Meet The Team
Michael B. Withey PARTNER
Jason B. Morris PARTNER
Adam Baugh PARTNER
William F. Allison OF COUNSEL
Benjamin L. Tate ATTORNEY
Dave R. Baker ATTORNEY
D. Alex Baker ATTORNEY
George A. Pasquel PLANNING CONSULTANT
Jessi Thornton PLANNER
Kirste Kowalsky PLANNER
Lindy Gosnell OFFICE MANAGER
Michael B Withey

Mike Withey is a founding partner of Withey Morris, PLC. Detailed and driven, he provides a perspective that considers clients’ immediate and long-term land use and zoning needs. Colleagues describe him as one of the most thorough attorneys, and he is known for his dry wit. Among his many competencies, Mike is extremely accomplished at handling larger, complicated re-zonings, and negotiating the differing development and re-development agreements with municipalities and counties throughout Arizona.

Background

Immediately after graduating from law school, Mike was awarded a clerkship with the Honorable William P. Copple, U.S. District Court of Arizona. Subsequently, he concentrated his practice in land use, zoning and real estate development related matters. Today he serves as counsel to clients and represents development proposals in every municipality in the valley, as well as many of the outlying cities and counties in the state of Arizona.

Education
  • University of Arizona, J.D. – Graduated with High Distinction
  • Order of the Coif, 1982
Professional and Community Involvement
  • Arizona State University College of Law; Adjunct Professor
  • Speaker on zoning and land use issues at numerous seminars throughout Arizona
  • Past Board President, Hospice of the Valley
  • Past Board Member, Hospice of the Valley
Awards and Recognitions

Year after year Mike is included in The Best Lawyers in America® in the specialties of Land Use and Zoning Law and Real Estate law. The Best Lawyers in America® is regarded as the preeminent referral resource to the legal profession. Inclusion in Best Lawyers® results from an in-depth and exhaustive peer review process, including more than 2.5 million confidential evaluations submitted by the top attorneys in the United States.  Mike has repeatedly been named an Arizona Super Lawyer® by SuperLawyers.com®, a publication of Law and Politics. Based on peer-based nominations, Super Lawyers® conducts a rigorous research process to identify those lawyers outstanding in their profession. Only 5% of the lawyers in any given state are named to Super Lawyers®. (Super Lawyers®’ website, nomination process.)

Jason B. Morris

Jason Morris is a founding partner of Withey Morris, PLC. Experienced and effective, his dynamic presentations at public hearings on behalf of his clients prove that an attorney can be both personable and tenacious. While attending the University Of Arizona College Of Law, Jason was the Managing Editor of the Arizona Law Journal of International & Comparative Law. Jason also spent time as a congressional staff member in Washington, D.C.

Throughout his career, his practice has been exclusively in land use, planning, zoning, and administrative law. His experience in the field includes all levels of entitlement throughout the state. In addition, he is a frequent guest lecturer and expert participating in industry roundtables, media appearances and academic panels. His expertise has been critical to state legislative efforts surrounding land use over the past two decades and his cases include many of the area’s most significant and notable developments. His client list includes several national homebuilders, master plan developers, commercial-industrial land owners, national retailers, and Fortune 100 companies. Jason spends significant time giving back to the community by way of his involvement as State President of the Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs as well as serving as the Mayor’s representative to the City of Phoenix Infill Advisory Board, and the Chairman’s appointment to the Maricopa County Board of Adjustment.

Education
  • University of San Diego, B.A., cum laude
  • University of Arizona, J.D.
Professional and Community Involvement
  • Valley Leadership – Class XXII
  • Chair, City of Phoenix License Appeals Board
  • Chair, State Legislative Committee, Valley Partnership
  • President, Arizona Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs
  • Maricopa County Transportation Advisory Board
  • City of Phoenix Development Advisory Board
  • City of Phoenix Ad Hoc Committee on Development Process
  • City of Phoenix Infill Advisory Committee
  • Maricopa County Board of Adjustment
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix Board of Directors
Awards and Recognitions

Jason recently was recognized again as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” by the peer-recognition organization, Best Lawyers®, as well as having earned the highest ranking possible (“AV”) by the nationally-recognized evaluation organization, Martindale-Hubbell. Additionally, Jason recently was recognized as an outstanding community leader by the Phoenix Business Journal’s “40 under 40” Issue, and he was honored as one of the “Best of the Bar” by the Arizona Business Journal.

