Monday, February 22, 2016

Whitney J. Matthis Joins Jennings, Strouss & Salmon as Marketing Manager

Whitney J. Matthis
PHOENIX, Ariz. (February 22, 2016) – Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C., a leading Phoenix-based law firm, is pleased to announce the recent addition of Whitney J. Matthis as Marketing Manager in the Phoenix office.

Matthis comes to the firm from Chicago, Illinois where she was the Manager of Corporate Development for The Salem Group, a staffing and recruiting firm. Her background in marketing communications and corporate business development includes experience working in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors.

“The Jennings, Strouss & Salmon brand is well established in Arizona and the other jurisdictions we serve. Whitney’s background in marketing and communications will help us capitalize on that strength and expand into other markets, particularly through the use of modern methods, such as social media,” states Dawn O. Anderson, the firm’s Director of Marketing and Communications. “Whitney’s skill set qualifies her to effectively express the legal and business issues the firm provides to current and prospective clients, while promoting our successes and the value we deliver. We are happy to welcome Whitney to our team.”

Matthis attended Columbia College Chicago and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a minor in Public Relations. During her undergraduate studies, she played a major role in the development of the student body’s writing skills as a peer mentor and tutor. She also holds an MBA with a marketing concentration from Saint Xavier University in Chicago.

Matthis is actively involved in a number of nonprofit organizations, including the American Cancer Society, Muscular Dystrophy Association, and the American Heart Association. Her involvement in these organizations demonstrates her dedication and passion when it comes to supporting the community. Matthis also actively networks with fellow leaders in Arizona and nationwide.

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; automotive 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 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

Friday, February 19, 2016

Beware of Caller ID "Spoofing" Scam

By: John "Jack" G. Sestak, Jr.

Attorneys and their clients have joined the ranks of victims affected by a new scam that attempts to obtain personal and financial information for fraudulent use.

The process is referred to as Caller ID “spoofing." It allows callers to deliberately falsify the information transmitted to Caller ID displays, effectively disguising their real identity. Spoofing is used to trick someone into giving out personal or financial information so that it can be used in fraudulent activity or sold illegally. Most types of spoofing are prohibited by U.S. law and Federal Communication Commission (FCC) rules.

“Spoofers” have disguised themselves as representatives of banks, creditors, insurance companies, and even the IRS. Now, they are masquerading as attorneys. Most recent targets are consumers who have filed, or in the process of filing, for bankruptcy. Recipients of the calls are instructed to immediately wire money to satisfy a debt that supposedly is outside the bankruptcy proceeding. Some consumers have even been threatened with arrest if they fail to wire money to pay the debt. Other scammers simply indicate that additional fees must be paid to the attorney.

Following is an outline of how the scam works:
  • The client receives a phone call
  • The caller ID shows the number belongs to his/her lawyer
  • The client is then given a toll-free number to call
  • When the client calls the toll-free number, they are given instructions on how to pay the debt
So, how are the spoofers getting this information? Most likely, they have obtained the client and attorney names/relationship through publicly available court documents.
If you believe you have been a victim of this scam, please contact your attorney. To learn more about this scam, or to file a complaint, visit the FCC website. You should also file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.

John "Jack" G. Sestak, Jr. has practiced for 30 years in the areas of business and commercial litigation and transactions. In his litigation practice, he has represented companies of all sizes in matters such as contract disputes, securities litigation and arbitration proceedings. He has represented owners and contractors in construction disputes and lawsuits, and has represented employers in employment and employment termination matters. He has represented professionals, including law firms, accounting firms, engineers and architects, in negligence actions.

In addition to his litigation practice, Mr. Sestak handles business and commercial transactions of all kinds, providing counsel and advice to a variety of clients in connection with business planning as well as dispute avoidance and resolution.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Disabled Man Sues Dozens of Arizona Businesses Over Handicapped Parking Spaces

Arizona has quickly become ground-zero for lawsuits arising under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Previously, I blogged here and here about two other serial plaintiffs who had filed more than 200 lawsuits against Arizona hotels, restaurants, bars and other places of public accommodation, alleging an assortment of ADA violations. Right when those lawsuits were beginning to slow and business owners started breathing sighs of relief, another serial plaintiff has emerged.

On February 16, 2016, David Ritzenthaler filed more than 50 lawsuits against local Arizona businesses alleging that their parking lots violate the ADA. Specifically, Mr. Ritzenthaler alleges that these businesses have either an inadequate number of handicapped parking spaces, insufficient signage and/or insufficient disbursement of handicapped parking spaces.

The ADA was enacted in 1990 to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities in all areas of public life. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued new regulations under the ADA in 2010. The regulations include the new 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, outlining minimum accessibility requirements for buildings and facilities.

Both commercial facilities and public accommodations must follow the 2010 standards for new construction and alterations.

What about older facilities and parking lots? Fortunately, there is a “safe harbor” provision for features that already comply with the 1991 standards, but may not meet the new 2010 standards. These older facilities and accompanying parking lots do not need to modify their parking lots until the lot undergoes a planned alteration (re-striping, re-surfacing, etc.) after March 15, 2012. If the lot is altered after that time, it will then need to be brought into compliance with the 2010 standards, to the maximum extent feasible.

A business facing a lawsuit brought by a serial plaintiff, such as Mr. Ritzenthaler, has several options to consider. The first step, however, is to seek the assistance of an experienced ADA compliance attorney.


Lindsay G. Leavitt is a business litigation and employment law attorney at Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C. He regularly represents businesses in ADA compliance related disputes and provides advice on preventative measures.