Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

State Bar of AZ to censor First Amendment rights of attorneys on gay issues
The Loft ^ | December 15, 2008 | Rachel Alexander

Posted on 12/16/2008 10:31:04 AM PST by radar101

click here to read article


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021 next last

1 posted on 12/16/2008 10:31:04 AM PST by radar101
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: radar101

They virus has spread from California! Close the borders now!!!...........


2 posted on 12/16/2008 10:34:05 AM PST by Red Badger (Never has a man risen so far, so fast and is expected to do so much, for so many, with so little...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: radar101

Yes, our Supreme Court tried to do the same thing to us a few years ago, prohibiting attorney membership in any organization that discriminated on the basis of the laundry list. It effectively would have barred Roman Catholics from the bar (since no women priests), and other Christians (no discrimination against homosexuals). A number of us threatened to file a civil rights suit against the Court and Bar Association and they backed down.

But that was 15 years ago. I’ve been expecting the same thing to pop up again in another guise.


3 posted on 12/16/2008 10:44:30 AM PST by kaehurowing
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: radar101

“If they go ahead with this curtailing of our rights, there will be plenty of lawsuits, and rightly so.”

And a lot of those lawsuits will be coming from gay rights people who demand every attorney handle their marital orcivil union cases, their all-too-prevalent domestic battery cases, their property split arguments, adoption demands and discrimination suits. And if you refuse to take the case, look for a lawsuit.


4 posted on 12/16/2008 10:44:50 AM PST by caseinpoint (Don't get thickly involved in thin things)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: radar101

I hate to say it, but it serves lawyers right. They had no business having such a thing as the bar (i.e. a closed shop) in the first place.


5 posted on 12/16/2008 10:45:34 AM PST by Tublecane
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: radar101
“I will not permit considerations of gender, race, religion, age, nationality, sexual orientation, disability, or social standing to influence my duty of care.”

I'm not sure where this guy is getting the idea that this would violate a lawyer's 1st Amendment rights. All this provision says is that you will put in the same professional effort for a gay client as you would a straight client. Unless there is some provision in the AZ ethical rules or AZ law that requires you to take on gay clients, there is nothing here that would force you to have gay clients to begin with. But, if you take a gay client on in a drunk driving case or whatever, you can't give them a lower level of service due to their sexual orientation.

6 posted on 12/16/2008 10:49:54 AM PST by Citizen Blade (What would Ronald Reagan do?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kaehurowing

I have to ask the question: why is there a bar in the first place? Is it not just another way to restrict membership and drive up wages, just like unions and all forms of licensing? And for those of you who think the law is special and must not be left to the caprices of the market, do closed shops generally produce the most vital and impressive labor markets? Here’s a better question: did we ever leave the Dark Ages?


7 posted on 12/16/2008 10:50:16 AM PST by Tublecane
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: radar101
“I will not permit considerations of gender, race, religion, age, nationality, sexual orientation, disability, or social standing to influence my duty of care.”

No, but they'll force us to allow the murder of babies in the womb. Is part of the ritual, while repeating above words, to have them cut off too?

8 posted on 12/16/2008 11:06:57 AM PST by ThomasMore (Hedonism cast its vote and we ended up with an ObamaNation!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tublecane

No, that’s what the bar used to be like. In my state, we had a private voluntary bar that was basically forcibly taken over by the Supreme Court about 20 years ago, and transformed into a government organization for keeping attorneys in line.

I had no problem with the bar as a union, but it doesn’t function that way any more. A perfect example is out of state competition. Our state does nothing to stop it, even though it is illegal for someone not admitted to practice in the state to practice law, and yet continually puts more and more red tape on lawyers who are admitted to practice in the state.

As a result, most of the high-paying legal work is now done by out of state lawyers in places like New York and L.A., not by local attorneys.


9 posted on 12/16/2008 11:07:22 AM PST by kaehurowing
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: kaehurowing

“A perfect example is out of state competition. Our state does nothing to stop it, even though it is illegal for someone not admitted to practice in the state to practice law, and yet continually puts more and more red tape on lawyers who are admitted to practice in the state.”

