Thursday, January 21, 2016

Jennings, Strouss & Salmon Elects New Members


 
PHOENIX, Ariz. (January 21, 2016) – Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C., a leading Phoenix-based law firm, is pleased to announce that Paul J. Valentine and Patrick F. Welch have been elected Members (Partners) of the firm, effective January 1, 2016.

“We congratulate Paul and Patrick on their recent promotion to Member,” stated John Norling, Managing Attorney at Jennings, Strouss & Salmon. “They exemplify the qualities we seek in lawyers and we look forward to working with them as they continue to grow their respective practices.”

Valentine’s practice emphasizes structuring corporate, partnership and real estate transactions, counseling medium and small businesses and tax-exempt organizations in tax matters, litigating tax cases in federal courts, and handling administrative controversies before the IRS and state agencies. In the tax controversy area, Valentine has filed federal refund suits, defended worker classification audits, and litigated the tax treatment of one of Arizona’s largest Ponzi schemes. He is also consulted regularly on the interplay between tax and bankruptcy for individual and corporate clients. Valentine earned his LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law, his J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law, and a B.S. from Leeds University.

Welch focuses his practice in the areas of general and complex commercial litigation, construction litigation, fidelity and surety litigation, and cross-border litigation and transactions involving U.S. and Mexican parties. He has a wealth of overseas experience having worked for Mitsubishi International Corporation (a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation), Indochina Capitol Corporation, a financial services firm based in Hanoi, Vietnam, and General Electric Company (GE), a U.S. multinational conglomerate. Welch is fluent in Spanish and has extensive family and professional contacts within the Mexican, Argentine, and Colombian legal communities. Welch earned his J.D. from New England School of Law and a B.A. from Connecticut College.
 
About Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C.
Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C., has been providing legal counsel for over 70 years through its offices in Phoenix and Peoria, Arizona; and Washington, D.C. The firm's primary areas of practice include agribusiness; automobile dealership law; bankruptcy, reorganization and creditors’ rights; construction; corporate and securities; employee benefits and pensions; energy; family law and domestic relations; health care; intellectual property; labor and employment; legal ethics; litigation; professional liability defense; real estate; surety and fidelity; tax; and trust and estates. For additional information please visit www.jsslaw.com and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
 
The firm’s affiliate, B3 Strategies, assists clients with lobbying and public policy strategy at the local, state, and federal levels. For more information please visit www.b3strategies.com.

~JSS~

Friday, January 8, 2016

Julie E. Maurer Receives Award of Professional Distinction from Missouri University of Science and Technology


PHOENIX, Ariz. (January 8, 2016) – Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C., a leading Phoenix-based law firm, congratulates Julie E. Maurer on her Award of Professional Distinction from Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T, formerly University of Missouri - Rolla).
 
On December 19, 2015, Maurer attended the Missouri S&T winter 2015 commencement, where she was presented with the award. She is the 5th history major in the 145-year history of Missouri S&T to be honored with this distinction. Maurer graduated from Missouri S&T in 1996, summa cum laude. While at Missouri S&T, Maurer played soccer and basketball, and was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010.
 
Missouri S&T presented five Awards of Professional Distinction during its winter 2015 commencement ceremonies. This prestigious award recognizes the outstanding Missouri S&T alumni for professional achievement.
 
“I am extremely honored to receive this recognition,” stated Maurer. “I am very grateful for the years that I spent learning and growing at Missouri S&T, surrounded by amazing professionals and top notch people. Go Miners!”
 
Maurer is a Member at Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C., focusing her practice primarily in the area of commercial litigation, which includes a variety of business disputes, including breach of contract, as well as insurance bad faith and coverage matters. She also defends all areas of tort liability claims, including toxic tort and wrongful death matters. In addition, Maurer has extensive experience in the transportation sector, which extends to all areas of carriage, including representing shippers, carriers, brokers and intermediaries, handling freight loss and damage claims, and litigating issues related to tariff and transportation charges.
 
About Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, PLC
Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C, has been providing legal counsel for over 70 years through its offices in Phoenix and Peoria, Arizona; and Washington, D.C. The firm's primary areas of practice include agribusiness; automobile dealership law; bankruptcy, reorganization and creditors’ rights; construction; corporate and securities; employee benefits and pensions; energy; family law and domestic relations; health care; intellectual property; labor and employment; legal ethics; litigation; professional liability defense; real estate; surety and fidelity; tax; and trust and estates. For additional information please visit www.jsslaw.com and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
 
The firm’s affiliate, B3 Strategies, assists clients with lobbying and public policy strategy at the local, state, and federal levels. For more information please visit www.b3strategies.com.

