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EB Attorneys Steve Berger and Tami Lewis Recognized as Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona for 2021

Engelman Berger congratulates attorneys Steve Berger and Tami Lewis on being recognized as Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona for 2021 by Az Business Magazine. They have been recognized for their professional success and ratings as well as their impact in their law firm, the communities they serve, and the legal profession as a whole.

Steven N. Berger | Shareholder | Engelman Berger

Practice areas: Bankruptcy and reorganization, creditor’s rights, loan workouts, business restructurings, business and real estate disputes, mediation

Tamalyn E. Lewis | Shareholder | Engelman Berger

Practice areas: Bankruptcy and reorganization, creditors’ rights, commercial landlord tenant law, loan workouts, business and financial restructuring, real estate, loan documentation

Each year, the Az Business Magazine’s Editorial Team collaborates with industry experts to select and compile a prestigious group of Arizona’s most talented and successful attorneys.

Congratulations, Steve and Tami!

Engelman Berger Best Lawyers 2021

Thirteen Engelman Berger Attorneys Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America 2021

Thirteen of Engelman Berger’s attorneys have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2021, considered by many to be the definitive guide to legal excellence. EB attorneys were chosen in the areas of Bankruptcy, Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Creditor Debtor Rights, Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Appellate Practice, Public Finance Law, Water Law, Banking and Finance Law, Health Care Law, and Real Estate Law. EB would like to congratulate Wade Burgeson, Kevin Judiscak, Damien Meyer, Julie Arvo Mackenzie, and Michael Rolland for being our firm’s newest additions to the Best Lawyers list!

The Best Lawyers in America 2021:

Steven N. Berger

Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law

Litigation – Bankruptcy

Brigitte Finley Green

Public Finance Law

Tamalyn E. Lewis

Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law

Kurt A. Peterson

Real Estate Law

Patrick A. Clisham

Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law

Scott B. Cohen

Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law

Litigation – Bankruptcy

Bradley D. Pack

Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law

Appellate Practice

Commercial Litigation

William H. Anger

Banking and Finance Law

Real Estate Law

Water Law

Wade Burgeson

Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law

Kevin Judiscak

Commercial Litigation

Damien Meyer

Commercial Litigation

Julie Arvo MacKenzie

Health Care Law

The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch 2021:

Michael Rolland

Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law

Commercial Litigation

Litigation – Bankruptcy

Best Lawyers® is the oldest and most respected peer review publication in the legal profession. Best Lawyers® selects its honored attorneys entirely by peer review. Their methodology is designed to gather as accurate of a consensus opinion of the leading attorneys in the profession. Selections are made after compiling data from extensive peer review surveys in which tens of thousands of leading lawyers confidentially review and evaluate their professional peers. Opinions are based on the lawyers’ professional abilities which are compared to others in the same geographical location and legal practice area. Congratulations Steve, Brigitte, Tami, Kurt, Patrick, Scott, Brad, Bill, Wade, Kevin, Damien, Julie, and Michael!

Rachel E Phillips Covid 19 Blog Post


April 28, 2020

If you are thinking about filing a lawsuit during the Covid-19 pandemic, consider your strategy for serving process at the outset of the case.  While some courts in other states have ordered temporary suspensions of personal service, the Arizona State Court has yet to take such action.  Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure 4 and 4.1 provide the rules for serving pleadings that bring an Arizona-based party into an action.  In most cases, serving an individual under Rule 4.1 requires hand-delivery of a copy of the summons and the pleading to the individual being served, someone at that individual’s home, or an agent authorized to accept service.  With the Covid-19 pandemic in the picture, such methods of service of process may give rise to health and safety concerns, and may prove to be ineffective with individuals evading such service for fear of infection.

Parties initiating a lawsuit in Arizona state courts have a limited time—ninety days—to serve a defendant before the court dismisses the action or orders service within a specified time.  This rule also allows parties to request an extension under certain circumstances, including a showing of “good cause” for the failure to serve.  Accordingly, would-be litigants are currently faced with the following questions:  (1) is it better to file a complaint now and try to serve process during the ninety day limit, or wait a few months to file in hopes that the pandemic will have subsided; and (2) what constitutes “good cause” for a failure to serve within the ninety days allowed by Rule 4(i)?

