Tag Archives: Fennemore Craig

law

Tyler Joins Watton at NewLAWu.s.

KarenNewLAWu.s., an innovative, national law firm with a high quality, cost-effective business model, announced that Karen E. Tyler has joined the firm as an attorney to practice in Arizona among attorneys such as Brooke K. A. Watton.

Tyler has extensive experience in environmental, water and utility law, representing both business clients and governmental agencies. She is licensed to practice law in Arizona, California and Illinois.   Prior to joining NewLAWu.s., Tyler practiced with Fennemore Craig P.C. and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, Environmental Enforcement Section.

Tyler shares, “I am excited to work with a talented group of attorneys that recognize that the clients’ needs are best met through a flexible model fostering greater productively and efficiency.” In addition to her practice, Tyler will assist in the onboarding of new lawyers.

Tyler joins Watton, who has practiced with NewLAWu.s. since its inception within the areas of commercial litigation and general business law. In addition to her practice, Watton plays a significant role in the firm’s recruitment efforts. “Law firms are only as good as their lawyers,” shares Watton. “NewLAWu.s. is committed to recruiting and retaining some of the best talent in the country. What we are finding is that there is an abundance of seasoned, top-notch attorneys who are not practicing because the traditional model does not fit with their life priorities. NewLAWu.s., however, allows those attorneys to practice and to do so on their own terms.”

Prior to NewLAWu.s., Watton was an attorney at Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A. She also completed a judicial internship for the Honorable Catherine A. Lemon of the Colorado Second Judicial District Court and became a certified mediator under the Nebraska Dispute Resolution Act. Watton earned her J.D./M.B.A. with honors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and her B.S. with distinction from the University of Colorado, Boulder as a Boettcher Scholar and member of the President’s Leadership Class.

Watton is currently a member of the State Bar of Arizona, the American Bar Association and the Maricopa County Bar Association, where she serves on the Board of Directors for the Litigation Section. She is passionate about improving the law, access to the legal system, and the quality of service rendered by the legal profession and enjoys giving back to her community through myriad noteworthy charitable and community organizations.

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Az Business honors Most Admired Companies

BestCompaniesAZ and Az Business magazine honored 40 companies at the 2014 Arizona’s Most Admired Companies award reception on September 11, 2014 at the Westin Kierland Resort.

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Arizona’s Most Admired Companies are selected based on how a company has performed in the following areas: workplace culture, leadership excellence, corporate and social responsibility, customer opinion and innovation. Five companies were recognized with a “spotlight” award for each of the five categories.

CONGRATUALTIONS!

The five spotlight awards winners are:

Customer Opinion: Cresa
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Quality Leadership: Kitchell
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Social Responsibility: Vanguard
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Innovation: Laser Spine Institute
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Workplace Culture: GoDaddy
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“This is the most comprehensive and prestigious corporate awards program in Arizona because it recognizes the contributions and impact these ‘most admired companies’ bring to our state,’” says Denise Gredler, co-founder of the Most Admired Companies Program.

“These companies truly exemplify what it means to be a good corporate citizen,” says Cheryl Green, publisher of Arizona Business Magazine. “MAC winners consistently show strong leadership, a commitment to the communities in which they operate and concern for their employees and customers.”

This year’s presenting sponsors included Dignity Health of Arizona, National Bank of Arizona and Thunderbird International School of Global Management. Additional Event Sponsors include Charles Schwab, Progrexion, Ryan and Shutterfly.

The 40 companies named Most Admired Companies for 2014 were:

Adolfson & Peterson Construction
Alliance Residential Company
American Express
Arizona Diamondbacks
AXA Advisors
Banner Casa Grande Medical Center
Cancer Treatment Centers of America
CBRE, Inc.
Charles Schwab
Cresa Phoenix
Desert Diamond Casinos and Entertainment
DIRTT Environmental Solutions
Fennemore Craig
GoDaddy
Goodmans Interior Structurs
Grant Thornton
Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino Resort
Homeowners Financial Group
Hyatt Regency Phoenix
Infusionsoft
International Cruise & Excursions, Inc.
Kitchell
LaneTerralever
Laser Spine Institute
Mayo Clinic
Miller Russell Associates
National Bank of Arizona
Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Quarles & Brady
Rider Levett Bucknall
Ryan, LLC
Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network
Shutterfly, Inc.
Sonora Quest Laboratories
Sundt Construction
The CORE Institute
Telesphere
UnitedHealthcare of Arizona
University of Advancing Technology
Vanguard

Mead will lead Pension & Benefits Council

Chad Mead, Fennemore Craig

Chad Mead, Fennemore Craig

Fennemore Craig announced Chad Mead, a lawyer in the Phoenix office, has been named President – elect of the Phoenix Board of Directors for the Western Pension & Benefits Council.

“We congratulate Chad on his appointment to serve the legal community as a leader influencing change and commitment to employee benefit initiatives,” said Tim Berg, managing partner of Fennemore Craig. ”

Mead focuses his practice in the areas of employee benefits law and executive compensation representing both private and public companies. He was named a Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Star® in 2014 and earned his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and his B.A. from Utah State University.

The Western Pension & Benefits Council is recognized as the premier educational and professional organization in the western United States for the dynamic field of employee benefits. With over 1,500 members located in 11 chapters, their mission is to educate, provide information, and foster sound principles of benefit plan governance within the industry.

AZ Big Media honors Most Influential Women

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They are the best business minds in Arizona. They are innovators, trailblazers and leaders of men.

They are Az Business magazine’s Most Influential Women in Arizona Business for 2014, as selected by the editorial team at Az Business magazine and a panel of industry experts. The Most Influential Women were honored Thursday at a reception at The Venue in Scottsdale.

“While their resumes and career paths may differ, the women we selected have all procured influence in their respective fields through hard-earned track records of profitability, business ethics and leadership,” said AZ Big Media Publisher Cheryl Green. “Az Business magazine is proud to congratulate the women who earned the right to call themselves one of the Most Influential Women in Arizona Business. They are changing the face of Arizona business.”

