Connecting with the Community
Pro Bono Attorney Matching Program
The Appellate Section of the State Bar of Arizona, the Volunteer Lawyers Program of the Maricopa County Bar Association, and the Modest Means Program of the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education operate a program by which indigent persons involved in family court and civil appeals are matched with volunteer lawyers for free or at a reduced rate. The program was launched in Maricopa County in February 2011. For more information on the program, see the flyer here.
The Court is proud to have generous employees who volunteer in the community when they are not performing court duties. Among other things, many employees support local shelters with monetary and other donations. Many of our judges regularly donate their time to educational events -- speaking to elementary school students, judging high school mock trial events and law school moot courts, and teaching continuing legal education courses for members of the Bar. Since 2007, Division One employees happily provide support throughout the year for a third-grade class at Wilson Elementary School. Court employees donate their lunch hours to help out with class celebrations. Employees also participate in school supply, book, holiday gift and food drives for the children.
High School Program
Since 2002, Division One regularly has held oral arguments at high schools in communities served by the Court. To help students learn about the appellate process, the Court provides them with briefs in an ongoing appeal and then sets oral argument in the case for their school auditorium, with the students as spectators. After the oral argument, judges, attorneys and law clerks meet with the students to answer questions about the judicial process and careers in the legal profession.
The Court works closely with the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education and local or specialty bar associations to facilitate classroom discussion about the appellate process and the specific case at issue. The Foundation provides staff and volunteer attorneys who meet with the students before the argument to discuss the facts and issues in the case so the students are well-versed in the appeal process and the issues raised before they see the lawyers and judges in action. Superior court judges, local elected officials and school district leaders have been generous with their time in attending these sessions. After the Court issues its decision, the Court transmits it to the school for review and discussion by the students. In 2005, the Arizona Supreme Court recognized the program with its “Justice for a Better Arizona Achievement Award.”
Judge Kent Cattani heads the Court’s high school program committee.
The Court has held oral arguments at the following high schools:
Cesar Chavez High School (2002)
South Mountain High School (2002)
Central High School (2003)
Carl Hayden High School (2004)
Highland High School (2004)
Horizon High School (2005)
Queen Creek High School (2005)
Marcos De Niza High School (2006)
Dysart High School (2006)
South Mountain High School (2007)
Cesar Chavez High School (2007)
Shadow Mountain High School (2008)
Centennial High School (2008)
Agua Fria High School (2009)
Perry High School (2009)
Maryvale High School (2010)
Mesa High School (2010)
Moon Valley High School (2011)
Coronado High School (2011)
Arizona School for the Arts (2012)
Lee Williams High School (Kingman) (2013)
Thunderbird High School (2013)
McClintock High School (2014)
In 2009, the Court learned that the then-adult victim of a brutal child molestation case years before had been traumatized by discovering that her full name had been revealed in an opinion published in the 1970s. Because opinions previously published only in law books are now available online, the Court contacted publisher Thomson Reuters and secured its agreement to substitute initials for the victim’s name in the online version of the published opinion.
The Court then formed a committee of volunteers who searched the Thomson Reuters online database for other decisions that identified victims of such crimes by their full names. Ultimately, at the Court’s request, the publisher modified the online versions of 155 cases to shield victims’ names.