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Posted on: December 17, 2010

Framework Established for General Litigation Department and County Attorney Civil Division to Merge

PHOENIX, AZ (December 17, 2010) - County Attorney Bill Montgomery and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors are pleased to announce that they have reached an agreement on an appropriate framework for promptly resolving the conflicts of interest created by intra-County disputes.

The parties believe that this framework, which will be implemented in accordance with rulings from Superior Court Judge Donald Daughton and the Arizona Court of Appeals, will result in an efficient and economical consolidation of civil legal services in the Civil Division of the County Attorney’s office.

Both the Board and Bill Montgomery desire that the conflicts between elected offices in Maricopa County be brought promptly to a close, with no further litigation or cost to County taxpayers. They have agreed to implement a multi-step process of identifying conflicts of interest, resolving those conflicts, and designing a program – including compliance with the Board’s “Talk-First, Sue-Later” policy – for preventing the unnecessary escalation of any future disputes between elected officials.

As a good-faith first step, both parties will immediately dismiss pending cross-appeals, and the Board will have until January 21, 2011 to seek Arizona Supreme Court review of a recent court of appeals decision. During the interim, representatives of both sides will continue to work collaboratively. Any future conflicts will be handled in accordance with the Rules of Professional Responsibility applicable to all Arizona attorneys.

Once the remaining ethical conflicts are resolved, the parties look forward to the County Attorney’s Office being able to fulfill its statutory responsibilities to provide civil legal services to the citizens and governmental agencies of Maricopa County in an ethical, economical, and effective manner.

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