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Sarah L. Barnes

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Assistant: Kathy Lake
602-271-7734 ,

Sarah, who moved to the Valley as a child, joined Broening Oberg Woods & Wilson as a lateral associate in 2005, and was elected partner in 2008 and became a shareholder/director in 2021. Sarah practices primarily in government liability defense, including defending claims against municipal entities and employees under various theories of liability, including 42 USC § 1983, as well as defending private entities engaged as vendors for government entities, including healthcare vendors at jails and prisons, for constitutional and medical negligence claims. Sarah has also practiced for many years in the areas of business, employment and real estate litigation, professional liability defense, and she has also acted as outside general counsel for several businesses. 

Sarah practices regularly in both federal and state courts, handling client needs at all stages of litigation from pre-litigation assessment and investigation through trial, including first and second chairing numerous jury and bench trials and significant arbitrations.  Additionally, Sarah has significant appellate experience, having repeatedly handled both appeals to the State Appellate Court and Ninth Circuit, including oral argument at both, as well as handling an appeal to the United States Supreme Court.  Prior to joining the firm in 2005, Sarah practiced with the Phoenix office of a national law firm (where she also clerked in law school) in the areas of business, employment, real estate and 1983 litigation, as well as extensive appellate work. Sarah earned her J.D., cum laude, from Arizona State University in May of 2000, achieving several academic awards and honors, and she earned her B.S., also from Arizona State University, in 1995 and was on the Dean’s List.

When Sarah is not busy defending her clients, she enjoys spending time with her loved ones, family and friends, watching most sports (especially football, college basketball and tennis), cooking, and traveling locally and internationally.



  • Arizona State University, College of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2000
  • Arizona State University, B.S., 1995 
    • Dean’s List

Bar Admissions 

  • Arizona, 2000
  • U.S. District Court District of Arizona, 2000
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 2003
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2017
Professional Recognition
  • State Bar of Arizona
  • Ladder Down – Class of 2014
  • Arizona Association of Defense Counsel
Representative Experience
  • Deliberate Indifference Defense Verdict (2021) – On behalf of the former Director of Arizona Department of Corrections Rehabilitation and Reentry, who was the defendant in a lawsuit by a represented inmate
  • Several Ninth Circuit Rulings (2020-2022) – Affirming grants of summary judgment and judgment of dismissal below in favor of prison healthcare providers
  • Jury Defense verdicts in favor of County Sheriff Deputy on claims in excessive force case