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 was honored with the 2017 Community Luchador Award from Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA) and the Arizona Center for Empowerment (ACE) for his dedication to social justice. The award recognizes his successful defense of The Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act that guarantees employees a livable minimum wage.
Barton’s key cases include:
Jane Ann Riddle, et al v. State of Arizona, et al, Case No. CV2016-018092 – representing Arizonans for Fair Wages and Healthy Families, successfully defending Prop 206 that voters passed to increase minimum wage and add paid sick leave.
Torres Consulting & Law Group v. NASA, Case No. 14-17303 – representing Arizona’s families, making sure payroll records on publicly funded projects cannot be redacted.
United Food and Commercial Workers, et al v. State of Arizona, Case No. CV2016-092409 – successfully overturned HB2579, which would have denied municipalities the authority to regulate workers’ benefits.
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.
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.
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!