~JSS~

Monday, January 4, 2016

Labor and Employment Attorney Chris M. Mason Joins Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C.


PHOENIX, Ariz. (January 4, 2016) – Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C., a leading Phoenix-based law firm, is pleased to announce that Chris M. Mason has joined the firm as a Member of the Labor and Employment department.

“We are excited to welcome Chris to Jennings, Strouss & Salmon,” stated John Egbert, Chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment department. “Chris’s knowledge and experience will further enhance our labor and employment department, and assist the firm with continuing to provide excellent legal services to our clients.”

Mason counsels employers and management on all aspects of labor and employment law. He has fully devoted his legal career to helping employers navigate confusing, and often frustrating, labor and employment regulations. Mason is also an experienced litigator, representing clients in Arizona, federal, and appellate courts, as well as before administrative agencies. He is a frequent educational speaker and writer on topics critical to employers, and remains abreast of legislative, judicial, and administrative trends.

“I am excited to join the Jennings Strouss team, having long admired its reputation for success, commitment to the ethical practice of law, and dedication to innovation,” stated Mason. “The opportunities presented to my clients are beyond compare. There are few law firms that truly provide the value and community recognition that Jennings Strouss provides. I look forward to a long career with the firm.”

Prior to joining Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, Mason worked at Polsinelli as a Shareholder in the Labor and Employment department. Mason obtained his J.D. from The University of California, Los Angeles and his B.A. from The University of California, Davis.

About Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C.
Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C., has been providing legal counsel for over 70 years through its offices in Phoenix and Peoria, Arizona; and Washington, D.C. The firm's primary areas of practice include agribusiness; automobile dealership law, bankruptcy, reorganization and creditors’ rights; construction; corporate and securities; employee benefits and pensions; energy; family law and domestic relations; health care; intellectual property; labor and employment; legal ethics; litigation; professional liability defense; real estate; surety and fidelity; tax; and trust and estates. For additional information please visit www.jsslaw.com and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

The firm’s affiliate, B3 Strategies, assists clients with lobbying and public policy strategy at the local, state, and federal levels. For more information please visit www.b3strategies.com.

~JSS~

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Psychology of Settlement

 
 
For some, litigation has become a less popular option for people who find themselves in a legal dispute. Depending on the issue, litigation can be a costly process, both financially and emotionally, and there is no assurance that either disputant will receive a satisfactory end result through the court system. To address these concerns, and many others, more attorneys are suggesting alternative forms of dispute resolution to their clients.

There are those who won’t feel satisfied unless and until they have their day in court; however, attorneys have an obligation to inform clients of all dispute resolution options so that they can make fully informed decisions on what is best for their situation and desired outcome. Disputants willing to engage in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) will need to undergo a complete paradigm shift in the way they perceive the legal system. Mediation and arbitration are two types of ADR; however, the law is applied quite differently for both. Attorneys should work with their clients to guide them through the process, providing recommendations along the way.

In order to offer the best legal advice to a client, it is helpful for an attorney to understand where the client’s mindset is from a psychological standpoint. This will enable the attorney to determine how open the client will be to negotiation and settlement.

When some people are in conflict, they enter into a “fog-like” experience. The “fog” clouds their thinking, muddles their direction, and increases their anxiety. Heightened anxiety has its own effects on a person’s ability to reasonably negotiate and reach an agreement. It also diminishes the brain’s ability to fire the appropriate level of neurons up to the rational part of the brain, known as the cerebral cortex. When people become anxious, the limbic part of the brain, which processes responses and emotions when humans are threatened by immediate danger, causes them to become more reactive.

When disputants under stress react from the limbic part of the brain, they tend to resort to fight, flight, or freeze behaviors. Their ability to think rationally is diminished. Furthermore, the ambiguity of the situation, (whether they could do better if their issue was brought before a judge or jury) also intensifies the anxiety disputants are experiencing. The fact that neither the disputants nor their attorneys can be certain of how things may turn out creates an anxiety level that has the potential to develop into anger.

