60 Years of Service to Our Clients and Community
A Tradition of Achievement
One of Arizona’s oldest law firms, Sacks Tierney has distinguished itself, since its founding in 1960, through cause-related volunteerism and legal involvement in local and national issues; offering litigation services and experience competitive with much larger firms; and pioneering expertise in legal areas of special value to Arizona clients.
In 1960, Seymour Sacks, a young Brooklyn-born, Harvard-educated lawyer, left his position with the U.S. Department of Justice to pursue a future in private practice. Like ambitious people before and since, he headed west, to Phoenix. His previous exposure to Arizona had consisted of trying a case in Federal Court in Prescott.
Shortly after arriving in Phoenix, Sy was one of several attorneys whom the Arizona Attorney General’s Office hired to help investigate some of the state’s savings and loan institutions. During his brief time there, Sy befriended one of his fellow attorneys, and the two of them went into private practice together. Their new law firm opened its doors in November 1960 in the Luhrs Tower in downtown Phoenix, and they began providing legal services at an hourly rate of $25.
In 1966, in the lounge of a Philadelphia hotel, a chance meeting occurred between one of Sy’s colleagues and another young Harvard law graduate, David Tierney, who was clerking for a Massachusetts Supreme Court Justice. The meeting led to a visit to Phoenix and an offer to join Sy and his fellow attorneys; however, David declined the opportunity and instead joined the Peace Corps, serving as an assistant to a city manager in Venezuela.
David returned to the U.S. in 1969 and, finding the job offer still open, moved to Phoenix and became the third associate in what was then a six-attorney law firm. He started practicing as a criminal defense attorney before transitioning to commercial litigation, construction law, arbitration and mediation.
By 1965, the firm had moved to the 15th floor of the Arizona Title Building at 111 West Monroe and was practicing in the areas of condemnation law, business law, civil litigation and criminal defense. Although there were only six attorneys, the firm recruited nationally at top law schools such as Harvard, Northwestern, Michigan, Chicago, Columbia and Georgetown.
The firm’s small size also did not deter it from taking on legal Goliaths; at one notable point during its early years, Sy Sacks and his small band of colleagues simultaneously took on two corporate giants in complex, class-action litigation.
The firm doubled in size during the 1970s. Among its recruits during that decade were current partners Steve Benson, Mike Rooney and Rob Kimball.
In 1979, the growing 12-lawyer firm made its second relocation in 19 years, moving to 3300 North Central Avenue. As the firm grew to its current size of approximately 30 attorneys, two more moves occurred: in 1990 to the Phoenix Plaza at 2929 North Central Avenue, and in 1999 to its present location at 4250 North Drinkwater Boulevard in Scottsdale.
Seymour Sacks, who passed away in 2011, was one of a small group of lawyers nationwide listed by The Best Lawyers in America® in each of the first 25 years of the publication’s existence.
Sacks Tierney Today
Since its founding, Sacks Tierney has distinguished itself through a tradition of cause-related volunteerism and legal involvement in local and national issues; the advancement to the bench by some of its members; litigation services and experience competitive with much larger firms; and expertise in legal areas of special value in Arizona, including construction law, healthcare law, Indian law and water law.
As a result of purposeful recruiting and professional development, Sacks Tierney has positioned itself to appeal to individuals, entrepreneurs and corporate decision-makers who value excellence in legal skill and responsiveness and who respect Sacks Tierney’s firm-wide values of:
- effectiveness and unyielding professionalism in addressing clients’ challenges and goals;
- honesty, integrity and trust;
- respect for the individual;
- creativity and innovation;
- performance that exceeds expectations; and
- a refusal to sacrifice quality for financial gain.
The vision that led to the firm’s founding in 1960 has produced a widely respected law firm where discerning corporate decision-makers, closely held business owners, government leaders and high net worth individuals enjoy personal attention and tailored, innovative legal solutions.
Sacks Tierney is also a place where talented Arizona attorneys, supported by a high level of quality in administration and infrastructure, are free to pursue the highest levels of professional achievement and community involvement. Variety and diversity with respect to age, experience, geographic origin, faith and gender have for many years been a Sacks Tierney hallmark.
Diversity at Sacks Tierney is not a function of quotas or formulas. Rather, the firm’s welcome mix of people is a natural outgrowth of its long-standing values, culture and qualities that consistently attract a diverse group of attorneys and staff.
More than 60 years after the firm’s founding, its attorneys and staff remain mindful of, and committed to, its role as a solid member of Arizona’s legal profession and its 60-year legacy of purposeful service to clients and the Arizona community.