Arizona’s Centennial

Eight years ago, in honor of Arizona Statehood Day, which is also Valentine’s Day, I wrote a letter to my friends and clients about why Arizona is a great state and in particular a great state in which to practice law.  In honor of Arizona’s centennial, I thought that reviewing the letter to see if Arizona’s greatness as a state and as a place to practice law was still true.  And it is.

Our state is still blessed with amazing natural wonders like the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, the Karcher Caverns, Petrified Forest, and the Chiricahua National Monument to name a few.  Some say that the oldest continuously inhabited city in North America, Oraibi, is located in Arizona.  Our cities and towns have names that evoke “Surprise”, “Christmas”, or even a poker game (Show Low).  For a state with much less population than others we have produced two Presidential candidates and the first woman Supreme Court Justice.

We at Hymson Goldstein & Pantiliat are glad to be practicing law in Arizona.  Here is why:

• The average civil case in the Maricopa County courts takes eleven to thirteen months from start to trial.  In Los Angeles that time is two years.  In New York, as many as five!

• The rules of civil procedure in Arizona force attorneys to lay their cards on the table sooner than elsewhere.  This is sometimes called the “Zlaket Disclosure”.  It allows the parties and their attorneys to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their cases early in the process.  In our experience this has been helpful to promote early settlements and resolutions.  (And we now have rules to encourage settlements through alternative dispute resolution such as mediation.)

• Arizona is a no-fault divorce state.  This means that marriages that are irretrievably broken can be ended by the courts with a minimum of finger pointing and name calling.  In marriages where there are children, the children’s welfare can be protected if the parents approach the process like adults.

• Arizona is a community property state.  Since statehood, its laws have recognized the equality of women and that a marriage creates a partnership both economically and otherwise.  Many of our lawyers come from other systems and we believe that this one is the fairest.

• Arizona is a state where fault still matters in accident cases.  We believe it is fair and just that the party that caused the accident should pay for all of the injury caused without limitation on the amount of damages.

Have a great February and a happy statehood day.

Written by Attorney David B. Goldstein,


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