Adam Baugh

Adam Baugh is a land use and zoning attorney and partner at Withey Morris, PLC. He is an experienced problem-solver with a talent for removing obstacles that impede development. Adam has helped landowners and builders succeed in environments that frequently appear hostile to development. As a result, he regularly appears before neighborhood organizations, planning commissions, city councils, and appellate hearings to advocate and obtain land use entitlements, business approvals, and liquor licenses.

While Adam’s skillsets include obtaining zoning and land use entitlements for the full scope of development clients and substantive work in liquor licensing, he has developed unique experience working with infill development projects across the Valley.

His success has helped clients obtain rezone approvals, stipulation changes, variances, use permits, site plan approvals, plats, and more. Beyond land use entitlements, clients trust Adam with intensive real estate matters such as easements, development agreements, and code enforcement violations.

Adam graduated from Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law in 2006. He is the father of five young children and an avid runner and sports fan. He is also actively involved in the community, serving on a variety of community boards and committees, including as a board member of Gilbert CAN (Community Action Network), a local non-profit service organization.

Education
  • J.D. 2006, Sandra Day O’Conner School of Law, Arizona State University, Cordova Scholarship Recipient
  • B.A. 2002, Brigham Young University, International Studies; Minor in Spanish
Bar Admissions/Memberships
  • State Bar of Arizona, 2006
Professional and Community Involvement
  • Maricopa County Development Task Force
  • GCAN Board Member
  • Gilbert Leadership Class XX
Awards and Recognitions

Adam was recently name to the Phoenix Business Journal 40 under 40, Class of 2017. He is also featured in People to Know (PTK) – Legal, in the August 2017 issue of AZRE magazine. Adam has been selected as a Top Newsmaker in Gilbert 2012 by the Gilbert Republic.

Publications

Paying Respect to Our Past While Rebuilding Our Future, Commercial Executive Magazine, Sector Update: Infill (July 2017)

Breathing New Life Into Old Buildings, Commercial Property Executive, (June 2017)

How to MacGyver Your Infill Projects Through the City, AZ Big Media (June 2017)

Adaptive Reuse: Breathing New Life Into Old Buildings, In Business Magazine (April 2017)

Neighborhood Opposition: Faux or Real, Commercial Executive Magazine, Sector Update: Legal (May 2014)

William F. Allison

Bill Allison, Of Counsel to Withey Morris, PLC, is a lawyer and urban planner with over 27 years of professional experience.  Bill brings a unique perspective to his land entitlement work with private and public sector clients.  Before joining private practice, Bill spent 13 years working in long range and current planning for the city of Phoenix, serving as the city’s Zoning Administrator from 1997 to 2001.  His municipal experience provides a respectful and insightful understanding of local government and planning that benefit his clients’ projects.  His reputation as a fair, objective and conscientious city planner has continued in his 14+ years of legal work and helped him build and maintain positive relationships with government staff.

Since joining private practice in 2001, Bill has represented clients with projects ranging in scale from one acre to several thousand acres in municipalities and counties from Pima County to Yavapai, Navajo and Apache Counties and across the Phoenix Metropolitan area.  Bill’s successful work covers the spectrum of land use entitlements from pre-annexation negotiations through final zoning and approval of infrastructure agreements.  He helps clients navigate issues with regulatory compliance, historic preservation and conservation district rules.  Bill also handles adoption and amendment of general and comprehensive plans, zoning ordinance provisions, and sign regulations and approvals.  In addition, Bill assists national and local liquor licensees in obtaining and retaining liquor licenses and deciphering liquor license statutes and rules.

Bill is comfortable working with groups large and small to present and negotiate development plans and projects.  With his planning background as a foundation, Bill’s style is to reach agreement when possible and, when it is not, to present strongly his clients’ positions.  This approach serves his clients well.

Education
  • Macalester College, B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, J.D. and Master of Urban Planning
Professional and Community Involvement
  • Arizona Forward – Chair
  • Phoenix Public Library Foundation – Chair
  • Hance Park Conservancy – Executive Vice President
  • Actors’ Theatre Phoenix – Vice President
  • Phoenix Billboard Study Group – Member
Awards and Recognition

Bill was recently recognized again as one of the “Best Lawyers in America”® for Land Use & Zoning Law and by Chambers USA® for Real Estate/Zoning and Land Use.  He has also earned the highest possible ranking (“AV”) by the nationally recognized evaluation organization, Martindale-Hubbell.

