Tag Archives: P.C.

taxes

REDW Among Fastest-Growing Accounting Firms

REDW LLC, one of the largest and most respected certified public accounting and business consulting firms in the Southwest, announced that AccountingToday.com named the company the fourth fastest-growing accounting firm in the U.S. during 2013. REDW was also recognized as the fifth largest accounting firm in the southwestern United States.

AccountingToday.com , is a leading provider of online business news for the tax and accounting community. The ranking follows Albuquerque-based REDW’s merger with Phoenix based firms Abalos & Associates PLLC, and Miller, Allen & Co., P.C. in late 2012. The combined firm, showed a 33.52% growth in 2013 with revenues of $26.45 million.

“Our Phoenix operations continue to grow following the successful mergers to create one great team of like-minded professionals,” said Sandy Abalos, Principal-in-Charge of the Phoenix office.. “Year one of the merger we focused on a seamless transition into a single entity, and with that overwhelmingly successful effort we expect even stronger benefits in 2014 as we focus on strategic organic growth and increased efficiencies between our Phoenix and Albuquerque offices.”

“REDW’s growth into Phoenix catapulted us to being ranked the fifth largest accounting firm in the southwestern United States and the fourth fastest growing accounting firm in the entire United States,” said Ron Rivera, REDW’s Managing Principal. “The talented team in Phoenix and the synergies and opportunities that the Phoenix office provides REDW as a whole will benefit our ability to continue our organic growth and will serve as a growth model as we look to expand into new markets. Ultimately, our growth is all about our clients as we strive to ensure we maintain the level of forward-thinking business advice that our clients expect from us to meet and exceed their ever-evolving needs.

The AccountingToday.com ranking is based on the percentage increase in income- not dollar amounts- to determine which firms experienced the greatest growth. To view the AccountingToday.com rankings, click here.

Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner earns honor

U.S. News and World Report and Best Lawyers ® recently named one of North Scottsdale’s largest law firms, Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner, P.C., as one of the 2014 “Best Law Firms.” “The award comes shortly after the firm’s named partners, Randy Nussbaum, Greg Gillis and Dean Dinner were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in  The Best Lawyers in America©,  2014.

Nationally, U.S. News and Best Lawyers ® named the firm Tier 3 in the practice areas of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law.

In the Metro Phoenix area, U.S. News and Best Lawyers ®named the firm Tier 1 in the in the practice areas of: Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law Litigation – Bankruptcy and Tier 3 for Commercial Litigation Construction Law.

The “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a combination of client feedback, information provided on the Law Firm Survey and the Law Firm Leaders Survey and Best Lawyers peer-review.

The Best Lawyers in America© 2014 scoring for Randy Nussbaum, Greg Gillis and Dean Dinner were part of the scoring criteria used by U.S. News and World Report and Best Lawyers®.

Listed on the The Best Lawyers in America ®  website are quotes from clients including Tim Hammer of TJM Painting Inc. who said, “Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner is a great firm and has great lawyers.”

Christine Ritter of Rental Service Corporation in her client comment is quoted as saying, “I have worked with Nussbaum through my equipment rental company and they are a very good firm and work with the client on several issues,”

Randy Nussbaum’s areas of practice include complex bankruptcy law, real estate, construction, and contract law. Mr. Nussbaum is a certified specialist in bankruptcy law by the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization and is also certified specialist in business bankruptcy law by the American Board of Certification.

Greg Gillis’ areas of practice include construction law, commercial collection, real estate law, and bankruptcy litigation which he has performed in Arizona for 25 years. During that time, he has appeared and litigated cases in 14 of Arizona’s 15 county superior courts.

Dean Dinner’s practice has emphasized bankruptcy law, creditor-debtor rights, workouts, commercial transactions and commercial litigation. He is certified as a Bankruptcy Specialist by the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. His experience in the bankruptcy field is extensive, involving representation of secured creditors, surety companies, unsecured creditors, creditor committees, lessors, trustees and debtors in Chapter 7, 11, 12 and 13 proceedings.

The firm, which recently celebrated its fifth anniversary, was founded in July of 2008 by Randy Nussbaum and Gregory Gillis with a focus on complex bankruptcies, commercial litigation, construction law, real estate law, just as the economic downturn began. Despite the recession, the firm surpassed its initial three-year business plan in just two years. Dean Dinner one of the initial partners became the third named partner in 2010 and the firm added to its expertise to include trust and estate planning and probate, administrative law such as within the pest control and landscaping industry, and insurance defense work. Over the years, the firm has continued to expand to its current number of 11 lawyers and nearly 30 employees total.

Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner earns honor

U.S. News and World Report and Best Lawyers ® recently named one of North Scottsdale’s largest law firms, Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner, P.C., as one of the 2014 “Best Law Firms.” “The award comes shortly after the firm’s named partners, Randy Nussbaum, Greg Gillis and Dean Dinner were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in  The Best Lawyers in America©,  2014.

Nationally, U.S. News and Best Lawyers ® named the firm Tier 3 in the practice areas of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law.

In the Metro Phoenix area, U.S. News and Best Lawyers ®named the firm Tier 1 in the in the practice areas of: Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law Litigation – Bankruptcy and Tier 3 for Commercial Litigation Construction Law.

The “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a combination of client feedback, information provided on the Law Firm Survey and the Law Firm Leaders Survey and Best Lawyers peer-review.

The Best Lawyers in America© 2014 scoring for Randy Nussbaum, Greg Gillis and Dean Dinner were part of the scoring criteria used by U.S. News and World Report and Best Lawyers®.

Listed on the The Best Lawyers in America ®  website are quotes from clients including Tim Hammer of TJM Painting Inc. who said, “Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner is a great firm and has great lawyers.”

Christine Ritter of Rental Service Corporation in her client comment is quoted as saying, “I have worked with Nussbaum through my equipment rental company and they are a very good firm and work with the client on several issues,”

Randy Nussbaum’s areas of practice include complex bankruptcy law, real estate, construction, and contract law. Mr. Nussbaum is a certified specialist in bankruptcy law by the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization and is also certified specialist in business bankruptcy law by the American Board of Certification.

Greg Gillis’ areas of practice include construction law, commercial collection, real estate law, and bankruptcy litigation which he has performed in Arizona for 25 years. During that time, he has appeared and litigated cases in 14 of Arizona’s 15 county superior courts.

Dean Dinner’s practice has emphasized bankruptcy law, creditor-debtor rights, workouts, commercial transactions and commercial litigation. He is certified as a Bankruptcy Specialist by the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. His experience in the bankruptcy field is extensive, involving representation of secured creditors, surety companies, unsecured creditors, creditor committees, lessors, trustees and debtors in Chapter 7, 11, 12 and 13 proceedings.

