Kathi Sandweiss, a former award-winning journalist and past chair of the Arizona State Bar Appellate Practice Section, is an appellate lawyer. She loves the appellate process – reconstructing convoluted trial records and complicated fact patterns, discussing and distinguishing difficult cases, writing persuasive, winning briefs, and presenting argument to the appellate courts. Kathi has written over a hundred appellate briefs in the Arizona Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, U.S. District Court, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Arizona Supreme Court, and United States Supreme Court. Kathi wrote the amicus brief in the landmark Mid Kansas case and the winning Petition for Review to the Arizona Supreme Court in BT Capital v. TD Service. With nearly 30 years of experience writing briefs, Kathi understands the unique challenges of an appeal. Her appellate practice spans the gamut of substantive law including commercial lending, business disputes, large-scale fraud, professional liability, contested probate matters, family law, bankruptcy, and trustee’s sales. Kathi is co-author of the book “Inside the Minds: Strategies for Consumer Bankruptcy Appeals” and is author and co-author of numerous appellate materials. She regularly presents seminars on Bankruptcy Appeals and Civil Appeals and is a regular faculty member at the Arizona Appellate Practice Institute. “Appeal in law: to put the dice into the box for another throw.” (Ambrose Bierce).
Fighting for a child's legacy, and making new law. When a child's biological father died, the decedent's parents claimed to be the only heirs because the child had been adopted by his mother's husband. Kathi represented the child in an appeal, resulting in the published decision Matter of Estate of Ryan, 187 Ariz. 311, 928 P.2d 735 (App. 1996), and the determination that the adopted child retained inheritance rights from both biological parents.
Winning Supreme Court backing. The Arizona Supreme Court adopted Kathi's position in a brief she'd written on behalf of her client, in an amicus brief filed in an appeal. In Mid Kansas Federal Sav. and Loan Ass'n. of Wichita v. Dynamic Development Corp., 167 Ariz. 122, 804 P.2d 1310 (1991), the court found that the principles of merger and extinguishment did not apply and did not preclude a construction lender, which had acquired title to property at trustee's sale, from bringing a deficiency action against a developer for the balance due on a note.
Defining and Analyzing Complex Community Property Law. A creditor garnished a couples' community property bank account to satisfy an out-of-state judgment against the husband, based upon a personal guaranty signed only by the husband. Kathi represented the couple on appeal, resulting in the published decision Rackmaster v. Maderia, 193 P.3d 314 (App. 2008). The Court concluded that Arizona law bars collection of the guaranteed debt from the community's property, and protects the rights of a spouse who has not signed a personal guaranty.
Get To Know Kathi In Her Own Words
"I analyze my clients' trial court records with an unbiased, objective eye. Then I assist them in determining the validity and cost-effectiveness of an appeal, and ultimately provide them with meticulously researched, well-reasoned legal arguments written by an attorney with 20 years experience writing appellate briefs."
"I love the challenge and the puzzle posed by an intricate statutory interpretation, an apparently conflicting series of cases, or a complex procedural dilemma."
- Lead attorney in Jaburg Wilk's Appellate Law Department.
- Filed more than 100 appellate briefs and petitions for review in the Arizona Court of Appeals, the Arizona Supreme Court, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Unique experience and practice in Bankruptcy appeals
- Extensive experience in commercial litigation
- Prior to beginning her legal career, Kathi worked as an on-air radio and television news reporter, winning a 1982 Rocky Mountain Emmy for the series "The Phoenix Epidemic."
Professional and Civic Service
- Maricopa County Superior Court, Former Judge Pro Tem
- Arizona State Bar Appellate Practice Section, Past Chair
- Lecturer on a variety of appellate practice issues, including participation in annual Arizona State Bar seminar, "Bankruptcy Ambushes Lurking in the Legal Jungle."
- Organized and moderated 2001 Arizona State Bar convention seminar, "Don't Lose Your Appeal: Traps for the Unwary."
- Faculty member, Arizona Appellate Practice Institute.
- Also lectured on Uniform Commercial Code-Sales, attorney conflicts and disqualification, inheritance rights of adoptive children, the Arizona homestead statute, and more.
- Published articles include "Adoptive Child's Right to Inherit," Arizona Attorney, March 1997; "Preserving the Family Farm in an Urban Age: Recent Changes to the Arizona Judgment Lien and Homestead Statutes," Arizona Attorney, September 1997 and "Foreign Judgments and Community Property," Arizona Attorney, November 2009.
- Temple Chai, Healing Committee
- Master of the Bench, Former Horace Rumpole American Inn of Court
- Girls on the Run, Previously Volunteered as a Running Buddy
- Hospice of the Valley, Former Volunteer
- Wills for Heroes Foundation, Volunteer
"In this litigious environment it is imperative that organizations have proper legal guidance. Kathi Sandweiss at Jaburg & Wilk has done an incredible job of representing both myself personally and our organization for over 20 years. She has handled simple to exceedingly complex cases. Her creative approaches, attention to detail, and ability to deliver high quality service in a timely manner have proven invaluable for my company. It has been my privilege to work with Kathi, and I can highly recommend her work!" - Mark I. Levy, D.C., President, Emergency Chiropractic
- Strategies for Consumer Bankruptcy Appeals: Leading Lawyers on Analyzing Bankruptcy Trends, Navigating the Appeal Process, and Developing a Strong Case (Inside the Minds) (click link to purchase)
- 05.04.2012 (Arizona Supreme Court Opinion filed vacating the court of appeals' opinion, affirming the Superior court's entry of summary judgment in favor of PCF and TD, and granting PCF's request for attorney's fees) CAPITAL v TD SERVICE CO ET AL / POINT CENTER AZ Supreme Court No CV-11-0308-PR