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Rita A. Meiser has practiced law in Phoenix for over 30 years, focusing in the areas of adoption, employment and mediation law.

In her adoption practice, Ms. Meiser provides a full range of legal counseling and representation on behalf of prospective adoptive families, birth parents and adoption agencies. Her practice includes a special emphasis on private adoptions and interstate adoptions. She has experience in relative adoptions, including step-parent and grandparent adoption, as well as single parent and foster care adoptions. Rita helped found and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (AAAA), a national coalition of highly skilled adoption attorneys. She serves as a judge pro tem in the Juvenile Division of the Maricopa County Superior Court.

In her labor/employment practice, Ms. Meiser’s particular expertise involves conducting investigations. She has been involved in both public and private entity investigations, including Azscam, high profile school district investigations, as well as investigations for private employers. She also represents clients before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Arizona Civil Rights Division. Ms. Meiser is a trained mediator.


EDUCATION
J.D., University of Arizona, 1976
B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1972

ADMITTED TO PRACTICE
Arizona, 1976
Arizona Supreme Court, 1976
U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, 1977

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND AFFILIATIONS
American Academy of Adoption Attorneys
Fellow, 1989 to present
President, 1994-1995
Vice President, 1992-1993; 1996-1997
Board of Trustees, 1990-1998
25th Annual Conference co-Chair, 2014
10th Annual Conference co-Chair, 1999

Arizona Adoption Coalition (AAC)
President, 2014 to present

Arizona Supreme Court Advisory Committee to the Confidential Intermediary Program
(Arizona’s statutory adoption search and reunion program)
Chair, 2004-2007

Arizona Women Lawyers Association
Member

Maricopa County Superior Court
Judge Pro Tem

Maricopa County Bar Association
Member

National Conference of Family & Juvenile Court Judges
Committee on Expedited Adoptions, 1996-1998

State Bar of Arizona
Member
Rules of Professional Conduct Committee, 1979-1988

University of Arizona Law College Association
Past President, Board of Directors, 1993-1994
Board of Directors, 1988 to 2011

University of Arizona College of Law
Board of Visitors, 1994 to present

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Hospice of the Valley
President, Board of Directors, 1998-2000, 2009, 2010
Vice President, Board of Directors, 1992-1993; 1995-1998, 2004 to 2009
Board of Directors, 1987-1993; 1995 to present
Executive Board, 1989-1993; 1995 to present
Home Care Volunteer, 1980-1987


Aid to Adoption of Special Kids
President, Board of Directors, 2004 to 2007
Member, Board of Directors, 2000 to 2011
Program Resource Committee, Chair, 2001

Childhelp, U.S.A.
Arizona Board of Directors, 2003 to present

Catholic Social Service of Central and North America
Executive Board, 1981-1987
Board of Directors, 1981-1987


Family Service Agency
Vice President, Board of Directors, 1990-1991, 1992-1993
Member, Board of Directors, 1987-1994
 

Leukemia Society, Desert Mountain Chapter
President, Board of Directors, 1998-1999
Vice President, Board of Directors, 1997-1998
Board of Directors, 1994-2000
Corporate Delegate to National Leadership Conference, 1999

Maricopa County Women’s Treatment, Services & Supervision Network
Advisory Committee, 1996-1999

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
Best Lawyers in America, 2013

Recipient of Angels in Adoption Award (presented in Washington D.C. by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute), 2004

Athena Award Finalist, selected by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, 2004 and 2005

Named in “Who’s Who in Business” publication by Today’s Arizona Woman Magazine, 2002

Tribute to Valley Women Award, 1998

Spirit of Hospice Award, 1998

University of Arizona College of Law, Outstanding Graduate Award, 1998

Martindale Hubbell Law Directory - AV® Rating - Peer Review Rated


PAST EMPLOYMENT
Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, PLC
Member, 1982-2006
Associate, 1978-1982

Law Clerk to the Honorable James A. Walsh, U.S. District Court of Arizona, 1976-1978