Being one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona for 2024 Arizona requires a combination of legal expertise, ethical conduct and effective communication. In-depth knowledge of Arizona’s state laws and a commitment to staying updated on legal developments are fundamental.

Successful lawyers in the state possess strong analytical and problem-solving skills, enabling them to navigate complex cases. They also demonstrate excellent communication and negotiation abilities, fostering positive client relationships. With over 1.3 million practicing lawyers in the US, these professionals are in high demand, and their skills are essential for ensuring justice for all.

Given Arizona’s diverse population, cultural competence and the ability to relate to a variety of clients are crucial. Upholding high ethical standards and integrity is imperative for building trust in the legal profession. Additionally, an understanding of local nuances and a proactive approach to legal issues contribute to excellence in the practice of law in Arizona.

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The Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona for 2024 embody all those qualities. To compile the list of the Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona for 2024, Az Business magazine uses an algorithm that factors in professional ratings, client reviews, impact on the legal profession and community impact. Using that algorithm, here are the Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona for 2024.

Amy Abdo

Director // Fennemore 

Practice areas: Business litigation, healthcare, employment and labor, professional liability

Background: Abdo — “the lawyers’ lawyer” — is a seasoned trial attorney renowned for excellence in professional liability defense and commercial litigation and boasts an unparalleled track record representing premier law firms and business clients. Licensed in Arizona, Nevada and California, Abdo’s pragmatic, strategic approach shines through in all phases of litigation, from bench and jury trials to arbitrations and mediation. Adept at leading legal teams, her expertise spans business litigation, employment law and complex civil disputes. 

Source of pride: Abdo is a strategic trial attorney and has defended numerous jury trials to complete defense verdict. Elite law firms and leading attorneys hire the best. Those engagements are a testament to the caliber of skills and intellectual rigor Abdo brings to her clients and the courtroom.

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Andrew Abraham

President and shareholder // Burch & Cracchiolo

Practice areas: Real estate law, real estate litigation, commercial litigation

Background: Abraham has served as Burch & Cracchiolo’s president since 2017. In the course of his 40-plus years of practice in commercial litigation, real estate law and litigation, Abraham has successfully tried real property cases to verdict, including adverse possession claims and condemnation matters. He closed over 200 loans, most of which were in excess of $1 million and cured hundreds of title claims. Abraham also has substantial experience in the area of franchisor/franchisee relations. 

Source of pride: “Getting deals across the finish line. It takes a lot of teamwork among the buyers, sellers, brokers, title companies, architects, engineers, lenders and other professionals, while at the same time representing the best interests of my client. Seeing everyone come together for ‘wins’ all the way around is rewarding.”

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Lynne C. Adams

Partner // Osborn Maledon

Practice areas: Education law, government and regulatory law, open meeting law and public records law

Background: Adams is a strategic advisor and confidante to many of Arizona’s educators, navigating the everyday challenges faced by learning institutions so that they can focus on providing quality attention and scholarship to students across the state. Since her time serving as chief counsel of the Education and Health Section of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, Adams has provided more than two decades’ worth of service to a wide range of charter schools, school districts, private schools, community colleges and public and private universities.

Source of pride: “I am so proud to have worked with — and mentored — many young women lawyers over my career, and seeing them be successful and happy makes me incredibly happy.”

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John Balitis

Partner // Radix Law

Practice areas: Labor and employment law

Background: Balitis is an attorney with more than 35 years of experience assisting employers in Arizona and Colorado in all aspects of labor and employment law. In addition to counseling clients and representing them in bench trials, jury trials, appeals and administrative forums, Balitis serves as an arbitrator and mediator in work-related disputes. He is engaged in this capacity through the American Arbitration Association, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and in private proceedings. Balitis is a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and is ranked by Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America and Southwest Super Lawyers.

Source of pride: “Partnering with clients and helping them succeed with the benefit of my advice is my greatest accomplishment. This type of client collaboration is fulfilling to me because it doesn’t involve a single case or matter, but is ongoing and has been throughout my career.”

Trend to watch: “The change in executive branch party affiliation as a result of the last presidential election has driven widespread developments in federal employment law and regulations. These developments generally have involved a strengthening of worker rights in the areas of compensation, competitive freedom and collective influence. Some of these changes still are formulating but may be finalized in 2024. As a result, it will be important for business leaders to monitor Congressional legislation and related rulemaking next year in order to ensure compliance with new employment-related rules and standards.”

Attraction to the legal industry: “The legal industry became very attractive to me when I realized in college that I wasn’t cut out for a career in medicine.”

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Mark E. Barker

Partner // JHKM Lawyers

Practice areas: Construction and commercial litigation practice with an emphasis on surety and fidelity law, construction law and business dispute resolution

Adam Baugh

Partner // Withey Morris Baugh

Practice areas: Land use and zoning

Background: Baugh is a land use and zoning attorney and partner at Withey Morris Baugh, PLC. He is an experienced problem-solver with a talent for removing obstacles impeding development. Baugh has helped landowners and builders succeed in environments that frequently appear hostile to development. He regularly appears before neighborhood organizations, planning commissions, city councils and appellate hearings to advocate and obtain land use entitlements, business approvals and liquor licenses. Baugh also has unique experience working with infill development projects across the Valley. Beyond land use entitlements, Baugh handles intensive real estate matters including easements, code enforcement violations and development agreements.

