Merging the substantial and significant experience each of these litigators has brought to the practice of law virtually guarantees success for this new firm. Papetti’s work on wrongful convictions led him to write a leading book on a forensic science issue and is internationally recognized; Samuels has spent more than two decades as a member (and chair) of the board of directors of the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest; Weiss served a decade as a judge pro tempore of the Arizona Superior Court and is part of a nationwide network of lawyers who help college student Dreamers.
It’s against this backdrop that these partners founded a firm focused on high-stakes, Arizona-based litigation. Their mission statement commits to creating a modern, flexible environment to attract, empower and retain the most talented young lawyers and to create a space where each might continue contributing to various and personal pro bono and community causes.
“One of the things that was most exciting for all of us, was the opportunity to rethink everything,” says Papetti. “We carefully considered the hierarchy we wanted within the firm, what sort of space we want, how we’re going to work. I think a lot of clients are rethinking how they expect to interact with their lawyers in different more creative ways and we want to be nimble and flexible enough for that change. We really do want the firm to speak our values, not simply recite verbiage but to really be a diverse place where lawyers can grow. A place where we meaningfully contribute to the causes in which we believe.
“Finally, but just as importantly,” he adds, “we want to make sure we’re having fun. That’s not just a punctuation point, it’s intended to a guiding principle.”
Don’t let the smaller footprint fool you though. These are all serious litigators who have spent their entire careers working in one of the most respected big firms in the area. In Sutton’s eyes, “It’s important for the community to understand that when there is a high-stakes business-related dispute, this is the firm to go to. It might not be a big firm, but we all have that big-firm, national experience. And we are intent on making sure we provide very personalized service.”
The firm will not always remain a five-lawyer shop, but growth will only happen with the right people. “We intend to grow,” notes Samuels, “we don’t have a specific number in mind but remain receptive to bringing on new colleagues who share the same values and dedication.”
“We were very selective when we asked Jenny and Jared to join us,” adds Weiss, “and I think we have the luxury to continue to be selective as we grow. We want to grow with outstanding lawyers; outstanding lawyers who fit in the culture we’re creating here.”