Tag Archives: law

Nurses in a line

First Nurses Graduate from UA's Phoenix Campus

Sixteen students are the first to receive a Master of Science degree for Entry to the Profession of Nursing (MEPN) from the University of Arizona College of Nursing at the Phoenix Campus. The students attended a celebration in Phoenix on Aug. 6, then joined the Tucson-based graduates of the same program at a commencement ceremony in Tucson on Aug. 8.

The MEPN is an accelerated nursing program for students with a non-nursing baccalaureate degree who would like to enter the profession of nursing as registered nurses (RN). One class is admitted per year, with students beginning the 15-month program in May and completing it the following year in August.

“It’s exciting that we have the only program of this kind in Arizona and now are offering it at the Phoenix Campus,” said Terry A. Badger, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN, professor and director of the Community & Systems Health Science Division at the UA College of Nursing. “Students in the master entry to professional nursing program already have university degrees in other fields, and bring depth and breadth from their previous careers to nursing. MEPN graduates are going to be our future leaders and change agents in health care.”

The first Phoenix graduates hold degrees that include veterinary science, education, anthropology, exercise science, law, philosophy, biology and anatomy.

At the celebration, students were joined by Phoenix core faculty members Vladimir Semin, MS, CCRN; Deborah A. Gorombei, RN, MS, CFRN, LNCC; and Amy L. Haycraft, RN, MSN, ANP-C, as well as faculty from the Tucson campus, the students’ families and friends, and community partners who helped in their education.

For the first two years, the Phoenix-based MEPN program is being supported by the Arizona Area Health Education Centers), which is directed by Sally J. Reel, PhD, RN, FNP, BC, FAAN, FAANP, associate dean of academic practice in the UA College of Nursing. Maricopa Integrated Healthcare System was pivotal in helping establish the Phoenix MEPN program and serves as the major clinical practice site. Students also learned nursing skills in several other Phoenix-area health-care agencies.

Nurses in a line

First Nurses Graduate from UA’s Phoenix Campus

Sixteen students are the first to receive a Master of Science degree for Entry to the Profession of Nursing (MEPN) from the University of Arizona College of Nursing at the Phoenix Campus. The students attended a celebration in Phoenix on Aug. 6, then joined the Tucson-based graduates of the same program at a commencement ceremony in Tucson on Aug. 8.

The MEPN is an accelerated nursing program for students with a non-nursing baccalaureate degree who would like to enter the profession of nursing as registered nurses (RN). One class is admitted per year, with students beginning the 15-month program in May and completing it the following year in August.

“It’s exciting that we have the only program of this kind in Arizona and now are offering it at the Phoenix Campus,” said Terry A. Badger, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN, professor and director of the Community & Systems Health Science Division at the UA College of Nursing. “Students in the master entry to professional nursing program already have university degrees in other fields, and bring depth and breadth from their previous careers to nursing. MEPN graduates are going to be our future leaders and change agents in health care.”

The first Phoenix graduates hold degrees that include veterinary science, education, anthropology, exercise science, law, philosophy, biology and anatomy.

At the celebration, students were joined by Phoenix core faculty members Vladimir Semin, MS, CCRN; Deborah A. Gorombei, RN, MS, CFRN, LNCC; and Amy L. Haycraft, RN, MSN, ANP-C, as well as faculty from the Tucson campus, the students’ families and friends, and community partners who helped in their education.

For the first two years, the Phoenix-based MEPN program is being supported by the Arizona Area Health Education Centers), which is directed by Sally J. Reel, PhD, RN, FNP, BC, FAAN, FAANP, associate dean of academic practice in the UA College of Nursing. Maricopa Integrated Healthcare System was pivotal in helping establish the Phoenix MEPN program and serves as the major clinical practice site. Students also learned nursing skills in several other Phoenix-area health-care agencies.

foreclosure

Landlords must disclose foreclosures to tenants

Renters no longer have to worry about being surprised when their home is repossessed by a bank now that a new law requiring landlords to give them notice has been signed.

Gov. Jan Brewer signed the tenant notice bill late last week amid a flurry of action on laws passed by the legislature in the session that ended June 14.

House Bill 2281 amends the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act to require owners to provide written notice to tenants within 5 business days of receiving a notice of trustee’s sale. The law previously only required notice if a provision was in the lease.

Republican Rep. Steve Smith of Maricopa says he sponsored the bill after renters complained they were tossed out by banks without notice.

Alana Hake - color

Hake Joins Gallagher & Kennedy as Associate

Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A., a full service business law firm, announced today that Alana C. Hake has joined the firm as an associate in the Environmental and Natural Resources practice group. She will practice environmental and natural resources law, specializing in environmental remediation work for the mining industry.

Prior to joining Gallagher & Kennedy, Hake was an associate at a Phoenix law firm where she practiced environmental, energy, and regulatory law. She has significant experience analyzing and preparing legal memoranda on environmental, energy and regulatory issues. Hake has also successfully represented clients with regulatory compliance and licensing needs before several state regulatory agencies, including the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, the Arizona Corporation Commission and the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions.

Hake earned her J.D., summa cum laude, in 2008 from Washington University in St. Louis and her B.S., summa cum laude, in 2005 from The Master’s College. She is a Blackstone Legal Fellow for Alliance Defending Freedom and a volunteer for The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project.

Alana Hake - color

Hake Joins Gallagher & Kennedy as Associate

Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A., a full service business law firm, announced today that Alana C. Hake has joined the firm as an associate in the Environmental and Natural Resources practice group. She will practice environmental and natural resources law, specializing in environmental remediation work for the mining industry.

Prior to joining Gallagher & Kennedy, Hake was an associate at a Phoenix law firm where she practiced environmental, energy, and regulatory law. She has significant experience analyzing and preparing legal memoranda on environmental, energy and regulatory issues. Hake has also successfully represented clients with regulatory compliance and licensing needs before several state regulatory agencies, including the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, the Arizona Corporation Commission and the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions.

Hake earned her J.D., summa cum laude, in 2008 from Washington University in St. Louis and her B.S., summa cum laude, in 2005 from The Master’s College. She is a Blackstone Legal Fellow for Alliance Defending Freedom and a volunteer for The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project.

87551195

Senate rejects texting while driving ban

The Arizona Senate has rejected an effort to create a statewide ban on texting while driving by amending an existing House bill.

Democratic Rep. Steve Farley of Tucson said deaths and injuries caused by drivers who were distracted by texting make a compelling argument for the ban. He gave several examples of horrific accidents cause by distracted drivers.

Senate President Andy Biggs argued against the amendment. The Republican said state law already makes reckless driving illegal and a texting ban isn’t required.

The amendment failed on a 16-12 party-line vote Tuesday with two Senators absent.

The underlying bill received initial Senate approval on a voice-vote. It bans marketers from sending unsolicited text messages.

Text-message driving bans have repeatedly failed in the Legislature in recent years.

