In the novel Guy Mannering, Sir Walter Scott wrote that a “lawyer without history or literature is a mechanic, a mere working mason; if he possesses some knowledge of these, he may venture to call himself an architect.” As lawyers and especially as appellate advocates, we aspire to creating an edifice where the rule of law governs and not simply the politics of the day. We seek to design the law to withstand political winds while capable of change though remaining true to rules and standards that sensibly apply regardless of the ascendant ideologies.

It is not an easy task,
Continue Reading A call for law over politics

When accumulating a valuable portfolio of assets, investments, and money, it is essential to ensure the wealth passes to future generations. An estate plan protects your legacy by leaving that intergenerational wealth to your loved ones. With these plans, children and grandchildren will not have to worry about housing, medical care, or educational needs. Many individuals have carefully invested and saved their money throughout their lives. Now is the time to think about intergenerational wealth and your estate plan. Contact Harrison Law, PLLC to learn more about planning options by calling (480) 320-2310.
Estate Plans Can Benefit All Families
Continue Reading Intergenerational wealth and your estate plan

Beginning in 2014, many of you probably read my blog regarding having a checkup for you and, if you have one, your business. This does not involve the doctor, but it does involve all the other professionals in your personal and business life. Based on the positive feedback, I have made this an annual tradition.

Some of you said “What a great idea. I am definitely going to do that.” Others said “Sounds like a good idea, maybe I will look into that.” Another response was “I wish I had thought about this before the end of the year or
Continue Reading Annual checkup time for you, your company

On October 31, 2022, Forbes released its list of “Highest-Paid Dead Celebrities of 2022“. The list is riddled with tongue-in-cheek remarks (it was released on Halloween, after all), but this kind of information is truly fascinating.

Of the 13 named in this list, just one is an athlete – Kobe Bryant. The remaining are authors, musicians, and writers, or some combination of the three. Even Kobe Bryant was getting his reps in on becoming a filmmaker prior to his tragic death, winning an Oscar in 2017 for his animated short film “Dear Basketball”, which he wrote and produced.
Continue Reading Timing is everything, even after you’re gone

The U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Moore v. Harper, No. 21-1271, on Wednesday, December 7, 2022. To suggest that democracy in America depends on the outcome of this case does not overstate its importance. The notion that the likely outcome might render voters irrelevant in many jurisdictions ought to scare every reader, regardless of political leanings.
Moore v. Harper
The issue, as set forth at SCOTUSblog, is:

Whether a state’s judicial branch may nullify the regulations governing the ‘Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives … prescribed … by the Legislature thereof,’ and replace them with
Continue Reading Who decides elections?

Pedestrians in Arizona have a responsibility to obey traffic laws. Despite being the road’s most vulnerable users, pedestrians still have an obligation to protect others and prevent accidents. This includes only crossing the road when they have the right to do so. If a pedestrian is hit by a car while breaking a traffic law – such as while jaywalking – he or she may still have the right to recover financial compensation (damages). However, the settlement value may be reduced. An experienced Scottsdale pedestrian accident lawyer can help you determine the value of your case.
Is Jaywalking Illegal in
Continue Reading If a pedestrian is hit while jaywalking, can they still claim damages?

According to The American Bar Association, undue influence is defined as a fiduciary or confidential relationship between two people where one person influences another person to enact their will instead of the influenced person’s will. In other words, undue influence is when someone close to a person uses coercive tactics – such as affection or intimidation – to financially exploit someone else. For example, a con artist might try and befriend an elderly person online and trick them into wiring them large amounts of money, or a caretaker might isolate and then convince their dependent to leave their estate
Continue Reading 5 ways to identify undue influence

No matter how glorious your resume or how many glowing recommendations you collect, you have to know a lot about a job opportunity to let a potential employer know that you are the right person for the position. Success in the legal job market, as in law school, takes a lot of homework.

And we at the Ross-Blakley Law Library are here to help! Our Law Employment Research Guide compiles resources to help you get tabs on law firms, land a clerkship with a judge, or just build essential lawyering skills such as networking and compiling contacts.

The Researching Law
Continue Reading The law library can help with homework on employers 

Registering your drone with the Federal Aviation Association. The FAA has actually made the process rather smooth and straight forward.

