Specialization Is Key to Success for Legal Needs in Business

by Mike Hunter

Being focused on doing better business these days involves so much. In Business Magazine writes many articles each month that are meant to help business owners and those managing business become more informed, educated and aware of resources that can enrich business practices and/or improve the bottom line altogether.

Legal representation is an important part of business success. While often costly and occasionally engaged because of issues, legal services are a necessary part of protecting and growing business. In this section, we identify many of the common practice areas that are important to protecting business and even the process of doing better business. From tax law to cybersecurity law, getting strong advice can make or break a company’s good standing.

According to the State Bar of Arizona, legal situations for business are unique and require specific legal analysis — stating on its website, “In some cases, the wrong decision may cost you your legal rights.” Seeking legal advice, especially in today’s world, is as much a part of running business as is payroll. The State Bar of Arizona offers information on its website to help businesses better understand specific reasons why engaging an attorney can help — from starting or buying a business to signing contracts of any kind to protecting against new technologies and social media. Our special section will introduce you to those individuals who can help.

In this special section, we offer some of these attorneys, through reputable law firms here in the Valley so readers can put a face to a name in the specific practice areas that may be needed. We include just some of the top attorneys as a place to start and encourage business owners to do the due diligence necessary in retaining an attorney for their company needs.
State Bar of Arizona

Clark Hill is a multidisciplinary, international law firm that provides innovative legal solutions and client-service excellence worldwide.

Daniel A. Schenck, Esq.

Corporate Law
Daniel Schenck is a corporate attorney skilled in technology-related transactions and has practical work experience from personally founding startups to Fortune 500 telecom management. He serves as the outside general counsel for many of his clients, advising on key business matters. Schenck has significant transactional experience, both domestic and international, involving product and software development, procurement, licensing, distribution, outsourcing, supply chain, information technology (IT), vendor agreements, software as a service (SaaS), cloud computing, hosting, e-commerce and confidentiality agreements. Schenck’s practice also includes mergers and acquisitions, stock transactions, private securities offerings, supply-chain, manufacturing, equipment purchases/leases, distribution, service agreements and vendor agreements.
Title with Firm: Member
Years at Firm: 8
Law School, Year completed: University of Connecticut
Contact Phone: (480) 684-1118
Other Practice-Area Expertise: Technology Transactions

Darrell E. Davis, Esq.

Darrell E. Davis is a founding member of Clark Hill’s Phoenix office and concentrates his practice and expertise in protecting the interests of business owners. As outside general counsel to numerous companies since 1987, Davis has successfully directed and advised his clients on all aspects of their operations, including but not limited to business planning; acquisition opportunities; franchise disputes; negotiating with governmental agencies; employment issues; state, federal and administrative compliance; business contract negotiation; and litigation. Davis is a trusted advisor to entrepreneurial clients involved in commerce in several markets and industries, including automotive, real estate and retail.
Title with Firm: Member
Years at Firm: 11
Law School, Year completed: University of Nebraska, Lincoln College of Law
Contact Phone: (480) 684-1104
Other Practice-Area Expertise: Labor & Employment

P. Douglas Folk, Esq

Construction Law
P. Douglas Folk serves business clients in architecture, engineering, geomatics, landscape architecture, construction and other technology-driven industries as a vigorous advocate and trusted advisor. By drawing on his extensive experience in business transactions and commercial litigation, Folk developed practice specialties in construction law, professional liability defense, contracts and negotiations, risk management, administrative law, and government relations. Folk and his team have tackled difficult negotiations and litigation involving master-planned communities, commercial and mixed-use projects, destination resorts, medical facilities, factories, airports, mines and infrastructure projects. Folk builds lasting relationships with his clients by finding practical solutions for difficult legal problems.
Title with Firm: Member
Years at Firm: 7
Law School, Year completed: University of Iowa, College of Law
Contact Phone: (480) 684-1127
Other Practice-Area Expertise: Government & Regulatory Affairs

Michelle M. Tran, Esq.