The firm, which recently celebrated its fifth anniversary, was founded in July of 2008 by Randy Nussbaum and Gregory Gillis with a focus on complex bankruptcies, commercial litigation, construction law, real estate law, just as the economic downturn began. Despite the recession, the firm surpassed its initial three-year business plan in just two years. Dean Dinner one of the initial partners became the third named partner in 2010 and the firm added to its expertise to include trust and estate planning and probate, administrative law such as within the pest control and landscaping industry, and insurance defense work. Over the years, the firm has continued to expand to its current number of 11 lawyers and nearly 30 employees total.

Jason B. Castle

Jaburg Wilk Expands Family Law Group

The law firm of Jaburg & Wilk, P.C. announced that Jason B. Castle joined the firm as a Partner to expand the Family Law group.

Castle is experienced in handling all aspects of family law including paternity, annulment, child custody, parenting time, child support, spousal maintenance, business valuations, Orders of Protection and post-decree matters involving enforcement or modification.

“We are very pleased Jason joined our group,” said Jaburg Wilk Family Law Specialist Mitchell Reichman. “His experience with divorces involving complex financial issues and high net worth estates along with his expertise in conflicts between parents regarding legal decision making and parenting time gives our team greater depth to assist clients with their needs. As President of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), Jason has worked with numerous judges and mental health professionals providing him with the knowledge and sensitivity needed to address difficult situations where there’s been domestic violence, substance abuse or dysfunctional relationships. This provides our group and clients with a new and important resource.”

Castle received his J.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He obtained his Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Cincinnati and his Bachelor of Arts degree in General Studies from Indiana University. He is licensed to practice in the State of Arizona and the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.

Castle was named a 2013 Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Star, a status awarded to outstanding lawyers who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

childrens hospital

Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner has charitable celebration

Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner, P.C., one of North Scottsdale’s largest law firms, announced it is making a $1,000 donation to Tempe-based Children’s Cancer Network as part of a campaign making five donations in five weeks to celebrate the firm’s fifth anniversary.
“The Children’s Cancer Network provides financial, educational and psychosocial support to children and families dealing with childhood cancer,” said Greg Gillis, Partner at Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner. “Hopefully our donation will help local children and families struggling with a recent cancer diagnosis.”

“Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner has long been an active supporter of the community, and specifically to the Children’s Cancer Network,” said Patti Luttrell, Executive Director of Children’s Cancer Network.  “We’re grateful for their ongoing financial and volunteer efforts to help local children and families battling childhood cancer.”

Celebrating its anniversary by making donations to local non-profits fits with the firm’s belief that its rapid growth is a direct credit to its talented staff and their personal and professional commitment to community involvement.  This commitment to community is in addition to the firm’s year-round donations and volunteer efforts.

The firm was founded in July of 2008 by Randy Nussbaum and Gregory Gillis with a focus on complex bankruptcies, commercial litigation, construction law, real estate law, just as the economic downturn began. Despite the recession, the firm surpassed its initial three-year business plan in just two years. Dean Dinner became the third named partner in 2010 and since then the firms areas of practice have grown to include trust and estate planning and probate, insurance defense work, administrative and regulatory law including the pest control and landscaping industries. Over the years, the firm has continued to expand to its current number of 11 lawyers, bringing its total to nearly 30 employees.

Additional recipients of donations from Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner, will be announced weekly throughout July, as part of the firm’s anniversary celebrations.

For more information about the Children’s Cancer Network visit:  http://www.childrenscancernetwork.org/

childrens hospital

Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner has charitable celebration

Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner, P.C., one of North Scottsdale’s largest law firms, announced it is making a $1,000 donation to Tempe-based Children’s Cancer Network as part of a campaign making five donations in five weeks to celebrate the firm’s fifth anniversary.
“The Children’s Cancer Network provides financial, educational and psychosocial support to children and families dealing with childhood cancer,” said Greg Gillis, Partner at Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner. “Hopefully our donation will help local children and families struggling with a recent cancer diagnosis.”

“Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner has long been an active supporter of the community, and specifically to the Children’s Cancer Network,” said Patti Luttrell, Executive Director of Children’s Cancer Network.  “We’re grateful for their ongoing financial and volunteer efforts to help local children and families battling childhood cancer.”

Celebrating its anniversary by making donations to local non-profits fits with the firm’s belief that its rapid growth is a direct credit to its talented staff and their personal and professional commitment to community involvement.  This commitment to community is in addition to the firm’s year-round donations and volunteer efforts.

The firm was founded in July of 2008 by Randy Nussbaum and Gregory Gillis with a focus on complex bankruptcies, commercial litigation, construction law, real estate law, just as the economic downturn began. Despite the recession, the firm surpassed its initial three-year business plan in just two years. Dean Dinner became the third named partner in 2010 and since then the firms areas of practice have grown to include trust and estate planning and probate, insurance defense work, administrative and regulatory law including the pest control and landscaping industries. Over the years, the firm has continued to expand to its current number of 11 lawyers, bringing its total to nearly 30 employees.

Additional recipients of donations from Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner, will be announced weekly throughout July, as part of the firm’s anniversary celebrations.

For more information about the Children’s Cancer Network visit:  http://www.childrenscancernetwork.org/

gavel

Az Business Top Lawyers list: Healthcare

Az Business magazine’s 2013 top lawyer list was created after the editorial department asked Arizona law firms to nominate their two best attorneys from 16 different categories for consideration. Those nominees were put on a ballot and were voted on by their peers in the legal community and the readers of Az Business magazine to determine the exclusive 2013 Az Business Magazine Top Lawyers list.

Susan D. Brienza
Ryley Carlock & Applewhite, P.C.
602-440-4885
rcalaw.com
Brienza is especially involved in issues concerning herbal products for women, and in biotechnology and nanotechnology issues.

Robin Burgess
Sanders & Parks, P.C.
602-532-5783
sandersandparks.com
Burgess represents physicians, therapists and other professionals in malpractice matters, as well as before their respective licensing boards.

Frederick M. Cummings
Jennings Strouss
602-262-5903
jsslaw.com
Cummings has extensive trial experience in the areas of health care, medical malpractice and medical products liability defense litigation.

William W. Drury
Renaud Cook Drury Mesaros, PA
602 307-9900
rcdmlaw.com
Drury has a strong track record of success in defending medical malpractice and negligence claims, regulatory claims and administrative claims.

