Tag Archives: Maricopa County Bar Association

David Funkhouser

Funkhouser Appointed to GPEC Ambassador Committee

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced that David E. Funkhouser III, a partner in the firm’s Phoenix office, has been appointed to the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) Ambassador Steering Committee, which is focused on ensuring GPEC’s Ambassador Program aligns with the organization’s key objectives and mission.  Members of the Steering Committee advise on the strategic direction of GPEC’s Ambassador Program, serve as a sounding board for emerging initiatives and support implementation of programs, and design activities relevant to and in support of GPEC’s mission.

Funkhouser handles complex commercial litigation matters. His litigation practice has an emphasis in real property disputes, trust, estate and probate litigation, and other commercial torts. Funkhouser also routinely represents financial institutions in all aspects of litigation.

He is also heavily involved in the local community, just recently completing his term as president of the Maricopa County Bar Association. Also in 2014, Funkhouser was named a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, selected for inclusion in the 2014 Southwest Super Lawyers magazine and named to both the Phoenix Business Journal’s “40 under 40” and  Richman Media’s “Leaders under 40” lists, respectively. He is a member of the Leadership Council for the Special Olympics Advocacy Resource program, a founding member of Suns 88 Charities and a certified ambassador for the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. He also served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2008–2009. Funkhouser earned both his law degree and undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa.

Polsinelli Named Children’s Law Center Firm of the Year

The Children’s Law Center has named Polsinelli as its 2013 Law Firm of the Year in recognition of the exceptional pro bono service undertaken by Polsinelli attorneys over the past year. The firm was selected for its volunteer efforts in connection with the Minor Guardianship Program that assists vulnerable children whose parents are not able or willing to care for them.

“We are honored that the Children’s Law Center has selected Polsinelli as its Law Firm of the Year,” said Troy Froderman, chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. “Our firm is deeply committed to providing legal support to those who would otherwise not be able to access it. As attorneys we have an obligation to give back to our communities in ways that ensure that all people are able to secure and preserve their rights under the law.”

The Children’s Law Center was established in 1998 by the Volunteer Lawyers Program (VLP) and co-sponsored by the Maricopa County Bar Association and Community Legal Services. Its goal is to address the unmet legal needs of children. Over 120 attorneys from firms throughout the Valley volunteer each year to fill gaps in legal assistance for children of diverse ethnic, racial and economic backgrounds. Current programs include Free Advice Clinics for Teens, the Court Advisor Project, the Minor Guardianship Project, the Guardianship Clinic, Teens at Work, the Adoption Project and Medical Legal Partnership.

“We are so grateful for the time and legal talent that Polsinelli’s attorneys have given so freely to the public through the Guardianship Program” said Roni Tropper, Esq., Children’s Law Center Program Coordinator. “They saw the tremendous need and offered to step in and take responsibility for all of the cases at one of our two guardianship clinic locations held monthly in English and quarterly in Spanish. They have been doing that now for three years.”

Tony Merrill, a shareholder at Polsinelli, spearheads the firm’s involvement in the Guardianship Program. “Volunteering to assist family members so that they can become legal guardians and thereby access health care for the children, enroll them in school or obtain other much needed services is very rewarding.” said Merrill.

Larry Ortega 2

Blais heads Bar's Young Lawyers Division

Burch & Cracchiolo associate attorney, Casey S. Blais, has begun serving his year-long term as president of the Maricopa County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.  The term runs through December 31, 2014.  The mission of the MCBA Young Lawyers Division is to involve young and new lawyers in serving the community and enriching the profession while focusing on the specific needs of young and new lawyers

Blais practices in the areas of commercial litigation, real estate law, landlord/tenant disputes, and insurance defense / personal injury litigation. He regularly represents individuals, lenders, developers, and other private and public entities. Casey received his J.D. from the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in 2008. Prior to law school, Casey attended Brigham Young University where he double majored in Linguistics and Economics. He is admitted to practice in Arizona and the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.

Jennifer Cranston Headshot

G&K Shareholder Recognized by State Bar

Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A., a full service business law firm, announced that shareholder Jennifer A. Cranston has been selected as the 2013 Member of the Year for the Maricopa County Bar Association (MCBA).