Tax & Estate Planning
Michelle Margolies Tran, a member in Clark Hill’s Estate Planning and Probate Practice Group, focuses her practice in the areas of sophisticated estate planning for individuals, families and businesses, using trusts and business entities to help her clients achieve their business succession, estate tax reduction and asset preservation goals. She also assists clients with complex trust and estate administration issues, including probate. Tran is the co-chair of Clark Hill BOLD – Phoenix, the firm’s strategy to promote women within the firm, the legal profession and the business community.
Title with Firm: Member
Years at Firm: 5
Law School, Year completed: Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
Contact Phone: (480) 822-6745
Other Certifications Supporting this Area: LL.M. in Taxation, University of Florida Levin College of Law
Other Practice-Area Expertise: Trust Administration and Estate Settlement

Kevin Judiscak

Commercial Litigation
Kevin Judiscak combines a focused and strategic approach to the litigation process, with a practical business perspective to assist business clients in beneficially resolving pending or threatened disputes. Judiscak’s experience includes enforcement and defense of commercial loan agreements, guaranties and collateral agreements; rights in personal property and real estate collateral through judicial and non-judicial enforcement, including receiverships and provisional remedies; real estate contracts, sales agreements and commercial leases, including forcible entry and detainer proceedings; rights between shareholders, members, or partners in closely held businesses; and non-compete and other restrictive covenants arising from employment contracts, shareholder agreements or business sales.
Title with Firm: Shareholder
Years at Firm: 18
Law School, Year completed: University of Notre Dame, 1989
Contact Phone: (602) 222-4987
Other Practice-Area Expertise: Mediation

Patrick Clisham

Business Bankruptcy & Workouts
Patrick Clisham has extensive experience representing clients in complex corporate transactions, including loan documentation and restructurings, asset acquisitions and sales, lease negotiations and enforcement, and business transactions. Clisham’s experience primarily derives from representing secured and unsecured creditors, corporate debtors, trustees and examiners in corporate bankruptcy proceedings and out-of-court workouts. Clisham also has considerable business and financial experience. He is a former commodities futures trader and was previously a member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
Title with Firm: Managing Shareholder
Years at Firm: 10
Contact Phone: (602) 222-4968

Brigitte Finley Green

Public Finance
Brigitte Finley Green practices public finance law. She spent more than 20 years at large regional and national law firms serving as bond and underwriter’s counsel on hundreds of transactions for governmental issuers, including state agencies, universities, counties, cities/towns, school districts and special districts. Finley Green also has experience in qualified private activity bond financing of multifamily housing facilities, manufacturing facilities, single-family mortgages, student loans and facilities for 501(c)(3) organizations, including hospitals, private universities and charter schools. She also spent two years as an attorney adviser with the IRS’s Office of Chief Counsel in Washington, D.C., where she drafted treasury regulations and IRS rulings in the tax-exempt bond area.
Title with Firm: Shareholder
Years at Firm: 1
Contact Phone: (602) 222-4990
Other Certifications Supporting this Area: National Association of Bond Lawyers, member since 1994 Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© in the field of Public Finance Law, Phoenix, Ariz., since 2007 Named “Lawyer of the Year” by The Best Lawyers in America© for Public Finance Law, Phoenix, Ariz., 2015
Other Practice-Area Expertise: Federal Tax Law

Tamalyn (Tami) Lewis

Tamalyn (Tami) Lewis brings her clients more than 35 years of legal experience and a deep appreciation of our Arizona business culture. A true Arizona native through-and-through, Lewis was born in Globe, raised in Safford and attended Arizona State University. Lewis has extensive experience representing financial institutions, farmers, landlords, creditors and individuals in commercial bankruptcies, foreclosures, loan workouts, agricultural matters, real estate and settlement negotiations.
Title with Firm: Shareholder
Years at Firm: 5
Law School, Year completed: Arizona State University, 1983
Contact Phone: (602) 222-4958
Other Practice-Area Expertise: Insolvency, Creditors’ Rights

