ARIZONA PARALEGAL ASSOCIATION
Maria Bella, AFOIT, CPOI, LGI, Aquatics & Drowning Expert
Maria Bella is an expert in sports and recreation and specializes in aquatic safety. She is one of only seven Aquatic Facility Operator Instructor Trainers in the world and has been active in the aquatics industry for more than 40 years. Bella has a degree in Aquatic Engineering, has operated numerous swimming pool complexes, and actively participates in the ongoing development of industry standards and codes. In addition to providing forensic consulting, Bella personally provides instruction to directors of college/university, municipal, school district, hotel/motel, and waterpark facilities in standard of care for plant operations as well as positioning and supervision of lifeguards. Bella is an authorized instructor for the American Red Cross, National Swimming Pool Foundation, and National Recreation and Park Association. She has served as a subject matter expert for the Centers for Disease Control Model Aquatic Health Code; the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials Uniform Swimming Pool, Spa and Hot Tub Code; the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals Technical Committee on ANSI standards; and the International Code Council’s International Swimming Pool and Spa Code. Bella coached competitive swimming for 15 years and worked with athletes ranging from novice through national caliber. She is also a certified amusement ride inspector through the National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials and Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
Chris DeRose, Esq., Clerk of the Superior Court of Maricopa County.
Chris DeRose was recently appointed by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey as Clerk of the Maricopa County Superior Court. He was previously Senior Litigation Counsel to the Arizona Attorney General, trying 47 cases in front of the Court of Appeals and arguing twice before the state Supreme Court. A former professor of Constitutional, International, and Election Law, he was voted by his students as "Law Professor of the Year." Mr. DeRose serves on the board of directors of the Abraham Lincoln Association and scholarly advisory board for President Lincoln's Cottage in Washington DC. He was previously on the governing board of Phoenix Collegiate Academy, a high performing inner city charter school. He is also a New York Times bestselling author of Founding Rivals, Congressman Lincoln, and The Presidents’ War. He is married to Dr. Hannah DeRose, a radiologist. They live in Phoenix.
Lynn Fazz, Clerk of the Superior Court of Yuma County
Lynn Fazz was born in Alexandria, Virginia where she attended Virginia Tech State University. She relocated to Yuma, Arizona in 1984 where she met her husband of 25 years and raised three boys. Lynn has worked in many areas of law enforcement, from the local police department to US Customs. She finally found her niche at the Yuma County Superior Court where she has been for over 13 years, serving the last 8 years as the elected Clerk of Court.
Toni Hellon, Clerk of the Superior Court of Pima County
Toni Hellon was appointed Clerk of the Superior Court by Governor Jan Brewer to fill the remainder of her predecessor’s term, effective April 1, 2013. She had been Chief Deputy Clerk for the prior three years. Hellon joined the Clerk’s office in February of 2007, after serving 6 years as an Arizona State Senator, where she chaired the Education and vice-chaired the Health committees. Between legislative sessions, she was a consultant to the Community Partnership of Southern Arizona’s prevention team, working on programs such as “Youth Empowered for Success,” “Teen Institute,” “Make Mealtime Family Time,” and adult and youth suicide prevention programs. She was Chief Deputy Pima County Recorder (1989-1992), Executive Assistant to Pima County Supervisor Mike Boyd (1998-2000), and a member of the Pima County Trial Court Commission for 8 years until she was elected to the State Senate. Prior to moving to Tucson in 1983, she worked for the Phoenix Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and was staff writer, editor, and artist, in the Del E. Webb corporate public relations department. She was also a freelance writer throughout her career. Hellon has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Arizona where she was editor of the Tombstone Epitaph. She has two grown children and five granddaughters.
Donald P. Johnsen, Esq., Shareholder, Gallagher & Kennedy, PA
Don Johnsen is a shareholder with the law firm of Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A., in Phoenix. He practices exclusively in the area of labor and employment law, counseling and representing management in such matters as employment discrimination and sexual harassment claims, wrongful discharge claims, wage and hour disputes, employee hiring, discipline, and discharge procedures, drug and alcohol testing matters, arbitrations, and miscellaneous employment policy matters. Don is a graduate of the University of Arizona (B.A. 1981) and College of William & Mary (J.D. 1987), where he was Managing Editor of the William & Mary Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. After law school, he served as a judicial clerk to the late Hon. Clement F. Haynsworth, Jr., United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He is admitted to practice law in Arizona and Minnesota. He is a member of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the Arizona and American Bar Associations, and a former member of the Executive Council of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar of Arizona. He has an “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell, and is listed in the 2007-17 editions of “The Best Lawyers in America” in its “Labor and Employment Law” category.
