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Our firm’s history is rooted in more than 110 years of continuous service, and is built upon the enduring character, values, excellence, and vision of each of its founders.

History timeline

From groundbreaking Supreme Court decisions to innovative legislation, the impact of our history can still be felt today.

Our lawyers have held high ranking positions in the United States government including: Assistant U.S. Secretary of the Interior under President Dwight D. Eisenhower; U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama; and former Governor of Wyoming and U.S. Ambassador to Ireland.

Jim Lyons, partner in our Denver office, served as Special Advisor to President William J. Clinton and Secretary of State for Economic Initiatives in Ireland and Northern Ireland during Irish peace negotiations in the 1990s.

Our firm’s alumni list boasts many prominent judges, academics, and history-makers. They include Chief Judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals in both the Ninth and Tenth Circuits. We are proud to have the current President of the University of California system, and the General Counsel of Arizona State University among our alumni ranks.

Notable Cases/Matters

  • Arizona v. California, 1955: Prevailed in landmark U.S. Supreme Court case determining the water rights of several Western U.S. states.
  • Community Banking, 1960s: Pioneered the "one bank holding company" structure for financial institutions, which paved the way for community bank ownership.
  • Miranda v. Arizona, 1966: Prevailed in one of the most significant criminal appeals of the 20th century, in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that suspects taken into custody must be explicitly informed of their constitutional rights.
  • Baird v. State Bar of AZ, 1971: Prevailed in U.S. Supreme Court case holding that state bar associations cannot ask lawyers to reveal political affiliations before being admitted.
  • Software Patents, 1972: Obtained one of the first software patents ever granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  • Breaking Down Boundaries, 2000: Successfully challenged Nevada law preventing out-of-state law firms from using their names in Nevada.
  • Stadium Financing, 2000s: Bond Counsel to the Arizona Diamondbacks on the $128 million permanent financing of the Bank One Ballpark.
  • Patents for a New Frontier, 2007: Obtained a utility patent for a SpaceShipOne that completed the first privately-funded human space flight. 
  • Brand Protection, 2009: Won the largest ever cybersquatting judgment, $33 million, on behalf of the firm client, Verizon.
  • Solano Project, 2010: Real estate, regulatory, permitting, environmental, and local Arizona finance counsel for a 250-MW parabolic trough concentrating solar power (CSP) plant and energy storage system, which included a $1.45 billion loan guarantee to finance the project.
  • Retail/Restaurant Leasing, 2010s: Represented Hopdoddy Burger Bar in connection with leasing nationwide, including their first 45 locations.
  • Real Estate Development, 2010s: Represented State Farm in one of the largest commercial real estate transactions in Arizona history. It involved 2 million square feet of office space and 40,000 square feet of retail space.

In 1966, we litigated the Supreme Court case - Miranda v. Arizona, in which John P. Frank and John Flynn represented Ernesto Miranda in the landmark case giving rise to "Miranda Rights," which protects constitutional rights and revolutionized arrest processes around the world.

In the early 1960's our intellectual property lawyers, through a live demonstration, released a suitcase full of "Superballs" in the patent examiner's office of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, thus convincing them that Wham-O’s high-bouncing “Superball” toys were worthy of patent protection.

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