Tag Archives: quarles & brady

Legal

Controversial NLRB Posting Rule Declared Invalid

On May 7, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down the final rule issued by the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) on August 30, 2011, which would have required that all employers subject to the NLRB’s jurisdiction post a prescribed notice to employees and also place the notice on their intranets or web pages if they use such tools to communicate with their employees. The notice, which was created by the NLRB, informs employees of their right to join or create a union, bargain collectively, strike and picket, and engage in certain other conduct. The notice also identifies certain actions which, if taken by employers or unions, would be unlawful. We advised in alerts we issued on October 4, 2011, and again on April 17, 2012, that employers should wait to learn the outcome of litigation challenging the NLRB’s rule before posting the required notice.

The NLRB’s rule provides that an employer’s failure to post will be an unfair labor practice, will suspend the running of the six-month deadline to file any unfair labor practice charge against the employer, and may be evidence of the employer’s unlawful motive in NLRB cases challenging other conduct by the employer.

Relying upon Section 8(c) of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”), a provision enshrining the free speech rights of employers provided that speech does not contain threats or promises of benefits, the court reasoned that freedom of speech not only protects the expression or dissemination of opinions and views, but also prohibits the government from telling people what they must say. The court concluded that the NLRB’s rule is invalid because it violates Section 8(c).

The court also concluded that the rule is invalid because the NLRB lacked authority to extend the six-month limitation period for the filing of unfair labor practices, which Congress had placed in the NLRA. The case name is National Assn of Manufacturers v. NLRB.

The NLRB may now seek to have this case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, which is not obligated to take the case. While all employers are now free of the NLRB’s posting requirement unless and until the Supreme Court reverses this decision, government contractors and subcontractors remain obligated to post a very similar notice if they work under a contract of $100,000 or more that contains a posting requirement pursuant to executive order.
Jon Pettibone is managing partner at Quarles & Brady. He can be reached at (602) 230-5572 or jon.pettibone@quarles.com.

Benjamin Tietgen

Tietgen Joins Quarles & Brady’s IP Group

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced that Benjamin D. Tietgen has joined the firm’s Phoenix office as an attorney in the Intellectual Property Group.

Prior to joining the firm, Tietgen worked at Etherton Law Group, LLC in Tempe, Arizona. His practice focuses on the preparation of patent applications covering inventions in a variety of industrial and technological fields. Tietgen’s experience also includes drafting and negotiating IP asset licenses and assignments and developing IP portfolios for independent inventors and emerging companies across a broad range of high and low technologies.

He received his law degree from Arizona State University College of Law and his undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri.

Benjamin Tietgen

Tietgen Joins Quarles & Brady's IP Group

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced that Benjamin D. Tietgen has joined the firm’s Phoenix office as an attorney in the Intellectual Property Group.

Prior to joining the firm, Tietgen worked at Etherton Law Group, LLC in Tempe, Arizona. His practice focuses on the preparation of patent applications covering inventions in a variety of industrial and technological fields. Tietgen’s experience also includes drafting and negotiating IP asset licenses and assignments and developing IP portfolios for independent inventors and emerging companies across a broad range of high and low technologies.

He received his law degree from Arizona State University College of Law and his undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri.

Nicole Stanton

Stanton honored by Echo Magazine

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced that Nicole France Stanton, a partner in the firm’s Phoenix office, received an Echo Magazine Readers’ Choice Award in the category of “Outstanding Service by a Woman.” Stanton’s husband Mayor Greg Stanton was also named in the category of “Leader of Political Action and Advocacy.”

Developed in 2006, Echo Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards name the community’s favorite leaders, events and hot spots. This year, 26 categories covered community leadership, community and cultural events, bars and other establishments. Winners are determined by online voting. Honorees were named at the Readers’ Choice event on April 4 in Phoenix and will also be featured in the April 11 edition of Echo Magazine.

Stanton is a member of the Quarles & Brady Commercial Litigation Group. Her experience includes defense of local and national law firms in legal malpractice actions and other business litigation disputes. She also is a member of Charter 100 Women, serves as a founding board member and past president of the Women’s Metropolitan Arts Council of the Phoenix Art Museum, and she is an adjunct professor at Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, teaching Professional Responsibility. Within the past year, Stanton received the Outstanding Service by Straight Ally Award and was named Man and Woman of the Year with husband Mayor Greg Stanton by Echo Magazine.

A graduate of Valley Leadership Class XXIX, Stanton was the YWCA of Maricopa County’s 2011 Tribute to Women honoree. She received her law degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Arizona and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah.

Goldwater Institute

22 Quarles Attorneys make Southwest Super Lawyers

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced that twenty-two of its local attorneys have been named by Southwest Super Lawyers® magazine as among the top five percent of attorneys in Arizona for 2013. Susan Boswell, James Ullman, and Jeffrey Wolf were named among the Top 50 attorneys in Arizona and Susan Boswell, Lisa Duran, and Diane Haller were also named among the Top 25 Female attorneys in Arizona.

Additionally, 10 Quarles & Brady attorneys were named by Southwest Super Lawyers & Rising Stars as among the top up-and-coming attorneys in the state for 2013. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of lawyers in the state are named to the list.

Attorneys from the firm’s Arizona offices who were selected for inclusion in the 2013 Southwest Super Lawyers list are:

Brian R. Booker – Business Litigation
Susan G. Boswell – Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights
Lisa D. Duran – Immigration
Roger K. Ferland – Environmental
Isaac M. Gabriel – Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights
Diane M. Haller – Real Estate
John A. Harris – Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights
Craig H. Kaufman – Business Litigation
Don P. Martin – Business Litigation
Roger N. Morris – Health Care
James F. Morrow – Banking
P. Robert Moya – Mergers & Acquisitions
John Maston O’Neal – Business Litigation
Jon E. Pettibone – Employment & Labor
Kevin D. Quigley – Business Litigation
James A. Ryan – Business Litigation
Derek L. Sorenson – Real Estate
Nicole France Stanton – Professional Liability: Defense
James A. Ullman – Franchise/Dealership
C. Bradley Vynalek – Business Litigation
Lori L. Winkelman – Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights
Jeffrey H. Wolf – Franchise/Dealership

Quarles & Brady attorneys from the firm’s Arizona offices who were named to the 2013 Southwest Rising Stars list are:

Heather L. Buchta – Intellectual Property
Amy Cotton – Health Care
John S. Craiger – Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights
David E. Funkhouser III – Business Litigation
Craig J. O’Loughlin – Employment & Labor
Ryan S. Patterson – Business Litigation
Kelly E. Singer – Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights
Rowan P. Smith – Intellectual Property
Lauren Elliott Stine – Business Litigation
James L. Ugalde – Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights

skd258400sdc

2013 Top Lawyers list: Banking

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.

Mark Barker
Jennings, Haug & Cunningham, LLP
602-234-7828
www.jhc-law.com
Barker has a busy commercial transaction practice representing financial institutions and Arizona small businesses.

Mark S. Bosco
Tiffany & Bosco, P.A.
602-255-6006
www.tblaw.com
Bosco has published numerous articles on mortgage banking, default servicing and related topics.

Michael A. Bosco
Tiffany & Bosco, P.A.
602-255-6002
www.tblaw.com
As one of the largest financial services practices in the nation, Bosco represents more than 40 top banks and mortgage lenders including Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

Tia Cottey
Bryan Cave LLP
602-364-7012
www.bryancave.com
Cottey’s practice emphasizes all aspects of real estate finance and real estate capital markets, including the representation of lenders, commercial mortgage loan servicers, special servicers, participants, and co-lenders.

Erick S. Durlach
Renaud Cook Drury Mesaros, PA
602-256-3008
www.rcdmlaw.com
Durlach  obtained summary judgment and dismissal of an action against a financial institution relating to claims for fraud, misrepresentation and indemnification.

Susan Gilman
Gordon Silver
602-256-0400
www.gordonsilver.com
Gilman is the chair of the firm’s Finance & Banking Practice Group and focuses her practice in areas of finance, banking and financial institutions/loan program development.

Richard H. Herold
Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.
602-382-6223
www.swlaw.com
A substantial portion of Herold’s work focuses on prosecuting claims for financial institutions, including commercial receiverships, trustee’s sales and post-sale deficiency litigation.

Stephen A. Lenn
Sacks Tierney P.A.
480-425-2619
www.sackstierney.com
Lenn’s practice focuses on banking law and regulation and debt and equity finance. He authored the article “Incentive Compensation for Banks in the Dodd-Frank Era” in February 2012.

Matthew Mehr
Quarles & Brady LLP
602-229-5288
www.quarles.com
Mehr focuses in the areas of real estate, commercial and tax-exempt finance. His experience includes negotiation and documentation of loan workout, extension and modification, and forbearance agreements.

Edmund F. Richardson
Davis Miles McGuire Gardner, PLLC
480-733-6800
www.davismiles.com
Richardson has more than 38 years experience and expertise in business, real estate and lending transactions and litigation in Arizona law firms and as in-house counsel to a real estate development firm.

Mike Ripp
Ryley Carlock & Applewhite
602-440-4823
www.rcalaw.com
Ripp heads up the firm’s banking and finance practice, which was recently recognized in U.S. News & World Report’s inaugural “Best Law Firms” rankings as a “Tier 1” (top tier) practice in the Phoenix market.

Peter Terry
Quarles & Brady LLP
602-230-5506
www.quarles.com
Terry focuses in the areas of banking, commercial finance and real estate development and his experience includes representation of financial institutions in asset based and real estate financing.

Christian Stahl

Stahl Joins Quarles & Brady’s IP Group

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced that Christian G. Stahl has joined the firm’s Phoenix office as an associate in the Intellectual Property Group.

Stahl represents clients in many aspects of intellectual property enforcement and litigation (patents, copyrights, trade secrets, trademarks, trade dress, unfair competition and false advertising), including cease and desist actions, fact and expert discovery, motion practice, claim construction, inter partes proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, domain disputes, and UDRP proceedings. He also advises and assists clients on the acquisition, protection and exploitation of their intellectual property in brand licensing and market collateral.

He earned his law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law and his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University.

Christian Stahl

Stahl Joins Quarles & Brady’s IP Group

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced that Christian G. Stahl has joined the firm’s Phoenix office as an associate in the Intellectual Property Group.

Stahl represents clients in many aspects of intellectual property enforcement and litigation (patents, copyrights, trade secrets, trademarks, trade dress, unfair competition and false advertising), including cease and desist actions, fact and expert discovery, motion practice, claim construction, inter partes proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, domain disputes, and UDRP proceedings. He also advises and assists clients on the acquisition, protection and exploitation of their intellectual property in brand licensing and market collateral.

He earned his law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law and his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University.

602-264-6404

Quarles & Brady Immigration attorney honored

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced that Lisa D. Duran, a partner in the firm’s Phoenix office, was named to The International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers 2013 by Who’s Who Legal.

Duran was among 476 individuals in the world to be named leading corporate immigration lawyers. Nominees are selected based upon comprehensive, independent surveys with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed. The International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers 2013 guide will be published in April.

Duran practices in the areas of commercial litigation, international business law and immigration law. Her experience includes representing clients in international arbitration proceedings, assisting clients in negotiating and documenting international transactions requiring Spanish language fluency, representing corporations in sponsoring foreign national professionals for employment-based non-immigrant and immigrant visas (“green cards”), and representing foreign nationals in obtaining United States citizenship administratively and through federal court litigation. She is an Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law, where she teaches business immigration law.

Duran was named in Best Lawyers’ 2012 Phoenix Immigration Law Lawyer of the Year. She earned her law degree from Arizona State University College of Law and her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois respectively.

602-264-6404

Quarles & Brady Immigration attorney honored

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced that Lisa D. Duran, a partner in the firm’s Phoenix office, was named to The International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers 2013 by Who’s Who Legal.

Duran was among 476 individuals in the world to be named leading corporate immigration lawyers. Nominees are selected based upon comprehensive, independent surveys with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed. The International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers 2013 guide will be published in April.

Duran practices in the areas of commercial litigation, international business law and immigration law. Her experience includes representing clients in international arbitration proceedings, assisting clients in negotiating and documenting international transactions requiring Spanish language fluency, representing corporations in sponsoring foreign national professionals for employment-based non-immigrant and immigrant visas (“green cards”), and representing foreign nationals in obtaining United States citizenship administratively and through federal court litigation. She is an Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law, where she teaches business immigration law.

Duran was named in Best Lawyers’ 2012 Phoenix Immigration Law Lawyer of the Year. She earned her law degree from Arizona State University College of Law and her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois respectively.

hispanic

The 25 Most Influential Hispanic Business Leaders

Benito Almanza
Arizona president
Bank of America
Born into a family of migrant workers, Almanza is now responsible for all lines of business efforts, community and civic activities in the state. The graduate of Stanford University and the University of Santa Clara has been with Bank of America for 30 years, working in California before moving to Arizona in 1992.
His hope for his professional legacy: “Hiring top talent and developing them to replace me someday.”
Surprising fact: “Growing up working with my family in the fields helped me better understand agribusiness banking.”

Marty Alvarez
CEO, principal in charge
Sun Eagle Corporation
Alvarez is founder of family-owned and operated Sun Eagle, one of the top minority-owned general contracting and construction management firms in the country. He has been a chair and officer for the Associated Minority Contractors of America since 1993.
His hope for his professional legacy: “That our well-constructed buildings improved the landscape, and our assistance to individuals and families improved lives.”
Surprising fact: “I have been involved with Shotokan Karate continuously for the past 39 years.”

Victor M. Aranda
Area president, Northern Arizona
Wells Fargo Arizona
Aranda manages six Wells Fargo Community Banking markets; Northeast Arizona, Central Arizona, White Mountains, North Phoenix, North Scottsdale and Scottsdale. He is responsible for 816 team members, 69 banking stores, and $4.1 billion in deposits. A 25-year financial services veteran, Aranda presently serves as a board member for Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Valley Leadership Arizona.
His hope for his professional legacy: “My passion in life is to add value to those I come in contact with.  What I would like to be remembered for is how I spent my life serving, helping and developing the leaders of tomorrow.”
Surprising fact: “I was involved and directed a church Spanish choir and I have also sang in Las Vegas at the Bellagio Hotel.”

Tony Astorga
Retired CFO
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
Astorga recently retired from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona where he served as the Senior Vice President, CFO & CBDO since 1988. He currently serves as chairman of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation and is a member of the board of directors for the Arizona Community Foundation, AZHCC, ASU Foundation, CSA General Insurance Agency, Phoenix Art Museum, and US Bank Arizona.
His hope for his professional legacy: “I would like to be remembered in my profession as a CPA and CFO for being a good mentor and for helping develop my staff in their work ethic and level of growth.”
Surprising fact: “I have a sweet tooth for twinkies or that my favorite movie is ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’, I still laugh when I think about the movie”.

Miguel Bravo
Senior community development consultant
Arizona Public Service Company
Bravo is responsible for directing community development initiatives statewide to help serve diverse markets for APS. He also collaborates with economic development organizations to attract industry to Arizona. Bravo also serves the boards of Friendly House, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Latino Center at Morrison Institute, Boys Hope Girls Hope and Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates.
His hope for his professional legacy: “For conducting business with integrity, purpose, passion; and for having a conviction for public service.”
Surprising fact: “I became a US Citizen in 2007. Having grown up in Arizona, this was one of my proudest moments.”

José Cárdenas
Senior vice president and general counsel
Arizona State University
Before joining ASU in 2009, Cárdenas was chairman at Lewis & Roca, where he became the first Hispanic to serve as managing partner of a major law firm in Arizona. A Stanford Law School graduate, Cárdenas has served on many boards and commissions and has received various awards.
His hope for his professional legacy: “As a good lawyer who served his clients and community well with the utmost integrity.”
Surprising fact: Cárdenas was involved with death penalty cases for more than 30 years.

America Corrales-Bortin
Co-founder
America’s Taco Shop
Corrales-Bortin grew up Culiacán in Sinaloa, Mexico, watching her mother prepare the dishes that would become the recipes for success at America’s Taco Shop. Founded in 2008, America’s authentic carne asada and al pastor quickly built a following that has led to rapid expansion and a partnership Kahala, a franchise development company. So far in 2013, America’s has already moved into California, Texas and Maryland.
Her hope for her professional legacy: “As someone who has a passion for the food we serve at America’s Taco Shop.”
Surprising fact: “People would be surprised that I am named after a famous soccer team in Mexico.”

Gonzalo de la Melena Jr.
President and CEO
Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
In addition to leading the Hispanic Chamber, de la Melena Jr. operates the Phoenix Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), the state’s leading advocate representing more than 100,000 minority business enterprises. De la Melena is also the Founder of edmVentures, LLC a small business investment company with holdings in Phoenix airport concessions at Sky Harbor International.
His hope for his professional legacy: “Helping small businesses succeed.”
Surprising fact: “I had the opportunity to do business in more than 30 countries before the age of 30.”

Robert Espiritu
Acquisition marketing
American Express
Espiritu’s diversified professional experience includes working for small business enterprises as well as corporate 100 businesses in the areas of sales, marketing and financial management. He has also been actively involved with various nonprofit organizations; most recently as the former chairman of the board for the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
His hope for his professional legacy: “Innovative and focused leader who delivers with energy and is known for building successful relationships and high performing teams.”
Surprising fact: “As a first generation American, I am passionate about helping aspiring and under-privileged youth achieve their dreams and advocating for Hispanic career advancement, education and scholarships.”

Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick
Executive vice chancellor and provost
Maricopa Community Colleges
Harper-Marinick oversees all areas of academic and student affairs, workforce development, and strategic planning. She serves on several national and local boards including ABEC and AMEPAC, which she chairs.  Originally from the Dominican Republic, Harper-Marinick came to ASU as a Fulbright Scholar.
Her hope for her professional legacy: “Passion for, and unwavering commitment to, public education as the foundation of a democratic society.”
Surprising fact: “The joy I get from driving fast cars.”

Julio Herrera
National Spanish Sales and Retention Director
Cox Communications
Herrera and his team work across markets and cross-functional departments to drive Spanish language sales and grow Cox’s Hispanic markets nationally. He also helped establish LIDER, a leadership program tailored for Hispanic team members looking for advancement opportunities in Phoenix and Southern Arizona.
His hope for his professional legacy: “Growing and improving the Hispanic customer experience and making a difference our communities.”
Surprising fact: “Spanish was my first language and I started my career in sales leadership at 18 ears old.”

Lori Higuera
Director
Fennemore Craig
Higuera defends, provides counsel and trains employers of all sizes. She’s a Southwest Super Lawyer, an employment law expert for the Arizona Republic/Arizona Business Gazette and is a recent recipient of the High-Level Business Spanish Diploma from the Madrid Chamber of Commerce.
Her hope for her professional legacy: “A skilled lawyer who elevated the practice by integrating the diverse perspectives of our community.”
Surprising fact: “I was fired from my first job as a Santa’s helper for being too social!”

Ana María López, MD, MPH, FACP
Associate dean, outreach and multicultural affairs
Professor of medicine (Tenured) and pathology, College of Medicine
Medical director, Arizona Telemedicine Program
University of Arizona
López has a passion for addressing health inequities and human suffering. From clinical research with molecular targets to health services research, her work focuses on optimizing the health of individuals and communities.
Her hope for her professional legacy: “Life is an opportunity to contribute. I hope to contribute, to make a difference.”
Surprising fact: “I love simple pleasures. Witnessing the daily miracle of the sun rising sustains me.”

Paul Luna
President and CEO
Helios Education Foundation
Luna leads Helios Education Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to creating opportunities for individuals in Arizona and Florida to succeed in postsecondary education. He is the former president of Valley of the Sun United Way and has held positions with Pepsi, IBM and the Office of Governor Bruce Babbitt.
His hope for his professional legacy: “That I cared about our community and helped make it better.”
Surprising fact: “I’m seriously considering getting matching tattoos with my kids in the near future.”

Steve Macias
President and CEO
Pivot Manufacturing
Macias is a co-owner of Pivot Manufacturing, a Phoenix machine shop, chairs the Arizona Manufacturers Council, and is on the boards of the Arizona Commerce Authority and the Arizona Hispanic Chamber. He is an active proponent of manufacturing in Arizona and a proud father of three boys.
His hope for his professional legacy: “Contributed in some small way to the sustainment of manufacturing in Arizona.”
Surprising fact: “In high school, I was the school mascot – a Bronco.”

Mario Martinez II
CEO
360 Vantage
Martinez is responsible for the overall vision, strategy and execution of 360 Vantage, a leader in cloud-based sales and marketing technology solutions designed to solve the unique challenges of the mobile workforce in life sciences, healthcare and other industries.
His hope for his professional legacy: “I would most like to be remembered for truly changing the lives of our clients, employees and our community in great and meaningful ways.”
Surprising fact: “I hosted a radio show during my college years.”

Clarence McCallister
CEO
Fortis Networks, Inc.
McAllister was born in Panama and earned his master’s in electrical engineering from ASU. In 2000, he and his wife started Fortis Networks, Inc., a certified 8a and HUBzone government contractor specializing in engineering, construction and technology services.
His hope for his professional legacy: “Building a world-class organization that always exceeds our customers’ expectations.”
Surprising fact: “I did an emergency landing on a City of Mesa street.”

Rodolfo Parga, Jr.
Managing shareholder
Ryley Carlock & Applewhite
In addition to managing a law firm with 120 attorneys, Parga has been to Best Lawyers in America for the last four years. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Chicanos Por la Causa, a leading non-profit helping advance and create economic and educational opportunities.
His hope for his professional legacy: “I want to be remembered as always trying to do the right thing and having led with integrity.”
Surprising fact: “I was bullied until age 11, which drove me not only to strengthen my body, but my resolve.”

Hector Peñuñuri
Senior planning analyst
SRP
Peñuñuri is an Arizona native and has spent most of the past 15 years in the Customer Services Division at SRP.  He has served on several boards including the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and LISC.  He was raised in the West Valley, and currently resides in Gilbert.
His hope for his professional legacy: “A trusted and valuable team member/leader; a communicator who understands the importance of sharing knowledge to help others.”
Surprising fact: “I’m a jack of all trades – woodworker, photographer, musician, outdoorsman and a decent cook when I put my mind to it.”

Dan Puente
Owner
D.P. Electric
Puente founded D.P. Electric in 1990 out of his garage with one truck. D.P. Electric now has more than 200 employees and generated more than $30 million in revenue in 2012, making it the biggest Hispanic-owned company in Arizona.
His hope for his professional legacy: “A guy that is fair, honest, hard-working and gives back both personally and professionally.”
Surprising fact: “Professionally, that I do not have a college degree and personally, that I am a Bikram Yoga junkie.”

Marie Torres
Founder
MRM Construction Services
Torres is an Arizona native and built her business in the community that she grew up in. With more than 30 years experience in the construction field, she started MRM in 2002 and currently has more than 50 employees. The focus of her company has been in government contracting and has self performed airfield work at Luke AFB, MCAS Yuma and Davis Monthan.
Her hope for her professional legacy: “As being technically competent.”
Surprising fact: “I don’t like to drive and I am happy as a passenger – even in my own car.”

Lisa Urias
President and CEO
Urias Communications
After 15 years in international marketing and communications, Urias founded Urias Communications to address the need for advertising and PR with a uniquely multicultural focus. Now an award-winning advertising, and PR agency, Urias Communications specializes in the multicultural markets of the U.S. Southwest, with concentration on the burgeoning Hispanic market.
Her hope for her professional legacy: “Bridging the divide between corporations and the growing Hispanic community for mutual benefit and respect.”
Surprising fact: “I am a fourth-generation Arizonan whose grandfather was the first Hispanic city councilman.”

Dawn C. Valdivia
Partner, chair of the Labor & Employment Practice Group
Quarles & Brady
Valdivia is the chair of Quarles & Brady’s Labor and Employment Group in Phoenix. She regularly advises clients in all matters of labor and employment law and is skilled in complex litigation matters, including wage and hour class action litigation in Arizona and California.
Her hope for her professional legacy: “A creative problem solver, committed to her clients and to giving back to the community.”
Surprising fact: “I love adventure — sky diving, gliding, scuba diving, helicopters, etc.”

Lorena Valencia
CEO
Reliance Wire
Valencia is the founder and CEO of Reliance Wire Systems, a wire and tubing manufacturing company she founded in 2000. She is also the founder and president of Magin Corporation — an eco-friendly wood pallet alternative company — and the FRDM Foundation.
Her hope for her professional legacy: “Empowering children by building schools and libraries in impoverished countries through my FRDM Foundation.”
Surprising fact: “I put hot peppers on almost everything I eat. The hotter. the better.”

Roberto Yañez
Vice president and GM
Univision Arizona
Yañez is a 27-year broadcast television veteran, who has served 17 of those years with the Univision Television Group (UTG). Yañez has created various opportunities that helped build the station’s relationship with the community: Cadena de Gente Buena, El 34 Esta Aqui and Ya Es Hora.
His hope for his professional legacy: “Someone who used his craft to build bridges between the problem and the solution.”
Surprising fact: “Though Monday through Friday you will never see me without a suit and tie, I am most comfortable in boots, jeans and driving a pick-up truck.”

Dawn Valdivia

Quarles & Brady appoints Valdivia as Practice Group Chair

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced that Phoenix partner Dawn C. Valdivia has been named the Phoenix Office’s Labor & Employment Practice Group Chair.

Valdivia has extensive experience advising clients about labor issues and representing clients before the NLRB and in other labor matters including union organizing campaigns, collective bargaining, and labor arbitrations. In addition, Valdivia is skilled in complex litigation matters, including wage and hour class action litigation in Arizona and California. She regularly represents clients before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor, Industrial Commission, Arizona Civil Rights Division, and numerous other employment related state agencies.

She routinely advises clients regarding issues of workplace discrimination, employee discipline and termination, employer policies, reductions in force, and compliance with state and federal labor and employment laws. She earned her law degree from the University of Arizona James E. Rodgers College of Law and her undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, with honors, from Arizona State University.

Valdivia is a Phoenix resident.

Dawn Valdivia

Quarles & Brady appoints Valdivia as Practice Group Chair

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced that Phoenix partner Dawn C. Valdivia has been named the Phoenix Office’s Labor & Employment Practice Group Chair.