Sonia Martinez, Esq., Law Office of Sonia Martinez
Ms. Martinez has been the principal and owner of her own law firm in Mesa, Arizona for the past nine years. She works primarily in Indian Country, and is licensed to practice in the Ak-Chin Indian Community Court, the Fort McDowell Indian Community, the Tonto Apache Tribal Court, Gila River, the Hualapai Nation, and the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community Court. She focuses her practice on representing tribal members in their private family, dependency and criminal law matters. She has also been working with clients regarding issues with the Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Act since 2010, the Yes on Prop 205 Campaign since 2015, and is the Vice President of the Arizona Cannabis Lawyer’s Association. Ms. Martinez graduated Magna Cum Laude from Southwestern Law School as a John J. Schumacher Minority Leader Scholar, and earned special United States Congressional recognition for ‘Outstanding and Invaluable Public Service to the Community' in 2004. Ms. Martinez practiced complex environmental law in 2004 in California before moving to Arizona in 2006, where she worked as a Special Prosecutor for the Ak-Chin Nation. Later she was a Litigation Associate at Jones Skelton & Hochuli P.L.C., handling complex environmental law, commercial and general defense work. Ms. Martinez is a member and past Co-Chair of the Arizona State Bar Committee on Minorities and Women in the Law, Co-Chair of the 2015 State Bar Convention, Chair of the 2013 Minority Bar Convention, Past President of the Native American Bar Association of Arizona, and a graduate of the 2009 Arizona State Bar Leadership Institute. The Native American Bar of Arizona selected her as the 2013 “Member of the Year” for her hard work and dedication in Indian Country. She worked as a writing instructor for the Arizona NBA Pipeline Program, teaches a seminar class at the Indian Legal Program on representing defendants in tribal courts as a guest lecturer, and was a mentor for the National Hispanic Bar Association. Ms. Martinez also serves on the Board of Directors for the United Food Bank, as Treasurer of Whisper & Thunder, and Board Member for MomForce USA. In addition, she has taught cultural property and archaeology law for Archaeological Damage & Investigations Inc., authored the article, “Premises Liability, How to Protect Yourself and Others,” is a panel member on the Selection Committee for the Arizona State Bar Leadership Institute, and presented as a panelist at dozens of educational seminars. She is also a team member for the Maricopa County Superior Court Judicial Performance Review Commission Conference Teams. Lastly, Ms. Martinez has been on the State Bar Convention Committee since 2015. Most importantly, she is a mother of two daughters ages 20 and 11.
Holly McGee, Litigation Technology Coordinator, Paralegal, Jones Skelton & Hochuli PLC
Holly is the Litigation Technology Coordinator at Jones Skelton & Hochuli, P.L.C. Ms. McGee has worked as a paralegal in the area of civil litigation, insurance defense, products liability defense, medical malpractice defense, bankruptcy and collections, and municipal liability. She specializes in e-Discovery processing and large document database management. Holly assists firm-wide with trial and focus group presentations, CLE presentations, building and managing databases, social media collections, and a number of other projects requiring specialized software. Holly also works with the Paralegal division of the firm to assist with all training in the areas of discovery and presentation preparation. Holly completed her A.A.S. in Paralegal Studies from Pima Community College in 1997 while working as a legal secretary. She worked in hybrid legal secretary/paralegal positions until 2000 and has worked in dedicated Paralegal positions since then. Holly lived and worked in Louisiana from 1999 through 2007, for the firm McGlinchey Stafford. Holly accepted an invitation to teach at the 2015 NALA National Paralegal Convention & Seminar. She is currently NALA Liaison of the Arizona Paralegal Association.