Melody Emmert
Quarles & Brady LLP
602-229-5315
quarles.com
Emmert represents health care providers, including hospitals, physicians, behavioral health providers, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, nurses, and other licensed individuals and entities. Her focus is litigation on behalf of health care providers.

Scott M. Finical
Fennemore Craig, P.C.
602-916-5300
fclaw.com
Finical practices primarily in the area of litigation with significant experience in healthcare and hospital law, risk management, employee health and safety law, insurance law, personal injury actions and workers’ compensation.

Steven M. Goldstein
Sacks Tierney P.A.
480-425-2613
sackstierney.com
Goldstein has been listed in the The Best Lawyers in America for healthcare law from 2008-2013 and has expertise in healthcare law, real estate law, and business and corporate law.

Adam Lerner
Ryley Carlock & Applewhite
602-440-4889
rcalaw.com

Roger N. Morris
Quarles & Brady LLP
602-229-5200
quarles.com
Morris is chairman of Quarles & Brady’s Health & Life Sciences Industry Group.

Edward Novak
Polsinelli
602-650-2020
polsinelli.com
Novak practices in the area of white collar crime/special matters. He has extensive jury, non-jury and appellate experience in criminal defense matters, complex civil litigation and government agency investigations in several areas including healthcare.

Winn Sammons
Sanders & Parks, P.C.
602-532-5786
sandersandparks.com
Sammons focuses his practice in the areas of professional malpractice defense law, general civil trial law, medical device litigation, transportation, trucking, and motor vehicle law and products liability law.

Patrick T. Stanley
Comitz | Beethe
480-219-5481
disabilitycounsel.net
Stanley is particularly experienced in litigating first-party insurance bad faith, including disability insurance and professional liability coverage, and healthcare litigation.

legal

Top Lawyers list: Government relations

Az Business magazine’s 2013 top lawyer list was created after the editorial department asked Arizona law firms to nominate their two best attorneys from 16 different categories for consideration. Those nominees were put on a ballot and were voted on by their peers in the legal community and the readers of Az Business magazine to determine the exclusive 2013 Az Business Magazine Top Lawyers list.

Clare Abel
Burch & Cracchiolo, P.A.
602-234-9920
bcattorneys.com
Abel concentrates her practice primarily in the areas of real estate, zoning and condemnation Law. She is listed in Southwest Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America and Arizona’s Finest Lawyers.

S. David Childers
Kutak Rock LLP
480-429-4880
kutakrock.com
Childers served on the U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services’ Task Force on Long-Term Health Care Policies, and the Governor’s Private Sector Task Force on Long Term Care and the University of Arizona College of Business & Public Administration National Board of Advisors.

Robert D. Dalager
Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A.
602-530-8540
gknet.com
Dalager practices governmental affairs and land use law.  Prior to joining Gallagher & Kennedy, Dalager was with the Arizona State Senate for nearly 10 years.

Gregory Y. Harris
Lewis and Roca LLP
602-262-0218
lrlaw.com
Harris has extensive experience appearing before state and federal agencies and in state and federal court, and appears regularly before the Arizona Legislature.

Yvonne R. Hunter
Fennemore Craig, P.C.
602-916-5386
fclaw.com
Hunter’s practice focuses primarily on government affairs. Hunter formerly served as an Assistant Arizona Attorney General in the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

Joseph A. Kanefield
Ballard Spahr LLP
602-798-5468
ballardspahr.com
Kanefield’s practice is focused on government relations, civil and appellate litigation, public-private partnerships, administrative law, state and local tax matters, gaming, and election and campaign-finance law.

Timothy A. La Sota
Tiffany & Bosco, P.A.
602-452-2712
tblaw.com
La Sota practices in the areas of government relations, regulatory and administrative law, election law, land use and procurement.

Paige A. Martin
Kutak Rock LLP
480-429-4827
kutakrock.com
Martin, an AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated partner in the firm’s Scottsdale office, and primarily represents governmental entities and private employers.

Mary R. O’Grady
Osborn Maledon, P.A.
602-640-9352
omlaw.com
As a former solicitor general for the State of Arizona, O’Grady has a unique breadth of experience with public law issues. Her areas of expertise include election and campaign finance law and state constitutional law.

Jordan Rose
Rose Law Group
480-505-3939
roselawgroup.com
Rose practices in the areas of government relations, municipal issues, land use, zoning, administrative law, renewable energy, and lobbying.

John B. Shadegg
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
602-257-5204
steptoe.com
Shadegg, former U.S. Congressman, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in1994 and served eight terms before retiring from Congress in 2010.  He practices in Steptoe’s Government Affairs and Public Policy group.

David K. Udall
Udall Shumway PLC
480-969-3043
udallshumway.com
Udall has successfully represented a variety of clients with zoning and development issues before the City of Mesa, Maricopa County, Town of Gilbert, City of Chandler, and Casa Grande.

Untitled

Jaburg Wilk Attorneys Receive Recognition

Phoenix business law firm Jaburg & Wilk, P.C. has eight attorneys listed in the 2013 issue of Southwest Super Lawyers.

The 2013 edition of Southwest Super Lawyers magazine lists attorneys –Lawrence Wilk, Neal Bookspan, Roger Cohen, Mitchell Reichman, and Bridget O’Brien Swartz as “Southwest Super Lawyers 2013”.  Nathan D. Meyer, Laurence Hirsch and Laura Rogal were listed as “Southwest Rising Stars 2013.” The selections were announced last Thursday.

Recognition is limited to the top 5% of attorneys in Arizona. The selection process combines peer nominations and evaluations and independent research. Candidates are evaluated on twelve indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement.

Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country. Super Lawyers Magazines also feature editorial profiles of attorneys who embody excellence in the practice of law. For more information about Super Lawyers, visit SuperLawyers.com.

Michelle De Blasi

2013 Top Lawyers list: Environmental law

Az Business magazine’s 2013 top lawyer list was created after the editorial department asked Arizona law firms to nominate their two best attorneys from 16 different categories for consideration. Those nominees were put on a ballot and were voted on by their peers in the legal community and the readers of Az Business magazine to determine the exclusive 2013 Az Business Magazine Top Lawyers list.

Robert D. Anderson
Fennemore Craig, P.C.
602-916-5455
www.fclaw.com
Anderson practices in the areas of environmental, natural resources and water law and chairs the firm’s natural resources and environmental practice.

Michelle De Blasi
Greenberg Traurig LLP
602-445-8485
www.gtlaw.com
De Blasi advises clients on energy and environmental sustainability, including traditional and renewable energy, climate change, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Carla Consoli
Lewis and Roca LLP
602-262-5347
www.lrlaw.com
The industries which regularly call on Consoli include mines, alternative energy developers, large-scale residential and commercial developers, manufacturers, and investors in these industries.

