Tag Archives: Judge

casino indian gaming

Indian tribe will appeal Glendale casino ruling

An Indian tribe in Arizona has told a judge it intends to appeal his decision that concluded another Indian tribe’s plan to build a casino on the edge of Glendale was legal.

The Gila River Indian Community is appealing U.S. District Judge David Campbell’s May 7 ruling in which he said the Tohono O’odham Nation’s plan to build the casino was legal because the state’s voter-approved gambling compacts didn’t contain language prohibiting new casino construction.

The state of Arizona, Gila River Indian Community, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community sued the Tohono O’odham Nation to stop the casino.

They said it violates zoning and state laws and would disrupt residential neighborhoods.

The Tohono O’odham Nation unveiled its plans for the massive resort and casino in 2009.


Ryley Carlock Expands Corporate Practice in Phoenix

Ryley Carlock & Applewhite has added Amber D. Curto as an associate in the firm’s Estate Planning and Corporate Practice Groups.

“Ryley Carlock is committed to the recruitment of young talented attorneys like Amber, who can assist our shareholders in finding the best possible solutions for our clients,” stated Managing Shareholder Rodolfo Parga. “Amber brings together the legal capabilities and a strong commitment to our community that our firm values.”

Curto joins an established Corporate Law and Estate Planning Practice Groups, who represent hundreds of clients throughout the United States and internationally, offering legal counsel from start-up companies to mature businesses.

“I enjoy taking a client centered approach to estate planning to make sure that all details, whether it be in a simple estate or a complex trust administration, are taken care of,” stated Curto, “and having the ability to learn from and work with John Lischer and the other experienced and knowledgeable attorneys within this practice group will give me the ability to assist my clients in new and innovative ways.”

Prior to joining the firm, Curto clerked for the Honorable Judge Glenn Davis of the Arizona Superior Court and was an Associate for an Arizona estate planning firm.  She earned her law degree from California Western School of Law, San Diego, California, in 2011 and earned her Bachelor of Science, Summa Cum Laude 2008, from Arizona State University.  While in law school, she was a member of the Moot Court Honors Board as well as President of the Business Law Society. Her community service endeavors have included Girl Scouts of America, Project C.U.R.E. and Crisis Nursery. As a part of Ryley Carlock & Applewhite, Curto looks forward to continuing her community involvement by volunteering her time for local boards and organizations.


Judge upholds Arizona’s medical marijuana law

Arizona’s medical marijuana law is constitutional and federal drug laws don’t stand in the way of public officials implementing the state law, a judge ruled Tuesday.

“This court will not rule that Arizona, having sided with the ever-growing minority of states and having limited it to medical use, has violated public policy,” Judge Michael Gordon of Maricopa County Superior Court wrote.

The case started over a dispute whether Maricopa County had to approve zoning for a dispensary in Sun City. It grew to include the larger legal question of whether federal drug laws pre-empt Arizona’s medical marijuana law.

Under Gordon’s ruling, county officials must provide the White Mountain Health Center with documentation that it complies with local zoning restrictions.

During an Oct. 19 hearing, attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union and its Arizona affiliate argued that the Arizona law is not pre-empted by federal drug laws. They said the state is allowed to make policy decisions on medical marijuana.

Lawyers for the state Attorney General’s Office and Maricopa County argued that the state’s medical marijuana law cannot be fully implemented because federal drug laws make it a crime to possess, grow or distribute marijuana and because federal laws are considered supreme over state statutes.

Arizona allows use of medical marijuana for such conditions as cancer, chronic pain and muscle spasms.

Arizona health officials have started licensing the first dispensaries in the state, and the first one is expected to open with days. More than 30,000 people already have cards authorizing them to possess and use medical marijuana.

Most of those people also had authorizations to grow marijuana, but those authorizations get phased out once a dispensary is licensed in their area and once their card with current growing authorizing comes up for renewal annually.

County Attorney Bill Montgomery told Gordon during the Oct. 19 hearing that county employees could face prosecution by the federal government for aiding and abetting drug crimes if the dispensaries open, while ACLU attorney Ezekiel Edwards said government workers really aren’t at risk of prosecution.

White Mountain Health Center sued the county after it rejected the facility’s registration certificate, which is part of the state requirement to become a medical-marijuana dispensary applicant.

The case took on broader focus when Montgomery and Attorney General Tom Horne made separate but coordinated requests in the court case, specifically targeting the Arizona law’s dispensary provisions.

Gordon had already ruled that state health officials could not decline to award a dispensary license to White Mountain because of the county’s inaction, but Horne and Montgomery asked the judge to dismiss White Mountain’s lawsuit on grounds that Arizona’s law is illegal.

Horne and Republican Gov. Jan Brewer previously asked a federal judge to rule on whether Arizona’s law is pre-empted. However, the judge refused, ruling in January that the state officials hadn’t established a genuine threat of prosecution of state employees for administering the law.

Also last January, a state trial judge ordered the state to proceed with allowing creation of dispensaries and lifted some of the state’s restrictions.

The state has issued use and growing permits to thousands of individuals, but Brewer for months balked at implementing the dispensary part of the law.


Brewer appoints Republican judge to Supreme Court

Arizona Court of Appeals Judge Ann Scott Timmer is Gov. Jan Brewer’s choice to fill a vacancy on the Arizona Supreme Court.

The 52-year-old Republican was one of three finalists nominated by a state screening commission.

Timmer replaces former Justice Andrew Hurwitz, a Democrat, and her appointment changes the court’s partisan makeup to four Republicans and one Democrat. Hurwitz resigned in June to become a federal judge.

Brewer’s three Supreme Court appointments have all gone to fellow Republicans.

Timmer was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 2000 by then-Gov. Jane Hull, another Republican.

Brewer says in a statement that Timmer embodies judicial restraint and respects the separation of powers between branches of government.

In 2003, Timmer authored a panel’s decision upholding the constitutionality of Arizona’s law banning same-sex marriages.