Seasoned Trial Attorney

Founding partner Rachel Love is an accomplished trial attorney who successfully and aggressively defends government entities, government partners, corporations, and individual defendants in complicated and high-stakes litigation. Rachel focuses her practice on defense of America’s largest partnership corrections provider, state departments of corrections, and jail systems in civil rights litigation, including defense of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Bivens, tort actions, class actions, and complex litigation matters.

Rachel is respected throughout Arizona and across the nation for specialized defense of corrections and jail systems, and their employees, in excessive force, inmate assault/homicide, employee/inmate sexual assault, inmate suicide, inmate disturbance response, STG/gang management, maximum custody management, classification, conditions of confinement, deliberate indifference to medical needs, retaliation, catastrophic injury, and wrongful death claims filed by inmates and inmate advocacy groups. She also specializes in forward-thinking defense of RLUIPA and First Amendment claims filed by inmates and inmate advocacy groups that challenge the provision of religious accommodations and programming in the prison environment, as well as First Amendment claims challenging prison publication policies.

Skilled Strategist

Rachel provides her clients with an uncommon level of experience, skill, and understanding of security/operational needs and challenges faced by prison and jail officials. In an era when shrinking numbers of attorneys actually try cases to a verdict, she presents complicated cases to juries with successful results.

Rachel’s years of litigation and trial experience are backed by dedication and hard work. She postures her cases to achieve dismissal by motion, short of trial. But when cases must proceed to trial, she does not shy away. In addition to results-oriented litigation defense, Rachel provides policy advisement, training, investigation direction, and innovative, solutions-oriented defense strategy consultation to her clients.

Rachel is committed to guiding corrections departments, jail systems, their officials and officers, facing challenging litigation and legal issues to successful outcomes, always upholding the principle that those whose mission it is to protect public, personnel and inmate safety, deserve the highest of public respect and the best legal representation and defense.

Rachel is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in Arizona and Hawaii, the United States District Court, District of Colorado, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She has handled cases filed in state and federal courts across the country and in the District of Columbia. She has also defended law enforcement agencies in excessive force, false arrest, unlawful search, and in-custody suicide claims; public and private employers in employment discrimination claims; and public school districts in IDEA and Section 504 special education discrimination matters.

Presentations and Publications:

  • Instructor, National Institute for Jail Operations JAILCON18 NIJO Western Regional Conference, “Supervisory & Policy Liability”; “Inmate Religious Issues”; “Civil Liability, Personal Liability, Qualified Immunity: Duty to Know the Law”; and “Answering and Lowering Your Grievances,” 2018
  • Instructor, North American Association of Wardens & Superintendents (NAAWS) Training Conference, “Legal Liability and Evidence Preservation” and “When the ACLU Comes Knocking,” 2018
  • Instructor, Utah Sheriffs’ Association 22nd Annual Law Enforcement and Training Conference, “Transgender Inmate Populations” and “Answering and Lowering Your Grievances,” 2017
  • Instructor, National Institute for Jail Operations JAILCON17 NIJO Western Regional Conference, “Transgender Inmate Populations”; “Winning Unwinnable Lawsuits”; and “Answering and Lowering Your Grievances,” 2017
  • Instructor, National Institute for Jail Operations, Jail Administrators’ Corrections Law Survival Guide Conference, “Duty to Protect, Medical/Mental Health Care & Access to Religion,” 2016
  • Instructor, Twenty-first Annual Utah Sheriffs’ Association Conference, “Winning Unwinnable Lawsuits: Offers of Judgment, Negotiation, and PLRA Defenses,” 2016
  • Presenter, Firm Client Seminar, “Depositions: Setting Yourself Up To Win at Summary Judgment or Trial,” 2016
  • Presenter, Arizona Counties Insurance Pool’s Nineteenth Annual Public Practice Legal Seminar, “Introduction to Defending Inmate Claims,” 2016

Representative Experience:

Inmate Claims

  • Adkins, et al. v. Corrs. Corp. of Am., et al., CV12-1615-PHX-SMM (D. Ariz. February 26, 2015) – Obtained defense verdict in case involving 21 verified or associated gang member inmates alleging they were assaulted by officers following the quelling of a major gang disturbance.
  • Tunoa v. Perez, 12-CV-02359-ROS-BSB (D. Ariz. May 31, 2016) – Obtained defense verdict in case involving segregation inmate claiming excessive force and assault/battery during calculated cell extraction.
  • Allred v. Corrs. Corp. of Am., CV-03-2343-PHX-DGC (D. Ariz. 2006) – Obtained defense verdict in case involving female inmate alleging she was sexually assaulted by male inmates.
  • Blaisdell v. Griego, 472 Fed. App. 481 (9th Cir. 2011) – Trial defense verdict was upheld on appeal to the Ninth Circuit in case involving inmate claim for deliberate indifference to medical needs regarding wheelchair assignment.
  • Blaisdell v. Corrs. Corp. of Am., 426 Fed. Appx. 550 (9th Cir. 2011) – Trial defense verdict was upheld on appeal to the Ninth Circuit in case involving First Amendment free speech claim related to applicability of prison gift publication policy.
  • Captain v. City of Phoenix, 2:02-cv-00024-SRB (D. Ariz. 2004) – Obtained defense verdict in case involving arrestee claim of excessive force.
  • Frank v. City of Phoenix, 2:00-cv-00273-ROS (D. Ariz. 2003) – Obtained defense verdict in case involving arrestee claim of excessive force in deployment of K-9 by police officer.
  • Rodenhurst v. Bauman, 509 Fed. Appx. 643 (9th Cir. 2013) – Obtained summary judgment on deliberate indifference to medical needs and rights to access courts claim filed by inmate asserting a right to access to private physician during incarceration.
  • Lonoaea v. Corrs. Corp. of Am., 665 F. Supp. 2d 677 (N.D. Miss. 2009) – Obtained summary judgment for state corrections department and private corrections provider (and employees) on Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference to inmate safety claim claims stemming from large scale inmate disturbance.

Class Actions

  • 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 arising out of conditions of confinement on inmate transports.
  • Woods v. Myers, 07-cv-01078-DMS-PCL (S.D. Cal. 2010) – Successfully defended private corrections provider 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 private corrections provider in class action regarding alleged overcrowding conditions of confinement in detention facility.

Discrimination Claims

  • R.P. ex rel. C.P. v. Prescott Unified Sch. Dist., 631 F.3d 1117 (9th Cir. 2011) – Defended public school district against IDEA and Section 504 special education discrimination claim. Finding that school district provided free appropriate public education after bench trial upheld by Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal (argued).
  • Alvarado v. Cajun Operating Co., 588 F.3d 1261 (9th Cir. 2009) – Obtained favorable defense ruling on motion in limine, upheld by the Ninth Circuit, barring punitive and compensatory damages claims in ADA retaliation claims.
  • Cooke v. Lake Havasu City, CV-10-8044 PCT-DCG (D. Ariz. July 2, 2010) – Obtained summary judgment in § 1983 due process Arizona Employment Action violation claim filed by employee alleging wrongful termination.
  • Kelley v. City of Lake Havasu, CV-07-8135-PCT-GMS (D. Ariz. Dec. 1, 2009) – Obtained summary judgment in ADEA claim filed by employee alleging employer discriminatorily hired younger candidate.

Personal:

Rachel fancies herself an adequate longboard surfer, loves snorkeling and stand-up paddleboard adventures, and enjoys a good boot camp workout.