Jessica Benford Powell

Corporate and Securities
Benford Powell helps local entrepreneurs, startups, business owners, established companies and financial institutions navigate significant issues related to formation, governance, intellectual property, financing and securities compliance. Her extensive experience representing clients in business transactions includes mergers and acquisitions, private placements, stock purchases and much more, where she manages the entire process — from term sheets and letters of intent through closing. Benford Powell is committed to understanding her clients’ business goals and challenges in order to deliver responsive solutions. She regularly writes and presents on these important business topics. Benford Powell serves as Practice Group Leader for the firm’s Corporate, Banking & Transactional Practice.
Title with Firm: Shareholder
Years at Firm: 14
Law School, Year completed: University of Chicago Law School
Contact Phone: (602) 440-4866

Amber D. Hughes

Estate Planning and Trust Administration
Hughes’ practice focuses solely on the areas of Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Administration. She regularly represents high-net-worth individuals, young professionals, families, professional athletes, business owners and retirees. Hughes takes a client-centered approach to ensure that all aspects of the estate plan are covered, including tax planning, business succession planning, second marriage considerations, designation of guardians of minor children and much more. In addition, she routinely oversees complicated probate matters and trust administrations and has extensive courtroom experience regarding the administration of trusts and estates. Hughes serves as Practice Group Leader of the firm’s Estate Planning & Tax Practice.
Title with Firm: Shareholder
Years at Firm: 7
Law School Year Completed California Western School of Law
Contact Phone: (602) 440-4847

Sheryl A. Sweeney

Water and Environmental Law
Sweeney practices in the areas of energy law, water law, environmental law, electric-utility law, public power and special taxing districts. She has extensive experience representing both public and private energy interests. Sweeney acts as counsel to several entities that contract for hydroelectric power from the Western Area Power Administration and the Arizona Power Authority. She is involved in all aspects of the industry, including power supply contracting, rate setting, transmission access, interconnection agreements, renewable generation, conventional generation, distributed generation, siting and retail electric competition. Sweeney serves as Practice Group Leader for the firm’s Water, Energy, Resources and Environmental Law Practice.
Title with Firm: Shareholder
Years at Firm: 36
Law School, Year completed: University of Kansas
Contact Phone: (602) 440-4824

Lorena Van Assche

As a litigator, Van Assche works with her clients to aggressively protect and advance their interests. She helps business leaders confront and resolve a wide variety of disputes in state, federal and bankruptcy courts. Her clients include financial institutions, lenders, commercial landlords, commercial tenants, developers, professionals and entrepreneurs. Van Assche devotes a significant portion of her practice to representing financial institutions and lenders in commercial lending disputes, including breach of contract, lender liability and foreclosures. Her practice also includes probate and trust litigation, bankruptcy litigation and commercial landlord/tenant disputes. Van Assche serves as Practice Group Leader for the firm’s Litigation Practice Group.
Title with Firm: Shareholder
Years at Firm: 4
Law School, Year completed: Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
Contact Phone: (602) 440-4820

Roxann Gallagher

Public and Commercial Finance
Roxann Gallagher is a shareholder in Sacks Tierney’s Public and Commercial Finance and Indian Law practice groups. Gallagher’s practice primarily focuses on commercial and public finance and federal Indian law with an emphasis on economic development. She represents a broad range of clients, including many institutional lenders, in transactions involving taxable commercial loans, tax-exempt bonds, certificates of participation, tax credits, leases and other financing mechanisms. Sacks Tierney is listed in The Bond Buyer’s Municipal Marketplace® (the “Red Book”).
Gallagher is also routinely engaged to navigate the complex legal regimes present when business or development projects occur within the jurisdictional boundaries of tribal communities or are conducted directly by tribal entities. She understands the intricacies of real estate title and security issues, regulatory authority, development and construction concerns, and unique timing considerations that impact each venture’s ultimate success.

Gallagher earned her Juris Doctorate from Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, where she also served as an articles editor for the Arizona State Law Journal. Gallagher also received a Certificate in Indian Law from the school’s preeminent Indian Legal Program.

Gallagher’s professional achievements include The Best Lawyers in America® (Public Finance Law), 2020; “Most Influential Women in Arizona Business,” Az Business (2016); “Arizona’s Top Lawyers,” Az Business magazine “Securities and Corporate Finance” (2103, 2014); North Valley Magazine “2012 Top Attorneys in the Valley” (Commercial Finance) and Phoenix Business Journal “Forty Under 40, Class of 2009.”

Gallagher currently serves on the board of directors of Meritas, a global alliance of independent law firms; is the chair of the board of directors of Native American Connections, Inc., which owns and operates 18 sites offering a continuum of affordable housing, behavioral health and community development services; is the chair of the board of directors of Christ Church School; and is a trustee at Prescott College.

Gallagher is a member of the Arizona Bar and the Navajo Nation Bar.
A full list of her presentations and publications can be found on the firm’s website

Title with Firm: Shareholder
Years at Firm: 10
Law School, Year completed: 2002
Other Certifications Supporting this Area: The Best Lawyers in America® (Public Finance Law), 2020
Other Practice-Area Expertise: Indian Law and Tribal Relations; Business and Corporate Law

Shar Bahmani

Employment Law
Employment and civil litigation attorney Shar Bahmani is a shareholder with Sacks Tierney and is licensed to practice in Arizona and California. He assists employers in day-to-day workforce management, employment law compliance, and drafting and revising company policies. Bahmani relishes the opportunity to regularly work hand-in-hand with employers to manage, protect and guide their workforce.

Bahmani also represents employers in all phases of litigation and administrative proceedings. He has defended employers in disputes involving allegations of discrimination, wrongful termination, harassment, retaliation, contract disputes, wage and hour violations, disputes over leave entitlements, and other employment-related disputes brought under Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FLSA, FMLA and California’s FEHA and CFRA. He works with clients in mediation proceedings, as well as other alternative dispute resolution proceedings, to find efficient and reasonable solutions to complex disputes.

Bahmani works proactively with employers to develop employment agreements, restrictive covenant agreements such as non-compete agreements and non-solicitation agreements; agreements protecting confidential information and business trade secrets; policies unique to Arizona, such as minimum wage, mandatory paid sick leave and medical marijuana in the workplace; as well as various human resource management-related forms and documents.

Bahmani has worked with health plans, insurance carriers, medical providers and employers regarding issues arising in connection with ERISA-governed health and employee benefit plans. He has defended ERISA litigation related to insurance disputes, healthcare benefits disputes and other employee benefits disputes.

Bahmani has been honored by his peers and clients and named to Super Lawyers Rising Stars, Employment & Labor List; 2018-2020. Shar frequently writes articles on employment issues. A list of Bahmani’s articles can be viewed on the firm’s website at www.sackstierney.com/attorneys/bahmani.htm.

Bahmani is a proud Arizonan. He received his Juris Doctorate from the James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona, and is member of the Arizona, California, and U.S. Court of Federal Claims bars. He is also a member of the Employment and Labor Section of the Arizona State Bar. He is also highly active in the Arizona legal community, serving as a liaison to the Arizona Collaborative Bar since 2018.
Title with Firm: Shareholder
Years at Firm: 3
Law School Year Completed 2007
Other Certifications Supporting this Area: Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Stars, Employment & Labor, 2018-2020
Other Practice-Area Expertise: Civil Litigation, Real Estate Law


Robin Burgess

Medical Malpractice Defense
Robin Burgess is an experienced litigator who emphasizes complex injury cases, such as healthcare, medical malpractice, product liability, professional liability, employment law, personal injury and municipal liability. She has tried cases in state and federal courts, on issues ranging from complex medical negligence claims to police use-of-force and constitutional claims, and has argued appeals in all of Arizona’s courts and before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. She is a problem-solver who has been recognized as a top healthcare attorney nationally and has been a legal analyst for CBS news.
Title with Firm: Shareholder
Years at Firm: 25
Law School, Year completed: Georgetown University
Contact Phone: (602) 532-5783
Other Practice-Area Expertise: Municipal Defense, Civil Litigation

