Tag Archives: laws


Arizona considers film tax breaks

Arizona lawmakers looking to woo Hollywood are flirting with resurrecting a tax incentives program aimed at competing with New Mexico and other states that have long thrown free cash at production companies that film there.

A Senate committee unanimously approved the bill on multimedia production tax credits Wednesday after local film and tourism leaders argued Arizona would lose jobs if it didn’t do more to lure Hollywood to the state.

Critics point out a tax incentive program for production companies passed in 2005 was deemed a financial disaster in a 2009 report conducted by the Arizona Department of Commerce. The program expired in 2010.

The Arizona Film Office estimates more than 9,000 jobs in Arizona are generated by the film and television industry.


What are Your Chances of Ending Up Divorced in AZ?

Most people consider their wedding day among the greatest and most important days of their lives.  A couple’s wedding day is filled with excitement and optimism about a future the couple plans to build together.  After the honeymoon ends and life as a married couple begins, many couples do not achieve the “happily ever after” ending anticipated on their wedding day.

Recent statistics indicate that nearly 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce.  http://www.divorcestatistics.info/divorce-statistics-and-divorce-rate-in-the-usa.html.  Nationally, the divorce rate for those who are in their first marriage is approximately 41%-50%.  The divorce rate goes up significantly for individuals who are in a second or third marriage.  Statistics indicate approximately 60% to 67% of second marriages fail; 73% to 74% of third marriages end in divorce.

Where does Arizona rank nationally when it comes to divorce?  It turns out that Arizona has one of the highest divorce rates in the country.  According to a 2011 study by the U.S. Census Bureau approximately 10.8 out of every 1000 Arizona men got divorced the prior year; the national average for men is 9.2 per 1000.  The divorce rate for Arizona women is even higher at 11.9 out of every thousand women.  The national average for women is 9.7 per 1000.

Based on these numbers, Arizona had the 10th highest divorce rate in the country.  The states that rank ahead of Arizona include: Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Nevada, Kentucky, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

There are a number of possible explanations as to why Arizona ranks so high nationally.  Arizona is a no-fault divorce state.  This means that you do not have to provide a specific reason for wanting to get divorced.  This makes it easier than some states where a party seeking divorce must prove why the divorce is being sought.  This makes it easier for couples to get a divorce without an attorney.  Even if the other spouse disagrees the divorce will be granted.

Another explanation could be the difficult economy.  It is no secret that Arizona has been one of the most hard-hit states in the country by the financial crisis.  Many Arizona families have lost their jobs or homes.  Financial stress and crisis often leads to marital discord and divorce.

No one can say for sure why Arizona’s divorce rate is so high.  Every couple has their own individual and specific reasons for seeking a divorce.  Whatever the reasons may be, it is apparent that married couples in Arizona are among the most likely in the country to not live “happily ever after.”


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.