Source of pride: “From starting as the newest attorney and lowest man on the totem pole in 2006, to owning the same firm in 2016, is a dream come true. But what I couldn’t foresee is the wonderful team and staff we have making us the largest land use law firm in the State of Arizona. Everybody is exceptional personally, and sharp professionally.”

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Alan M. Bayless Feldman

Principal and office litigation manager // Jackson Lewis 

Practice areas: Employment and traditional labor law

Keith Beauchamp

Partner // Coppersmith Brockelman

Practice areas: Business torts, legal malpractice, litigation involving directors and officers, theft of trade secrets and restrictive covenants

Timothy J. Berg

Director // Fennemore

Practice areas: Civil appeals, state constitutional and public law, public records law and public utilities regulation

Background: Berg is a distinguished attorney in Fennemore’s business litigation group. Former managing partner, Berg’s appellate prowess encompasses more than 750 appeals, showcasing expertise in constitutional law, public records and utilities regulation. Beyond litigation, he navigates public records disputes, shapes legal frameworks as an Arizona Uniform Laws Commissioner and serves as firm counsel.

Source of pride: “I represented Gov. Jan Brewer in Arizona Supreme Court litigation defending the expansion of AHCCCS benefits to an under-served population. I am currently president of the national Uniform Law Commission and am past president of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers.”

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Steven N. Berger

Shareholder // Engelman Berger

Practice areas: Bankruptcy and reorganization, creditor’s rights, loan workouts, business restructurings, business and real estate disputes, mediation

Stephen Boatwright

Shareholder // Gallagher & Kennedy

Practice areas: Corporate and business transactions, securities, corporate counsel

Background: Leading the firm’s securities practice, Boatwright has negotiated and documented more than several billion dollars in financing and mergers and acquisitions. He handles public and private business mergers and acquisitions for buyers and sellers of businesses of all kinds and sizes and advises companies in raising private equity and public financing. Ranked among the best transactional attorneys, Boatwright has been recognized in Best Lawyers in America for business organizations, corporate law and securities regulation.

Source of pride: “I recently concluded my representation of a medical company whose product radiates cancerous cells. As its legal counsel for almost 20 years, I merged three companies concurrently and coordinated agreements to the merger among physicists, scientists and doctors. Taking the combined company public, we ultimately raised over $200 million on Wall Street. The main supplier for the client was in Russia, which meant complying with numerous nuclear, FDA and federal regulations, while simultaneously working with counsel in 20 unique specialties. I am proud of this work because, while professionally challenging, it was also rewarding to be part of the success of a life-saving product.”

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Nicholas Boca

Partner / managing family law attorney // Cantor Law Group

Practice areas: Family law

Background: A Phoenix native, Boca began his career as an assistant attorney general, representing the Department of Child Safety. In this position, he appeared in several hundred court hearings, mediations and trials. After that, Boca started with Cantor Law Group, where he now is the managing family law partner. As a Board-Certified Family Law Specialist, Boca’s trial experience continues to build, handling extremely contentious custody matters, along with high-net-worth, complex and high-profile cases. He is the co-chair of the MCBA family law section and past chair of the Juvenile Law Section for the State Bar of Arizona.

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Heather Boysel

Member // Gammage & Burnham

Practice areas: Commercial litigation attorney with an emphasis in the healthcare field

Erin E. Bradham

Partner // Dentons US

Practice areas: Commercial litigation, particularly disputes involving insurance, healthcare, aviation and class action defense

Rebecca Cain

Partner // Silver Cain

Background: Cain is a trial lawyer with a background in business administration. She has represented businesses and individuals in high-stakes disputes for over 15 years. Cain offers special expertise in early case assessment, simplifying complex factual and legal issues for presentation to judge or jury, and developing comprehensive, efficient plans for mediation and litigation.

Source of pride: “I have been fortunate to develop my practice working with very skilled attorneys both on the transactional and litigation side. I gained experience in high stakes matters early on. I am proud of many case outcomes over the years because of what those outcomes have meant for my clients on both personal and professional levels. My partner and I are excited to be able to continue to provide our clients sophisticated legal counsel without some of the roadblocks that can occur at big law firms.”

Trend to watch: “In 2024 and beyond, business leaders should anticipate an increased focus on cyber litigation as businesses grapple with heightened cybersecurity concerns. The evolving regulatory environment around data privacy and security will lead to more legal disputes related to breaches and compliance issues. Additionally, as technology continues to advance, disputes arising from technology contracts, artificial intelligence, automation and intellectual property rights will become more prevalent.”

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David Michael Cantor

Founding partner // DM Cantor

Practice areas: Criminal defense, homicide, white collar and sex crimes

Background: Cantor is a Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialist, and has conducted more than 200 jury trials in his 30-plus year career. These have ranged from misdemeanor DUI, to multi-million-dollar federal white collar and double-capital murder defense jury trials. He has also handled hundreds of pre-indictment sex crime allegations, as well as dozens of Professional Board and Title 9 defenses. Cantor has not only defended regular Arizona citizens, but also many high-profile businesses and clients whose cases have been featured on national media outlets such as CNN, the CBS morning show, Hannity and Colmes, Inside Edition, Anderson Cooper Live, Good Morning America and the Howard Stern Show.