'Strategic Defaults in the Recovering Real Estate Market

Estate planning firm names managing partner

The law firm of Morris, Hall & Kinghorn, P.L.L.C (MHK), the largest estate planning law firm in Arizona, has named Katherine A. O’Connell as the new managing partner.

O’Connell’s new role will require her to balance the heavy demands of her professional life with the needs of her growing family. She is the mother of a toddler, is expecting her second child in August, and her husband is also a practicing attorney in the Phoenix area. According to O’Connell, “I’m living the challenges of a working mother, and I hope to bring my experience to help make MHK as family friendly as possible.” O’Connell is eager to add her unique perspective to a profession that has traditionally been dominated by males.

O’Connell is succeeding Dan Morris who has been the firm’s managing partner for over 20  years. Morris has been instrumental in leading and growing the firm, which currently has 10 offices across Arizona and New Mexico. “It has been my honor to establish and work in such a wonderful law firm as this, helping people daily and looking out for their and their family’s best interests now and in the future” states Morris.

O’Connell, who has been an attorney since 2006, was named managing partner in January of 2013.  She has attorney accreditation through the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs, which enables her to help clients to qualify, apply and receive benefits for their service in our country’s armed forces. She is also a proud member of the Central Arizona Estate Planning Council.  She enjoys helping individuals plan for their own future, as well as the futures of their loved ones. O’Connell states, “It is my honor and privilege to serve this prestigious firm as managing partner.”  As a partner at MHK, O’Connell focuses on estate planning, life care planning and veteran’s benefits, and now also oversees the daily operations and actively engages in efforts to continually improve the firm.

MHK devotes its practice to estate planning matters and has helped thousands of families meet their long-term estate and financial goals. The firm is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA).  AAEPA is an organization serving the needs of legal professionals concentrating on estate planning. Through the AAEPA’s comprehensive training, educational programs, and state-of-the-art estate planning techniques, the academy fosters excellence among its members and helps them deliver the highest possible estate planning services to their clients.

running

How to build a healthy workforce

Are employers who eliminate junk food from the break room, offer classes on how to quit smoking, and dispense free flu shots doing enough to combat rising insurance premiums and increasing employee medical claims?  Maybe not, according to a 2012 American Heart Association report, which reflects that if current obesity trends continue, obesity-related healthcare costs could reach over $861 billion by 2030.  Health care costs neared 2.6 trillion in 2010 and the average annual insurance premiums for employer-sponsored coverage were a staggering $5,429 for single coverage and $15,073 for family coverage in 2011, according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation study.

These rising healthcare costs have many employers exploring “wellness programs,” which are work-sponsored programs that assist and support employees in establishing healthier lifestyles.  Although they vary from company to company, wellness programs can include weight loss counseling, physical fitness contests, cholesterol and blood pressure screenings, advice on nutrition and healthful eating, subsidized fitness programs and discounts on gym memberships; some even provide incentive-based rewards to employees who participate.  Many also include health-risk assessments, which usually take the form of a questionnaire and are designed to identify health risks and “at risk” individuals and provide suggestions on preventive treatments and other health management tools.

A number of companies credit these programs with decreasing rates of illness and injuries, reducing tardiness and absenteeism, increasing productivity, lowering health care costs and insurance claims, and even enhancing morale and camaraderie among employees.  According to the CDC, 56 published studies report that workplace health initiatives have helped employers save up to 25 percent on overall healthcare costs, absenteeism, workers’ compensation, and disability claims.

It is no surprise, therefore, that the new Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act (PPACA) encourages employers to provide wellness programs.  The Act even provides grants for employers who implement and promote wellness programs.  But, in order to take advantage of these benefits, business owners need to make sure their wellness programs do not put them at legal risk.

The following tips may help your company implement a wellness program without violating federal employment laws:

1. Make the program voluntary to avoid running afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities and specifically precludes employers from asking questions about an employee’s medical condition or disability.  As a result, employers should make health-risk assessments voluntary and keep medical information confidential and separate from an employee’s personnel file.  According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a program is considered voluntary so long as the employer does not require employee participation and does not penalize employees who choose not to participate.

2. Have your employees execute authorizations in order to comply with Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).
Another area of risk for employers offering wellness programs is GINA, which prohibits discrimination based on an employee’s genetics and specifically precludes employers from requesting, requiring, or purchasing genetic information about their employees or their employees’ family members.  Health risk assessment questionnaires, however, often include questions about medical history and family medical history because these questions can be helpful in identifying at-risk individuals and in providing preventive treatment ideas.  In order to prevent your health risk assessment from violating GINA, employees must volunteer the information and execute a written authorization reflecting his or her knowing and voluntary participation in the program.  There must also be strict privacy protections in place to ensure that employers neither disseminate nor use any genetic information obtained by virtue of the wellness program.

3. Don’t make rewards contingent on satisfying certain health metrics.
In addition, employers should also be mindful of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), which prohibits group health plans from discriminating or using health factors to determine eligibility for insurance enrollment or to determine insurance premiums.  HIPPA also prohibits discrimination within a wellness program itself.  An employer would be at risk of violating HIPPA by offering, for example, a financial reward to employees who achieve a certain “body mass index” (BMI).  This sort of requirement may not be achievable by all employees due to medical conditions or disabilities.  On the other hand, a wellness program will comply with HIPPA so long as rewards are not contingent on employees satisfying a specific goal or standard.  And employers will not violate HIPPA by offering financial incentives–like lower insurance deductibles or co-payments for employees who participate in the wellness or disease prevention programs–so long as the reward is not based on a specific health outcome and all employees have the opportunity to participate if they so choose.

While wellness programs can pay off for both employers and employees, business owners need to carefully craft their initiatives.  Consulting an expert who understands evolving federal laws can help employers avoid potential discrimination and legal challenges.
This article is for information only and is not legal advice. Emily Cates is a litigation partner in Lewis and Roca’s Phoenix office. Caryn Tijsseling is a litigation partner in Lewis and Roca’s Reno office.

medical.marijuana

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.

technology

Technology and the law

We all know how quickly technology is changing.

But how will changes in technology affect changes in the law?

As Arizona enters its second century, three Arizona attorneys weigh in on the legal changes they see coming as technology continues to rock our world.

Cheryl Walsh, shareholder, Burch & Cracchiolo, P.A.: Just 107 years ago, the Wright Brothers flew a plane for the first time.  Who could have imagined then that we would have the technologically-rich world we have today?  With that in mind, we do have technological advancements in our midst today that are ripe for challenge and examination. For instance, access to information and data as a result of technology can increase safety and efficiency of  law enforcement substantially; however, privacy and personal rights must be balanced in the process. The Supreme Court will be tackling this issue in the current session by considering the admissibility of GPS tracking device information obtained without a warrant. Cameras are everywhere and soon we will enter our homes and businesses with eye recognition technology that will make the individuality of fingerprinting more obsolete than ever.  Protecting our rights while advancing our civilization is a delicate balance.

