About Ms. Simonson:
Ms. Simonson has 15 years experience in representing a variety of businesses and employers in both litigation and counseling, including serving as national employment counsel for a multi-billion dollar company. Her practice includes daily advice to employers on compliance with federal, state and local employment laws, drafting and advising on executive employment agreements, handling EEOC and DOL matters, advice and litigation regarding non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, advice and litigation regarding wrongful termination issues, and coordination and handling of a wide array of employment litigation on a national basis. She has successfully briefed and argued appeals before the Ninth Circuit and Arizona State Court of Appeals, and recently briefed and argued before the Arizona Supreme Court an issue of statewide importance to all public employers. Ms. Simonson also has substantial experience in commercial litigation and school law.
- Obtained summary judgment in state court on eight of ten claims, and later obtained directed verdict at trial on remaining two claims in a $2 milliondispute in which plaintiff (former employee) claimed employer (national hotel chain) was vicariously liable for off-premises conduct of former supervisor.
- Settled for de minimis amount a $1 million lawsuit against Fortune 500 employer after limited depositions, persuasive settlement conference memorandum, and strategic participation in federal court settlement conference.
- Obtained dismissal with prejudice in U.S. District Court of an $8 million commercial dispute against a major health care entity, following successful motions to dismiss and for summary judgment.
- Successfully defended a Fortune 500 company on summary judgment motions in U.S. District Court involving breach of contract/warranties, affirmed on appeal to Ninth Circuit.
- Successfully defended a major lending institution in a complex lender liability case which settled for a minor "nuisance" amount immediately after deposing plaintiff.
- Lead trial and appellate counsel in the first case in the nation to uphold the constitutionality of a mandatory school uniform policy in a public school.
Prior to joining the firm in 1986, Ms. Simonson was Law Clerk to The Honorable Earl H.Carroll of the United States District Court from 1983-85. Ms. Simonson was selected in 1999 to be the first female lawyer to Chair the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. She was a lawyer representative, selected by the Arizona District Court judges, from 1994-96, and was selected in 1996 as Chair of the Arizona lawyer representatives to the Ninth Circuit. Shechaired the 1996 Arizona Federal District Court Conference.
Ms. Simonson has served as a judge pro tem for the Arizona Court of Appeals, was a member of the initial Commission on Judicial Performance Review appointed by the Arizona Supreme Court, and has been selected annually since 1996 to do judicial performance reviews of state court judges. Ms. Simonson has been appointed by several Arizona State Bar Presidents to serve on the Civil Jury Instruction Committee; her subcommittee revised Arizona's contract jury instructions. She was a special assistant to Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt from 1985-86. From 1973-76, Ms. Simonson was chief administrative assistant at the Arizona House of Representatives; was a reporter for The Arizona Republic from 1970-72; and was a correspondent/stringer for the New York Times from 1970-75.
Ms. Simonson is extremely active in the community, including currently serving as Chair of the Board for Arizona Women's Education and Employment/AWEE and as a recent appointee to the Governor's Inaugural Committee. She served on the Boards of Directorsof the Herberger Theater and Social Venture Partners. She was appointed by the Mayor of Phnix to Co-Chair the first Phnix Commission on Excellence in Education, along with Co-Chair O. Mark DeMichele, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Arizona Public Service Company.
Ms. Simonson is rated by Martindale Hubbell as a "Preeminent Attorney." She was the 2005 Recipient of the prestigous Athena Award as "Businesswoman of the Year" given by the Greater Phnix Chamber of Commerce, and in 2000 was an Honoree in the State Bar's selection of the outstanding "100 Women and Minority Lawyers" in Arizona.
Ms. Simonson is a member of the Federal Bar Association, Maricopa County Bar Association, State Bar of Arizona, Arizona Women Lawyers' Association, and the Fellows of American Bar Foundation.
Arizona State University College of Law, J.D., 1983 Arizona State University, B.A., 1971
Lewis and Roca's employment lawyers provide clients with representation in employment litigation and administrative proceedings, as well as counseling across the full range of the human resources spectrum. The group's strengths for effectively serving clients are the lawyer's backgrounds and substantive labor and employment knowledge. The core group of lawyers have exclusively practiced in the employment field, defending employers at all levels on every type of labor and employment claim.
We defend employers in state and federal courts against wrongful termination suits and individual or class actions under the civil rights laws, the ADEA, ERISA, FMLA and other employment statutes. We routinely represent employers before various regulatory agencies in discrimination, unfair labor practice, wage and hour, job safety and health matters and have provided counsel to management concerning problem-solving, legal compliance, union avoidance and, increasingly, alternative dispute resolution. For employers with bargaining units, we also provide advice and representation in collective bargaining, concerted activity, arbitration and other labor-management matters. Whether the case implicates political issues, sensitive psychological issues, or even criminal claims, the employment team is equipped to assist the client with creative strategies to reach the most effective outcome possible.
Firm Practice Areas
Antitrust, Appellate, Banking and Lending, Bankruptcy, Broker/Dealer, Construction, Corporation Law, Commercial and Complex Litigation, Civil Litigation, Creditors' Rights and Finance, Education and School Law, E-Business, Environmental, Finance, Hospital and Health Care Law, Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith, Insurance Regulatory, Intellectual Property, Labor and Employment, Land Use and Zoning, Mediation and Arbitration, Patent Copyright & Trademark, Pharmaceutical and Medical Device, Product Liability, Professional Malpractice, Real Estate, Restrictive Covenants, Securities Litigation, Tax, Technology, Telecommunications & Utilities, Uniform Commercial Code, White Collar Crime & Special Matters, Wills & Trusts