Stephanie M. Cerasano

Office managing principal // Jackson Lewis

Practice areas: Employment law

Anne Chapman

Attorney // Mitchell | Stein | Carey | Chapman

Practice areas: Complex criminal cases involving bank, mail and wire fraud, mortgage fraud, forfeiture, identity theft, money laundering and more

Paul K. Charlton

Office managing partner // Dentons US

Practice areas: Complex litigation, internal investigations and white-collar criminal defense matters

Shannon L. Clark

Shareholder// Gallagher & Kennedy

Practice areas: Plaintiff’s personal injury and wrongful death

Background: Clark is a shareholder and member of the board of directors at Gallagher & Kennedy. Co-leader of the firm’s plaintiffs personal injury and wrongful death practice, Clark is dedicated to trying, litigating, and resolving cases involving motor vehicle crashes, aviation disasters, commercial trucking wrecks, product liability and professional negligence. 

Source of pride: “In my career, I’ve been a part of several cases that have caused product manufacturers to recall dangerous products and make them safer. I’m very proud to know that my work has been able to help secure compensation for deserving victims and also make the world a little bit safer of a place.”

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Scott B. Cohen

Shareholder //Engelman Berger

Practice areas: Bankruptcy and creditors’ rights matters, loan workouts, business turnarounds, Chapter 11 reorganizations and commercial litigation

Edward O. Comitz

Member //Comitz | Stanley

Practice areas: Civil and commercial litigation, real estate litigation

Amy Cotton Peterson

National chair, Health Law Practice Group // Quarles 

Practice areas: Healthcare

Jennifer A. Cranston

Shareholder// Gallagher & Kennedy

Practice areas: Real estate disputes involving condemnation and valuation issues, insurance coverage analysis and bad faith litigation, and public utility regulation

Background: Cranston is a shareholder and member of the board of directors at Gallagher & Kennedy. She advises a variety of corporate and business clients in connection with real estate disputes involving condemnation and valuation, insurance coverage analysis and bad faith litigation, and public utility regulation and rate cases. Cranston is the co-host and organizer of the semi-annual Condemnation Summit in Arizona, a member and past president of AZCREW, and has been recognized by Az Business Leaders, AZRE’s AZ Big 100 Women Leaders and Best Lawyers in America.

Source of pride: “It’s hard to pick a single event, so I’ll focus on a recent set of accomplishments instead. Over the past three years, I’ve helped three different clients attain excellent litigation results in cases where my clients were in the right — from a fairness perspective — but the law and the practicalities of our legal system created uphill battles. Achieving unexpected success for good people is an incredibly rewarding experience.”

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Helen R. Davis

Senior member // The Cavanagh Law Firm

Practice areas: Family law

Susan E. Demmitt

Member // Gammage & Burnham

Practice areas: Land use and real estate

John E. DeWulf

Partner // Coppersmith Brockelman

Practice areas: Contracts, business torts, trade secrets, real estate, securities, intellectual property, professional malpractice, officer and director liability, and products

Michael M. Donahey

Partner // Snell & Wilmer

Practice areas: Mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, SEC reporting and compliance, condemnation, corporate governance and venture capital

John Alan Doran

Member // Sherman & Howard

Practice areas: Labor and employment, litigation, trials, appeals

Daniel G. Dowd

President and partner // Cohen Dowd Quigley

Practice areas: Complex business litigation and administrative disputes

Edward Earle

Managing attorney // Lerner & Rowe

Practice areas: Personal injury

Diana Ezrré Robles

Partner // Snow, Carpio & Weekley 

Practice areas: Workers’ compensation, personal injury, wrongful death and medical malpractice

Rachel Frazier Johnson

Founder // Rachel Frazier Johnson Law

Practice areas: Family law and personal injury

Background: Rachel Frazier Johnson is an experienced, innovative powerhouse. Focusing her practice in family law and personal injury, law is her expertise and it is a skill she has mastered in order to alter life paths for the better, everywhere she goes. Her skills and leadership, combined with the dedicated and passionate team she’s assembled, makes Rachel Frazier Johnson Law Arizona’s choice law firm. 

Experience: Part of Frazier Johnson’s extensive experience includes serving as a judge pro tem since 2002, where she’s presided over high-profile and complex cases involving litigation that requires specialized legal knowledge. She has served as a judge pro tem for trial courts and appellate court panels alike. She’s a breath of fresh air with her original approach and intense focus on solutions. Frazier Johnson has demonstrated her abilities in several courts, including tribal, city and state courts. This gives her a 360-degree eye for cases. She has the mind of a skilled attorney, the perspective of a judge and a heart for her clients.

Community impact: Frazier Johnson is the chair of the Juvenile Law Section Executive Council and a member of the Arizona Supreme Court’s Task Force on Rules of Procedure for Special Actions. Previously, Frazier Johnson has been the co-chair of the State Bar of Arizona’s Communications Advisory Committee, and a member of the State Bar of Arizona’s Standing Appointments Committee.

Source of pride: “I am tremendously proud and passion about about my work with women and children. I continue to work with these underserved groups through my volunteerism, leadership, philanthropy and advocacy. This fervor is also reflected in my creative endeavors as a producer of two theater productions.”

