Tag Archives: Squire Sanders


Squire Sanders' Crabb Earns All-Star Status

Squire Sanders announced that Phoenix-based Partner Joe Crabb has been
selected, for the second year in a row, by corporate counsel to the 2014 BTI Client Service
All-Stars list. This recognition is awarded to lawyers in the US who differentiate themselves from all others, through excellence in client service. Joe is one of only 56 lawyers nationwide, and the only lawyer based in Arizona, returning to the BTI Client Service All-Stars list for 2 or more consecutive years.

Winners of the BTI Client Service All-Stars are selected by corporate counsel as exceeding all others in the following categories, pertaining to customer service: Client Focus, Innovative Thought Leader, Exceptional Understanding of the Client’s Business, Legal Skills, Outsized Value and Outstanding Results.

Joe focuses his practice on corporate finance and securities matters including merger and
acquisition transactions, public and private securities offerings, and counseling corporate
officers and directors on governance and compliance matters. Joe has practiced for over 20 years and has experience with a wide variety of transaction structures across a broad range of industries, including matters for both private and public company clients.

BTI is a top provider of strategic research for law firms and professional services firms.
Analysis for the BTI Client Service All-Stars draws from feedback received exclusively from
corporate counsel. Rankings are not influenced by law firms or their lawyers.
Squire Sanders is one of the world’s strongest integrated legal practices with more than 1,300 lawyers in 39 offices in 19 countries on five continents. Widely acknowledged for its
international reach and diverse sector expertise it advises a wide variety of business
enterprises, financial institutions and governmental entities around the world.

Kroop Inducted as a Fellow into the College of Bankruptcy

The American College of Bankruptcy has announced that Squire Sanders partner Jordan A. Kroop will be inducted as a Fellow of the College on March 14, 2014, in Washington DC. The ceremony will take place at the Smithsonian Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, and will be presided over by District Judge (Jan) Baker, Chair of the College. There are 33 nominees being honored and recognized for their professional excellence and exceptional contributions to the fields of bankruptcy and insolvency.

“We are proud of Jordan for his election to this most distinguished professional organization,” said Stephen D. Lerner, leader of the Squire Sanders Restructuring & Insolvency Practice Group. “This is a well-deserved recognition of Jordan’s expertise and experience as a restructuring lawyer.  Squire Sanders is recognized as one of the nation’s leading restructuring and insolvency firms, and we are pleased to have the firm well-represented in the College.”

In addition to Mr. Kroop, Squire Sanders partners Craig D. Hansen, Stephen D. Lerner, G. Christopher Meyer, and Thomas J. Salerno are Fellows of the College.

Among his more notable recent engagements, Mr. Kroop served as debtor’s counsel for the Phoenix Coyotes, the National Hockey League team, in its Chapter 11 filing and subsequent sale, and the Russian Tea Room, the world-famous restaurant in New York City. He is the co-author of “Chapter 11 Cases Involving Professional Sports Franchises” in the Collier Guide to Chapter 11: Key Topics and Selected Industries (LexisNexis, 2011) and the two-volume treatise Bankruptcy Litigation and Practice: A Practitioner’s Guide (Aspen, 4th Ed., 2008), as well as the previous third edition of that treatise (Aspen, 3rd Ed., 2000) and The Executive Guide to Corporate Bankruptcy (Beard Books, 2nd Ed., 2010). Mr. Kroop has been awarded the designation of AV-Preeminent from Martindale-Hubbell, listed in The Best Lawyers in America each year since 2009 and has been listed in Southwest Super Lawyers, a distinction honoring the top 5 percent of lawyers in the region, each year since 2007.

The American College of Bankruptcy is an honorary professional and educational association of bankruptcy and insolvency professionals. The College plays an important role in sustaining professional excellence and supports educational and pro bono efforts in local communities around the country.

The College now has 831 Fellows, each selected and invited by a Board of Regents from among recommendations of the Circuit Admissions Council in each federal judicial circuit and specially appointed Committees for Judicial and Foreign Fellows.

Criteria for selection include: the highest standard of professionalism, significant contributions to the community, ethics, character, integrity, professional expertise, and leadership contributing to the enhancement of bankruptcy and insolvency law and practice; sustained evidence of scholarship, teaching, lecturing or writing on bankruptcy or insolvency; and commitment to elevate knowledge and understanding of the profession and public respect for the practice.


Squire Sanders Partner judges ethics competition

Squire Sanders Partner Frank Placenti served as a judge in the University of Arizona, Eller College of Management’s 11th Annual Collegiate Ethics Case Competition.

The event allows local business leaders and professionals to help students from more than 30 business colleges to reason through a thought provoking business ethics case, with this competition raising students’ awareness of the importance of corporate social responsibility.


GPEC announces Board of Directors for FY 2014

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) today announced the appointment of its Board of Directors for the 2014 fiscal year, as approved by the Executive Committee.

Alliance Bank of Arizona CEO James Lundy will continue to lead the Board of Directors as chairman.

“As the economy continues to improve, GPEC’s team of results-driven board directors will work to ensure the region not only maintains its trajectory but also pushes toward a more diversified and sustainable economy that is less dependent on growth industries like real estate and construction,” Lundy said. “I’m honored to work with this talented group of professionals and look forward to a productive year.”

Rounding out the Board’s leadership is SCF Arizona President and CEO Don Smith and Empire Southwest Executive Vice President Chris Zaharis as vice chairs, APS Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Tammy McLeod as secretary and Bryan Cave, LLP Partner R. Neil Irwin as treasurer.