Yu Cai, associate in Polsinelli Shughart’s science and technology practice group: Intellectual property development and protection will become an essential part of any business plan. Particular attention must be paid to the recent change in patent law from “first to invent” to “first to file,” requiring earlier interaction and involvement between inventors and their legal representatives.

John E. Cummerford, co-managing shareholder, Greenberg Traurig: Until fairly recently, “privacy” — as we think of it today — was a rare commodity. The word “privacy” doesn’t even appear the Constitution, no doubt because it was so uncommon when the Constitution was drafted. Technology has sharply reduced — and in my view, will soon eliminate — the whole notion of personal privacy.  Naturally, this will cause a lot of worry and fear.  But, when nobody’s privacy is safe, how will that affect our own inclination to invade the privacy of others?  I think it will cause people to actually become more respectful of others, and will — for lack of a better term — cause them to avert their eyes.

That is, will the muck-raking reporter who makes a living ferreting out scandals and embarrassing others really want someone to find out, say, his own bank balance, or what websites he has visited, or with whom he has been keeping company and put that information on the web?  Probably not, although that information may be readily available.  And so, I think that recognition that we are all vulnerable to invasions of privacy will foster more civility and I dare say more kindness among people.  And that will be a good thing indeed.

86547298

Bicycle Safety: What are Cyclists’ Rights?

A common misconception of cycling safety is that different rules of the road apply to motorists and cyclists; this is not necessarily true. The truth is that cyclists have many of the same rights as motorists while riding on the road. According to the League of American Bicyclists, each year approximately 45,000 riders are injured in collisions with motor vehicles and many of those injured riders are not informed as to what their rights are, which could lead to confusion or a cyclist not receiving the proper defense that they deserve.

Cyclists are given the following rights according to Pima Association of Governments:

  • Bicycles can be parked on the sidewalk as long as they don’t hinder any vehicles or pedestrians.
  • Cyclists may move away from the right side of the road in order to pass parked vehicles, avoid parked cars or other obstacles, make left hand turns, pass another cyclist.
  • Cyclists can ride side by side with a limit of two bicycles.
  • Cyclists are required to wear reflectors and have a white headlight when riding at night.

If you are involved in a collision where these rights are terminated you will be eligible to press charges. This year alone, 307,753 car accidents have been reported with being involved in a distracted driving case. It has also been measured that drivers using hand held devices while driving are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves or others. The state of Arizona is heavily pushing for a ban on texting while driving. Currently, if a distracted driver hits you while riding your bike, the driver will be fined a minimum of $250. Punishment will continue to increase depending on the severity of the accident.

The most important thing to remember if you are ever involved in a collision is to remain calm. In addition, wearing a helmet at all times will greatly reduce any risk of injury. According to the Live Strong foundation and the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, head injuries are linked to 62.6% of bicycle-related fatalities. This is an astonishing amount when you think of how easily a helmet can reduce the percentage. “The lifetime medical cost savings will total between $197 and $256 million,” for those who do wear a helmet, according to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute.

We recommend always riding a bike with a cell phone just in case something were to ever happen. Similar to a car collision, you will want to take pictures of the collision damage and collect information from the motorist. If your bike becomes damaged from the collision, take it to the shop and have them write you a report for the damage with the receipt.

Thomas M. Richardson is an attorney and partner at Friedl Richardson Trial Lawyers in Phoenix. Friedl Richardson specializes in premise liability cases, as well as car accidents, bicycle accidents and dog-bite related injuries. For more information, please visit www.azrichlaw.com or call 602-553-2220.

David Engleman - Arizona Interfaith Movement

Engelman Will Be Honored By Arizona Interfaith Movement

In recognition of his business acumen and philanthropic contributions, Engelman Berger law firm co-founder David William Engelman will receive a business award at Arizona Interfaith Movement (AIFM)’s 7th Annual Golden Rules Awards Banquet on March 29. Honored with him will be recipients of Darl Andersen, youth, religious, international, health and community service awards.

Since 1995, Arizona Interfaith Movement’s mission has been to “build bridges of understanding, respect, and support among diverse people of faith through education, dialogue, service, and the implementation of the Golden Rule.” Award recipients, like Engelman, have been judiciously selected because they exemplify the Golden Rule in their daily interaction with people and institutions in the community.

An Arizona Interfaith Movement member since 2000, Engelman serves as a vice president to the organization. He previously served as a board of director.

“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing David Engelman since he joined our organization twelve years ago,” said Dr. Paul Eppinger, Arizona Interfaith Movement executive director. “During that time, I’ve been impressed by David’s integrity, dedication, and openness to the opinions and traditions of others. An avid philanthropist and savvy attorney, David leads by example, and truly illustrates that one can be successful in business while still living the Golden Rule.”

An attorney for more than 30 years, Engelman conducts his business and personal life with dignity and respect – a core value exemplified in Engelman Berger’s client-centric philosophy, pro bono work and philanthropic outreach, as well as in the charitable and civic organizations that Engelman supports outside the office.

Engelman previously served as a board of director for Temple Chai, the Jewish Community Center, and the American Jewish Committee, and as a board member of the Hillel at ASU. In 2004, he received the William E. Morris Pro Bono Service Award from the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education, recognizing his contributions “in making legal services available to persons who otherwise could not afford them, and thereby to focus public awareness on the substantial voluntary services by Arizona attorneys in this area.”

A long-time member of the Maricopa County Bar Association and the State Bar of Arizona, Engelman previously served as Pro Bono Chairman and Chairman of its Judicial Relations Committee for the latter’s Bankruptcy Section. He has spoken at numerous seminars on bankruptcy law and consumer lending regulations, and taught business law at Phoenix College for five years. Engelman received his Juris Doctor from the John Marshall Law School, where he served on the Law Review and graduated with honors, and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Antioch College. He is licensed to practice before all state and federal courts of Arizona, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

www.azifm.org

Graph 1

GPEC: Plans To Revive The Economy

Look past the Valley’s long, slow climb out of a difficult recession to the next 10, 20, even 100 years and you see a potential hotbed of wealth and productivity: a regional economy that has diversified from its traditional reliance on growth and housing. That’s the vision painted by board members and financial supporters of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council ( GPEC ), which has been working since 1989 to leverage the many strengths of the entire metro area.

In the 22 years since its inception, GPEC already has assisted 488 companies in their moves to the Valley, which by its own count translates into 88,610 jobs, $9.96 billion
in capital investment and $3.1 billion in payroll.

In the next century, look for GPEC to shape the following sectors and services:

Municipalities

The greatest influence GPEC will have on Valley cities will be to help leaders think of themselves as a unified economy, says Mayor Scott Smith of Mesa, which is one of the 19 cities and towns that contribute financially to GPEC.

“That sounds like a simple thing, but it’s actually been a very challenging task,” Smith says, with the East Valley vying against the West Valley, city fighting city, and “Phoenix fighting everyone else” for economic development opportunities.

