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Patricia Lee Refo

Patricia Lee Refo

Partner| Phoenix


Trish Refo's practice is concentrated in complex commercial litigation and internal investigations, with extensive experience in commercial and business torts, professional malpractice defense, financial institutions litigation, class actions and trade secret litigation. She chairs the firm's Professional Liability Litigation group. Trish is a sought-after speaker at international, national, state and local continuing legal education conferences. A thought leader on litigation and trial issues, Trish has been named one of the most influential women lawyers in the country. She has served as Chair of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association and Chair of the ABA Section of Litigation. Trish serves on the Arizona Supreme Court's Advisory Committee on the Rules of Evidence, and is a former member of the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Evidence of the United States Judicial Conference.

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  • Obtained defense verdict for "Am Law 200" law firm on malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty claims
  • Obtained summary judgment for "Am Law 100" law firm on malpractice and related claims
  • Defended major accounting firm in arbitration
  • Represented numerous clients in securities and consumer fraud class actions
  • Obtained dismissal of breach of fiduciary duty claims against large foundation and defended dismissal on appeal
  • Obtained unanimous Arizona Supreme Court opinion interpreting voter referendum
  • Conducted internal investigations for clients in numerous industries
  • University of Michigan School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1983)
  • University of Michigan (B.A., high honors and high distinction, 1980)
  • United States Judicial Conference
    • Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Evidence (2000-2006)
      (appt'd by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist)
  • Arizona Supreme Court
    • Advisory Committee on Rules of Evidence (2010-present)
    • Business Courts Advisory Committee (2014-2015)
  • American Bar Association
    • ABA Day in Washington
      • Chair (2016-present)
    • House of Delegates
      • Chair (2014-2016)
    • Executive Committee (2014-2016)
    • Section of Litigation
      • Chair (2003-2004)
      • Executive Committee (1994-2010)
    • Standing Committee on Membership (2008-2012)
      • Chair (2008-2011)
    • American Jury Project
      • Chair (2004-2005)
      • Special Consultant and Member (2005-2014)
    • Commission on Civic Education and the Separation of Powers (2005-2007)
  • American Bar Endowment, Director (2009-2014)
  • ALI Litigation Advisory Panel (2008-present)
  • National Association of Women Lawyers
    • Committee for the Evaluation of Supreme Court Nominees, Co-Chair (2005-2014)
  • Commercial Lending Litigation News, LRP Publications
    • Board of Advisors (1989-present)
  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education, Fellow
  • American Law Institute

Trish Refo is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education programs and has appeared in more than 100 programs in the United States and internationally. Her recent publications include:

  • "Splitting the Ninth Circuit," Arizona Attorney (July/August 2017)
  • "ABA Midyear Meeting 2015: House of Delegates with Trish Refo," Podcast Interview, Legal Talk Network (February 18, 2015)
  • "Investigation of the Case, Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts," Third Edition, West Publishing (2011)
  • "A Roadmap for Trials: The Ethical Treatment of Jurors," 36 Stetson L. Rev. 821 (2007)
  • "Revitalizing the Jury System," The Delaware Lawyer (Fall 2005)
  • "Trial Rescue," Litigation (Summer 2004)
  • "The Vanishing Trial," Litigation (Winter 2004)
  • "Pinching Pennies, Squeezing Justice," Litigation (Fall 2003)
  • "Training the Next Generation of Lawyers," Litigation (Summer 2003)
  • "Closing Argument: A String of Pearls," Litigation (Fall 1998)
  • "Class Action Controversies," Co-Author, Practicing Law Institute (1992, 1994)
  • "Notice to the Class," Co-Author, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education (1986, Supplements 1990, 1992, 1996)
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Commercial Litigation, Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants (2003-2018), Bet-the-Company Litigation (2003-2015), Corporate Law (2003-2013)
    • Phoenix Lawyer of the Year, Legal Malpractice Law (2012)
  • Southwest Super Lawyers, Business Litigation (2007-2018)
  • Who's Who Legal, Commercial Litigation (2008-2017)
  • Maricopa County Bar Association Hall of Fame (2017)
  • President's Award, State Bar of Arizona (2014)
  • ABA Jury System Impact Award (2009)
  • The 50 Most Influential Women Lawyers in America, The National Law Journal (May 2007)
  • Distinguished Achievement Award, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University (2007)
  • William Reese Smith Jr. Distinguished Lecturer in Litigation Ethics, Stetson Law School (2006)
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum, Council Member (Arizona Representative)
  • Stratford Hall, Director (2008-present)
    • Audit Committee, Chair
  • Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
    • Director (2005-2011)
  • Arizona Foundation for Women, Director (1999-2005)
  • Arizona Academic Decathlon Association
    • Director (1997-2001)
  • The Episcopal Parish of St. Barnabas on the Desert
    • Finance Committee (2011-present)
    • Senior Warden (2008-2011)
  • Jenner & Block, Chicago, Illinois, Partner (1990-1996), Associate (1983-1990)
  • Arizona
  • Illinois
  • Supreme Court of Arizona
  • Supreme Court of Illinois
  • United States District Court, District of Arizona
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit