At some point in time, I must have decided that I wanted to be a lawyer, but I don’t remember making that decision, and prior to becoming a lawyer, I cannot remember a time in my life when it was not my intention to become a lawyer. However, I do remember many moments from my youth that captured my imagination and filled me with enthusiasm for my career in the law.
I remember late night talks in the car with my dad while everybody else in our family slept as we drove to and from visits with my grandparents in California. We would talk about cases he was working on, the arguments he was going to make, and the arguments the other side was going to make. He would try to see all sides of every issue, and he would practice making his opponent’s arguments. Every now and then, I would say something that my dad seemed to think was genuinely brilliant. He made me feel like I was some kind of pre-teen legal prodigy. It was awesome.
I started working as a filing clerk in my dad’s law firm when I was 14-years old. His firm handled serious personal injury and wrongful death cases, and even though I was just a low-level employee, it was exciting to be around the action of high-stakes litigation. I had the opportunity to observe some truly great attorneys up close, and I was already starting to develop a feel for strategic lawyering.
In my family, we love movies. As I got a little older, the fire of my enthusiasm for the law was accelerated by some great legal dramas. I completely identified with the hero lawyers in The Verdict, My Cousin Vinny, and A Few Good Men. I still love legal dramas, and I am always on the lookout for opportunities for heroic drama and adventure in the cases I handle every day.
I do love being a personal injury trial lawyer. I love both the competition and collegiality that I have with my fellow lawyers. I love the philosophical challenge of understanding and applying the law. I love being part of a system that promotes liberty, justice and peace. But more than anything, I love the frequent opportunities that I have as a trial lawyer to fully engage, mentally and spiritually, in grand dramatic endeavours, which draw upon my God-given talents, and which sometimes pit me against actual villains, to help deserving and lovely people, in some of their hours of greatest need.
I help them to get fair compensation for the harm that has been done to them by the negligence or misconduct of others. Please browse the pages of this website to see specific examples of the types of cases I have handled.
In my career, I have had the pleasure and honor of learning from and working alongside with the best trial lawyers in the State of Arizona. I am an active member of the Arizona Association for Justice (formerly known as the Arizona Trial Lawyers Association), where I work with colleagues in the plaintiff’s bar to promote a fair and effective justice system. We work to ensure that when people are injured by the misconduct or negligence of others, they can obtain justice in America’s courtrooms, even when they are opposed by powerful interests. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is that when I represent clients in serious personal injury and wrongful death cases, I not only get financial compensation for them, my work also helps to make the world a safer and better place.
Earlier in my career, before I focused exclusively on personal injury and wrongful death cases, I worked extensively in the area of commercial litigation. Many of the cases I handled involved partnership disputes, real estate disputes, and/or allegations of fraud. It was interesting (and sometimes fulfilling) work, and it was great preparation for the work that I do today in the area of my true calling, personal injury and wrongful death claims.
When my family moved to Gilbert, it was considered to be out in the country with a population of 5,717. I still live in Gilbert, but it does not feel like the country anymore. As of this writing in 2020, Gilbert’s estimated population is 250,000.
After I graduated from high school, I spent time in Hawaii, Utah, and California before I eventually returned to Arizona. I lived in Hawaii for two years while I served a church mission. I spent a year on Oahu, and six months on both Maui and the Big Island. Hawaii has held a very special place in my heart ever since. I went to Utah next, where I majored in Philosophy, and earned my bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University. My study of philosophy in college played a major role in my personal development because it sharpened my analytical skills, validated my curiosity, and inoculated me against bullshit. In philosophy, even at BYU, everything is questioned. After obtaining my undergraduate degree from BYU, I was accepted into what is now known as the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, at Arizona State University. Except for my second summer of law school, I have lived in Arizona ever since. During that summer, I worked for a large law firm in Los Angeles. It was a great experience, and I received an attractive offer to join their firm after law school, but I decided to stay in Arizona.
The most important thing that happened in college was that I met my wife. I was 100% certain that she was the one, and she seemed to like me too, so we decided to get married. She came from a large family. She is the sixth of eight children. I too came from a large family. I was the first of eight children. We settled in Arizona after college, and started our own large-ish family. We fell a little short of the impressive child-birthing numbers that our parents posted, but I’d say that five children is a totally respectable number — and that’s what we’ve got. They are amazing and wonderful in every way.