The women selected to this prestigious list for 2014 are:

Nazneen Aziz, Ph.D, senior vice president and chief research officer, Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Trish Bear, president and CEO, I-ology
Dr. Amy Beiter, president and CEO, Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital and Carondelet Heart & Vascular Institute
Janet G. Betts, member, Sherman & Howard
Kristin Bloomquist, executive vice president and general manager, Cramer-Krasselt
Delia Carlyle, councilwoman, Ak-Chin Indian Community
Luci Chen, partner, Arizona Center for Cancer Care
Mary Collum, senior vice president, National Bank of Arizona
Kathy Coover, co-founder, Isagenix International
Janna Day, managing partner, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
Karen Dickinson, shareholder, Polsinelli
Michele Finney, CEO, Abrazo Health
Susan Frank, CEO, Desert Schools Federal Credit Union
Leah Freed, managing shareholder, Ogletree Deakins
Deborah Griffin, president of the board of directors, Gila River Casinos
Mary Ann Guerra, CEO, BioAccel
Deb Gullett, senior specialist, Gallagher & Kennedy
Diane Haller, partner, Quarles & Brady
Maria Harper-Marinick, executive vice chancellor and provost, Maricopa Community Colleges
Catherine Hayes, principal, hayes architecture/interiors inc.
Camille Hill, president, Merestone
Chevy Humphrey, president and CEO, Arizona Science Center
Heidi Jannenga, founder, WebPT
Kara Kalkbrenner, acting fire chief, City of Phoenix
Lynne King Smith, CEO, TicketForce
Joan Koerber Walker, CEO, Arizona Bioindustry Association
Karen Kravitz, president and head of conceptology, Commotion Promotions
Deb Krmpotic, CEO, Banner Estrella Medical Center
Jessica Langbaum, PhD, principal scientist, Banner Alzheimer’s Institute
Georgia Lord, mayor, City of Goodyear
Sherry Lund, founder, Celebration Stem Cell Centre
Teresa Mandelin, CEO, Southwestern Business Financing Corporation
Shirley Mays, dean, Arizona Summit Law School
Ann Meyers-Drysdale, vice president, Phoenix Mercury and Phoenix Suns
Marcia L. Mintz, president, John C. Lincoln Health Foundation
Martha C. Patrick, shareholder, Burch & Cracchiolo, P.A.
Stephanie J. Quincy, partner, Steptoe & Johnson
Barb Rechterman, chief marketing officer, GoDaddy
Marian Rhodes, senior vice president, Arizona Diamondbacks
Joyce Santis, chief operating officer, Sonora Quest Laboratories
Gena Sluga, partner, Christian Dichter & Sluga
Beth Soberg, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Arizona
Scarlett Spring, president, VisionGate
Patrice Strong-Register, managing partner, JatroBiofuels
Sarah A. Strunk, director, Fennemore Craig, P.C.
Marie Sullivan, president and CEO, Arizona Women’s Education & Employment
Nancy K. Sweitzer, MD, director, UA’s Sarver Heart Center
Dana Vela, president, Sunrise Schools and Tots Unlimited
Alicia Wadas, COO, The Lavidge Company
Ginger Ward, CEO, Southwest Human Development

In addition to the Most Influential Women in Arizona Business, Az Business also selects five “Generation Next” women who are making an impact on Arizona, even though they are less than 40 years old. Those women selected for 2014 are:

Anca Bec, 36, business development officer, Alliance Bank of Arizona
Alison R. Christian, 32, shareholder, Christian Dichter & Sluga, P.C.
Jaime Daddona, 38, senior associate, Squire Patton Boggs
Nancy Kim, 36, owner, Spectrum Dermatology
Jami Reagan, 35, owner, Shine Factory Public Relations

To select the best and brightest women to recognize each year, the editor and publisher of Az Business magazine compile a list of almost 1,000 women from every facet of Arizona’s business landscape — banking, law, healthcare, bioscience, real estate, technology, manufacturing, retail, tourism, energy, accounting and nonprofits. Once that list is compiled, we vet the list, narrow it down to about 150 women who we feel are most deserving, and then submit the list to 20 of their peers — female leaders from a variety or industries — and ask them to vote. If they want to vote for someone whose name is not on the list of those submitted for consideration, voters are invited to write in the names of women who they think deserve to members of this exclusive club.

Az Business also does not allow a woman to appear on the list most than once.

legal

Fennemore Craig Attorneys earn recognition

Fennemore Craig, a leading Mountain West regional law firm, announced 59 lawyers in the firm’s Phoenix office were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2015 (Copyright 2014 by Woodward/White, Inc. of Aiken, SC). Of the 59 attorneys recognized, five attorneys were also named The Best Lawyers in America 2015© – Lawyers of the Year.

“The firm’s reputation has been built on our attorneys’ continued commitment to excellence,” said Tim Berg, managing partner of Fennemore Craig. “We are honored to be recognized by the legal community and to be included in this prestigious listing.”

The following Fennemore Craig attorneys in the firm’s Phoenix office were named The Best Lawyers in America© 2015 – Lawyers of the Year:
• Robert D. Anderson – Environmental Law
• Timothy J. Berg – Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)
• Timothy J. Burke – Antitrust Law
• Lauren J. Caster – Natural Resources Law
• Jane A. Proctor – Trusts and Estates

The following Fennemore Craig attorneys in the firm’s Phoenix office are listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2015:
• Amy Abdo – Litigation – Labor and Employment
• Robert D. Anderson – Environmental Law; Natural Resources Law; Water Law
• John J. Balitis – Employment Law – Management; Litigation – Labor and Employment
• Timothy J. Berg – Appellate Practice; Communications Law; Energy Law; Litigation – Municipal; Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy); Utilities Law
• Rhett A. Billingsley – Environmental Law; Natural Resources Law; Water Law
• Patrick J. Black – Energy Law; Energy Regulatory Law
• Kevin J. Bonner – Litigation – Construction
• Timothy J. Burke – Antitrust Law; Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law; Legal Malpractice Law – Defendants; Litigation – Antitrust
• Aaron Cain – Corporate Law
• Christopher L. Callahan – Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Environmental; Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants; Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
• Lauren J. Caster – Litigation – Environmental; Natural Resources Law; Water Law
• George T. Cole – Leisure and Hospitality Law; Real Estate Law
• Louis F. Comus, Jr. – Litigation – Trusts and Estates; Trusts and Estates
• C. Webb Crockett – Energy Law; Energy Regulatory Law
• John F. Daniels, III – Litigation and Controversy – Tax; Tax Law
• Theresa Dwyer-Federhar – Appellate Practice
• Rita A. Eisenfeld – Trusts and Estates
• Phillip F. Fargotstein – Litigation – Environmental
• Andrew M. Federhar – Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Intellectual Property; Litigation – Land Use and Zoning; Litigation – Municipal; Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants; Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs; Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants; Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
• Scott M. Finical – Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants; Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants; Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers
• Margaret R. Gallogly – Natural Resources Law; Water Law
Donald R. Gilbert – Employment Law – Management; Labor Law – Management; Litigation – Labor and Employment
• Stephen A. Good – Corporate Law; Tax Law
• Gregg Hanks – Real Estate Law; Tax Law
• Roger T. Hargrove – Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Real Estate; Litigation – Trusts and Estates
• Ray K. Harris – Litigation – Intellectual Property; Litigation – Patent
• David N. Heap – Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law
• Lori Higuera – Employment Law – Management
• Neil H. Hiller – Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law; Tax Law; Trusts and Estates
• Patrick Irvine – Appellate Practice; Native American Law; Tax Law
• Norman D. James – Energy Law; Litigation – Environmental; Natural Resources Law; Water Law
• John Randall R. Jefferies – Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Construction
• John E. Kofron – Construction Law
• Jay S. Kramer – Real Estate Law
• Neal Kurn – Tax Law; Trusts and Estates
• Marc H. Lamber – Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
• T. James Lee – Tax Law; Trusts and Estates
• Laura A. Lo Bianco – Corporate Law; Non-Profit / Charities Law
• Don J. Miner – Real Estate Law
• Kendis Key Muscheid – Non-Profit / Charities Law; Tax Law
• Mark A. Nesvig – Real Estate Law
• Douglas C. Northup – Commercial Litigation; Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants; Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs
• Christian M. Olson – Non-Profit / Charities Law
• Sharon J. Oscar – Real Estate Law
• John M. Pearce – Environmental Law; Litigation – Environmental
• Michael J. Phalen – Land Use and Zoning Law
• Janice Procter-Murphy – Appellate Practice; Employment Law – Management; Litigation – Labor and Employment
• Jane A. Proctor – Trusts and Estates
• Cathy L. Reece – Litigation – Bankruptcy
• Robert P. Robinson – Real Estate Law
• J. Barry Shelley – Corporate Law; Tax Law
• Gerald L. Shelley – Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law; Litigation – Bankruptcy
• Kenneth J. Sherk – Appellate Practice; Commercial Litigation; Legal Malpractice Law – Defendants; Mediation; Professional Malpractice Law – Defendants
• Heidi Kimzey Short – Land Use and Zoning Law; Real Estate Law
• Cynthia L. Shupe – Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law
• Ronald J. Stolkin – Employment Law – Management; Labor Law – Management
• Sarah A. Strunk – Corporate Law; Mergers and Acquisitions Law; Mining Law; Securities / Capital Markets Law; Securities Regulation
• David E. Vieweg – Real Estate Law
• Susan M. Wissink – Corporate Law; Mergers and Acquisitions Law

