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This website allows you to electronically file and monitor court rule petitions and comments and to view existing rules of court, recent amendments of those rules, and pending rule petitions and comments. Any visitor to this site may view posts on this website, but to post a petition or comment you must register and log in. To view instructions on how to register and how to file a petition or comment, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. 
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Last Post 22 May 2017 04:45 PM by  State Bar of Arizona
R-17-0022 Petition to Amend Rules 32(c) and (d), Rules of the Supreme Court
 6 Replies
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Author Messages
Gregory Falls
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

10 Jan 2017 02:18 PM
    Gregory W. Falls
    Sherman & Howard
    201 East Washington Street, Suite 800
    Phoenix, Arizona 85004
    (602) 240-3000
    Fax: (602) 240-6600

    Would amend Rules 32(c) and (d), Rules of the Supreme Court, to maintain the current mandatory membership requirement for all lawyers but (1) eliminate mandatory membership dues for non-regulatory functions and (2) allow voluntary contributions for all non-regulatory functions.

    FILED 1/10/2017

    Comments due May 22, 2017.
    Karyl Krug, M.A., J.D.
    New Member
    Posts:6 New Member

    22 Jan 2017 10:37 PM
    To the Honorable Justices of the Arizona Supreme Court:

    For a system like the one proposed above to work, as with Justice Berch's previously proposed but unconstitutional opt-out system, some kind of accurate accounting system must be put into place. A lawyer friend of mine asked the Bar for an accounting of the money spent last year on lobbying by the Bar. Responses to these types of queries from the Bar often start with, we don't have to tell you anything, but we are transparent, so . . . they are transparent or they are not, so why put that in there?

    The response that followed was a rambling low-ball guesstimate based upon random docs that made it clear that the Bar does not keep those kinds of records and does not have to keep those kinds of records. Lawyers cannot opt out of paying for a made-up number. Keeping such records would not be difficult to do. A simple spread sheet would do the job, containing dates, hours, and political activities undertaken on behalf of the Bar. This is not unlike keeping time sheets at a law firm, only in this case the member lawyers are the clients.

    Expenses will have to be accounted for as well. Weeks after I testified before a House Subcommittee in favor of Representative Kern's bill to make the bar non-mandatory, I received a 400 page bar charge. I made a passing reference in my Senate testimony to receiving the bar charge after testifying before the House Subcommittee, without attributing any particular motive to the Bar. An audible gasp went through the room. Weeks after that, I received a hand-couriered letter from Bar Counsel asking me to waive confidentiality on the disciplinary case, which Chief Justice Bales had already reassigned to Independent Bar Counsel, so that the Bar could explain the Bar's side of the situation to the Arizona Senate. None of the costs regarding this purely political effort by Bar Counsel appeared in the "accounting" received by my lawyer friend: Not the cost of the stationary, not the time spent composing the misleading letter, not the time spent by the courier traveling from the Bar offices to my private home on Scottsdale Mountain and back, and not the courier's gas and mileage.

    Whatever this Honorable Court decides to do, accurate accounting is critical to being fair to the lawyers who do not want to pay for the political machinations of the Bar, whether under Justice Berch's plan, the above proposal, or any future legislation. There are some programs that I would be willing to pay for, like the charming and, I think, beneficial community justice program for children. But no Arizona lawyer should have to pay for a politically motivated letter hand-delivered to my home an hour away from the state bar offices.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Karyl Krug AZ Bar #028911
    12149 N. 134th Way
    Scottsdale, AZ 85259
    New Member
    Posts:4 New Member

    03 May 2017 12:01 PM
    Mauricio R. Hernandez (#020181)
    P.O. Box 7347
    Goodyear, AZ 85338
    Telephone: (623) 363-2649
    Michael G. Kelly
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

    04 May 2017 12:13 PM
    Michael G. Kelly
    485 W. Watson Rd. Suite 103
    Box 190
    Buckeye, AZ 85326
    PH: 623-628-1110

    I am in favor of the proposed amendments. The following excerpt from pages 5-6 state perfectly why this amendment is justified:
    " The intent of the amendments proposed by this Petition is to retain lawyer regulation in Arizona as it currently is. This means all lawyers would continue to be required to join a subset of the State Bar dedicated to traditional regulatory
    functions, such as admissions testing, character and fitness, specialty certification, minimum requirements for and oversight of continuing legal education, and discipline. All of these regulatory functions would remain under the oversight of the Supreme Court and would be funded by membership fees sufficient to pay for them, and the client protection fund, but nothing more".

    Exercise of police power over members by the bar is a legitimate exercise of power by the state which members can be compelled to support. Anything beyond that is a compelled association unless consented to. This violates the first amendment in my opinion, and as intimated in the petition, would have the potential of forcing members to endorse (by financing) political speech and other actions that they don't agree with and which may be against their interests.
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

    18 May 2017 01:07 PM
    I agree with the Petitioner and supporting comments regarding the First Amendment and transparency concerns with Bar activities. I also support the petition because of the sheer amount of mandatory dues that are charged to members. At over $500 per member and increasing, dues accounted for more than an inconsequential line in our family budget when I was a sole practitioner working from home. The biggest impact I experienced from the amount of dues surfaced when I left full-time practice to care for small children. I wanted to continue my pro bono work, particularly the work I did for my church. However, the cost of dues was prohibitive, so I suspended my license and discontinued my pro bono work. I have since returned to practice part-time at an office, which pays my dues for me. But I could not help but recall the prohibitive amount of dues again when I read President Loo's recent initiative for a new pro bono program within the Bar. Although President Loo stated that the program would not cause an immediate increase in dues for members, the funding drawn by that program within the existing budget is funding that could - and should - be returned to members instead. If the Bar's new pro bono program, and similar programs unrelated to attorney regulation, were funded by voluntary contributions, the corresponding decrease in mandatory dues would allow members like me to provide more pro bono work in my community for people in need.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Carrie Ann Donnell (#025760)
    500 E. Coronado Rd.
    Phoenix, AZ 85004
    (602) 462-5000
    Richard A. Smith
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

    19 May 2017 12:19 PM
    I agree with, and support wholeheartedly, the Petitioner's request to amend the above noted rules. As of today, Rules32(c) and (d) enable the State Bar (Bar) to violate, with impunity, the due process and free speech rights of its members who strictly adhere to our Oath of Admission (Oath). At the same time, it refuses to discipline members, who refuse to assist prospective clients solely on the basis of their inability to pay, a clear violation of the Oath. My first hand knowledge of the Bar's flawed disciplinary process, compels me to support these amendments if only to shine the light on the Bar that, in its current form, cares nothing about due process or access to justice for the 99.9% of Americans who cannot afford to hire an attorney.

    Richard A. Smith
    Bar No. 014264
    5122 N 12th Ave
    Phoenix, Az 85013-2121
    State Bar of Arizona
    New Member
    Posts:23 New Member

    22 May 2017 04:45 PM
    Lisa M. Panahi, Bar No. 023421
    General Counsel
    State Bar of Arizona
    4201 N. 24th St., Suite 100
    Phoenix, AZ 85016
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