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Lucas P. Frei

Attorney // Phillips Law Group 

Practice areas: Tax controversy and litigation, tax planning, estate planning, probate, immigration, business law and personal injury

Derek R. Funk

Senior associate // Comitz | Stanley

Practice areas: Civil and commercial litigation, real estate litigation, asset protection litigation

Stacy M. Gabriel

Founding member // Gabriel & Ashworth

Practice areas: Employment law

Garrick L. Gallagher

Owner and director // Sanders & Parks

Practice areas: Personal injury, mass torts, insurance litigation and coverage

James Goodnow

CEO // Fennemore

Background: Goodnow leads Fennemore, which has 17 offices and roughly 600 legal professionals across the U.S. Nearly two decades after starting his career at the firm as a file clerk, he became the youngest known chief executive of a major law firm in the U.S. when he moved into the position in 2018. He holds his J.D. from Harvard Law School and dual management certificates from MIT, where he was an enrolled MBA student before pivoting to the University of Cambridge Business School (UK), where he earned a master’s degree in entrepreneurship. He earned a BS at Santa Clara University, where he graduated first in his class. 

Source of pride: Fennemore has more than doubled in size and in the five years Goodnow has been CEO. He has helped lead the M&A teams that have resulted in the opening of 10 new Fennemore offices nationwide.

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Nicole Maroulakos Goodwin

Co-managing shareholder // Greenberg Traurig 

Practice areas: Real estate litigation, financial services litigation and post-acquisition disputes

Benjamin Gottlieb

Founder // Gottlieb Law

Practice areas: Real estate law

Background: Gottlieb is the founder of Gottlieb Law, PLC. He graduated with high honors from the business program at Michigan State University, and then attended the Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law at Arizona State University, where he served as the managing editor for the Arizona State Law Journal. Gottlieb is an experienced attorney who has handled hundreds of real estate, business and commercial cases. His 13-plus year legal career has been highlighted by numerous court victories and successful settlements for his clients in a wide range of commercial litigation and real estate matters.

Source of pride: “Prevailing in several jury trials at a relatively early point in my career. It is a great feeling to put all that hard work in and have the jury ultimately rule in favor of your client.”

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Stacey F. Gottlieb

Partner // Papetti Samuels Weiss McKirgan

Practice areas: Criminal law

Andrew F. Halaby

Shareholder // Greenberg Traurig

Practice areas: Intellectual property, law of lawyering and business matters

Diane M. Haller

Partner // Quarles 

Practice areas: Commercial real estate development and borrower financing counsel

Christina S. Hamilton

Senior member // The Cavanagh Law Firm

Practice areas: Family law

D. Lamar Hawkins

Partner // Guidant Law Firm

Practice areas: Commercial and consumer debt workout and bankruptcy services

Background: Chair of the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization’s Bankruptcy Law Advisory Commission, Hawkins is one of the leading voices in Arizona for bankruptcy law. His practice focuses on all phases of debt workout and bankruptcy services, including Chapter 11 and Subchapter V 11 reorganization, Chapter 7 liquidation, financial workout negotiation and creditors’ rights. Attuned to the complexities of bankruptcy code, he advises both buyers and sellers with significant bankruptcy sales and secures favorable financial resolutions. Hawkins offers extensive knowledge in bankruptcy planning, local rules and procedures and associated tax issues.

Source of pride: “When I drive around town and see all of the businesses that I represented in their reorganization process. Seeing that they are still a viable and thriving business for the benefit of the community brings me pride.”

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Michael J. Holden

Member // Holden Willits

Practice areas: Construction law, representing primarily owners, contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers and sureties

David N. Horowitz

Partner // Warner Angle Hallam Jackson & Formanek

Practice areas: Family law and domestic relations

Susanne Ingold

Partner // Burch & Cracchiolo

Practice areas: Employment law and litigation

Background: Ingold practices in employment law and litigation and regularly advises clients regarding issues of workplace discrimination, employer policies, employee discipline and termination, and compliance with state and federal labor and employment laws. She regularly represents clients before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and in complex litigation matters in state and federal court. Ingold has successfully defended corporations, businesses, employers, executives and management in jury trials throughout Arizona’s state and federal courts.

Source of pride: “The professional accomplishments I’m most proud of are my client relationships. I’ve built these relationships on confidence and trust through providing expertise, advice and support whenever and wherever needed, even in the courtroom. Working together with my clients to achieve great results is the ultimate accomplishment.”

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Megan E. Irwin

Office managing partner // Husch Blackwell 

Practice area: Environmental law

William A. Kelhoffer

Managing attorney // Rafi Law Group

Practice areas: Personal injury

Background: Kelhoffer serves as the managing attorney at Rafi Law Group. With a laser focus on client needs, Kelhoffer is a dedicated personal injury advocate, committed to achieving exceptional results. A proud Phoenix native, Kelhoffer earned a business and communication degree from ASU, followed by his law degree from Phoenix School of Law in 2013. Admitted to practice law before the Arizona Supreme Court and District Court, Kelhoffer brings years of experience as a trusted personal injury attorney in Phoenix.

