speakers looking for the latest strategies in adult education. Applicants will be notified of their selection status by October 10. For more information and to apply, click here.

Two Judicial Vacancies on Maricopa County Superior Court Accepting Applications: Applications are being accepted for two vacancies on the Superior Court in Maricopa County created by the retirement of Judges Colleen McNally and Robert H. Oberbillig. The Maricopa County Commission on Trial Court Appointments will review applications, interview selected applicants, and recommend at least three nominees for each vacancy to the Governor. Application deadline is October 2, 2017. Click here to learn more.

Register With the Bar Flys to Get a Reduced Fee for Rock 'n' Roll Marathon: In pursuit of good health, Arizona's legal community is coming together for the ninth consecutive year to run in the Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon, Half Marathon, and 10-K "Rock Corporate," to be held on Sunday, January 14, 2018. Join us and while funds last, we'll cover about half of your registration fee. This year, you can also run in the 5K on Saturday, January 13, 2018. For more, 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 - What You Can Learn About Law Firm Management from Shark Tank: Lawyer Anthony Marrone believes lawyers could improve the way they run their firms by thinking through how they'd stack up on Shark Tank. Read his management tips here. This practice tip brought to you by Member Discount Provider Clio. State Bar members are eligible for a 10% discount off Clio, the world's most popular practice management software. Learn more and claim your discount here.

How to Send Email Attachments Securely: State Bar of Arizona members receive a 10% discount for life with Citrix ShareFile, which provides secure file sharing on any device, anywhere. For a free trial or more information, please click here.

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 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

August 29, 2017 - 1 CA-CV 16-0099 - Bank of America v. Felco Business Services
Whether a claim of equitable subrogation is a "defense or objection to the [trustee's] sale" of property that is waivable under A.R.S. � 33-811(c) if not asserted in an action enjoining the sale. Read opinion.

Division Two Opinion Not Available

9th Circuit Court of Appeals

September 8, 2017 - 15-16967 - Taniko C. Smith v. Brian E. Williams, Nevada AG
Reversing the district court's judgment dismissing as untimely the federal habeas corpus petition of a convict because a judgment only refers to the state judgment on which a petitioner is being held in a procedurally complicated case in which the determination of the statute of limitations depended on whether an initial conviction or its reinstatement was the point at which the clock started. Read opinion.

September 8, 2017 - 15-55880 - Gary King v. Blue Cros Blue Shield of Illinois
Reversing the district court grant of summary judgment in the case of a welfare benefit plan that denied a woman coverage when a back infection requiring surgery would exceed the plan's half-million dollar lifetime benefit maximum because although ERISA does not ban lifetime benefit maximums for certain retiree-only plans the defendants violated ERISA's statutory and regulatory requirements by providing a faulty summary of modifications in 2010 and genuine disputes of material fact bar summary judgment on breach of fiduciary duty claims. Read opinion.


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