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Shanks Leonhardt

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Phoenix, Arizona

Shanks Leonhardt joined Sanders & Parks in 2007 and he focuses his practice in complex civil litigation in the areas of commercial litigation, insurance defense, insurance coverage, products liability, employment litigation, professional liability, procurement law, and personal injury matters.  In addition to his civil litigation work, Mr. Leonhardt also advises parties on commercial transactional matters related to technology, corporate, copyright, and entertainment law issues.  Mr. Leonhardt has received Martindale-Hubbell's highest AV® PreeminentTM rating, he has been recognized by Southwest Super Lawyers as an Arizona Rising Star from 2012 through 2015, and he was recognized in 2014 as a Top Lawyer by AZ Business Magazine in the category of "Generation Next."

He is highly experienced in counseling and representing insurers in complex bad faith, construction defect, additional insured, personal injury and primary/excess coverage issues, including a focus on counseling, advising, and litigating cases where insurers that have been subjected to Arizona's Damron and Morris Agreements.  Mr. Leonhardt has played a key role in negotiating favorable resolutions for insurers involving multi-million-dollar exposures arising from Damron and Morris Agreements. 

Mr. Leonhardt also routinely handles products liability claims, including successfully resolving commercial and personal injury claims arising out of industrial equipment, aircraft components, and concrete sealant.  As part of this practice, Mr. Leonhardt won an important appellate decision in a published opinion discussing and clarifying Arizona's jurisprudence on personal jurisdiction over foreign product manufacturers.  Mr. Leonhardt has also handled employment law matters for employers involving discrimination, retaliation, and "whistleblowing" activities. 

As a part of his complex civil litigation work, Mr. Leonhardt has successfully represented parties at mediations, arbitrations, depositions, appeals, and various hearings before the trial and appellate courts at the federal and state court level in jurisdictions including Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico.  Mr. Leonhardt has also published numerous articles and he has been a featured speaker on insurance issues related to construction law and Damron/Morris Agreements.

Mr. Leonhardt earned his Juris Doctor degree from the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University where he graduated with Honors in 2007.  As an avid musician, Mr. Leonhardt participated in programs during law school such as the Volunteer Legal Assistance for the Arts designed to provide free legal services to artists and musicians.  He was also a member of the Sports and Entertainment Law Students Association and the Intellectual Property Students Association.

Year Joined Firm

  • 2007

Areas of Practice

  • Appellate Law
  • Civil Litigation
  • Copyright and Entertainment Law
  • Directors and Officers Insurance
  • Employment Law
  • Insurance Bad Faith
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Insurance Defense
  • Personal Injury
  • Procurement Law
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Liability Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Arizona, 2007
  • Kentucky, 2010
  • U.S. District Court District of Arizona, 2008
  • U.S. District Court District of Colorado, 2012
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 2013


  • Arizona State University, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Tempe, Arizona
    • J.D. cum laude - 2007
  • Arizona State University
    • B.A. magna cum laude - 2001
    • Major: Philosophy

Published Works

  • Self Defense and Intentional Torts in Arizona, Common Defense, Arizona Association of Defense Counsel, 2015
  • Limiting Stipulated Judgments Resulting from a Damron Agreement to Covered Claims When the Judgment includes both Covered and Uncovered Claims, Common Defense, Arizona Association of Defense Counsel, 2014
  • The Proper Time to Enforce Loss Notification Time Limits, Arizona Insurance Council, 2012
  • Misrepresentation During The Sale Of A Home Does Not Trigger Coverage Under A Standard Homeowners Insurance Policy, Arizona Insurance Council, 2013

Honors and Awards

  • Martindale-Hubbell's highest AV® PreeminentTM rating
  • Southwest Super Lawyers as an Arizona Rising Star, 2012 - 2015
  • Top Lawyer by AZ Business Magazine in the category of "Generation Next", 2014 - Present

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • State Bar of Arizona
  • Maricopa County Bar Association
  • Arizona Association of Defense Counsel
  • Arizona Insurance Council
  • American Bar Association, Litigation Section