In the coming decades, economic activity will continue to consolidate in cities, Smith says. Already, about 85 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product is generated in cities and it is estimated that 90 percent of the new jobs created will be in metro areas. GPEC will continue to play a major role in helping cities get beyond parochialism and work together to create a regional economic powerhouse.

“The Sun Corridor is not some figment of someone’s imagination,” says Smith, referring to the corridor stretching from the middle of Yavapai County south to Tucson that is expected in the next century to merge into one integrated metro area. “We see it growing every day.”

“GPEC plays a central role in that,” he says. “We are learning how to work better together.”

Technology

The Arizona of the future will do a better job developing a culture of innovation for small, high-tech companies, says Steve Shope, president of Sandia Research Corporation and a
GPEC board member.

A short-term goal that may reap long-term benefits would be to help companies attain funding through the U.S. government’s Small Business Innovation Research program, which awards funds for research and development that has the potential to be commercialized.

“In Arizona, we’re not doing a very good job of bringing that money into the state,” says Shope, who would like to see the figure double to $50 million.

The state needs a better representation of venture capital in general, he says, and thus needs to nurture venturecapital-ready companies.

Shope is a member of GPEC’s new Innovation Council, which he says is developing a framework for how it will operate and hopes to have a master plan this year.

Another way GPEC will shape the future of the technology industry is by continuing to focus on clean tech companies, particularly renewable energy companies and those involved in residential construction and high-efficiency housing.

Unmanned aerial vehicles, a subset of Arizona’s already mature aerospace and defense industry, is a sector that “is in the Model T stage, but has potential for gigantic growth,” Shope says.

Housing

Looking back, one can see how homebuilding and construction became primary drivers of the state’s economy, says Andy Warren, president of Maracay Homes and a GPEC board member.

Looking forward to the next century, GPEC will play a major role in helping to diversify the Valley’s economy so housing plays a less dominant role in it. If GPEC can do that, Arizonans won’t be held hostage to vicious boom-and-bust cycles inherent in the real estate industry.

“If GPEC is successful, the housing industry will be a less significant player in our economy over the next century and that will be a wonderful thing,” Warren says. “The amplitude of those cycles can be pretty extreme.”

It has been estimated that Arizona has lost 300,000 jobs in the recession, with the bulk of those coming from the construction and retail sectors.

GPEC’s efforts to lure high-wage, high-quality jobs in the clean technology, healthcare and aerospace sectors and its efforts to strengthen manufacturing will be instrumental in diversifying the economy of the future, he says.

A key to that strategy is GPEC’s commitment to supporting competitive tax incentives and policies that promote growth, and its work bringing together officials and policy makers throughout the region. “It’s a great collaborative effort,” he says.

Law

When GPEC reaches out to businesses considering a site in the Valley, one of the first things business leaders ask is, “‘Do you have the legal talent in Arizona and in Phoenix to do the things we want done?’” says Barry Halpern, a GPEC board member and partner at Snell & Wilmer.

In that respect, GPEC and the legal community have a symbiotic relationship that will only deepen in the next century as GPEC brings more sophisticated and diverse industries to the Valley, Halpern says.

The legal profession in the Valley — already a diverse community — will have to rise to the needs of emergent industries.

Almost all aspects of economic development require legal representation, including the demand for capital financing or the need for representation in emerging niches like the solar industry, agrees Scott Henderson, a shareholder at Polsinelli Shughart and a GPEC board member.

“GPEC will shape the legal practice as it attracts more businesses and more industry and those businesses will require a greater depth of legal talent,” Henderson says. “To that extent, local law firms will want to play a greater role in the growth of the state. The growth of the economy helps everybody—lawyers are no exception.”

Banking

The near future for banking in Arizona is brightening as lending activity has increased and most banks’ biggest problems are behind them, says Jim Lundy, GPEC vice chairman and president and CEO of Alliance Bank of Arizona.

“The recovery is slow, it’s bumping along the bottom, but it is there,” says Lundy, who also serves as chairman of the Arizona Bankers Association.

The long-term prognosis for banks is a bit harder to predict, but Lundy says he is sure of one thing: it is inextricably linked with a diversified Arizona economy that is not dependent on population growth.

In that sense, GPEC’s goal of fostering cooperation between cities and creating a diversified economy will directly shape the industry.

“Our success and our growth depends on companies that actually produce something,” Lundy says. All the important emerging industries — like healthcare, clean tech and aerospace — create spin-offs in the economy that are good business for the banking sector.

“We need successful enterprises to make those loans to,” he says. “At the end of the day, if the banking sector is going to grow successfully it needs GPEC and its role in helping get Arizona’s economy growing again.”

Education

It’s not hard to figure out why leaders in the field of education sit on GPEC’s board of directors: education is essential to economic development, and vice versa.

“As we look to the future, we see that growing the right talent for the new markets that will be out there is imperative,” says GPEC chairman Bill Pepicello, president of the University of Phoenix.

That may require more coordination between Arizona’s “robust” array of higher education institutions—statefunded universities, community colleges and private institutions. “I envision campuses as multi-functional areas that are working cooperatively on the ground and online to serve Arizona,” he says.

Arizona’s education of the future will also need to be “efficient and effective,” says Rufus Glasper, chancellor of the Maricopa County Community College District.

In the next 30 years, he says more than 1.8 million new jobs will be created in Arizona and these jobs will require students who are competent in what is know as the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and math.

Educational delivery systems will include more online, hybrid and fast-track training, he says, and willuse mobile devices and social media to create more access to new ideas, networks and educational exchanges.

Like Pepicello, Glasper envisions closer relationships between secondary schools, post-secondary colleges and universities.

Manufacturing

The Midwest has always been known as the heavy industry manufacturing hub of the United States. But Arizona in the next century could attract more technology manufacturing, says Steven Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council, which has worked alongside GPEC in the past to nurture the tech industry here.

“To the surprise of a lot of people, manufacturing is actually coming back to the United States,” he says. Wages and manufacturing costs in China are rising, so companies that sent manufacturing overseas are finding that once they pay for shipping, it’s cheaper at home.

Areas of promise include the manufacturing of medical devices, bioscience-related products, renewable-energy equipment and the semiconductor industry.

When it comes to the semiconductor industry, that optimism is warranted, agrees Jason Bagley, a government affairs manager at Intel in Arizona.

Intel has always manufactured most of its leading-edge products in the United States, he says, and plans to continue doing so. Since 1996, it has invested $12 billion in manufacturing in Arizona, not including two projects currently under construction in Chandler.

For more information about GPEC visit, gpec.org

Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012

Grand Canyon Railway, Arizona, Photo: Kristine Cannon

Video Contest: Grand Canyon Railway

It’s not just about the destination; the journey there is what makes it an unforgettable adventure.

We’ve all heard this before, right? From point A to point B, departure to arrival, and everything in between should be just as exciting and eventful. And never before has this been more true than during my breathtaking and relaxing trip to the Grand Canyon via the Grand Canyon Railway.