A recent Arizona Supreme Court opinion sheds some light on these questions.  In Sholem v. Gass, et al., the Arizona Supreme Court held that under Rule 4(i), if a plaintiff shows good cause for failing to serve a defendant within ninety days, a court is required to extend the time for service. However, Rule 4(i) also allows a court, in its discretion, to extend the period for service without a plaintiff showing good cause.  The Court also shed some light on factors to be considered when trying to show “good cause” under Rule 4(i), such as: (1) whether the plaintiff abandons service after only a few unsuccessful attempts over a limited time during the allotted time period for service, (2) whether the reason for failure to serve is outside the plaintiff’s control, such as “sudden illness, natural catastrophe, or [defendant’s] evasion of service of process,” and (3) whether the plaintiff attempts to serve the plaintiff at more than one location (such as business and home addresses) or by alternative means (after first seeking permission from court).  Finally, the Court listed some factors to be considered when determining whether to grant a discretional extension under Rule 4(i): (1) whether a plaintiff would be time-barred from re-filing the lawsuit due to the statute of limitations; (2) if the defendant evaded service; and (3) if the defendant would be harmed, or prejudiced, in some way if the court grants the extension.

As long as plaintiffs consider the “good cause” and “discretionary” factors set forth in Sholem, fear of being unable to serve pleadings within the ninety day time period should not, alone, deter a party from initiating a lawsuit during the pandemic.  Ultimately, the decision of whether to send a process server out to effect personal service should still be still be made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with your attorney during the pandemic.  Plaintiffs who go ahead with filing during the pandemic should consider the following strategies during the ninety day period for service to avoid running afoul of Rule 4(i):

  • Consider reaching out to defendant early in the ninety-day period and asking if they will waive service or accept service.  The Rules provide further guidance on each option;
  • Make multiple attempts at serving the party throughout the ninety-day period, not just over a limited period in the ninety days (i.e., instead of making six attempts at service during the second week, try spreading these attempts over the ninety days);
  • If it appears that the party is evading service or service will be unsuccessful for reasons outside of the litigant’s control (i.e., the defendant will not leave her home or answer the door for health reasons), consider asking the court for permission to use an alternative means of service under Rule 4.1(k) before the expiration of the ninety-day period.

About the Author: Rachel Phillips is a business litigation attorney who assists clients across multiple industries in both state and federal courts. Rachel has represented lenders, recycling and waste solutions providers, food companies, regional financial institutions, commercial landlords, and insurance providers. She focuses on providing innovative solutions and effective advocacy for clients. [email protected] | 602.222.4962

Disclaimer: This article is not legal advice and is only for general, non-specific informational purposes. It is not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed. If you have a legal matter, the specific facts that apply to you may require legal knowledge not addressed by this article. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer.

Engelman Berger 21st Year Volunteering at Sojourner Center

Engelman Berger Celebrates our 21st Year By Volunteering at the Sojourner Center

This past week, Engelman Berger celebrated our 21st year by stepping away from our desks for our annual social services day at the Sojourner Center. Each year, our team picks an organization that is making a large and beneficial impact in the state of Arizona and spends the day giving back to the community.

The Sojourner Center helps over 10,000 Arizonans every year, half of whom are children. Since 1977, the Sojourner Center has transformed the lives of over 60,000 Arizona men, women, and children affected by domestic violence by providing them with a safe haven and the necessary support and shelter services. This impactful organization has a residential program that provides Arizona adults and children who are affected by domestic violence with 124 shelter beds and 32 transitional housing apartments.

In an attempt to create a world that is free from domestic violence, the Sojourner Center is extending their housing and protection services to include education and prevention within the community.

We are grateful and thank the Sojourner Center for providing us with the opportunity to give back to the community and spend the day helping get the facility ready for new women and families to arrive.

Tamalyn Lewis Swearing Engelman Berger

EB Congratulates Attorney Tamalyn Lewis for Being Sworn in at the U.S. Supreme Court

Engelman Berger would like to congratulate attorney Tamalyn Lewis for being sworn in at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. Tami was among the 50 individuals of whom participated in this special and honorable event hosted by the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges. The three other participating individuals from Arizona (pictured) were United States Bankruptcy Judge Daniel P. Collins, United States Bankruptcy Judge Brenda K. Martin, and Polsinelli attorney Lindsi M. Weber.

The National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges is an association comprised of Bankruptcy Judges of the United States that aims to provide judges, lawyers, and other involved professionals with continuing legal education and to promote cooperation among Bankruptcy Judges. The association also strives to secure and encourage a larger degree of quality and uniformity in the administrative side of the Bankruptcy system as well as improve the practice of law specifically in the Bankruptcy Courts of the United States.

