Industry Alerts & Seminars

Our attorneys routinely author legal articles and present on timely topics to clients and industry groups. Below, grouped by legal topic, is a list of recent articles and seminars for your convenience:

Lawyer Liability

Responding to a Subpoena for Client Information by Russell Yurk for the Maricopa Lawyer (March 2017, page 10).

Too often, lawyers receive subpoenas for information contained in the client file or information learned while representing a client. Although not all information in a client file is privileged, it is almost always confidential. Consequently, it is subject to the requirements (and protections) of ER 1.6. This month's legal ethics article discusses these protections.

Confidentiality Obligations When Withdrawing by Russell Yurk for the Maricopa Lawyer (February 2017, page 10).

The American Bar Association recently published Formal Opinion 476, entitled "Confidentiality Issues when Moving to Withdraw for Nonpayment of Fees in Civil Litigation." This month's column discusses the issues raised in this ABA opinion and Arizona's counterpart, Ethics Op. 09-02.

New Year's Resolution by Russell Yurk for the Maricopa Lawyer (January 2017, page 10).

As we ring in the New Year, most of us make New Year's resolutions. But how many of us make resolutions about our ethical practice of law? This month's legal ethics article gives a few ideas of how to make 2017 a more ethical (and productive) year than 2016.

Former Clients Conflicts of Interest by Russell Yurk for the Maricopa Lawyer (December 2016, page 10).

This month's legal ethics article is an analysis of a former client conflict of interest, which differs greatly from current client conflicts of interest. Whereas lawyers owe ongoing duties of loyalty, diligence and communication to current clients, the primary obligation owed to former clients involves protecting the confidentiality of information learned during the course of representation.

Lawyer Discipline by Russell Yurk for the Maricopa Lawyer (November 2016, page 6).

Considering the importance of avoiding formal discipline on a lawyer's record, this month's column is devoted to answering some important questions routinely asked by lawyers who receive a State Bar investigation letter.

Duty of Candor by Russell Yurk for the Maricopa Lawyer (October 2016, page 7).

All "information relating to the representation of a client" is considered confidential. However, there are several exceptions to the prohibition on disclosure of confidential information. One such exception is found in ER 1.6(d)(5), which allows lawyers to disclose information when necessary "to comply with other law." In the context of ER 1.6(d)(5), "other law" includes the duty of candor found in ER 3.3, discussed in this month's article.

Engagement Letters by Russell Yurk for the Maricopa Lawyer (September 2016, page 6).

The engagement letter is an opportunity to explain several other important terms of the representation in writing. This avoids confusion and (hopefully) prevents future disagreements. This month's article also discusses some of the other important terms that should be included in every engagement letter.

Of Counsel by Russell Yurk for the Maricopa Lawyer (August 2016, page 7).

The State Bar of Arizona Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct recently issued Formal Ethics Opinion 16-01 regarding "of counsel" relationships. This month's legal ethics article discusses what "of counsel" means.

Minding the Minders by Russell Yurk for the Maricopa Lawyer (July 2016, page 6).

A federal judge recently sanctioned several Justice Department lawyers for what it found to be multiple misleading statements to the Court and opposing counsel. It can be far too easy for those whose job is to judge others to forget the need to reflect on his or her own actions. This article discusses three cases where lawyers who were supposed to be enforcing the rules were instead the ones who acted unethically.

Three Quick Things by Russell Yurk for the Maricopa Lawyer (June 2016, page 6).

This month's column focuses on a few issues on which I recently advised other lawyers: Identifying the client; third party payers and multiple client or joint representation.

The Dilemma of the Absent Client by Russell Yurk for The Maricopa Lawyer (May 2016, page 6).

Periodically, an insurer learns of a lawsuit filed against one of its insured and refers the case to a lawyer, who cannot locate the insured defendant. In other situations, the insured initially consents to representation and participates, but then becomes unreachable. In the first situation, the insurer could become liable for a default judgment. In the second, a court will enter judgment against the insured as a sanction at some point. What can an insurer and/or the lawyer do to avoid judgment against an absent insured defendant? This month's article discusses how to steer through these tricky waters.

Five Ways to Build and Maintain and Ethical Practice by Russell Yurk for The Maricopa Lawyer (April 2016, page 6).

