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Sun, July 21

State Bar president-elect wants justice for all

Ray Hanna

Ray Hanna

"Our goal is for people of modest means to be able to access the justice system for both criminal and civil cases at a reasonable price," said Ray Hanna, president-elect of the State Bar of Arizona Board of Governors for the 2008-09 term.As president-elect, Hanna is the bar spokesperson. He ran for the board in 2000 representing Yavapai County and since then has been working his way up the totem pole toward president. He began as secretary, second and first vice president."The board believes you get better with time," said Hanna, who practices criminal defense law in Prescott. "We are the lowest-paid lawyers in Yavapai County," he said laughing. "But I have more fun in court than I do in Las Vegas. "We're not representing the basketball star. We're representing street crime. I just have to believe in our Constitution; I don't have to believe in the client. If you believe in the Constitution, you can represent anybody."Hanna will move to the president's seat in June 2009. "Actually, you lose a voice as president," he said. "You don't vote unless there is a tie. As president, I represent stewardship for the whole bar and reflect the desires and interest of the board."There have been a long line of state bar presidents from Prescott. We are driven to make things better."The board consists of 30 people: four non-attorney public members that the board appoints; three at-large members that the Arizona Supreme Court appoints; 19 attorney members elected by fellow Bar members in their district; and the immediate past president and the deans of Arizona's three law schools as ex-officio members.Contact the reporter at

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