Source of pride: “My professional pride peaks in consistently securing favorable outcomes for clients at Rafi Law Group. As managing attorney, I wholeheartedly devote myself to attentive listening, investing long hours to optimize recovery. Each successful case is a testament to my unwavering commitment to justice and excellence.”

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Benjamin J. Kelly

Partner // Husch Blackwell

Practice areas: Estate planning

Andy Kvesic

Managing partner // Radix Law

Practice areas: Arizona alternative business structures, general counsel 

Background: Kvesic serves as general counsel to private businesses across Arizona and the U.S. He is also a leading advisor on Arizona Alternative Business Structures, helping his clients obtain ABS licenses and establish innovative law firm operations in Arizona. His prior professional roles include practicing civil litigation and serving as a prosecutor at the Arizona Attorney General’s Office where he focused on high profile racketeering, securities fraud and public corruption matters. His combination of experience in litigation, criminal matters, appeals, government & regulatory affairs, crisis management and private business provides one of a kind value, helping his clients achieve their goals while protecting against threats to their success.

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Marc Lamber

Director // Fennemore

Practice areas: Personal injury

Background: Lamber is a Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent rated trial attorney focusing on plaintiff’s catastrophic injury and wrongful death litigation at Fennemore, where he has chaired the department for 30 years. He is a recognized leader in the personal injury law context, including for his innovative and effective use of technology in his practice. The American Bar Association Journal has named Lamber one the “techiest lawyers in America.” 

Source of price: Newsweek has named Lamber one of the “20 Leaders Plaintiff’s Trial Lawyers” and Apple profiled him on its website for his innovative use of its new products in his personal injury law practice. Attorney at Law Magazine named Lamber and his team the “No. 1 personal injury team in the U.S.”

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Caroline Larsen

Partner // Thorpe Shwer 

Practice areas: Employment law and litigation

Larry S. Lazarus

Partner and owner // Lazarus & Silvyn

Background: For more than four decades, Lazarus’ expertise has helped his clients achieve successful outcomes. Best of all, these outcomes are designed to advance not only his client’s interests but also community goals overall and contribute to the quality of life throughout the state. Lazarus & Silvyn, P.C. delivers sound and sustainable results through excellence in sustainable developments, land use law, zoning, comprehensive and general planning, project approvals, commercial real estate transactional law, managing multi-disciplinary teams and GIS mapping.

Professional accomplishments: Lazarus has been recognized annually in Best Lawyers in America since 2007. Lazarus & Silvyn has also been ranked annually in U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms.” Lazarus & Silvyn, P.C., founded in 2012, provides the highest quality commercial land use legal services throughout Arizona, with offices located in Phoenix and Tucson.

Contact: or 602-340-0900

Glen Lerner

Founding partner // Lerner & Rowe

Practice areas: Personal injury

Andrea G. Lovell

Office managing shareholder // Littler

Practice areas: Labor and employment

William J. Maledon

Partner // Osborn Maledon

Practice areas: Alternative dispute resolution, antitrust and trade regulation counseling and litigation, appellate, commercial litigation, sports law 

Background: Maledon is amongst the most esteemed commercial litigation and trial attorneys in Arizona and across the U.S., and has built a widely recognized reputation for leading large-scale and complex commercial matters. 

Source of pride: “I have had many satisfying professional accomplishments in my long career, but perhaps the most satisfying for me is to see how my law firm has grown and prospered over the years. Today, and for the past decade or more, Osborn Maledon has been rated by several national and international legal ranking publications as the No. 1 litigation and corporate transactional law firm in Arizona. That is a testament to the high quality of our attorneys and their work. I am very proud of that accomplishment.”

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Paul J. McGoldrick

Owner and attorney // Shorall McGoldrick Zerlaut

Practice areas: Personal injury and wrongful death

Background: McGoldrick is an Arizona native. He has been licensed to practice in Arizona since 1985. He is certified as a specialist in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation by the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America and was the 2023 Lawyer of the Year (Phoenix) for Personal Injury Litigation – Defense. Additionally, McGoldrick was recently voted the Trial Lawyer of the Year for 2023 by the Phoenix Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates.

Source of pride: “Over the years I have successfully tried a wide variety of cases for both plaintiffs and defendants. I receive a great deal of personal satisfaction helping people resolve their disputes whether by settlement or at the courthouse.”

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Michael McGrath 

Partner and board chair  // Mesch Clark Rothschild 

Practice areas: Debtor and creditor rights as well as commercial and real estate litigation and transactions 

Christopher J. Meister

Office managing shareholder // Ogletree Deakins

Practice areas: Employment law and labor relations

James P. Melendres

Partner // Snell & Wilmer

Practice areas: Federal and state criminal, civil and regulatory enforcement; cybersecurity

Tracy A. Miller 

Shareholder  // Ogletree Deakins 

Practice areas: Labor and employment law and civil rights 

Jason Barclay Morris

Founding partner // Withey Morris Baugh

Practice areas: Land use, planning, zoning and government relations

Background: Morris is a graduate of the Arizona College of Law, and a founding partner at the law firm of Withey Morris Baugh, PLC. Morris’ practice is exclusively in land use, planning, zoning and government relations. Morris’ client list includes several national homebuilders, master plan developers, commercial-industrial landowners and Fortune 100 companies. 