Valdivia has extensive experience advising clients about labor issues and representing clients before the NLRB and in other labor matters including union organizing campaigns, collective bargaining, and labor arbitrations. In addition, Valdivia is skilled in complex litigation matters, including wage and hour class action litigation in Arizona and California. She regularly represents clients before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor, Industrial Commission, Arizona Civil Rights Division, and numerous other employment related state agencies.

She routinely advises clients regarding issues of workplace discrimination, employee discipline and termination, employer policies, reductions in force, and compliance with state and federal labor and employment laws. She earned her law degree from the University of Arizona James E. Rodgers College of Law and her undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, with honors, from Arizona State University.

Valdivia is a Phoenix resident.

woman

Women Investing In Women announces summit plans

Women Investing In Women announced that their Inaugural Women Investing in Women Summit, at the Arizona Biltmore on 12/12/12, will bring together over 150 professional women from across the Valley to discuss important issues and opportunities, build new relationships and celebrate our accomplishments in 2012.

Anu Bhardwaj, WIIW’s founder stated, “I appreciate all the support from our valued sponsors, luminary speakers, and community partners that are helping bring the Women Investing In Women Summit to Arizona — by supporting our mission of creating a cohesive platform for women in Financial Literacy, through education, entrepreneurship and providing access to capital markets”.

Kathy Lynn-Cullotta, co-president of 85 Broads Phoenix, said “We are very excited to help support the WIIW mission and be a partner in bringing this wonderful event to the women business owners in Arizona.”

WIIW Summit topics on 12-12-12 will include Impact Investing with guest panel Natalia Oberti Noguera, founder of Pipeline Fellowship; Michelle Mace, ASU Women & Philanthropy; Jackie Sturm, Intel’s global strategic initiatives.

Continuing the WIIW Summit with a luncheon conversation about Board Diversity and women’s participating in the  2020 Women on Boards Campaign which is a national campaign to increase the percentage of women directors on U.S. public company boards to 20 percent or greater by 2020.  Our Arizona Summit keynote speaker Dr. Mary Walshok, founder of Global CONNECT / Dean of the UCSD Extension School and the Summit discussion will be led by Shelly Esque, Intel’s Corporate Affairs Group and include Joanne Flynn, Managing Director, Phoenix Group International.

The One Day summit Educational Track’s will include a variety of speakers and topics including Branding Your Brilliance, Women’s Access to Capital, Women’s Angel Investors in Arizona, Women Entrepreneurs Building New Companies Faster, The Lean Launch pad Way, and Pitching like a Rock Star with Candace Klein, founder of SoMoLend.

WIIW 2012 Summit Sponsors and Partners include Intel, Venture Catalyst Private Equity Partners, 85 Broads Phoenix, Premier Media Service, Nautilus Group / New York Life, 2020 Women on Boards, NetGains America, Quarles & Brady, The Valley Girl Show, Arizona State University, NAWBO, AZBIO, MBAWI, Global CONNECT, Women & Philanthropy, SEEDSPOT, Thunderbird Online.

Sign up today to attend 12-12-12 Women Investing In Women at Arizona Biltmore a Full Day Program is only $175 Includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner all the Educational Tracks and Summit Access.

Women Investing in Women is a branded platform of high impact educational programs and public-private partnerships emphasizing financial literacy and entrepreneurship by women for women, globally.  These programs will be held internationally to provide continuing education to address the need for high quality online content and interactive event formats that foster broader access to capital for women and the growth of women-led businesses.

Allison Weyer

Allison Weyer joins Quarles & Brady's Real Estate Practice

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady announced that Allison N. Weyer has joined the firm’s Phoenix office as an associate in the Real Estate Practice Group.

Weyer’s practice focuses on handling transactions in the lending and real estate areas.

In her lending practice, she primarily represents banks and other financial institutions in real estate, commercial and business loans, restructuring and workouts.

She also represents lenders and other corporate clients in documenting purchase and sale transactions, leases, and other real property and asset based matters.

Weyer earned her law degree, magna cum laude, from Seton Hall University School of Law and her undergraduate degree, cum laude, from New York University.

 

Edward Salanga

Edward Salanga Elected President of CIDA

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced that Edward Salanga, a partner in the firm’s Phoenix office, was elected president of the City of Chandler Industrial Development Authority (CIDA).

Salanga is a partner in the firm’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution Group and co-chairs the Real Estate and Construction Litigation Subgroup. His real estate and construction practice involves representing owners, lenders and contractors in property and construction-related disputes, including construction contract negotiations, contract performance and payment disputes, construction defect claims, title insurance disputes and mechanics lien, stop notice and bonding issues.

He also represents manufacturers of consumer water treatment products, plumbing components, heavy earth moving equipment and industrial materials and supplies in product liability, warranty and construction disputes. As part of his commercial litigation and direct sales practice, Salanga represents businesses in a variety of disputes in both federal and state courts, as well as in alternative dispute resolution proceedings.

He is a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee and serves as co-chair of the Expert Witness Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation.

Salanga earned his law degree, magna cum laude, from Arizona State University and his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University.

CIDA provides tax-exempt financing through industrial revenue bonds for the financing or refinancing of the cost of acquisition, construction, improvement, rehabilitation or equipping of a project. It is a “conduit” lender and do not directly loan their own funds, but rather, “pass funds through” from third parties that purchase CIDA’s bonds and loan them to CIDA’s borrowers.

Arizona Energy Consortium - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2012

Arizona Energy Consortium – Power Brokers Leading The Charge

The Arizona Energy Consortium is establishing the energy roadmap to create a brighter economic future for Arizona. The following individuals are leading the charge.

Robert Bowling - First SolarRobert Bowling
Company: First Solar  

Position with Arizona Energy Consortium:
Co-Chair of the Workforce Development Committee, which focuses its efforts on current barriers to Arizona’s energy workforce development, as well as devising potential solutions to overcome such barriers.

Relationship to the energy industry:
25 years of power generation experience in Fossil, Hydro and PV.

Why he became involved with the AEC:
“Having always been ‘involved’ in various initiatives throughout Arizona, I saw the value that this consortium has towards the greater good for all Arizonans.”

Why he thinks Arizona needs the AEC:
“As a nation we all understand the various issues surrounding energy dependence. The Arizona Energy Consortium will help AZ be the leader in a variety of energy issues.”

Predicted impact the AEC will make on Arizona by 2022:
“Hopefully by making Arizona the leader in lost cost, sustainable energy production and a hub for energy innovations.”

Tekla Taylor - Golder AssociatesTekla Taylor
Company: Golder Associates, Inc.

Position with Arizona Energy Consortium:
Co-Chair of the Membership Committee, which is dedicated to growing the Arizona Energy Consortium in terms of membership recruitment, as well as promoting the AEC in the form of event planning and hosting. Members of this committee will be responsible for identifying members who could positively contribute to, as well as benefit from, involvement within the AEC.

Relationship to the energy industry:
Manager, Golder Energy Services US

Why she become involved with the AEC:
“Actively participating in AEC keeps us informed of the opportunities and challenges that face energy sector growth in Arizona thereby impacting our clients.”

Why she thinks Arizona needs the AEC:
“Collaboration among all stakeholders in the industry is critical to ensuring long term success and placing Arizona as a leader in the renewable energy market.”

Predicted impact the AEC will make on Arizona by 2022:
“Through design and implementation of innovative renewable market solutions, AEC will have a significant impact on market sector growth, diversity and economic development.”

Mary Wolf-Francis - DIRTT Environmental SolutionsMary Wolf-Francis
Company: DIRTT Environmental Solutions

Position with Arizona Energy Consortium:
Co-Chair of the Energy Efficiency Committee, which is responsible for reviewing energy efficiency programs, as well as current barriers to energy efficiency across a wide range of Arizona energy sectors (solar, natural gas, oil, coal, nuclear, wind, geothermal, etc.). Members are encouraged upon review of energy efficiency barriers, to develop potential solutions that would maximize energy efficiency and encourage future Arizona project development.

Relationship to the energy industry:
Business liaison for the State Energy Sector Partnership Grant that brought the Arizona Energy Consortium into fruition as part of the objectives in the grant.

Why she became involved with the AEC:
Brought companies in energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainability and utilities together to discuss creating the AEC then passed the torch to Michelle De Blasi and Steve Zylstra at the Arizona Technology Council.

Why she thinks Arizona needs the AEC:
“Companies in Arizona need to work together to grow and sustain energy companies here in the state.

Predicted impact the AEC will make on Arizona by 2022:
“The AEC will be the catalyst for diversifying our energy companies here in Arizona to reduce our reliance on the grid.”

Chris Davey - EnviroMissionChris Davey
Company: EnviroMission

Position with Arizona Energy Consortium:
Co-chair of the Arizona Energy Consortium and co-chair of the Energy Roadmap Committee, which will focus its efforts on developing and implementing an Energy Sector Roadmap for Arizona. Documents such as, Arizona’s Solar Strategic Plan and Arizona Town Hall’s AZ’s Energy Future Report will be utilized in constructing the Energy Sector Roadmap.