Published in almost 70 countries around the world, Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. A listing in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers. For more than three decades, Best Lawyers lists have earned the respect of the profession, the media, and the public, as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals anywhere.

legal

Fennemore Craig Attorneys on State Bar Committees

Fennemore Craig, a leading Mountain West regional law firm, announced JP has been appointed to the State Bar of Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct Committee and Patrick Irvine has been elected to serve a three-year term as an at-large member of the Executive Council of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section.

“We congratulate Janice and Patrick on their appointments to serve the legal community and the State Bar of Arizona,” said Tim Berg, managing partner of Fennemore Craig. “Janice and Patrick’s commitment to legal excellence and dedicated service to clients further enhances the firm’s awareness of the continually evolving legal landscape.”

The State Bar of Arizona’s Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct(“Ethics Committee”) assists the State Bar and its members with questions of professional ethics. The Alternative Dispute Resolution Section promotes the awareness and use of dispute resolution methods other than litigation among members of the State Bar; the business, professional and legal communities; and the public at large.

Procter-Murphy practices in the areas of labor and employment law and civil appeals. She currently serves as Corporate Sponsorship chair for the American Cancer Society’s Central Phoenix Relay for Life. Procter-Murphy earned her J.D. and B.A. from the University of Michigan.

Irvine focuses his practice in litigation and business law, with special expertise in taxation, Indian law, appeals, and arbitration/mediation. Prior to joining the firm, he served as a judge on Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals for over nine years. Irvine earned his LL.M. from the University of San Diego and his J.D. and B.S. from Arizona State University.

lawyer

Fennemore Craig real estate practice receives high rankings

Fennemore Craig, a leading Mountain West regional law firm, announced the firm’s real estate practice received high rankings from the prestigious 2014, The Legal 500 guide. The Legal 500 also named four leading Fennemore Craig real estate attorneys in the areas of real estate and construction and land use and zoning.

“We are honored to be recognized by the prestigious legal guide, The Legal 500, in the area of real estate,” said Tim Berg, managing partner of Fennemore Craig. “This recognition highlights the firm’s commitment to legal excellence and Fennemore Craig’s reputable real estate counsel to clients throughout the Southwest.”

Fennemore Craig’s – The Legal 500, 2014 Practice Group National Rankings are:
* Real Estate and Construction – Land Use/Zoning – Tier 3
* Real Estate and Construction – Real Estate – Tier 5

Fennemore Craig’s – The Legal 500, 2014 Legal National Rankings for Real Estate Attorneys include:
* Joseph Chandler, Real Estate and Construction – Real Estate
* Stephen A. Good, Real Estate and Construction – Real Estate
* Jay S. Kramer, Real Estate and Construction – Real Estate
* Michael J. Phalen, Real Estate and Construction – Land Use/Zoning

The Legal 500 organizes each practice area into a single national ranking, eschewing a state-by-state approach. Only a small number of firms in the US have a truly national presence coupled with the capability to handle sophisticated and complex work; these are the ones The Legal 500 chooses to highlight. The Legal 500 approach is not a game of numbers – their ranking can include small, single-office firms – but simply a question of quality.

The Legal 500 analyzes the capabilities of law firms across the world and provides legal rankings based on a series of criteria. The Legal 500 highlights practice area teams who are providing the most cutting edge and innovative advice to corporate counsel. The Legal 500 research is based on feedback from 250,000 clients worldwide, submissions from law firms and interviews with leading private practice lawyers, and a team of researchers who have experience in the legal market.

health,informatics

Fennemore Craig Expands Healthcare Practice

210Fennemore Craig, a leading Mountain West regional firm, announced Victoria Stazio has joined the firm’s Phoenix office as an associate practicing in the areas of healthcare litigation, professional liability, long term care and catastrophic injury defense.

“We are thrilled to welcome Victoria Stazio to Fennemore Craig,” said, Tim Berg, managing partner of Fennemore Craig. “Victoria’s skills and experience further enhances the firm’s growing health care practice.”

Prior to joining the firm, Stazio worked as an associate at Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer in Phoenix, Arizona. She also served as Deputy County Attorney with the Mohave County Attorney’s Office. She earned her J.D. from St. John’s University, School of Law and her B.A. from Siena College. Stazio was a recipient of the Community Partnership Award from the Kingman Police Department.

Fennemore Craig’s healthcare practice includes more than 40 attorneys who practice in the areas of medical negligence defense, health care real estate, for-profit and non-profit health care facilities, medical associations and medical device companies.

skd283121sdc

Fennemore Craig shareholder elected to Childsplay Board

Susan WissinkFennemore Craig announced Susan Wissink, a shareholder in the firm’s Phoenix office, has been elected to serve as Vice President of Childsplay Board of Trustees.

“We are proud of our attorneys’ willingness to serve in the community,” said Tim Berg, managing partner at Fennemore Craig. “We congratulate Susan on her dedication to supporting initiatives to enhance children’s education and well-being throughout the Valley.”

Wissink chairs the firm’s business and finance practice group and represents buyers and sellers in numerous complex transactions, including asset and stock based acquisitions and sales, mergers and other business reorganizations. Wissink was elected as Fellow for the American Bar Foundation and currently serves as Chair for the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. She earned her J.D. from Arizona State University and her B.A. from Northwestern University.

