Giordano Spanier & Heckele, PLLC

Giordano Spanier & Heckele, PLLC

Your Tucson attorneys are committed to helping clients in Southern Arizona achieve the best legal results in all areas, including estate planning, real estate, civil litigation, family law, criminal defense, and others.

Firm Overview

Giordano Spanier & Heckele, PLLC was established in May 2013 upon the merger of Harlow Spanier, PLLC, and The Heckele Law Firm, PLLC. The partners of these firms Brian C. Harlow, Zachary H. Spanier, and Mark W. Heckele saw an opportunity to combine their experience and expertise to create a firm that could provide the personal touch of a small firm while delivering the kind of commitment to excellence that one might find at a larger firm. In addition, their diverse legal backgrounds allows them to cover a wide range of matters. In Spring of 2017, the firm welcomed Gerald F. Giordano to the partnership and updated the firm's name.

We are a full-service law firm. At our core, we are committed to providing excellent client service. We strive to efficiently find solutions to the problems facing our clients. Our attorneys currently offer legal services across a wide range of practice areas, which can be explored under "Firm Specialties."
Main Office
Rillito Crossing Corporate Park
4007 E. Paradise Falls Dr.
Suite 212
Tucson  AZ  85712
Phone
  • (520) 352-0008
Fax
  • (520) 303-9944
Websites

Fees

Services Offered For Fixed Fees?
Flat rates may be available on a case-by-case basis.

Office Information

Office Hours
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Emergency After Hours
No
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Business
Our firm handles varied aspects of business law, including corporate formation, mergers and acquisitions, contracts, alternative dispute resolution, debt collection, and others.
Businesses enter into myriad commercial relationships and arrangements on almost a daily basis. It, therefore, should come as no surprise that these arrangements occasionally give rise to disputes. Commercial Litigation is the process by which disputes involving businesses and their transactions are resolved through court proceedings. Business disputes arise in many different areas of business law. They can, for example, arise over issues involving breach of contract and/or contractual interpretations, employment law litigation, advertising and marketing, collections, banking, financing, and lender liability, intellectual property, real estate transactions, non-compete clauses, commercial torts, landlord/tenant, and officer/director liability.

Many of the attorneys at Giordano Spanier & Heckele PLLC have built businesses themselves, which gives them a unique perspective when representing business clients. Our attorneys understand that business relationships are valuable to your business. So when a dispute does arise, our attorneys think creatively to seek solutions. It is, for example, often in the best interest of the business to try to resolve the dispute short of litigation, enabling the business to salvage a valuable commercial relationship. Our attorneys will evaluate the facts and law, including the strengths and weaknesses of the case, and can help leverage this information to facilitate a settlement that's in the best interest of the business.

When settlement is not appropriate, our litigators provide exceptional litigation services. From filing pleadings, to pretrial procedure and motion practice, through trial, our attorneys will zealously advocate for the interests of your business. Giordano Spanier & Heckele, PLLC represents both large and local businesses and organizations in business law and Commercial Litigation matters.
Estate Planning
GSH handles all aspects of estate planning, from probate and trust litigation to drafting wills, power of attorney documents and trusts.
Estate Planning is the process of anticipating and arranging for the disposal of an estate during a person's life. Estate Planning typically attempts to eliminate uncertainties over the administration of a Probate and maximize the value of the estate by reducing taxes and other expenses. However, the ultimate goal of estate plan is determined by the specific goals of the client, and may be as simple or complex as the client's needs dictate. As part of Estate Planning, generally, guardians are often designated for minor children and beneficiaries in incapacity.

As part of its commitment to Elder Law, the experienced Estate Planning attorneys at Giordano Spanier & Heckele, PLLC prepare a trust, last will and testament, power of attorney, and health-care directives for their clients.

In addition, our firm offers legal services for Probate and Trust Administration and Litigation, Guardianship and Conservatorship and financial exploitation cases.

At Giordano Spanier & Heckele, PLLC, we believe that everyone should plan for the future through effective Estate Planning. Regardless of the size of your estate or how many assets you own, an estate plan provides many cost-effective and practical benefits while giving you peace of mind. Proper planning for the administration of your estate can also lessen family confusion and conflict in potentially difficult times.
Probate
The process of dealing with a loved-ones estate after they pass away can be complex, stressful and challenging. If the decedent did not have estate planning documents in place, it can be even more difficult. GSH can help with the Probate process.
The Probate process in Arizona is essentially this:

After a decedent's death, the person named in his will as Personal Representative (sometimes called the executor or executrix) or, if you die without a Will, the person appointed by a judge files papers in the local probate court. The Personal Representative proves the validity of the decedent's Last Will and Testament and presents the court with lists of his property, debts, and who is to inherit what the decedent has left.

Once the validity of the Will has been established and the heirs identified the relatives and creditors of the estate are officially notified of the decedent's death.