Benjamin L. Tate

Benjamin Tate is a land use and zoning attorney at Withey Morris, PLC, joining the firm in 2017. Ben is a second-generation Phoenix native with deep roots in the Valley and a passion for development.  As a former litigator, Ben brings to the table his formidable skill set as an advocate, with a tenacity for getting results.  In his practice Ben utilizes his considerable experience in politics on the local, state, and national level to successfully navigate complex political and bureaucratic landscapes.

A problem-solver by nature, Ben employs a collaborative approach to develop creative solutions to novel and complex problems.  His in-depth knowledge of the Valley’s history, its neighborhoods, and its politics give him a unique perspective and understanding of land use issues that few young attorneys possess.

Ben is a 2012 graduate of the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, a die-hard Wildcats fan, and the proud father of his daughter, Olivia, born in 2016.  He is an avid weightlifter, swimmer, cyclist, and outdoorsman – most recently completing a four-day trek through the backcountry of Denali National Park with his brother, Luke.  Ben is also actively involved in his local community, serving as a member of the Advisory Board for the Legacy Foundation Christown YMCA.

Education
  • J.D. 2012, James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona
  • B.S. 2007, Santa Clara University, Economics and Political Science
Bar Admissions/Memberships
  • State Bar of Arizona, 2013
  • United States District Court – District of Arizona, 2016
Professional and Community Involvement
  • Advisory Board Member – Legacy Foundation Christown YMCA
Dave R. Baker

Dave Baker, Of Counsel to Withey Morris, PLC, has been a Certified Real Estate Specialist (Arizona Board of Legal Specialization) since 1992 and has over 25 years of experience in Arizona real estate transactions and litigation. He also offers experience in mediating real estate disputes.

Dave has been involved in several high-profile Phoenix-area projects, with services ranging from negotiating leases and drafting commercial documents to litigating real estate-related disputes. Following are representative projects and controversies that illustrate the scope of his real estate practice:

  • On behalf of the developer of a major downtown Phoenix hi-rise condominium project, negotiated and documented the financing, formed the homeowner association and created the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs)
  • In representing the developer of a major master-planned golf community in the East Valley, performed due diligence, created easements, assisted with entitlements, and resolved numerous title issues
  • For a master-planned community in Heber, Arizona, assisted with drainage plan amendments, CC&Rs and complex contractual documents
  • Litigated, at the trial level as well the appellate level, the seminal cases involving disclosure requirements under Arizona law for undeveloped land transactions
  • Represented developers in the Casa Grande/Eloy area, drafting all contracts and assisting in all land acquisition and planning work for their projects
  • Negotiated and documented commercial leases for major tenants in regional shopping centers and power centers

Dave has also represented several Arizona title companies in complex title, easement and transactional disputes and has served as an expert witness in disputes related to title insurance, escrow processes and trustee sales.

Education
  • J.D., Arizona State University, 1982
  • B.S., Arizona State University, 1979
Bar Admissions/Memberships
  • Arizona
  • U.S. District Court, District of Arizona
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Professional and Community Involvement
  • State Bar of Arizona: Real Property Law Section, Sole Practitioner/Small Firm Section
D. Alex Baker

Alex Baker, Of Counsel to Withey Morris, PLC, practices in the areas of real estate transactions and litigation, commercial transactions and litigation, entity formation and estate planning.

He has represented clients in a variety of matters, including commercial transactions, commercial lease negotiations, litigation involving residential and commercial real estate, commercial and residential real estate transactions and financing documentation, limited liability company (LLC) and corporate formation, construction disputes, property tax liens, and property tax appeals.

A Phoenix native, Alex earned his law degree and bachelor’s degree at Arizona State University. Alex and his family live in Cave Creek.

Education
  • J.D., cum laude, Arizona State University, 2009
  • B.S., summa cum laude, Arizona State University, 2005
Bar Admissions/Memberships
  • Arizona
  • U.S. District Court, District of Arizona
Professional and Community Involvement
  • State Bar of Arizona
  • Scottsdale Bar Association
  • Carefree/Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce
Awards and Recognition

Alex is a two-time Super Lawyers Rising Stars selectee. Rising Stars recognition is for younger lawyers (under age 40, or fewer than 10 years of experience), and selection is limited to just 2.5% of eligible Arizona attorneys.