Relationship to the energy industry:
As executive director of EnviroMission, he has been vital to the development of the first U.S. Solar Tower project in western Arizona. He has negotiated a number of Power Purchase Agreements, secured parcels of land with both governmental and private bodies, raised capital to deliver the unique Solar Tower technology and advocated on behalf of the solar industry.

Why he became involved with the AEC:
“I want to put something in place to make it easier for people to get done what I’m getting done now. I’m from 8,000 miles away, but I call Arizona home now and I want to make it a better place.”

Michelle De Blasi - Quarles & BradyMichelle De Blasi
Company: Quarles & Brady

Position with Arizona Energy Consortium:
Co-chair of the Arizona Energy Consortium and co-chair of the Energy Roadmap Committee, which will focus its efforts on developing and implementing an Energy Sector Roadmap for Arizona. Documents such as Arizona’s Solar Strategic Plan and Arizona Town Hall’s AZ’s Energy Future Report will be utilized in constructing the Energy Sector Roadmap.

Relationship to the energy industry:
She is chair of the firm’s Solar Energy Law Team and focuses her practice on guiding renewable energy projects from concept to completion. In addition, she practices in the area of environmental and natural resources law advising clients on federal and state air and water quality issues.

Why she became involved with the AEC:
“With its solar resource and geographic proximity to target markets such as California, Arizona has an opportunity to revitalize its economy by continuing to grow its clean energy sector. By combining business leadership with guidance for good public policy, the Arizona Energy Consortium will play an important role in helping Arizona achieve its clean energy sector expansion goals.”

Ann Marie Chischilly, Esq. - ITEP at NAUAnn Marie Chischilly, Esq.
Company: Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) at Northern Arizona University

Position with Arizona Energy Consortium:
Co-chair of the Public Outreach Committee, which is responsible for educating investors, developers, legislators, and the general public on the Arizona Energy Consortium and the energy industry.

Relationship to the energy industry:
“I began my work in the energy industry as an attorney with the Gila River Indian Community and founded their Renewable Energy Team in 2010. I began my position at NAU in April 2011 and have been developing the Tribal Clean Energy Resource Center, which will help tribes and Alaska Native Villages transition from fossil fuel based energy to clean and renewable energy. For 20 years, ITEP has become a national leader in training and educating tribes in the environmental mediums and has served more than 500 of the 565 tribes nationally.”

Why she become involved with the AEC:
“I want the 22 tribes of Arizona to be included in the process of developing the Energy Roadmap and seeking their input is essential to accomplishing the mission.”

Why she thinks Arizona needs the AEC:
“Arizona has many great organizations, but AEC captures all of them into one group and unites the renewable-energy sector. Becoming more organized and united will make Arizona a leader in this industry.”

Predicted impact the AEC will make on Arizona by 2022:
”The AEC will help Arizona become a leader in the renewable energy industry nationally.”

For more information on Arizona Energy Consortium, visit Arizona Technology Council’s website at aztechcouncil.org/committees/aec.

Go to related article – AEC – Creating an Energy Roadmap

AZRE Magazine May/June 2012

Nicole France Stanton

Nicole France Stanton Receives 3 Arizona Community Awards

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced that Nicole France Stanton, a partner in the Firm’s Phoenix office, has recently been recognized and honored by three Arizona organizations for her contributions in the Arizona community.

The AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute, a college access program for Latino/Latina youth providing a web of support that contributes to academic, personal and professional success, recognized Stanton on May 25 at its “Fulfilling Arizona’s Destiny” luncheon for her work on anti-bullying and support of the AGUILA program.

On June 8, Stanton received the “Emerging Star” award from Emerge Arizona, a political leadership training program that works to identify, educate and inspire politically-motivated women who want to pursue a career at the local and state levels in Arizona.

Nicole France Stanton was also recognized by Phoenix Pride at its annual 2012 Pride Gala on June 9, receiving the Mayor Phil Gordon Spirit Award, which honors individuals and organizations making a significant contribution in political issues for the metropolitan Phoenix gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community. Phoenix Pride promotes unity, visibility, and self-esteem among Phoenix’s LBTG community.

Nicole France Stanton is a member of the Firm’s Commercial Litigation Group. Her experience includes the defense of an actuarial and benefits consulting firm against professional liability claims brought by trustee and pension plans, the defense of local and national law firms in legal malpractice actions, and assisting in the defense of a telecommunications provider against alleged violating of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act. She is a member of Charter 100 Women, serves as a founding board member and past president of the Women’s Metropolitan Arts Council of the Phoenix Art Museum, and was an adjunct professor at Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law teaching professional responsibility. Stanton recently received the 2012 Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign for her anti-bullying initiative.

A graduate of Valley Leadership Class XXIX, Stanton was the YWCA of Maricopa County’s 2011 Tribute to Women honoree. She received her law degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Arizona and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah.

For more information on Nicole France Stanton of Quarles & Brady LLP, visit Quarles & Brady’s website at quarles.com.

justice.scales.and.gavel

Arizona’s Top Lawyers – 2012 Banking & Business/Corporate Law

Arizona Business Magazine used its own research, solicited input from legal experts, and referenced professional ratings and rankings to determine the legal professionals who made the 2012 Top Lawyers list.


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Categories

BankingHealthcare
Business/Corporate LawIntellectual Property
Construction LitigationMergers and Acquisitions
Employment/Labor
Relations
Real Estate
Environmental LawSecurities and Corporate Finance
Estate and Trust LitigationTax

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BANKING

Michael A. Bosco ◆ Tiffany & Bosco
602-255-6002 ◆ tblaw.com
Bosco represents more than 40 top banks and mortgage lenders — including Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae — and private mortgage insurance companies.

Mark S. Bosco ◆ Tiffany & Bosco
602-255-6006 ◆ tblaw.com
Bosco is a lecturer at regional and national mortgage banking and default servicing seminars, and he has published numerous articles on mortgage banking, default servicing and related topics.

Scott DeWald ◆ Lewis and Roca
602-262-5333 ◆ lrlaw.com
DeWald’s practice focuses on the legal needs of high-tech, e-commerce and emerging companies and limited liability companies.

Dean Dinner ◆ Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner, P.C.
480-609-0011 ◆ nussbaumgillis.com
Negotiated and documented DIP financing transactions for both factoring companies and asset based lenders.

Richard Goldsmith ◆ Lewis and Roca
602-262-5341 ◆ lrlaw.com
Goldsmith practices primarily in the areas of lending, equipment leasing and sales, real estate, and general contract drafting.

W. Scott Jenkins ◆ Ryley Carlock and Applewhite
602-440-4890 ◆ rcalaw.com
Jenkins is a member of the fi rm’s Bankruptcy and Creditor’s Rights, Real Estate, Litigation, and Transportation practice groups.

Thomas E. Littler ◆ Gordon Silver
602-256-0400 ◆ gordonsilver.com
Littler represents debtors and creditors, trustees, official committees, and secured creditors in reorganizations in a wide range of industries.

Jared Parker ◆ DeConcini McDonald Yetwin & Lacy, P.C.
602-282-0500 ◆ deconcinimcdonald.com
Parker focuses on business restructuring and bankruptcy, litigation and creditors’ rights.

John Randolph ◆ Sherman & Howard
602-240-3000 ◆ sah.com
Randolph represents lenders in connection with workouts, prejudgment strategy and remedies and trustee’s sales foreclosures.

William G. Ridenour ◆ Ridenour, Hienton & Lewis
602-254-9900 ◆ rhkl-law.com
Ridenour’s practice emphasizes transactional, banking and corporate law.

Gil Rudolph ◆ Greenberg Traurig, LLP
602-445-8206 ◆ gtlaw.com
Rudolph representats finance companies, mortgage lenders, banks, title insurance companies and other consumer financial service providers.


BUSINESS/CORPORATE LAW

Mark Barker ◆ Jennings, Haug & Cunningham, LLP
602-234-7828 ◆ jhc-law.com
Barker has a busy commercial transaction practice representing financial institutions and Arizona small businesses, commercial litigation practice with an emphasis on surety law, construction law and business dispute resolution.

Edwin D. Fleming ◆ Burch & Cracchiolo, P.A.
602-234-9921 ◆ bcattorneys.com
Fleming has successfully prosecuted and defended professionals, including lawyers and accountants, in cases involving high-stakes financial fraud and securities issues.

Dan Garrison ◆ Andante Law Group
480-421-9449 ◆ andantelaw.com
In 2007, Garrison received the “Turnaround of the Year” Award from the Arizona Chapter of the Turnaround Management Association.

Larry A. Hammond ◆ Osborn Maledon
602-640-9361 ◆ omlaw.com
Hammond served as an Assistant Watergate Special Prosecutor in 1973- 1974. One of his specialities is commercial litigation.