The Member of the Year award recognizes MCBA members who devote an exceptional amount of time and talent to the Association, the legal profession and the community. Selection criteria for the award include a current member of the MCBA who significantly contributes to the programs and activities of the MCBA, who dedicates themselves to furthering the goals of the legal profession, and who shows an outstanding commitment to community service.

“As I mark my tenth year as a volunteer with the Maricopa County Bar Association, I am extremely honored to be recognized among my peers in this way,” said Ms. Cranston. She has been an active member since 2003, having served as secretary, treasurer, president-elect, president and, currently, immediate past president. Ms. Cranston also served as president of the MCBA Young Lawyers Division in 2007.

Ms. Cranston focuses her practice on three primary areas: real estate disputes, including condemnation and valuation matters; insurance coverage analysis and bad faith litigation; and public utility regulation. Earlier this year, she co-authored the third edition of the Arizona State Bar Association’s publication of Eminent Domain in Arizona. In her free time, she is an avid reader and loves to relax at home with her husband, Jake, and their two dogs.

Jennifer Cranston Headshot

G&K Shareholder Recognized by State Bar

Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A., a full service business law firm, announced that shareholder Jennifer A. Cranston has been selected as the 2013 Member of the Year for the Maricopa County Bar Association (MCBA).

The Member of the Year award recognizes MCBA members who devote an exceptional amount of time and talent to the Association, the legal profession and the community. Selection criteria for the award include a current member of the MCBA who significantly contributes to the programs and activities of the MCBA, who dedicates themselves to furthering the goals of the legal profession, and who shows an outstanding commitment to community service.

“As I mark my tenth year as a volunteer with the Maricopa County Bar Association, I am extremely honored to be recognized among my peers in this way,” said Ms. Cranston. She has been an active member since 2003, having served as secretary, treasurer, president-elect, president and, currently, immediate past president. Ms. Cranston also served as president of the MCBA Young Lawyers Division in 2007.

Ms. Cranston focuses her practice on three primary areas: real estate disputes, including condemnation and valuation matters; insurance coverage analysis and bad faith litigation; and public utility regulation. Earlier this year, she co-authored the third edition of the Arizona State Bar Association’s publication of Eminent Domain in Arizona. In her free time, she is an avid reader and loves to relax at home with her husband, Jake, and their two dogs.

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Turk appointed to MCBA Litigation Section Board

Andrew Turk, a shareholder with the national law firm Polsinelli, has been appointed to the Maricopa County Bar Association Litigation Section Board.

Turk represents clients in commercial, tort and insurance litigation, as well as construction defect, toxic tort, elder abuse and contract dispute litigation.  He also serves as a mediator and arbitrator.

Brenda Thomson

Brenda Thomson – 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Brenda ThomsonExecutive director, Arizona Humanities Council

Thomson, who joined the Arizona Humanities Council in 2010, has a background in executive management, fundraising, human resources, public speaking, community relations, and strategic planning. The Yale Law School graduate was director of The Center for Law Leadership and Management at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU and was executive director of the Maricopa County Bar Association.

Surprising fact: “When I went to college I dreamed of being a composer and songwriter. To this day I play the piano, write poems and songs, and most recently have written several children’s stories.”

Biggest challenge: “Achieving my goals in a world where African-American women attorneys and leaders are not often at the helm with decision-makers, and are frequently underestimated despite decades of accomplishments.”

Fifty Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue Arizona Business Magazine features 50 women who make an impact on Arizona business. To see the full list, read the digital issue >>

Tyler Carrell - color

Carrell Elected Treasurer of State Bar’s Young Lawyers Division

Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A., a full service business law firm, announced that Tyler J. Carrell has been elected to serve as treasurer of the Executive Council for the State Bar of Arizona’s Young Lawyers Division for 2013-2014.

The Young Lawyers Division (YLD) is a professional service organization specifically created for lawyers who are under the age of 37, or have been in practice for five years or less. YLD members donate an exceptional amount of time to pro bono legal services and other volunteer opportunities throughout Arizona. Presently, the Division has approximately 4,000 active members in the state, which constitutes nearly 33 percent of the total in-state active State Bar membership.

Carrell served as YLD District Representative from 2012 to 2013 before being elected treasurer. He has been a member of the State Bar of Arizona, Young Lawyers Division since 2010.

