Andy Gaona

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Andy focuses his practice on election and political law. He advises candidates, political action committees, party organizations, nonprofits, and government entities on issues of campaign finance compliance, ballot access, and election-related litigation. In addition, Andy works closely with groups that sponsor ballot measures at both the state and local level from the drafting of ballot language to defending and prosecuting pre-and post-election challenges (and everything in between). His ballot measure work includes Smart and Safe Arizona (Prop. 207), Invest in Education (Prop. 208), Save Our Schools (Prop. 305), the Arizona Education Finance Amendment (Prop. 123), and the Reid Park Zoo Animal Quality of Life Acts (Props. 202 and 203).

Andy is also a member of the firm’s Litigation group, focusing on complex civil litigation, public records litigation, and civil appeals. He represents clients at all stages of litigation in state and federal court.

Representative Matters

  • Represented clients in all aspects of business and commercial disputes in Arizona trial courts, arbitrations, and administrative proceedings through inception, discovery, and dispositive motions.
  • Co-counsel to the Arizona Secretary of State in 11 lawsuits relating to the 2020 General Election.
  • Representation of political committees and candidates in election-related litigation, including ballot measure challenges to initiatives and referenda. (g. Molera v. Hobbs, 250 Ariz. 13 (2020); James v. Hobbs, CV-20-0226-AP/EL (2020); Perea v. Reagan, CV-18-0036-AP/EL (2018); Maricopa Citizens Protecting Taxpayers v. Price, 244 Ariz. 330 (App. 2017)).
  • Counsel for prominent petition signature-gathering firm in successful defense of a defamation claim brought by a competitor based on social media activity (Sign Here Petitions LLC v. Chavez, 243 Ariz. 99 (App. 2017)).
  • Counsel for amici curiae in support of the constitutionality of the hospital assessment that funds the expansion of Arizona’s AHCCCS program, which was upheld by the Arizona Supreme Court (Biggs v. Betlach, 243 Ariz. 256 (2017)).
  • Prepared briefs and conducted oral arguments on behalf of individuals subject to orders of removal in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, resulting in reversals in both cases (Mercado v. Lynch, 668 F. App’x 272 (9th Cir. 2016);Carrillo-Jaime v. Holder, 533 F. App’x 760 (9th Cir. 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)).
  • Counsel for amicus curiae in support of the proponents of Proposition 204 (Tobin v. Rea, 231 Ariz. 189 (2013); Pederson v. Bennett, 230 Ariz. 566 (2012)).
  • 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)).

Awards & Recognitions

  • Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Stars: Business Litigation (2014 – present)
  • The Best Lawyers in America©: Appellate Practice (2020 – 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 (2014)
  • Presenter, Arizona Election Law Seminar, State Bar of Arizona (2020)

Clerkships

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

Activities & Memberships

  • President, Board of Directors, Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest (2019 – present)
  • 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
  • Admitted to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2012
  • Admitted to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, 2020
  • Admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, 2021