J. Arthur Eaves

Medical Malpractice Defense
J. Arthur Eaves is an experienced trial attorney. He represents doctors, psychologists, dentists and other healthcare providers when they are facing litigation or board complaints. He has taken some of the biggest malpractice cases in the State of Arizona to trial. Eaves has been selected repeatedly as a Superlawyer. He was also selected as one of the Best Lawyers in Arizona as well as one of the Top Lawyers in America. Eaves believes that being an effective advocate means understanding a client’s needs and being there for them as they deal with the ups and downs that can be a result of litigation.
Title with Firm: Managing Shareholder
Years at Firm: 16
Law School, Year completed: Arkansas, 1999

Garrick L. Gallagher

Insurance Litigation
Garrick Gallagher maintains a complex litigation practice that emphasizes insurance litigation, personal injury and business liability. He has been interviewed by Dateline NBC, local news networks, the Los Angeles Times, London Times and Gentlemen’s Quarterly and handled cases that were featured in The Wall Street Journal and The American Lawyer.

He advises and represents parties in complex insurance, personal injury and business liability matters. Gallagher is frequently retained in high-exposure cases.

He was recognized by Best Lawyers in America as 2019 Lawyer of the Year – Litigation-Insurance, and selected as one of Super Lawyers Arizona’s Top 50 Lawyers from 2012-2020.
Title with Firm: Shareholder
Years at Firm: 31
Law School, Year completed: University of Arizona 1984
Contact Phone: 602-532-5720
Other Practice-Area Expertise: Personal Injury, Business Liability, Product Liability

Mark G. Worischeck

Managing Shareholder
Mark Worischeck’s practice emphasizes complex litigation, primarily in the areas of insurance, aviation and construction. Worischeck is often consulted by insurers, contractors and aviation-related companies to handle high-stakes litigation. Worischeck is AV-rated and twice selected by Best Lawyers in America as “Lawyer of the Year.” He is also one of just a small group of lawyers in Arizona elected to membership in ABOTA – the prestigious trial organization.
Title with Firm: Shareholder
Years at Firm: 31
Law School, Year completed: Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, 1986
Contact Phone: (602) 532-5795
Other Certifications Supporting this Area: Aviation; Construction Litigation


Barbara J. Dawson

Commercial Litigation
Barb Dawson is a senior investigations and litigation partner. She serves on the firm’s elected Executive Committee and Compensation Committee. Dawson’s practice concentrates on assisting Fortune 500 businesses and boards of directors with internal investigations, complex litigation and regulatory compliance. On a national basis, Dawson currently serves as chairperson of the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation. On an international basis, Dawson has served as chair of the board of directors for Lex Mundi, an international affiliation of 160 independent law firms world-wide. Her experience has included legal engagements, law-related presentations, projects and board of directors’ duties on six continents.
Title with Firm: Partner
Law School, Year completed: University of Iowa College of Law
Contact Phone: (602) 382-6235
Other Practice-Area Expertise: Internal Investigations, International and Government Regulations

Brett W. Johnson

Government Relations
Brett Johnson represents businesses and individuals in government relations matters. He regularly represents parties and witnesses involved with governmental investigations, including election law, governmental ethics, export control, False Claims Act, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and government procurement compliance laws and regulations. He has experience handling internal investigations and compliance audits for clients on a wide range of matters. He has litigated complex cases at both the trial and appellate stages. Prior to joining the firm, Johnson was a judge advocate with the United States Navy, regularly appearing in state and federal courts throughout the nation on behalf of the Department of the Navy.
Title with Firm: Partner
Law School, Year completed: Santa Clara University School of Law
Contact Phone: (602) 382-6312
Other Practice-Area Expertise: International Trade Compliance, Government Procurement Law

Anthony T. King

Commercial Litigation
Tony King represents clients in a variety of complex business disputes and commercial litigation. He regularly handles litigation in federal and state courts involving business contract disputes, real estate disputes, partnership and shareholder disputes, employer-employee disputes and a plethora of business torts and other claims. He has represented clients in a variety of industries, including wholesale distribution, financial institutions, franchises and real estate. King is a member of Snell & Wilmer’s Attorney Development Committee and the Committee on Diversity & Inclusion.
Title with Firm: Partner
Law School, Year completed: University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law
Contact Phone: (602) 382-6513
Other Practice-Area Expertise: Real Estate Litigation, Corporate Governance Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution

Patricia Lee Refo

Professional Liability Litigation
Trish Refo is the president-elect of the American Bar Association. Her practice is concentrated in complex commercial litigation and internal investigations, with extensive experience in professional malpractice defense, commercial and business torts, financial institutions litigation, class actions and trade secret litigation. She chairs the firm’s Professional Liability Litigation group. Refo is a thought leader on litigation and trial issues and has been named one of the most influential women lawyers in the country. She served on the Arizona Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on the Rules of Evidence and is a former member of the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Evidence of the United States Judicial Conference.
Title with Firm: Partner
Law School, Year completed: University of Michigan School of Law
Contact Phone: (602) 382-6290
Other Certifications Supporting this Area: Commercial Litigation, Class Action Defense

Byron Sarhangian

Real Estate
Byron Sarhangian serves as co-chair of the firm’s Real Estate Practice Group and Opportunity Zone Industry Group. His practice is concentrated in real estate and business transactions, which include purchase and sale transactions, leasing, financing and brokerage matters. Sarhangian advises large and small corporate clients in corporate real estate matters throughout the United States. His practice also involves drafting and negotiating construction agreements for owners, lenders, general contractors and subcontractors. Sarhangian represents investors, fund sponsors and developers with respect to the Opportunity Zone Program. His work includes ground leases and finance agreements on Native American lands.
Title with Firm: Partner
Law School, Year completed: Vanderbilt University Law School, 2009
Contact Phone: (602) 382-6531
Other Practice-Area Expertise: Opportunity Zones and Opportunity Funds, Commercial Finance, and Zoning Land Use

Howard I. Sobelman

Intellectual Property
Howard Sobelman’s practice is concentrated in intellectual property law, including patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, licensing and due diligence. His practice includes blockchain technologies, big data, software, hardware, internet, business methods, aerospace, solar tracking, financial services, financial planning, insurance products, medical products, mechanical, biotechnology, fiber optics, holography and various other technologies. In addition, Sobelman has worked with a number of clients to develop creative global protection strategies.
Title with Firm: Partner
Law School, Year completed: Arizona State University College of Law, 1993
Contact Phone: (602) 38-6531
Other Practice-Area Expertise: Licensing, Patents, Trademarks

Carlos A. Sugich

Real Estate
Carlos Sugich’s practice is concentrated in real estate development, hospitality, financing, leasing and cross-border business transactions in the U.S., Mexico and Latin America. Sugich led the firm in opening its first international office in Los Cabos, Mexico, and currently represents some of the most exclusive master-planned and resort communities in the area. In addition, Sugich regularly advises domestic and foreign companies in the establishment and operation of foreign subsidiaries and has written extensively in the areas of foreign investment and cross-border transactions. Sugich manages the Los Cabos Office and is a member of the firm’s Expanded Executive Committee.
Title with Firm: Partner
Law School, Year completed: Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara School of Law, 1998
Contact Phone: (602) 382-6335
Other Practice-Area Expertise: Master Planned Communities and Subdivisions, International Law

Marian Zapata-Rossa

Labor and Employment
Marian Zapata-Rossa defends employers against discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wage and hour claims, and represents employers in disputes involving employment and arbitration agreements and restrictive covenants not to compete. Zapata-Rossa litigates both single-plaintiff and class-action employment lawsuits, conducts workplace investigations and helps employers resolve administrative matters before numerous state and federal government agencies. She advises employers on all aspects of the employer-employee relationship with a focus on providing clients with business-oriented solutions to identify and mitigate risk. To this end, Zapata-Rossa has trained thousands of managers and employees on preventing harassment and best practices in the workplace.
Title with Firm: Partner
Law School, Year completed: Howard University School of Law, 2007
Contact Phone: (602) 382-6355
Other Certifications Supporting this Area: Native American Affairs, Whistleblower Liability

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