New Board Directors include: Steve Banta, CEO of Valley Metro; the Honorable Denny Barney, District 1 Supervisor for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors; Scott Bradley, Area Vice President for Waste Management; Mark Clatt, Area President for Republic Services; the Honorable Vincent Francia, Mayor of the Town of Cave Creek; Dr. Ann Weaver Hart, President of the University of Arizona; Bill Jabjiniak, Economic Development Director for the City of Mesa; the Honorable Michael LeVault, Mayor of the Town of Youngtown; Rich Marchant, Executive Vice President, Global Operations for Crescent Crown Distributing; Ryan Nouis, Co-Founder and President of Job Brokers; and Eric Orsborn, Councilmember for the Town of Buckeye.

“GPEC’s success is largely driven by its strong Board of Directors, all of whom reflect the region and state’s most accomplished professionals,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “Every single one of them truly cares about our market’s success and serves as a community thought leader when it comes to competitiveness.”

Mayors from GPEC’s member communities and the organization’s Nominating Committee are responsible for nominating and appointing Board Directors. The one-year terms are approved during GPEC’s Annual Board meeting.

GPEC FY 2014 Board of Directors:

James Lundy – Chairman
Alliance Bank of Arizona

Don Smith – Vice Chair
President and CEO
SCF Arizona

Chris Zaharis – Vice Chair
Executive Vice President
Empire Southwest

Tammy McLeod – Secretary
Vice President and Chief Customer Officer
Arizona Public Service Company

R. Neil Irwin – Treasurer
Bryan Cave, LLP

William Pepicello, Ph.D. – Immediate Past Chair
University of Phoenix

Barry Broome
President and CEO
Greater Phoenix Economic Council

Richard C. Adkerson
President and CEO
Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold

Jason Bagley
Government Affairs Manager

Ron Butler
Managing Partner
Ernst & Young LLP

Brian Campbell
Campbell & Mahoney, Chartered

Michael Crow, Ph.D.
Arizona State University

Kathleen H. Goeppinger, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Midwestern University

Derrick Hall
President and CEO
Arizona Diamondbacks

Sharon Harper
President and CEO
The Plaza Companies

Ann Weaver Hart, Ph.D.
University of Arizona

Don Kile
President, Master Planned Communities
The Ellman Companies

Paul Luna
President and CEO
Helios Education Foundation

Rich Marchant
Executive Vice President, Global Operations
Crescent Crown Distributing

David Rousseau
Salt River Project

Joseph Stewart
Chairman and CEO
JPMorgan Chase Arizona

Hyman Sukiennik
Vice President
Cox Business

Karrin Kunasek Taylor
Executive Vice President and
Chief Entitlements Officer
DMB Associates, Inc.

Gerrit van Huisstede
Regional President Desert Mountain Region
Wells Fargo

Andy Warren
Maracay Homes

Richard B. West, III
Carefree Partners

John Zidich
Publisher & President
The Arizona Republic

Chuck Allen
Managing Director, Gov’t & Community Relations
US Airways

Steve Banta
Valley Metro

Denny Barney
County Supervisor-District 1
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors

Jason Barney
Principal and Partner
Landmark Investments

The Honorable Robert Barrett
City of Peoria

Timothy Bidwill
Vice President
Vermilion IDG

Scott Bradley
Area Vice President, Four Corners Area
Waste Management

Norman Butler
Market Executive
Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Mark Clatt
Area President
Republic Services

Jeff Crockett
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Wyatt Decker, M.D.
Mayo Clinic Arizona

George Forristall
Director of Project Development
Mortenson Construction

The Honorable Vincent Francia
Town of Cave Creek

Rufus Glasper, Ph.D.
Maricopa Community Colleges

Barry Halpern
Snell and Wilmer

G. Todd Hardy
Vice President of Assets
ASU Foundation

Lynne Herndon
Phoenix City President
BBVA Compass

Linda Hunt
Senior VP of Operations and President/CEO
Dignity Health Arizona

William Jabiiniak
Economic Development Director
City of Mesa

The Honorable Robert Jackson
City of Casa Grande

The Honorable Linda Kavanagh
Town of Fountain Hills

The Honorable Andy Kunasek
County Supervisor, District 3
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors

The Honorable Michael LeVault
Town of Youngtown

The Honorable John Lewis
Town of Gilbert

The Honorable Marie Lopez Rogers
City of Avondale

The Honorable Georgia Lord
City of Goodyear

Jeff Lowe
MidFirst Bank

Paul Magallanez
Economic Development Director
City of Tolleson

Kate Maracas
Vice President

The Honorable Mark Mitchell
City of Tempe

Ryan Nouis
Co-Founder & President
Job Brokers

Ed Novak
Managing Partner
Polsinelli Shughart

Eric Osborn
Town of Buckeye

Rui Pereira
General Manager
Rancho de Los Caballeros

The Honorable Christian Price
City of Maricopa

Craig Robb
Managing Director
Zions Energy Link

The Honorable Jeff Serdy
City of Apache Junction

Steven M. Shope, Ph.D.
Sandia Research Corporation

James T. Swanson
President and CEO
Kitchell Corporation

Richard J. Thompson
President and CEO

Jay Tibshraeny
City of Chandler

John Welch
Managing Partner
Squire Sanders

Dan Withers
D.L. Withers Construction

The Honorable Sharon Wolcott
City of Surprise

Bryant Barber
Attorney at Law
Lewis and Roca


Determining Supervisory Status in Harassment Cases

In a season filled with many highly-anticipated rulings from the Supreme Court, one that warrants particular attention by Arizona employers is its June 24, 2013 decision in Vance v. Ball State University, in which the Court clarified the circumstances under which employers will be held strictly (i.e., automatically) liable for harassment by supervisors.

According to previous Supreme Court rulings, employers could be held automatically liable for harassment by a supervisor if the harassment culminated in a “tangible” employment action.  If, however, the harasser was not the victim’s supervisor, but instead merely a co-worker, then the employer only could be held liable if it was negligent in controlling working conditions.