Founded in 1977, Childsplay is a nationally and internationally respected professional theatre company whose chosen audience is children. Over the past 36 years, Childsplay has educated and inspired more than four million young people and families.

James Goodnow

Goodnow Named To Lawyers of Color’s 2014 ‘Hot List’

Fennemore Craig, a leading Mountain West regional law firm, announced James Goodnow, a director in the firm’s Phoenix office, has been named to the Lawyers of Color’s Second Annual “Hot List”, which recognizes early-to mid-career minority attorneys working as in-house counsel, government attorneys, and law firm associates and partners.

“Fennemore Craig congratulates James Goodnow on this prestigious recognition as a leading young professional in the legal community,” said Tim Berg, managing partner of Fennemore Craig.

Honorees will be profiled in Lawyers Of Color’s “Hot List” 2014 Issue (July 2014). The Western Region honorees will also be feted at a reception hosted by Morgan Lewis on July 23rd.

The honorees for the 2014 “Hot List” were chosen through a two-pronged process. The selection committee spent months reviewing nominations and researching bar association publications and legal blogs in order to identify promising candidates. Nominations from mentors, peers, and colleagues were accepted. The selection committee also made editorial picks of attorneys who had noteworthy accomplishments, especially those active in legal pipeline initiatives.

Goodnow, a Harvard Law graduate, practices in the area of plaintiff’s personal injury and wrongful death litigation. He has successfully litigated and resolved numerous cases. He has received countless awards and accolades. He has an AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating (the highest rating available), by Martindale-Hubbell and a perfect 10/10 Avvo rating and a “Lead Counsel” rating based on input from peer attorneys.

Lawyers of Color was initially founded as On Being A Black Lawyer but now also produces publications for lawyers of South Asian American, Pacific Asian American, Hispanic, and Native American heritage. LOC has been recognized by the American Bar Association, National Black Law Students Association, and National Association of Black Journalists. Our company provides research, career development, and brand marketing opportunities to our clients. With a core readership of 35,000, nearly 200,000 unique blog visitors, and nearly 4,000 followers and fans, we have the largest social media presence of any minority legal organization.

97995886

Hancock Elected to State Bar’s Executive Council

GFennemore Craig, a leading Mountain West regional law firm, announced Graeme Hancock, shareholder in the firm’s Phoenix office, was elected to the Executive Council of The Trial Practice Section of the State Bar of Arizona.

Hancock has nearly 30 years of experience representing manufacturers of a variety of products in tort and product-related litigation. His practice also includes representation of condemnation claims, land litigation, government contract disputes and defense against government fraud. Hancock earned his J.D. and A.B. from Stanford University. Hancock’s community activity has included a lifelong involvement in .

The Trial Practice Section promotes the administration of justice by improving the caliber of trial practice and procedure in the courts of Arizona to afford members of the Bar the opportunity to increase their knowledge and to improve their skills as trial practitioners.

97995886

Federhar Appointed to Superior Court Advistory Committee

Fennemore Craig, a leading Mountain West regional firm, announced Andrew Federhar, a shareholder in the firm’s Phoenix office, has been appointed to the Business Court Advisory Committee for the Superior Court of Arizona.

“The firm’s reputation has been built on our attorneys’ unparalleled commitment to legal excellence and continued willingness to serve the legal community,” said Tim Berg, managing partner of Fennemore Craig. “We congratulate Andy on this prestigious recognition.”

Federhar focuses his practice in professional liability, procurement, health care, telecommunications, municipal law, appeals and complex commercial litigation. He earned his J.D. and B.A. from the University of Arizona. Federhar also serves as a member of the National Center for State Courts.

The Business Court Advisory Committee examines the current processes for resolving business cases in the Superior Court of Arizona, business court models operational in other jurisdictions, court rules, and procedures. The Committee makes recommendations on court rules, discovery, alternative dispute re solution, judicial staffing and resources.

google-glass-macro

Google Glass Revolutionizes Practice of Law

Fennemore Craig, a leading Mountain West regional law firm, is changing the way lawyers interact with clients by lending them Google Glass. With the use of Google Glass, firsthand, live-action experiences are shared in real time between clients and Fennemore Craig attorneys, creating new mechanisms to convey evidence to juries, judges and mediators.

The pilot program, called “Glass Action,” was launched in January 2014 when Fennemore Craig personal injury attorneys James Goodnow and Marc Lamber equipped several business and personal injury clients with the new Google Glass technology, not currently available to the public.

Double-amputee Gary Verrazono is one of those clients and has been using the firm-provided Google Glass for the past three months. Verrazono lost his right arm and leg in a tragic accident in 2012 while working at a racetrack. Google Glass is a game changer for Verrazano, allowing him to share the challenges of his daily life with his Fennemore Craig attorneys, Goodnow and Lamber. He can stream his life as it unfolds, send a text or email, record video, teleconference with his attorneys and photograph, exchange and distribute legal documents — all with a simple voice command or blink of an eye.

“Before I had the glasses, it could take me days to get documents to my attorneys because of the physical challenges I face,” says Verrazono, who lives in Las Vegas but works with the firm’s Phoenix-based counsel. “Now, with just one device, I can communicate easily through various multimedia platforms.”

“It’s the experience of the client unfiltered,” says Goodnow. “Jurors will now be able to see the nuances of a victim’s daily challenges firsthand.”

Having access to his case documents anytime and anywhere is another benefit Verrazono appreciates through Google Glass. “My lawyers are able to talk me through what I am reading while I am reading it, which helps me better understand what’s going on with my case.”

“The legal process is often intimidating for clients,” explains Lamber. “This technology gets us the information instantly, lightening the burden on the client and allowing for more frequent communication. Knowing more about our clients helps us build the strongest case possible.”

When Verrazono struggles to wash his dishes with one hand or to move a grocery cart through the store while pushing his wheelchair, the technology streams those first-person accounts directly to Fennemore Craig attorneys or pushes them to the cloud for later retrieval. Lamber and Goodnow can then use the material in court or other legal proceedings.

“Glass Action” comes on the heels of the firm’s innovative use of the Apple iPad, which Lamber and Goodnow used to elevate client communication and invent new workflow processes for the firm. Their novel use of the iPad caught the attention of Apple, which profiled them in a case study.

Lamber believes that Fennemore Craig has just scratched the surface of what Google Glass can do for its practice. The firm is now testing the technology with expert witnesses and in mock trials. “We can put Google Glass on jurors during trial simulations to see what’s catching their attention,” says Lamber.

Goodnow and Lamber have been widely recognized by the media for their use of technology. The ABA Journal named the attorneys to its list of “America’s Techiest Lawyers.”

aerospace

Schuknecht Appointed to Aerospace Commission

Fennemore Craig, a leading Mountain West regional firm, announced Seth Schuknecht, an attorney in the firm’s Phoenix office, has been appointed to the Aerospace and Defense Commission by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. Schuknecht is one of 9 Commission members from the private sector appointed to the commission.

