Andy Gaona

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Andy is a litigator who assists clients in complex commercial disputes, appeals, white-collar criminal prosecutions, civil forfeiture claims, government investigations, and election disputes. He is often called upon to represent clients involved in state and federal constitutional disputes at both the trial court and appellate level, and has helped clients throughout Arizona in matters arising under the state’s Public Records Law.

In addition, Andy maintains an active pro bono practice, which has included litigating tort claims on behalf of a group of refugee farmers, successfully representing a lawful permanent resident appealing an order of removal in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and successfully assisting a high school athlete who sought to reinstate his eligibility to compete in interscholastic athletics.

Before joining Coppersmith Brockelman, Andy clerked for the former Vice Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court, and practiced for more than three years at a large national law firm.

Representative Matters

  • Counsel for civil forfeiture claimant in both the trial court and the Arizona Court of Appeals, resulting in the dismissal of the State’s forfeiture complaint with prejudice (State v. Byrd, 1 CA-CV 13-0181 (Ariz. Ct. App. May 28, 2015)).
  • Represented clients in all aspects of business and commercial disputes in Arizona trial courts through inception, discovery, and dispositive motions.
  • Counsel to various individuals and corporations facing civil forfeiture claims, often with parallel criminal charges, brought by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.
  • Counsel to congressional candidate in state court litigation regarding the validity of provisional ballots.
  • Counsel for amicus curiae in an original special action which resulted in the reinstatement of the chairwoman of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission ( Indep. Redistricting Comm’n v. Brewer, 229 Ariz. 347 (2012)).
  • Counsel for amicus curiae in support of the proponents of Proposition 204, who resisted attempts to remove the proposition from the ballot (Pederson v. Bennett, 230 Ariz. 566 (2012)).
  • Counsel for amicus curiae in support of the proponents of Proposition 204, who successfully argued that analysis of the proposition for ballot publicity material was misleading and not impartial (Tobin v. Rea, 231 Ariz. 189 (2013)).
  • Counsel for Members of Commission on Appellate Court Appointments in original special action in which the Supreme Court invalidated a state statute that altered the judicial nomination system (Dobson v. State ex rel. Comm’n on Appellate Court Nominations, 309 P.3d 1289 (2013)).
  • Prepared briefs and conducted oral argument on behalf of a lawful permanent resident appealing an order of removal, whose petition for review was granted after the court held that the agency lacked jurisdiction to re-consider petitioner’s state law conviction under the “modified categorical approach” (Carrillo-Jaime v. Holder, 533 F. App’x 760 (9th Cir. 2013)).

Awards & Recognitions

  • Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Stars: Business Litigation (2014 – present)

Publications & Speeches

  • Comment, “Privity No More: Implied Warranty Rights of Subsequent Purchasers of Commercial Property in Arizona,” 41 Ariz. St. L.J. 877 (2009)
  • Co-author (with Paul Eckstein and Jerica Peters), “What Didn’t Make It Into the Arizona Constitution,” 44 Ariz. St. L.J. 513 (2012)
  • Presenter, “The Arizona Supreme Court and the Arizona Constitution: The First Hundred Years,” CLE (Feb. 14, 2012)
  • Guest Lecturer, “Advanced Legal Writing and Election Law,” Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University


  • Hon. Andrew D. Hurwitz, Arizona Supreme Court, 2010 – 2011

Activities & Memberships

  • Board Member, Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest (2014 – present)

Education & Admissions

  • J.D., Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, 2010; summa cum laude
  • B.A., Political Science & Spanish Literature, University of Arizona, 2006; magna cum laude
  • Admitted in Arizona, 2011