Jacqueline Mendez Soto’s diverse background allows her to provide legal services to Torres Law Group clients on a variety of matters. She represents clients on employment and labor matters, including employment discrimination and employee grievances. She also represents individuals in family and juvenile matters, including divorce, parenting plan agreements, adoptions, and guardianships.
Before joining TLG, Jacqueline served as in-house counsel of labor affairs for U-Haul International, Inc., which provided her with a corporate perspective on managing legal matters. Previously, Jacqueline was an associate in the labor and employment group of Snell & Wilmer, LLP, where she represented clients before the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Jacqueline has also practiced in family law, juvenile law and probate law fields. In family matters, she has represented clients in dissolution proceedings, parenting plan agreements, child support orders and modifications of parenting plans and child support orders. In juvenile matters, she represented individuals in private parental severance proceedings. She has also represented clients in private adoptions and adoptions involving the Department of Child Safety. In probate matters, Jacqueline is experienced in juvenile and dependent adult guardianship matters. She also advises clients on estate planning matters, including preparation of wills and trusts.
Upon completion of her legal studies, Jacqueline was honored to serve as a judicial law clerk at the Arizona Court of Appeals for now Justice Ann A. Scott Timmer of the Arizona Supreme Court. Prior to law school, Jacqueline was a field examiner for the National Labor Relations Board where she investigated unfair labor practices and facilitated representation elections between unions and employers.
Jacqueline has volunteered her time as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for the Maricopa County Superior Court, where she advocated on behalf of children in the foster care system. She also volunteers with the Tempe Community Action Agency I-HELP Homeless Shelter Program.
On a personal note, Jacqueline and her husband, Jaime, have three children. She enjoys weekend morning bike rides with her family and exploring new restaurants. Her pastimes include running, reading and relaxing.
Arizona State Bar
J.D., Boston College Law School
B.S., Justice Studies, Arizona State University
English & Spanish
Monse Vejar serves Torres Law Group’s Legal Secretary. Her experience in the judicial field has provided her with much insight into various types of cases. She brings years of knowledge supporting legal teams, having worked with different types of case filings. Monse previously served as a Deputy Clerk in the Maricopa County Clerk’s Office and as a Judicial Assistant for the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County.
On a personal note, Monse enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, traveling, and attending live music events.
Partner Jim Barton a leading election lawyer in the State of Arizona. He has been the counsel of record on numerous important election law cases, including Arizona Free Enterprise v. Bennett, 131 S.Ct. 2806 (2011), before the United States Supreme Court. Barton was the lead attorney defending Proposition 127 against an onslaught of attacks culminating in a five-day trial and over 1000 subpoenaed trial witnesses. Ultimately, TLG successfully defended Proposition 127 at trial and before review by the Arizona Supreme Court.
In 2016, he successfully defended Arizonans for Fair Wages and Healthy Families (Comm. No. 2016-00474) against legal challenges to the initiative to raise Arizona’s minimum wage. The first was an attack on the registration of signature gatherers, Hitzeman v. Reagan, Case No. CV-16-0204-AP/EL (Ariz. Aug. 30, 2016). The second was an effort to invalidate the measure under the Single Subject, Separate Amendment, and Revenue Source provisions of the Arizona Constitution, Ariz. Chamber of Comm. & Indus. V. Kiley, Case No. CV-16-0314-SA (Ariz. Mar. 14, 2017).
Prior to the 2016 election cycle, TLG provided legal advice to the Protect Your Right to Vote Committee on referring HB 2305 to the voters. This advice covered matters such as signature collection and anticipating challenges to the measure’s position on the ballot. Importantly, the referendum’s position on the ballot was never challenged in court. Barton also successfully challenged a biased description of the Quality Education & Jobs Act proposed by the Arizona Legislative Council and defended the superior court decision before the Arizona Supreme Court. Tobin v. Rea, 231 Ariz. 189 (2013).
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 regulation. In that capacity, he argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals defending a favorable attorneys’ fees award in Nader v. Bennett, 407 Fed. Appx. 190 (9th Cir. 2010).
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.
Early in his career, Barton clerked for Arizona Chief Justice Ruth McGregor. He earned his Juris Doctor from Arizona State University and his Bachelor of Arts in physics and philosophy from Northwestern University. Barton also served as a Submarine Warfare Office on board U.S.S. Billfish (SSN 676) and was qualified as a Senior Reactor Operator by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
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 travelling.
Arizona State Bar
U.S. Supreme Court
9th Circuit Court of Appeals
U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona
J.D., Arizona State University
B.A., Physics and Philosophy, Northwestern University
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
Ariz. Chamber of Comm. & Indus. V. Kiley, 242 Ariz. 533, 399 P.3d 80 (2017)
Click here to watch the oral argument video (minute 28:30)
Nader v. Bennett, 407 Fed. Appx. 190 (9th Cir. 2010)
Click here to download and listen to the oral argument (minute 7:45)
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.
Arizona State Bar
9th Circuit Court of Appeals
J.D., Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University
B.S., Political Science, and Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University
English & Farsi
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.
On a personal note, Israel spends most of his time with his two children. He cheers on his hometown Arizona Cardinals, but is a life-long Chargers fan. He is still hoping the Bolts will win a Super Bowl within his lifetime! Israel is also 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!
Arizona State Bar
J.D., University of New Mexico School of Law
B.A., Political Science, Arizona State University
English & Spanish