The Aerospace and Defense Commission is the state’s sole entity overseeing all aerospace an d defense related commercial partnerships. With more than 1,200 aerospace and defense companies in Arizona, the Commission is tasked with advancing aerospace and defense activity in the state. The Commission works with Arizona Commerce Authority to enhance and support the industry and has the power to adopt rules, establish goals, objectives and guidelines as well as, recommend legislation, manage contracts and provide general direction regarding the state’s interests in aerospace and defense.

Schuknecht practices in the areas of commercial litigation, intellectual property, and aviation, aerospace, and autonomous systems. “This is a great opportunity for Seth and Fennemore Craig, to showcase the firm’s knowledge and insight in the emerging and evolving legal issues relating to the integration of autonomous aerial systems,” says Doug Northup, chair of the firm’s Commercial Litigation practice.

Prior to law school, Schuknecht served as a Naval Aviator for 9 years on active duty in the U.S. Navy. His various assignments included selection and service as an instructor pilot at every operational squadron he was assigned. Schuknecht holds a civilian Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) Certificate with type ratings in five different aircraft. He received his B.A. with merit from the United States Naval Academy and his J.D., cum laude, from Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

red-header-2014

RED AWARDS 2014: Best Tenant Improvement Project

On Feb. 26, AZRE hosted the 9th Annual RED Awards reception at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix to recognize the most notable commercial real estate projects of 2013 and the construction teams involved. AZRE held an open call for nominations and more than 100 projects were submitted by architects, contractors, developers and brokerage firms in Arizona. Click here to view all 2014 RED Awards Winners.‎


Fennemore Craig
Developer: Fennemore Craig
Contractor: Ryan Companies
Architect: Gensler
Brokerage: CBRE
Size: 120,000 SF
Location: 2394 E. Camelback Rd., Ste. 600, Phoenix
Completed: February 2013

fennemore-craigAfter 12 years as a midtown Phoenix law firm, favorable market conditions encouraged Fennemore Craig to make a move to the dynamic and amenity-rich Camelback Corridor, taking the opportunity optimize space by decreasing its overall square footage by approximately 20 percent. The reduction in square footage was accomplished through careful curtailment of file storage and secretary-to-attorney ratios, and the design of destination locations with dual uses in client-facing areas. Given the size and atypical floor plate of the building selected, the project became a planning and efficiency challenge. Rather than segregating the angularity of the exterior glass wall, the client chose instead to celebrate it. Navigating shifting budget priorities and constraints, the team utilized lower-cost systems furniture in secretary stations, reused attorney office furniture from the firm’s existing location, and simplified attorney wall elevations. The end result of this challenging project is a flexible space home to Fennemore Craig’s clients and colleagues, as well as an inviting location for community, social and charitable events.

Michelle Jager

Jager Elected to Fresh Start Foundation Board

Fennemore Craig, a leading Mountain West regional firm, announced Michelle Jager, a director in the firm’s Phoenix office, was elected to the Auxiliary Board for Fresh Start Women’s Foundation.

In her practice, Jager assists healthcare providers in defending against medical negligence lawsuits. She also assists small and large companies in the areas of personal injury, product liability, and commercial litigation. In addition to her commitment to Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, Jager volunteers for the Institutional Review Board for St. Joseph’s Hospital reviewing biomedical and behavioral research protocols. Jager earned her J.D. cum laude from Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law and her B.A. magna cum laude from Arizona State University.

Fresh Start Women’s Foundation was formed in 1992 to help women transform their lives though engagement and education. The Jewell McFarland Lewis Fresh Start Women’s Resource Center offers counseling, mentoring, education, career services, legal services, child watch, an E-Learning center and personal development services.

Fennemore Craig Elects New Directors in Phoenix

Fennemore Craig, a leading Mountain West regional firm, has announced the promotion of Michelle Jager and Patrick Irvine as directors in the firm’s Phoenix office.

“It is an honor to congratulate Michelle and Pat on their dedication to our clients, the community and their continued commitment to excellence,” said Tim Berg, managing partner of Fennemore Craig. “As directors, Michelle and Patrick will continue to enhance the firm’s legal footprint addressing our clients’ needs with innovative and cost effective solutions.”

In her practice, Jager assists healthcare providers in defending against medical negligence lawsuits.  She also assists small and large companies in the areas of personal injury, product liability, and commercial litigation.  Jager devotes her free time to Fresh Start Women’s Foundation as an auxiliary board member and to the Institutional Review Board for St. Joseph’s Hospital reviewing biomedical and behavioral research protocols.

Irvine is a former Judge of the Arizona Court of Appeals and practices in the areas of business law and litigation, with particular emphasis on taxation, appellate practice, Indian law and arbitration/mediation. He was recently appointed by the Arizona Supreme Court to serve on its Committee on Character and Fitness and also serves on the State Bar of Arizona’s Civil Practice and Procedure Committee. Irvine has previously been a member of the City of Phoenix Judicial Selection Advisory board, the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee, and the Arizona State-Tribal-Federal Court Forum. He is active in Kiwanis and is currently president of the Capitol Gateway Kiwanis Club.

Jager earned her J.D. cum laude from Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law and her B.A. magna cum laude from Arizona State University. Irvine earned his J.D. and B.S. from Arizona State University and received his LL.M. in Taxation from the University of San Diego.

legal

Irvine Appointed to Committee on Character and Fitness

Fennemore Craig, a leading Mountain West regional law firm, announced that Patrick Irvine, a shareholder in the firm’s Business and Litigation practice groups, has been appointed by the Arizona Supreme Court to serve on its Committee on Character and Fitness.

Irvine is a former Judge of the Arizona Court of Appeals who now practices in the areas of business law and litigation, with particular emphasis on taxation, appellate practice, Indian law and arbitration/mediation. He also serves on the State Bar of Arizona’s Civil Practice and Procedure Committee, and has previously been a member of the City of Phoenix Judicial Selection Advisory board, the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee, and the Arizona State-Tribal-Federal Court Forum. He is active in Kiwanis and is currently president of the Capitol Gateway Kiwanis Club.

The Committee on Character and Fitness consists of 18 members appointed by the Supreme Court to review applications to practice law in the State of Arizona and recommend to the Court for admission individuals who are deemed qualifies on the basis of character and fitness. If required, the Committee holds formal or informal hearings to enable the Committee to pass upon an applicant’s qualifications.

ballet

Lee Elected to Ballet Arizona’s Board of Directors

Fennemore Craig, one of the largest law firms in the Southwest, announced that T. James Lee, a shareholder and director at Fennemore Craig in the firm’s Phoenix office, has been elected to the Board of Directors for Ballet Arizona.

Lee focuses his practice in the areas of estate planning, charitable giving, and business formation and structuring. He counsels clients on wealth transfer strategies, including the use of revocable trusts, irrevocable life insurance and gifting trusts, family limited partnerships and LLCs, qualified personal residence trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, installment sales to grantor trusts, and other sophisticated planning techniques. Lee received his J.D. and his B.S. from Brigham Young University.

Ballet Arizona is an innovative and provocative professional ballet company that creates, performs, and teaches outstanding classical and contemporary ballet. The company is dedicated to preserving and celebrating classical dance while creating and commissioning new innovative works.

ballet

Lee Elected to Ballet Arizona's Board of Directors

Fennemore Craig, one of the largest law firms in the Southwest, announced that T. James Lee, a shareholder and director at Fennemore Craig in the firm’s Phoenix office, has been elected to the Board of Directors for Ballet Arizona.

Lee focuses his practice in the areas of estate planning, charitable giving, and business formation and structuring. He counsels clients on wealth transfer strategies, including the use of revocable trusts, irrevocable life insurance and gifting trusts, family limited partnerships and LLCs, qualified personal residence trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, installment sales to grantor trusts, and other sophisticated planning techniques. Lee received his J.D. and his B.S. from Brigham Young University.

Ballet Arizona is an innovative and provocative professional ballet company that creates, performs, and teaches outstanding classical and contemporary ballet. The company is dedicated to preserving and celebrating classical dance while creating and commissioning new innovative works.

Go Daddy founder and former CEO Bob Parsons is resigning as executive chairman to spend time on other ventures.

Parsons Acquires Scottsdale-based Martz Agency

Valley entrepreneur and philanthropist Bob Parsons today announced the acquisition of Martz Agency by MP Agency, L.L.C., an organization owned by Parsons. The award-winning Scottsdale based marketing and public relations firm, which will be renamed Martz Parsons, will bring creative firepower to Parsons’ growing portfolio of businesses.

Parsons has said that by looking at and structuring their marketing as a revenue generator that makes money rather than an expense item, businesses are able to not only bring attention to their brand but also increase their revenue streams. Parsons’ numerous Valley based entities, including Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale, Go AZ Motorcycles, Spooky Fast Parts & Engineering, YAM Properties, The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation and Scottsdale National Golf Club, will be using Martz Parsons as their agency of record. The agency will immediately add talent to keep pace with the growth.

Martz Agency, founded by Carrie Martz in 1980, is among the most highly regarded agencies in Arizona. Moving forward, Carrie Martz will assume the title of CEO and the agency will continue to serve its existing clients. Existing and future accounts, including Parsons personal enterprises, will be able to leverage the Agency’s unparalleled talent and newly expanded resources to further develop and empower their brands.

“I am thrilled that someone I consider to be a marketing genius has purchased the Agency,” said Carrie Martz.  “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our agency and for our clients. With Bob Parsons behind us, I believe our Agency will become even more value to the clients we serve.”

Bob Parsons, like Carrie Martz, is well-known for his intense focus on providing an excellent customer experience. Moving forward, clients can expect their accounts to be managed with the same level of personalized care that Martz Agency has delivered for the last 33 years.

“It’s no secret that I am passionate about marketing,” said Bob Parsons. “The formula is simple … great brands that deliver an uncontested customer experience thrive. Martz Agency brings years of experience, professionalism and enthusiasm to the table. Together, we should knock it out of the park.”

Martz Agency’s current client roster includes Yurbuds, Arizona Commerce Authority, Toronto based Pacific Links International, Valley of the Sun YMCA, Fennemore Craig, RLC Labs, One Neck, Mirabel, The Reef Residences at Atlantis, Estrella by Newland Communities, and Olympia Group.

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Colliers International Closes 92,200 SF, $12M Office Building Sale in Phoenix

Colliers International in Greater Phoenix recently negotiated the sale of a 92,233 square-foot Class-A office building located at 3333 E. Camelback Road in Phoenix for $12 million, or $130/square foot.

Fenway Properties of San Diego acquired the property. Fenway plans to upgrade the common areas and develop new, spec suites to accommodate tenants of various square footage requirements.

The seller was Noffsinger Manufacturing Company of Greely, Colo.

Todd Noel, senior vice president; Keith Lambeth, senior vice president; and Ryan Timpani, senior associate; served as the Colliers International in Greater Phoenix brokers for both parties.

“The office building represents a strong investment for Fenway due to the building’s strategic location within the prestigious Camelback Corridor submarket, quality construction and timeless finishes,” Noel said.

Built in 1984, the two-story building comprises multiple suites ranging from 1,214 to 17,930 square feet.

privacy

How Personal Employment Information Is Shared And Sold

In today’s competitive business world, employers constantly are seeking ways to increase efficiency and reduce cost.  One obvious option in this effort is outsourcing, and employers certainly should be free to delegate functions to third-party vendors when it makes sense to do so.  But what are the implications when outsourcing requires an employer to share with a vendor private information about the employer’s workforce?

For attorneys who counsel either businesses or individuals, it’s important to know what rules and limitations apply to the increasingly popular trend of outsourcing employee verification services.  The issues associated with this trend are far-reaching and beg the question:  How can we better regulate and improve this beneficial type of outsourcing, for employers and employees alike?

The key to answering these questions begins with an understanding of the dual role credit reporting agencies play as database sponsors in the employee verification industry.  For example, in addition to compiling consumer credit scores, credit reporting giant Equifax also is in the business of compiling other information that is equally personal; namely, confidential details about workers’ current and former employment.  In fact, Equifax might even be selling information as personal as your compensation level, the name of your healthcare provider, whether you’ve ever filed for unemployment benefits, and your paystub history.

What is “The Work Number”

The Work Number, a subsidiary of Equifax, provides various financial and employment verification services.  The Work Number uses its ever-expanding database to confirm employment and income information for commercial verifiers, social service verifiers, and potential future employers.  The Work Number’s database currently contains the employment and salary records of over one-third of U.S. adults, and it includes detailed employee information about weekly paystubs, healthcare providers, medical and dental insurance, and unemployment compensation claims.

The Work Number built its database with the cooperation of thousands of U.S. businesses.  The Work Number markets itself to these willing participants as a means for busy human resource departments to outsource the time consuming task of verifying a range of information on former and current employees.  This service is so attractive that participating businesses actually pay for the ability to send The Work Number all employee information typically needed in the verification process.  The Work Number fields verification inquiries on the employer’s behalf, freeing up employer staff time for other tasks.

While providing employers with a valuable service, The Work Number simultaneously funnels this information it receives from its clients to its parent company, Equifax.  In turn, Equifax sells the information to third parties such as debt collectors, student loan issuers, and financial institutions.