You’ll experience a side of Arizona you’ll otherwise never have the opportunity to experience aboard this two-and-a-half hour train ride. Atop plains and dry desert and winding through Ponderosa pine forests, the train’s route cuts through varying landscapes.

Along the way, musical acts and entertainment will stroll from car to car, and you’ll learn about the culture and history of the northern Arizona area. Of course, there are a few surprises, too.

We even have a video below featuring some highlights and sights one will witness while on board the Grand Canyon Railway. And this video inspired us to take things one step further … a video contest.

The Contest

From now until August 31, 2011, share your vacation, trip and Arizona-based adventure highlights with us in a less-than-2-minute video. And you can use any video recording device, whether it be a cell phone, iPad, Flip, video camera, etc.

It can look like the video below or you can put your own twist on it — whatever you’d like to do. Just be sure to credit yourself in the video and use original or royalty-free images and sound. And, of course, the videos must have been filmed in Arizona.

Record, edit, and upload!

Video Contest Requirements

  • Time: less than 2 minutes
  • Content (images, sound, etc.) must be original or royalty free.
  • Video must be filmed in Arizona and must focus on one attraction/location.
  • Post the video to YouTube.
  • Send an email to kristine.cannon@azbigmedia.com with the link to the video, a paragraph description of the video, as well as your contact information, including your name, email and phone number.
  • We will call and email if you win.

Thrills, Chills & Trills: The Prizes

The winner is determined based on originality and creativity.

The winner will receive:

Bonus: Submissions we receive by July 31, 2011 will be entered to win:

Resources

Film editing tools:

If you have any questions, please contact Kristine Cannon at kristine.cannon@azbigmedia.com or call 602-277-6045.

State Budget Cuts Will Hit Arizona Hospitals - AZ Business Magazine Sept/Oct 2010

Despite Restoring Some Funds, State Budget Cuts Will Hit Arizona Hospitals

It was looking pretty grim at 1700 W. Washington St., as Gov. Jan Brewer and a badly splintered Arizona Legislature struggled to cobble together a state budget that would have the appearance of being balanced.

Taking a follow-the-money tactic, policymakers targeted programs such as education and health care that annually receive large sums of taxpayer dollars. The budget Brewer and Republican lawmakers put together, addressing a $3.2 billion shortfall for fiscal year 2011, sent shock waves throughout the health care community.

The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) estimated the cuts would reduce hospital revenue by $1.15 billion in state and federal funds in FY 2011, which began July 1, and cost the overall health care community $2.7 billion. For example, the budget package eliminated coverage under the state’s Medicaid program — Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) — to 310,500 adults and children, and eliminated KidsCare, ending health care coverage for 47,000 children. KidsCare provides low-cost insurance for the children of parents who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but are still considered the so-called working poor.

Before the ink was dry on the bills the governor had signed, officials learned that the landmark health care reform bill passed by Congress prohibited such budget cuts under the threat of losing federal funds. So lawmakers passed another bill to restore money stripped from AHCCCS and KidsCare. Failure to have taken the follow-up action, officials said, could have cost Arizona more than $7 billion in federal money for health care.

AzHHA strongly supported the governor’s push for a temporary 1-cent sales tax increase, which voters approved by a 64 percent to 36 percent margin. The tax increase remains in effect until May 31, 2013, and is expected to generate about $3 billion over three years to protect education, public safety and health and human services from further cuts.

Despite avoiding a funding disaster, hospitals still are forced to deal with a considerable loss of government dollars. Laurie Liles, president and CEO of AzHHA, says hospitals sustained $50.1 million in cuts to the Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) program, which provides special funding to hospitals that treat a significant number of AHCCCS and uninsured patients. The state cut $16.7 million, resulting in a loss of $33.4 million in federal funds. The federal stimulus act of 2009 matches state dollars three-to-one for DSH, so when the state trims $1 from the program, the total loss is $4.

Hospitals also lost some $37.3 million in funding for graduate medical education, which helps pay for physician instruction programs.

“There is no funding for 2011,” Liles says. “That is a huge loss for Arizona, considering the significance of our physician shortage.”

In addition to those losses, the Legislature authorized AHCCCS to reduce all provider payments, including those to hospitals, by up to 5 percent for fiscal 2011.

“We don’t know what percentage cut that hospitals will receive,” Liles says. “Hospitals are planning on the full 5 percent, but we’re hoping it will be somewhat less.”

Since 2008, Arizona hospitals have sustained several hundred million dollars in payment cuts and freezes, which impact hospital employees — medical and non-medical, Liles says. The association has been monitoring how its member hospitals are dealing with the recession.

“We have found that hospitals are managing through a variety of ways,” Liles says, “with some staffing reductions, delays in capital construction and services to the community. Hospitals have had to make some very hard choices about services. Strategies that hospitals have been forced to employ affect all Arizonans.”

For example, Liles says, when hospitals are underpaid, either by AHCCCS or Medicare, hospitals shift those costs onto commercial health plans to make up the difference.

“We call that cost shift a hidden health care tax,” she says. “That results in higher premiums for businesses and families. We all end up paying for the cost shift that hospitals are forced to make.”

Liles, who previously was the chief lobbyist for AzHHA, says she spent a lot of time over the past few years visiting with legislators regarding the impact of the hidden health care tax.

In 2009, the Arizona Chamber Foundation, an affiliate of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, determined that all purchasers of health care coverage pay 40 percent more for hospital care through commercial insurance as a result of underpayments from AHCCCS and Medicare, Liles says.

“We look for more of the same,” she says.

Hospitals are counting on Congress to continue funding AHCCCS at an increased level.

“We have shared our concern with our congressional delegation,” Liles says. “The enhanced federal medical assistance percentage is absolutely vital to Arizona.”

The increased funding amounts to about $480 million — money needed to cover the expanded AHCCCS population — that the state is mandated to continue covering as a result of national health care reform. Without additional federal funding, Liles wonders: “How are our Legislature and governor going to pay for that? We are concerned about the care we provide. There are only so many places our state can cut.”

By The Numbers: Health Care Cuts

  • $50.1 million in cuts to the Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) program
  • $37.3 million in funding for graduate medical education
  • AHCCCS can reduce all provider payments by up to 5 percent

Arizona Business Magazine Sept/Oct 2010

Illustration of suburb with recycle logo

Sustainability Is Possible In The Suburbs. Really.

Is it possible to build a sustainable suburb? The answer depends largely upon your perspective.

Of course, sustainability is a word freely associated these days with eco-friendly building materials, alternative energy and “living off the grid,” and is usually used in conjunction with the concepts of urban living, light-rail and transportation-oriented development. However, some of the first sustainable buildings were lovingly referred to as “land ships,” and built far from cities.

The deserts of Taos, N.M., for example, still host these forward-thinking renegade buildings dating back to the late 1960s and 1970s, and were colorfully branded by many as “crazy hippy stuff.”  And certainly these buildings are a far cry from the buildings and locations we think of as locations of sustainable development today.