That’s pretty typical in a lot of states. I don’t know that there is much a state bar can do to an out of state attorney. What are they going to do, take his license? They only have authority over people they license. We have criminal statutes in my state for the unauthorized practice of law, but they are narrowly written and don’t apply to many different situations where someone would actually be engaged in the practice of law in our state, and prosecutors almost never prosecute any cases under those statutes so they are pretty useless.


10 posted on 12/16/2008 12:18:31 PM PST by SmallGovRepub
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: SmallGovRepub

You are right. California is one of the few states I know where the government gets aggressive about the unauthorized practice of law and will go after outside attorneys. My state just shrugs and says it’s not a priority.

What the Bar could do is at least make a stink about it. But no, they are too wrapped up in being politically correct and doing what the Chief Justice says, like continually talking about increased mandatory pro bono and new silly CLE requirements.


11 posted on 12/16/2008 2:03:38 PM PST by kaehurowing
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Citizen Blade
I agree with your assessment up to a point - but the attempt to put “gay” in the same category as gender, race, etc. is an attempt to make it of equal importance. Would it be different if they put “pedophile” there or “people with blonde hair”? Putting it on the list makes it stand out in a way that is unnecessary for the application of professional effort.
12 posted on 12/16/2008 2:12:53 PM PST by HondaCRF450
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: kaehurowing
I don't think we have much of a problem with out of state lawyers in my area. We have those sleazy guys that do the national advertising for claims against drug companies and that sort of thing, but if they ever do actually file a case here they're going to associate with a local attorney and be able to take the case pro hac vice, or they'll just send it to a local attorney for a referral fee. Certainly with any type of court cases the judges are not likely to allow out of state lawyers to handle them unless they've gone through the motions for pro hac vice representation which just about always means the out of state counsel will have to associate local counsel. We rarely ever see out of state attorneys in our courts and if we do see them they'll have hired local counsel assist in the case. Lawyers in my state make less on average than lawyers in most every other state so we don't lose a lot of business to lawyers elsewhere who will charge a lot more. What kind of work are out of state attorneys stealing from your area? We may have the same problem I just never really hear anyone complaining about it. What you are more likely to hear people complain about here is the fact that we have reciprocity with so few states which makes it a pain in the butt to get licensed in neighboring states. I can look out my office window across the river and see another state I'm not licensed in because I don't really want to have to pay all that money and study for another bar exam when I probably wouldn’t handle enough cases over there to justify all that.
13 posted on 12/16/2008 2:46:42 PM PST by SmallGovRepub
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: HondaCRF450

Well “social standing” is also on the list. So I’m not sure they’re making gay of equal importance as gender so much as listing everything they could think of that condescending people used as an excuse.


14 posted on 12/16/2008 2:50:45 PM PST by dilvish
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Tublecane

“I hate to say it, but it serves lawyers right. They had no business having such a thing as the bar (i.e. a closed shop) in the first place.”

Somebody has to oversee licensing, continuing education, attorney discipline and all that.


15 posted on 12/16/2008 2:53:15 PM PST by SmallGovRepub
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: SmallGovRepub

“What kind of work are out of state attorneys stealing from your area?”

Where it really hurts us is in transactional/real estate/ business. A lot of the significant transactions such as business sales, large real estate transactions, hotel and resort sales, are now done entirely out of state by large law firms in New York, Chicago and L.A. A lot of the deals are even escrowed out of state so the parties and their attorneys can claim they did not have minimum contacts with our state. But they are still drafting legal documents that are subject to our state laws and supposed to be effective here.

I guess I would be less upset if these big shots knew what they were doing. I remember a couple of years ago reviewing a purchase and sale agreement for a hotel sale here and it had page after page of boilerplate about the golf course. Only problem is the hotel is in the middle of a city and has no golf course. The document was obviously simply cut and pasted from some resort transaction, probably in Arizona (which you could guess from other clues). But some 3rd or 4th year associate in Chicago was probably billing $400 an hour (or more) to prepare that document.