Why is Drone Registration Necessary?

Plain and simple, the FAA wants every drone registered to increase the safety of people both in the air and on the ground. With more than 1 million drones registered with the FAA they have their hands full trying to keep people safe.

“Registration is all about safety,” says FAA spokesperson Jim Peters. “It provides us with a key opportunity to educate the new generation of airspace users that as soon as they start flying
Continue Reading How to register your drone with the FAA

A good reputation is one of the most valuable assets a lawyer can have. Establishing and maintaining credibility as an appellate advocate is especially important. In addition to generally wanting an appellate court to think well of you, credibility plays an important part in being persuasive.

Appellate advocates often appear in the same courts over and over. So, what are ways you can ensure that you have credibility with those courts?

1. Be a zealous advocate. Make a substantive effort for your client. Within the bounds of ethics and professionalism, use tools of persuasion. Use confident language and seek to
Continue Reading Credibility as an appellate advocate

Two recent additions to the Ross-Blakley Law Library collection have attorneys looking within, honing skills and reversing destructive thinking. Understanding and Overcoming Cognitive Biases for Lawyers and Law Students and Negotiation Essentials for Lawyers are driven by practicality: they hope to instill lessons that can make lawyers better at their job by identifying and neutralizing fallacies and other mental lapses and by developing a solid strategy at the bargaining table.

Understanding and Overcoming Cognitive Biases for Lawyers and Law Students, E. Scott Fruehwald, 2018

The heart of this book on cognitive biases is active learning—it contains numerous exercises to
Continue Reading Mind Games: Train your mind for optimal lawyering

Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes $392 billion of federal investments in energy and climate policies, reflects a complex political evolution over recent decades, as described in this Washington Post article.

Multiple Political Changes

The bill was adopted on a purely party-line vote, with all Democrats voting in favor and all Republicans opposed.

There used to be bipartisan support for environmental policies.  President Richard Nixon signed the bill creating the Environmental Protection Agency.  President George H.W. Bush “signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and created the U.S. Global Change Research Program.”  Senator and presidential
Continue Reading Inflation Reduction Act: A long, hard road to “Yes”

Networking is the base onto which your business development efforts sit. Who you know matters. The broader your network and reach the better chance it will lift you up towards success.

It seems obviously that you should want to be known by as many people as possible. We all have different ideas of what networking is or should be. You and I may meet at an professional event, but that doesn’t mean our respective networking activities will be a mirror of each other. You may be there with the goal of collecting business cards and meeting as many people as
Continue Reading Networking and deepening your connections matters

Courts often defer to administrative agencies on matters that require the agency’s specialized expertise. Yet even the embattled Chevron deference doctrine[1] puts the brakes on judicial deference sensibly when Congress has spoken on the matter. After all, the statute’s meaning must reflect legislative intent.[2]

Still, in defending the constitutionality of a statute, States will ask courts to read the statute more narrowly than its language supports, to avoid invalidation as applied to common situations. The Supreme Court has supplied advocates with precedent that should overcome these attempts to recast legislative language, particularly where free speech concerns predominate.

Continue Reading Agency deference and statutory interpretation

Video content is an effective way to connect with potential clients online, and consumers across many industries are responding positively to video content. A compelling marketing video can boost conversion rates for your firm by directly addressing your potential clients’ pain points and highlighting how you can help them with their legal issue. Marketing videos can also be repurposed on your social media pages to reach a broader audience and drive more traffic to your website. But at what point does video content begin to hurt your website’s functionality and conversion capability?

Read on for the pros and cons of
Continue Reading Pros and cons of video content on your website

Your reputation is formed by how people perceive you, good or bad. Online, it is a function of your presence and activities on the internet, making you vulnerable to risks that can tarnish your reputation. A seemingly harmless post may be misconstrued, your brand may be unfairly attacked, or saboteurs may post damaging content about you. These issues can lead to defamation suits and the need for an internet defamation attorney.

Damaged reputations can be costly and difficult to repair. Taking steps to alleviate some of the risks can protect your good name and character. Here are five steps to
Continue Reading 5 steps to protect your online reputation