Engelman Berger Recognized in “Best Law Firms” 2019

Engelman Berger has been selected for inclusion in the “Best Law Firms” section of Best Lawyers® 2019, considered by many to be the definitive guide to legal excellence. Engelman Berger was chosen in the areas of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights, Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Litigation – Bankruptcy, Public Finance Law, and Real Estate Law. Our firm was ranked nationally in one practice area and regionally in four practice areas.

 

            National Tier 3

Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law

 

            Metropolitan Tier 1

                        Phoenix

Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law

Litigation – Bankruptcy

 

            Metropolitan Tier 3

                        Phoenix

Public Finance Law

Real Estate Law

 

Earlier this year, Steve Berger, Brigitte Finley Green, Tami Lewis, and Kurt Peterson were among the individual lawyers selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2019®.

Best Lawyers® is the oldest and most respected peer review publication in the legal profession. Best Lawyers® selects its honored attorneys and law firms entirely by peer review. Their methodology is designed to gather as accurate of a consensus opinion of the leading attorneys and firms in the profession. Selections are made after compiling data from extensive peer review surveys in which tens of thousands of leading lawyers confidentially review and evaluate their professional peers. Opinions are based on the lawyers’ professional abilities which are compared to others in the same geographical location and legal practice area.

Engelman Berger Sponsored The Tim Huff Pro Bono Golf Classic

On Saturday, November 17th, Engelman Berger was a sponsor of the 2018 Tim Huff Pro Bono Golf Classic. This golf tournament benefited the Maricopa County Bar Foundation and Volunteer Lawyers Program, which supports more than 10,000 low-income families in Maricopa County who are in need of civil legal services.

The Volunteer Lawyers Program was founded through the Maricopa County Bar Foundation in 1993. Tim Huff’s mission was to create a Pro-Bono option for community members who were desperately seeking legal assistance but were unable to afford it. So far, this Pro-Bono option has been benefiting low-income families for over 25 years and providing them with the legal assistance and service they are seeking. Through VLP, more than 5,000 people a year get free family law advice from volunteer lawyers; over 200 children annually have volunteer lawyers speak on their behalf in family court as well as over 300 families who cannot afford legal help; and, the VLP also provides legal advice and reassurance to seniors who are intimidated by debt collectors.

We hope everyone who attended had a wonderful time participating, offering legal advice and assistance, and helping the community!

Meet Taylor Rosenow, Our New File Clerk

Meet Taylor Rosenow Engelman Berger’s new File Clerk. Taylor graduated from the University of Arizona Honors College this past Spring 2018 with two Bachelor’s Degrees, one in Political Science and one in Law. She is currently taking a gap year before she heads off to law school. During this time, Taylor wishes to gain as much experience as possible and we are excited to give her first-hand experience in a law firm. As our firm’s File Clerk, Taylor is archiving cases, helping EB get one step closer to going completely paperless, foot noting articles, and file backing. She coordinates closely with the attorneys and legal assistants throughout this process.

Taylor was born in Phoenix, Arizona and enjoys spending her free time reading, sketching, and playing the piano or guitar. During college, she did research for a professor at the University of Arizona Law School which gave her great experience and provided her with a hands-on learning experience. Taylor also worked for our late Senator John McCain. Philanthropy work is very important to Taylor, and she has been a part of many volunteer projects. She was part of the University of Arizona “I Will” campaign, helping to combat stereotypes around sexual assault and recognizing rape culture as an issue that impacts people of all identities. Taylor also volunteered for “Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse” which is the largest provider of domestic abuse prevention services and programs in Southern Arizona. She has also volunteered for the Saint Mary’s food bank for many years and participated in Habitat for Humanity one summer. After law school, Taylor’s goal is to work in the Human Rights section of the United Nations.

Meet Andrew Lovato, Our New Client Service Coordinator

Meet Andrew Lovato, our new Client Service Coordinator. As our Client Service Coordinator, Andrew is responsible for ensuring our clients have the best experience possible with our firm. He is responsible for new client and matter intake, conflict checks, closing matters, greeting and welcoming clients, coordinating hospitality and scheduling meetings, managing CLE presentations, and general office and facility support. We are thrilled to have him here!

Andrew was born in Glendale, Arizona and attended Phoenix College. His hobbies include playing video games and watching TV shows and movies. Andrew also enjoys traveling to urban environments such as Chicago and New York and wishes to someday work in a big city. Before joining the EB team, Andrew worked for Jones Skelton & Hochuli, PLC and Resnick & Louis, PC. Andrew enjoys working in the legal field and gaining experience working in a variety of areas.

Welcome, Andrew!

Engelman Berger to be a Sponsor of the 2018 ADL Torch of Liberty Award Dinner

On November 1, 2018, Engelman Berger will be a sponsor of the 2018 Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Torch of Liberty Award Dinner in which two of our attorneys, 2017 ADL “Al” Brooks Community Leadership Award Recipient Steven Berger and current member of the ADL Phoenix Board of Directors Bradley Pack, will be in attendance. The event will be hosted at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia from 6PM to 9PM.

This year, ADL will be honoring Arizona Public Service (APS). APS has paired with ADL to work against bigotry, discrimination and hate in all forms.

The following community leaders will also be honored at the 2018 Torch of Liberty Dinner: Richard Kasper, President & CEO, Jewish Community Foundation of Great Phoenix, with the Al Brooks Community Leadership Award; Sylvia M. Moir, Chief of Police, City of Tempe, with the George Weisz ADL Law Enforcement Award; and Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz, President and Dean, Valley Beit Midrash, with the Herman Lewkowitz ADL Rising Leader Award.

ADL’s Regional office in Phoenix, Arizona is one of the youngest in ADL. Long before its establishment in 1983, many of the same people who launched the Phoenix office were involved in a successful, national high-profile fight to eradicate the long-standing restrictions again Jews that were still observed by many of Arizona’s finest resorts. Today, the ADL Arizona Regional Board and the office regional staff represent one of the premier civil rights/human relations organizations in the state. The ADL provides an ongoing counter to bigotry, discrimination and hate of all forms, against any and all groups.

We look forward to being a sponsor of this important event, particularly at a time when our hearts and prayers go out to the families and community impacted by the shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

EB Attorney Meaghan Kramer Attending the State Bar of Arizona’s 2018 Annual Employment & Labor Law Fall Seminar

This Friday and Saturday, the State Bar of Arizona is hosting their 2018 Annual Employment & Labor Law Fall Seminar. Engelman Berger attorney and Co-chair of the event, Meaghan Kramer, will be attending on behalf of Engelman Berger and the State Bar of Arizona. The seminar will be taking place in Sedona at the Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa on October 26th and October 27th.

This year’s Fall Seminar will feature numerous presentations addressing the latest on a variety of labor and employment issues affecting Arizona employers. Some of these include the Medical Marijuana from an Employment Perspective, Title VII and Sexual Orientation / Transgender Issues, and Sexual Harassment and the #MeToo movement.

We look forward to hearing about the event from Meaghan and encourage you to participate in this year’s fall seminar!

Julie Arvo MacKenzie and Brigitte Finley Green Attended HonorHealth Night of Gold Event

On Saturday, October 20th, Engelman Berger’s bond finance attorneys, Julie Arvo MacKenzie and Brigitte Finley Green, attended The HonorHealth Foundation’s Night of Gold event. The event hosted a reception and silent auction that was followed by dinner and dancing at the Arizona Biltmore. Attorney Julie Arvo MacKenzie is both a member of the board of directors of HonorHealth as well as the chair of the Governance Committee of HonorHealth-Desert Mission, where she was chair of the board from 2013 to 2016. Engelman Berger is proud to have been represented by these two attorneys at the event. Julie and Brigitte had a wonderful time at the event and both donated through the silent auction and during the “Fund a Need” portion of the event.

The 2018 HonorHealth Night of Gold event benefited Desert Mission’s community programs, including the Food Bank, Adult Day Health Care, and Lincoln Learning Center. Desert Mission helps provide food for hungry children and families in Arizona, gives young children with a strong start and quality early childhood education, ensures that at-risk seniors have a safe and stimulating daycare solution, and more. The Lincoln family was instrumental in starting the John C. Lincoln hospital and health system. Four years ago, it merged with the Scottsdale Health System to create HonorHealth. The HonorHealth hospital in Sunnyslope continues to bear the Lincoln family name.

EB Attorney Michael Rolland Presenting at Desert Blockchain Citizen Workshops Event

Today, October 20th, Engelman Berger attorney Michael Rolland will be presenting at the Desert Blockchain Citizen Workshops Event at the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe. Desert Blockchain is a community group devoted to connecting blockchain innovators and developers and providing valuable industry specific information. Michael will be presenting on the topic of “Arizona FinTech Sandbox” and covering the subtopics of how to apply to the Arizona FinTech Sandbox, update on the progress of the sandbox initiative, and why you can benefit from starting your project in the sandbox.

To spread the word about Arizona’s FinTech sandbox, Michael has been a continuous contributor to Engelman Berger’s blog with his five-part series titled “How to Play in Arizona’s FinTech Sandbox” where he informs the public about who is eligible to participate, how to apply and complete your application, what the benefits are, and how to comply with the sandbox’s regulations. Read part one through five here:

Part I: https://www.eblawyers.com/blog/how-to-play-in-arizonas-fintech-sandbox/

Part II: https://www.eblawyers.com/blog/how-to-play-in-arizonas-fintech-sandbox-part-ii/

Part III: https://www.eblawyers.com/blog/how-to-play-in-arizonas-fintech-sandbox-part-iii/

Part IV: https://www.eblawyers.com/blog/how-to-play-in-arizonas-fintech-sandbox-part-iv/

Part V: https://www.eblawyers.com/blog/how-to-play-in-arizonas-fintech-sandbox-part-v/

Engelman Berger to Sponsor TCH Monster Mash & Prom Event

Engelman Berger is proud to support The Centers for Habilitation (TCH), Arizona’s largest non-profit supporting and empowering adults with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities. TCH’s employment, day programs, and in-home care program services work to improve the quality of life, alleviate barriers to independence, and help Arizonans of all ages reach their full potential. We hope you can join us this Saturday, October 13, 2018, as Engelman Berger sponsors TCH’s annual Monster Mash Fundraiser / 80’s PROM night! The event will be at the TCH Building (215 West Lodge Drive, Tempe 85283) at 6:30PM. Visit www.tchmash.com/ for tickets. We hope to see you there!

