Experience matters

Torres Law Group PLLC

Forward-thinking, client-focused legal counsel

Torres Law Group, PLLC is a leading political law firm in Arizona with a national portfolio of legal services that includes political, campaign finance, and employment law. The firm specializes in the formation and operation of political action committees, campaign finance, independent expenditure and c4 compliance. It also represents employees who have been wrongly terminated, especially those covered by whistleblower protections.

 

Political Law

Torres Law Group’s political law services focus on three general areas:

  • Advice on the formation and operation of political entities, including compliance with state and federal campaign finance law.
  • Litigation and appellate work on elections and voting rights
  • Legal support of lobbying efforts particularly around pro-labor legislation.

Formation/operation

Torres Law Group, PLLC advises every species of political committee in Arizona. Among its current and past clients are political parties, the state’s largest separate segregated funds, and every form of direct democracy committee: initiative, referendum, and recall. TLG provides clear, timely advice to decision makers on everything from what will disqualify a petition signature, to how to respond to a takedown letter, to when state and federal independent expenditure notices must be filed. The firm assists organizations in forming political committees and civic engagement focused 501(c)(3)s and 501(c)(4)s. TLG attorneys have served in a variety of roles—chief counsel for a state agency, assistant attorney general in the Solicitor General’s Office and candidate for statewide office—that allow the firm to offer a unique perspective on advice to its clients. The firm also offers monthly flat-fee billing, which importantly enables entities to budget for legal services and removes the incentive for committee staff to wait until an issue becomes a problem to seek advice.

Political Law Litigation

If individual workers have been the victim of wage theft, TLG can represent them in a lawsuit to recover wages through a variety of tools, including Fair Labor Standards Act claims and third-party beneficiary contract claims. TLG can also represent employees who have been wrongly terminated, especially those who are covered by whistleblower protection.

 

Labor Law Lobbying

In addition to political and election law, TLG prides itself on providing labor law services to Arizona’s trade unions. That includes providing advice on lobbying for pro-labor initiatives such as responsible contractor, apprentice utilization and paid sick leave ordinances and legislation.

Labor Law

Torres Law Group’s labor law services focus on three general areas:

  • Labor law services provided to the union, for the benefit of the union
  • Employment law work provided on behalf of individual union members
  • Government relations law that helps the local improve the environment in which it functions

Labor Law

Our consulting firm, Torres Consulting & Law Group, LLC, has recovered millions of dollars in wage theft for workers across the country when we discover non-signatory contractors failing to comply with Davis-Bacon and other prevailing wage laws. As such, TLG is uniquely positioned to attack cheating in federal court using the False Claims Act and other legal tools, particularly when a local has firsthand knowledge of contractors evading prevailing wage law. TLG understands the LMRDA and provides advice on compliance with Department of Labor regulations on union elections, including avoiding improper use of Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools. TLG can also assist your local in filing or responding to unfair labor practices charges, as well as disciplinary or contract interpretation arbitrations. TLG’s legal services will assist your local at any phase of an organizing campaign, whether mobilizing potential members through concerted activity, training salts, defending your right to picket, reviewing handbills, or pulling the trigger on recognition. TLG can also assist in negotiating a collective bargaining agreement, or even working with employees forming the initial 501(c)(5) organization.

Employment Law

If individual workers have been the victim of wage theft, TLG can represent them in a lawsuit to recover wages through a variety of tools, including Fair Labor Standards Act claims and third-party beneficiary contract claims. TLG can also represent employees who have been wrongly terminated, especially those who are covered by whistleblower protection.

Government Relations Law

TLG built its reputation advancing the cause of Arizona trade unions by strengthening their Political Action Committees and enhancing their Lobbying efforts at all levels of government. Thus, in addition to ensuring that your local and your members are protected under existing law, TLG stands ready to assist you in creating better laws and better working conditions for your members through lobbying and political action.

Staff

Jim Barton

Partner

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.

Saman Golestan

Associate Attorney

Associate Saman Golestan helps Arizona working families via his practice areas of employment, wage and labor law. He provides legal work for TCLG’s compliance division in the fight to stop cheating contractors and provide fair wages to working families. He also advises clients on election and political law.

Before joining TLG, Saman’s work in Arizona included helping seriously injured individuals get needed care and protecting individual’s constitutional rights in cases where police officers acted beyond their legal authority. He also spent time working in Washington, D.C., at National Public Radio’s Office of General Counsel in the areas of First Amendment, regulatory and international law and for U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema’s office, helping craft policies that put the needs of Arizonans first.

Saman earned his Juris Doctor from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. He also has two bachelor’s degrees in political science and journalism and mass communication from Arizona State University.

On a Personal Note…

Saman enjoys traveling, taking road trips and, in particular, visiting important cultural and historical sites during his travels. At home, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends. Saman also enjoys swing dancing and is a bona-fide movie buff.

 

Israel G. Torres

Managing Partner

Managing Partner Israel G. Torres represents clients in legal, regulatory and contractual matters, as well as lays the strategic and government-relations groundwork for TCLG’s clients.

As the former regulatory authority of Arizona’s construction industry from 2003 to 2006, Torres reviewed and decided thousands of residential and commercial construction complaints. He won wide recognition as a fair and respected regulator as the Director of the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ROC). Additionally, he reformed the ROC’s mission and brought innovation and service enhancements to the state’s 52,000 licensed residential and commercial contractors, while developing first-time consumer initiatives to protect homeowners and seniors statewide.

Through partnerships with neighborhoods, senior groups, industry associations and organized labor, Torres made unprecedented strides in consumer advocacy and protecting Arizona seniors and homeowners from construction fraud. He spearheaded major new efficiencies for Arizona’s construction industry, focusing on small business contractors and online services, and took an unparalleled aggressive stance on unlicensed contracting and the crimes against Arizonans that it precipitates.

Torres won the 2006 Arizona Democratic Primary and was elected as the Democratic nominee for Arizona’s second highest constitutional office – Arizona Secretary of State.

He has served on the boards of directors for the Children’s Action Alliance, Arizona Consumers’ Council and the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and was president of the National Association of State Contractor Licensing Agencies. He also has provided his time and leadership to Friendly House and Chris-Town YMCA. Torres has served as an Adjunct Professor in the Maricopa Community College System and is a frequent speaker at seminars and conferences nationwide.

Torres is a member of the Arizona Bar and is licensed to practice law in Arizona. He also served as a Zoning Adjustment Hearing Officer for the City of Phoenix and he has official mediation training from the University of New Mexico (UNM) School of Law. His educational background includes a Juris Doctor from the UNM School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Arizona State University.

Israel and his wife, Monica, have two children, Cristian and Alysa. Israel cheers on his hometown Arizona Cardinals but is a life-long San Diego Chargers fan. He travels to San Diego for almost every home game and is still hoping the Bolts are able to win a Super Bowl within his lifetime! Israel also is an avid outdoorsman–whether it be mountain biking, hiking, boating, kayaking, skiing, camping, hunting, geocaching, or riding his Polaris, he will likely be enjoying the Arizona outdoors!