Donna McQuality, Clerk of the Superior Court of Yavapai County
Donna McQuality was born and riased in the southern part of Wisconsin. In 1980 she moved to Prescott and has resided in the quad-city area since that time. The majority of her working career has been in the legal field, working in private law firms for 18.5 years. In July 2002 she was hired as a Courtroom Clerk in the Yavapai County Clerk’s Office, and in 2007 was promoted to Court Services Supervisor, responsible for supervising the Prescott Courtroom Clerks. After the untimely death of the Yavapai County Clerk of Court, Ms. McQuality ran for the office and won the 2014 Republican Primary. She was appointed as the Yavapai County Clerk of Court on September 29, 2014, by Governor Jan Brewer. Later she was elected by the voters of Yavapai County in the November 2014 General Election and sworn into office on December 19, 2014.
Aaron Nash, Esq., Special Counsel and Public Information Officer, Clerk of Superior Court in Maricopa County, Arizona
As Special Counsel, Aaron advises the elected Clerk and senior management on day-to-day operations and directly engages in legislation, court rules, administrative orders, policy and procedure, and research and analysis related to clerk’s office operations. He is a legislative liaison for the Arizona Association of Superior Court Clerks. As Public Information Officer, Aaron directs media relations, responds to public records requests, publishes articles, gives presentations, and manages the Clerk’s social media. Aaron has participated in committees restyling Arizona’s rules of Civil, Criminal, Family, and Probate procedure; developing a statewide rule for sealing and unsealing records; and developing statewide guidelines for legal advice v. information. Aaron has worked in state courts for more than 20 years, including private practice.
Robert J. McWhirter, Esq., Law Offices of Robert J. McWhirter
Robert J. McWhirter is a nationally and internationally known speaker and author on trial advocacy, immigration law, and the history of the bill of rights. He is a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law with the State Bar of Arizona and first chair qualified to defend capital cases by the Arizona Supreme Court. Mr. McWhirter is the author of several books published by The American Bar Association: BILLS, QUILLS, AND STILLS: AN ANNOTATED, ILLUSTRATED, AND ILLUMINATED HISTORY OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS (ABA Press 2015); THE CRIMINAL LAWYER’S GUIDE TO IMMIGRATION LAW: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS, 2nd Ed. 2006; and, THE CITIZENSHIP FLOWCHART, 2007. Mr. McWhirter has served on the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section and on the Standard Committee writing the CRIMINAL JUSTICE STANDARDS. Mr. McWhirter has extensively taught in Latin America on comparative criminal procedure and trial advocacy in Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Uruguay. He has been a visiting professor at the Catholic University of Chile and the University of Chile. In 2010-2011, Mr. McWhirter served in El Salvador administering an $11 million USAID project to reform the justice system where he successfully developed and oversaw programs and trainings for the Salvadoran courts, police, prosecutors, and public defenders. Mr. McWhirter still travels to Latin America, most recently in August 2013 on a lecture tour as a speaker grant recipient for the United States State Department and in Uruguay training prosecutors. In 2009, Mr. McWhirter was named a Southwest Super Lawyer, a rare instance for a public defender. Mr. McWhirter is also the 2009 recipient of the Phoenix Saint Thomas More Award and the immediate past president of Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice. Mr. McWhirter is the supervising criminal attorney at the ASU Alumni Law Group, a teaching law firm.
Bill Montgomery, Esq., Maricopa County Attorney
Bill Montgomery was first elected Maricopa County Attorney in a Special Election in 2010 and re-elected in 2012 and 2016. During Bill’s service as County Attorney, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office has been nationally recognized for innovative victim services programs, prosecutor-led diversion options for substance abuse and first time felony offenders, and has been recognized as a national leader in focusing on community relationships and the use of technology to improve office performance. With crime at historic lows, the Office continues to focus on fighting crime, honoring victims’ rights, and protecting and strengthening our community. Bill has also helped shape legislation designed to protect victims of crime and reform Arizona’s child welfare system, to include the creation of the Office of Child Welfare Investigations and the Department of Child Safety. Bill earned his J.D. from ASU’s College of Law, graduating Magna Cum Laude and receiving the Order of the Coif. As a West Point Graduate, decorated Gulf War Veteran, former Deputy County Attorney and a professional prosecutor, he has dedicated his personal and professional life to serving others. Bill currently resides in Chandler, Arizona with his wife and their children.
