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Last Post 24 May 2023 10:26 AM by  Yolanda Fox
R-23-0006 Petition to Amend ERs 1.15 and 2.4 and Rule 43, Ariz. R. Sup. Ct.
 5 Replies
Topic is locked
Author Messages
Patricia A. Sallen
New Member
Posts:9 New Member

04 Jan 2023 03:57 PM
    Patricia A. Sallen, on behalf of the Arizona Bar Foundation
    3420 N. 42nd St.
    Phoenix, Arizona 85018
    [email protected]
    State Bar no. 012338

    Filed: January 4, 2023

    Would amend ER 1.15 and 2.4 of Rule 42 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Arizona and Rule 43 of the same rules to allow lawyers who serve as third-party neutrals or expert witnesses to hold unearned fees related to those services in their client trust accounts.

    Comments must be submitted no later than Monday, May 1, 2023.
    Any reply by a petitioner must be submitted no later than Thursday, June 1, 2023.

    Mark Lassiter
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

    22 Feb 2023 06:21 PM
    I wholeheartedly support this important Rule Change Petition, which would amend ER 1.15 and 2.4 of Rule 42 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Arizona and Rule 43 of the same rules to allow lawyers who serve as third-party neutrals or expert witnesses to hold unearned fees related to those services in their client trust accounts.

    I am in my 40th year of practice as a lawyer, and my 30th year of practice as a professional arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association. I am an active member of the State Bar of Arizona's Alternative Dispute Resolution ("ADR") Section. On September 10, 2013 I was a panelist at an ADR Section CLE at the offices of the State Bar of Arizona on the subject of "AZ ADR ETHICAL PERILS AND PITFALLS FOR ARIZONA NEUTRALS," which was attended by about 80 Arizona lawyers, all of whom also served as arbitrators, mediators or other "neutrals" in their respective professional practices. One of the topics covered was that lawyers acting as "neutrals" (e.g., arbitrators, mediators, special masters, receivers, etc.) were and presently are prohibited from keeping money deposited with them by "non-client," third persons for the lawyer's work as a "neutral" into the lawyer's IOLTA Trust Account. This came as a tremendous surprise to most of those in attendance, since the same public policy considerations and interests that inform and inspire the IOLTA Trust Account rules to protect clients' advance deposits for legal fees and costs should logically apply to advanced fees and costs deposited by non-client, "third parties" hiring lawyer neutrals for for ADR services granting them access to justice.

    "The State Bar of Arizona exists to serve and protect the public with respect to the provision of legal services and access to justice. Consistent with these goals, the State Bar of Arizona seeks to improve the administration of justice and the competency, ethics, and professionalism of lawyers practicing in Arizona." While it is true that "clients" are members of the public, so are non-client third persons who repose their trust and confidence in lawyers acting as neutrals while seeking access to justice via arbitration, mediation, or other "neutral" services performed by such lawyers. It is utterly arbitrary and capricious to require IOLTA Trust Account rules for the benefit of lawyers' CLIENTS to fulfill the State Bar's mission, while forbidding non-client THIRD PERSONS to avail themselves to the same public policy protections. This proposed rule change seeks to address and correct this irrational disparity.

    Also, the current IOLTA Rules effectively "foist" on lawyer neutrals additional accounting and/or financial services charges (if lawyers open separate, non-IOLTA accounts for such funds) not required of other lawyers. Finally, interest earned on IOLTA Trust Account Deposits is paid to fund legal aid to the needy, but since the Great Recession interest rates have been at an all time low (until recently), which has resulted in a huge loss of revenue for legal aid services in Arizona. Allowing lawyer neutrals to deposit third party funds for neutral services will increase IOLTA funds available for payment of legal aid services in Arizona. It's a "win-win" for everyone.

    I wholeheartedly support and endorse this important, proposed rule change.

    Mark Lassiter, SBN#016241
    1423 S Higley Rd, Mesa, AZ 85206
    (480) 218-4445
    Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators
    Arbitrator/Mediator - American Arbitration Association (serving on its Commercial, Construction, Large & Complex Case, Emergency Relief, and Consumer Arbitration Panels)
    Arbitrator/Mediator - National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals
    Arbitrator - International Centre for Dispute Resolution
    Member - ADR Section of the State Bar of Arizona
    Lee L. Blackman
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

    23 Feb 2023 03:12 PM
    The Nineteen Arizona attorneys named below, who are members of the Executive Counsel of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the Arizona State Bar, support and endorse the Petition to amend Ethical Rules 1.5 and 2.4. The proposal confirms that it is permissible for mediators, arbitrators, and other lawyers acting as third-party neutrals to use their IOLTA accounts to hold advance payments for services, as long as they follow IOLTA rules for those accounts. The proposed amendments also make clear that mediators, arbitrators and third-party neutrals are not required to deposit advance payments into IOLTA accounts. The proposed amendment allows attorney ADR practitioners to choose to extend IOLTA protection to funds paid by parties who are not clients, and allows interest on those funds to generate IOLTA revenue.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Lee L Blackman, ADR Section Chair
    Blackman ADR Services
    9750 E Spring Hill Pl. Tucson, AZ 85749-7113
    Phone: 310-346-6926:
    Email: [email protected]