Paralegal Kathryn Hardy Engelman Berger

Engelman Berger Welcomes Paralegal Kathryn Hardy to the EBTeam!

Engelman Berger welcomes new hire and paralegal, Kathryn Hardy, to the EBTeam! Kathryn brings over 24 years of experience and paralegal expertise to our office having worked in a wide range of practice areas in both California and Arizona. Kathryn is a litigation specialist and has worked in the areas of bankruptcy litigation, civil and commercial litigation, media and constitutional law, white-collar defense, creditor representation, and intellectual property law. Born and raised in Virginia, Kathryn attended the University of Virginia where she received her bachelor’s degree in Communications. She then went on to obtain her post-baccalaureate Paralegal Specialist Certificate in Litigation from the University of West Los Angeles School of Paralegal Studies. Kathryn will be working closely with attorneys Damien Meyer and Meaghan Kramer.

At Engelman Berger, we are proud to offer our employees both a diverse and united community environment. Having worked at small, medium and large firms, Kathryn wished to join a smaller firm where the practice areas and socialization weren’t lost due to the size of the firm. She was looking for a community of dedicated and integrated individuals, and we are excited to make her a part of our firm.

Welcome to the EBTeam, Kathryn!

Public Finance Joan Hubbert Engelman Berger

EB Expands Our Public Finance Department with the Addition of Joan Hubbert

Engelman Berger is expanding our Public Finance department with the hire of paralegal Joan Hubbert to work with attorneys Julie Arvo MacKenzie and Brigitte Finley Green. Joan brings over 19 years of experience in the area of public finance and has worked with a number of firms in both her home state of New Jersey as well as Arizona.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Management with a Finance concentration from Rutgers University and her Paralegal Certificate from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Ladder Down Rachel Phillips Engelman Berger

EB Attorney Rachel Phillips Accepted to the Ladder Down Arizona’s Class of 2020

At the beginning of the New Year, Engelman Berger attorney Rachel Phillips was selected to be a part of the 2020 Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel Ladder Down Arizona Class of 2020.  Currently in its eighth year in Arizona, Ladder Down is a year-long program that provides training and career development to empower women lawyers in three critical areas: leadership, business development, and mentoring.  Congratulations, Rachel! We are excited to see how you learn and grow through this excellent program.

Rachel Phillips Litigation Department Engelman Berger

Engelman Berger Expands Our Litigation Department with New Hire Rachel Phillips

Engelman Berger is eager to announce the expansion of our Litigation Department with the new hire of attorney Rachel Phillips. Rachel brings over seven years of experience providing her clients with innovative solutions and effective advocacy in the industries of banking and finance, food and beverage, health insurance, property/casualty insurance, sports, waste management, retail, and real estate. Rachel’s prior experience at a large international law firm includes representing and obtaining summary judgment on all counts in favor of a client facing over $16 million in damages claims for alleged breaches of contract, acting as second chair in a full-day trial which resulted in a $10 million deficiency judgment in favor of her client, and much more.  Rachel’s addition brings great diversity to our firm’s commercial litigation, creditors’ rights, and class actions practice areas.

Rachel graduated from Seton Hall University in 2008 before obtaining her J.D. at the University of Arizona James E. Rodgers College of Law in 2012. During law school, Rachel was a Judicial Extern for United States District Court Judge David G. Campbell.

Rachel has been selected to Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Stars from 2016 to 2020. She previously served on the Board of Directors for the Phoenix Women’s Sport Association and the Maricopa County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.

We are excited to introduce Rachel to our EB Team as we continue to serve clients and take our litigation department to the next level.

Care Holiday Party Engelman Berger

EB Sponsoring CARE’s 3rd Annual Holiday Party at ABI Winter Leadership Conference

Engelman Berger is a proud sponsor of the Credit Abuse Resistance Education’s (CARE) 3rd annual holiday party. The event will be held on December 5th, 2019 from 4:30PM-6:00PM at the American Bankruptcy Institute’s annual Winter Leadership Conference at Terranea Resort in Southern California.

We hope our friends and colleagues attending the ABI Winter Leadership Conference will have the chance to attend the wonderful event. To register for the event, visit this link:

Engelman Berger attorney and CARE board/executive committee member, Patrick Clisham, will be attending the CARE event.

Credit Abuse Resistance Education (CARE) is a non-profit organization that aims to teach young individuals the skills of financial literacy. CARE was founded in 2002 by a now-retired Bankruptcy Judge and continues to recruit professionals in the bankruptcy and financial service industries to talk directly with young adults about the importance of personal finance.