Peter W. Culp
Squire Sanders
602-528-4063
www.squiresanders.com
Culp practices in the areas of environmental, water and natural resources. Culp was recognized by Chambers USA 2012 as a leading individual for environmental matters, including water rights.

J. Stanton Curry
Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A.
602-530-8222
www.gknet.com
Curry practices environmental law with an emphasis on air quality, Superfund and environmental auditing matters.

Joseph Drazek
Quarles & Brady LLP
602-229-5335
www.quarles.com
Drazek’s practice focuses on regulatory and litigation matters within the Firm’s Environmental Group and spans a variety of industries including mining companies, high technology companies, fenvironmental testing laboratories, and water companies.

Mark Freeze
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
602-257-5215
www.steptoe.com
Freeze is of counsel in Steptoe’s Phoenix office, and has more than 23 years of experience. He practices in the areas of labor and employment law and environmental law.

Karen Gaylor
Jennings, Haug & Cunningham, LLP
602-234-7808
www.jhc-law.com
Gaylord’s practice focuses on environmental and natural resource matters. She has counseled businesses, municipalities, water providers, insurers, and individuals for more than 25 years.

David P. Kimball, III
Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A.
602-530-8130
www.gknet.com
Kimball is head of the firm’s environmental and natural resources department and is recognized nationally as an expert in all areas of federal, state and local environmental and natural resources law.

Mitchell Klein
Polsinelli
602-650-2303
www.polsinelli.com
Klein has extensive experience working with many state and federal agencies in all areas of natural resource and environmental law.

Lucas Narducci
Polsinelli
602-650-2301
polsinelli.com
Narducci’s practice is focused on various aspects of mining, environmental, natural resources, energy, safety and health law, as well as regulatory counseling and permitting, workplace exposure issues, and workplace safety.

Sheryl Sweeney
Ryley Carlock & Applewhite
rcalaw.com
Sweeney practices in the areas of water law, environmental law, electric utility law and special taxing districts. She is chair of the Water, Energy, Resources and Environment practice group at Ryley Carlock.

Amy L. Lieberman, Insight Employment Mediation

2013 Az Business Mediation Guide

Az Business magazine’s 2013 Mediation guide was created after consultation with experts in the alternative dispute resolution field.

Amy Abdo
Fennemore Craig
602-916-5399
www.fclaw.com
Abdo has extensive experience in arbitration, mediation, investigations, administrative proceedings and litigation, including bench and jury trials.

Kevin T. Ahern
Broening Oberg Woods & Wilson, P.C.
602-271-7781
www.bowwlaw.com
Ahern’s practice is confined to mediations, neutral case evaluations, arbitrations, special master appointments and consultation in his areas of practice experience — real estate, commercial enterprises, title insurers, escrow agencies, insurance agencies, lenders, and property managers.

Shawn K. Aiken
Aiken Schenk Hawkins & Ricciardi
602-248-8203
www.ashrlaw.com
Aiken devotes a substantial portion of his practice to mediation and arbitration, and was selected by Best Lawyers in America as Lawyer of the Year, 2012 (Mediation, Phoenix).

Rebecca Albrecht
Bowman and Brooke LLP
602-643-2459
www.bowmanandbrooke.com
A former Superior Court judge, Albrecht incorporates her vast experience and skills to her practice, which includes arbitration and mediation. Albrecht is an American Arbitration Association (AAA) certified arbitrator.

Gerald W. Alston
Jennings Strouss
602-262-5911
www.jsslaw.com
Alston serves as both an arbitrator and a mediator in all areas of civil litigation, including domestic relations, eminent domain, and matters involving real estate and contract disputes. Cummins has extensive trial experience in the areas of health care and is an experienced arbitrator and mediator.

Christian C.M. Beams
Ryley Carlock & Applewhite
602-440-4818
www.rcalaw.com
Beams is an accomplished neutral who has resolved countless disputes through the mediation and arbitration processes. He is diligent in his efforts to bring matters to resolution, as evidenced by his high success rate in doing so.

Maureen Beyers
Osborn Maledon
602-640-9305
www.omlaw.com
Nationally recognized as a top arbitrator, Beyers has served as a neutral in hundreds of arbitrations on a variety of business disputes, and is a member of many of the American Arbitration Association’s specialized panels.

Gary L. Birnbaum,
Richard A. Frielander, and Michael S. Rubin
Mariscal, Weeks, McIntyre & Friedlander
602-285-5000
www.mwmf.com
Five of the firm’s senior lawyers are actively and continuously involved in alternative dispute resolution, including acting as arbitrators, mediators and neutral case evaluators in Arizona and throughout the Southwest.

Denise M. Blommel
Denise M. Blommel PLLC
480-425-7272
www.azlaborlaw.com
Blommel has more than 28 years of experience as an employment and labor law attorney, 15 years as a practicing mediator, including seven years serving as a contract mediator for the U.S. Postal Service.

Brice Buehler
Brice E. Buehler, P.C.
602-234-1212
www.bricebuehler.com
Since 1987, Buehler has mediated or arbitrated more than 2,500 disputes, including corporate, commercial, partnership, professional malpractice, and construction.

John R. Dacey,
Michael R. King,
Richard K. Mahrle
Gammage and Burnham
602-256-0566
www.gblaw.com
As part of Gammage and Burnham’s practice, several attorneys are available to serve as mediators or arbitrators in employment, construction, general, commercial and other litigation matters.

David J. Damron
David J. Damron, LLC
602-476-1836
www.damronadr.com
Damron specializes in alternative dispute resolution including mediation, settlement conferences and arbitration. Damron has mediated many hundreds of matters in his practice through the years and his participation as a Judge Pro Tem.

Paul F. Eckstein
Perkins Coie
602-351-8222
www.perkinscoie.com
Eckstein’s practice is focused on civil litigation and he also frequently serves as a mediator and arbitrator.

Michele M. Feeney
Michele M. Feeney L.L.C.
602-682-7513
www.mmflaw.com
Devoting her practice to mediation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution, Feeney has litigated cases in the areas of medical malpractice, wrongful death, personal injury and other tort litigation.

Lawrence H. Fleischman
The Fleischman Law Firm
520-326-6400
www.fladr.com
Fleischman created the first Center for Dispute Resolution in the Arizona Superior Court system, saving litigants and taxpayers millions of dollars each year. To date, he has mediated more than 6000 cases for clients.

Sherman D. Fogel
Sherman D. Fogel, P.A.
602-264-3330
www.shermanfogel.com
Fogel is a full-service conflict management and dispute resolution professional, providing mediation, arbitration and facilitation services.

