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Posted by admin on October 3rd, 2006

If you would like to write for us please contact us via the comments section at the bottom. We would be interested in teaming up with anyone who would like to takeover the blog or add to the topic of Arizona Law. We do not have the time like most lawyers to dvote to this resource and dont want it to go to waste.

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UA law students to represent indigent defendants

Posted by admin on September 27th, 2006

uofaAssociated Press
Sept. 26, 2006 07:05 AM 

TUCSON - Under an experiment approved by the Arizona Supreme Court, University of Arizona law students will start representing indigent defendants at initial appearances on felonies next year. 

The high court justices last week approved waiving bar admission requirements for eligible law students at initial appearances, at the request of the Pima County Public Defender’s Office.

Chief Assistant County Public Defender Robert H. Hirsh requested the pilot program, which begins Jan. 1 and will run through June 30, 2008.

Third-year law students already are allowed to represent felony defendants with supervision, Hirsh said. They also may represent defendants on misdemeanors without supervision. 

Hirsh said he’s confident the students will represent indigent clients well at initial appearances.

“There’s a great need for advocacy to stand up for those defendants and be there at initial appearances,” Hirsh said.

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Old-Fashioned Land Scams Go High-Tech

Posted by admin on September 27th, 2006

ebayBy Haya El Nasser
September 27, 2006 9:15AM

Online sites say they just provide the vehicle to list properties. “The actual transaction happens directly between the buyer and seller,” says Catherine England, spokeswoman for eBay, which lists and auctions properties in its real estate section.

An elderly woman from the East Coast roams the Arizona desert in search of her land. She’s looking for a tidy lot in a subdivision and instead finds an arid wasteland in the middle of nowhere. She gets lost, runs out of gas and water and has to be rescued by a rancher. She had bought the land on the Internet, sight unseen, according to Mary Utley, spokeswoman with the Arizona Department of Real Estate.The Internet is reviving a grand old American tradition: land scams. Thousands of lots in phantom subdivisions that were sold decades ago to people who hoped to build retirement homes in warm states are reappearing on online sites such as the Internet giant eBay.The new wave of land scams has the potential to snooker millions more around the world because of the Internet’s broad and instantaneous reach.

Many of the lots being sold have never been developed because they are on swampland in Florida or isolated desert ranchland in Texas and Arizona. There is no road access, water or power. The land might be developed someday, but county officials who are busy processing a surge in deed transfers are skeptical.

“If someone does buy one of these parcels thinking they’re going to build their dream home on it now, that’s really a problem,” says Bart Medley, attorney for Texas’ Jeff Davis County.

Land scams are surfacing in:


  • Florida. The state has a long history of bogus land deals. In Flagler County, a scam that began in the 1970s was revived recently when the same lots in a subdivision that has yet to be built appeared on eBay. Some paid $5,000 for parcels worth $500, Daytona Beach land-use lawyer Glenn Storch says. 
  • West Texas. Land there is plentiful, but not always hospitable. Arid acreage in Jeff Davis, Hudspeth and Culberson counties has been auctioned online to some unsuspecting buyers.”Much of the property was advertised with photos showing things like running water, green trees and green grass — things that simply don’t exist in that particular location,” Medley says. 
  • Arizona. “A huge problem,” says Utley, whose agency monitors real estate agents and developers. “We actually don’t even have enough staff to address it.”‘Between Buyer and Seller’ Most online land auctions are legitimate and much of the land sold can be developed. Interspersed among those listings, however, are offers for 2-acre and 5-acre lots tagged as “investment property.”Online sites say they just provide the vehicle to list properties. “The actual transaction happens directly between the buyer and seller,” says Catherine England, spokeswoman for eBay, which lists and auctions properties in its real estate section.
  • Read the complete article here.


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    Bill to criminalize border tunneling easily finds support

    Posted by admin on September 27th, 2006

    By Jerry Kammer

    At first blush, a bill to criminalize the construction of tunnels under the U.S.-Mexico border seems almost ludicrous. “It seems like a law that says the sky must be blue,” said Frank Sharry of the National Immigration Forum, whose principal border interests center on much more controversial efforts to expand legal immigration and provide legal status to 12 million illegal immigrants in the country. Sen. Dianne Feinstein said, “It is hard to believe that there is not already a federal (statute) to punish those involved with the financing, construction and use of these tunnels.”

    But Feinstein, D-Calif., is one of the main advocates of a tunnel-criminalization effort that is reaching fruition with the inclusion of the measure in legislation to fund the Department of Homeland Security.

    The Border Tunnel Prevention Act would impose criminal penalties of up to 20 years in prison for those who construct or finance tunnels, which have proliferated in recent years in San Diego County and other border areas. It would permit a 10-year sentence for people who allow their property – including the buildings where the tunnels meet the surface – to be used by the tunnel builders.

    The bill would solve a fundamental problem for federal law enforcement authorities. Under current law, they can only prosecute tunnel builders who are implicated in the smuggling of contraband or illegal immigrants through the underground passage.

    Rep. David Dreier, R-San Dimas, who carried the bill in the House of Representatives, called it “a common sense reform.”

    “We have a problem that needs to be addressed, and it’s being addressed in a bipartisan way,” he said during debate on the measure.

    Over the past five years, according to Feinstein’s office, at least 44 border tunnels have been discovered, all but one between the United States and Mexico.

    While officials suspect the tunnels are primarily used to smuggle drugs, they have raised other concerns about them.

    “A tunnel can be used to smuggle drugs, illegal aliens, weapons and possibly weapons of mass destruction into the United States,” said special agent Steve Robertson of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

    Paul Charlton, U.S. attorney for Arizona, said that Justice Department policy bars him from commenting directly on pending legislation. But, he said, “As we are more successful apprehending those who come (illegally) above ground, there will likely be more people interested in coming across below ground.”

    Last March, Charlton’s office won a conviction against Mexican architect Felipe de Jesus Corona-Verbera, who masterminded the construction of a tunnel between a house in the Mexican border town of Agua Prieta to a warehouse in Douglas, Ariz.

    But Verbera was convicted on smuggling charges for his involvement in the movement of 2 tons of cocaine that were brought through the tunnel and shipped to Phoenix, where authorities seized the contraband.

    The new legislation is one of the least controversial border measures ever brought before Congress. It sailed through the House of Representatives last week, 422-0. It was then added to a House-Senate conference report for Homeland Security funding, which is expected to sail through both houses on a final vote.

    Efforts by Republican lawmakers to pass more comprehensive immigration legislation foundered on intraparty disagreements over whether to get tougher on illegal immigration or create a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants. The border tunnel bill may be one of the only measures to survive the debate before Congress breaks for a pre-election recess.

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    Arizona Legal Blog

    Posted by admin on September 25th, 2006

    LawThis blog will be dedicated to the Arizona Legal community.

    If you are interested in writing for this blog please leave a comment with your information and someone will contact you shortly.

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