John L. Hay ◆ Gust Rosenfeld PLC
602-257-7468 ◆ gustlaw.com
Hay practices general corporate and commercial law, with emphasis on representing small- and medium-sized businesses.

John A. Klecan ◆ Renaud Cook Drury Mesaros, PA
602-307-9900 ◆ rcdmlaw.com
Klecan has been involved in precedent-setting products liability litigation, in Arizona and other jurisdictions.

P. Robert Moya ◆ Quarles & Brady
602-230-5580 ◆ quarles.com
Moya’s practice focuses on middle-market and emerging entrepreneurial and growth companies.

Brett Johnson ◆ Snell & Wilmer
602-382-6312 ◆ swlaw.com
Johnson’s practice includes representation in business, export, government contracting, and health care matters.

Michael Manning ◆ Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP
602-212-8503 ◆ stinson.com
Manning’s practice focuses on antitrust, business litigation, class actions, business litigation, governance, risk and compliance.

Kevin Olson ◆ Steptoe & Johnson
602-257-5275 ◆ steptoe.com
Olson’s focus is general corporate advice, mergers and acquisitions, securities and corporate finance, and other commercial transactions.

Brian Spector ◆ Jennings Strouss
602-262-5977 ◆ jsslaw.com
Spector is a business lawyer and litigator whose practice focuses on debt resolution, bankruptcy litigation and collection matters.

Arizona Business Magazine has used its best efforts in assembling material for this list, but does not warrant that the information contained herein is a complete or exhaustive list of the top lawyers in Arizona, and hereby disclaims any liability to any person for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions herein.

Arizona Business Magazine March/April 2012

Moneyball

Taking A Gamble On March Madness

Office pools and social gambling can be harmless fun — if the rules are followed

Every human resources department in Arizona would flip a chip if employees set up a poker table in the middle of the boardroom and started playing Texas Hold ‘Em in the middle of the work day. But somehow, gambling in March Madness office pools gets a free pass.

“For many of us, March Madness is a rite of passage in the spring,” says Pavneet Uppal, managing partner of Fisher & Phillips in Phoenix. “It’s a chance to build camaraderie with co-workers through office pools, a chance to reconnect with college friends during games and a chance to indulge in a few chicken wings with the family.”

March Madness — the nickname given to the NCAA basketball tournament — is the nation’s largest gambling event. Conservative estimates project that more than $2.5 billion will be wagered on the tournament, which doubles the amount bet each year on the Super Bowl. More importantly for employers, March Madness costs anywhere from $1.4 billion to $3.8 billion in lost employee productivity each year.

Lost productivity aside, is it legal to bet in March Madness office pools?

“Under Arizona statute, March Madness pools are not illegal if they meet the four criteria of legal social gambling,” says Melissa Costello, an attorney in Bryan Cave’s labor and employment group.

The four criteria of legal social gambling are:
1. All of the participants compete on equal terms.
2. Each participant is at least 21 years old.
3. The participants can only receive winnings, and no other benefit.
4. No non-participant will gain any benefit from the pool.

“If an office pool does not meet all of the criteria for legal ‘social gambling,’ a company that allows an office pool could be charged with a class 5 felony if it conducts, organizes, manages, directs, supervises, finances, or furnishes advice or assistance in promoting the office pool,” Costello says. “A felony conviction could subject the company to a significant fine.”

If the office pool does not meet the ‘social gambling’ criteria, the organizer of the pool could also be charged with a class 5 felony for promoting illegal gambling and, if found guilty, could be sentenced to jail time and ordered to pay a significant fine, Costello warns.

“There can be numerous (other) legal issues, particularly if the gambling crosses state lines,” says Craig O’Loughlin, a partner with Quarles & Brady. “There can be IRS issues with winnings, (and) whistleblower issues.”

Beyond the legal ramifications of office pools, a Spherion study found that 52 percent of human resources executives say their top priority this year is cost containment. March Madness — accompanied by excessive score-checking and an exorbitant amount of water cooler game analysis — erodes workplace productivity and can jeopardize cost-saving measures.

“Employers have every right to expect employees to devote 100 percent of their energies to the job between stated work hours, and as long as they act consistently, can fire employees who play fantasy sports instead of working,” Uppal advises. “Human resources teams should consider reviewing and communicating the company’s office policies on the topic to ensure good people aren’t destroying their careers in the name of March Madness.”

Uppal says many managers are beginning to recognize and accept that employees will spend a portion of their work day handling personal business or surfing the Internet. And some even run March Madness pools as a team-building activity.

“If the employer sponsors (March Madness pools), make the entry free, and have prizes for the winners,” O’Loughlin says. “Also, know the tax ramifications of the prizes.”

Even if employers feel disinclined to allow March Madness office pools because they are a drain on employee productivity and efficiency, the reality is that employees will likely still participate in pools outside of the office, Costello says.

“Office pools should not be official company events, but rather than spend energy prohibiting office pools that meet the ‘social gambling’ criteria, employers should consider using March Madness as a tool for developing employee relationships and increasing morale, such as by inviting employees to wear a shirt from their alma mater on game days, hosting viewing parties during lunch hours, or providing basketball-themed snack breaks in the afternoon.”

Arizona Business Magazine March/April 2012

2012 Valley Partnership Roundtable

2012 Valley Partnership Roundtable

The 2012 Valley Partnership Roundtable discusses the need to engage and monitor federal issues impacting the development community, which is greater than ever. 

Every real estate development company actively manages issues such as water quality, dust control and industry taxation/regulation at the city and state level. However, we must be more vigilant in watching the impact of federal regulation on the real estate industry. Decisions made by the federal agencies and our Congressional delegation have a  long-term impact on our businesses.

As a sector, we have a responsibility to advocate for fair and pragmatic regulation that allows the industry to be nimble and grow responsibly. Federal regulation and oversight have expanded over the past few years and some of these expansions in oversight could negatively impact Arizona businesses. Arizona’s climate, employment bases and natural resources pose unique challenges on the federal level, and we must ensure that our delegation is prepared to fight for our state’s future.

As it celebrates its 25th anniversary, Valley Partnership, in conjunction with AZRE magazine, convened a virtual roundtable discussion on the need to engage and monitor federal and state issues that impact the development community. They include:

  • Expansion of the Clean Water Act;
  • Business taxes/workforce training credits/research and development tax credits
  • Military installations, including Luke Air Force Base;
  • Solar incentives;
  • Aerospace/defense industry, research.

Participants are members of Valley Partnership’s federal and legislative committees, including: Rob Anderson (RA), Fennemore Craig; Paul Hickman (PH), Arizona Bankers Association; Charley Freericks (CF), DMB Associates, Inc.; Rusty Mitchell (RM), Luke AFB; Mary Peters (MP), consultant, former secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation; Grady Gammage JR. (GG), Gammage & Burnham; and Michelle de Blasi (MD), Quarles & Brady.

- Karrin Taylor, DMB Associates Inc.

Q: The federal government’s growing regulation of water, environment issues and endangered species has an immediate effect on private property owners and at the state and local levels. In the Western U.S., there can be tremendous unintended consequences to these one-size-fits-all regulations promulgated in Washington. What are the risks and/or potential impacts for the development community?

GG: There are huge risks for Arizona development in ignoring federal issues. We tend to either rail at the Feds, or just hope they’ll go away. The truth is, neither attitude is useful. We need our federal representatives to vigorously engage in explaining things that seem obvious to us: like dry desert washes not being navigable, or the fact that Arizona tends to be dusty. But we need to recognize that there is an appropriate federal role in environmental regulation, rather than behave as though the EPA will go away.

RA: The risks for the development community are three-fold: Increased compliance costs; increased uncertainties associated with securing federal approval (Well will I get my permit? What will my project look like when I do?); and the possibility that the federal requirements will actually block you from developing at all. The first two risks are fairly pervasive in the development world already. The third risk is relatively rare but increasing, particularly in the area of endangered species where there is tremendous pressure to list more species and protect more habitats. We also may see more of this as the first two risks grow and become unmanageable. For example, if I do not know when I can get my permit, and do not know what my project will look like at the end of the permitting process, how can I get financing or raise capital to do the project at all?

Q: What can we (leaders in real estate) do to influence federal regulation and legislation?

MD: Consistency and certainty in policy is crucial to develop and sustain any industry. It is difficult to have certainty without having an energy policy in place. Some immediate initiatives that could provide certainty in the energy industry are: Build out/improve access to transmission; remove redundancy/inefficiencies in permitting; expand production-based incentives; and provide better/quicker access to federal land for project development.

GG: The real estate industry needs to come together with workable solutions on things like dust control of construction, and standards for developing in the desert that recognize circumstances where washes should be preserved or mass grading minimized. Constructive engagement means offering sensible alternatives for some federal involvement, that is climate and geography appropriate for the arid West. There’s a lot of of serious expertise in Arizona in dealing with these issues. The development industry will find that Arizona’s cities are valuable allies in understanding the nature of development here, and why it is different from many other parts of the country.