In the interim, the Personal Representative must find, secure, and manage the decedent's assets during the Probate process, which commonly takes a few months to a year. Depending on the contents of the decedent's Will, and on the amount of his debts, the Personal Representative may have to decide whether or not to sell the decedent's real estate, securities, or other property. For example, if the Will makes a number of cash bequests but the decedent's estate consists mostly of valuable artwork, the collection might have to be appraised and sold to produce cash. Or, if the decedent has substantial outstanding debts, the Personal Representative might have to sell some of his property to pay those debts.

In most states, immediate family members may ask the court to release short-term support funds while the probate proceedings lumber on. Then, eventually, the court will grant permission to the Personal Representative to pay the decedent's debts and taxes and divide the rest among the devisees named in his Will. Finally, the decedent's property will be transferred to its new owners.

In some instances; for example when a decedent's estate does not have many assets (see, Small Estate Probate Exemption at A.R.S. 14-3971(B)), a Personal Representative can administer the decedent's estate without the necessity of going through the Probate process.
Real Estate
GSH handles a vast array of legal real estate matters, including acquisition and development, adverse possession, commercial leases, construction and lien law, deeds in lieu of foreclosure, foreclosure itself, short sales, and more.
The attorneys at Giordano Spanier & Heckele, PLLC assist clients in the acquisition and sale of real property, and assemblage of parcels for development, both commercial and residential. Our attorneys provide guidance and assistance throughout the course of development projects from initial permitting to the completion of infrastructure improvements. Client representation includes the negotiation and drafting of purchase and sale agreements, assistance with obtaining the necessary development approvals from local governmental agencies, platting and subdivision considerations, negotiation of financing terms, the drafting and implementation of restrictive covenants, the creation of property owners and condominium associations, negotiation of construction agreements and the drafting of purchase and sale agreements and related sales materials between developers and end purchasers. Following the issuance of final development approvals and plat recording, attorneys administer all closings, the issuance of title insurance, and related closing agent functions on behalf of developer clients.

How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

Giordano Spanier & Heckele, PLLC was first established as Harlow Spanier & Heckele, PLLC in May 2013 upon the merger of Harlow Spanier, PLLC, and The Heckele Law Firm, PLLC. The partners of these firms Brian C. Harlow, Zachary H. Spanier, and Mark W. Heckele saw an opportunity to combine their experience and expertise to create a firm that could provide the personal touch of a small firm while delivering the kind of commitment to excellence that one might find at a larger firm. In addition, their diverse legal backgrounds allows them to cover a wide range of matters. In Spring of 2017, the firm welcomed Gerald F. Giordano to the partnership, along with his 20 years of civil litigation experience.

We are a full-service law firm. At our core, we are committed to providing excellent client service. We strive to efficiently find solutions to the problems facing our clients. Our attorneys currently offer legal services across a wide range of practice areas, including bankruptcy, business law, civil litigation, criminal defense, estate planning, family law, intellectual property, personal injury, real estate, and more.

Mark W. Heckele

Mark Heckele is a licensed attorney in Arizona. After graduating from the University of Arizona with a Masters' degree in business administration (M.B.A.) from the Eller College of Management and a doctoral degree in law (J.D.) from the James E. Rogers College of Law, Mr. Heckele joined the Law Office of Drue A. Morgan-Birch, P.C. before founding The Heckele Law Firm PLLC, in March 2010. In July 2010, Mr. Heckele was invited to affiliate with the reputable firm of Karp & Weiss, P.C., as an attorney of counsel. In April, 2012, Mr. Heckele joined Dorris & Giordano, P.L.C. as an attorney of counsel. And, in May 2013, Mark Heckele helped form Harlow, Spanier & Heckele, PLLC, now Giordano Spanier & Heckele, PLLC where he is a managing member.

Mark W. Heckele's legal practice focuses on civil litigation and transactional law in the areas of Real Estate, Business Law, Estate Planning and Intellectual Property. His experience includes: escrow and title insurance; commercial and residential sales/purchases and leasing; contracts; Construction Defects; easements; Foreclosures and Loan Modification; Landlord-Tenant Laws; Land Use Acquisition and Development, property management; homeowners associations (HOAs) and CC&Rs; corporate formation; Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A); Alternative Dispute Resolution; Debt Collection; Estate Planning; and general legal counsel.

In addition to his legal career, Mr. Heckele has been a licensed real estate agent in Arizona for over 10 years, focusing primarily on residential resale, contracts, property management and landlord-tenant issues. Along with his legal expertise, Mark W. Heckele approaches each legal issue from a highly practical standpoint, providing his clients with comprehensive representation.

Mr. Heckele is active throughout the business, legal and philanthropic community, and is/was: the President of the Pima County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (YLD); state representative for the American Bar Association YLD; a member of the Morris K. Udall Inn of Court; alumnus of Phi Alpha Delta; an Advocate for the Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA); board member of Tucson Young Professionals; a member of Business Networking International; and board member of the German-American Club of Tucson. Mark Heckele was also recognized by Inside Tucson Business as one of Tucson's "Up & Comers" of 2011.

