Accomplished Trial Attorney
Founding partner Daniel Struck is an accomplished trial attorney who focuses his practice on civil rights litigation, including defense of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Bivens actions, corrections defense, government and municipal liability, class action and complex multi-party litigation defense, trucking defense, and insurance defense. Dan is respected throughout Arizona and across the nation for his ability to vigorously defend government entities, government partners, corporations, and individual defendants in complicated and highly sensitive legal matters.
Dan has litigated over one thousand cases in state and federal courts. He has tried over 60 cases in state and federal courts in Arizona and throughout the United States. His trial experience includes complex class actions, wrongful death, catastrophic injury, and inmate sexual assault and excessive force cases. He has defended corrections and law enforcement personnel in deadly and excessive force, police shootings, alleged improper use of police K-9s, false arrest, malicious prosecution, employment discrimination, and other civil rights claims. Dan has also advised clients regarding policy and procedure and contractual negotiations.
As national counsel for a leading correctional provider, Dan has handled cases in 27 states and the District of Columbia. In his insurance defense practice he defends businesses and individuals against tort claims, advises carriers on coverage issues, defends trucking companies in accident cases, including catastrophic wrongful death cases, and defends bad faith litigation.
Accolades and Achievements
Known for establishing longstanding relationships with his clients, Dan understands the difficult legal issues before them. From case inception through trial and appeal, Dan works with his clients to craft individualized strategies. He is an aggressive advocate who knows what it takes to achieve successful results in the most challenging cases, including class action and high-exposure matters.
Dan’s achievements include obtaining one of the top civil defense verdicts of the year in the State of Arizona in Wilson v. Maricopa County, a wrongful death case arising out of a brutal murder in Sheriff Joseph Arpaio’s “Tent City.” He was also recognized in the Arizona Attorney magazine for having one of the top civil defense verdicts in Arizona in 2018 in Ferreira v. Penzone, a wrongful death case involving allegations of improper mental health treatment and failure to protect. Dan was designated Counsel of Record in Lewis v. Casey, where he successfully defended the Arizona Department of Corrections before the Supreme Court of the United States. That landmark decision led to sweeping changes in the requirements governing inmate access to the courts.Lewis v. Casey was listed in Arizona Attorney magazine as one of the top 50 cases that shaped life and law in Arizona’s first 100 years.
In recognition of his accomplishments, professionalism, and legal skills, Dan has received numerous distinctions and honors, including being named an Arizona Super Lawyer by Southwest Super Lawyers Magazine and achieving AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell.
Presentations and Publications:
- Presenter, Arizona PRIMA Chapter Meeting, “Turning Plaintiff’s Expert Into a Defense Witness,” Phoenix, Arizona, February 6, 2020
- Instructor, North American Association of Wardens & Superintendents (NAAWS) Training Conference, “Legal Liability and Evidence Preservation” and “When the ACLU Comes Knocking,” 2018
- Dan co-authored “Managing the Risk of Unmanned Air Vehicles,” which was featured as a cover story in the January, 2018 issue of Public Risk, a monthly magazine published by the Public Risk Management Association. The article explores the constitutional implications of unmanned air vehicles, or “drones,” under the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable searches and seizure, and analyzes the current legal landscape and enacted state legislation regarding government-owned drones, and the potential liabilities and risk associated with their ownership and use in light of future technological advances.
- Presenter, Firm Client Seminar, “Save $$$ Early On: A Roadmap to Success,” 2016
- Presenter, Arizona PRIMA Chapter Meeting, “Know When to Hold ‘Em and When to Fold ‘Em,” Peoria, Arizona, February 25, 2016
- Presenter, DRI 28th Annual Civil Rights and Governmental Tort Liability Seminar, “Developing a § 1983 Case,” San Diego, California, January 29-30, 2015
- Presenter, Sixteenth Annual Public Practice Legal Seminar, Prescott, Arizona, May 9, 2013
- Instructor, National College of District Attorneys, 2002, 2004, 2007
- Presenter, Pro Se Law Clerk Conference, 2001
- Presenter, National Association of Attorneys General Conference, 1995-1996
- Adjunct Faculty, Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, 1989-1990
- Cruz-Sanchez, et. al. v. United States of America, et. al., 3:17-cv-00569-AJB (S.D.Cal. 2022) – Obtained defense verdict in wrongful death case alleging medical malpractice and denial of access to medical care.
- B.K., et al. v. Faust, et al., CV15-00185-ROS – Defending governmental entity responsible for providing Medicaid benefits to Plaintiffs’ class of approximately 18,000 foster children.
- Merritt v. State of Arizona, et al., CV17-4570-DGC – Obtained dismissal of prosecutors on claim of false arrest and false imprisonment in the “Freeway Shooter” case.
- Godin v. Corrections Corporation of America, et al., Vermont Superior Court, 364-10-16 Frcv – Obtained a defense verdict in a trial involving serious injuries in a failure to protect case.
- Ferreira v. Penzone, et al., CV15-01845-JAT (D. Ariz. 2018) – Obtained a defense verdict in a case involving the death of a jail detainee. Recognized as one of the top defense verdicts in 2018 by Arizona Attorney magazine.
- Castillon, et al. v. Corrections Corporation of America, CV12-00559-DVB (D. ID 2017) – Obtained a defense verdict in case involving injuries caused to six plaintiffs when attacked by a rival gang.
- Rico v. Corrections Corporation of America, et al., Pinal County Superior Court, No. CV2014-01024 (Nov. 17, 2016) – Obtained a defense verdict for two physicians accused of malpractice in a wrongful death case.
- Parsons v. Ryan, CV 12-00601-PHX-NVW (D. Ariz. 2013) – Defended Arizona Department of Corrections in class action alleging systemic deficiencies in conditions of maximum custody confinement and provision of medical, dental, and mental health care.
- Schilling v. TransCor, C 08-941 SI, 2012 WL 3257659 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 8, 2012) – Obtained summary judgment in class action involving over 24,000 class members arising out of conditions of confinement on inmate transports.
- Woods v. Myers, 07-cv-01078-DMS-PCL (S.D. Cal. 2010) – Successfully defended a private prison company in class action regarding provision of medical care to immigration detainees.
- Kiniti v. Myers, 05-cv-1013-DMS-PCL (S.D. Cal. 2008) – Successfully defended a private prison company in class action regarding alleged overcrowding conditions of confinement in detention facility.
- Wilson v. Maricopa County, CV 04-02873-PHX-DGC (D. Ariz. 2007) – Obtained defense verdict in case involving brutal murder in Tent City. Recognized as one of the most significant defense verdicts of 2007 by Arizona Attorney Magazine.
- Allred v. Corrections Corporation of America,CV-03-2343-PHX-DGC (D. Ariz. 2006) – Obtained defense verdict in case involving female inmate alleging she was sexually assaulted by male inmates.
- Demery v. Arpaio, 378 F.3d 1020 (9th Cir. 2004) – Defended Maricopa County in case involving utilization of 24-hour web-based cameras in Maricopa County Jail.
- Mauro v. Arpaio, 188 F.3d 1054 (9th Cir. 1999) (En Banc) –Ninth Circuit en banc panel upheld restrictive policy relating to pornographic materials in Maricopa County jails.
- Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343 (1996) (Counsel of Record) – Defended Arizona Department of Corrections in landmark case that resulted in sweeping changes to prison administrators’ obligations with respect to inmate legal access.