Last month, five of the most important reasons why ethics and professionalism matter to one's legal career and business. This month's article discusses five things a lawyer can do to build and maintain an ethical and professional legal practice.

Why Ethics and Professionalism Matter by Russell Yurk for The Maricopa Lawyer (March 2016, page 6).

We all know that ethics are important. Lawyers have to pass an ethics exam before they can practice law. Lawyers also have to attend ethics education every year. And all lawyers (well, most lawyer) would agree that the ethical practice of law is important. But why is it important, and why should you care? This article covers a short list of the most important reasons why ethics and professionalism matter.

Ethics Rules Update by Russell Yurk for The Maricopa Lawyer (February 2016, page 7).

Along with each New Year usually come several changes to court rules. This year is no exception and there are a few important changes to the ethics rules that briefly discussed in this month's legal ethics article.

Lawyer Liability and Ethics Q&A by Russell Yurk for The Maricopa Lawyer (January 2016, page 7).

This month's article discusses the ethics of technology.

Equipment Leasing & Finance

UCC Article 9 Changes: A Rose by Any Other Name Would Not Smell as Sweet by John Sinodis for  NEFA Newsline (July/August 2013, page 17).

New UCC Article 9 rules are discussed, to assist readers with understanding the reasons for 2010 changes, requirements and what finance institutions need to know about compliance.

Artisans' and Personal Property Service Liens by John G. Sinodis for  ELFA State Law Compendium for Arizona (March 2013).

The article discusses whether it is possible for Artisans’ and Personal Property Service Liens to take priority over the liens of a secured lender or lessor.

Business Law

Small Business Financing, To Lease or Not To Lease by Matthew Sloan for The North Central News (November 2012).

In a tough economy, where traditional financing remains elusive for many small businesses, equipment lease financing is a viable, but little understood alternative. However, it is important to enter into a lease for the right reasons and with the right structure. Consider the following to help determine if equipment leasing is right for your business.

Common Pitfalls Business Owners Should Avoid by Matthew Sloan for The North Central News (March 2012).

This article reviews and discusses common legal issues that business owners face, which, if not addressed correctly, could significantly impact their success.

Construction Law

Subcontract Negotiations and the Savvy Sub by Julianne Wheeler for ASA's Contractors Compass (February 2017, page 8).

JHC partner Julianne Wheeler helps subcontractors to understand how to use project buyout negotiations to minimize risk and demonstrate project knowledge, set reasonable expectations and establish credibility.

Arizona Court Declares That Preliminary 20-Day Notices Must be Served by Certified or Registered Mail to Preserve a Bond Claim
by Kim Lough for the Jennings Haug Cunningham Construction Legal Alert (May 4, 2015).

On April 30, 2015, Division 2 of the Arizona Court of Appeals issued an opinion affecting common practices in service of preliminary 20-day notices on projects subject to a public works payment bond.

Op-Ed: New ROC Regulatory Philosophy Triggers Need for Self-Audits by D. Kim Lough for AZRE Magazine (September 15, 2014)

Contractors throughout Arizona are being blindsided by a new administrative oversight role undertaken by the Registrar of Contractors (ROC). The Registrar's new prosecutorial philosophy toward investigating complaints against licensed contractors places contractors at risk of losing their license for minimal technical violations which may occur even when the contractor is unaware an issue exists. This sea-change warrants a self-audit of your business practices.

Interpretation of Davis-Bacon Act Could Result in Unforeseen Employee Lodging Expenses by D. Kim Lough for ENR Southwest (May 10, 2012).

The United States Department of Labor has begun to interpret the Davis-Bacon Act to require an employer to reimburse employees' lodging expenses while away from home on prevailing wage jobs. This can create a substantial unanticipated assessment to an employer unaware of this interpretation. In particular, contractors and subcontractors sending skilled workers to federally funded projects may be unaware of this expense.

Environmental Law

"USEPA Report on Navajo Nation Uranium Cleanup Issued," by Ronnie Hawks for The Native American Resources Committee Newsletter No. 1 published by the American Bar Assocation (July 2013).

"The Supreme Court Denies Review of Kivalina Global Warming Damages Claim," by Ronnie Hawks for  The Native American Resources Committee Newsletter No. 2 published by the American Bar Association (July 2013).