Zachary H. Spanier

Zachary H. Spanier is a licensed Attorney in Arizona. After graduating from Gonzaga University School of Law, Mr. Spanier joined the Wood Law Office in Show Low, Arizona, focusing on felony and misdemeanor criminal defense. In August 2005, Mr. Spanier took a position with the City of Tucson Prosecutor's Office where he served as an Assistant City Attorney until 2009. Mr. Spanier then transitioned to private practice, taking a position as an associate with Davis Miles McGuire-Gardner, PLLC. In October, 2010, Mr. Spanier founded Harlow Spanier, PLLC in Tucson with his current partner, Brian C. Harlow. In June 2013, Harlow Spanier, PLLC expanded its practice by merging with The Heckele Law Firm, PLLC to form Harlow Spanier & Heckele, PLLC, now Giordano Spanier & Heckele, PLLC, where he is currently a partner of the firm.

Mr. Spanier's practice focuses on domestic relations, misdemeanor criminal defense, civil litigation, and landlord tenant law. Mr. Spanier's broad experience includes: dissolution of marriage and legal separation; prenuptial agreements; child support; spousal maintenance (alimony); paternity and parenting-time; third-party rights; temporary orders; post-decree modifications of legal decision-making; orders of protection and injunctions against harassment; alternative dispute resolution; contract disputes; homeowner's associations (HOAs) and CC&R's; driving under the influence (DUI); domestic violence; criminal damage; disorderly conduct; theft; assault defense; forcible detainer; and collections.

Mr. Spanier prides himself on being a thorough and ardent advocate for his clients, listening closely to their concerns and desires while working to keep them fully apprised of their legal options throughout his representation.

Mr. Spanier is an active member of the Tucson community as a member of the Pima County Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Group. When he is not working on legal matters, Mr. Spanier devotes his time toward his family and is passionate about youth sports.

Gerald F. Giordano

Gerald Giordano has been practicing law in Arizona since 1998, and in Tucson since 2000. His practice is concentrated in civil litigation of almost all types, including business and real estate litigation, commercial torts, professional malpractice, personal injury, probate litigation, and representation of creditors in bankruptcy proceedings.

Mr. Giordano grew up in Tucson, graduating from Salpointe Catholic High School, where he was a National Merit Scholar. He earned a B.A. in Mathematical Economics from Pomona College, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa. After working for several years in accounting with a pair of Tucson companies, Up With People and Photometrics Ltd., he attended the University of Arizona College of Law, graduating summa cum laude and first in the class of 1998. He was an editor for the Arizona Law Review and was made a member of the Order of the Coif.

Mr. Giordano began his practice with Meyer Hendricks & Bivens in Phoenix from 1998 to 2000, then returned to Tucson to work for Snell & Wilmer LLP, the largest law firm in Arizona, beginning in April 2000. He became a partner at Snell & Wilmer in 2005. He left Snell & Wilmer in 2008, and was a principal at Dorris & Giordano PLC from 2008 to 2017.

Mr. Giordano has extensive experience in Arizona state and federal courts. He was admitted to the State Bar of Arizona in October 1998. He was also admitted to the bar of the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Fifth and Ninth Circuits and the U.S. District Courts for the District of Arizona and the Western District of Texas.

Mr. Giordano is active at Casas Church in northwest Tucson, where he is a campus host and Bible study teacher. He is the proud father of a US Marine, and lives in Tucson with his wife Lisa, and their three younger children.

Lauren A. Audette

Focusing on the assistance of individuals in victim advocacy, criminal defense, and family law, Ms. Audette's experience spans both private and public sectors. A Massachusetts native, Ms. Audette came to Tucson to attend the University of Arizona where she earned both her Undergraduate and Master's degrees. While pursuing her Master's Degree, Ms. Audette volunteered with specific individuals focused on advocating for the rights of women and children. She served as an intern and research assistant at the Southern Arizona Children's Advocacy Center where she became a certified Basic Forensic Interviewer for the victims in criminal child-abuse investigations.

Ms. Audette then went on to receive her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, California where she also developed the nonprofit organization Counter Balance: Foundation for Victims of Crime. The organization is dedicated to providing free legal services to victims of violent crime in Southern California. She served as a member of the Board of Directors and as Executive Secretary of the organization for two terms while in California and continues its mission locally in Southern Arizona. Currently an Associate working with Zachary H. Spanier, her vast experience greatly benefits our firm and its clients. Ms. Audette was admitted to the State Bar of California in 2015 and the State Bar of Arizona in 2016, which will ultimately allow the firm to expand its reach to assist clientele in both California and Arizona.

In addition to her legal career, Ms. Audette maintains a strong allegiance to the Boston Red Sox and plays soccer for the Tucson City League.

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