Julie A. Pace

Representative Experience

Ms. Pace concentrates her practice in the fields of employment law, immigration compliance, OSHA, health care, and construction. She defends claims of sexual harassment, employment discrimination, retaliation, whistleblower, and wrongful discharge, and against charges by the EEOC and ACRD. She handles matters involving OSHA, ICE, OFCCP, DOL, NLRB, Davis-Bacon, FAR, ADA, FMLA, and wage and hour laws, audits and issues.


Ms. Pace also handles issues involving the Affordable Care Act and addresses the changes and options it presents to companies.  Her Davis-Bacon and prevailing wage practice includes counseling and training on state and federal prevailing wages and benefits requirements, coverage and applicability of prevailing wage laws, coverage exemptions, worker classification and pay issues, addressing wage determinations, wage surveys, and representation of employers before the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division and similar state agencies.

She frequently conducts investigations and provides training to managers and employees, including I-9 and E-verify audits and training. She regularly represents employers in dealing with ICE and E-verify and has handled over 1,000 I-9 audits. She was described by Arizona Business Magazine as the “go to” lawyer for employer immigration compliance in Arizona.

She is the presenter and narrator of an award winning video on respectful conduct in the workplace. She is the co-editor or primary author of three books on employment law. She has conducted national training programs for clients and industry groups.

Ms. Pace counsels employers on non-compete contracts, confidentiality agreements, employee discipline, drug testing, accommodation of disabled individuals, leaves of absence, workplace violence, safety policies, and other human resource policies and procedures. She also handles contract disputes, business torts, trade practices, and construction matters. She regularly prepares and reviews employee handbooks and safety manuals.

For over the past 20 years, Ms. Pace has regularly represented companies in hundreds of OSHA proceedings and more than 100 fatalities in the workplace. She has been working on fall protection issues since the fall protection standard went into effect in 1995.


She has represented companies in government contracting disputes and numerous commercial litigation matters involving contracts, trade practices, financing, acquisitions, and other matters. She is known for creative, practical solutions to businesses’ legal challenges.

Ms. Pace regularly coordinates crisis response plans for clients to deal with workplace accidents, government investigations and other matters. She has been interviewed and quoted in news media across the nation, including ABA Journal, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, The New York Times, CNN, NPR, Associated Press, USA Today, L.A. Times, CBS News, FOX News, Arizona Republic, East Valley Tribune, Arizona television stations, Arizona Daily Star, The Tucson Citizen, HR Magazine, and many more.

Associations & Activities

    • State Bar of Arizona
    • American Bar Association
    • Arizona Bar Association
    • Maricopa County Bar Association
    • American Society of Safety Engineers
    • Arizona Chamber of Commerce, Immigration Task Force Chair
    • Arizona Contractors Association
    • Arizona Court of Appeals, Judge Pro Tem
    • Arizona Landscape Contractors Association (ALCA)
    • Arizona Roofing Contractors Association
    • Arizona Subcontractors Association (ASA)
    • Arizona Women Lawyers Association
    • Construction Financial Management Association, Board of Directors
    • Home Builders Association of Central Arizona, Board of Directors
    • Lorna Lockwood Inn of Court, Co-President
    • National Association of Homebuilders
    • National Association of Women Lawyers
    • Litigation Counsel of America
    • National Federation of Independent Business
    • Rio Salado Crossing Association, Chair
    • East Valley Partnership, Vice President of Economic Development
    • East Valley Economic Forum, Co-Founder
    • Mesa Downtown Redevelopment Commission, Member and Chair
    • Soroptimists International of Mesa, Vice President
    • Southwest Shakespeare Company, Co-Founder
    • Rotary Professional Exchange Program, United Kingdom
    • Arizona College of Law, Dean’s Award for Outstanding Service
    • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration in Mesa, Co-founder

Awards & Recognition

  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Labor and Employment Law
  • Best Lawyers in America, Construction
  • Sustaining member of Arizona’s Finest Lawyers
  • AV Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell for 20 years
  • “Centers of Influence Award” as one of the 10 most influential lawyers in Arizona, by Arizona Business Magazine, 2008
  • American Institute of Architects, Rio Salado Community Vision Award, 1994
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Spirit of Unity Award, 1994
  • Mesa’s Outstanding Young Woman of the Year Award, 1993
  • Fellow in Litigation Counsel of America
  • American Subcontractors Association of Arizona, Outstanding Industry Advocate Award, 2012

Bar Admissions

  • Arizona, 1992

Court Admissions

  • Supreme Court of Arizona, 1992
  • U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, 1992
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1995
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1997
  • U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, 2008