Environmental Law Alert: ADEQ Issues New AZPDES General Permit for the Jennings Haug Cunningham Environmental Law Alert (October 2012). 

ADEQ issued a new AZPDES general permit for certain wastewater discharges, making application for such permits easier, more expeditious, and less costly. This alert offers insight into the new process and guidelines.

Estate Planning, Trusts & Probate

Why Do We Need Estate Planning by Sheri Smith for Raising Arizona's Kids (December 2016).

Hillary Gagnon, a partner with the estate planning practice at JHC explains why it's important for people, particularly parents with children, to have an estate plan in place. When the unthinkable happens, guardianship, conservatorship, special needs trusts and living wills best protect those you love.

Importance of a Revocable Living Trust as Part of Your Estate Plan by Hillary Gagnon for the Jennings Haug Cunningham Estate Planning Newsletter (January 2014).

The Revocable Living Trust is often the primary legal document in an Estate Plan and controls the management and transfer of your assets. This article discusses several important things that a Revocable Living Trust is designed to accomplish.

Long-term Planing for Families with a Special Needs Child by Hillary Gagnon in The North Central News (September 2012).

Parents of grandparents of a special needs child (such as autism, cerebral palsy, Downs Syndrome or mental impairment) understand the important role they play caring for their children. Ms. Gagnon helps outline how to plan for the time when you will no longer be able to care for your special needs child to ensure their long-term care.

Guardianships and Conservatorships by Hillary Gagnon for the Jennings Haug Cunningham Estate Planning Newsletter (Fall 2011).

When a loved one becomes incapacitated and is no longer able to manage his or her affairs, it may be necessary to seek the appointment of a guardian and/or conservator in order to protect your loved one and his or her assets. A guardian and conservator is essentially a surrogate decision maker appointed by the court for an adult with mental or physical disabilities.

Surety & Fidelity Law

The Arizona Court of Appeals Rejects Bad Faith Claims Against Little Miller Act Sureties by Chad Schexnayder and R.J. Lamb for the Surety & Fidelity Law Committee Newsletter (Winter 2017, page 8).

JHC attorneys review the recent decision of the Arizona Court of Appeals in S & S Paving & Const., Inc. v. Berkley Reg'l Ins. Co. that held that a surety on a Little Miller Act payment bond may never be sued for bad faith. This article discusses how this ruling confirms the limited scope of the oft-cited decision of the Arizona Supreme Court in Dodge v. Fidelity & Deposit Co. of Maryland, a decision frequently encountered by surety attorneys across the country.

New Bern Riverfront Development, LLC V. Weaver Cooke Construction, EAVER COOKE, LLC: Can the Surety Really be Liable When the Principal is Not? by Joseph Brophy and John Fouhy for the Surety & Fidelity Law Committee Newsletter (Winter 2017, page 6).

JHC partner Joseph Brophy and Travelers claims counsel John Fouhy discuss this 2014 bankruptcy court decision, which provides an important example of how courts can reach the wrong result by narrowly focusing on bond language without considering or understanding the broader suretyship context in which that language must necessarily be read and understood.

Creditors' Rights

Lessor More Protected: UCC Article 2A Analysis Strengthens Resistance to Common Lessee Collection Defenses by John Sinodis for The Monitor, (January/February 2012).

In late July 2011, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania published a decision granting summary judgment for an equipment lessor on various defenses and counterclaims raised by multiple business lessees of telephone equipment. De Lage Landen Fin. Services, Inc. v. Rasa Floors stands as a thorough and recent analysis of the maturing law on the general enforceability of finance leases, as promoted by UCC Article 2A.

The UCC's Public Policy Favors the Lessor, Come Hell or High Water by  John Sinodis for the Lease Enforcement Attorney Network (January 2012).

De Lage Landen Fin. Services, Inc. v. Rasa Floors is well worth study and application by lessors and their counsel involved in leasing litigation. It stands as a thorough and recent analysis of the maturing law on the general enforceability of finance leases, as promoted by U.C.C. Article 2A, recognized by the courts, and reinforced by standard protections for the unique and limited role of lessors (such as hell or high water clauses and waiver of defense clauses).

Leasing in Tribal Land - Understanding Important Issues by Edward Rubacha and John Sinodis for The Monitor (Conference Issue 2011).

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