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Jim Barton

General Counsel

Attorney Jim Barton advises TLG’s clients on campaign finance law compliance, as well as other areas of political and government relations law. He also represents unions and individuals in labor and employment matters, including wage and hour issues, employee grievances, jurisdictional disputes and organizing matters.

Before joining TLG, Barton served as an Arizona assistant attorney general, representing the secretary of state, Citizens Clean Election Commission and the Independent Redistricting Commission. His work was instrumental in drafting attorney general opinions involving campaign finance.

He has litigated high-profile court cases that impacted the fundamentals of state political law. For example, during the U.S. Supreme Court battle that challenged Arizona’s Clean Elections Act, Barton served as counsel of record for the state, developing the state’s briefs and preparing arguing counsel.

While representing the secretary of state, Barton successfully moved to dismiss the suit challenging Sen. Russell Pearce’s recall election and successfully defended the decision against a challenge before the Arizona Supreme Court.

Barton has investigated allegations of campaign finance law violations and advised state agencies on laws regarding public records, open meetings, and conflicts of interest regarding public employees. He has also enforced compliance with court orders and findings related to campaign finance violations.

Before serving the state, Barton worked as an associate at the Phoenix law firm Perkins Coie Brown and Bain, focusing on political and construction law. While there, Barton successfully defended both candidates and initiative committees against challenges to their positions on the ballot. Early in his career, he clerked for Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Ruth McGregor and worked in Phoenix’s federal public defender’s office.

Barton earned his Juris Doctor from Arizona State University and his Bachelor of Arts in physics and philosophy from Northwestern University.

Barton’s key cases include:

Ariz. Free Enterprise v. Bennett, 131 S. Ct. 2806 (2011) – representing Clean Elections, defending matching funds
Chavez v. Chavez, Case No. CV2014-008793 (Ariz. Sup. Ct. 2014) – representing plaintiff, removing “Cesar Chavez” from the ballot
Tobin v. Rea, 231 Ariz. 189 (2013) – representing ballot measure committee, striking down Legislature’s description of the ballot measure
Ross v. Bennett, 228 Ariz. 174 (2011) – representing Secretary of State, defending recall election of Russell Pearce

On a personal note, Jim and his wife, Pat, have two adult children – James and Kate. Jim is a member of Chalice Christian Church and enjoys talking politics and theology, watching Kevin Smith movies and taking advantage of Arizona’s beautiful climate by hiking and camping.