It was under this 15-year old legal precedent that a federal court in Indiana considered Maetta Vance’s lawsuit.  Vance, an African-American woman, worked in the Banquet and Catering Department at Ball State University. Over the course of her employment, Vance lodged numerous complaints of racial discrimination and retaliation, including against Saundra Davis, a white catering specialist.  Vance alleged that Davis intimidated and harassed her due to her race.  Although the parties disputed the facts, they agreed that Davis did not have authority to hire, fire, demote, transfer, promote, or discipline Vance, although she could direct Vance’s daily tasks.

The trial court concluded that, even if Vance’s factual allegations were true, the University could not be held strictly liable for Davis’ alleged creation of a racially hostile work environment because Davis was not empowered to make tangible employment decisions regarding Vance, and therefore was not a supervisor.  Other courts, however, had ruled inconsistently, finding that strict liability applies to “supervisors” who have the right to exert significant direction over another’s daily work, even if they cannot hire or fire.

The Supreme Court concluded that, while an employer will be held automatically liable for harassment perpetrated by employees who have the authority to hire, fire, promote, reassign, or make significant changes in benefit decisions with respect to other employees, they will not be automatically liable if, as in the Vance case, the “supervisor” can do no more than direct another employee in the performance of routine duties.  According to the Court, establishing a “bright line” test for determining supervisory status is essential to providing guidance to employers, employees, courts and juries in harassment cases.  The Court rejected the far more amorphous standard proposed by Vance.

This outcome is clearly favorable to employers, as it reduces the number of employees whose actions can result in automatic employer liability for workplace harassment.  That said, Arizona employers should nonetheless continue to be vigilant in preventing, investigating, and disciplining harassers.  Additionally, because employers can be held strictly liable for the actions of their supervisory employees, they must continue to draft and disseminate clear policies prohibiting racial, sexual, and other forms of unlawful harassment.  Supervisors and managers – and not just the most senior managers in an organization, but all supervisors who have authority to hire, fire, demote, and promote employees – should be trained on, and held accountable for complying with, these policies.  Complaints of harassment should be promptly escalated for investigation, and credible complaints of harassment should result in prompt disciplinary action against the harasser, up to and including termination.  Failure to do so could expose employers to substantial liability.  Arizona employers are therefore urged to review their current policies, amend those policies if and to the extent necessary, and consider implementing or refreshing manager training on harassment prevention.

Lawrence J. Rosenfeld is a partner and Laura Lawless Robertson is a senior associate at Squire Sanders in Phoenix.

Two attorneys become shareholders

25 Squire Sanders attorneys earn distinction

Squire Sanders announced that 25 of its lawyers were recognized in the 2013 edition of Southwest Super Lawyers, among them are:

* George Brandon, Business Litigation
* Brian Cabianca, Business Litigation, Intellectual Property Litigation, Class Action/Mass Torts
* D. Lewis Clark, Jr., Employment & Labor, Employment Litigation: Defense
* Joseph M. Crabb, Securities & Corporate Finance, Mergers & Acquisitions, Business/Corporate
* Peter W. Culp, Environmental, Energy & Natural Resources
* Craig D. Hansen, Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights
* Charles E. James, Jr., Bonds/Government Finance
* Christopher D. Johnson, Mergers & Acquisitions, Securities & Corporate Finance, Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights
* DavidW. Kreutzberg, Real Estate, Business/Corporate, Land Use/Zoning
* Jordan A. Kroop, Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights
* Steven L. Lisker, Real Estate
* Daniel Pasternak, Employment & Labor
* Timothy E. Pickrell, Mergers & Acquisitions
* Frank M Placenti, Securities & Corporate Finance, Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate Governance & Compliance
* Lawrence J. Rosenfeld, Employment & Labor, Health Care
* Thomas J. Salerno, Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights, International, Alternative Dispute Resolution
* Christopher D. Thomas, Environmental, Environmental Litigation

Rising Stars Include:

* Jamie Daddona Brennan, Business/Corporate, Securities & Corporate Finance
* Jennifer R. Cosper, Bonds/Government Finance
* Gregory A. Davis, General Litigation
* Matthew M. Holman, Securities & Corporate Finance, Mergers & Acquisitions, Business/Corporate
* Laura Lawless Robertson, Employment & Labor
* Matthew Ohre, Business Litigation
* Sara K. Regan, Business Litigation
* Jacob B. Smith, Tax, Business/Corporate

Squire Sanders attorney Brian Cabianca

26 Squire Sanders attorneys named Southwest Super Lawyers

Squire Sanders announced that 26 of its lawyers were recognized in the 2013 edition of Southwest Super Lawyers, among them are:

George Brandon (Super Lawyer)
Business Litigation

Brian Cabianca (Super Lawyer)
Business Litigation
Intellectual Property Litigation
Class Action/Mass Torts

D. Lewis Clark, Jr. (Super Lawyer)
Employment & Labor
Employment Litigation: Defense

Jamie Daddona Brennan (Rising Star)
Securities & Corporate Finance


Calling All Night Owls to Scottsdale's The Night Run

The Night Run 8k and 3-mile fun run returns to Old Town Scottsdale on Saturday, May 11. Beginning at the Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza, the 8k course will wind through Old Town’s night club district and along the greenbelt.

Known as “Night Run for the Arts” from the mid-1980s until 2009, the fitness tradition continues to promote healthy lifestyles.

Co-directors John Lookabaugh and Tricia Schafer took over the event in 2012 and had the 8k course certified by USA Track & Field, bringing a more competitive edge to the event. Last year, three state age group records were set, and this year promises a race fit for both elites and beginners.

“We’ve preserved the local nature of the event, and are shining the spotlight on Old Town,” explains Co-director Tricia Schafer. “We connect with our participants, sponsors, and vendors early on, creating a unique feeling of community. Many of our participants get to know each other through our training groups, vOWLunteer network, team challenge, owl mascot photo-ops, or social media contests, which makes race night feel sort of like a reunion.”

