FROM THE EDITOR
A Publication of the State Bar of Arizona
Advertising Sales Manager
LISA BORMASTER FONTES
HON. RANDALL M. HOWE, CHAIR
(Toll-free outside Maricopa County)
Statements or opinions expressed herein are those of the authors
and do not necessarily reflect those of the State Bar of Arizona, its
officers, Board of Governors, the Editorial Board, or staff. Although
advertising copy is reviewed, no endorsement of any product or
service offered by any advertisement is intended or implied by
publication. Advertisers are solely responsible for the content of their
advertisements, and the State Bar of Arizona reserves the right to
edit or reject any advertising copy for any reason. Arizona Attorney
(ISSN 1040-4090) is published monthly, except bimonthly,
July/August, by the State Bar of Arizona, located at 4201 N. 24th
Street, Suite 100, Phoenix, Arizona 85016-6266. Periodicals Postage
paid in Phoenix, Arizona, and additional mailing offices. Subscription
price: $50 per year; all members except retired: included in dues;
$5.00 per copy. Copyright 2014 by the State Bar of Arizona.
All rights reserved. Any copying of material herein, in whole or in
part, and by any means, without written permission, is prohibited.
Requests for such permission or any correspondence for
Arizona Attorney should be sent to Arizona Attorney. POSTMASTER:
Send address changes to Arizona Attorney, 4201 N. 24th Street,
Suite 100, Phoenix, Arizona 85016-6266.
VOLUME 50, NO. 8
DAVID H. BENTON
ANN MARIE CHISCHILLY
CONNIE J. MABLESON
HON. WEND Y S. MORTON
JAMES B. PENNY
MARK D. SAMSON
LACEY STOVER GARD
KEI TH SWISHER
EMILY K. WILFINGER
The notion that we are a nation(state) of laws may
In an age dominated by sound bites and Xbox, it
never have been more apparent than in February, as Arizona was held
in the grip of a controversial bill sent from the
Legislature to the Governor. As she wrestled with her
decision of what to do with SB 1062 (which she ulti-
mately vetoed), we in the state got a front-row seat to
civics and remarkable political drama.
is amazing how often people will set down the joy-
stick to engage with each other on difficult elements
of law and public policy.
Here are four things that occurred to me as
1. People activate their analytic side when needed.
The next time someone bemoans the silence or
ignorance of citizens, I’ll recall a fight in which
thousands of people read and debated a bill.
Granted, it helps that the bill was concise (no Affordable Care Act,
that). But many, many people dove into the legislative language and
engaged their neighbors. And I am talking about people on both
sides of the issue. Even when the days got really dark, I was always
cheered to see conversations that focused on phrases and clauses,
rather than sticks and stones. With the right incentives, the U.S.
populace is just as politically active as it’s ever been.
2. What did we do before Twitter?
If you’re not using the microblogging tool yet, well, I don’t know
what to tell you. How’s your telegraph machine working?
Seriously, Twitter provides the ability to read widely and deeply,
finding cites loaded with analysis across the partisan spectrum.
Those who say, “No thanks, I’ll check the website of my hometown
paper” are missing a wealth of information.
3. Legal cliffhangers are odd affairs.
Years ago, there was some Scott Turow movie where I was on the
edge of my seat as peril approached—until I realized the source of
the risk to the character was in the possibility that a FedEx delivery
wouldn’t occur on time. Did you get that? It involved a lawyer
waiting in a law office for the delivery guy. Legal thrillers ain’t Fast
And in February, too, we watched the news (and Twitter) to
see when the Governor would return from an out-of-state trip.
We wondered if she would sign or veto the bill on the tarmac, or
in her SUV, or wait until she was back in her office. In whichever
case, it was a pen-and-paper cliffhanger.
4. Lawyers are a linchpin in crucial moments.
In February, how many times were you asked, “What does the
bill mean?” Most lawyers I know got that question at least once.
And those who asked felt confident their lawyer friends could
navigate the terminology.
Too often, we hear negative things about lawyers and the pro-
fession. But when it comes to the moments and elements that
concern people the most, their go-to adviser is often an attorney.
And that will continue long after one bill is forgotten. AZ AT
The civics brain stirs
4201 N. 24th Street, Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85016-6266
270 N. Church Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85701-1113
Subscriptions to this award-winning magazine are $50.
Always open for dialogue and discussion