ADR, particularly mediation, helps mitigate emotions, such as anxiety and anger, because it offers disputants control over coming up with their own resolution rather than having one decided for them. Litigation, on the other hand, often drives or exacerbates these emotions because the outcome of the issue is in the hands of a third party – the jury or the judge.

So, how can attorneys help clients avoid succumbing to the emotional and irrational part of their brains and enable them to be more productive and reasonable during settlement negotiations?

First, it is essential that attorneys are upfront from the start about the pros and cons of litigation and ADR. When clients are knowledgeable about how to proactively work in an ADR settlement context, they gain a sense of self control and direction.

Second, attorneys should also reinforce that settlement can be the “win” the client seeks. Mediation settlements are created by the terms as agreed to by the disputing parties instead of a “stranger” ordering the client how to deal with an issue.

Third, inform the client that ADR is a voluntary process. This provides the client with some level of autonomy and control. In the settlement context, the clients are more willing to accept all suggested outcomes as possibilities and reasonable options become clearer. As a result, anxiety levels begin to abate. When anxiety levels are reduced, the brain becomes empowered to operate more easily with rational, rather than emotional, thinking.

Once disputants are working from a higher form of thinking, they are more skilled and efficient at identifying goals and questions, generating options, and brainstorming solutions. They ultimately become more emotionally intelligent and better listeners who are motivated, not by anger or a need to win, but by a need to create outcomes both sides can live with going forward.
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Norma C. Izzo is vice-chair of the firm's Alternative Dispute Resolution department. She focuses her practice in the areas of family law and domestic relations, including collaborative divorce, mediation, arbitration, parent coordination, custody, and child support. Ms. Izzo serves on the State Bar of Arizona Committee for Family Law Rules of Practice and Procedure and on the Board of Directors for the Maricopa County Bar Association.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

2015 Year End Tax Planning Strategies



By: Jack N. Rudel

Every year we lament how complicated year-end tax planning has become. This year is no exception. Attorney Jack N. Rudel provides 2015 year-end tax planning strategies that will help to yield rewards and avoid surprises.

Read the client alert here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

FERC Reacts to First Pipeline Modernization Tracker Proposal under New Policy


As reported in our prior blogs, on November 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) proposed a Policy Statement on Cost Recovery Mechanisms for Modernization of Natural Gas Facilities in Docket No. PL15-1 that would allow interstate pipelines that meet certain criteria to recover the costs of modernizing their facilities through an approved cost tracker or surcharge mechanism. On April 15, 2015, following its review of substantial initial and reply comments, FERC issued an order implementing the Policy Statement, effective October 1, 2015. By order issued November 30, 2015 in Tallgrass Interstate Gas Transmission, LLC (“Tallgrass”), Docket No. RP16-137, FERC took the opportunity to preliminarily address the first cost recovery tracker proposed under the Policy Statement, one heavily contested by the pipeline’s shippers.

Tallgrass’ Proposal
On October 30, 2015, Tallgrass filed a general rate case under Section 4 of the Natural Gas Act. 15 U.S.C. 717c. As part of the filing, Tallgrass proposed a commodity surcharge to recover one-time system integrity costs pursuant to the Policy Statement. Through this mechanism, Tallgrass would recover “system safety, integrity, reliability, and environmental-related costs” in a volumetric surcharge to its usage rates. The revised General Terms & Conditions of its Tariff would define costs eligible for recovery through the Cost Recovery Mechanism as both capital costs and operation and maintenance (O&M) costs related to projects designed to comply with the regulations of  the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, and other governmental agencies.

FERC’s Reactions
In its November 30 suspension order, FERC was “encouraged that Tallgrass submitted a comprehensive proposal” that included “detailed testimony and exhibits explaining how its proposed Cost Recovery Mechanism charge satisfies the five standards set forth in the Modernization Cost Recovery Policy Statement.” FERC found that “Tallgrass’ filing of a general section 4 rate case in conjunction with its proposed Cost Recovery Mechanism will allow a thorough review of the justness and reasonableness of the base rates to which the Cost Recovery Mechanism will be attached, consistent with the policy statement.” Nevertheless, FERC determined that the proposal raised “numerous significant issues” of material fact that, along with the traditional rate case issues presented, should be addressed in an evidentiary hearing.

First, FERC found that protestors raised valid questions as to whether the specific projects included in the Cost Recovery Mechanism are consistent with the Policy Statement’s requirement precluding recovery in the Cost Recovery Mechanism of ordinary capital costs routinely incurred as part of regular system maintenance, costs that should continue to be recovered in the pipeline’s base rates.

