Summary: The State Bar filed this petition to amend the Ethical Rules relating to technology and globalization of the practice of law. These changes include an amendment to Comment to ER 1.1 [“Competence”], shown in underline as follows:
“To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology, engage in continuing study and education and comply with all continuing legal education requirements to which the lawyer is subject.”
Impact: Information only.
Also: ARCAP 28 and Criminal Rule 31.24
Summary: The amendments to SCR 111 (and to corresponding civil and criminal appellate rules) provide that although memorandum decisions of Arizona state courts are not precedential, they may now be cited for persuasive value, but only if: a decision was issued after January 1, 2015; no opinion adequately addresses the issue before the court; and the citation is not to a depublished opinion or a depublished portion of an opinion.
These amendments further provide that (a) a citation must indicate if a decision is a memorandum decision; (b) a party citing a memorandum decision must provide either a copy of the decision or a hyperlink to the decision where it may be obtained without charge; and (c) a party has no duty to cite a memorandum decision.
Impact: These amendments allowing citation to memorandum decisions align Arizona with federal courts and other state courts that have ended their bans on citation to unpublished decisions.
As stated, unpublished decisions may be persuasive but are not binding.
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