Although Equifax’s sharing of the personal information garnered by The Work Number under in its role as a verification service provider is indisputable, the extent of such sharing is in question.  In an interview with NBC News, Equifax spokesman Timothy Klein denied that salary information is sold to debt collectors.[i]  Klein’s statement is in conflict, however, with Equifax CEO Richard Smith’s 2009 NYSE Magazine interview, in which he stated “[W]e can provide information about a debtor’s location, income, and employment.  That can help prioritize which accounts to pursue first.”[ii]

Because employer use of The Work Number has become so prevalent, the District of Columbia has issued new guidelines for low-income housing compliance, which include a provision governing the treatment of applicants whose employment and earnings can be verified only via The Work Number.[iii]  Likewise, the current Code of Mississippi Rules actually includes The Work Number’s email address, phone number, and website address in a statutory provision that instructs applicants for State-funded childcare on how to provide income and employment verification.[iv]  Considering The Work Number’s fast-paced growth and the privacy concerns it poses for consumers, it makes sense to consider what safeguards, if any, are in place to protect us.

Fair Credit Reporting Act

The most obvious consumer protection tool implicated by Equifax’s practices is The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  The FCRA regulates instances in which “consumer reports” or “investigative consumer reports” are requested from a “consumer reporting agency.”[v]  For purposes of the FCRA, a “consumer reporting agency” includes any entity that regularly assembles credit or other information about consumers and furnishes that information to third parties via any means of interstate commerce.[vi]  Thus, Equifax and The Work Number are considered consumer reporting agencies for purposes of the FCRA.  “Consumer reports” include any communication of a consumer’s personal characteristics which will serve as a factor establishing the consumer’s eligibility for credit or insurance or for employment purposes.[vii]  By contrast, “investigative consumer reports” include reports regarding the consumer’s personal characteristics gathered during personal interviews, but do not include specific factual information about the consumer’s credit record.[viii]  Due to the more personal nature of information contained in an investigative consumer report, stricter guidelines are in place regarding disclosure of investigative consumer reports compared to ordinary consumer reports.  To the extent Equifax and The Work Number provide third parties with consumers’ personal and financial information, Equifax and The Work Number furnish consumer reports.

There are three types of recipients of the information provided by Equifax and The Work Number: prospective employers, financial institutions and creditors, and third party purchasers.  The FCRA applies differently to each recipient type.

Prospective Employers

The Work Number markets itself as a means for prospective employers to verify employment information of job applicants.  Thus, as its core business, The Work Number provides sensitive information to prospective employers.  Because the FCRA applies whenever employers request consumer reports from a consumer reporting agency like The Work Number, the FCRA is implicated by The Work Number’s information transfers to prospective employers.

The FCRA addresses issues such as what types of employers can obtain consumer reports, how they must obtain the report, what they must do before taking adverse action in response to the report, and what they must do after taking adverse action.[ix]  The Work Number contends that FCRA guidelines are met when it provides prospective employers with employment information.  Such guidelines include providing job applicants with written notice that information obtained from a consumer report may be used when making decisions concerning their employment.[x]  This notice must appear in a document containing only this disclosure.[xi]  Additionally, the consumer must provide written authorization of the procurement of the report.[xii]  To the extent The Work Number provides employment verification to prospective employers and meets these guidelines, it is within its rights to do so.  What the FCRA fails to address, however, is how other information in The Work Number’s database, such as salary and insurance information, is used for non-employment purposes.

Financial Institutions and Creditors

In addition to providing potential employers with consumers’ employment information, The Work Number also concedes to providing creditors and financial institutions with employment information from its database.  In an interview with NBC News, Equifax spokesman Timothy Klein admitted that pay rate information is shared with third parties.[xiii]  These third parties typically include mortgage, auto, and financial services credit grantors.  Klein said The Work Number provides such information to financial institutions and credit grantors in compliance with the FCRA, but denied that salary information is sold to debt collectors.[xiv]  The Work Number asserts that consumers give such third parties the right to access this information at the time the consumer applies for credit.

Section 1681 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act states that generally, a consumer reporting agency, like Equifax or The Work Number, may only furnish a consumer report to such third parties when the consumer reporting agency has reason to believe the third party “intends to use the information in connection with a credit transaction involving the consumer … and involving the extension of credit to, or review or collection of an account of, the consumer.”[xv]  Even assuming Klein’s assertion is true that consumers grant these third parties access to such information, other provisions in the FCRA raise the question of whether this authorization is sufficient.  Subsection (c)(1)(A) of the FCRA requires that “the consumer authorize[e] the agency to provide such report to such person.”[xvi]  This language suggests that a much more personalized authorization transaction may be required than Klein alluded to in his statement.  Namely, it appears that the consumer must furnish the specific consumer reporting agency in question with authorization to provide the report to the specific financial institution or creditor requesting the report.  Interestingly, although in certain circumstances a consumer may authorize all reporting agencies to give all creditors this information by executing a general waiver at the time he or she applies for credit, another subsection of the FCRA indicates the consumer may have an additional line of defense.  Pursuant to subsection (c)(1)(B)(iii), a consumer may elect to have his name and address excluded from lists provided by consumer reporting agencies in connection with credit transactions not initiated by the consumer.[xvii]

Unfortunately, the rules delineating when reporting agencies like Equifax and The Work Number can give creditors and financial institutions other information from The Work Number’s database are unclear.  It is not clear when, how, and with regard to whom the consumer must provide authorization for a reporting agency to share this information.  However, given that consumers must be clearly notified in writing and provide authorization prior to issuance of a consumer report when such report will be used for employment purposes, a strong argument can be made that this same proactive and consumer oriented approach should apply to all sections of the FCRA.

Equifax Information Sold to Third Parties

In addition to providing information to prospective employers, financial institutions, and creditors, Equifax also sells some of this information to interested third parties.  For example, Equifax heavily markets The Work Number’s services to student loan issurers.  Thanks to The Work Number’s information, student loan issuers have seen a 5.5% increase in Right Party Contact and a 7.3% increase in Collections Resolution.[xviii]  Additionally, Equifax provides information from The Work Number to financial firms.  In these transactions, the information is packaged as a “portfolio monitoring” service which allows financial firms to market their products to a specially selected group of consumers.  The Work Number’s information is also marketed to these firms as “proactive managing of risk.”  In this context, the firms analyze information from The Work Number for early warning signs about when someone might soon run into financial trouble.  The marketing campaign for these services touts “Using The Work Number to stay abreast of employment changes can expand your ability to mitigate risk while maximizing product and service potential.”[xix]

Strangely, the FCRA seemingly fails to address this type of information transfer at all.  While the FCRA provides guidelines for when a consumer reporting agency may furnish a consumer report, how and when a consumer report may be furnished for employment purposes, how and when a consumer report may be furnished in connection with credit or insurance transactions, and what added protections are afforded medical information, there is a lack of guidance regarding the sale of such information.  Nowhere does the FCRA expressly prohibit the sale of consumer information to third parties with a business interest in the information.  This is further complicated by the fact that Equifax owns The Work Number.  As a credit bureau, Equifax proceeds under the comparatively lax rules governing credit reporting agencies, which are distinct from those governing data brokers.  Thus, by virtue of Equifax’s affiliation with The Work Number, it can behave as a credit bureau, selling credit information to lenders.  The problem, however, is Equifax has access to a much greater wealth of consumer information than a credit bureau otherwise would, thanks to its affiliation with The Work Number.