Source of pride: “I’ve been fortunate during my 30 years of practice to work on a variety of high-profile cases — from the Trump Building to the Agritopia master plan, from the largest industrial project to the highest-end resorts — but sometimes it’s the smallest effort that means the most. Being able to donate my time to The Joy Bus Diner, a restaurant which funds meals for cancer patients, is perhaps the best use of my professional talents.”

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Kiersten A. Murphy

Attorney // Henze Cook Murphy

Practice areas: Public procurement, commercial litigation, appeals

Jonathan V. O’Steen

Partner // O’Steen & Harrison

Practice areas: Personal injury

James E. Padish

Partner // Padish Law Group 

Practice areas: Civil litigation — including divorce, medical malpractice, mental health, insurance fraud, tax evasion

Randy Papetti

Partner // Papetti Samuels Weiss McKirgan

Practice areas: Commercial litigation, intellectual property, criminal law

Kristy Peters

Office managing shareholder // Littler

Practice areas: Labor and employment

Steven Plitt

Senior member // The Cavanagh Law Firm

Practice areas: Insurance defense 

Alana L. Porrazzo

Partner // JHKM Lawyers

Practice areas: Fidelity and surety law and construction law

Scott I. Palumbo

Founding partner // Palumbo Wolfe & Palumbo

Practice areas: Personal injury

Background: Palumbo is a trial lawyer dedicated to representing those who have suffered serious personal injuries and those who have lost loved ones to wrongful death. He is a past president of the Arizona Association for Justice/Arizona Trial Lawyers Association and an adjunct professor at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Palumbo is included in The Best Lawyers in America and was named the 2023 “Lawyer of the Year” for both Plaintiff’s Medical Malpractice Law and Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Litigation. Palumbo is also a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum — an organization that maintains membership exclusively for those lawyers who have recovered settlements or verdicts in excess of $2 million dollars. He has held a “superb” 10/10 rating on for well over a decade. 

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Jason Pritchett

Principal partner // Radix Law

Practice areas: Commercial business transactions; corporate compliance; mergers, acquisitions and finance; business crisis management; sports consulting and advisement

Background: Pritchett has and continues to provide turnkey outside general counsel services to numerous businesses across a variety of industries — from start-ups to businesses in transition or crisis to Fortune 1000 companies. Pritchett’s diverse practice experience in both the litigation and corporate worlds grants him a unique and valuable perspective of business transactions and entity development from inception to completion. This value and solution-based insight enable Pritchett to efficiently and effectively advance his client’s interests ­— whether agents and athletes, corporate boards, and C-Suite executives or start-up entrepreneurs alike. Pritchett has a passion for business and is a leader in the field of finding solutions-based options for his client’s overall business and personal success.

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Stephanie Quincy

Shareholder // Greenberg Traurig

Practice areas: Employment litigation, including class action and multi-plaintiff lawsuits

Brandon B. Rafi

Founder // Rafi Law Group

Practice areas: Personal injury

Background: Rafi, an Arizona native, founder of Rafi Law Group and dedicated philanthropist, learned the value of hard work from his immigrant parents at a young age. A Brophy College Preparatory and University of Arizona alum, he established his firm eight years ago, prioritizing unparalleled care and confidence for clients. Through unwavering dedication, Rafi Law Group has become Arizona’s top personal injury firm, assisting more than 30,000 Arizonans. Committed to community upliftment, Rafi’s philanthropic mission aligns with his passion for helping others.

Source of pride: “My most prideful professional accomplishment is founding Rafi Law Group and steering it to become Arizona’s top personal injury firm. This journey reflects my commitment to justice, client care and community impact. Building a company culture centered on diversity and inclusion, we’ve created a workplace where excellence thrives.”

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Cathy L. Reece

Director // Fennemore 

Practice areas: Financial restructuring, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights

Background: Reece, director in the Financial Restructuring Practice Group at Fennemore, has extensive experience in commercial finance and real estate workouts/bankruptcies. She represents debtors, committees, lenders and other major parties in complex bankruptcies and receiverships. Representative cases include Foster Grant, America West Airlines, Baptist Foundation of Arizona, Mortgages Ltd., Arizona Coyotes and El Paso Refinery. She is listed in Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers and Benchmark’s Top 250 Women in Litigation and is president of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers.

Source of pride: “We worked on several cases in bankruptcy courts where elderly Arizona citizens were victims of fraud or alleged Ponzi schemes. We represented Chapter 11 trustees and Creditor’s Committees in several cases where we recovered money through the court system and assisted the state regulatory agencies in pursuing justice on behalf of the vulnerable citizens.”

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Patricia Lee Refo 

Partner // Snell & Wilmer  

Practice areas: Complex commercial litigation and internal investigations, professional malpractice defense 

Lisa Reilly Payton

Senior partner // Frazer Ryan Goldberg & Arnold

Practice areas: Estate planning, tax planning and federal and state tax controversy

Background: Payton assists clients facing collection or audit issues before the IRS and state taxing authorities. In addition to this, she helps individuals and business owners with estate planning, succession planning and entity formation. Payton employs an all-female team of professional women. She was also featured as one of the Most Influential Women in Arizona in 2018 and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in 2023.