Sports have always been a big part of my life. Growing up, I was always playing sports. I played lots of baseball, basketball, golf, and tennis. Eventually, tennis became my main focus. I still play tennis pretty regularly, and I’m not bad, but I sure can’t move like I used to. My two oldest daughters recently got married, and my two new sons-in-law love to play basketball. My son is starting to get into it as well, so after a very long layoff, I have been playing a lot of basketball with them recently. So far, I have not suffered any major injuries in my new basketball endeavors, but there have already been plenty of minor ones.
In addition to playing sports, I love watching sports. Why do I love watching sports so much? Good question. I don’t know exactly. It probably has something to do with trying to live vicariously through the achievements of my sports heroes. I experience a tremendous (albeit irrational) feeling of either success or failure dependent upon whether my adopted team wins or loses. It’s crazy, I know. But as sports cliche´s teach us: It is what it is. On the other hand, there is something inherently beautiful about elite athletes competing against each other at the limits of human performance. I root for the Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Coyotes, ASU Sun Devils, and BYU Cougars. For most of my life, the Phoenix Suns have been my favorite team. I even tried to root for them from 20210 to 2020, but that was just agonizing. During the Suns’ absence from relevance, I adopted other NBA players. Steph Curry is my favorite, but I also love watching Lebron James, Luka Doncic, and Giannis Antetokounmpo. And I’ll give an honorable mention to Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook. Fortunately, the Suns are back! Devin Booker, Chris Paul, DeAndre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder, and Cameron Johnson might just be good enough to bring an NBA Championship to Arizona.
I love sports, but I love music even more. The Beatles are my all-time favorite band, and Abbey Road is my favorite album. Some of my other favorites include: U2, The Eagles, The Killers, Beyonce, Coldplay, Taylor Swift, Dixie Chicks, Indigo Girls, Simon & Garfunkel, Electric Light Orchestra, The Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, Queen, Sarah McLachlan, The Shins, Tears for Fears, Journey, Styx, Leonard Cohen, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, The Black Eyed Peas, 2Pac, Bee Gees, Abba, Michael Jackson/Jackson 5, Beastie Boys, AC/DC, Panic! At the Disco, Mary J. Blige, and Depeche Mode. As for Broadway musicals, my favorites include Hamilton, Les Miserables, Wicked, and Phantom of the Opera.
There are many talented musicians in my family, and I love making music with them. I sing and play guitar and keyboards — not particularly brilliantly — but generally good enough for garage band purposes, and it is one of my favorite things to do. We have a cool jam room set up at my house, and we have a great time playing songs together during family gatherings.
I also appreciate classical and sacred music. The Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah is, in my opinion, the greatest achievement in musical history.
Those victories have come through large trial verdicts as well as large negotiated large settlements. Some of my recent achievements include obtaining a seven-figure settlement on behalf of a victim of sexual abuse, a multi-million dollar settlement on behalf of a child who harmed by medical practice, and a verdict of more than a million dollars in favor of a victim of fraud.
Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
Juris Doctor (1998 — 2001)
Brigham Young University
Bachelor of Arts (1995 — 1998)
I am personally involved in the handling of every case at Cluff Injury Lawyers. We love our clients, and they love us right back. Please have a look below at the wonderful reviews and endorsements our clients have given us.
I host a podcast entitled Cluff’s Notes targeted towards Arizona Attorneys. Creating the podcast has been fun, interesting, and a great way for me to connect with other attorneys in Arizona. Of course, you do not have to be an attorney to listen to the podcast, and I have some listeners who are not attorneys that tune into the show regularly. If you are interested, go ahead and listen to an episode or two by clicking on the link below.
• National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Arizona Trial Lawyers (Invited Member)
• Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum (Invited Member)
• Million Dollar Advocates Forum (Invited Member)
• “10/10 Superb” rating by Avvo.com
• Received PREEMINENT AV Rating for Legal Ability & Legal Ethics, Martindale Hubbell’s highest rating. (Judging based on peer recommendations.)
• Admitted to Arizona Federal Court
• Sustaining Member of the Arizona Association for Justice f/k/a the Arizona Trial Lawyers Association
• State Bar of Arizona (#21028)