BWG Attorney Reed Weighs in on ATF Case: Dobyns vs. United States

As lead counsel, Baird Williams & Greer Attorney James B. Reed makes an appearance on a National Rifle Association News Special Report from Ginny Simone, weighing in on the Dobyns vs. United States case. Reed represents retired Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent Jay Dobyns in a contract dispute suit in which Dobyns maintains while serving as an undercover agent paid to infiltrate the Hells Angels, the ATF failed to adequately protect him and his family against threats and violence made by the gang.


Phoenix law firms take part in 19-day food drive

Baird Williams & Greer LLP, in collaboration with more than 38 legal organizations in Phoenix launched Object to Hunger, a 19-day food and funds drive sponsored by TERIS Phoenix to benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance in preparation for the holiday season.

BWG a Phoenix area law firm partnered with TERIS Phoenix — a full-service information governance and litigation support services provider  — and several other members of the Phoenix area legal community to take part in a friendly competition between Sept. 9-27 to see who can collect the most meals for families in need.

According to the St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, one in five Arizonans, one in seven seniors, and one in four children are in danger of going hungry each day.

Every pound of food equals one meal that St. Mary’s can distribute into the community, while every dollar donated during the drive equals seven meals distributed by the world’s first food bank.

TERIS Arizona and Texas Principal Richard Saldivar states, “Community service is a core value at TERIS, and we are floored by the amount of participation from the law firms. Their enthusiasm for this project is inspiring and makes me proud to be part of the Phoenix legal community.”

Participating teams include Baird Williams & Greer LLP, Ballard Spahr LLP, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Bryan Cave, Burch & Cracchiolo, PA, Campbell, Yost, The Cavanagh Law Firm, Clare & Norell, Christian Dichter, Fadell, Cheney & Burt, Fennemore Craig Foundation, Gallagher & Kennedy, Gammage & Burnham, Greenberg Traurig, Helene Fenlon, PLC, Hymson Goldstein & Pantiliat, PLLC, Jaburg & Wilk, P.C., Jackson White, P.C., Jones Skelton & Hochuli, Kutak Rock LLP , May, Potenza, Baran & Gillespie, P.C., O’Conner & Campbell, Ogletree Deakins, O’Steen & Harrison, PLC, Polsinelli Shughart, Quarles & Brady, LLP, Renaud Cook Drury Mesaros, PA, Resnick & Louis, Ridenour, Hienton & Lewis, P.L.L.C., Ryley Carlock and Applewhite, Sacks Ricketts & Case, Sacks Tierney PA, Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky LLP, Slattery Peterson P.L.L.C., Snell & Wilmer, Squire Sanders (US) LLP, Steptoe & Johnson, TERIS and several others.

“St. Mary’s is very excited that the legal profession is banding together in September for the inaugural Object to Hunger food drive,” Food Bank President and CEO Beverly Damore said. “With the holiday season just around the corner, the need for non-perishable items to feed those struggling with hunger remains at an all-time high. Our thanks to Richard Saldivar and TERIS for taking the lead in this inspired effort to support our community.”


Arizona Court Rules ‘Long Arm’ Cases Must Follow Home-State Law to the Letter


Local law firm Baird Williams & Greer triumphs in Arizona Court of Appeals.

PHOENIX (May 29, 2013) – Companies that hope to enforce out-of-state judgments against Arizona firms must follow procedures to the letter of the law, the Arizona Court of Appeals has ruled.

The judges vacated a bid by Texas-based Hillcrest Bank to enforce a default judgment obtained in a Texas court against Phoenix resident Richard Sodja.

In their unanimous decision, the appellate judges acknowledged there are ways for out-of-state companies to sue Arizonans in their own state courts. And some states, such as Texas, do have applicable “long arm” laws. But Judge Margaret Downie, writing for the court, said Arizona courts will honor those out-of-state judgments only when they are in strict compliance with the applicable laws of the other state.

BWG Attorney Craig LaChance represented Sodja in his appeal.

“The bank sued Sodja in Texas, alleging breach of three guaranty agreements,” LaChance said. “Because Sodja is not a Texas resident, the bank relied on the Texas ‘long arm’ law to serve him with the papers, which involves serving the Texas secretary of state.”

That office forwarded the petition and citation, the equivalent of a complaint and a summons, to the Phoenix business address for Sodja listed in the bank’s petition, but not to his home. When Sodja failed to respond, a default judgment was entered against him.

The bank eventually filed a notice in Maricopa County Superior Court to enforce the Texas judgment. A trial judge here rejected Sodja’s bid to void that judgment, resulting in the appeal.

The judges ruled that Arizona courts are not required to enforce judgments if the originating court did not have jurisdiction over the defendant. Under Texas laws, there must be proper service of a claim against a defendant.

“One requirement is a statement of the name and address of the nonresident’s home or home office,” LaChance said. “The bank in this case failed to meet the requirement so the judgment against Sodja was vacated.”

The East Valley Tribune wrote a piece about the appeal: “Out-of-state judgments must follow Arizona law to sue, judges rule.

Leading Valley Law Firm Names Daniel Mestaz as Partner


Mestaz brings expertise in commercial litigation and criminal law.

Baird, Williams & Greer announced the appointment of Daniel Mestaz as Partner.  An experienced trial attorney, Mr. Mestaz practices in the areas of commercial litigation and white-collar criminal defense.  Civil matters include breach of contract, business torts, insurance bad faith, and real estate litigation.  Criminal specialties include mortgage fraud, grand jury representation, and internal investigations. He is admitted in Arizona and California.

“Daniel has extensive experience handling contentious and complex cases,” Managing Partner J. Ernest Baird said. “He has tried both civil and criminal cases to jury verdict, argued before both state and federal courts of appeal, and conducted internal investigations on behalf of corporations and a large Native American tribe.  His breadth of skills and experience make him a good fit for our clients and our firm.”

Prior to joining Baird, Williams & Greer, Mr. Mestaz was a shareholder at the law firm of Sacks Tierney in Scottsdale, Ariz.  For two years prior to his work at Sacks Tierney, Mr. Mestaz served as Deputy Public Defender for the Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office.  Prior to his work at the Public Defender’s office, Mr. Mestaz served as a partner at the firm of Hogan & Hartson in Los Angeles.

Mr. Mestaz graduated from New York University School of Law, and has an undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California.

About Baird, Williams & Greer

Based in Phoenix, Baird, Williams & Greer is a top-ranked law firm specializing in commercial and personal injury litigation, construction law, aviation law, personal injury and commercial transactions and real estate. The Baird, Williams & Greer management team has been selected to the prestigious Southwest Super Lawyers three times, and for three consecutive years was voted one of Ranking Arizona’s Top 10 Arizona Law Firms. For more information, please call (602) 256-9400 or visit


Arizona’s Economic Loss Rule – Arizona Attorney Magazine

Baird, Williams and Greer Partner, Craig LaChance, has published an article in the Arizona Attorney Magazine on the Arizona Supreme Court’s recent economic loss rule decision in Flagstaff Affordable Housing v. Desing Alliance. In that case, the Court held that the economic loss rule—which bars tort claims and limits a plaintiff to contract remedies when the only loss suffered is economic—precludes negligence claims in construction defect cases. In a thoughtful analysis of the Flagstaff decision, Craig critiques the court’s reasoning, contending the court has tacitly and improperly rooted the decision in 19th century legal assumptions.


Baird Williams & Greer Wins $47M Breach of Contract Lawsuit

Baird Williams & Greer appears in Arizona Real Estate News Access, following a $47 million verdict Baird Williams & Greer won for Arizona-based RCS Capital Development, who filed a breach of contract suit against Australian-based ABC Learning Centres Ltd. and its U.S. subsidiary. In its lawsuit, RCS alleged ABC agreed to buy 31 child-care centers from RCS prior to ABC’s bankruptcy filing. RCS reported that ABC failed to buy the child-care centers, therefore claiming they were in breach of contract. BWG Attorney Daryl Williams served as lead counsel, helping RCS settled its breach of contract lawsuit against ABC. Read more >>

Baird Williams & Greer Law Firm Files Suit Against the ATF

Baird Williams & Greer Law provides legal counsel to ATF Agent Jay Dobyns in a $4 million lawsuit against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in the U.S. District Court of Arizona, alleging defamation of character and the failure to protect him and his family. The lawsuit follows the release of Dobyns’ best seller, “No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels,” written with Nils Johnson-Shelton. In the book, Dobyns’ describes his undercover mission with the Hells Angels and the subsequent fall out. Read more >>