Leighton Sr. has been named a Top 100 Lawyer in the US
- posted: Apr. 05, 2022
- Firm News
Leighton Rockafellow, Sr. began practicing law in Tucson in 1973. He tried his first case that year against a seasoned lawyer he had clerked for during his law school years – and won! He went on to establish the Rockafellow Law Firm in 1975. In the beginning, his practice included not only personal injury, but also divorces, criminal cases, Juvenile Court proceedings, contracts law, corporations, contested child custody and products liability. Leighton successfully sued Sturm Ruger and Company over its “Old Model” single action revolver 23 times and won every time. The “Old Model” is out of circulation thanks in part to Leighton’s efforts and other trial lawyers who pushed Ruger into redesigning this dangerous gun. He even secured a victory in the Arizona Supreme Court in a case involving a copy of an “Old Model” Ruger that had been manufactured in Italy and imported to the United States for sale. Due to changes in the law, products liability law has changed radically, so Leighton moved on to other areas focusing on Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice.
Other notable Appellate decisions include a custody case that led to the creation of the Indian Child Welfare act in 1978, and a historic case involving disposition of jointly acquired property between a long time couple who had never married but had shared income and expenses for close to 20 years. Leighton led the charge in Gomez v Maricopa County, the leading case in Arizona holding that all settlements involving minor children have to be approved by the Court prior to finalizing the agreement. An unfair settlement involving children was set aside and re-litigated to a fair result because of Leighton’s efforts.
In 1983 Leighton became one of the first Lawyers in Tucson to advertise on Television and in the newspaper offering legal services to the public. In 1983, lawyer advertising was in its infancy and most lawyers feared comments and criticism from their peers about not being “dignified.” Leighton withstood the criticism and created a reputation for being thorough and prepared. Soon, there was no more criticism from fellow lawyers concerning advertising. In 2022, lawyer advertising is regarded as ordinary and expected.
In 1991, Leighton was in the first group of lawyers in Arizona who took a written examination to qualify as a Certified Specialist in Injury and Wrongful Death. Since then, he has become a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, the Multi-Million Dollar advocates forum, a member of Super Lawyers of the Southwest, a member of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Lawyers, a member of Lawyers of Distinction, recognized by Martindale Hubbard as AV Preeminent.
Following extensive peer review and recommendations, Leighton Sr. was recently named a Top 100 Lawyer, a first in his long career. Leighton is proud of the work he has done in the State of Arizona through the Rockafellow Law Firm - protecting those injured by the negligence of others. He and Leighton Jr. continue the long tradition of representing each client to the best of their ability every time. The Rockafellow Law Firm has become synonymous with quality legal representation. Leighton continues to work a full caseload and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Congratulations to Leighton for his many achievements over the years.