The Night Run raised $10,000 last year for Workshops for Youth & Families, a non-profit that provides leadership and development programs for teens and their parents.

“We are ready to run, walk and have fun again in 2013!” said Workshops Founder Dr. Frances Mills-Yerger. “Our 34-year history of active programming is a perfect fit with The Night Run. We want to expand our reach and increase scholarships that will influence more youth to make long-term positive health choices.”

Supporters of the 2013 event include the K2 Adventures Foundation, GoDaddy.com, SCF Arizona, Oh Yeah! Nutrition, Safeway, Security Title, and Squire Sanders LLP.

The 3-mile run/walk will begin at 7:15 p.m. and the competitive 8k at 8 p.m. Children 12 and under can participate in the 3-mile for free with a registered adult. New to this year, participants will receive reflective “night owl” shirts and there will be live owls from Liberty Wildlife at the Owl’s Nest during the event’s Health and Wellness expo.

For more race information and registration, visit thenightrun.org

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.
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
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
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
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.
Curry practices environmental law with an emphasis on air quality, Superfund and environmental auditing matters.

Joseph Drazek
Quarles & Brady LLP
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
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
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.
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
Klein has extensive experience working with many state and federal agencies in all areas of natural resource and environmental law.

Lucas Narducci
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
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.


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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.

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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
Nadeau is a published author, with articles concerning trade competition, product liability and dispute resolution for transfers of technology.

Leon Silver
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
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.

Phoenix Symphony Contest

Phoenix Symphony Names 2 to Board

The Phoenix Symphony Association named Jaime Daddona Brennan and Tim K. Schultz to its Board of Directors.

“Jaime and Tim bring invaluable experience to our Board of Directors,” said C.A. Howlett, Chairman of the Board for The Phoenix Symphony. “We are truly fortunate to welcome such high-caliber individuals to our team” he added.

Jaime Daddona Brennan is a Senior Associate with Squire Sanders (US) LLP in Phoenix. She practices in the corporate, securities, and financial services practice groups with an emphasis on merger and acquisition transactions, public and private offerings of debt and equity, and corporate governance matters. Ms. Brennan attended Arizona State University where she graduated as valedictorian, summa cum laude, with her master’s degree in public affairs, and graduated magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, from the ASU College of Law. In addition to her law practice, Jaime serves as the Secretary of the Phoenix Symphony Young Professionals Board, is a Squire Sanders (US) LLP Global Associate Liaison, and has served on the U.S. Marine Corps Scholarship Ball Committee, the International Foundation for Anti-Cancer Drug Discovery Advisory Board, and the Fax Net 1 Board of Directors.  A lover of classical music in particular, Jaime plays the piano and recently took up violin.

Tim K. Schultz is Senior Vice President/Regional Director of Administration and Operations for BMO Private Bank, a part of BMO Financial Group, in Scottsdale. Prior to this position, Mr. Schultz held several Vice President/Regional Director positions with financial corporations throughout the country, most recently M&I Wealth Management. Tim has a long-time passion for music and the arts, having earned his Bachelor of Music from Augsburg College. He currently serves as an Advisory Board Member for the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation; Board Member of One-n-ten; Member of Planned Giving Roundtable of Arizona, Central Arizona Estate Planners, BMO National and Regional Diversity Councils and the BMO Community Reinvestment Committee.

For more information about The Phoenix Symphony visit phoenixsymphony.org.


Squire Sanders attorneys earn honors

Squire Sanders has 21 lawyers recognized in 17 practice areas in the 2013 issue of Best Lawyers in America, a highly acclaimed peer review publication. In particular, two lawyers, Charles E. James, Jr. (Public Finance Law) and Lawrence J Rosenfeld (Litigation–Labor & Employment) received esteemed recognition as Lawyer of the Year.

In the practice area of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law: Craig D. Hansen, Christopher D. Johnson, Jordan A. Kroop, Thomas J. Salerno

In the practice area of Commercial Litigation: George Brandon, Brian Cabianca, Donald A.Wall

In the practice area of Corporate Compliance Law: Frank M. Placenti

In the practice area of Corporate Governance Law: Frank M. Placenti

In the practice area of Corporate Law: Joseph M. Crabb, Christopher D. Johnson, Timothy E. Pickrell, Frank M. Placenti

In the practice areas of Employment Law – ManagementD. Lewis Clark: Lawrence J. Rosenfeld

In the practice areas of Environmental Law: Christopher D. Thomas

In the practice area of Health Care Law: Lawrence J. Rosenfeld

In the practice area of Labor Law – Management: D. Lewis Clark, Jr., Daniel B. Pasternak

In the practice area of Litigation – Bankruptcy: Craig D. Hansen, Thomas J. Salerno

In the practice area of Litigation – Environmental: Christopher D. Thomas

In the practice area of Litigation – Labor and Employment: Lawrence J. Rosenfeld

In the practice area of Mergers & Acquisitions Law: Joseph M. Crabb, Frank M. Placenti

In the practice area of Public Finance Law: Charles E. James, Jr., Timothy E. Pickrell

In the practice are of Real Estate Law: James S. Gibson, David W. Kreutzberg, K. David Lindner, Steven L. Lisker, Bart J. Page

In the practice area of Securities/Capital Markets Law: Christopher D. Johnson, Frank M. Placenti

In the practice area of Water Law: Peter W. Culp

Innovation unites Arizona’s economic engines

When Arizona became a state 100 years ago, it was easy to identify its economic engines, those industries, innovators and locations that drove the state’s economy and employment.

They all started with C — copper, cotton, citrus, cattle and climate.
A decade later, it’s not so easy.