Second, protestors pointed out that Tallgrass failed to include a mechanism for ensuring that a representative level of ordinary system maintenance capital costs are excluded from the tracker, as suggested by the Policy Statement.

Third, FERC found that the protestors raised “serious concerns” that Tallgrass included ordinary, recurring O&M costs in its Cost Recovery Mechanism charge (e.g., in-line inspections and hydrostatic testing), contrary to the Policy Statement.

In addition to the issues set for hearing, FERC summarily rejected Tallgrass’ proposed design of its Cost Recovery Mechanism charge, finding it in violation of FERC Order No. 636, which requires pipelines to use a Straight Fixed Variable (SFV) rate design that assigns all fixed costs to a pipeline’s reservation charges. While Tallgrass proposed to continue to design its base rates using an SFV rate design, its proposed Cost Recovery Mechanism is a volumetric surcharge through which Tallgrass impermissibly seeks to recover fixed costs. FERC ordered Tallgrass to revise its Cost Recovery Mechanism to be consistent with an SFV rate design.

Looking Ahead
Responding to the first pipeline Cost Recovery Mechanism proposal under the Modernization Policy Statement, it is not surprising that absent a comprehensive settlement offer the Commission would apply a strict interpretation to the Policy Statement’s underlying rate design criteria; nor is it surprising that the Commission would set all aspects of Tallgrass’ heavily contested Cost Recovery Mechanism proposal for hearing to determine their justness and reasonableness. Time will tell whether, and to what extent, the record in this proceeding will seek to test the scope of the Policy Statement’s criteria and require FERC to provide additional guidance to the industry regarding its proper implementation. For this reason, we will continue to monitor this case and report out any significant developments.

If you have questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this article, please feel free to contact us.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Personal Representatives of the Estate of a Vulnerable Adult Need to be Aware of Arizona’s Adult Protective Services Act


By: Garrett J. Olexa

A personal representative of a decedent’s estate has a statutory duty to serve the best interests of the successors to the estate. One such duty is to take possession and control of the decedent’s property for purposes of administering the estate. A personal representative is also expected to identify any person who is believed to have concealed, embezzled, conveyed, or otherwise disposed of, any property of the decedent in an unlawful manner. If the decedent was a vulnerable adult, a personal representative should be aware of, among other things, the Adult Protective Services Act (the “APSA” or “Act”), how and when it applies, and generally what it requires.
The APSA was enacted in 2008. It provides a statutory cause of action for incapacitated or vulnerable adults who are the victims of neglect, abuse or exploitation. Significantly, the civil remedies available under the Act can be pursued not only by the vulnerable adult, but also by a personal representative of the vulnerable adult’s estate should the vulnerable adult pass away before a civil action is initiated or completed.
The phrase “vulnerable adult” under the Act is defined broadly. It includes individuals over the age of 18 who are unable to protect themselves from abuse, neglect or exploitation by others because of a physical or mental impairment. “Impairment” refers to anything that causes a decrease in strength, value, amount, or quality, and “exploitation” includes improper use of a vulnerable adult’s resources for someone else’s advantage. So, “vulnerable adults” might include, among others, persons impaired by reason of mental illness, mental deficiency, mental disorder, physical illness or disability, chronic intoxication or use of drugs, or other causes to the extent that they lack sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate responsible decisions concerning their own person.
The legislature has also broadly defined the class of possible violators of the Act. They include any “person in a position of trust and confidence” to a vulnerable adult. A person in a “position of trust and confidence” includes not only one who has assumed a duty to provide care to the incapacitated or vulnerable adult, but also someone who acts as a joint tenant or tenant in common with an incapacitated or vulnerable adult. “Joint tenancy” includes things such as joint ownership of the vulnerable adult’s house and bank accounts. The foregoing might come into play when an adult child, grandchild, niece or nephew adds his or her name to the deed to the vulnerable adult’s house and/or bank accounts. When such an event has occurred, duties arise under the Act. Thus, it becomes important for the personal representative to consider the new joint owner’s intent in taking such action, and whether the new joint owner satisfied his or her duties under the Act.
What constitutes a violation of the Act? APSA provides that a “person in a position of trust and confidence” to a vulnerable adult violates the Act if he or she either fails to act for the benefit of the vulnerable adult to the same extent as a trustee or, by intimidation or deception, knowingly took control, title, use, or management of the vulnerable adult’s property with the intent to permanently deprive the vulnerable person of the property. A family member who takes control of a vulnerable adult relative’s assets must act as a prudent trustee would act; therefore, he or she is obligated to act solely in the best interest of the vulnerable adult, and must be prepared to explain how the vulnerable adult benefited from the transfer of property and how his or her duty to act as a prudent trustee was otherwise satisfied.
If a personal representative establishes that someone exploited a vulnerable adult, APSA places a wide arrange of remedies at the Court’s disposal. For instance, after liability is found, the Court may order that the party violating the act forfeit any inheritance he or she would otherwise be entitled to. The Court can also revoke a transfer of property by the vulnerable adult to someone who has violated the Act. Further, the Court may award actual and consequential damages, costs, and attorneys’ fees, and may also order that double the actual damages be paid.
In sum, if and when you have been named as a personal representative for the estate of someone who was a vulnerable adult, you should consider the APSA as part of your analysis of any questionable transfers or transactions, or, consult with an attorney familiar with the Act.

Garrett Olexa is a Member with the law firm of Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, PLC and works in its estate planning and estate litigation practice group.

He can be contacted at golexa@jsslaw.com or 623.878.2222 or 623.878.2222.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Julie E. Maurer Appointed as Vice President of the Phoenix Community ToolBank


PHOENIX, Ariz. (November 16, 2015) – Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C., a leading Phoenix-based law firm, is pleased to announce that Julie E. Maurer has been appointed as Vice President of the Phoenix Community ToolBank.
 
“The Phoenix Community ToolBank is a unique non-profit that serves all other non-profits by equipping charitable organizations with tools to complete their community projects,” stated Maurer. “In less than one year since its Grand Opening, the Phoenix Community ToolBank has already loaned over $92,000.00 worth of tools to local charitable organizations, equipping 10,770 volunteers who completed 237 projects! I am proud to be a part of such a groundbreaking and dynamic Board of Directors.”
 
The Phoenix Community ToolBank opened its doors in January of 2015 as a nonprofit tool lending program. The Phoenix Community ToolBank maintains an 8,000 sq. ft. warehouse, where it stores more than 200 different types of tools and equipment, available year-round, to fellow not-for-profit organizations.
 
In addition to serving as Vice President of the Phoenix Community ToolBank Board of Directors, Maurer is a Member of the Jennings, Strouss & Salmon law firm, practicing primarily in the Commercial Litigation group. Her commercial litigation practice includes a variety of business disputes, including breach of contract, as well as insurance bad faith and coverage matters. Maurer also defends all areas of tort liability claims, including toxic tort and wrongful death matters. In addition, she has extensive experience in the transportation sector, which extends to all areas of carriage, including representing shippers, carriers, brokers and intermediaries, handling freight loss and damage claims, and litigating issues related to tariff and transportation charges.
 
About Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, PLC
Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, PLC, has been providing legal counsel for over 70 years through its offices in Phoenix and Peoria, Arizona; and Washington, D.C. The firm's primary areas of practice include agribusiness; automobile dealership law; bankruptcy, reorganization and creditors’ rights; construction; corporate and securities; employee benefits and pensions; energy; family law and domestic relations; health care; intellectual property; labor and employment; legal ethics; litigation; professional liability defense; real estate; surety and fidelity; tax; and trust and estates. For additional information please visit www.jsslaw.com and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
 
The firm’s affiliate, B3 Strategies, assists clients with lobbying and public policy strategy at the local, state, and federal levels. For more information please visit www.b3strategies.com.

~JSS~

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

It Begins: Arizona Restaurants/Bars Must Prepare for Tidal Wave of ADA Lawsuits


By: Lindsay G. Leavitt

Arizona is quickly joining the ranks of California, New York and Texas as a hotbed for lawsuits arising under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Last month, I blogged about (and have personally defended numerous hotel owners against) lawsuits filed by Theresa Brooke, a wheelchair bound Arizona woman who has sued more than 150 Arizona hotel owners for failing to provide wheelchair accessible pool lifts. Now, it appears another disabled serial plaintiff has emerged.

Santiago Abreu, a wheelchair bound individual who is a resident of Florida, has begun filing lawsuits against Phoenix-area restaurants alleging an assortment of ADA violations. Mr. Abreu is a self-admitted “tester,” which is a disabled person who travels around the country suing businesses open to the public that do not fully comply with the ADA. Some testers have filed thousands of lawsuits around the country.

Mr. Abreu has filed lawsuits against a number of well-known restaurants/bars in the greater Phoenix area, including Sanctuary Resort & Spa and Ra Sushi. Most of the alleged violations arise in the bar area and restrooms. For example, Mr. Abreu has alleged that the bar service counters are not wheelchair accessible and that certain elements of the restrooms (e.g., stalls, sinks and urinals) violate the ADA.

The violations alleged by Mr. Abreu do not appear to be quick or inexpensive to fix. Businesses must bring their buildings in compliance with the ADA only if it is “readily achievable” to do so. The ADA defines readily achievable as “easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense.” It is no surprise that plaintiffs and defendants often disagree on (and litigate) whether certain fixes are “readily achievable.”

A business facing a lawsuit brought by a “tester” like Mr. Abreu has several options to consider. The first step, however, is to seek the assistance of an experienced ADA compliance attorney.
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Lindsay G. Leavitt is a business litigation and employment law attorney at Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C. He regularly represents businesses in employment-related disputes and provides advice on preventative measures.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Jennings, Strouss & Salmon Ranked in 2016 “Best Law Firms” List

 

PHOENIX, Ariz. (November 3, 2015) – Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C., a leading Phoenix-based law firm, has been ranked in the 2016 "Best Law Firms" list by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers®. The firm received a Tier 1 national ranking for Energy Law, along with Phoenix and Washington, D.C. metropolitan rankings for 33 additional practice areas.

Firms included in the 2016 "Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.

The 2016 Edition of "Best Law Firms” includes rankings in 74 national practice areas and 120 metropolitan-based practice areas.

The U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings, for the sixth consecutive year, are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process. Clients and peers were asked to evaluate firms based on the following criteria: responsiveness, understanding of a business and its needs, cost-effectiveness, integrity and civility, as well as whether they would refer a matter to the firm and/or consider the firm a worthy competitor.

This year, in addition to the Tier 1 national ranking for Energy Law, Jennings Strouss was included in the metropolitan rankings for the following areas:

METROPOLITAN TIER 1

Phoenix
Administrative / Regulatory Law
Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
Commercial Litigation
Corporate Law
Energy Law
International Trade and Finance Law
Litigation - Bankruptcy
Litigation - Construction
Litigation - Real Estate
Mediation
Medical Malpractice Law - Defendants
Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants
Real Estate Law
Trusts & Estates Law

Washington DC
Energy Law

METROPOLITAN TIER 2

Phoenix
Arbitration
Construction Law
Corporate Governance Law
Employment Law - Management
Health Care Law
International Arbitration - Commercial
Labor Law - Management
Legal Malpractice Law – Defendants
Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law
Litigation - Banking & Finance
Mergers & Acquisitions Law
Securities / Capital Markets Law
Tax Law

METROPOLITAN TIER 3

Phoenix
Banking and Finance Law
Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships)
Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law
Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law
Litigation - Labor & Employment
Public Finance Law

About “Best Law Firms”
The U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process. To be eligible for a ranking, a law firm must have at least one lawyer listed in 20th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America© list for that particular location and specialty.
 
About U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report is a multimedia publisher of news, consumer advice, rankings and analysis. Focusing on Education, Health, Personal Finance, Travel, Cars and News & Opinion, www.usnews.com has earned a reputation as the leading provider of consumer advice and analysis that helps its readers make informed life decisions. U.S. News & World Report's signature franchise includes its "Best" series of consumer advice guides and publications that include rankings of colleges, hospitals, mutual funds, cars and more.
 
About Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C
Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C., has been providing legal counsel for over 70 years through its offices in Phoenix and Peoria, Arizona; and Washington, D.C. The firm's primary areas of practice include agribusiness; bankruptcy, reorganization and creditors’ rights; construction; corporate and securities; employee benefits and pensions; energy; family law and domestic relations; health care; intellectual property; labor and employment; legal ethics; litigation; professional liability defense; real estate; surety and fidelity; tax; and trust and estates. For additional information please visit www.jsslaw.com and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
 
The firm’s affiliate, B3 Strategies, assists clients with lobbying and public policy strategy at the local, state, and federal levels. For more information please visit www.b3strategies.com.

~JSS~