Richard N. Goldsmith
Lewis and Roca
602-262-5341
www.lrlaw.com
Goldsmith mediates commercial disputes and has extensive experience handling matters related to Articles 2 and 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, commercial and real estate lending and leasing, and loan documentation.

Brian Michael Goodwin
Polsinelli
602-650-2001
www.polsinelli.com
Goodwin is a professionally trained mediator and has served as a judge pro tempore with the Maricopa County Superior Court from 1982 to 2005. He currently conducts private mediations and arbitrations.

Alona Gottfried,
Jared Simmons
Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC
480-998-1500
www.sglawaz.com
Simmons & Gottfried’s attorneys are specially trained to handle mediations and settlement conferences as a way to resolve issues in a cost-effective manner. Specialties include family matters, commercial and business issues, employment disputes, and real estate matters.

J. Alex Grimsley
Bryan Cave LLP
602-364-7117
www.bryancave.com
Grimsley has represented a variety of domestic and foreign companies in international arbitrations and before various federal regulatory agencies.

Rebecca A. Winterscheidt
Snell & Willmer
602-382-6343
www.swlaw.com
Through early intervention mediation, Winterscheidt assists parties in reaching a mutual resolution of their dispute without the need for costly litigation.

William Haug,
Chad Schexnayden
Jennings, Haug & Cunningham, LLP
602-234-7800
www.jhc-law.com
Attorneys who practice Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) at JHC represent businesses, government agencies and individuals involved in business disputes.

Marc Kalish
602-956-3608
www.arizonamediator.com
Since receiving formal mediation training in 1995, Kalish has devoted his law practice almost exclusively to providing alternative dispute resolution services as both an arbitrator and mediator.

Amy L. Lieberman
Insight Employment Mediation
480-246-3366
www.insightemployment.com
Lieberman’s practice is focused on the prevention and resolution of workplace and business conflict. She mediates primarily employment and commercial matters.

Merton E. Marks
Merton E. Marks, PC
480-544-4324
www.mertonemarks.com
Marks is a nationally known arbitrator and mediator of commercial disputes involving insurance, reinsurance, securities and product liability.

Bruce E. Meyerson
Bruce Meyerson PLLC
602-277-4585
www.brucemeyerson.com
Meyerson regularly serves as a mediator in virtually all aspects of commercial, employment, construction, real estate and business litigation.

Robert J. Milligan
Milligan Lawless, P.C.
602-792-3500
www.milliganlawless.com
Milligan specializes in health care law and mediation of litigated cases and pre-litigation disputes.

Leah Pallin-Hill
Mediation and Arbitration Services, PLLC
602-387-5323
www.leahpallinhill.com
Pallin-Hill offers ADR for general civil matters, including commercial disputes, construction, condemnation, employment, family, malpractice, elder abuse/nursing homes, personal injury, probate, and real estate.

Susan M. Robbins
Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC
623-889-0691
www.phoenixlawteam.com
Robbins is a member of the State Bar Alternative Dispute Resolution Section and is also a member of the Association for Conflict Resolution. She is active in the area of mediation and disputes and contested matter in elder law.

David L. Rose,
Sharon B. Shively,
David C. Tierney
Sacks Tierney
480-425-2600
www.sackstierney.com
In addition to serving on some of the AAA’s most sought-after arbitration panels, Sacks Tierney attorneys regularly appear as advocates in arbitrations (or mediations) under AAA rules, or in State Court arbitrations convened under an arbitration agreement.

Ira M. Schwartz
DeConcini McDonald Yetwin & Lacy, P.C.
602-282-0500
www.deconcinimcdonald.com
Schwartz actively serves as a mediator and arbitrator of intellectual property disputes.

Stephen H. Scott,
Christopher M. Skelly
Scott & Skelly, L.L.C.
602-277-8228
www.scottandskelly.com
Scott is a former judge on the Arizona Superior Court who now serves full-time as a mediator, arbitrator, appraisal umpire and discovery master. Skelly has conducted thousands of mediations in virtually every kind of civil case.

Brian E. Smith
Brian Smith Mediation & Arbitration
480-507-8895
www.bsmed-arb.com
Smith has established himself as a proven mediator, impartially assisting and guiding parties to effectively facilitate their self-determined mutual decision making which is the cornerstone of the mediation process.

Thomas L. Toone
Beer & Toone, P.C.
602-263-0900
www.beer-toone.com
Toone has served as settlement judge, arbitrator or mediator in more than 2,300 cases in Maricopa County.

Douglas G. Zimmerman
Davis Miles McGuire Gardner, PLLC
480-733-6800
www.davismiles.com
Zimmerman is a certified mediator by The Institute for Conflict Management, LLC and completed the Advanced Negotiation Skills Program at the Harvard Law School Negotiation Insight Initiative.

Mark D. Zukowski
Jones, Skelton and Hochuli, P.L.C.
602-263-1759
www.jshfirm.com
Zukowski is a construction and commercial arbitrator and mediator for the AAA. He also serves as a private arbitrator and mediator and as a settlement conference Judge Pro Tem for the Maricopa County Superior Court.

law

2013 Top Lawyers list: Employment and labor

Az Business magazine’s 2013 top lawyer list was created after the editorial department asked Arizona law firms to nominate their two best attorneys from 16 different categories for consideration. Those nominees were put on a ballot and were voted on by their peers in the legal community and the readers of Az Business magazine to determine the exclusive 2013 Az Business Magazine Top Lawyers list.

Adrian L. Barton
Sacks Tierney P.A.
480-425-2629
www.sackstierney.com
Barton has several labor-related publications, including “Employee Voting Rights: Arizona Employer Obligations,” “Social Networking and the Workplace,” and “Reducing the Risk of Wrongful Termination.”

James L. Blair
Renaud Cook Drury Mesaros, PA
602-256-3020
www.rcdmlaw.com
Blair is his firm’s chair of the Employment Law and Litigation Practice Group and was a contributor to the “Compendium of Significant Employment-Related Case Law and Statutes,” ALFA International, from 2003-2009.

Joseph T. Clees
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
602-778-3700
www.ogletreedeakins.com
Clees represents employers throughout the United States in discrimination and wrongful discharge cases and labor relations.

Scott Gibson
Davis Miles McGuire Gardner, PLL480-344-0918
www.davismiles.com
Over the years, Gibson has developed a reputation for his uncanny ability to quickly discern the most important issues in a case and to focus on ways to resolve rather than to expand litigation.

Donald Peder Johnsen
Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A.
602-530-8437
www.gknet.com
Johnsen practices exclusively in the area of employment and labor law and has been listed in “The Best Lawyers in America” from 2007-2013.