“We must find ways to diversify our economy, including investing in bioscience and technology, health science and innovation,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton says. “We are coming out of the recession, and we need to move forward in a strategic way.”

Today’s economic engines are doing just that. They innovate, they collaborate, and the only one that starts with C is CityScape, and the only copper you’ll find there is Copper Blues Rock Pub and Kitchen and the cotton is at Urban Outfitters.

But today’s economic engines have to clear vision and direction for driving Arizona’s economy during its second century.

The Biodesign Institute at ASU
What it is: The Biodesign Institute at ASU addresses today’s critical global challenges in healthcare, sustainability and security by developing solutions inspired from natural systems and translating those solutions into commercially viable products and clinical practices.
Economic impact: The Biodesign Institute has met or exceeded all of the business goals set in mid-2003 by attracting more than $300 million in external funding since inception, and generating more than $200 million in proposals advanced in 2011 alone.
Companies it has helped grow: Licensed next-generation respiratory sensor technology to a European medical device developer; executed an exclusive license agreement for DNA sequencing technology to Roche, which includes a sponsored research agreement to develop devices in collaboration with Roche and IBM; and launched two Biodesign Commercial Translation companies.
Latest news: Led by electrical engineer, Nongjian Tao, ASU researchers have formulated a new sensor technology that will allow them to design and create a handheld sensor that can contribute to better diagnosis of asthma.
Michael Birt, director of the Center for Sustainable Health at the Biodesign Institute at ASU: “By establishing biosignatures centers, we hope to build a global network that will provide the scale necessary to overcome scientific limitations while creating a global platform to share methods, results and experiences.”

What it is: A highrise mixed-use development in Downtown Phoenix consisting of residential, retail, office, and hotel components. The project covers three downtown Phoenix city blocks and is located between First Avenue and First Street, and between Washington and Jefferson streets.
Economic impact: Officials credit the evolution of Downtown Phoenix — led by CityScape — with helping the Valley land the 2015 Super Bowl, which will bring an economic impact of an estimated $500 million.
Companies it has helped grow: In addition to entertainment venues and top-notch restaurants, business leaders calling CityScape home include Alliance Bank, Cantor Law Group,  Fidelity Title, Gordon Silver, Gust Rosenfeld, Jennings, Strouss and Salmon, PLC, Polsinelli Shughart, RED Development, Squire Sanders and UnitedHealthcare.
Latest news: The 250-room boutique hotel, Hotel Palomar Phoenix by Kimpton, opened in June.
Jeff Moloznik, general manager, CityScape:  “The most progressive and entrepreneurial talent in the Valley have convened at CityScape. The impact our tenants’ businesses have brought to Downtown Phoenix is noticeable and significant. In an area that once lacked a central core, there is now energy, creativity, enterprise and excitement all day, every day in once central location.”


What it is: Intel is a world leader in computing innovation. The company designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world’s computing devices.
Economic impact: Since 1996, Intel has invested more than $12 billion in high-tech manufacturing capability in Arizona and spent more than $450 million each year in research and development. Intel is investing another $5 billion in its Chandler site to manufacture its industry-leading, next-generation 14 nanometer technology.
Companies it has helped grow: Intel has been a catalyst for helping to create Chandler’s “tech corridor,” which includes Freescale, Microchip Technology, Orbital Sciences, Avnet, Amkor, and Marvell Technologies.
Latest news: Intel and ASU’s College of Technology and Innovation (CTI) are developing a customized engineering degree for some of the chip maker’s Arizona-based employees. The program is based on CTI’s modular, project-based curriculum and upon completion will provide a Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering degree from ASU, with a focus in materials science.
Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny: Intel likes the partnership it has with Chandler, likes doing business in Arizona, and they’re a very good corporate citizen.”

Phoenix Mesa-Gateway Airport

What it is: Formerly Williams Gateway Airport (1994–2008) and Williams Air Force Base (1941–1993), it is a commercial airport located in the southeastern area of Mesa.
Economic impact: The airport helped generate $685 million in economic benefits last year, and the airport supports more than 4,000 jobs in the region.
Companies it has helped grow: Able Engineering & Component Services, Cessna, Hawker Beechcraft, Embraer, CMC Steel, TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc..
Latest news: The Airport Authority’s Board of Directors announced Monday the airport will undergo a $1.4 billion expansion. There is also an effort to privately raise $385 million to build two hotels and office and retail space near the airport.
Mesa Mayor Scott Smith: “Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport has gone through tremendous growth and expansion and has truly arrived as a major transportation center in the Valley.”


What it is: A 1.2-million-square-feet mixed use space that gives entrepreneurs and innovators the resources they need  to grow and thrive, and provide them an exceptional home for when their businesses begin to take off.
Economic impact: Projected to generate more than $9.3 billion in economic growth over the next 30 years, according to an updated study by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.
Companies it has helped grow: Emerge.MD, Channel Intelligence, Adaptive Curriculum, Alaris, Jobing.com/Blogic, webFilings.
Latest news: Jobing, an online company that connects employers and job seekers nationally, relocated its corporate headquarters from Phoenix to SkySong.
Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane: “It is hard to think of a business attraction initiative the city has recently used that has not mentioned SkySong as a major attribute. SkySong has a national reputation and as it grows it will continue to elevate Scottsdale’s standing.”

