Tricia Schafer 0000-00-00 00:00:00
Charles Price Phoenix Attorney Charles Price is a “Visionary” in the Courtroom and Community The stage lights in the otherwise dark club illuminate his crisp white shirt, jeans and boots. He nods and taps his foot to the beat of the musicians who surround him, awaiting his cue. His eyes close as he lifts his harmonica to his mouth and blasts out a “bent” blues note that fits seamlessly with the song and the moment. Chuck Price has once again wowed his audience. He makes it look easy, but as he notes, “any skill, whether practicing law or playing the blues harp, takes thousands of hours of practice. You have to retain your ‘beginner’s mind’ so you are always open to learning. Playing music has a lot in common with practicing law. You absolutely must learn the basics—but at some point, hopefully there’s some artistry there and you can respond perfectly in the moment.” And that’s how it is with Price. Beneath the affable demeanor, humor and charm is a razor-sharp intellect, fueled by voracious reading, a passion for learning, and a focused creativity that can only result from a mind that is constantly at work. Lessons learned from a mentor “The biggest influence on how I practice is my good friend Bob Allen. Bob believes you can be a zealous advocate but retain your grace and sense of humor.” The two practiced together for more than two decades, including in the small firm they founded together in 1996. “After more than 25 years of trying cases with Chuck, I believe he has a unique creativity in connecting the client’s objective to the judge’s or jury’s understanding,” says Allen. “After one of Chuck’s successful trials, the client said that Chuck’s courtroom work was ‘almost magical.’ I couldn’t agree more.” As the years passed, Price developed into one of the Valley’s top litigators. “Chuck has a keen eye for facts and legal issues that win cases,” says Bill Drury, partner at Renaud Cook Drury Mesaros, PA. As Price’s co-counsel on a multi-year complex securities case in the early 2000’s, Drury readily recalls his “superb presence in the courtroom,” and how “you can trust his word. If Chuck commits to do something, he will do it.” Drury also says, “He has an amazing memory. He remembers almost everything he’s ever read,” and often weaves quotes from famous people into his conversations. “He’s a unique individual and I’m proud to call him my friend.” Howard Ohlhausen, inventor of Rain-X automotive products and the lead client in that securities case, recalls, “Chuck readily grasped the intricate facts and issues of a complex dispute that went on for many years. We were up against a succession of very large corporations, whose litigation model is to run the other side into the ground. Chuck adapted to every changing circumstance, and would not back down. From my own standpoint, Chuck was able to explain legal principles in an understandable way. We went through some very difficult times together, and we came out of it as friends. I would not hesitate to recommend him to represent anyone I know.” Finding a home at Mariscal Weeks After eight years in the small firm he co-founded, Price and his partners concluded that a larger firm, Mariscal, Weeks, McIntyre & Friedlander, offered the support they needed for the big cases they were attracting. “It couldn’t be just any big firm, though,” Price explains. “I’m pretty particular about who I surround myself with professionally. To be able to walk down the hall and get litigation advice from Gary Birnbaum or Tim Thomason or Rob Shull, or bankruptcy advice from Bill Novotny, or real estate advice from Dave Lansky, or domestic relations advice from Bob Schwartz and his team, is quite a luxury.” Price notes that the practice of law can be stressful and grueling. “So can rock climbing and ultramarathoning, but some people seek out those activities in order to explore and expand their own limits. I think you can approach the practice of law the same way.” Price explores that concept in his on-line seminar The Enlightened Lawyer: Attorney Mental Health and Life Balance Issues. He says in his seminar, “As our society has become more complicated, it’s very easy to move away from a sense of groundedness, and connectedness to other people, and move into a world of external stimuli, satisfying ourselves at a more superficial level.” He encourages lawyers to explore “whether it’s possible to bring ourselves back a bit,” and to be less critical and judgmental of themselves, allowing them to tune in more acutely to their fundamental human needs. Three daughters at home; hundreds of kids at Workshop You can’t be around Price for long before he mentions his three daughters, Kate, Courtney and Diana. “I’ve learned the importance of listening, maybe from having three highly intelligent, articulate daughters. I absolutely adore my girls, and man, did we do a lot of ‘processing’ as they were growing up. When they were teenagers, I used to tell people that my idea of heaven was a single unexpressed emotion. I did become an above average listener, though.” Courtney and Diana participated in Workshops for Youth and Families, a Scottsdale-based nonprofit dedicated to strengthening the personal leadership, character development and “resiliency” of Valley adolescents. As a result, Price came to be a close friend of workshop founder/director Frances Mills-Yerger, Ph.D., and eventually became president of the workshop board. Dr. Yerger says that Price “knows how to honor and respect people that he works with, and be completely present. He not only shows up, but he’s present when he’s there. You have his full attention. He has been a visionary for our organization. This guy can see the big picture. And he does that by his personal creativity. He’s responsible, disciplined, and he demonstrates the right use of power. He is a very strong inner warrior.” Lawyer skills and life skills Asked to identify his professional strengths, Price responds, “The skills I really think about are the ones I don’t have yet. I don’t have the organizational skill of a Paul Eckstein. Buzz Alston has this ability to illustrate every legal point with a perfect, amusing story. Bill Maledon can very quickly see the essence of a complex legal issue. I really admire those qualities and I strive to emulate them. I do think I have an ability to see creative possibilities and craft unusual solutions. I live and breathe my clients’ cases, and I absolutely put their interests first.” Price, described by Rhythm Room owner Bob Corritore as “one of Arizona’s premier blues harp players,” plays regularly with a 12-piece R & B band called the Repeat Offenders. “At rehearsals, Chuck puts his fellow musicians in a positive, creative mood with side-splitting, often self-deprecating humor,” remarks the band’s leader, ASU law professor Charles Calleros. “At a musical performance, his best moments are blues harp solos blasted out with unbridled passion, eliciting a joyful cheer from the audience. And he connects very effectively with law students and prelaw students on a personal and professional level as a guest speaker at the law school and in a mentoring program that I help to organize. He lives life fully, and that includes connecting with others...personally, professionally, and musically.”
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