(1) This important legislation affirms the state constitutional powers of the supreme court with respect to regulating the practice of law in Arizona but equally importantly, frees Arizona lawyers from coerced membership in a draconian state bar association.
(2) Nineteen jurisdictions across the U.S. have voluntary bars including: Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Vermont. By separating the respective roles and responsibilities, the state supreme courts in those jurisdictions handle licensing, regulating and disciplining while the voluntary bars serve member interests through optional programs, services and activities.
(3) The Bill conclusively resolves the implicit conflict of interest and the irreconcilable tension between the mandatory bar in Arizona whose purpose is "to protect and serve the public" with that of a professional association whose purpose is to serve its members.
(4) The Arizona Legislature still has an important role to play with respect to matters of statewide concern, including general lawyer regulation, a fact traceable to the original incorporation of the Arizona Bar in 1933 through the Arizona Legislature. Indeed, for more than 50 years in Arizona, the state bar and supreme court were jointly empowered to regulate legal practice in the state. And not long ago, as one example, the Arizona Legislature enacted A.R.S. 12-2701, which codified the unauthorized practice of immigration and nationality law and established penalties for violations. See http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/12/02701.htm&Title=12&DocType=ARS