Arizona has long been associated with sprawl, and frankly it’s the reason why the sustainable movement has been slow to catch. However, with a struggling economy and real estate development virtually at a standstill, it’s important to think beyond our limited frame of reference. But the suburb? Can it really be sustainable?  Our twin love affair with privacy and the automobile has made the suburb far from a likely place to orchestrate sustainability. Places where garages line streets instead of trees and retail buildings have walls around them virtually imposing a drive instead of a walk. But there is a sustainable sun on the horizon.

Arizona State University’s Stardust Resource Center has created a Growing Sustainable Communities Initiative, and its strategies for growing sustainable communities in the Valley of the Sun include:

  • Promoting mixed land uses
  • A range of housing types
  • Thriving economies
  • Environmentally responsive design
  • Having a variety of transportation choices
  • Compact development
  • Making places safe
  • Promoting healthy living
  • Community engagement

 

I could write four pages about each of those points, but essentially they mean: building sustainably occurs block-by-block, street-by-street, house-by-house. It is an organic process and there is no cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all approach. In fact, the standard of cookie cutter replication is what has created much of the challenges in every community built after 1950 in Arizona.

To be successful, it is imperative that we change our standard “square mile” approach to development, where commercial businesses exist only on the edges and residential homes on the interior and there is virtually no interplay between them. No parks, and no tree-lined streets. A better strategy is to develop on the quarter-mile, where neighborhoods have work and play uses and schools and shopping centers interact with residential neighborhoods through a network of paths and pedestrian/bike connections — just like the village concepts of the historic neighborhoods built prior to the 1950s. Ask any Midwesterner what they miss about home and I’ll bet they say their “neighborhoods.” There’s a reason why.

What the sustainable movement is advocating is greater creativity on the developer side and less regulation and restrictions on the government side. Scott Carlin, an associate professor of geography at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, makes an excellent case for a deeper theory of sustainability. He suggests we re-invigorate ties to cities and villages, by building new homes only where there are existing water and sewer lines, sidewalks, schools, businesses and the other infrastructure within a reasonably close radius. In other words, so we can get out of our cars and walk.

What about existing neighborhoods? Well, they can be re-imagined as sustainable by relaxing zoning code to allow for commercial uses consistent with vibrant neighborhoods and by resisting the status quo. It will also happen when residents advocate for and pursue the creation of public amenities like parks and pathways and tree-lined streets. Even the Urban Land Institute recognizes the opportunities suburbs represent because it’s where the biggest gains could be made. Still, it cautions that connecting the dots between suburban projects through effective sub-regional planning is essential.

It is possible for us to focus on more than buildings when we think of sustainability.  With a bit of imagination, and the commitment to integrate the principles of sustainability even on the outskirts of town, we can succeed. Surprisingly, in fact, we won’t be creating anything new. Because, it’s when we look to the past and incorporate the best of what it means to live in an American neighborhood we win. Sustainability is certainly a look to the future, but its reality and its secrets are grounded in our American past.

Town of Superior

The Town of Superior Awaits Copper Mine Ruling

The residents of the Town of Superior are collectively holding their breaths as they wait for SB 409, the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act, to pass. Supported by Senators John McCain and John Kyl, as well as Gov.  Jan Brewer, SB 409 will essentially trade the Oak Flat Campground for various areas around the state, such as the riparian area of the San Pedro River and the Appleton Ranch. In exchange, the Oak Flat Campground will become part of the Resolution Copper Mine.

The Resolution Copper Mine Company, made up of London-based Rio Tinto Group and the Australian-based Broken Hill Properties, purchased the abandoned Magma Mine and is looking to acquire the Oak Flat Campground. Why? Because beneath it is possibly the largest vein of copper ever discovered.

The economic impact to the state is estimated at $46 billion over the mine’s 60-year life span. This would put Superior back on the map and employ many of its residents. The Resolution Copper Mine Company is proposing a block-style mining technique.

However, in 1955, President Eisenhower mandated that the Oak Flat Campground cannot be developed when he signed Public Land Order 1229.

Oak Flat Campground and the surrounding area is a recreational dream, and a sacred land to several Native American tribes. Devil’s Canyon lies to the immediate east. It is a canyon that is a mecca for rock climbers, canyoneers, hikers and bird watchers. The mining will significantly impact the water source for the creek. Apache Leap lies to the west, overlooking Superior, and is sacred to the Apache and several other tribes. Apache Leap is named after an uncomfirmed story of a skirmish between troops and Indians at what is now called Apache Leap Mountain. The legend states that Apache warriors were trapped on the large rock ledge by cavalry troops from Camp Pinal. Instead of surrendering, about 75 of the warriors opted to leap off the cliff to their deaths.

Superior’s history is one of coal mining. The first mines in the area were developed in the late 1800s. The town itself was founded in 1896, and incorporated in 1904. The town reportedly was named after the superior quality of coal found in the area. West of Superior is the Boyce Thompson Arboretum

Superior Facts:

  • Population in July 2009: 3,525
  • Population change since 2000: +8.3%
  • Males: 1,757  (49.8%)
  • Females: 1,768  (50.2%)
  • Median resident age:  39.2 years
  • Arizona median age:  34.2 years
  • Zip codes: 85273
  • Estimated median household income in 2008: $37,392 (it was $27,069 in 2000)
  • Superior:  $37,392
  • Arizona:  $50,958
  • Estimated per capita income in 2008: $16,810
  • Estimated median house or condo value in 2008: $100,261 (it was $45,400 in 2000)
  • Superior:  $100,261
  • Arizona:  $229,200
  • Mean prices in 2008
  • All housing units: $109,693
  • Detached houses: $102,383
  • Townhouses or other attached units: $103,822
  • Mobile homes: $34,951
  • Occupied boats, RVs, vans, etc.: $85,000
  • Movies: 1962 movie, “How the West Was Won,” and 1997 movie, “U-Turn”
  • Read more about the town of Superior
first job john j. bouma

First Job: John J. Bouma, Snell & Wilmer

John J. Bouma
Chairman
Snell & Wilmer

Describe your very first job and what lessons you learned from it.
My first job was working for my father at the Rialto Theater in Pocahontas, Iowa. It was a very nice, small town theater. I ushered guests, changed the names of the movies on the marquee, switched out movie posters, took tickets, sold tickets, and occasionally ran the projectors. I learned how important it is to be on time, to be courteous and attentive to customers, and to take into consideration people’s individual circumstances. People, and particularly kids, who did not have the ticket price would often get in free.

Describe your first job in your industry and what you learned from it.
My first job in the legal field was as a brand new lawyer at a law firm in Milwaukee. After a few months, I went on active duty as a lieutenant in the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corp (JAG).  Through both jobs, I learned the importance of listening and of preparation. I learned to try cases in the Army, first as a defense lawyer, and then as a prosecutor.