16 posted on 12/16/2008 3:02:32 PM PST by kaehurowing
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: HondaCRF450
I agree with your assessment up to a point - but the attempt to put “gay” in the same category as gender, race, etc. is an attempt to make it of equal importance.

I don't have a problem with telling attorneys that if you take a gay person on as a client, you have to give them the same level of professionaly commitment as you would any other client.

Would it be different if they put “pedophile” there or “people with blonde hair”?

Well, if you agree to represent someone charged with child molestation, you do owe them a duty of care when it comes to your work. Lawyers are supposed to be dispassionate in their work and represent their clients without predjudice.

17 posted on 12/17/2008 7:55:31 AM PST by Citizen Blade (What would Ronald Reagan do?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: SmallGovRepub
What kind of work are out of state attorneys stealing from your area?

It's more of an issue with transactional work. I practice commercial real estate law out of DC, but I do deals all over the country (and the world). I'm only admitted in two states plus DC, but I don't violate any ethical rules or laws by working on a transaction in one of the 48 other states where I am not barred.

18 posted on 12/17/2008 7:58:03 AM PST by Citizen Blade (What would Ronald Reagan do?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Citizen Blade

“I’m only admitted in two states plus DC, but I don’t violate any ethical rules or laws by working on a transaction in one of the 48 other states where I am not barred.”

Well, see, that’s the problem, actually you are. In my state you at a minimum would have to affiliate with local counsel to review the documents for legal compliance with my state’s laws. But that’s not happening. The firms play the game of doing all the work out of state and then escrowing the transaction out of the state to claim they are not practicing law here. They actually have couriers of a local title company fly to the closing in Chicago, or wherever, and then fly back here just to record.

Unfortunately, the ABA (which is no friend of the legal practice) has made it worse with their “model rules” on multi-jurisdictional practice, which are treated as if they have blessed what’s going on even though states, including mine, have not approved them. But what it has done is give the large national firms the cover to drive the local firms out of business. And the absurdity is the national firms charge 3 to 4 times more than the local firm would charge to put out the same or better product.

Unfortunately, there is no way that my state is going to bring a lawsuit against a Pillsbury, or Latham & Watkins, or Schain Burney, or any of the other national law firms for illegally practicing law in my state.

As far as I know, California is the only state that has actually prosecuted out-of-state attorneys for engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. For example, an attorney here made the mistake of sending an eviction notice for her local client to tenants of property he owned in California. The California prosecutors went after her, and on the basis of that our Supreme Court then disbarred her. And for something our local state bar would not even pay the slightest attention to if it were done in reverse.


19 posted on 12/17/2008 10:36:59 AM PST by kaehurowing
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: kaehurowing
Well, see, that’s the problem, actually you are. In my state you at a minimum would have to affiliate with local counsel to review the documents for legal compliance with my state’s laws.

If we need a legal opinion regarding enforceability of a document under a certain State's laws, we'll hire local counsel. However, I can't see a State winning the legal argument that any document governed by the laws of Arizona, or whatever, must be reviewed by Arizona counsel.

The firms play the game of doing all the work out of state and then escrowing the transaction out of the state to claim they are not practicing law here. They actually have couriers of a local title company fly to the closing in Chicago, or wherever, and then fly back here just to record.

We don't even bother going that far. For real estate transactions, we have no issues with using a title company in the property jurisdiction as the escrow agent.

Unfortunately, there is no way that my state is going to bring a lawsuit against a Pillsbury, or Latham & Watkins, or Schain Burney, or any of the other national law firms for illegally practicing law in my state.

Because the large firms aren't practicing law in those States, under any reasonable interpretation of such laws.

20 posted on 12/17/2008 10:43:53 AM PST by Citizen Blade (What would Ronald Reagan do?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson