Cheating in SF?

October 13, 2014

I ran across Ninth Circuit’s Neutrality Questioned on Gay Rights, by Lyle Denniston for SCOTUSblog, late Monday afternoon. It’s an interesting, well-written piece that offers a jumping off point for discussing how cases get assigned.

A group which opposes same sex marriage has asked the Ninth Circuit for en banc review after a three-judge panel allowed same sex marriages in Nevada. Now, I touched on en banc review in Snoozer! back in March. In simple terms, in federal appellate courts three judges hear a case, and the entire complement of active judges can reconsider a decision by granting en banc review. (Read the earlier post for special rules associated with the Ninth Circuit, because of its size.)

And the

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Professional Responsibility; Conflicts of Interest

August 24, 2014

Last week I wrote about confidentiality. Another core element of attorney ethics is conflicts of interest.

While confidentiality comes within one rule—ER 1.6—with a few touches elsewhere, conflicts of interest take up ERs 1.7-1.12 and lots of subparts. The structure is pretty simple. Current client issues are in ER 1.7, ER 1.8 addresses a dozen special situations, ER 1.9 describes duties owed to former clients, ER 1.10 focuses on indirect conflicts of interest faced by law firms, and ERs 1.11 and 1.12 deal with government attorneys and judges/mediators, respectively. (Lots of material here; you’re getting a “broad brush overview,” and if you have questions about particular situations, please contact me or someone else with expertise regarding the Rules of Professional

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Professional Responsibility; Confidentiality

August 17, 2014

Attorneys are regulated in several ways. In Arizona we must pass the bar exam after graduating from law school. We must pass a professional responsibility exam. (That requirement came along after I started practicing, so I missed the privilege.) The Arizona Supreme Court’s Committee on Character and Fitness must bless each applicant, deciding whether he or she has sufficient character and fitness to practice law.

Once we’re admitted, we must adhere to the Rules of Professional Conduct, a set of about 55 substantive rules, most with subparts and all with comments. (Between 2001 and 2003 I spent almost two years on a committee of 17 attorneys and judges who rewrote these rules. Fourteen full-day sessions in Phoenix, plus lots of

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Dinesh D’Souza and Sunday Afternoon at the Movies

July 17, 2014

Not long ago an old friend who lives out East told me I’m a little narrow in my political universe. He called me “close-minded,” and said I’d see the error of my ways if I got a more “fair and balanced” perspective on the world. I hollered about Fox News for a while, for I know “code” when I hear it, even when it’s bunk. He ranted back at me, demanding that I go see America:  Imagine the World without Her, Dinesh D’Souza’s new film. He even offered to send me the money for a ticket, but I passed on that, only imagining the “freeloading liberal” crap I’d hear. I can pay my own way, thank you very

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June 5, 2014

Eclectic. “ec·lec·tic, deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad range of sources,” per “the Internet.” Now, with 133 published posts—this is No. 134—the notion of “eclectic” had probably passed through at least one reader’s mind. I’ve always thought of myself as an eclectic thinker—open to ideas from all sources—and someone with an eclectic mind. Candidly, or, in modern parlance, tbt, I think my mind is in a calcification stage. Really. I’m less supple, and less willing to tolerate that which is not what I expect/want/like. Working on it every day, and worrying about it even more frequently. If anyone else has been experiencing this phenomenon, please share, either privately at or by commenting on this post.

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Law Lessons From Abraham Lincoln

March 19, 2014

The 150th anniversary of the Civil War passed three years ago. It brought to mind another “Attic-Moment” involving Abraham Lincoln. Notes for a Law Lecture, written by Abraham Lincoln, are dated July 1, 1850, making them, now, more than 160 years old.

Age aside, the Notes are worthy of attention for attorneys and non-attorneys, for Mr. Lincoln focuses on four major, timeless themes:  Diligence; Litigiousness; Fees; and Honesty. He also offers a quick digression on the limited value of the silver tongue.

Mr. Lincoln calls diligence “the leading rule” for lawyers. Arizona attorney discipline reports bear out this opinion, as many modern-day discipline problems relate to a lack of diligence.[1] Mr. Lincoln offers several

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Speaking Engagements

February 24, 2014

Coming Events:



Prior engagements:

March 19, 2016

Panel member for El Rio Health Community Health Center

March 24, 2016

Speaker for the Literacy Connects community.

March 3, 2016

Speaker for the State Bar of Arizona Construction Law Section in Phoenix

March 14, 2016

Speaker for the Association of Fund Raising Professionals (Southern Arizona Chapter)

Topic: Donor Protection:  Keeping Your Donors Away From Tax Troubles

March 15, 2016

Moderator for the author panel at the Tucson Festival of Books at the University of Arizona.

March 27  & March 28, 2016

Mesch, Clark & Rothschild, P.C. featuring, Got Stuff? Make Sure You Have an Estate Plan programs on basic estate planning.

April 17, 2016

Speaker for The Chowder

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