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Arizona bill targeting state bar investigations advances

The Arizona Legislature has voted to require the state bar to pay attorney fees and other costs If the bar seeks to discipline a lawyer and ends up losing.

Senate Republicans gave final approval to the measure in a party-line vote on Monday, sending it to Gov. Doug Ducey for a signature or veto.

Critics warned the measure has the potential to discourage investigations of attorneys accused of ethical violations or other misbehavior.

Republican Sen. Vince Leach introduced the bill after Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs filed a bar complaint against Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich. Brnovich agreed to a settlement with the State Bar of Arizona.