HOW TO PLAY IN ARIZONA’S FINTECH SANDBOX – PART V: How to Comply.

The Arizona legislature recently signed into law the nation’s first fintech regulatory sandbox, which started accepting applications on August 3, 2018. Participants in the sandbox will enjoy a reprieve from many of the licensing and regulatory burdens of companies in the financial sector, so the program offers a great incentive for financial technology (aka, “fintech”) companies to settle and operate in Arizona. This is the last of a five part series on how to apply and participate in the sandbox. If you are new to the series, go back and read the first four parts, which discuss the history of sandbox programs, the benefits of participation in the Arizona sandbox, eligibility requirements, and the application process. This part five will explain the rules you will be subject to once in the sandbox. The official website for the fintech sandbox was recently launched and can be viewed HERE, and the full text of the law can be viewed HERE.

HOW TO COMPLY

Operating restrictions: Sandbox participants are only permitted to test their innovation for a period of 24 months, and only on 10,000 Arizona consumers. If the participant demonstrates “adequate financial capitalization, risk management process and management oversight,” then the AG’s office may agree to expand the size of the participant’s test market to 17,500 consumers. Consumer lenders are permitted to issue consumer loans up to $15,000 (except loans to a single consumer may not exceed $50,000), and money transmitters may engage in transactions up to $2,500 (aggregate of $25,000). Money transmitters that satisfy the capitalization and management requirements to increase the market size to 17,500 may also be eligible to increase their transaction limits to $15,000 (aggregate of $50,000).

Statutory Compliance: As was discussed at greater length in part two, the primary benefit of the sandbox is exemption from all state licensing and regulatory obligations except for the ones specifically identified by the sandbox program. I will not attempt to itemize the specific statutory requirements that continue to apply in the sandbox or their implications for each industry, but suffice to say, participants must take special care that they do not violate the rules they are still subject to. Critically, the sandbox does not exempt participants from federal statutes and regulations.

Document retention and reporting requirements: The recordkeeping requirements normally applicable to companies in the financial sector are replaced by the sandbox’s simpler requirement: participants must retain records, documents and data produced in the ordinary course of business. The sandbox does not currently have a period reporting requirement, but sandbox participants must be ready to disclose records, documents, and data to the AZ AG upon request at any time. The AZ AG will also have the authority to establish a periodic reporting requirement in the future as it sees fit. These records will be used by the AG’s office in connection with their oversight role, and will not be considered public records generally available to the public. However, the records may be disclosed to other state, federal, and even foreign authorities.

Consumer Protection: Sandbox participants will still be required to take certain steps to ensure that their products and services do not harm consumers. For example, if the innovation fails before the end of the testing period, participants are obligated to promptly notify the AG’s office and report on the steps it took to protect its consumers. If the participant becomes aware of a data breach compromising sensitive data, the participant is still subject to the requirements of A.R.S. § 18-545, which requires prompt notice to affected consumers.

Finally, before providing a product or service, participants will need to make a clear and conspicuous disclosure in English and Spanish, and for online transactions the consumer must acknowledge receipt. The disclosure must include five statements: (1) the name, registration number, and contact information for the participant, (2) that the participant does not have an Arizona license but is authorized under the sandbox program, (3) that the state of Arizona does not endorse the innovation, (4) that the product is in a test phase that may terminate upon a specified date, and (5) that consumers can contact the Arizona AG’s office to complain.

Don’t Be A Fraudster: All sandbox participants are still subject to the Arizona Consumer Fraud statute (A.R.S. § 44-1521 et seq.), which generally prohibits false, deceptive, or misleading statements in connection with an advertisement or sale. Violators are subject to civil penalties and may get booted from the program. Unsurprisingly, participants will also get booted from the program for violation of state or federal criminal laws.

Conclusion:

Arizona’s fintech sandbox program is a tremendous opportunity for startups as well as established financial services companies that are developing new innovative products. Not only does it provide a safe and less costly way to test your innovation in the marketplace prior to a full launch, but it also puts you in a good position to immediately take advantage of any similar sandbox program launched by the CFPB in the coming years.

About the Author: Michael Rolland is a member of the civil litigation and commercial transactions practice groups with the law firm of Engelman Berger, P.C. Michael has a special interest in the intersection of technology and the law, and writes on tech law issues.

 


Disclaimer: This blog is not legal advice and is only for general, non-specific informational purposes. It is not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed. If you have a legal matter, the specific facts that apply to you may require legal knowledge not addressed by this blog. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer.