Roopali Desai

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Roopali is a partner in the firm’s litigation group, focusing her practice in the areas of civil litigation, political law, and civil appeals. Her civil litigation practice involves representing clients at all stages of litigation in state and federal court, in front of administrative agencies, and in arbitration proceedings. She has substantial experience litigating complex matters involving business and contract disputes, health care law, constitutional law, and government contracts. She has also assisted her clients in obtaining time-sensitive relief, including temporary and preliminary injunctive relief, expedited appeals, and special actions.

Roopali is also a leading election lawyer in Arizona. Her political law practice involves advising clients on all aspects of election law including campaign finance compliance, disclosure and reporting requirements, and bringing and defending election challenges. Roopali represents a wide range of clients including federal, state, and local candidates; political party organizations and clubs; independent expenditure committees; ballot measure sponsors, supporters, and opponents; corporate, union, and trade association PACs; nonprofit organizations; and governmental entities such as counties, cities, towns, and special districts. Roopali also has substantial experience with initiative, referendum and recall campaigns.  She is experienced in drafting ballot language and preparing initiative and referendum petitions, and is experienced in defending and prosecuting various types of pre- and post-election challenges to initiatives, referendum and recalls, including seeking injunctive relief.

Representative Matters

  • Represents United States Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema, as well as a number of state and local public officials and candidates.
  • Represents Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona and United Phoenix Fire Fighters Association.
  • Represents hospital and health care systems, providers, and businesses in commercial disputes.
  • Successfully defended the winning bidder of a multimillion dollar state contract in the largest health care bid protest in Arizona history.
  • Routinely brings and defends challenges to candidate nomination petitions and ballot measure petitions. In recent years, has successfully challenged initiative petition based on petition and signature defects, Parker v. City of Tucson, 314 P.3d 100 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2013), and successfully defended mandamus action seeking to compel placement of referendum measure on city ballot, Respect Promise in Opposition to R-14-02-Neighbors for a Better Glendale v. Hanna, 2015 WL 5474447 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2015).
  • Successfully obtained a preliminary injunction and, ultimately, summary judgment in a case challenging the constitutionality of legislation. United Food & Commercial Workers Local 99 v. Bennett, 934 F.Supp.2d 1167 (D.Ariz. 2013).
  • Successfully defended claims against global manufacturer of window products in construction defect litigation.
  • Routinely represents and advises public entities and public officers on their obligations under public records and open meeting laws and advises private entities on obtaining information and documents through public records requests.

Awards & Recognitions

  • The Best Lawyers in America©: Commercial Litigation (2016 – present); Civil Rights Law (2017 – present)
  • Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Stars (2014 – 2016)
  • Phoenix Business Journal: 40 under 40 (2016)
  • Az Business Magazine’s Most Influential Women (2016)

Publications & Speeches

  • Presenter, Arizona Election Law Seminar, State Bar of Arizona (2012, 2014)
  • Co-author, Arizona Initiatives and Referendum, Ariz Election Law Seminar Manual (2012, 2014)
  • Co-author, Arizona Consent and Health Information Resource Manual (2009)
  • Presenter, “Arizona’s Electronic Discovery Laws – Update for Compliance Officers,” Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association Task Force on Healthcare Compliance Meeting (2009)
  • Co-presenter, “Arizona’s Electronic Discovery Laws and Their Impact on Health Care CIOs,” Arizona Healthcare Information Executives Meeting (2008)

Activities & Memberships

  • Immediate Past President, Board of Directors, Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest (Jun. 2015 – present)
  • Member, Committee on Civil Justice Reform (2015 – present)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest (2008 – present)
  • Member, Board of Directors, American Civil Liberties Union – Arizona (Jan. 2014 – present)
  • Member, Board of Directors, New Pathways for Youth (Sept. 2015 – present)
  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Arizona
  • Maricopa County Bar Association
  • American Health Lawyers Association


  • Hon. Mary Schroeder, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2005 – 2006

Education & Admissions

  • J.D., University of Arizona, 2005; magna cum laude
  • M.P.H., University of Arizona, 2001; summa cum laude
  • B.A., Women’s Studies, University of Arizona, 2000; cum laude