Source of pride: “The professional accomplishment that gives me the most joy was becoming an equity partner at my firm. It was a goal I strived to accomplish in my 30s. The reason it was so important to me was that I wanted to show other young females coming up in the practice of law that they could achieve partner status if it was their goal.”

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Cynthia A. Ricketts 

Founding partner // Ricketts Case 

Practice areas: Complex contract and commercial litigation, consumer class action defense 

Joel B. Robbins 

Partner // Robbins & Curtin 

Practice areas: Personal injury  

David B. Rosenbaum

Partner // Osborn Maledon

Practice areas: Complex litigation, including securities and intellectual property litigation; class action claims

Background: Valued by clients for his ability to analyze and respond to complicated commercial litigation, Rosenbaum has built a strong practice representing Fortune 50 companies in state and federal courts. Rosenbaum has served as president of the Federal Bar Association Phoenix Chapter and Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, enriching his knowledge and experience to shrewdly navigate the finer points of litigating in the federal courts.

Source of pride: “Reaching good outcomes for clients in their litigated disputes brings pride and satisfaction, but those feelings are short lived. Longer lasting satisfaction comes from public service. I have been blessed with many opportunities to serve the legal profession and the community at large through leadership posts on boards and committees, where lasting changes are made that benefit many, not just a few.”

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T.J. Ryan

Senior partner // Frazer Ryan Goldberg & Arnold

Practice areas: Estate planning

Background: A senior partner with Frazer Ryan Goldberg & Arnold, Ryan’s practice encompasses a wide range of issues related to family estates, including estate and business planning, probate and trust administration and litigation of contested issues involving trusts and estates. Ryan has co-authored two books on estate planning and probate practice, and is a frequent speaker on these topics.

Source of pride: “I take great pride in being named a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) in 2017. Becoming an ACTEC Fellow means that your legal peers have identified you as a subject matter expert in the area of estates and trusts, and someone who has given back to both clients and the bar in general, in the form of service, writing and speaking. As a Fellow, I’m exposed to the best and brightest estate and trust lawyers across the country, providing an almost limitless resource of experience and intelligence from which I can draw.”

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Darin A. Sender

President and founder // Sender Associates

Practice areas: Land use and zoning

Background: Sender is a zoning attorney and president and founder of Sender Associates, a woman-owned and AV-rated law firm based in Tempe, celebrating its 23rd anniversary this year. For more than 30 years, Sender has been involved in the development and entitlement fields. She is proud to have entitled 2,904 urban high-rise residential units averaging 253 Dwellings per Unit Area (DUA) in the past seven years, with 800 units averaging 292 DUA currently in entitlements. Sender is very proud to be helping build Tempe’s new skyline as entitlement counsel for many distinctive Tempe projects such as: The Union by Opus, The Local/Whole Foods by Forum Development, The Westin Tempe by CAI Investments and The Pier by Springbrook Development.

Source of pride: “I am proud my firm has reached its 23rd year. I have many amazing clients who care about the communities they develop in and the quality of the projects they build. I still enjoy my work every day.”

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Thomas J. Salerno 

Partner // Stinson 

Practice areas: Bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, aviation and aerospace 

Bruce Samuels 

Partner // Papetti Samuels Weiss McKirgan 

Practice areas: Litigation 

Brian J. Schulman 

Attorney // Weiss Brown 

Practice areas: Complex business disputes, including contract matters, fraud, securities law, shareholder disputes, real estate, financial services and officer/director liability 

Bradley Shwer

Co-founding partner // Thorpe Shwer

Practice areas: Business and commercial litigation, personal injury torts, product liability

Background: Shwer is the founding partner of Thorpe Shwer, a boutique civil litigation law firm representing Fortune 500 companies, local businesses, individual entrepreneurs, and government entities in high-stakes cases across the United States. His practice areas include business/commercial litigation, personal injury defense, franchise litigation, products liability, and employment litigation. He has litigated cases across the country in federal and state courts. He has been recognized as a top 50 lawyer in Arizona by Southwest Super Lawyer, a member of Best Lawyers in America, and a Sun Devil 100 member.  

Leadership style: “Collaborative and decisive.  We value input from everyone when making a decision, which allows us to make well-informed decisions.  Once that information has been gathered, it is important to be decisive and avoid the fear of making a mistake.”

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Leon Silver

Partner // Silver Cain

Background: Silver, a veteran trial lawyer with 35 years navigating intricate business and real estate disputes, has been acknowledged in Best Lawyers in America for commercial litigation, as a Top 10 Arizona Lawyer for Commercial Litigation and is a member of the America Board of Trial Advocates. His strength lies in guiding clients through practical solutions to complex business disputes, offering expertise in conflict resolution, shielding against government excesses, and crafting efficient and effective trial strategies. Managing complex litigation globally, Silver, a former Judge Pro Tem, serves as a mediator, arbitrator, and Compliance Lawyer for Arizona ABS entities. Beyond law, he’s a talented artist and musician, adding depth to his diverse skill set.

Source of pride: “My deepest source of pride stems from mentoring numerous young people, guiding them through legal practice, volunteering in the community and shaping their paths in law school. Witnessing their growth into accomplished lawyers, influential politicians, community pillars and outstanding individuals has been immensely fulfilling. This was a natural extension of my prior career as a high school teacher. The joy of nurturing these talents and watching them flourish into successful careers and remarkable characters remains a highlight of my journey.”