Talking Stick

What it is: This economic engine encompasses a complex that includes the 497-room Talking Stick Resort, Courtyard Marriott Scottsdale Salt River, Casino Arizona at Talking Stick Resort, Talking Stick Golf Club, and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the spring training home of the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks.
Economic impact: Salt Rivers Fields аt Talking Stick accounted fоr 22 percent оf the the attendance for Cactus League baseball, which generates more thаn $300 million а yeаr іn economic impact tо the greater Phoenix metropolitan area economy.
Companies it has helped grow: In 2011, nearby Scottsdale Pavilions — which features 1.1 million square feet of select retail and mixed-use properties — became The Pavilions at Talking Stick. Pavilions has added Hobby Lobby, Mountainside Fitness, Buffalo Wild Wings and Hooters.
Latest news: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick will be one of the ballparks selected to host the first round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic in the spring.
David Hielscher, advertising manager, Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort: “Our property’s diverse, entertainment-driven culture and convenient locations allow us limitless opportunities for future expansion and development.”

Translational Genomics Research Institute

What it is: TGen is a non-profit genomics research institute that seeks to employ genetic discoveries to improve disease outcomes by developing smarter diagnostics and targeted therapeutics.
Economic impact: TGen provides Arizona with a total annual economic impact of $137.7 million, according to the results of an independent analysis done by Tripp Umbach, a national leader in economic forecasting.
Companies it has helped grow: TGen researchers have collaborated with Scottsdale Healthcare, Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic, Ascalon International Inc., MCS Biotech Resources LLC, Semafore Pharmaceuticals Inc., Silamed Inc., Stromaceutics Inc., SynDevRx Inc., and Translational Accelerator LLC (TRAC). and many others.
Latest news: When TGen-generated business spin-offs and commercialization are included,  Tripp Umbach predicts that in 2012 TGen will produce $47.06 for every $1 of state investment, support 3,723 jobs, result in $21.1 million in state tax revenues, and have a total annual economic impact of $258.8 million.
Michael Bidwill, president of the Arizona Cardinals: “TGen is one of this state’s premier medical research and economic assets, and is a standard-bearer for promoting everything that is positive and forward-looking about Arizona.”

University of Arizona’s Tech Park

What it is: The University of Arizona Science and Technology Park (UA Tech Park) sits on 1,345 acres in Southeast Tucson. Almost 2 million square feet of space has been developed featuring high tech office, R&D and laboratory facilities.
Economic impact: In 2009, the businesses that call Tech Park home had an economic impact of $2.67 billion in Pima County. This included $1.81 billion in direct economic impacts such as wages paid and supplies and services purchased and $861 million in indirect and induced dollar impacts. In total, the Tech Park and its companies generated 14,322 jobs (direct, indirect, and induced).
Companies it has helped grow: IBM, Raytheon, Canon USA, Citigroup, NP Photonics, and DILAS Diode Laser.
Latest news: A 38.5-acre photovoltaic array is the latest addition to the Solar Zone technology demonstration area at Tech Park. Power generated from the facility will be sold to Tucson Electric Power Co., providing power for  about 1,000 homes.
Bruce Wright, associate vice president for University Research Parks:  “By 2011, the park had recaptured this lost employment (resulting from the recession) with total employment increasing to 6,944. In addition, the number of tenants had expanded from 50 to 52 reflecting the addition of new companies in the Arizona Center for Innovation and the development of the Solar Zone at the Tech Park.”


Squire Sanders Boosts Labor And Employment Practice

Squire Sanders has significantly expanded its Labor & Employment Practice Group with the addition of a team of lawyers from Greenberg Traurig’s Phoenix office, including the former national co-chair of its Labor and Employment Group, Lawrence Rosenfeld.

Rosenfeld and fellow partner Daniel B. Pasternak join with senior associate Laura Lawless Robertson. Rosenfeld, Pasternak and Lawless Robertson join an already strong Squire Sanders Phoenix labor and employment team, featuring veteran partner D. Lewis Clark, Jr.

Rosenfeld is one of the leading senior employment practitioners in Arizona. He has more than 35 years of employment law experience, particularly in the defense of federal and state statutory employment claims including individual and class action defense of Title VII and wage-hour claims as well as restrictive covenant litigation and client counseling. Rosenfeld also specializes in health care and administrative law. He served as co-chair of Greenberg Traurig’s national labor and employment group for 10 years. Last year, he was elected as a fellow to the prestigious College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, and was this past week recognized by Best Lawyers in America 2013 as Phoenix Litigation Labor and Employment Lawyer of the Year. He has received a number of additional individual accolades, including being named by Human Resources Executive magazine and Lawdragon as one of the “100 Most Powerful Employment Attorneys in America” in 2010, 2011 and 2012.  He is ranked Band 1 in Chambers USA.

Pasternak was co-leader of Greenberg Traurig’s traditional labor practice group. He has a wealth of experience representing employers in a wide range of labor relations matters, including union organizing campaigns, collective bargaining negotiations, unfair labor practice charge and representation case proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board and federal appellate courts, and grievance arbitration proceedings, and has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America as a top management-side labor attorney and in Chambers USA. He frequently speaks at legal and industry seminars advising on current labor and employment issues. In addition to his labor practice, he also represents clients in employment litigation matters, and advises employers on employment law compliance issues. In addition to Arizona, Pasternak also is licensed to practice in Illinois, where he actively handles litigation matters and advises Illinois clients.

Lawless Robertson is a labor and employment litigator and counselor who defends employers in the entire range of employment litigation matters. She was listed as a 2012 “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers magazine’s Southwest Super Lawyers.

Commenting on the additions, Susan M. DiMickele, Squire Sanders’ labor and employment co-practice group leader, said: “We are extremely excited to bring Larry, Dan and Laura to Squire Sanders. Not only do they possess formidable experience, technical know-how and acumen, but they command a reputation in the market that is second to none.”

Phoenix office managing partner John M. Welch added: “This team reflects Squire Sanders’ commitment to establishing a market-leading labor and employment practice, and is part of a wider plan to pursue strategic growth in Phoenix. In addition to labor and employment, we are looking to expand our services in a number of key areas where we are experiencing client demand. We want to add high-quality, productive lawyers who are good people and who share our enthusiasm for a national and international platform.”

