Joseph A. Kanefield

Tel 602.798.5468
Fax 602.798.5595

Joseph A. Kanefield is a litigator whose government-centric practice focuses on election and campaign finance law, constitutional law, civil and appellate litigation, government relations, public-private partnerships, procurement, administrative law, gaming, consumer, and state and local tax matters. Joseph has extensive experience as a litigator at all levels of federal and state courts. He is also the Practice Leader of the firm’s Political and Election Law Practice Group.

Prior to joining the firm, he served as General Counsel to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, advising Gov. Brewer and the State of Arizona in litigation involving the state budget, civil rights, immigration, gaming, and health care issues. Before joining the Governor's Office, he served in the Arizona Secretary of State's office as State Election Director and in-house counsel. He also was an Assistant Attorney General and an attorney with the Arizona Department of Revenue.

Professional Activities

American Bar Association

American Bar Foundation, Fellow

American Law Institute

State Bar of Arizona, past President, Board of Governors; past President, Young Lawyers Division; past Chair, Election Law Continuing Legal Education Program; past Chair, Access to Justice Task Force 

Maricopa County Bar Association

Arizona Commission on Salaries for Elective State Officers

City of Phoenix Judicial Selection Advisory Board

Task Force on Lawyer Ethics, Professionalism, and the Unauthorized Practice of Law 

Task Force on the Review of the Role and Governance Structure of the State Bar of Arizona

Transition team, Arizona Secretary of State-elect Michele Reagan

The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, Professor of Practice, Election Law

Committee on the Impact of Wireless, Mobile Technologies and Social Media on Court Proceedings

United Blood Services Community Leadership Council, member and past Chair

James E. Rogers College of Law, 2016 Leaders in the Law, Fall 2016 

Recognition & Accomplishments

AV Preeminent Rating, Martindale-Hubbell, 2004-present

Named "Best Capitol/Political Lawyer" by the Arizona Capitol Times, 2017

Named to Southwest Super Lawyers for Legislative & Governmental Affairs, 2017

Named a Top Lawyer in Arizona for government relations in the 2013 edition of Ranking Arizona: The Best of Arizona Business

Recipient, the State Bar of Arizona's 2011 Distinguished Public Lawyer Award

Recipient, the American Jewish Committee's 2004 Judge Learned Hand Emerging Leadership Award

Recipient, the State Bar of Arizona's 2002 Outstanding Young Lawyer Award


Co-author, "FEC: Cybersecurity Services to Candidates, Political Parties Not In-Kind Contributions," Ballard Spahr alert, October 10, 2018

Co-author, "Political Campaigns, College Campuses, and Free Speech," Ballard Spahr alert, March 27, 2018 

Co-author, "Arizona Supreme Court Clarifies Due Process Rights in Administrative Hearings," Ballard Spahr alert, May 30, 2017

Co-author, "U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down N.C. Congressional Redistricting," Ballard Spahr alert, May 24, 2017 

"The Costs of Democracy: How Can Businesses – and Individuals – Make Their Voices Heard?" In Business Magazine, July 2017

"The Consequences of Election Administration Errors," Arizona Attorney, November 2016

"Joe Kanefield: A Winding Road from Republican to Democrat to Republican," Arizona Capital Times, October 10, 2016

"Arizona Lawsuits Shape National Electoral Policy," The Record Reporter, July 29, 2015  

"The Arizona Legislature Should Restore Clarity to Our Campaign Finance Laws," Arizona Attorney, March 2015

"Recent Prosecution Presents Risks of Coordination, PACs," The Record Reporter, March 16, 2015 

Co-author, "Supreme Court’s Campaign Contribution Decision To Have Substantial Impact," Arizona Capitol Times, April 28, 2014

"A Final Chapter?" The Record Reporter, August 16, 2013

"President's Message," monthly column in Arizona Attorney:

"It's Been A Great Ride," June 2012
"Lawyer–Artists Strike a Balance," May 2012
"The Price of Democracy," April 2012
"The Bar and Politics," March 2012
"A Century of Service," February 2012
"Justice Is Our Future," January 2012
"Tech Tools," December 2011
"Defending the Defenders," November 2011
"Public Lawyers and Public Service," October 2011
"Goals To Match a Bar's Mission," September 2011

Interviewed in "Elections Attorneys, Firms Reap Benefits of Litigious Campaigns," Phoenix Business Journal, October 5, 2012

Co-author, "The Arizona Redistricting Fight: Round Five," Arizona Attorney, September 2011

Co-author, "Who Speaks for Arizona: The Respective Roles of the Governor and Attorney General When the State Is Named in a Lawsuit," Arizona Law Review, Summer 2011

"State Bar President Joe Kanefield: Leader of the Band," article on Mr. Kanefield in Arizona Attorney, July/August 2011

Co-author, "A Supreme Conflict at the Summit of Arizona Government," Arizona Attorney, February 2010

"Election Law in Arizona," Arizona Attorney, November 2006

Co-author, "Promoting Access to Justice in Arizona: An Urgent Need," Arizona Attorney, April 2004

"Could Florida's Election Hurricane Happen in Arizona?" Arizona Attorney, March 2001

Board Memberships

Arizona Equal Justice Foundation, President of the Board of Directors

The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, Board of Visitors

The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law (J.D. 1994)

Arizona State University  (B.S. 1990)


U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

U.S. Supreme Court