Pamela L. Kingsley
Tiffany & Bosco, P.A.
602-255-6015
www.tblaw.com
Kingsley’s counseling and advice often includes drafting and analyzing agreements for employment and severance, confidentiality, non-competition, and non-solicitation; policies for sexual harassment and oppressive or violent conduct, drug testing, safety, absences, and disabilities.

Michael D. Moberly
Ryley Carlock & Applewhite
602-440-4821
www.rcalaw.com
Moberly is an elected Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, a national organization established to recognize those attorneys who have distinguished themselves as leaders in the fields of labor and employment law.

Tibor Nagy, Jr.
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
520-575-7442
www.ogletreedeakins.com
Nagy represents employers in all facets of labor and employment relations law, including discrimination and wrongful discharge cases, wage and hour law, employment contracts and manuals, and labor-management relations.

Stephanie Quincy
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
602-257-5230
www.steptoe.com
Quincy maintains a regular case load of employment litigation matters. Cases include civil rights (race, age, religion, gender and disability), wrongful termination, sexual harassment, defamation, and breach of contract claims.

Deanna Rader
Gordon Rees
602-794-2460
www.gordonrees.com
Rader has extensive experience advising public employers on constitutional matters, personnel issues, student rights, conflicts of interest, open meeting law, due process under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and public records issues.

Lawrence J. Rosenfeld
Squire Sanders
602-528-4886
www.squiresanders.com
Rosenfeld has more than 35 years of experience in the area of employment law and is a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

Debora Verdier
Sanders & Parks, P.C.
602-532-5760
www.sandersandparks.com
Verdier counsels companies with an eye toward preventing disputes and providing pre-litigation solutions and has experience in defending employers against EEOC charges and in litigating employment disputes.

Nathan Meyer dark gray background FINAL Small

Phoenix Litigation Attorney Receives Top Rating

Nathan D. Meyer, Partner at Jaburg & Wilk, P.C., has been selected as a “2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Commercial Litigation” by Martindale-Hubbell™ and American Lawyer Media.

Meyer received the distinction based upon his peer review rating as “AV Preeminent,” the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards from Martindale-Hubbell.

Super Lawyers recently named Meyer a “Rising Star,” an honor bestowed upon the best Arizona attorneys 40 or younger and awarded to no more than 2.5% of eligible attorneys.

Meyer’s practice areas include Commercial Litigation, Insurance Coverage & Bad Faith, General Liability Litigation and Professional Liability. He represents a variety of clients including private businesses, insurance companies, policy holders, lawyers, insurance agents, real estate agents and general contractors.

Lisa Borowsky, partner, Davis Miles McGuire Gardner, PLLC

2013 Top Lawyers list: Construction litigation

Az Business magazine’s 2013 top lawyer list was created after the editorial department asked Arizona law firms to nominate their two best attorneys from 16 different categories for consideration. Those nominees were put on a ballot and were voted on by their peers in the legal community and the readers of Az Business magazine to determine the exclusive 2013 Az Business Magazine Top Lawyers list.

Lisa Borowsky
Davis Miles McGuire Gardner, PLLC
480-733-6800
www.davismiles.com
The former Scottsdale City Council member’s areas of expertise include HOA, complex civil litigation, real estate, and general business law.

John Condrey
Gordon & Rees LLP
602-794-2460
www.gordonrees.com
For more than 20 years, Condrey has representwd general contractors, architects, engineers, developers and owners in matters including negligence claims, default terminations, delay and disruption claims, project development, land use, and other types of construction disputes.

Andy Kvesic
Ryley Carlock & Applewhite
602-440-4854
www.rcalaw.com
Kvesic represents clients in the construction industry litigating construction defect claims and mechanics’ liens rights.  Super Lawyers magazine recently recognized him as a 2012 Southwest Rising Star.

D. Kim Lough
Jennings, Haug & Cunningham, LLP
602-234-7824
www.jhc-law.com
Lough devotes a substantial majority of his practice to litigation. He has extensive trial experience in complex construction, employment discrimination and other civil and administrative cases.

Matthew B. Meaker
Sacks Tierney P.A.
480-425-2620
www.sackstierney.com
Meaker has been a business litigator since 2003, with his practice emphasizing providing legal advice to clients on all facets of commercial law and development issues.

William Nebeker
Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck, LLP
602-256-0000
www.knchlaw.com
Nebeker practices in the area of insurance litigation defense with an emphasis on personal injury and construction defect litigation.

Kevin P. Nelson
Tiffany & Bosco, P.A.
602-255-6028
www.tblaw.com
Nelson practices extensively in all areas of risk management related to the construction, real estate and mortgage industries.

Kevin E. O’Malley
Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A.
602-530-8430
www.gknet.com
O’Malley is head of the firm’s litigation department.  His practice covers a variety of civil litigation areas.

William J. Simon
Tiffany & Bosco, P.A.
602-255-6004
www.tblaw.com
Simon concentrates in construction related issues, both transactional and litigation. He also practices in insurance and commercial litigation and governmental administrative matters.

David C. Tierney
Sacks Tierney P.A.
480-425-2620
www.sackstierney.com
From 2003-2013, Tierney has been named to The Best Lawyers in America for arbitration, commercial litigation, construction litigation, mediation, and real estate litigation.

Denise J. Wachholz
Renaud Cook Drury Mesaros, PA
602-256-3073
www.rcdmlaw.com
Wachholz is her firm’s chair for the Construction Litigation Practice Group, which focuses on proceedings involving architects, engineers, and other design professionals; contractors, subcontractors, and project managers; and material and equipment suppliers.

Mark Worischeck
Sanders & Parks, P.C.
602-532-5795
www.sandersandparks.com
Worischeck’s practice emphasizes complex civil litigation, primarily in the areas of insurance coverage and insurance bad faith, aviation, construction litigation, directors and officers’ liability, professional liability defense and products liability.

Top Arizona Legal Cases - AZ Business Magazine September/October 2011

2013 Top Lawyers list: Commercial litigation

Az Business magazine’s 2013 top lawyer list was created after the editorial department asked Arizona law firms to nominate their two best attorneys from 16 different categories for consideration. Those nominees were put on a ballot and were voted on by their peers in the legal community and the readers of Az Business magazine to determine the exclusive 2013 Az Business Magazine Top Lawyers list.

Edward O. Comitz
Comitz | Beethe
480-998-7800
www.disabilitycounsel.net
Comitz heads the healthcare and disability insurance practice, earning a national reputation for prosecuting disability insurance claims on behalf of individuals based on bad faith and unfair business practices.