Rosenfeld said: “Squire Sanders’ strong and growing local presence and global platform were key factors in our decision to join the practice, and its collaborative and collegial culture also was very attractive. We look forward to working with our new colleagues to help serve clients in innovative ways.”

Squire Sanders’ expanded Phoenix labor and employment group is in the process of planning an all-day seminar in early 2013, at which it will provide updates and timely information about key labor and employment law issues and developments.


Arizona’s Top Lawyers – 2012 Environmental – Estate & Trust Lit

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



Charles A. Bischoff ◆ Jorden Bischoff & Hiser PLC
480-505-3900 ◆ jordenbischoff.com
Bischoff practices in the areas of environmental and natural resources law.

Peter Culp ◆ Squire Sanders
602-528-4063 ◆ squiresanders.com
Culp’s practices includes representing various industrial and municipal clients with regard to facility siting, permitting, regulatory compliance and environmental cleanup matters arising under the major federal and state environmental laws.

Barton D. Day ◆ Polsinelli Shughart PC
602-650-2330 ◆ polsinelli.com
Day has been assisting clients with environmental and other regulatory matters for more than 25 years.

David P. Kimball, III ◆ Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A.
602-530-8130 ◆ 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.

Michelle A. De Blasi ◆ Quarles & Brady LLP
602-229-5448 ◆ quarles.com
De Blasi is chair of the Solar Energy Law Team and focuses her practice on guiding renewable energy projects from concept to completion.

Michael C. Ford ◆ Polsinelli Shughart
602-650-2321 ◆ polsinelli.com
Ford has worked with clients ranging from religious orders to global corporations in navigating the complex web of environmental issues impacting real estate deals and industrial operations.

Ryan Hurley ◆ Rose Law Group
480-240-5585 ◆ roselawgroup.com
Hurley assists renewable energy clients with a variety of issues from entity planning, power purchase negotiations, and various regulatory and compliance issues.

Patrick J. Paul ◆ Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.
602-382-6359 ◆ swlaw.com
Paul’s practice is concentrated in environmental and toxic tort litigation, including mold, asbestos and pollution claims.

Michael J. Pearce ◆ Maguire & Pearce Attorneys at Law
602-277-2195 ◆ mpwaterlaw.com
From 1995 through 2002, Pearce was chief counsel of the Arizona Department of Water Resources and now focuses on his practice on energy and natural resources.

Lee A. Storey ◆ Ballard Spahr LLP
602-798-5443 ◆ ballardspahr.com
Storey has been named to Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, for environmental and water rights law, from 2008-2011.


Rex H. Decker ◆ Decker & Woods PC
480-821-1012 ◆ deckerandwoods.com
Practice area include estate planning, wills, trusts, probate, guardianship and conservatorship, and estate and trust litigation.

Roger T. Hargrove ◆ Fennemore Craig PC
602-916-5459 ◆ fclaw.com
Hargrove practices in the areas of general civil commercial litigation and appeals, with emphasis on probate and trust litigation.

K. Alexander Hobson ◆ Duffield Adamson & Helenbolt, PC
520-792-1181 ◆ duffieldlaw.com
Hobson’s practice areas include estate planning, probate and trust law, elder law, and probate litigation.

Gregory M. Kruzel ◆ Braun Siler Kruzel PC
480-951-8044 ◆ bskarizonalaw.com
Braun Siler Kruzel focuses exclusively on estate planning, trust administration, and settlement of both contested and non-contested estates.

Phoebe Moffatt ◆ Sacks Tierney P.A.
602-268-4700 ◆ sackstierney.com
Moffatt is a certified specialist in estate and trust law, as certified by the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization and the State Bar of Arizona.

Stephen C. Newmark ◆ The Newmark Law Firm, PLLC
602-274-7552 ◆ newmarklawfirm.com
Newmark enjoys helping estate planning clients small and large put their lives and finances in order.

George L. Paul ◆ Lewis and Roca LLP
602-262-5326 ◆ lrlaw.com
Paul handles cases on a wide variety of issues, including probate, estate and trust litigation.

Michelle J. Perkins ◆ Owens & Perkins, P.C.
480-994-8824 ◆ oplaw.com
Perkins practices in the areas of estate planning for individuals and families, trust litigation, and contested and uncontested probate matters.

Jay M. Polk ◆ Barron & Polk PLLC
602-252-8100 ◆ azprobatelawyers.com
Polk’s primary areas of practice are probate, trust, estate, elder and mental health law.

John C. Vryhof ◆ Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.
602-382-6333 ◆ swlaw.com
Vryhof’s practice is concentrated in estate planning, charitable planning, foundation and non-profit organizations, business succession planning, and international estate planning.

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

Squire Sanders ranked No. 1 bond counsel in Arizona

Squire Sanders Ranked No. 1 Bond Counsel In Arizona For 11th Straight Year

Squire Sanders has claimed the No. 1 spot for the 11th consecutive year in Thomson Reuters’ rankings of bond counsel law firms in Arizona.

The rankings are based on the principal dollar amount of long-term municipal new bond issues sold in 2011. During this period, Squire Sanders served as bond counsel on 15 Arizona bond issues worth approximately US $1.5 billion.

Partners Charles James, Jr., Robert Olson and Timothy Pickrell lead the firm’s Phoenix-based public finance team.

“Squire Sanders is committed to the Arizona community and appreciates the opportunity to serve as bond counsel on major public projects and programs throughout the state,” James said. “Earning Thomson Reuters’ top ranking for the past 11 years demonstrates our public finance team’s focus on providing quality, strategic legal services.”

The firm’s public finance lawyers guide clients through financings for a range of public infrastructure projects including facilities for transportation, utilities, education, healthcare, sports and entertainment venues, and general state and local government uses.

