Attorney of the Month Award for Pima County
By Michele Mirto
Arthur Alexander has been selected as the Outstanding Pro Bono Attorney of the Month for March. Mr. Alexander began volunteering with the VLP in1999. Over the last fifteen years he has represented VLP clients in complex family law matters. Recently Mr. Alexander completed work on a family law case that involved termination of parental rights as well as grandparent visitation. It was a complicated matter, but Mr. Alexander was able to resolve the case to the clients satisfaction. Mr. Alexander dedicated forty-nine hours to the case. Nearly twenty-four hours were used to investigate, research, draft pleadings and prepare for trial. Approximately 25 hours were allocated to trial appearances which were held on nine separate dates over a span of a year. The VLP’s monthly award is a distinct honor: of the nearly 1200 attorneys who volunteer their time with VLP, only 12 receive the VLP’s Outstanding Pro Bono Attorney award each year.
Q & A with Arthur Alexander
Where are you from? Los Angeles
How long have you lived in Tucson? Since 1991
What is the history of your practice of law? Initially Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles and after 14 mo went into private practice. Practiced exclusively criminal law (was a certified crim law specialist) until 1973 when began doing Divorce cases. As criminal atty represented Black Panthers, reputed members of organized crime, and persons charged with murder, amongst other offenses. Sole Practitioner since 1973.
What are your current practice areas? Strictly all areas of family law/domestic relations.
What drives you to volunteer with VLP? In Los Angeles I volunteered at a clinic to help the indigent and felt satisfied for doing so. After moving to Tucson I continued this practice.
A great anecdote from your VLP experiences? The last case that I completed began as a simple grandparents visitation rights matter brought by two lovely people. However, their son was in state prison for severely beating his Wife (my client). Client very concerned that the action was being brought as an avenue to allow son to see the daughter. I filed a Termination of Parental rights Petition in Juvenile Court which was objected to, and consolidated with Grandparent’s case. Trial occurred over course of more than 1 yr, a few hours per day usually. The Court eventually issued a 16 pg opinion, granting the Termination and upholding GP parenting time.
One reason you would encourage attorneys to volunteer with VLP? Much needed service to benefit community and receive personal sense of having contributed to that community.
Favorite Tucson restaurant? Vivace and Scordatos Pizzareia.
If this award was accompanied by prize money, how would you spend it? How much is the hypothetical prize?
Best thing about being an attorney in Tucson? Congeniality and civility of attorneys and Judges. After practicing in L.A. for 25, it has been very refreshing.
If you ever retire from private practice, it will be to start a new career as a . . . I have been practicing since 1967 and wish I knew the answer to that question.
What is something you would like people to know about you? My wife and I have moved to Phoenix, although I retain my practice at Udall Law Firm. This move is to pay a debt that I owe to my beautiful wife for agreeing to move here in 1991. Eventually, I would like to give up the weekly commute and practice in Phoenix. It will be a loss to leave many friends and colleagues in Tucson.
Are you a dog or a cat person? Dog.
Person you most admire? Burr Udall
Any bad habits? Most certainly, but they will remain private.
Best vacation destination? Caribbean