Redistricting commission narrows search for legal counsel

By Jeremy Duda | Arizona Mirror

The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission chose four finalists to serve as its legal counsel, and in the process jettisoned the state’s procurement process, giving it wider latitude to choose the attorneys of its choice.

Choosing legal counsel is a potentially divisive step in the commission’s process, one that set the stage for months of partisan infighting and disagreements at the last commission in 2011. The current commission has expressed an interest in choosing Republican and Democratic co-counsel, as its two predecessors did.

At their meeting on Tuesday, the commissioners evaluated the nine firms that submitted proposals to serve as legal counsel and narrowed the list of candidates to four, who will be invited to give presentations to the AIRC at its meeting next week. The four firms are Ballard Spahr, Osborn Maledon, Snell and Wilmer, and Statecraft.

Ballard Spahr and Osborn Maledon served as AIRC co-counsel in 2011, with Ballard representing the Republican side and Osborn the Democratic. The attorney who currently leads Ballard Spahr’s election law practice is a Democrat. Statecraft is a prominent Republican firm. It’s unclear which side of the aisle Snell and Wilmer would represent if it were selected.

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