Our firm has been involved in shaping the legal, political and business culture in Arizona. There are too many important dates and cases to list them all here. To name just a few:
1968: Stanley Feldman joins Robert Miller and Donald Pitt; Feldman acts as managing partner until 1981.
1970: $550,000 verdict against General Electric for a faulty water heater, at the time the largest jury verdict in the history of Arizona.
1973: The firm succeeded in voiding several anti-abortion statutes in Nelson v. Planned Parenthood Center of Tucson, Inc.
1974: The firm represented Donald Pitt, Don Diamond and Richard Block in the purchase of KVOA-Channel 4. The firm would handle the sale of Channel 4 to former Texas Governor Hobby in 1982.
1977: Completed the land assembly and 99-year ground lease for the Tucson Mall.
1978: We helped establish that a manufacturer has a duty to provide warnings about its product’s dangers in Shell Oil v. Gutierrez.
1978: Succeeded in having a sales tax scheme specific to Mexican shoppers that discriminated against Tucson businesses declared unconstitutional in State v. Levy’s.
1978: Started work on the 4,500-acre Rocking K Ranch, a real estate acquisition involving complex litigation.
1979: Successfully prevented California from forcing 86-year-old Robert W. Armstrong, leader of the World-Wide Church of God, to travel to California to testify as a witness in an extortion trial. The hearing took three days and garnered significant media attention.
1981: We were successful in imposing a duty on insurers to treat their customers with good faith in Noble v. Natl. Am. Life Ins. Co.
1981: Successfully defended the Pima County Sheriff against charges that his jail was overcrowded in violation of the constitution.
1981: The firm handled the largest real estate transaction in Arizona at the time, the Howard Hughes Estate property.
1981: The firm handled the acquisition of Midvale Farm along with the annexation and rezoning of 1200 acres. The transaction involved a water settlement with the City of Tucson that resulted in delivery of domestic and golf course water to Ventana Canyon on terms that made that project economically feasible.
1982: Stanley Feldman appointed to the Arizona Supreme Court. He served through 2002 and was Chief Justice from 1992-1996. Justice Feldman left a lasting mark on the law in Arizona and strengthened the role of the judicial branch of our state government. He consistently upheld the power of Arizona’s constitution and the judiciary, often to the frustration of the state’s governor and legislature.
1982: Trial lawyer Janice Wezelman becomes the firm’s managing shareholder.
1983: Handled the annexation of the Tucson Mall.
1984: Grace McIlvain and Richard Martinez won a big victory for thousands of victims of sex discrimination at a state-wide chain of supermarkets in Tobey v. A.J. Bayless. The settlement was $7 million plus equitable relief valued at $2 million.
1984: Dale Haralson wins a victory for thousands of “downwinder” victims of nuclear bomb tests in the Nevada desert. In 1987, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals took the victory away from them. But based in part on his work on the downwinder cases, Congress passed the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act which has since paid out over $1.5 billion in compensation to the victims. Mr. Haralson jokes that “it was not my intention for this to be a pro bono effort.” He is clearly pleased that some justice was done. The case is the focus of the book Fallout: An American Nuclear Tragedy by Philip L. Fradkin.
1984: Patrick Griffin handled the largest, single rezoning in state history for the 2,800-acre Rita Ranch development as well as the annexation and a unique subdivision plat deferral ordinance (since repealed).
1984: Justice Feldman wrote the opinion in State v. Bolt (1984) which protected people from certain warrantless searches by police.
1985: Mr. Griffin represented various parties in the acquisition, financing and development for Ventana Canyon and La Paloma including the hotel, golf course, residential and commercial projects.
1986: Mr. Griffin represented the original owner in financing and leasing of Unisource Tower. He handled similar work for the Bank of America Tower when it was built in 1977.
1986: Richard McAnally and Tom Cotter win a $1.25 million verdict against Phelps Dodge after our client lost his arm. The trial was held in Graham County and was the largest verdict in that county at the time.
1987: Mr. Griffin represented the buyers in the largest real estate transaction in the history of Colorado, the 26,000-acre Banning-Lewis Ranch.
1989: Tom Cotter becomes managing shareholder of the firm.
1989: McAnally and Cotter win a $1 million against Caterpillar after a man lost his leg as a result of Caterpillar’s faulty back up alarm.
1989: Ms. Wezelman and Mr. Cotter won a verdict of $4.25 million after an obstetrician’s malpractice resulted in hypoxia and mental retardation of a baby.
1990: Gerald Maltz and Lindsay Brew won a $15 million verdict against Joseph Ray after Ray forged documents related to the Rocking K Ranch development.
1991: Grace McIlvain and Mr. Maltz win a $6.2 million verdict against Hughes Missile Systems for age discrimination.
1992: The firm produces a $2 million verdict for a plaintiff in a bad faith case action against State Farm
1992: Mr. Griffin represented the University of Arizona in acquiring and financing the IBM facility for $112,000,000. It is now known as the University of Arizona Science and Technology Park.
1994: Justice Feldman and the Arizona Supreme Court rejected the legislature’s school funding scheme as inequitable and unconstitutional inRoosevelt Elementary School District No. 66 v. Bishop.
1994: $60 million verdict for the family of a couple that died in a Beech airplane crash. The judgment was later reduced to $20 million.
1995: Mr. Griffin represented the investor group acquiring the 1,200-acre Continental Ranch from the Resolution Trust Corporation.
2001: Tom Cotter began litigation against the federal mine inspector after a deadly mine accident. The case would continue for ten years, with opinions from the U.S. Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
2004: Represented the Arizona Attorney General against El Paso Natural Gas. Produced important concessions including upgrades to the natural gas infrastructure and funding of the Low Income Energy Assistance Program.
2007: Phil Hall represented Daphne Stidham who settled with Pima County for $2.29 million after investigation reveals county prosecutors knew about the plot to kill her husband, surgeon Dr. Mark Stidham.
2007: Obtained jury verdict of $1 million in punitive damages against a subprime lender, Ameriquest Mortgage.
2008: After Border Patrol agents shot a man trying to climb the border wall into Mexico, and won a judgment of $1 million for his grieving mother.
2011: Mr. Hall settled with Pinal County for $3.4 million for the widow of a sergeant in the Casa Grande Police Department after he was killed in a rappelling exercise.