RA: Follow regulatory developments through agencies of concern (EPA, the Corps of Engineers) and follow legislation through Congress. Do not hesitate to contact your congressman or congresswoman on issues of concern. Be active in trade associations that lobby in Washington D.C.

CF: Real estate industry leaders and everyone in the community have many options for supporting Luke and the effort to secure the F-35 mission. First, participate in the Luke Forward campaign by registering your support (lukeforward.com), submit a letter from your company or community support organization, and spread the word by sending the link for Luke Forward to your colleagues and friends Second, participate in the upcoming public hearings for the F-35 mission Environmental Impact Study (EIS) process. Dates, times and locations will be posted on the website to visibly show your support to the community and government representatives. Finally, write or email your local, state and federal elected officials and state your support for the F-35 mission.

PH: Stay engaged. Coordinate multiple visit to members of Congress and agency officials. Be active on responding to requests for comments on proposed regultions. Create “echo chambers” on issues of vital importance to our state.

Our western state is rich in space, most of which is managed by some form of government (Fed/state/military/tribal). This requires our real estate development industry to engage in public/private partnerships. Our only alternative is not to grow our economy.

Q: There has been significant scrutiny on federal and state incentives of certain industries recently. How do you think those incentives have impacted the Arizona job and real estate markets? Are the incentives needed to jump-start an industry and spur growth? Are they worth the risks?

MP: I am generally opposed to public-funded incentives that tend to distort the market. If a determination is made that public interest is best served by advancing an issue, the better way to proceed is to focus on the desired outcome rather than a specific technology. In terms of developing alternative fuels for vehicles, for example, the outcome might be to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Current policy provides public subsidies as an incentive to produce ethanol, and the subsidies are provided largely to mid-west, corn producing states. The process used by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that encourages competition toward an outcome-based goal is far better than offering specific incentives. Arizona businesses and entrepreneurs could be very competitive in a DARPA-like competition resulting in more Arizona jobs and real estate development.

MD: Incentives are necessary to help spur growth and develop infrastructure that benefits society as a whole, but should be implemented in such a way that they reward success. The incentive provides the carrot, but should not provide the fuel as was the case with Solyndra. Incentives provide the necessary framework to foster economic development — job creation. Just as Arizona was feeling the effects of a downturn in the real estate market, the incentives available to the renewable energy industry helped spur the grow of a burgeoning industry for Arizona. As more projects have come to fruition, the economy has felt the impacts through the transitioning of jobs and the influx of investment in renewable generation and manufacturing. However, as an industry and state, one needs to be careful not to incentivize an industry that will not survive into the future without incentives.

Q: The debate around “earmarks” and “pork” projects continues at the federal level. Some of Arizona’s federal delegation have earned national reputations for their stand against earmarks. What are the benefits or the losses to Arizona on this issue? Should Arizona’s federal delegation work to bring federal dollars back to our community? What kinds of projects does Arizona need?

MP: When members of Congress designate special projects as part of authorizing or appropriation bills powerful committee chairs are able to direct disproportionate amounts of funding to their district or state regardless of the merits of the project. The so-called “Bride to Nowhere” in the 2005 Highway Bill is a prime example. I think, on the whole, Arizona and other states lose in this process, and our delegation is right to take a stand against earmarks. A better way is for Congress to give the states their proportionate share of funding, and let state and local officials working with our Congressional Delegation decide how and where the funds should be spent. Arizona could then use those funds to build transportation in infrastructure to support high-growth areas, such as the north-sout corridor in Pinal County.

GG: We couldn’t live in Central Arizona without federal projects. Both SRP and CAP are examples of using the Treasury of the Unites States to make it possible to live in the arid West. Sky Harbor Airport and the interstate highway system are other examples. We should not oppose the use of federal dollars for these kinds of purposes. The evil of “earmarks” is when ad hoc projects (I think “Bride to Nowhere”) are slipped into unrelated bills without any debate or being part of a comprehensive program. Our senators and congressmen shouldn’t oppose the use of federal funds for worthy projects in Arizona. They should oppose a process that disguises federal spending, that doesn’t invite public scrutiny, or that trades frivolous projects in one district for similar boondoggles elsewhere.

PH: We expect our members of Congress to fight for parochial projects that make sense. What some members of our congressional delegation object to — properly in my view — is skirting the competitive process to do that. The losses incurred by the practice of earmarking redound to us as federal taxpayers, not necessarily Arizonans. When we engage in it we may win projects for our state, but as federal taxpayers we probably paid too much inferior projects or products.

We should be working with out congressional delegation as well as the applicable federal agencies to get out projects included into the agency budgets, authorized by the congressional authorization committees and approved by the members of the appropriations committees. We also need to partner with the global growth sectors of our economy: healthcare, energy, aerospace, and high-tech manufacturing. If this crash of 2008 has taught us anything it is that the residential housing industry can’t drive an economy by itself. It has to have other sectors to support or it collapses.

Q: The Arizona Commerce Authority and local economic development groups such as GPEC have prioritized a number of industries for expansion and growth. Aerospace/defense, technology and the solar industry seem to be major opportunities for Arizona’s future. What role should leaders of the real estate development industry play at the federal level in working to support these business expansion efforts?

MP: The ACA has defined aerospace/defense, solar/renewable energy, science and technology, and Arizona innovation-small businesses and entrepreneurs as our four focus areas. The areas provide the biggest opportunity to attract and retain high paying jobs and sustainable economic development for our state. The real estate development community can help support these focus areas by working together with organizations like ACA and GPEC to let out congressional delegation know when we are competing for federal funds and programs. An example is the funding now available under the Defense Appropriations Act in which the FAA will select sites for testing UAVs. The real estate development community can also assist in redeveloping areas such as the Williams Gateway and in ensuring that growth complements, but does not encroach on, our current military installations such as Luke AFB.

MD: The message has to be clear and provide certainty for foster meaningful industry growth. For the energy sector, the growth plan needs to be inclusive of a portfolio of energy resources. The support for renewable energy at the federal level needs to be based on a broad array of goals: jobs, diversity of energy sources, national security and economic development. The industry leaders should be advocating for production-based or back-end incentives where there are metrics requiring a certain level of project development to better ensure the long-term success of the industry.

Q: Arizona has long enjoyed the benefits of having major military installations, such as Luke Air Force Base, as part of our economic base. These installations create and sustain thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic impact. What are the potential risks and rewards with selection of Arizona for the F-35 mission?

CF: The rewards are numerous — thousands of highly trained, educated and well-paid employees continue to thrive in the West Valley; billions of dollars in annual economic impact continue to flow into Arizona’s economy; and the community around Luke is bolstered by the consumption of goods and services from this amazing economic engine and the positive community contributions from the people of Luke. The mission for this advanced aircraft will sustain Luke for decades to come.

The risks as minimal, but important to keep in context. The military is subject to the ebbs and flows of federal military investment and resting after securing the F-35 mission would be a critical error. The state, especially those communities closest to Luke, have grown accustomed to, even dependent on, having Luke as a major employer and economic driver. As the West Valley continues to grow and evolve, it is critical to keep the economic development focus on highly-educated, high-income employment and to continue diversifying the number and types of industries represented. The risk of reductions in Luke’s mission are always a factor to be considered; and, the best solution will be a strong and diverse regional economy.

RM: If Luke AFB is selected as the second PTC, it is conceivable that it would remain a valuable national asset and an incomparable economic engine for decades to come.

The most recent study (commissioned by the state of Arizona) of Luke’s economic impact was approximately $2.17B. However,  beyond the pure dollars involved, the men and women of Luke AFB are significant contributors to the surrounding community as school and church leaders, business participants as well as stable homeowners for the community. These men and women should be viewed not only as part of the economic engine, but equally as important, quality community participants and leaders.

For more information on Valley Partnership visit, valleypartnership.org

AZRE Magazine March/April 2012

Law Firms Report Stability In Financial Industry

Law Firms, Lawyers See Stability in Financial Industry

As Arizona struggles to recover from a struggling economy, law firms are seeing a rise in the number of complaints filed in relation to banks and loans.

Arizona lawyers have specifically seen an increasing number of claims involving commercial real estate and foreclosures.

This indicates to lawyers that banks are stable and will maintain stability if they continue to stay on top of these loans and claims.

Brad Vynalek, partner at Quarles & Brady, says that banking cases are trending upward in number, and have become extremely common in most practices.

If law firms didn’t have financial loan departments in the past, they do now. Small and mid-size firms are expanding to include departments to handle loans.

Vynalek routinely deals with financial cases, and represents banks in various aspects of the litigation process, either as the defendant or plaintiff. He has represented banks in enforcement actions against borrowers and guarantors, lender liability defense, fair market value hearings and trustee’s sales.

About 50 percent of the cases Quarles & Brady takes on involve financial institutions in some way.

“It’s purely a function and a reflection of the market,” Vynalek says. “We’ve seen more cases involving banks than we have over the last five years and will continue to see an increase.”