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Keri Silvyn

Partner and owner // Lazarus & Silvyn

Background: Silvyn is a partner and owner at Lazarus & Silvyn, P.C., in Tucson. A land use and zoning attorney emphasizing sustainable development and appropriate and responsible growth, Silvyn has been practicing zoning and land use law in Southern Arizona for more than 25 years. Her work focuses on advising private developers and local governments on application of zoning codes, compliance with state statutes, compliance with current land use case law, and effective public/private partnerships. She represents infill developments, as well as projects in the medical, retail and industrial spaces, among others. 

Professional accomplishments: Silvyn has been recognized annually in Best Lawyers in America since 2008. In 2022, she was listed in AZ Big Media’s “Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona.” Lazarus & Silvyn has also been ranked annually in U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms.” Silvyn volunteers extensively in the community and is currently serving as the chair of the board of Tucson Airport Authority.

Contact: or 520-207-4464

Gary M. Smith

Partner // Guidant Law Firm

Practice areas: Cannabis, psychedelics, construction, real estate and administrative law

Background: Smith is trusted to handle a wide range of complex, multi-million-dollar disputes. A prolific writer, speaker and thought leader, Smith has authored numerous legal manuals, including “The Orange Book: The Regulation of Arizona Contractors,” and “Psychedelica Lex,” the latter of which solidified him among the country’s foremost authorities on psychedelics law. AV Preeminent rated from Martindale-Hubbell, Smith founded and serves as president of the Arizona Cannabis Bar Association.

Source of pride: “Serving as amici counsel for the former director of the Department of Health Services on an Arizona Supreme Court ruling that threatened the Arizona cannabis industry. The case resulted in a reversal of the defendant’s conviction, and it deemed cannabis extracts, oils and edibles legal again in the state.”

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Gena L. Sluga

Shareholder // Christian Dichter & Sluga

Practice areas: Insurance coverage analysis

Heidi McNeil Staudenmaier

Partner // Snell & Wilmer

Practice areas: Native American law, gaming law and business litigation

William Thorpe 

Founding partner // Thorpe Shwer 

Practice areas: Complex commercial and tort matters 

Debora L. Verdier

Senior member // The Cavanagh Law Firm

Practice areas: Labor and employment disputes

E. Jeffrey Walsh

Shareholder // Greenberg Traurig

Practice areas: Commercial litigation

Scott K. Weiss 

Attorney // Weiss Brown 

Practice areas: Mergers and acquisitions, start-up emerging businesses, financing 

Christine Whalin

Partner/managing criminal defense attorney // DM Cantor

Practice areas: Criminal defense, white collar defense, DUI-related defense

Background: Whalin is presently one of only 10 female criminal defense attorneys in the state of Arizona who are Board Certified Specialists in Criminal Law per the State Bar of Arizona, Board of Legal Specialization. She is also an “AV” rated attorney under Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review process. Whalin is a trial lawyer practicing for more than 15 years, strictly in the area of criminal defense. She focuses on representing individuals in all types of criminal cases ranging from state and federal felony and misdemeanor matters, along with school discipline and Title IX litigation. She is particularly skilled handling major felony cases involving sexual misconduct, sexual assault and other serious “life-in-prison” allegations.


Jack D. Wilenchik

Attorney // Wilenchik & Bartness

Practice areas: Business and employment law, civil rights, law enforcement, elections law

Executive Business Portrait of Elliot Wolfe

Elliot Wolfe

Founding partner // Palumbo Wolfe & Palumbo

Practice areas: Personal injury and wrongful death

Background: Wolfe is certified by the State Bar of Arizona as a specialist in personal injury and wrongful death cases. He has been named as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” for over 20 consecutive years. He is the only Arizona plaintiff’s’ attorney to have been so named in each of three separate categories: Personal injury, medical negligence and defective product liability. Wolfe is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a member of the President’s Club of the American Association for Justice, for which he was the founder.

Surprising fact: Wolfe was the captain of Columbia University’s basketball team and the recipient of the Rolker Prize as the school’s outstanding scholar-athlete. He played four years of professional basketball in Europe before he earned his law degree at ASU. 

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Jason F. Wood 

Phoenix office managing partner // Quarles

Practice areas: Real estate and land use 

Mark G. Worischeck 

Shareholder // Sanders & Parks  

Practice areas: Complex civil litigation

Kurt M. Zitzer

Partner // Meagher + Geer

Practice areas: Commercial litigation and professional liability

Background: Zitzer is a partner in the firm’s Arizona office and is a leader of the firm, serving on its management committee. He is also the practice chair for the firm’s Commercial Litigation and Professional Liability practice groups. He also defends insurance coverage cases — on a national basis —having mediated, arbitrated, litigated and tried cases in more than 15 jurisdictions. Zitzer’s professional liability practice focuses on the defense of accountants, architects and attorneys.

Source of pride: Zitzer was recognized by Best Lawyers as a 2019 Insurance “Lawyer of the Year” in his locale. He has been selected for inclusion in the Best Lawyers listings each year since 2015. Zitzer has maintained the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating of AV Preeminent and he is the recipient of its Platinum Client Champion Award. 

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