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I was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona and attended Arizona State University where I received a degree in business administration. I then attended the University of Arizona College of Law and received my Juris Doctorate in 1975. I began practicing in Mesa with a local law firm specializing in Personal Injury Litigation and tried my first jury trial one week after admission to the Arizona Bar in 1975. In 1977 I moved back to Tucson and worked for a prominent trial lawyer, Paul G. Rees, Jr., until 1981, also specializing in Personal Injury Litigation.
In 1981 I returned to my home town of Mesa where I opened my own law practice. I continued to specialize in Personal Injury Litigation and was given the highest rating by an attorney rating service in 1986. This rating is based upon lawyer peer review and is the highest rating for legal ability and ethics, a rating that is given to approximately the top 5% of lawyers nationwide.
In 1985 I was awarded Certification as a Specialist in Injury and Wrongful Death by the State Bar of Arizona Board of Legal Specialization with the first group of lawyers given the opportunity to be recognized as having specialized knowledge and experience in this field of practice.
In 1985 I formed a partnership with J. Robert Tolman and continued practicing in Personal Injury Litigation. In 1991 I was hired to serve as lead trial counsel for the firm of Solomon, Relihan & Blake in Phoenix where I practiced until May, 2000 when I returned to private practice in Mesa. I became a shareholder with the firm of Udall Shumway in May of 2001. In 2003 I was appointed a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates.
Over my 35 years of practice, I have handled many types of cases, including cases involving product liability, medical malpractice, insurance bad faith, vehicular collisions, defective premises design and construction, defective highway design and maintenance, and many other types of cases. I have developed special expertise in brain and spinal injury, accident reconstruction, hazard and risk assessment and have been invited to speak at many seminars for trial lawyers over the years. I have served as an expert witness in legal malpractice cases and as a Judge pro tempore for the Superior Court. I have been on the Board of Directors of the Arizona Trial Lawyers Association since the early 1980s. I have also published several papers on issues related to Personal Injury litigation, including such subjects as: “The Intentional Act Exclusion,” Summation, March 1981; “Determining Damages Under the Seatbelt Defense,” Trial, Fall, 1993; “Recognizing Liability in Nursing Home Cases,” Advocate, Nov. 1999; “The Lawyer’s Role in Diagnosing Injuries,” Advocate, March 1993; “The Non-Party at Fault Defense,” Arizona Attorney, Jan. 1995; and “Use Reasonable Care in Referring to the Standard of Care,” Advocate, Nov. 2002. “Overcoming a Speculative New Defense in Pressure Ulcer Cases”, National Nursing Home Litigation Group newsletter, 2010; “Pressure Ulcer Claims”, a presentation at the American Ass’n for Justice National Nursing Home Litigation Group annual seminar, 2010.
I have handled over one hundred trials in personal injury cases, along with many Arbitrations and other types of hearings, and have represented well over a thousand personal injury plaintiffs over the past 35 years. For the past several years I have developed expertise in handling Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect cases and remain heavily involved in such work and speaks regularly to lawyers’ groups about such claims.
My long career, expertise and professional manner have won the respect of fellow lawyers, both on the plaintiff as well as the defense side. I am recognized for my substantial knowledge in medical and safety matters. I remain devoted to the highest purpose of the law: to promote safety and to obtain fair redress for victims of negligence and defective products and practices. I am a lawyer on the side of people.
Languages spoken: English, Spanish
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|Award name||Grantor||Date granted|
|Southwest Super Lawyer||Super Lawyers Magazine||2015|
|Southwest Super Lawyer||Super Lawyers Magazine||2014|
|Southwest Super Lawyer||Super Lawyers Magazine||2012|
|Southwest Super Lawyer||Super Lawyers Magazine||2011|
|Southwest Super Lawyer||Super Lawyers Magazine||2010|
|AV Peer Review Rating||Martindale-Hubbell||1986|
|Certified Specialist - Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation||State Bar of Arizona||1985|
|Shareholder||Udall Shumway PLC||2001 - Present|
|Lead Trial Counsel||Solomon, Relihan & Blake||1991 - 2000|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|American Board of Trial Advocates||Member||2003 - Present|
|Arizona Trial Lawyers Association||Board of Directors||1980 - Present|
|State Bar of Arizona||Member||1975 - Present|
|National Nursing Home Litigation Group newsletter||Overcoming a Speculative New Defense in Pressure Ulcer Cases||2010|
|Advocate||Use Reasonable Care in Referring to the Standard of Care||2002|
|Advocate||Recognizing Liability in Nursing Home Cases||1999|
|Arizona Attorney||The Non-Party at Fault Defense||1995|
|Advocate||The Lawyer's Role in Diagnosing Injuries||1993|
|Trial||Determining Damages Under the Seatbelt Defense||1993|
|Summation||The Intentional Act Exclusion," Summation||1981|
|Arizona State University||Business Administration||BS - Bachelor of Science||1975|
|University of Arizona College of Law||Law||JD - Juris Doctor||1975|
|Establishing Nursing Home Corporate Negligence Using Cost Reports and Other Financial Documents||Changes in Pressure Sore Clinical Guidelines||2010|
|American Association for Justice’s Litigating Nursing Home Cases Seminar||Litigating Nursing Home Cases||2010|