Some of the most common banking cases that are popping up are cases involving loans against borrowers on large commercial properties.

Often, the people and companies who have defaulted just don’t have the resources to pay the loans back. For commercial properties that had many tenants and now have very few, it can be difficult to come up with the money to pay the lender back.

Law firms are also seeing a growth in the number of counterclaims that borrowers are filing. The counterclaims are usually geared towards dragging out litigations.

Banks are stable because they are staying firm on settling loan delinquencies. Banks want to be able to give out loans to help stimulate the economy, but in order to do that they have to follow up with the loans in default.

“Consumers should know that banks are committed to trying to make this a better economic climate,” Vynalek says. “Banks have to enforce the loans in their books, and banks will do better as the economy does better.”

Banks will continue to play a key role in the economy as they begin to sell the commercial real estate they have obtained through foreclosures.

“I think that there are a lot of banks with significant portfolios of foreclosed properties that haven’t even hit the real estate market yet,” Vynalek says. “They’ve got to sell the inventory of foreclosed homes and commercial real estate properties.”

Jennifer Dioguardi, partner at Snell & Wilmer, has also seen a significant increase in banking cases involving commercial properties.

“A lot of commercial real estate properties are under water,” Dioguardi says. “They have a high vacancy rate, which means they’re not generating enough cash flow to pay the note.”

In cases involving commercial real estate and delinquent loans, lawyers work to help the bank achieve an agreement, either by pursuing payments or working out other options with the borrowers behind closed doors.

Dioguardi regularly handles litigation involving the representation of national and local banks, mortgage lenders, and credit card issuers. She has an emphasis on banking, commercial, financial services and securities litigation.

Specifically, Snell & Wilmer has seen an increase in litigation matters brought against mortgage lenders and services by homeowners.

In these cases, the homeowners file documents to challenge the various aspect of loans or the foreclosure process in order to have their homes avoid being foreclosed upon.

Many of the documents being filed by homeowners are loan modifications or restraining orders to stop trustee’s sales, and oftentimes the allegations in the complaint do not have legal value; however, when loan modifications are appropriate, banks are taking care of them.

According to Dioguardi, it has become common for homeowners to go online, gather information and represent themselves. Many of the arguments posed online don’t have any actual legal merit, so homeowners fail to stop the foreclosures.

Banks are forced to follow up on loans in default to ensure the industry stay stable. If banks don’t take ownership of their finances, the result of many delinquent loans can be detrimental to the bank itself.

If banks aren’t making money or receiving money back from loans, they can fail and be closed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Arizona had 11 failed banks from 2009 to 2011, according to the FDIC failed bank list.
Dioguardi isn’t expecting that number to skyrocket over the next year.

“We can anticipate some additional bank failures in the next year or so, but I think the vast majority will weather the crisis,” Dioguardi says. “There will always be a need for banking services.”

Despite increasing regulation, banks have continued to remain a working part of the economy, and are focused on helping borrowers to their fullest extent.

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For more information about the law firms mentioned in this story, visit:

quarles.com
swlaw.com

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Arizona Business Magazine November/December 2011

 

Environmental Legal Issues - AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011

Arizona Faces Environmental Legal Issues To Grow ‘Green’ Movement

Though Arizona may be working to reach a higher standard of sustainability, a myriad of environmental legal issues will be seen as these changes are implemented. Arizona Business Magazine spoke with the state’s top law firms and industry experts to find out the most important environmental legal issues the state can expect to face in the next decade.

Particulate Matter-10

Attorney Megan Lennox of Bryan Cave LLP says, “The single biggest environmental legal issue Arizona will be facing for the foreseeable future is the regulation, implementation and enforcement of regulations concerning Particulate Matter-10, also referred to as PM-10, which is essentially “dust.”’

According to an Aug. 25, 2011, press release by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality stressing a high pollution advisory: “State and county agencies measure PM-10 and PM-2.5 which are extremely small solid particles and liquid droplets found circulating in the air. PM, or particulate matter, comes from either combustion (cars, industry, woodburning) or dust stirred up into the air. High levels of PM are typically created when the air is especially stagnant or especially windy. PM-10 stands for particulate matter measuring 10 microns or less. PM-2.5 stands for particulate matter measuring 2.5 microns or less. To put this in perspective, one strand of human hair is 70-100 microns in size.”

“Over the summer, we saw a number of High Pollution Advisory (HPA) warnings issued by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) relating to PM-10, particularly in connection with the haboobs (dust storms) we’ve been having in the Valley this summer,” Lennox says. “But what is not as commonly known is that, even without a haboob, Arizonans face real health threats caused by common everyday dust generating activities.

“Indeed, the EPA has not been satisfied with what the Arizona has done in the way of dust control thus far, and because Arizona continues to exceed federal air quality standards for PM-10, we are now facing a very real possibility that the EPA will push the Arizona regulators aside and step in with their own plan to reduce PM-10.

“The real issue of concern is that, if the EPA is required to step in, Arizona will stand to lose over a billion dollars in federal highway funds,” Lennox says. “This translates to further loss of jobs, no new transportation projects, and likely intense regulation and economic impact to the construction industry — all of which will be decidedly detrimental to Arizona’s economy overall.”

Lennox says that Arizonans must prepare and prevent this from happening by doing their part, which includes refraining from leaf blowers, no fires in the fireplace, driving down dusty roads and joining forces with regulators “toward the common goal of reduction of PM-10 and maintenance of federal funding – both of which, everyone should be able to agree, are critical for the long-term health and prosperity of the Valley.”

Michelle De Blasi, partner at Quarles & Brady agrees: “Serious nonattainment areas must demonstrate PM-10 emission reductions of five percent per year until the standard is attained.  The state and local governments have instituted many measures to make these reductions.  To reach attainment, three years of clean data are needed at all PM-10 monitors… The state and local governments have instituted many proactive control measures to try to limit excesses at the monitors caused by dust.”

Utility Deregulation

As the state continues to develop renewable energy, several legal issues can arise. Court Rich, an attorney at Rose Law Group states that: “As renewable energy prices come down its implementation will grow quicker.  At some point the technology involved in distributed roof top solar energy is going to allow people not only to produce energy during the day but to store energy for power at night.”

If people are able to produce the energy they need, should they pay a utility company for its electricity service? These are the types of questions Arizona may face as renewable energy production grows.

“The State has previously looked into forms of utility deregulation…(and) could review forms of deregulation that may set up a better environment for future competition among energy providers ultimately providing lower cost electricity to all Arizonans and providing greater choices to the consumer,” Rich adds.

Balancing environmental protections with economic impacts

“Implementing more protective environmental regulations must be balanced with their economic impacts,” says Matt Bingham, attorney at Lewis and Roca.

Sometimes, small improvements that can be made come at a significant cost and may not be worthwhile for the state to pursue.

“(Government) agencies have accomplished A LOT since environmental laws were first enacted,” says Bingham, “but at some point, the costs of making further improvement are going to outweigh the benefits.  Agencies need to adequately consider industry’s concerns when developing stricter environmental standards to ensure that the benefits outweigh the costs.  Failing to do so will prolong Arizona’s economic recovery.”

Growth of renewable energy

“In Arizona, regulated utilities are expected to get 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025 (in 2011, the goal is 3 percent),” says Bingham, attorney at Lewis and Roca. “This will require a massive expansion of our renewable energy capabilities over the next 10-15 years.”

As Arizona tries to catch up on renewable energy growth compared with some of its sustainability-driven neighboring states, many environmental impacts will need to be addressed. These include land use, water use, and effects on wildlife, endangered species and several others.

“The growth of renewable energy in the state also involves policy choices by the legislature and the Arizona Corporation Commission,” says Bingham.

Some examples:
➢    Requiring utilities to procure renewable energy.
➢    Increasing demand for solar by providing incentives.
➢    Providing tax incentives for companies who locate manufacturing and other facilities in the state and create jobs.

Arizona has essentially decided that it wants to be a hub of the growing solar industry and has made some good moves in that direction but it needs to continue pursuing an effective, comprehensively designed strategy while assuring companies that this support will not fade,” Bingham adds.

Enforcement of regulatory policies:

Since 61 percent of land in Arizona is either managed or controlled by federal agencies, many policies involving land use have a disproportionate impact upon our state, says Jeff Littell, principal geologist at Brown & Caldwell.

“By far, the greatest environmental issues facing Arizona will arise from federal agencies and their imbalanced enforcement of existing regulatory policies or the increased promulgation of new rules and regulations,” Littell says.

The state should apply balanced and measured responses to difficult environmental issues while empowering state agencies and the Legislature to defend Arizona against misapplied federal actions, Littell adds. “The results of their interaction with county and state agencies will have a profound impact on the long term success of Arizona, the diversity of our economy, and our ability to emerge from the current economic situation.”

For more information about environmental legal issues and other environmental issues, visit www.valleyforward.org.

 

Arizona Business Magazine November/December 2011