The Ninth Circuit: A Tiresome Trope

November 28, 2018

The Ninth Circuit: A Tiresome Trope

the ninth circuit

Mark Rubin

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit exists. For real! But it’s also a tiresome trope, and just the sort of stand-in you’d expect from Tiresome Trump our president, Donald J. Trump.

Last week’s rant was just that: a rant. POTUS didn’t like a decision from a U.S. District Court judge from California, one of the states which comprise the Ninth Circuit. So, “Obama judge” and this gem, from a 5:21 a.m. tweet on Thanksgiving Day:

Justice Roberts can say what he wants, but the 9th Circuit is a complete & total disaster. It is out of control, has a horrible reputation, is overturned more than any Circuit in

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Ethics Law aka The Law of Lawyering

November 25, 2018

Ethics Law aka The Law of Lawyering

ethics law

Mark Rubin

In part my law practice involves ethics law. The term fairly describes the practice area, but Law of Lawyering more completely defines it. Simply, I focus on issues which arise for lawyers as they practice law.*

The Rules of Professional Conduct govern lawyer conduct. The American Bar Association published Model Rules of Professional Conduct in the 1980s, to replace its Code of Professional Responsibility. Arizona had adopted the Code in 1970 and replaced it with its version of the ABA Model Rules in 1985. (For an excellent history of lawyer ethics in Arizona read The Short History of Arizona Legal Ethics by Keith Swisher.)

In 2003 Arizona adopted a rewritten version

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Happy Thanksgiving

November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

Mark Rubin

My 62nd Thanksgiving Day. My 22,349th day on this minor planet in a minor solar system in a minor galaxy in what may be one of many universes.* And I have so much to be thankful for.

I’m blessed because I’m alive and healthy (mostly). I have a wonderful daughter and a fine son-in-law to be. I’m in love, and I have a very nice relationship with my former spouse, too. And I’ve got a sidekick—Max Atticus Finch—who baffles me mostly. (I could share details, but I’d sound like what I’ve become: an old man who talks about his dog too much.) Plenty of dandy relatives and friends round out my personal good fortune.

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Perfect: When It Takes on Good!

November 17, 2018

Perfect: When It Takes on Good!

Perfect

Voltaire

Le meglio è l’inimico del bene­—the best is the enemy of the good—gets credited to Francois-Marie Arouet aka Voltaire often but, in fact, it’s an old Italian proverb he cited in his Dictionnaire Philosophique, first published in 1764. Sadly, it fits our times, too well!

The Ds control the House of Representatives, beginning on January 3, 2019. The House elects a Speaker, who can be a Congressperson or not, although every speaker has been a member of the House of Representatives.

The Ds will have a solid majority, once the remaining races get resolved. Still, there’s doubt about whether Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will serve as Speaker.

I can offer and

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Slow Counting ≠ Fraud

November 9, 2018

Slow Counting ≠ Fraud

slow counting

Mark Rubin

Waiting

Here we are, waiting on final election results. Arizona, California, Georgia and Florida provide the headlines, but the issue presents itself in any state—50, at last count—which accepts any ballots by mail.

Voting live on Election Day? Some machines let you walk away when you’re done, and the machine has already tallied your selections. In other instances, you fill in bubbles on a paper ballot, and place your ballot in a secure box. Box emptied. Reader software reads and tallies.

Voting by mail? Ballot counting requires extra steps. Opening envelopes. Signature checking. Then, reader software … .

If the ballot gets mailed in promptly, elections personnel handle it early. Signatures get verified day

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Mid-Terms Misery

November 6, 2018

Mid-Terms Misery

mid-terms misery

Mark Rubin

I begin this missive at 7:54 p.m., MST. ‘twas a wave, I wanted. I wanted to win one of the two big lottery drawings, too. No such luck, on any front.

The Night

I expect a change of control in the House of Representatives. Maybe the Native Americans will pull Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D – N.D.) through, maybe Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D – Tex.) will vanquish Senator Ted Cruz (R – Tex.), and maybe Jupiter will align Mars, peace will guide the planets, and love will steer the stars. Not … and, thus, President Trump can give us more judges and Cabinet members who serve us not at all.

The world got complicated a while

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Say Anything

October 18, 2018

The Say Anything World

say anything

Mark Rubin

Many years ago, I tried a lot line dispute. Soon before the trial I asked my clients a question. The answer, unfortunately, contradicted everything important they’d already told me. “So what,” they said, “everyone else is lying too.” Not, actually! Unfortunately, I paid for their dishonesty by forcing a settlement which resulted in their not paying me. They got a much better outcome than they deserved. Me? Not so much.

Recent stuff brought my old case bubbling up for me. Jamal Khashoggi, specifically. And more.

The evidence suggests very, very strongly that Mr. Khashoggi died on October 2, 2018 in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. (You could describe what happened, with the

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The Big Four

October 15, 2018

The Big Four

big four

Mark Rubin

I wrote Estate Planning for Smart People two years ago, and updated it recently. Complete Estate Planning, written three-and-a-half years ago, focuses on practical issues. One practical issue no one should ignore: selecting the right bank to hold your money.

The Big Four

The four largest banks in America are Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citibank. How big are they? Chase holds total assets of $2,530,000,000,000. That’s trillion! The 15th largest bank in America, HSBC, has assets which equal 8% of Chase’s asset base.

So what? Big bothers me not at all, if the bank services its customers. Unfortunately, not so much with the Big Four in my workaday world.

Bad

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Merit Selection and Retention: Justices Clint Bolick and John Pelander

October 14, 2018

Merit Selection and Retention: Justices Clint Bolick and John Pelander

I attended a political fundraiser recently. Great candidates. Cool company. And, after, martinis at the Inn.

Only one exchange marred the evening: during the Q and A, a woman I don’t know raised the subject of retaining Arizona Supreme Court justices. I’ll get back to the exchange momentarily, but I need to provide some background first.

Arizona law provides for merit selection of the seven members of the Arizona Supreme Court, judges on the Arizona Court of Appeals, and trial court judges in counties with more than 250,000 residents. (Counties with less people can opt in, too.) Merit selection involves committees of lawyers and lay people who, through a

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Corporate America Run Amok

October 11, 2018

Corporate America Run Amok

corporate america

Mark Rubin

[Note: Working on a project—stay tuned—I ran across this piece, first posted on October 9, 2008 on a blog site which morphed into Mark Rubin Writes. Nothing much has changed in corporate America in the past 10 years, but we might notice the problems less, what with having a pseudo-populist POTUS who steals the air out of every room he enters.]

I wrote this essay in the summer of 2007, when corporate greed seemed like not much more than an irritant. Now, knowing what we know about the recklessness on Wall Street that went hand-in-hand with the greed, and now that we know the greed involved truly unfathomable sums of money, the essay seems

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