For nearly 30 years, Joseph Kanefield has assisted clients with legal issues affecting state and local government as a skilled litigator and appellate counsel. He has held positions at the highest levels of Arizona State Government and applies that experience daily to advance his clients’ pressing needs.
Joseph helps individuals, organizations, and government officials navigate the increasingly complex regulatory environment governing political activity. He advises clients on an array of issues including election law, campaign finance law, constitutional law, civil and appellate litigation, gaming law, licensure, state and local tax matters, procurement, and public-private partnerships. Joseph also counsels clients on strategic legal questions arising from pending legislation and government inquiries and has extensive experience in government relations at all levels.
Joseph has been involved in some of the most important issues facing the State of Arizona, including cases involving election law, immigration, consumer fraud, white collar crime, civil rights, and constitutional governance. He has appeared and argued in dozens of federal and state appellate proceedings, including before the U.S. Supreme Court. Prior to joining Snell & Wilmer, Joseph served as chief deputy and chief of staff to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. In this capacity, Joseph oversaw close to 500 attorneys that represented the State of Arizona in matters such as consumer protection, civil rights law, white collar crimes, organized crime, public corruption, illegal drugs, and statewide felony conviction appeals.
Prior to working in the Attorney General’s office, Joseph was a partner at Ballard Spahr for eight years where he chaired the firm’s political law practice group. Joseph also served as General Counsel to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, advising on litigation involving the state budget, civil rights, immigration, gaming, and health care issues. Before joining the governor's office, he served in the Arizona Secretary of State's office as state election director and in-house counsel. He also was an assistant attorney general and an attorney with the Arizona Department of Revenue.
Joseph served as President of the State Bar of Arizona from 2011-2012 and is a past-President of the State Bar Young Lawyers Division. He also served four terms as an elected representative to the State Bar Board of Governors from Maricopa County. Joseph has served on numerous boards and committees, including the City of Phoenix Judicial Selection Advisory Board, the Commission on Elected Officials’ Salaries, the Access to Justice Task Force, the United Blood Services Community Leadership Council, and the Phoenix Boys Choir.
Joseph is a Professor of Practice at the University of Arizona College of Law and has taught election law since 2007. In 2013, he was elected to membership in the American Law Institute. Joseph has written several articles on election law for the Arizona Attorney magazine and has taught dozens of continuing legal education courses covering topics such as election law, redistricting, state and local tax, and legal writing. Joseph holds an AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®
Joseph received his undergraduate degree in economics from Arizona State University and his law degree from the University of Arizona.
University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law (J.D., 1994)
Arizona State University (B.S., 1990)
American Bar Association House of Delegates
Arizona State Delegate (2023-2026)
American Bar Association
American Bar Foundation, Fellow
American Law Institute
Maricopa County Bar Association
State Bar of Arizona
Board of Governors (2001-2013)
Young Lawyers Division, President (1999-2000)
Election Law Continuing Legal Education Program, Chair (2006-2020)
Access to Justice Task Force (2002-2004)
The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law
Professor of Practice, Election Law (2007-Present)
Leaders in the Law (2016)
Board of Visitors (2003-Present)
City of Phoenix Judicial Selection Advisory Board (2014-2021)
Arizona Equal Justice Foundation, President of the Board of Directors (2018-2019)
Arizona Commission on Salaries for Elective State Officers (2012-2018)
Task Force on Lawyer Ethics, Professionalism, and the Unauthorized Practice of Law (2016-2017)
Transition team for Arizona Secretary of State-Elect Michele Reagan (2016)
Task Force on the Review of the Role and Governance Structure of the State Bar of Arizona (2014-2015)
Committee on the Impact of Wireless, Mobile Technologies and Social Media on Court Proceedings (2012-2013)