I begin by thanking you for considering me as your potential attorney. I believe it is important for potential clients to know as much as possible about my qualifications, including my education and expereince in my areas of practice. I have included substantial information here, but to the extent you would like to know more, I encourage you to review my firm's website, or feel free to call or email me with any additional questions you may have.
I began my practice as a third-year law student admitted to practice in all State Courts in Arizona through an internship program, where I worked with a wonderful supervising attorney at a Scottsdale real estate firm. I was fortunate to start my trial expereince early on, in that I had already handled six trials by the time my internship concluded, including two jury trials. From there, I immediately moved on to a reputable Phoenix general practice law firm. I worked primarily with the firm's Senior Partner to establish a new practice area for both the firm and the State of Arizona, which would become my niche in the legal field. We represented homeowners and condominium owners against their owners' associations (HOAs/COAs). Most firms practicing in this area represent HOAs/COAs only, so we began pioneering the way with only a few others in the State working specifically with owners. Although my practice was very focused on community law and litigation in that regard, I practiced (and continue to practice) in other civil law and litigation areas, including but not limited to: commercial litigation, commercial collections, land use, zoning, real estate generally, torts such as defamation and invasion of privacy/Lanham Act violations, personal injury, wrongful death, business law and litigation, partnership disputes, elder abuse, construction law and litigation, lien litigation, and employment litigation for both employers and employees. It was truly a general litigation firm, such that I had amazing opportunities to gain experience in numerous areas of the law.
I remained with that firm for nearly 8 years, until the time was right for me to open my own practice with my husband when he graduated from law school and immediately passed the Arizona Bar examination. We opened our firm in 2011, and upon his admission to the Bar, it became McKeddie Cooley, in May 2011. Since that time, my practice has remained essentially the same, but I am more focused on community law and litigation than other areas, although our firm still handles cases of a general civil nature frequently.
I am passionate about my work and care deeply about my clients' satisfaction. With respect to HOAs and COAs in particular, I believe there is a bias in favor of the associations both financially and legally. I advocate for legislative change and speak with the media in an effort to influence the legislature to consider positive change for owners as often as I can. Associations spend approximately $2 million per year lobbying with the Arizona legislature alone, yet essentially nothing is spent on owners' rights. There are some dedicated volunteers that work tirelessly for owner rights, but again, the deck is stacked against them and the result is often inadequate and/or well-intended, but misguided legislation. There is no regulation of HOAs or COAs in Arizona, such that attorneys are essentially the only hope an owner has when he or she (or an entity) finds themselves in a dispute with their association. There is an adminstrative process at the Office of Adminstrative Hearings, but I believe it is problematic in many ways, as owners often end up with unfavorable results even when they win at the OAH level (HOA/COAs can and do appeal the results owners obtain at the OAH). I am very sympathetic to the overall cause of owner rights and abuse of power that unfortunately often occurs within the boards of directors for owner associations in Arizona. This is not to suggest that all HOAs/COAs are bad, as I recognize the hard work good people do as volunteers serving their communities who are dedicated to fairness. Those individuals do not end up on my desk, as they manage their communities well.
Fairness and justice are concepts that are not lost on me in any respect. I make every effort to keep my rates as reasonable and fair as possible, often offering discounts as a courtesy to my clients. We are generally an hourly based firm, as our contingency fee and flat fee work is extremly limited in nature. It is my goal to be as upfront with potential clients as I possibly can be, which is why I provide as much disclosure here as possible regarding the nature of our firm's billings.
If you would like to know more about my experience, publications, and interactions with local media in Arizona, please review our firm's website at www.mclawfirm.net. Some of my cases have been featured on the local news, and some have been featured in local newspapers. I have also been interviewed for general HOA/COA issues in legal newspapers and Internet radio shows.
I am quite proud of my education, as I worked very hard for my achievements. I graduated second in my class, Magna Cum Laude, from California Western School of Law in San Diego, Calfiornia in December 2003, where I had the honor of being selected as a Kennedy Scholar. Before law school, I attended Arizona State University, earning a Bachelor's of Science degree in Justice Studies. I graduated Suma Cum Laude with a 3.93 GPA in December 2000. In both instances, I graduated a semester early, as I put in extra hours while maintaining employment on a full-time basis in college.
As you can likely see, I am a hard worker and strive for perfection in everything that I do. I am results oriented, such that our firm interviews potential clients and we do not take cases that we do not feel we have a high likelihood of success. We pride ourselves on ethical representation, which is something we feel is often lost on attorneys, thereby lending to a negative perception we hope to contribute to changing for the positive. We do not promise anything that cannot be guaranteed, and rather, we are very honest about the reality of litigation. Nothing in the legal industry can possibly be guaranteed insofar as results are concerned. However, our experience has taught us what is likely to succeed and what is not. We will be honest with you and tell you the truth about the goals you have in your legal endeavors, usually in our initial consultation if we can discern enough information to do so there. We will make every effort to obtain the relief you seek if it is possible to do so. In this regard, we are expereinced in appellate work, as trial courts sometimes make mistakes (judges are people, too). We are proud to report we recently obtained a victory for our clients via Special Action at the Arizona Court of Appeals in a published Opinion, Halt v. The Honorable J. Richard Gama. Both attorneys in our firm are published law review authors as well. It is very important to research any attorney you are thinking of hiring and I am happy to answer any questions you may have aboout me, our firm, or our legal services. We look forward to speaking with you.
Hourly ($200-275/hour), contingent (25-40%), Fixed (sometimes), Free consultation (30 minutes)
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|Managing Partner||McKeddie Cooley, GP||2011 - Present|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|State Bar of Arizona||Attorney||2004 - Present|
|Federal Courts of Arizona||Attorney||2004 - Present|
|Halt v. Gama, 238 Ariz. 352, 360 P.3d 148||Attorney fee award against client vacated|
|See all legal cases|
|Opinion of Arizona Court of Appeals (Div. 1)||Halt v. Hon. J. Richard Gama||2015|
|Phoenix Law Review||A Case for Reasonableness||2011|
|California Western School of Law||Law||JD - Juris Doctor||2004|
|Arizona State University||N/A||BS - Bachelor of Science||2000|
|Empire West Title Company Seminar||Dealing with HOAs in Real Estate Transactions||2013|