Continuing Legal Education Seminars


Tuesday, May 12, 2015  >  1:00-4:00 pm 

University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law
Room 164 (Ares Auditorium)
1201 E Speedway Blvd., Tucson, AZ  85721

Faculty  >>  Presiding Disciplinary Judge William O'Neil

Are you tired of completing your mandatory ethics CLE with courses that review the Code of Professional Conduct, rule by rule? 

Join Presiding Disciplinary Judge William O’Neil as he gives a lively in-depth exploration of the attorney discipline system in Arizona. Discover the history behind the organizational and practical reasons the Arizona Supreme Court changed the Discipline System. Learn how the ethical rules in Arizona interact with other disciplines such as philosophy. Review some of the individual cases that brought disbarment and suspensions in 2014.   

Determine the real number of charges the State Bar receives in a year, how many charges it declines to prosecute and how many attorneys were formally prosecuted.  Analyze the practical causes of why one’s conduct competes with the ethical rules even when writing. 

Hear Judge O’Neil explain in practical terms the four most common ethical failings of lawyers. Receive Judge O’Neil’s tips for the most practical way to avoid being unethical. Get three hours of ethics credit from an engaging, easy to understand program that uses real case examples drawn from Judge O’Neil’s own experiences as Arizona’s first and only Presiding Disciplinary Judge.

Presiding Disciplinary Judge William O'Neil

Judge William J. O’Neil was appointed in 2010 by the Arizona Supreme Court to serve as Arizona’s first Presiding Disciplinary Judge. During the preceding 20 years, as a Superior Court Judge, he served terms in Pinal County as Presiding Judge, Associate Presiding Judge, Presiding Juvenile Judge and Presiding Civil Judge. In addition, he has served on virtually every state-wide committee involving the Court including the primary policy making body of Arizona’s Supreme Court, the Arizona Judicial Council.

He has received multiple awards for his judicial work in juvenile law, domestic violence law and innovation in court reforms. The Arizona Supreme Court recognized him with the highest honor it gives, the Improving Trust and Confidence in the Court Award. He has also received The Arizona Foundation for Legal Services Mark Santana Law-Related Education Award for his exceptional contributions in furthering education and understanding of the role of the law in our democratic society.

Prior to serving as Superior Court Judge for 20 years, Judge O’Neil served in private practice for 13 years. His one person firm grew to the largest firm in Pinal County. His practice was busy, rewarding and stressful. He understands the struggles of deadlines, the temptation of compromise and the danger of situational ethics. He is aware of the common frailty of being so busy one doesn’t take the time to properly process information and falters ethically. He also knows the keys to avoiding such lapses.

This CLE seminar is free to all attorneys currently signed up with the VLP, and are also offered free to attorneys willing to sign up with the VLP. 

This seminar may qualify for up to 3.0 hours towards your annual CLE requirement for the State Bar of Arizona, including 3.0 hours towards the ethics requirement.

Sponsored by the Volunteer Lawyers Program

Southern Arizona Legal Aid's Volunteer Lawyers Program is a nonprofit program that teams attorneys willing to do pro bono legal work with low-income clients in need of civil legal assistance.  Through the donation of their time and expertise, these volunteer attorneys help to make the legal system accessible to all.