Partner / [email protected]

attorneys-frederick-pettiA legal case is like a puzzle. And Fred Petti is really good at puzzles.

As Fred puts it: “I am very skilled at taking a set of disparate facts and cobbling those facts together to present a cogent and persuasive story.”

This ability allows Fred to represent all types of clients. A former Assistant United States Attorney in Arizona and Oregon, Fred is equally adept at representing people and businesses.

He has a particular emphasis in tribal gaming law, and has filed suit on behalf of tribal governments. He successfully argued to an arbitration panel that an Arizona tribe’s new resort was not a gaming facility (Pascua Yaqui Tribe v. State of Arizona) and he has successfully represented state and tribal officials in connection with government investigations and prosecutions (Thomas v. Schneider). Fred also has successfully represented the CFO of a publicly traded company that was being investigated for alleged federal securities fraud.

Licensed to practice in Arizona, Oregon and Texas, Fred received his undergraduate degree from Arizona State University (B.A., History 1980), his Master’s Degree from Northern Arizona University (M.A., History 1982), and his law degree from the University of Arizona (J.D. 1987).

“I like helping people resolve problems or achieve goals,” says Fred. He also likes playing golf – though admittedly poorly – and spending time and traveling with his wife and daughters. He genuinely enjoys spending time with people, something that serves him in both his personal life (“I’m a very social being”) and in his professional life.

“This permits me to advance my clients’ goals in difficult situations by not needlessly antagonizing the other side.”

He founded Petti and Briones with Patti Briones because “good partners are hard to find. Patti and I work extremely well together and we respect each other’s judgment. Our skill sets are complementary, and, most importantly, we trust each other as people and know we could always count on the other to do the right thing.”

His clients enjoy the same assurance.

Representative Cases

Successfully argued to an Arbitration Panel that an Arizona tribe’s new resort hotel was not a gaming facility under the Arizona Gaming Compacts (Pascua Yaqui Tribe v. State of Arizona).

Successfully persuaded a federal district court that the State of California negotiated in bad faith by demanding an illegal tax in tribal-state compact negotiations with a California tribe (see Rincon v. Schwarzenegger, 602 F.3d 1019 (9th Cir. 2010).

Represented state and tribal officials in connection with government investigations and prosecutions (see Thomas v. Schneider, 212 Arizona 292, 130 P. 3d 991 (Ariz. App. 2006)).

Successfully represented the CFO of a publicly traded company being investigated for alleged federal securities fraud and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Successfully represented a tribal government seeking damages from an international law firm stemming from the Jack Abramoff matter.

Represented a state agency in its efforts to deny state licensing to an individual it deemed unfit (see Simms v. Napolitano, 205 Ariz. 500, 73 P.3d 631 (Ariz. App. 2003)).

Professional Activities

Fred is licensed to practice in state and federal courts in Arizona, Oregon and Texas and before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is a past member of the American Bar Association’s White Collar Crime Committee.


Co-Author, “Scope Creep: What Are the Limits Under IGRA on State Powers to Regulate Ancillary Non-Gaming Business Ventures,” Gaming Law Review and Economics, Volume 18, Number 1, 2014

Co-Author, “The Return of the Trial in Federal White Collar Criminal Cases,” ABA White Collar Crime Committee Newsletter, February 2012

Co-Author, “Sitting in Judgment, Reflections on an Impeachment, Arizona Attorney, September 2008

Co-Author, “Offensive Use of Motions in Limine,” Trial Evidence Journal, Volume 15, Number Two (Winter 2007)

Author, “Historical Rights Were Hard-Fought,” Arizona Attorney, January 2005

Co-Author, “Seeking Attorney’s Fees in Criminal Cases,” Arizona Attorney, April 2001

Special Recognitions

Fred is listed in Best Lawyers in America (White Collar Criminal Defense) and Southwest Super Lawyers (White Collar Criminal Defense). He has earned an AV-Preeminent rating with Martindale Hubbell and he is listed as a Fellow in the Litigation Council of America. In 2011, he was named as one of Arizona’s Finest Lawyers.