  • Arizona State University (J.D., cum laude, 1992; B.S. magna cum laude, 1983)
  • Arizona State Law Journal, Symposium and Articles Editor
  • Best Comment Award

Judicial Clerkships

  • Honorable Joe W. Contreras, Arizona Court of Appeals, 1992-93
  • Honorable. Robert C. Broomfield, U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, 1990, legal extern

Representative Matters

  • Handling more than 100 fatality cases involving OSHA.
  • Obtaining a jury verdict for a national supermarket chain in an age discrimination trial brought by a 35-year employee with a history of good performance, whose duties were redistributed largely to a woman in her 30’s.
  • Obtaining a jury verdict for a national retailer rejecting claims for additional compensation by a store manager.
  • Obtaining the dismissal of more than 1,900 claims in a labor union sponsored Fair Labor Standards Act collective action against a construction company.
  • Successfully defending claims by EEOC, including settlement to dismiss class action by agreeing to facilitate training for construction industry associations to educate other companies regarding respectful treatment of Latino employees.
  • Planning and implementing media communications strategy, communications to managers, employees and customers, liaison with law enforcement, representing employers in I-9 and E-Verify audits and defending against penalties and charges of knowingly hiring undocumented workers under federal immigration laws or Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA).
  • Representing clients in ICE audits, including administrative subpoenas by the federal government, handling notices of suspect documents, notices of unauthorized aliens, notices of technical defects in I-9s, defending against allegations of knowingly employing unauthorized workers, and resolving civil penalties.
  • Successfully defending employers in unfair labor practice charges before the NLRB. Assisting employers preserve the rights of their workers to decide for themselves whether to be represented by a labor union.
  • Obtaining injunctions against harassment against former employees, including a former company president, a chief marketing officer, and lower-level employees. Investigating allegations by in-house counsel against CEO.
  • Successfully defending OSHA citation against general contractor for a subcontractor’s violation of fall protection standard. Obtaining dismissal of OSHA citations in another state against highway construction subcontractor for a fatality of the general contractor’s employee that was shown at the hearing/trial to have been the responsibility of the general contractor and the state highway department.
  • Successfully bringing claims to discover who was anonymously blogging or posting disparaging comments or disclosing confidential information on the Internet.
  • Successfully representing doctors and medical practice groups from allegations of inappropriate touching asserted by employees and patients, including defending professional licensing proceedings.
  • Representing employers in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and OFCCP audits and debarment proceedings and Federal Acquisition Regulation compliance for general contractors, subcontractors and manufacturers.
  • Defending against Davis-Bacon compliance actions by Department of Labor.
  • Successfully obtaining Department of Labor opinion letters upholding exemptions, including deferral of DOL enforcement action for three years pending obtained a DOL opinion letter that ultimately recognized FLSA exemption for nurses, mechanics and others associated with providing air ambulance services.
  • Defending misclassification challenges regarding independent contractors versus employees.
  • Handling wage conformances and issues involving wage determinations and area practice surveys.
  • Investigating countless allegations of harassment, discrimination, employee theft, embezzlement, conflict of interest, disloyalty, misappropriation of trade secrets, violation of company policies, etc.
  • Training thousands of management employees for industry-wide compliance with immigration hiring practices, diversity, anti-harassment/anti-discrimination policies, etc. in the restaurant, construction and other industries.
  • Regularly counseling employers in construction; retail; manufacturing; health services; financial services; high technology software, servicing and capital equipment manufacturing; employment/payroll services; mining and more, to comply with employment laws and reduce the risk of claims.
  • Designed and implemented wellness programs that were compliant with the Affordable Care Act, GINA, the ADA, as well as other laws.
  • Assisted in the creation of nonqualified deferred compensation plans in order to retain and reward executives.
  • Representing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and 10 Arizona business associations in challenging the constitutionality of the Arizona employer sanctions immigration law, the Legal Workers Act (LAWA).
  • Successfully conducted hearing to defeat bid protest of $20+ million highway construction contract.
  • Representing Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in billing dispute with national law firm resulting in $2 million settlement by law firm to client and government debarment of law firm.
  • Drafted and worked on various employment law legislation through enactment in Arizona.
  • Representing the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in defense of litigation brought by Maricopa County Sheriff regarding control and ownership of the County’s Integrated Criminal Justice Information System used by and networking multiple government agencies.


News & Publications

Cavanagh Law Firm Receives Top-notch 2019 Awards with First-Rate Attorneys

The Cavanagh Law Firm is an outstanding and distinguished law firm in Arizona that covers a variety of practices. The Firm’s exceptional lawyers have an impressive history litigating complex and sophisticated cases.  The firm has been recognized by U.S. News - Best...

The Cavanagh Law Firm is Home to 23 Super Lawyers (2015 list)

Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor.