Town renews contract with Mariscal, Weeks, McIntyre & Friedlander

By Linda Bentley | February 17, 2010

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CAVE CREEK – During Tuesday night’s council meeting, Attorney Gary Birnbaum from the law firm Mariscal, Weeks, McIntyre & Friedlander (MWM&F) said he was honored to have represented the town over the past 10 years, was “pretty proud” of that representation and would be honored to be able to continue to serve the town.

Attorney Bill Sims with the law firm Moyes, Sellers & Sims said his firm represents many small cities and towns.

Councilman Ralph Mozilo asked if Attorney Marlene Pontrelli, MWM&F, was committed to representing the town and wanted to know if it wasn’t “too much to ask” to receive status reports, perhaps not weekly, but at least quarterly.

Pontrelli responded, “Yes, I’ve enjoyed my time here,” noting it has been very brief. She also said council should expect a weekly report, stating, “To me that’s a given.”

During public comment, Bob Williams stated, “Gary Birnbaum is a good friend of mine,” but said, “His firm has ill-served the town.”

Williams continued, “Since the untimely death of Bill Farrell,” the town has been “provided counsel that has been unable to provide answers to routine questions,” and itemized concerns with representation and billing.

However, Councilman Steve LaMar’s motion to award the town’s legal contract to Moyes, Sellers & Sims failed by a vote of 3-4.

A subsequent motion by Councilman Dick Esser to award the contract to Mariscal, Weeks passed by a vote of 4-3, with LaMar, Vice Mayor Ernie Bunch and Councilman Jim Bruce dissenting.

Esser said Pontrelli is “articulate and quick with her answers,” adding, “Cave Creek is a small town with big-city issues.”

Mozilo stated he was extremely impressed with Pontrelli, her confidence and the confidence she exudes.

Councilman Adam Trenk said the depth and breadth of Mariscal Weeks’ experience, and its 10-year relationship with the town was significant.