What were your salaries at both of these jobs?
During my years at the Rialto Theater my father gave me an allowance. I may have received an additional quarter or two on the nights I changed the marquee or ushered.
The law firm I joined in Milwaukee following college was one of the top-paying firms in the country at that time, paying new associates a yearly salary of $7,800.

Who is your biggest mentor and what role did they play?
My biggest mentor was my father. He had run away from school in the sixth grade, but became a very successful businessman. He encouraged me in sports, throwing or catching baseballs endlessly, encouraged me to go to law school (on the principle that since I argued so much, I should get paid for it), and then encouraged me to settle in Arizona. My father taught me to say what I think, and to stick to my position if I believe I am right.

Mark Wilmer was also an important mentor to me. He was an outstanding trial lawyer and a real gentleman. From working with him and trying cases with him, I learned that being gentle and courteous is not inconsistent with being a great trial lawyer.

What advice would you give to a person just entering your industry?
It is crucial to establish a reputation for absolute honesty and integrity that can never be compromised or subject to question. Beyond that, if you don’t recognize law as a calling –– an opportunity to help people solve problems –– rather than just a way to make a living, you are in the wrong profession.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing instead?
I would be involved with some nonprofit or public enterprise where I could keep my mind active and where my background and experience could be helpful to the organization. I would also devote even more time to a variety of outdoor activities and travel with my wife and family.

AZ Big Media 25 years

Arizona Business Magazine Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary

An important lesson in the launch of any business or new product is to learn everything you can about your target consumer, and that’s exactly what Mike Atkinson did when he bought the Office Guide to Phoenix 25 years ago. He approached leaders in the community in such industries as health care and law, and asked them what they wanted and needed from a local business magazine.

“I took reams of notes and what came out of it was Arizona Business Magazine,” Atkinson says. “The research led me down a path of this is how it should look and read.”

Atkinson was inspired to enter the publishing arena because it presented the chance to exercise his artistic abilities. He wanted to create “a product that was fundamentally art-related and a product that could help inspire, excite and help educate,” he explains. “I’m an artist at heart, so the magazine’s pages were like my mini-canvases.”

Initially, Atkinson was the sole employee of the publication — he wrote the stories, shot the photos and sold the ads. Today, however, the company has increased to nearly 30 employees and publishes an additional six titles, including AZRE: Arizona Commercial Real Estate, Ranking Arizona, Experience AZ, People to Know, Creative Designer and Scottsdale Home & Design. The flagship publication has also undergone many changes over the years, including its frequency, which has gone from quarterly to bimonthly, and in February 2008, to monthly. The company has evolved as well, and last year was re-named AZ Big Media.

Atkinson didn’t limit his creativity to the magazines, however. In 1991, the company launched its first Arizona Home & Building Expo, which is now in its 18th year. AZ Big Media also hosts a series of awards and events that honor various segments of the business community, from health care to finance. In March 2009, the company held its inaugural Southwest Build-it-Green Expo & Conference. AZ Big Media’s newest venture, the Home & Design Idea Center, opens this summer. The company is also building a strong presence online with its new Web site, www.azbigmedia.com, where readers can find many of the stories featured in each magazine.

“If you go to our Web site, you’ll see ‘online’ is where we’re heading in the future,” Atkinson says. He adds that the future will include more home shows when the market is ready for them. He also hints of possibly even adding a radio station.

If he could go back in time and change one thing, Atkinson says, it would involve the company’s interaction with its audience online.

“At the time, we were just learning about the Internet, and I remember one of my editors came in my office and said ‘Guess where I was today? I was on the computer and I was talking to people all the way in Italy!’ and he began to describe how it took him to different places,” he says. “I thought that was pretty cool, but I didn’t have the foresight to say, ‘This computer Web thing just might turn out to be something really big!’ ”

Looking back on the past 25 years, Atkinson says his success is due to two key things: “Hard work and surrounding myself with the right people.”

Here’s to one day cashing in this 25-year silver achievement for gold.

Bob Matia Managing Partner Squire, Sanders and Dempsey

CEO Series: Bob Matia

Bob Matia
Managing Partner
Squire, Sanders and Dempsey

What impact has the current recession had on the legal profession?
With the credit markets being down as much as they were this time around, the flow of corporate legal business was definitely affected more than in past recessions. A lot of people view law firms as recession proof, and to some extent some of the practice areas within a law firm are recession proof. Litigation, for example, seems to go on and on whether there is a recession or not, and that is in fact happening now in our firm. But this time around, the corporate group was affected much more than in the past and that has caused different challenges.

Do you foresee any long-term changes in how law firms conduct the business side of their operations as a result of the economic crisis?
It’s been a wake-up call for the law profession … I think there was a complacency that had developed among law firms about how carefully they had to watch developing trends. But I think this has been a good wake-up call, so I think you’ll find law firms staying more conscious of staffing and not trying to get too far ahead in staffing; maybe slightly curtailing the kinds of lead hiring we used to do. We hire every year out of law school. We’re having in Phoenix six new lawyers joining us out of the class of 2009.

They were originally scheduled to arrive in October. We’ve deferred that arrival to January of 2010. I think you’ve probably seen in the paper a number of other moves by other law firms, some taking different forms of action. … I think you’ll see tinkering here and there. I don’t think you’ll see vast changes in the way we do things, but we’re looking at it. We’re looking at it on a monthly basis, checking the numbers, trying to see if we see a trend in one practice area or another.

You have represented the city of Phoenix in its dealings with developers of its downtown mixed-use complex. How would you describe the evolution of Downtown Phoenix from a governmental and legislative aspect?
The change in 30 years has just been remarkable. It’s great. … During the course of 30 years, we got a bill passed that established economic development as a major public purpose in Arizona, which has significant implications in that we feel it probably was the turning point in permitting condemnation for economic development purposes, a subject which is not popular in all sectors of the economy. But certainly there were instances where a single property owner could hold up an entire, major, new downtown development, and the governmental units simply had to have a way of dealing with that. Condemnation was one of them and we’re pleased about that. But there’s a new challenge, actually, to the subsidies that cities have made available to developers, both downtown and in other kinds of zones that are created for economic development. The (state) court of appeals has just thrown out part of the subsidy the city of Phoenix gave to CityNorth. Whether that goes to the Arizona Supreme Court depends on the Supreme Court.

For years, we were operating under another court of appeals case, known as the Wistuber case, and I always thought it struck a very good balance between hard consideration and soft consideration on what cities were getting for their subsidies. The problem is that the Arizona constitution has a gift clause in it, which says public bodies can’t give away their money to private interests without getting value back for that money. TheWistuber case made it clear that you could look at things like increased tax revenues and improving job availability, but you also had to have some hard considerations for what you were spending your money on. I always thought  that was a great balance. We’ll see how this comes out.

