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Conway v. State Consolidated Publishing Co.

Supreme Court of Arizona

April 14, 1941

JOE CONWAY, Appellant,
v.
STATE CONSOLIDATED PUBLISHING COMPANY, a Corporation, W. R. MATHEWS and CLAIRE R. ELLINWOOD, Owners and Publishers of the Arizona Daily Star, Appellees

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of the County of Maricopa. Howard C. Speakman, Judge. Judgment reversed and cause remanded with directions.

Mr. Joe Conway, Appellant, pro se; Mr. Earl Anderson and Mr. A. R. Lynch, for Appellant.

Messrs. Darnell, Pattee & Robertson and Messrs. Laney & Laney, for Appellees.

OPINION

Page 219

[57 Ariz. 164] ROSS, J.

From an order and judgment dismissing his complaint, on the ground that it was not signed by an attorney or attorneys permitted under the law to "engage in the private practice of law," the plaintiff has appealed.

The complaint, charging the defendants with libeling plaintiff, was filed in the Superior Court of Maricopa County on December 8, 1937. It was signed

"Earl Anderson

A. R. Lynch

Attorneys for Plaintiff."

On January 18, 1938, the time for answering was extended by stipulation between plaintiff's and defendants' attorneys to February 8. Thereafter, on February 7, 1938, defendants filed a motion to strike a portion of the complaint and also filed their answer to the merits. The motion to strike was granted on April 17, 1939.

On September 18, 1939, the action was set for trial on December 13. On November 23 it was reset for December 19. On December 18 it was reset for January 16, 1940.

On December 29, 1939, the defendants filed their motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that it "is signed by Earl Anderson and A. R. Lynch, both of whom were at the time of the filing of said complaint, have been at all times since, and now are, deputies and assistants of the Attorney General of the state." This motion was granted on January 15, 1940.

At the hearing on the motion, evidence was taken showing that plaintiff at all the times herein was Attorney General of Arizona; that Earl Anderson and A. R. Lynch, his assistants or deputies Attorney General, were his appointees; that Lynch was paid his salary out of the state highway fund; that he was appointed [57 Ariz. 165] by the Attorney General with the approval of the highway department and that his duties were exclusively in connection therewith. It was also shown that plaintiff, Anderson and Lynch had collaborated before the filing of the complaint and in its drafting; that plaintiff personally dictated a portion of it, took it to the clerk's office for filing and paid the filing fee; that Anderson and Lynch signed it as good friends of ...


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