Squire Sanders has lawyers in 36 offices and 17 countries around the world.

Squire Sanders

Short Sale - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

The Tax Implications From A Short Sale, Foreclosure

The truth of consequences: There can be tax implications from a short sale and foreclosure

The only sure things in life are death and taxes.

And like death, taxes can sometimes sneak up and surprise you. Some homeowners who have faced foreclosure or a short sale might be startled to learn that they may face tax penalties. And many won’t find out that they owe taxes until they open their mail and find a 1099.

“What most owners of residential homes being foreclosed upon or short selling do not realize is how uncertain, complicated and confusing the federal and state income tax rules are that apply to their situation,” says Eliot Kaplan, a partner with Squire Sanders in Phoenix.

So how is it possible that you can lose your home and still owe money?

“Cancellation of debt (COD)  is the term tax professionals use to describe the kind of income that arises for tax purposes when debt is cancelled or forgiven for less than its full face or principal amount,” says Kelly C. Mooney, a shareholder with the law firm of Gallagher & Kennedy in Phoenix. “COD income is specifically included in a taxpayer’s gross income … COD income is always treated as ‘ordinary’ income for federal tax purposes, such that the tax rates applicable to ordinary income — which can be as high as 35 percent for individuals — apply to COD income.”

Thankfully, all upside-down homeowners won’t face tax implications. Under the Debt Forgiveness Act of 2007, any debt forgiven on a loan used to purchase a principal residence is not taxable income. But if you took out a second mortgage, you might be in tax trouble.

For federal income tax purposes, a short sale or a foreclosure — whether via a judicial foreclosure or a trustee’s sale — can trigger income tax consequences, depending on whether the debt at issue is “recourse” or “nonrecourse” for federal tax purposes, says Mooney.

If your mortgage is non-recourse, your lender can’t make you pay the loan. The only thing it can do is foreclose and sell your house for payment on the debt. If the borrower defaults, the lender can seize the collateral, but the lender’s recovery is limited to the collateral.

“If the debt was nonrecourse, meaning the lender had no recourse other than to take the home back, the debt forgiveness is not taxable,” says Dale A. Walters, CPA, Keats, Connnelly and Associates in Phoenix. “However, there will be a reportable gain to the homeowner if the sales price of the home is greater than the mortgage. Many states allow you to walk away from your (no-recourse) mortgage because of anti-deficiency statutes that prohibit lenders from seeking judgments.”

States that have anti-deficiency laws are Arizona, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Washington.

Where homeowners get into tax trouble is if they are facing a foreclosure or short sale and they have taken out a second mortgage or line of credit against their home.

“All second mortgages and lines of credit are recourse loans,” Walters says.

With a recourse loan, you’re personally responsible for repaying the bank or mortgage company. If you don’t repay the loan, or default, the bank can sue you for the remaining amount due on your loan if the proceeds from a foreclosure or short sale don’t cover the amount you owe. While mortgages are typically nonrecourse debt, a foreclosure can trigger the loan to become recourse debt at the request of the lending institution.

“The difference between a ‘recourse’ loan or a ‘nonrecourse’ loan under state law is whether the lender has the right to collect the deficiency,” Kaplan says.

And what about the tax implications?

Kaplan explains using this example: A homeowner purchased a residential home in 2007 for $1 million, used $100,000 cash as a downpayment, took out an interest-only recourse loan of $900,000 that was secured by the residential home, and used the home as his or her personal residence. In 2011, when the residential home had a fair market value of $700,000, the owner voluntarily gave back the home to the lender.

“Using the foreclosure and short sale facts above, if the lender decides as part of the foreclosure or the short sale to forgive the deficiency, the owner will have taxable ordinary income equal to the $200,000 deficiency,” Kaplan says.

“Fortunately, until January 1, 2013, the U.S. and Arizona have provided for relief from having to include the lender forgiveness of the $200,000 deficiency described in the above foreclosure or short sale as taxable income,” Kaplan says.

So how do you know if you’re going to face the tax man after a short sale or foreclosure?
“The best way to know is to ask your tax advisor,” says Lawrence Warfield of Warfield & Company, CPAs in Scottsdale. “The tax from some debt forgiveness can be avoided, but the facts and circumstances of each depend on various scenarios and issues.”

Understanding the terms: Foreclosure and Short Sale

Foreclosure: When a lender acquires ownership of the residential home securing its loan either through the owner of the residential home voluntarily transferring the residential home to lender or through the lender exercising its state law foreclosure rights.

Short sale: When the lender permits an owner of a residential home which secures its loan to sell such residential home for less than what is owed to the lender under the loan. Usually, the lender receives all the proceeds from such sale.

5 questions to ask

Here are some helpful questions that you will need to ask you tax professional:

1. Can I avoid paying taxes on the forgiven debt if I was insolvent at the time of the short sale?
2. Do I have to file bankruptcy to be considered insolvent?
3. If you already went through a short sale and paid taxes can you file an amended return and get a refund?
4. Does a IRS Form 982 have to be filed in order to be eligible for tax relief?
5. Am I protected under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act Of 2007?

Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act (MFDRA)

Generally, the MFDRA lets you exclude from your taxable income most if not all of any cancelled or forgiven debt that might come about because of a foreclosure. There are limits, however:

1. The cancelled debt has to be on your principal residence. The debt can be from a loan that you took out to buy, build or substantially improve your home. It can also be for refinancing the mortgage on your home. Since it applies only to your principal residence, commercial and vacation properties usually don’t qualify.
2. Only debt that’s forgiven in 2007 through 2012 qualifies.
3. If you file a joint tax return with your spouse, you can exclude up to $2 million of forgiven debt from your income. If you’re married and file separately, you can exclude up to $1 million.
4. You have to report the amount of forgiven debt on a special IRS form, and attach it to your tax return.

Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012