Mark Rubin and The Best Lawyers in America©

August 16, 2019

Mark Rubin and The Best Lawyers in America©

best lawyers

Mark Rubin

I’m as pleased as Punch because I’m listed in the 26th edition of The Best Lawyers in America©. Per Best Lawyers®, it recognizes roughly 60,000 U.S. lawyers, from among more than 1.3 million active lawyers. One in 20 or so!

Best Lawyers® listed me for my Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law practice. Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law, aka the Law of Lawyering, represents a small part of my practice—which focuses most heavily on business, real estate, elder law, and fiduciary work—but it’s a part of my practice I’m very proud of. (For more on what this area of law is all about, read Ethics Law

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(More) Complete Estate Planning

April 3, 2019

(More) Complete Estate Planning

estate planning

Mark Rubin

Four years ago I wrote Complete Estate Planning. I focused on some of what needs to be done, over and above having a lawyer prepare a fancy-dancy set of documents. Now, I’m back with fresh thoughts on the nuts and bolts of truly planning for what happens when you’re gone.

We learn from our experiences and our errors. The past can help us avoid bad outcomes.

Older people often have annuities or life insurance. These products can serve useful purposes although, in too many cases, annuities purchased later in life offer more benefits for the selling agent than the purchaser. That issue aside, we see plenty of situations in which the policy owner

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Affordable Care Act … Redux -dux -dux -dux

December 15, 2018

Affordable Care Act … Redux -dux -dux -dux

affordable care act
Mark Rubin

Just when you thought it was safe …” it’s not! Late on Friday, December 14,2018, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor issued a 55-page Memorandum Opinion and Order in Texas v. United States, Case No. 4:18-cv-00167-O, filed in the District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Texas, along with 19 other states, sought a finding that, with the elimination of the penalty for failing to purchase health insurance, the ACA aka Obamacare violates the U.S. Constitution. The argument? Here it is:

  • In NFIB v. Sebelius, Nos. 11-393, -398, and -400, a bare majority of the U.S.Supreme Court held that because the ACA regulated inactivity—the decision to not
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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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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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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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Kavanaugh: Final Thoughts!

October 6, 2018

Kavanaugh: Final Thoughts!

Kavanaugh

Justice Brett Kavanaugh

It’s over! Thirty-three days ago, I wrote Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Lots of noise since then, but we now have a full complement on the Court, including Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Party Rules

Voting matters, majorities matter, and politicians vote party first. Only Senators Joe Manchin (D – W. Va.) and Lisa Murkowski (R – Alaska) crossed on the Kavanaugh vote, and both did so for seemingly different reasons.

Senator Manchin represents the most pro-Trump state and he’s running for re-election. As for Senator Murkowski, she runs again in 2022. Alaska likes Rs, but it likes Murkowskis too. Senator Murkowski’s father Frank served as Senator and Governor. The current Senator Murkowski won re-election

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Justice Brett Kavanaugh

September 3, 2018

Justice Judge Brett Kavanaugh

justice brett kavanaugh

Brett Kavanaugh

Brett Kavanaugh

The Senate Judiciary Committee begins its hearings on the Supreme Court nomination of Justice Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Tuesday, September 4. Here’s the schedule, not that anything about the process will affect the outcome.

Judge Kavanaugh sits presently on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He has served on that court for a dozen years. Prior to his appointment he did the private / public shuffle, working for Ken Starr on the Clinton Whitewater (Lewinski) case, the Bush II White House, and for Kirkland & Ellis.

Judge Kavanaugh meets the legal requirements for service on the Supreme Court. He’s a sentient being, and

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