Carrell is an associate practicing in the area of bankruptcy and creditor’s rights.  In addition to his role as executive council member for the Young Lawyers Division, he is also on the executive council for the Young Lawyers Division of the Maricopa County Bar Association, a member of the Arizona Alumni Association, the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations and the Brophy Alumni Association.

Tyler Carrell - color

Carrell Elected Treasurer of State Bar's Young Lawyers Division

Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A., a full service business law firm, announced that Tyler J. Carrell has been elected to serve as treasurer of the Executive Council for the State Bar of Arizona’s Young Lawyers Division for 2013-2014.

The Young Lawyers Division (YLD) is a professional service organization specifically created for lawyers who are under the age of 37, or have been in practice for five years or less. YLD members donate an exceptional amount of time to pro bono legal services and other volunteer opportunities throughout Arizona. Presently, the Division has approximately 4,000 active members in the state, which constitutes nearly 33 percent of the total in-state active State Bar membership.

Carrell served as YLD District Representative from 2012 to 2013 before being elected treasurer. He has been a member of the State Bar of Arizona, Young Lawyers Division since 2010.

Carrell is an associate practicing in the area of bankruptcy and creditor’s rights.  In addition to his role as executive council member for the Young Lawyers Division, he is also on the executive council for the Young Lawyers Division of the Maricopa County Bar Association, a member of the Arizona Alumni Association, the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations and the Brophy Alumni Association.

LaBianca_Margaret_MBLAB_300 - 4x5

LaBianca Elected to Arizona Investment Council Board

Margaret LaBianca, an attorney and shareholder with Polsinelli, has been elected to the Arizona Investment Council (AIC) Board of Directors. LaBianca brings to the board extensive experience in energy, natural resources, and environmental regulatory compliance, utilization of public lands, and strategic development.

“I am honored to be elected to the Arizona Investment Council. The work of the Council has a significant positive impact on Arizona. I look forward to working with the board to achieve its goals and further support the development of Arizona’s energy infrastructure,” said LaBianca.

LaBianca will serve a two-year term. “We are excited to have Margaret join the board. Her commitment and knowledge in the field of energy and natural resources will bring additional strength to the board as we work to carry out the objectives in our 2013 strategic plan” said Gary Yaquinto, president and CEO of the Arizona Investment Council.

LaBianca is the current Chair of the State Bar of Arizona Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section and past Chair of the Maricopa County Bar Association Environmental Law Section. In 2012 she was recognized as one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business and ranked by Chambers USA: American’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the category of Environmental. She earned her B.A. from Simmons College, her M.A. from Columbia University, and her J.D. from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law magna cum laude.

amkor - legal

Bryan Cave Lawyers honored for Pro Bono work

Bryan Cave LLP Phoenix Partner Megan Lennox and Associates PJ Rivera and Gustavo Schneider have been chosen by the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education as recipients of its 2012 Top 50 Pro Bono Attorneys In Arizona Award. The foundation established this award in 2001 to recognize attorneys who have tirelessly given their time and experience to assist Arizonans who would otherwise have no legal resources.

All three attorneys were nominated by Volunteer Lawyers Program (VLP). Founded in 1981, the VLP unites those in need with volunteer lawyers whose counsel gives thousands of Arizonans hope for a better life. VLP is co-sponsored by Community Legal Services and the Maricopa County Bar Association.

Lennox volunteers her time each month at the Tumbleweeds Young Adult Center, where she counsels teens at their legal clinic. In addition, Lennox regularly works with VLP on child guardianship and adoption matters. She also recently obtained a sizeable award for an elderly woman who had been exposed to asbestos fibers as a result of faulty home improvement work. Lennox practices with the Environmental Group and has state and federal court litigation experience with an emphasis on Superfund cost recovery and defense, environmental and commercial insurance coverage claims and general commercial litigation.

Nominated for his work on guardianship cases, Rivera is a native Spanish speaker, and often serves VLP clients who do not speak English or are unable to understand the required paperwork and process. Rivera, whose own son suffers from Autism, also often handles cases for families with autistic children that need continued family support once they reach adulthood. Rivera is a member of Bryan Cave’s Intellectual Property Group and is a registered patent attorney.

