Elections, Political, & Public Law

Coppersmith Brockelman has Arizona’s widest-ranging and most comprehensive election, political, and public law practice, and unrivaled expertise in litigation, appeals, committee and corporate formation, campaign finance compliance, and regulation.

Candidates, Campaigns & Committees

With a deep understanding of federal, state and local election and political intricacies, we provide counsel to candidates, campaigns, and committees in all aspects of elections activity, from the initial steps of creating committees and complying with campaign finance laws to bringing and defending election challenges in court.

The firm has been involved in dozens of statewide and municipal initiatives and referenda – perhaps more than any other law firm in Arizona.  We not only actively draft ballot measure language and prepare petitions on behalf of clients, but we also provide strategic guidance, tools for training, and compliance advice for every stage of the initiative and referendum process.  Our particular expertise in Arizona’s laws governing initiative and referenda, coupled with our significant litigation experience, gives our clients the best chance for success when defending and prosecuting challenges to initiatives and referenda, both in the trial court and on appeal.  In short, the firm’s unrivaled expertise on ballot measures has led to countless victories at the ballot and in court.

We also assist entities and individuals as they navigate this complex legal landscape. Our political law clients include federal, state, and local candidates and elected officials; political parties; independent expenditure committees; ballot measure sponsors, supporters, and opponents; corporate, union, and trade association PACs; nonprofit organizations; and governmental entities at the state, county, municipal, and special taxing district levels. While at times challenging terrain to traverse, we always offer innovative and effective solutions to help clients achieve their goals while ensuring compliance with the laws that govern their activity.

Election and Voting Rights Litigation

We have significant experience in litigation involving election issues, voting and constitutional rights, and other politically related matters. This includes filing suit to enjoin state legislation, seeking injunctive relief in ballot matters, and providing representation on initiative and/or referendum challenges. During the 2020 election cycle, we filed a special action on behalf of various groups to protect Arizonans’ constitutional rights, successfully defended multiple attempts to block initiative measures from appearing on the General Election ballot, and prevailed in numerous lawsuits challenging the results of the General Election.

Appellate

We have a robust appellate practice – as primary and amicus counsel – in the areas of election, constitutional, and political law and have litigated numerous appeals involving constitutional issues, ballot measures, and expedited election matters. We have represented clients in election-related matters in the Arizona Court of Appeals, Arizona Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States. Our lawyers are called upon regularly by clients to provide counsel and strategic advice with respect to appellate matters.

Arizona Public Records

Our deep understanding of Arizona’s Public Records Law, and our frontline work litigating cases in this area, gives our clients the upper hand when it comes to getting public records and holding government accountable. We stay abreast of ongoing changes to Arizona’s Public Records Law and assist our clients with all aspects of their records requests, from drafting and submitting specific requests to bringing litigation. We’ve successfully litigated public records disputes involving public entities of all types in both the trial court and appellate courts.

Arizona Open Meeting Law

We counsel clients and provide representation on issues and investigations relating to Arizona’s Open Meeting Law. We have advised both private and public clients regarding how the law works and its application to particular situations, and we have defended clients accused of having violated the law at both the superior and appellate court levels.

Representative Matters

Representative ballot measures for which we served as primary counsel include:

  • Smart & Safe Arizona Act (Prop. 207)
  • Invest in Education Act (Prop. 208)
  • Save Our Schools (Prop. 305)
  • AZ Education Finance Amendment (Prop. 123)
  • Reid Park Zoo Animal Quality of Life Acts (Props. 202 and 203)
  • Arizona’s Tobacco Tax
  • The Smoke Free Arizona Act (Prop. 201)
  • Town of Tusayan incorporation initiative

Representative litigation matters include:

  • Prevailed in 11 lawsuits relating to the 2020 General Election on behalf of the Arizona Secretary of State.
  • Successfully defended pre-election challenges to the Smart & Safe Arizona Act and the Invest in Education Act.
  • Prevailed in litigation arising out of Arizona’s public records law that resulted in a published Court of Appeals opinion holding that a state database is a public record.
  • Obtained documents through a favorable settlement in public records litigation against a large charter school operator.
  • Prevailed in litigation under the public records law compelling a state university to release a copy of a high-profile “notice of allegations” issued by the NCAA.
  • Prevailed in multiple special actions challenging the legislative council’s publicity pamphlet analyses of ballot measures.
  • Represented prominent petition signature-gathering firm in successful defense of a defamation claim brought by a competitor based on social media activity.
  • Represented 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.
  • Successfully defeated a mandamus action seeking to compel a city to place on the ballot a referendum measure relating to a settlement agreement for the development of a casino.
  • Successfully defeated an initiative measure relating to a municipal employee pension program in a pre-election petition signature challenge.
  • Successfully defended against a civil investigative demand of an Independent Redistricting Commissioner arising out of Arizona’s Open Meeting Law.
  • Filed a special action in the Arizona superior and appellate courts to challenge special session legislation.
  • Successfully defended constitutional challenges to legislation and a referendum measure relating to the incorporation of a town in Arizona.

Attorneys

Roopali Desai
Email Roopali | 602-381-5478

Andy Gaona
Email Andy | 602-381-5486

Kristen Arredondo Yost
Email Kristen | 602-381-5474

Andrew Gordon
Email Andrew | 602-381-5460

Keith Beauchamp
Email Keith | 602-381-5490