Given the current economic climate, what changes have you made to future workforce planning?
I think law firms will stay closer to the break-even point on need, on staff. We had the luxury of delaying responses to ups and downs in the economy in the past. Law firms are being much more conscious today of the cost of legal services to clients. Even the largest corporations are getting our attention in terms of trying to give them the very best service we can for the lowest cost. So we’re going to pay a lot more attention, probably, to having balanced legal teams in terms of experience level. For example, on a typical corporate transaction or litigation matter, we will probably pay a lot more attention to what the blended hourly rate would be if you looked at all the people who are working on the account.

    Vital Stats




  • Started with Squire, Sanders and Dempsey in 1966
  • Opened Phoenix office in 1979
  • Listed in the 2009 edition of “The Best Lawyers in America”
  • Selected for inclusion in the 2007 inaugural edition of “Southwest Super Lawyers”
  • Designated a Center of Influence by Arizona Business Magazine in 2008
  • Received law degree from Case Western Reserve University
  • Works with the Arizona Business Coalition, the Arizona Justice Foundation and the Phoenix Community Alliance
  • www.ssd.com
software

Failing To Honor Copyrights On Software Could Cost Company Thousands

If you use software in your business, a little knowledge about an often misunderstood area of the law could save you tens and possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars. The area of the law is copyrights — but don’t stop reading just because you know you would never illegally copyright software. I have had many clients come to me faced with serious financial sanctions who thought they did nothing wrong.

Perhaps you have never heard of the Business Software Alliance. You are lucky. If you don’t have written agreements with your employees about computer usage, you need to reconsider. And if you have no interest in reading that long license agreement before you click “accept” … well I can’t blame you, but you should at least read it before you make any extra copies of the program.

Let’s start with the basics. Microsoft owns the copyright on Word, Auto Desk owns the copyright on AutoCAD, and Adobe owns the copyright on Acrobat. If you “bought” any of those programs or any other software, you really only licensed them. Whether you bought a CD in the store, downloaded it from the Internet for “free” or it came bundled on your new computer, your use is subject to whatever conditions the copyright owner wishes to impose. If you exceed your permission, then you are violating the copyright. Another basic — you are responsible for the actions of your employees, even if you did not know they were violating the copyright law.

Now let’s discuss a few common myths. Each of the following statements is absolutely false: (1) I can make extra copies for my own use as long as I don’t give or sell them to third parties; (2) I don’t use that computer anymore, so I can just copy the program onto the computer that I do use; (3) it was free on the Internet so it is in the public domain; and (4) they are not interested in going after a small company like mine.

The only way to really know whether an archive copy is permitted or how many different computers you can legally load the software onto is to read the terms of the license that you accepted when you downloaded or installed the software. Don’t assume. Don’t rely on the representative who sold it to you and don’t rely on your tech person. In almost every instance where one of my business clients was accused of copyright infringement, the business assumed or believed that the extra copies were permitted.

Finally, let’s discuss the myth that your business is too small to attract attention and why you should familiarize yourself with the Business Software Alliance (BSA). The BSA is a trade association for copyright owners and it has one purpose — the protection of the copyrights of its members. Its members range from big players like Adobe and AutoCAD to smaller software companies. By turning these enforcement issues over to the BSA, the companies can focus on what they do best — write and develop software. What the BSA does best is locate, negotiate with, and sue infringers. A popular source of information for the BSA is disgruntled former employees. The BSA periodically runs advertisements offering rewards for information. No case is too small and no business is too small for the BSA. Also, the BSA’s idea of negotiation is to slightly discount the full damages. Since copyright laws provide for statutory damages of up to $150,000 per infringement, plus attorney fees, the exposure is significant and the alternative to accepting their proposals is daunting.

With just a few preventative measures, you can protect your business. First, educate your employees on the dangers of unauthorized copying and implement written policies and contracts that prohibit or provide a protocol for any software downloads or copies. By having appropriate policies, you may decrease the amount of damages that can be claimed against you. You will still be responsible for your employees’ conduct so it is important to educate and re-educate your employees on the importance of following the policy.

Another preventative measure is to review your current software and licenses. Un-install any extra copies that are not authorized. When you add a new computer, do not install any software from previous computers without reading the license provisions and determining whether the new install is authorized.

Most importantly, treat copyright protected intangible property such as computer software like you would treat tangible property such as fixtures and equipment. Teach your employees to do the same. You wouldn’t steal or even borrow your neighbor’s car without permission. Respect the intangible property of others in the same way and you are far less likely to find yourself on the wrong side of a copyright infringement claim.

Tanya Wheeler is president and CEO of the Arizona Bankers Association.

Arizona Bankers Association Continues To Advocate For The Banking Industry

One thing that hasn’t changed at the Arizona Bankers Association since it was founded 105 years ago is its dedication as an advocate for the banking industry. The cornerstone of the association has always been advocacy of bank-related issues with elected officials, state legislators, members of Congress and regulators at the state and federal levels.

“It’s the most significant service we offer,” says Tanya Wheeless, president and CEO of the ABA. “We serve as a clearinghouse when those decision-makers are considering new legislation or regulations. We can weigh in on behalf of the industry on anything that might have an impact on banking. And we do it with a single voice. That’s why we started and that’s what we still believe in.”

The association’s Grassroots Advocacy Resource Center focuses on communicating with state and federal lawmakers and arranging meetings between bankers and local legislators and in Washington with members of the Arizona congressional delegation.

“When we need to communicate on a bill,” Wheeless says, “we provide our members with contact information. Nearly 1,000 letters from Arizona bankers were sent to our congressional delegation opposing a farm credit bill earlier this year, and we were successful. It didn’t pass.”

But the association doesn’t overdo its use of the grassroots program.

“We only pull the trigger when we need to, when it’s really an important issue,” she says.

Wheeless characterizes banking as being different from other businesses.

“They compete viciously in the market, but they all offer basically the same products and services,” she says. “Where banks set themselves apart is in customer service and convenience. Even though they are great competitors, they recognize that when it comes to laws and regulations, we’re all in it together. A law that’s bad for one bank is bad for the bank next door.”

By the same token, a good law helps all banks. For example, the Arizona Legislature passed a bill this year that requires loan officers to be licensed and to undergo continuing education. Sponsored by Sen. Jay Tibshraeny, a Chandler Republican, the measure was supported by the Bankers Association and the Arizona Mortgage Brokers Association.

“It passed in the final hours,” Wheeless says. “Mortgage brokers were largely unregulated. They had to have a license, but little could be done to revoke a license and communicate problems to others — like don’t hire this person. This law provides that they have the same oversight and training that banks have to provide. There was a time when you had people doing mortgages in Starbucks. They had passed a test, and that was all they knew about the mortgage industry.”

The bill was a good way to provide some uniformity in education and licensing requirements, regardless of who the employer is, Wheeless says.

In collaboration with the governor’s office this year, the association produced 50,000 cards containing resource information for people feeling financial pressures, Wheeless says. Printed in English and Spanish, the cards were distributed through grocery stores, nonprofits and social service agencies.