Additionally, Alex is Lead Counsel Certified in Real Property Matters.

George A. Pasquel III

George Pasquel III is a Real Estate & Entitlement Specialist who has been consulting with the firm since 2011. His diverse background in Entitlement, Development, Construction Management, and Architecture provide him with a rare ability to facilitate coordination among all parties in the development process. His wide-ranging project experience encompasses everything from single family homes to multimillion dollar mixed use developments in both Arizona and California. Mr. Pasquel is highly proficient in handling a variety of entitlement needs including rezonings, general plan amendments, stipulation modifications, variances, use permits, special use permits, site plan approvals, construction permits, signage and other land use matters.

Education
  • Master of Architecture and Environmental Design. 2002, Arizona State University
  • Bachelor Degree in Economics and Business, 1996, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA.
  • Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED AP BD+C) Accredited Professional 
Practice Highlights
  • Extensive experience obtaining development entitlements in an assortment of municipalities.
  • Author of the first Planned Unit Development (PUD) ordinance adopted by the City of Phoenix City Council.
  • Managed various construction trades for a $60M re-development project in Long Beach, CA
  • Lead Project Engineer for $15M project in downtown Los Angeles, CA 
Professional and Community Involvement
  • Executive Committee – Valley Forward Association
  • Past Chair, Land Use Committee – Valley Forward Association
  • Past Member, Young Leaders Group – Urban Land Institute
  • Adjunct Professor, Arizona State University, Housing & Community Development
  • Adjunct Professor, Arizona State University, School of Public Affairs
  • Member – Roosevelt Action Association
  • Volunteer – Habitat for Humanity
Jessi Thornton

Jessi Thornton is a Planner specializing in land use, site development, permitting and all other entitlement processees. Her diverse background in neighborhood and constituent relations; research; marketing; and conflict negotiation and resolution has provided her with a unique skillset and approach to managing all forms of the development process.  She has held positions with the City of Phoenix Council Office, City Manager’s Office – Public Information, Intergovernmental Programs, Neighborhood Services and Housing Departments, and has maintained relationships in the public and private sectors in addition to elected officials in many local municipalities.  Jessi uses her knowledge of government processes to ensure the most effective path is taken to achieve project goals.

Education
  • BIS Urban Planning & Sociology, 2000, Arizona State University
Professional and Community Involvement
  • APA National Member
  • 2016 APA National Conference Host Committee – Planner’s Guide Co-chair
Kirste Kowalsky

Kirste Kowalsky is a Planner with 15 years combined expertise and strong working relationships in both the private and public sectors. Prior to joining Withey Morris PLC, Kirste worked with another successful local zoning firm as a Planning Consultant serving the needs of a variety of real estate brokers, nationally recognized developers and homebuilders as well as a variety of businesses and educational institutions for nearly a decade.  During her dynamic career in the land use entitlements and development field, Kirste served as a project manager working with commercial developers facilitating land use entitlements and managing complex projects throughout the Valley for some of the largest retail and shopping mall entrepreneurs in the country.  She also has experience as a civil construction coordinator with a real estate development company managing the civil plan and building permit approvals for a variety of residential builders.  During her time with the City of Phoenix Planning and Development Department, Kirste also gained valuable knowledge and customer experience from guiding individuals through the site plan and utility permitting approval process.

Education
  • Bachelor Degree in Business Management, University of Arizona
Lindy Gosnell

Lindy Gosnell joined the firm in 2007 as a Legal Assistant but her natural ambition and take-charge approach resulted in her progressively taking over as the Office Manager for the firm.  Her background includes previous employment as a Paralegal and Office Manager for other law practices in Arizona and Idaho. Lindy is responsible for the day-to-day operation and management of the firm including accounting, information technology, human resources, benefits, marketing, and service and equipment contracts. She is also responsible for providing administrative leadership for the office, scheduling firm events and political fundraisers.  Lindy is an efficient problem solver and is able to complete any task that is asked of her.

Education
  • Associates of Liberal Arts & Science, 2001, College of Southern Idaho
  • Paralegal Certificate, 2003, Phoenix Career College

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