Joseph Popolizio, Esq., Partner, Jones Skelton & Hochuli PLC
Joe Popolizio maintains a diverse complex litigation practice representing public and private sector clients in the areas of governmental liability, civil rights, corrections defense, wrongful death, and personal injury. Representing public entities, Joe defends governmental entities, law enforcement personnel, elected officials, municipalities, and private correctional facilities in cases involving claims for civil rights violations under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 including wrongful death and excessive force claims in police and detention settings, as well claims for racial profiling and discriminatory policing under Title VI and 42 U.S. Code § 14141. Joe has also successfully defended governmental clients in high-profile matters involving the Department of Justice and the District of Columbia Human Rights Commission. For clients in the private sector, Joe is experienced representing business owners and corporations in cases involving commercial tort law, including interference with business advantage, defamation, tortious interference with contractual relationships, quiet title, community association issues, and product liability. His representation of companies in these areas and risk management, combined with his extensive jury trial and arbitration experience, is well recognized. Joe’s ability to handle a myriad of complex civil litigation matters has been a hallmark of his career.
Teri Rowe, Esq., Partner, Miller Weber Kory LLP
Teri Rowe graduated from the University of Arizona with degrees in Physics and Astronomy. She interned for NASA, taught elementary school science, and ultimately worked as a systems engineer at Raytheon in the area of missile design. Teri left the engineering field and attended law school at Arizona State University, during which time she served as an editor on Jurimetrics: The Journal of Law, Science, and Technology. Following graduation, she worked in a small firm where she handled primarily personal injury litigation, and also practiced in the areas of criminal defense, family law, and probate. Since joining Miller Weber Kory several years ago, she has devoted the majority of her practice to the firm’s nursing home practice litigation group, where she represents the victims of nursing home abuse, neglect, and exploitation. She also continues to represent victims of medical malpractice and catastrophic injuries. Teri also serves on the Arizona Supreme Court Attorney Discipline Committee, and is a member of the American Association of Justice Nursing Home Litigation Group, as well as a Sustaining Member of the Arizona Association of Justice, and serves on the AzAJ Seminar Committee.
Brunn "Beau" Roysden, Esq., Deputy Chief of the Civil Litigation Division, Arizona Attorney General's Office
Beau Roysden is the Deputy Chief of the Civil Litigation Division at the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. His responsibilities include supervising the attorneys and staff in the Government Accountability and Special Litigation Unit, the Antitrust Unit, and the attorneys handling trial-level defense of many of the novel constitutional issues in which the Attorney General’s Office is involved. Prior to that, he served as a Senior Litigation Counsel in the Consumer Protection and Advocacy Section of the Attorney General’s Office. Prior to that, he worked as an attorney at Ballard Spahr LLP in Phoenix and Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Los Angeles. He served as a judicial law clerk to the Hon. Andrew Hurwitz on the Arizona Supreme Court. He is a graduate of The University of Arizona Rogers College of Law and Dartmouth College. He is presenting in his individual capacity.
Lynda C. Shely, Esq., The Shely Firm, P.C.
Lynda C. Shely, of The Shely Firm, PC, Scottsdale, Arizona, provides ethics advice to over 1500 law firms in Arizona and the District of Columbia on a variety of topics including conflicts of interest, fees and billing, trust account procedures, lawyer transitions, multi-jurisdictional practice, ancillary businesses, and ethics requirements for law firm advertising/marketing. She also assists lawyers in responding to initial Bar charges, performs law office risk management reviews, and trains law firm staff in ethics requirements. Lynda serves as an expert witness and frequently presents continuing legal education programs around the country. Prior to opening her own firm, she was the Director of Lawyer Ethics for the State Bar of Arizona. Prior to moving to Arizona, Lynda was an intellectual property/antitrust associate with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Washington, DC. Lynda received her BA from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA and her JD from Catholic University in Washington, DC. Lynda was the 2015-2016 President of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers. She serves on several State Bar of Arizona Committees, and as a liaison to the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. She is an Arizona Delegate in the ABA House of Delegates. Lynda has received several awards for her contributions to the legal profession, including the 2007 State Bar of Arizona Member of the Year award, the Scottsdale Bar Association’s 2010 Award of Excellence, and the 2015 AWLA, Maricopa Chapter, Ruth V. McGregor award. She is a prior chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Client Protection and a past member of the ABA’s Professionalism Committee and Center for Professional Responsibility Conference Planning Committee. Lynda was the 2008-2009 President of the Scottsdale Bar Association. She has been an adjunct professor at all three Arizona law schools, teaching professional responsibility.