I have an obligation not only as a lawyer but as a human being to do whatever I can to take care of my clients and to take care of society in general.


“He has done a world of good for the rest of the country, and for all police officers.”

supporting those who serve.

On March 26, 2001, a driver slammed his vehicle into the rear of Phoenix police officer Jason Schechterle’s patrol car, which then became engulfed in flames. He nearly burned to death. Representing Schechterle – as well as other police officer victims and their families nationwide – Pat filed a product liability suit against Ford Motor Company contending that the design of the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor was defective and erupted in fuel-fed fires upon impact. Ford eventually reached settlement agreements with Schechterle and the families of officers who burned alive in these vehicles who were also represented by Pat. As a result of this litigation, Ford remediated more than 350,000 police vehicles.

Fighting for families left behind.

In June 2013, a fire ignited by lightning near Prescott, Arizona burned nearly 8,400 acres, destroyed 127 structures and forced mass evacuations. While battling the blaze, 19 firefighters from the Granite Mountain Hot Shots burned alive. Representing the families of 12 of the 19 men, Pat filed a suit for the families' loss and emotional pain. As a result of the case, Arizona compensated the families of the 19 hotshots, but more importantly, implemented new wildland-firefighting procedures to improve safety. Pat also represented and took to trial three of the Hot Shot widows and their children, who were denied permanent benefits by the City of Prescott. Pat won all three cases.

turning tragedy into change.

On July 27, 2007, two TV news helicopters collided midair and crashed in a Phoenix park, where they exploded, killing all four journalists onboard. Pat represented the families of two of the four deceased journalists in a wrongful death suit. Pat presented computer-generated animations of the midair crash based on his extensive research, FAA radar tracking data, and eyewitness accounts. The families reached settlement pre-trial, which also initiated sweeping changes in the dispute for the operation of news helicopters in the Phoenix area.

notable cases

Bringing justice to the border.

U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed in December 2010 during a gun battle with suspected illegal immigrants in Southern Arizona. After the tragedy, investigators revealed that two guns found at the shooting scene were part of an ATF operation dubbed the “Fast and Furious”, which inadvertently allowed hundreds of weapons to unlawfully cross the border. Pat represented the Terry family in a wrongful death lawsuit alleging that ATF officials should have known their actions would lead to injuries and deaths to civilians and police officers, and against the gun shop owner that sold the guns.

Transforming an entire industry.

Thirty-year-old Ty Thomasson visited Jump SkyPark in Phoenix in 2012 and suffered trauma after jumping into a pit of foam blocks and hitting his head against a concrete slab. Three days later, doctors told his family he would never recover from the resulting neurological damage. Pat initiated a suit by the Thomasson family after his death. The settlement spawned a new law – House Bill 2179 - known as Ty’s Law, which requires trampoline-park operators to keep an insurance policy of at least $1 million dollars for bodily injuries and submit to annual inspections by insurers. Arizona is the only state to now regulate Trampoline Parks.

Helping to make travel safer.

On January 6, 2008, near the Four Corners area, a chartered ski bus went off the road and rolled down a 41-foot embankment. Forty-nine of the 50 passengers were ejected in the accident. Nine people were killed and 40 were hurt. As one of the co-lead counsel, Pat filed a lawsuit seeking punitive damages against the manufacturer of the motor coach and its affiliated firms. In addition to medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, attorney fees, and funeral and burial expenses, the lawsuit also spurred legislation that required new safety components on motor coaches.

Holding fraternities accountable.

On November 30, 2012, nineteen-year-old Jack Culolias attended a Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity-sponsored party at a Tempe, Arizona bar. There, several underage pledges and members were served alcohol. When Culolias left the bar, he could barely stand and wandered into the nearby Salt River and drowned. Pat filed a suit on behalf of Culolias' mother claiming fraternity leaders were negligent in not helping or ensuring he got home safely, and did nothing to prevent injury to Jack while inside or outside the bar. “We're looking for accountability and responsibility from the national fraternity to change the way the local fraternity operates,” said Pat.