John R. (Jack) Cunningham
Jennings, Haug & Cunningham, LLP
602-234-7814
www.jhc-law.com
Cunningham’s practice includes both prosecution and defense of personal injury cases, all types of professional malpractice cases, litigation of insurance coverage and bad faith issues, general commercial litigation, as well as general trial and appellate work.

Garrick Gallagher
Sanders & Parks, P.C.
602-532-5720
www.sandersandparks.com
Gallagher’s practice includes insurance bad faith, insurance coverage, insurance coverage litigation, excess and surplus lines, directors and officers liability, personal injury, wrongful death, products liability, professional negligence, construction, and intellectual property litigation.

Richard H. Himelrick
Tiffany & Bosco, P.A.
602-255-6021
www.tblaw.com
Himelrick chairs Tiffany & Bosco’s Civil and Commercial Litigation Department. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Southwest Super Lawyers, Litigation Counsel of America and Who’s Who in American Law.

Michael K. Kennedy
Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A.
602-530-8504
www.gknet.com
Kennedy, co-founding partner of Gallagher & Kennedy, practices in general civil litigation and serves as local, regional and national counsel to a variety of business clients.

Christopher A. LaVoy
Tiffany & Bosco, P.A.
602-452-2731
www.tblaw.com
LaVoy concentrates his practice in commercial litigation with significant experience in the following areas: business buy-sell disputes; partnership and shareholder disputes; insurance coverage disputes; commercial landlord-tenant disputes; and business torts.

Thomas Littler
Gordon Silver
602-256-0400
www.gordonsilver.com
The focus of Littler’s practice is representing debtors and creditors, trustees, official committees, and secured creditors in reorganizations throughout a wide range of industries including construction, real estate, and technology.

Steven G. Mesaros
Renaud Cook Drury Mesaros, PA
602-256-3002
www.rcdmlaw.com
Mesaros is the firm practice group chair in both the Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith and Professional Liability groups.

Gregory L. Miles
Davis Miles McGuire Gardner, PLLC
480-344-4048
www.davismiles.com
Miles, who has an “AV Preeminent” rating by the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings system, focuses his practice on business, commercial litigation and real estate.

Mark A. Nadeau
DLA Piper
480-606-5110
www.dlapiper.com
Nadeau is a published author, with articles concerning trade competition, product liability and dispute resolution for transfers of technology.

Leon Silver
Polsinelli
602-650-2066
www.polsinelli.com
Silver is a trial lawyer with more than 20 years’ experience handling complex commercial and real estate disputes. His clients include national and multi-national retailers, restaurants and manufacturers, and real estate investors and developers.

Donald A. Wall
Squire Sanders
602-528-4005
www.squiresanders.com
Wall has nearly 40 years of experience handling a broad range of commercial litigation and other methods of dispute resolution. He is recognized in the 2013 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Goldwater Institute

2013 Top Lawyers list: Business/corporate law

Az Business magazine’s 2013 top lawyer list was created after the editorial department asked Arizona law firms to nominate their two best attorneys from 16 different categories for consideration. Those nominees were put on a ballot and were voted on by their peers in the legal community and the readers of Az Business magazine to determine the exclusive 2013 Az Business Magazine Top Lawyers list.

Jessica Benford
Ryley Carlock & Applewhite
602-440-4866
www.rcalaw.com
Benford counsels clients regarding general corporate representation, including corporate formation and governance. She also handles securities enforcement and regulation matters.

Charles E. Davis
Davis Miles McGuire Gardner, PLLC
480-733-6800
www.davismiles.com
Davis has an “AV Preeminent” rating by the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings system, which connotes the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards.

Gerald Gregory Eagleburger
Sanders & Parks, P.C.
602-532-5692
www.sandersandparks.com
Eagleburger’s practice includes all types of transactional, commercial/business and personal asset matters, including formation and governance of corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies.

Stephanie Fierro
The Frutkin Law Firm, PLC
602-606-9300
www.frutkinlaw.com
Fierro’s practice focuses on general counsel business law and estate planning. She brings the firm a wide range of experience and interests including all aspects of corporate transactional work, estate planning, and tax representation.

Jonathan B. Frutkin
The Frutkin Law Firm, PLC
602-606-9300
www.frutkinlaw.com
Frutkin is the principal attorney at The Frutkin Law Firm and brings areas of expertise in the practice areas of corporate and business law, corporate bankruptcy, and commercial litigation.

Phillip Guttilla
Polsinelli
602-650-2327
www.polsinelli.com
Guttilla Guttilla serves as general corporate counsel to his clients ranging from emerging growth companies to multi-national enterprises.

Gregory R. Hall
DLA Piper
480-606-5128
www.dlapiper.com
Hall regularly counsels clients on a broad range of corporate, securities and business-related matters and matters affecting corporate policy and strategy, including directors’ duties and responsibilities and other aspects of corporate governance.

Travis J. Leach
Jennings Strouss
602-262-5806
www.jsslaw.com
Leach focuses his practice in the area of corporate, securities, and finance. He also helps lead the firm’s Sports and Entertainment practice, coinseling professional athletes, coaches, entertainers, and ownership groups.

Brian Moll
Polsinelli
602-650-2302
www.polsinelli.com
Moll practices in the areas of corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, and commercial contracts. He has extensive experience in assisting businesses in all stages of their operations, from start-up to a mature business.

Robert A. Royal
Tiffany & Bosco, P.A.
602-255-6011
www.tblaw.com
Royal’s practice emphasizes intra-corporate dispute and director, officer and manager liability issues.

Terence W. Thompson
Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A.
602-530-8515
www.gknet.com
Thompson’s practice emphasizes corporate business acquisitions; public-private projects, including strategic joint ventures; Native American enterprises and projects; water/wastewater infrastructure development; sports facility financing; and physician-hospital contracts.

Nancy White
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
602-257-5213
www.steptoe.com
White’s practice emphasizes international and domestic transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, purchases and sales of capital assets and real property, project finance, asset-based financings, asset securitizations, and private placements of debt and equity securities..

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Ogletree Deakins Elects Shareholders

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. (Ogletree Deakins), one of the largest labor and employment law firms representing management, is pleased to announce that Christopher J. Meister and Nonnie L. Shivers, from the firm’s Phoenix office, have been elected to the position of shareholder.

Meister has extensive experience litigating matters involving trade secrets and confidential information in state and federal courts and administrative agencies throughout the United States. Meister regularly provides practical and strategic advice to clients regarding compliance with federal and state employment laws, employment policies, and employer best practices to avoid employment litigation. He also utilizes his corporate law experience and business acumen to regularly assist clients with complex employment and incentive agreements, noncompetition and nonsolicitation agreements, confidentiality agreements, and severance agreements. Meister earned his J.D. from the Wake Forest School of Law.