    Alexis L Pheiffer, ADR Section Vice-Chair/Chair Elect
    Law Office of Alexis Pheiffer PLLC
    13236 N. 7th Street, Suite 4 #294
    Phoenix, AZ 85022
    Phone: 602-330-9262
    Email: [email protected]

    Gregory P Gillis, Immediate Past ADR Section Chair
    Sacks Tierney PA
    4250 N Drinkwater Blvd. Fl. 4
    Scottsdale, AZ 85251-3693
    Phone: 480-421-6101
    Email: [email protected]

    Robert F Copple, ADR Section Financial Officer
    Copple & Associates PC
    9274 E Desert Trail
    Scottsdale, AZ 85260-4542
    Phone: 480-614-5771
    Email: [email protected]

    Jeremy M Goodman, ADR Section Secretary
    Goodman Law PLLC
    PO Box 90758
    Phoenix, AZ 85066-0758
    Phone: 602-476-1114
    Email: [email protected]

    Jeremy B Ashworth
    Lerner and Rowe
    2701 E Camelback Road Suite 140
    Phoenix, AZ 85016-4323
    Phone: 602-952-3104
    Email: [email protected]

    Nicholas James Brown
    The Cavanagh Law Firm PA
    1850 N Central Ave. Suite 2400
    Phoenix, AZ 85004-4559
    Phone: 602-322-4084
    [email protected]

    Nicholas Jason Enoch
    Lubin & Enoch PC
    349 N 4th Ave.
    Phoenix, AZ 85003-1505
    Phone: 602-234-0008
    Email: [email protected]

    Michele M Feeney
    Michele M Feeney LLC
    6525 N Central Ave.
    Phoenix, AZ 85012-1139
    Phone: 602-682-7513
    Email: [email protected]

    Sherman D Fogel
    Sherman D Fogel PA
    2850 E Camelback Rd Ste 200
    Phoenix, AZ 85016-4316
    Phone: 602-264-3330
    Email: [email protected]

    Renee Gerstman
    Gerstman Law
    5635 N Scottsdale Road, Suite 170
    Scottsdale, AZ 85250-5945
    Phone: 602-200-0112
    Email: [email protected]

    Alona M Gottfried
    Simmons & Gottfried PLLC
    8160 E Butherus Drive, Suite 7
    Scottsdale, AZ 85260-2523
    Phone: 480-998-1500
    Email: [email protected]

    Robert J Itkin
    Open Mind Ventures LLC
    18290 N 93rd Pl. Unit 21
    Scottsdale, AZ 85255-6051
    Phone: 602-738-5000
    Email: [email protected]

    Steven P Kramer
    Law Office of Steven P. Kramer
    4249 E Sahuaro Drive
    Phoenix, Arizona, 85028
    Phone: 602-558-5580
    email: [email protected]

    Jerome Allan Landau
    Jerome Allan Landau PC
    8711 E Pinnacle Peak Road Suite 208
    Scottsdale, AZ 85255-3517
    Phone: 480-203-9903
    Email: [email protected]

    Richard K Mahrle
    Gammage & Burnham PLC
    40 N Central Ave., Fl 20
    Phoenix, AZ 85004-4470
    Phone: 602-256-0566
    Email: [email protected]

    Kathi M Sandweiss
    Jaburg & Wilk PC
    3200 N Central Ave. Fl. 20
    Phoenix, AZ 85012-2403
    Phone: 602-248-1052
    Email: [email protected]

    Donna F Williams
    The Donna Williams Group
    PO Box 327
    Litchfield Park, AZ 85340-0327
    Phone: 602-318-3723
    Email: [email protected]

    Beth Jo Zeitzer
    ROI Properties
    2001 E Campbell Ave. Suite 202
    Phoenix, AZ 85016-5574
    Phone: 602-319-1326
    Email: [email protected]
    State Bar of Arizona
    Basic Member
    Posts:136 Basic Member

    27 Apr 2023 06:48 PM
    Comment of the State Bar of Arizona
    Lisa M. Panahi
    Bar No. 023421
    General Counsel
    State Bar of Arizona
    4201 N. 24th St., Suite 100
    Phoenix, AZ 85016
    [email protected]
    Andrew Patrick Schaffer
    New Member
    Posts:5 New Member

    01 May 2023 02:32 PM
    Pursuant to Rule 28 of the Rules of the Supreme Court, Community Legal Services (“CLS”), DNA People’s Legal Services (“DNA”), Southern Arizona Legal Aid (“SALA”), and the William E. Morris Institute for Justice (“MIJ”) submit the attached comments in support of the Petition to Amend ERs 1.15 and 2.4 and Rule 43, Ariz. R. Sup. Ct.

    Respectfully submitted this 1st day of May 2023.

    ANDREW P. SCHAFFER, AZ Bar. No. 037352
    BRENDA MUÑOZ FURNISH, AZ Bar. No. 027280
    MICHELLE J. SIMPSON, AZ Bar. No. 020199
    3707 North Seventh Street, Suite 300
    Phoenix, Arizona 85014-5095
    (602) 252-3432
    [email protected]
    [email protected]
    [email protected]
    Yolanda Fox
    Basic Member
    Posts:219 Basic Member

    24 May 2023 10:26 AM
    Patricia A. Sallen
    Ethics at Law PLLC
    3420 North 42nd Street
    Phoenix, Arizona 85018
    Bar No. 012338
    [email protected]
    Attorney for Petitioner
    Arizona Bar Foundation
    Topic is locked