The good news, however, is that the FCRA actually may address the problematic affiliation between Equifax and The Work Number.  Section 1681s-3 of the FCRA relates to affiliate sharing.[xx]  This section prohibits an entity that receives information which would be a consumer report from another entity under common ownership from using that information to make a solicitation for marketing purposes, unless the consumer is provided an opportunity to prohibit such solicitations after a clear disclosure has been made to the consumer explaining that information may be communicated amongst such entities for purposes of solicitation.[xxi]  However, even this provision of the FCRA might not be as helpful as it seems.  Although it may prohibit Equifax from using information it obtains from The Work Number to solicit business, that is only half the battle.  Equifax still could continue to sell the information it gathers by its own efforts to third parties.  The information might simply be less comprehensive.

Possible Solutions

In light of these revelations, the first question on many consumers’ minds is how to address this sharing or sale of private information, which appears to be lawful under the guidelines currently in place.

From an individual’s perspective, preventing sensitive information from ending up in The Work Number database seems like a futile proposition.  A job applicant, for example, could attempt to condition a prospective employment relationship on the employer’s agreement not to share any of the applicant’s personal or employment information.  However, given the current job market, most employees would have very little negotiating power, and most employers are unlikely to oblige, especially given the economy gained by utilizing The Work Number.  If an individual is unsuccessful in this negotiation, he or she can always turn down a job offer.  While doing so will keep the employee’s personal information safe for now, the applicant has cut off his nose to spite his face and remains unemployed.  It seems then that the only plausible way to regulate these information transfers is to address them before the consumer even gets involved.

Congress Should Revisit the Fair Credit Reporting Act

The most effective means by which to provide much-needed regulatory reform is to take legislative action.  Specifically, Congress should revisit the FCRA, taking into consideration the flaws and gaps that Equifax is exploiting.  One approach could include amending the FCRA to require a consumer’s written authorization before such information is sold.  Specifically, implementing the same comprehensive authorization guidelines currently in place regarding consumer reports used for employment purposes could serve as a model.  Under this approach, the consumer reporting agency would need to provide consumers with clear, conspicuous written notice of the possible sale of their information prior to the information being sold.  Such notice would need to be in a stand-alone document, and the consumer’s response, either authorizing the sale or not authorizing the sale, would also need to be in writing.

Another possible approach includes implementing stricter rules governing the flow of consumer reports out of credit bureaus, perhaps mirroring the already stricter guidelines governing disclosure of investigative consumer reports.  Additionally, Congress could amend the FCRA to clearly delineate exactly what information can be included in consumer reports.  Part of the current problem appears to involve the crossover between the personal and employment related information contained in The Work Number’s database with the credit information expected to be in the hands of a credit bureau, like Equifax.

John Balitis is a director and attorney with the law firm of Fennemore Craig in Phoenix where he co-chairs the firm’s Labor Relations and Employment Practice Group.  He represents businesses in all aspects of employment law. Kristin Penunuri is a student at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.  She is a legal writing intern at Fennemore Craig in Phoenix.


[i] Bob Sullivan, Your Employer May Share Your Salary, and Equifax Might Sell That Data, The Red Tape Chronicles on NBC News.com (Jan. 30, 2013, 4:44 AM), available at http://redtape.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/30/16762661-exclusive-your-employer-may-share-your-salary-and-equifax-might-sell-that-data?lite.

[ii] Id.

[iii] D.C. Mun. Regs., Title 14 § 5402 (2012).

[iv] Miss. Admin. Code, Title 18, Subtitle 7, Rule 2 § 102 (2012).

[v] Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 (2006).

[vi] Id. at § 1681a (2006).

[vii] Id.

[viii] Id.

[ix] Bob Sullivan, Your Employer May Share Your Salary, and Equifax Might Sell That Data, The Red Tape Chronicles on NBC News.com (Jan. 30, 2013, 4:44 AM), available at http://redtape.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/30/16762661-exclusive-your-employer-may-share-your-salary-and-equifax-might-sell-that-data?lite.

[x] 15 U.S.C. § 1681b (2006).

[xi] Id.

[xii] Id.

[xiii] Sullivan, supra note 9.

[xiv] Id.

[xv] 15 U.S.C. § 1681b (2006).

[xvi] Id.

[xvii] Id.

[xviii] Bob Sullivan, Your Employer May Share Your Salary, and Equifax Might Sell That Data, The Red Tape Chronicles on NBC News.com (Jan. 30, 2013, 4:44 AM), available at http://redtape.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/30/16762661-exclusive-your-employer-may-share-your-salary-and-equifax-might-sell-that-data?lite.

[xix] Id.

[xx] 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-3 (2006).

[xxi] Id.

 

 

How To Learn More About Your Work Number

Consumers who want to know what, if any, information about them resides with The Work Number may do so by visiting The Work Number website (www.theworknumber.com) and requesting an Employment Data Report (“EDR”).  Processing this request involves logging in and completing an EDR request form that is available in .pdf format.  Alternatively, interested consumers may contact The Work Number by telephone at (866) 604-6570.

If an EDR contains information that is inaccurate or objectionable to the consumer, he or she may submit online comments via The Work Number website.  The website suggests that The Work Number will embed the comments so that they are visible to subscribers that obtain the consumer’s other information from The Work Number.

 

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Fennemore Craig Attorneys Are 2014 Benchmark Litigation Stars

Fennemore Craig, one of the largest law firms in the Southwest, announced that five attorneys in the firm’s Phoenix office have been named 2014 Benchmark Litigation Local Stars in Arizona. The attorneys being recognized are Christopher L. Callahan, Andrew M. Federhar, Doug C. Northup, Cathy L. Reece, and William L. Thorpe.

The areas of practice in which each of these attorneys handles matters ranges from bankrupty, commercial litigation, and business and personal injury torts. The 2014 Benchmark Litigation recognition solidifies the knowledge and reputation of the firm’s legal experience across various industries reaffirms the firm’s dedication to resolve client matters and issues efficiently and effectively.

“The firm’s reputation has been built on our attorneys’ continued commitment to excellence,” said Tim Berg, managing partner of Fennemore Craig. “We are honored to be recognized by our legal community and to be included in Benchmark Litigation.”

Benchmark Litigation is a legal resource that identifies firms and attorneys who continually display the ability to consistently moderate complex litigation issues and matters in multiple jurisdictions. The annual ranking is determined by independent researchers who conduct extensive interviews over a six month period to identify the leading litigators and firms throughout the United States. This guide focuses exclusively on the US litigation market and ranks firms and leading national attorneys in the areas of appellate, antitrust, bankruptcy, general commercial, insurance, intellectual property, international arbitration, products liability, securities and white-collar crime.