FROM THE EDITOR
A Publication of the State Bar of Arizona
LISA BORMASTER FONTES
ASHLEY KASARJIAN, 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 2015 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 52, NO. 3
DAVID H. BENTON
YUSRA B. BOKHARI
HON. THEODORE CAMPAGNOLO
PAUL F. DOWDELL
HON. RANDALL M. HO WE
MELISSA IYER JULIAN
KARA L. KLIMA
HON. WEND Y S. MORTON
EMILY K. POKORA
MARK D. SAMSON
LACEY STOVER GARD
MICHAEL F. VALENZUELA
Months ago, I divulged my propensity toward workplace
silos ( http://tinyurl.com/AzAtSilos). Knowing how retrograde that is,
I promised to work on it. I mean, we’re all collaborative all the time
now, right? RIGHT?
But then I got stuck in a work bathroom, and I
saw the (fluorescent) light.
Here’s what happened.
Hurrying to a meeting, I raced into the first
bathroom I passed—which happened to have a
latching door. As it swung shut behind me, I heard a
metallic scraping sound. Spinning around, I saw that
the door latch looked like shrapnel. Not good.
Cranking the handle—gently, then with force—did nothing to free the
latch from the strike plate. It stayed stubbornly engaged. Who knew it
would allow me to do the same?
My first response was charmingly old school: Pound on the door
and sheepishly intone, “Um, heeelp?” to an empty hallway. Soon
enough, though, I recalled that I had my phone, so I sent the Bar’s
receptionist an email, subject line: “1st floor bathroom door won’t
open, and I’m inside. Suggestions?”
Straightforward writing is the best kind.
What followed was a mixed lesson, one part renewing
my silo love, and the other reminding me that going it
alone yields subpar results.
Inside the room, I had what may have been the most
efficient minutes of my week. I responded to many
emails, and I drafted a blog post. And no one—not
once—“just stopped by.”
Via Robert Frost, I understand that good fences do
not make good neighbors. But still, there was not one
“drive-by chat,” as a friend calls them. Not one! I was
feeling my silo love return, bit by bit.
(Added benefits: A seat and good acoustics. My
singing voice never sounded better.)
Outside the oak door, a team assembled to solve my
porcelain-room problem. They included a security guard,
the receptionist, colleagues from the IT and MCLE
Each colleague was a pro and kept the expected razzing to a
minimum. Within 20 minutes, I was free—and headed to my meeting.
What did I learn?
First, a friend suggested that “Dysfunctional Knob” would
make a great band name, so there’s that.
But I also learned—that morning, and at a national conference
I just attended—that people can save your bacon sometimes. As
a favorite (and real) band reminds me, “I love some people
sometimes / Because people are the greatest thing to happen.”
They not only can get you out of bathrooms; they can make
your work come out better, and surprise you in terrific ways.
As we head toward the spring, I’d like to hear your stories
about relationships: in how you locate and work with expert
witnesses, and how you seek and give referrals to lawyers in
And in the Thanksgiving month, I’m keeping my radar up for
other workplace barn-raising opportunities—though I reserve the
right to seek out quiet solitude, tile-lined or otherwise.
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.
Teamwork and a locked door