Schneider was nominated for his work on adoptions, as well as adult and child guardianship cases. Like Rivera, Schneider is a native Spanish speaker who often works with VPL clients that do not speak English. In addition to adoptions and guardianship matters, he has also litigated and negotiated landlord tenant disputes for VPL clients. In 2011, Schneider was awarded the “For Love of Justice New Volunteer Attorney of the Year” award by VLP. Schneider’s practice at Bryan Cave focuses on commercial real estate and finance, with an emphasis on CMBS loan servicing matters.

“We very proud to have three of our attorneys included in the Top 50 Pro Bono Attorneys. This recognition reflects the dedication that these lawyers have to providing critical legal services to families unable to afford those services, as well as our law firm’s support of that commitment to providing access to Justice,” said Phoenix Managing Partner Jay Zweig.

Lennox, Schneider and Rivera were honored at a ceremony Saturday, April 6, 2013.

intern

Unpaid Internships A Possible Doorway to Trouble

Internships can provide many mutual benefits – the student gets to work and learn in a real-world environment, and the employer gets low-cost (or free) labor. But before you make the business decision to hire an intern, be aware of the legalities that are involved. Here are a few tips to help you and your business stay in-line with the Department of Labor.

Before you hire an intern, reach out to your local community college or university and speak with the career services department. They are a great resource for setting up internships and helping you make sure you comply with the rules related to interns. If they are unable to help you, then you need to do some homework before you start advertising your internship. First, you need to create the framework of the position that you will be hiring for, including qualifications required, anticipated duties and time frame of the internship. Once you have set these parameters, then you will want to create some documents that clearly spell out the details of the internship; be sure to allow a space for both you and the intern to sign the agreement. An attorney can help you and oversee the process of creating these documents, including the preparation of an internship manual. Proper legal documents will give you and the intern clear answers, direction and expectations during the internship period.

You may have been warned by others not to hire interns because it is illegal. It’s not. It just so happens that the Department of Labor has begun cracking down on businesses, both large and small, for their improper use of student interns.  The general rule is that a private, for-profit business cannot “employ” an unpaid intern. There are six distinct criteria (or “rules”) that the business and the intern must meet in order for the internship to be considered valid.

  1. The first and most often violated rule is that the intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff. For example, if you are a marketing company that is stretched thin and are debating whether to hire another account coordinator or to bring on an intern, it is probably best that you hire the account coordinator.
  2. Tied directly to this first rule is the second:The employer that is providing the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operation may actually be impeded. Unfortunately, this is as straightforward as it sounds.
  3. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern. At this point, you are probably thinking there is no way that you can benefit from an unpaid intern and that all of the rules are overwhelming; don’t throw in the towel just yet. Here is an example of work that would follow the first three rules. We will use a marketing firm as our example company:

Amy is brought on as an intern and is assigned to work with Rebecca, the senior account executive. Rebecca gave Amy the information about one of her top accounts and explains that, together, they are going to prepare the marketing strategy for that account. In the past, Rebecca has always done these presentations by herself. This time she will guide Amy through the process, teaching her how and why she takes each step she does in preparing the presentation. During the process, Amy is allowed to come up with the great idea that could ultimately change the account forever, which doesn’t violate any of the first three rules.

  1. 4.     The intern understands that they are not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.
  2. 5.     The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship.

These rules are much easier to follow and state that you must be upfront with your intern. Explain to the intern that the internship is not a promise of future employment and that they are not getting paid for their work. Depending on their school’s policy, they may be able to receive credit, but there is no compensation. This leads to the final rule.

6.  The internship, even though it occurs in the facilities of the employer, needs to be similar to training that would be given in an educational environment. This states that the intern’s job cannot be getting coffee, making copies and filing; you must make their time with your company educational. The training you are providing should be training that the intern can take and apply to any other company within the same industry, and the broader the education and experience you provide, the better.

In summary, if you are not sure whether or not your company can properly administer an unpaid internship program, it is best to reach out to either a local university or an attorney that works in labor law. The attorney specializing in labor law can review your internship plans and ensure that you are following the Department of Labor guidelines to keep you, your company and the intern out of trouble.

 

Brent Kleinman, managing attorney at Kleinman Law Firm, is an active member of the Maricopa County Bar Association and American Bar Association. Kleinman Law Firm is a Valley-based business law firm that specializes in hospitality law, real estate law and criminal defense, including DUI expertise. For more information on Kleinman Law Firm, please visit http://kleinmanlawaz.com/ or call 602-354-4809.