Shivers focuses her practice on defending employers against allegations of discrimination, sexual harassment and wrongful termination in state and federal court, as well as administrative forums. She also regularly provides advice and guidance to employers on reductions in force, disability issues and pre-litigation disciplinary matters. Shivers regularly speaks on current and emerging employment law topics and has published several scholarly articles focused on employment law. Prior to joining Ogletree Deakins, Shivers served as a law clerk to the Honorable Patricia K. Norris on the Arizona Court of Appeals. She earned her J.D. from the University of Arizona.

Nonexempt Vs. Exempt Employees

Arizona employers face an onslaught of wage and hour claims

For Shayna Balch, business is booming.

Since the start of 2012, the labor attorney at Fisher & Phillips in Phoenix is seeing — on average — one to three wage and hour cases filed each day. This is compared with one or two a month in previous years. Nationally, the number of new Fair Labor Standards Act suits lodged in federal courts between 2010 and 2011 jumped more than 15 percent, according to Federal Judicial Caseload Statistics.

Historically, Balch says wage and hour cases have not been an issue in Arizona. Because of that, employers are not prepared for the trend and she worries that this a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.

“There are multiple causes (for the increase)” says John Thompson, who handles wage-hour cases at Fisher & Phillips and is the editor of the firm’s Wage Hour Laws Blog.

“They include a greater familiarity of plaintiff’s lawyers with wage-hour laws and with the many areas in which non-compliance can occur; workers’ increasing awareness of wage-hour requirements — including via the Internet and the media; the growing number and complexity of the laws themselves;  and the stepped-up enforcement efforts of government officials.”

As the economy suffered and employers looked for ways to reduce labor costs, many of the cost-cutting measures conflicted with employment laws, according to Phoenix attorney John Doran of Sherman & Howard, and that has led to an avalanche of wage and hour claims. The number of collective actions has increased by more than 400 percent nationally in the last decade. In Arizona, the increase has been even more dramatic.

“In Arizona, there has been a sudden and dramatic increase in wage and hour collective and class actions,” Doran says. “This should be a source of serious concern for Arizona employers.”

It’s particularly stressful for employers desperately trying to recover from the recession.

“Employers have looked for every possible angle to reduce labor costs including overtime, and many of those angles simply do not jive with the wage and hour laws,” Doran says. “This has been especially true with employers trying to convert their employees into independent contractors, which is an extremely difficult, and often mishandled strategy that has the attention of the Department of Labor and the I.R.S.”

The Department of Labor has increased its strength thanks to a significant bump in funding under the Obama Administration, increasing both its enforcement and public awareness campaigns. More than 250 new investigators have been hired and the revitalized Wage & Hour Division launched its “We Can Help” campaign in 2010 to increase visibility and accessibility to workers.

“The DOL has also been more aggressive in pursuing employers, by expanding the scope of wage and hour investigations, issuing more administrative subpoenas, and imposing more penalties on employers,” says Phoenix attorney Tracy A. Miller, shareholder. Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

And the DOL is making it even easier for employees to build cases against their employers. Last year, the DOL developed a smartphone application that allowed employees to keep track of their own time and monitor employer compliance with certain wage and hour requirements. The DOL also created hard copy “exhibits” for employees to track their time. In taking these steps, the DOL has stated that employees must be paid for any work they do, regardless of where they do it.

Empowered with DOL-provided tools, “We are seeing more individuals who file suit on their own behalf,” says Stephanie Quincy, a partner in the labor and employment practice group for Steptoe & Johnson. “In Arizona, if wages are not paid when they are due or the wages are withheld without a good faith reason, the employee is entitled to three times the amount, as a punishment for the employer. We are seeing employees filing these suits themselves, without an attorney.”

So where are employers most susceptible?

“The biggest increase has been in lawsuits and investigations involving workers who claim to be misclassified as independent contractors,” Miller says. “Failing to pay workers for pre-shift and post-shift activities, such as computer boot-up and power-down, is also still a hot issue. Another common mistake that the DOL and private litigants are focusing on is the failure to include bonuses and commissions when calculating overtime. Wage payments during temporary company shut downs and furloughs has been a hot issue, although usually these issues are resolved without a lawsuit.  Cases involving the misuse of the tip credit or tip pools have also been on the rise.  Finally, we continue to see off-the-clock cases from employees who work remotely and/or routinely use smartphones.”

All of this is a conundrum for employers, considering the changing face of the economy and the workplace. The DOL is encouraging employers to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act, which was enacted in 1938 when people worked at work. Now, thanks to technology, many of us can work anywhere and anytime.

To protect themselves, employers of all sizes should engage in serious introspection, Doran advises.

“An internal wage and hour audit, if not a must, is still the most valuable tool employers have to fend off such claims,” Doran says, “Annual or bi-annual audits would include analyzing job descriptions and comparing them with what is actually happening in the workplace day to day; examining timekeeper practices; ensuring that supervisors and managers are adequately and accurately carrying out otherwise compliant pay practices; and much, much more. These audits are best conducted through outside legal counsel in order to cloak them in attorney-client privilege.”

Quincy says employers should examine each employee and determine if the employee — not the position — is doing the type of work that is considered “exempt” or “non-exempt.” Non-exempt employees must be paid overtime. Employers should also carefully examine deductions from pay and time, including automatic deductions such as rest and meal breaks. Employers must train supervisors that any changes to hours worked must be explained to the employee and the employee must sign off on them.  The employer should hold supervisors accountable for encouraging — or pressuring — employees to work off the clock or not to accurately record their hours.

“Often businesses feel as though they must be in compliance because they have been paying workers in the same way for years without any problems,” Miller says. “Very few businesses are completely in compliance with the wage and hour laws, however, and an investigation or a lawsuit is an expensive way to learn about violations.  Businesses that proactively audit their pay practices end up saving a lot of money in the long run.”

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Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner, P.C. earns distinction

North Scottsdale law firm, Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner, P.C., was ranked among the U.S. News and World Report Best Law Firms 2013, in the areas of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law. NGD has two certified specialists in Bankruptcy Law: Randy Nussbaum and Dean Dinner.

All named partners of Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner — Randy Nussbaum, Gregory Gillis and Dean Dinner — were ranked among U.S. News & World Report Best Lawyers in America 2013 (tier 1) for Arizona. Randy Nussbaum and Dean Dinner were ranked for Bankruptcy and Reorganization Law, and Gregory Gillis for Construction Law and Commercial Litigation.