Elizabeth Fitch Photo

Elizabeth S. Fitch

Founding Partner
  • Profile
  • Credentials
  • Practice Areas
  • Community Involvement
  • Location Information
Bio

Elizabeth S. Fitch is a founding member of Righi Fitch Law Group. She is a trial attorney with over 32 years of civil defense experience and has an AV Preeminent Rating® by Martindale-Hubbell®. Beth has defended numerous multimillion-dollar cases, ranging from catastrophic injuries to construction defect cases. She has represented all types of professionals, from lawyers to real estate appraisers. Because of her defense of insureds under general liability insurance policies, Beth has successfully handled the entire gamut of complex tort cases, ranging from construction mishaps to products liability. In 2019, she was again selected for inclusion in the Super Lawyers® list and, in 2017, was selected as a Business Insurance Woman to Watch Honoree.

Beth is certified by the International Association of Privacy Professionals. The CIPP/US certification is the preeminent privacy credential in the US private sector. Beth counsels companies and insureds on cyber hygiene and data privacy, as well as cyber security best practices. She serves as a breach coach for cyber exploits and data breaches. Beth serves as the Co-Dean of the CLM School of Cyber Claims. She advises clients on privacy and cyber security involving PII, PHI, and PCI; serves as a breach coach; and leads the firm’s data response team.

The nature of complex civil and cyber litigation not only requires experience and knowledge about the substantive law but also requires sophistication in addressing the interrelated contractual and complex insurance issues. Beth has developed expertise in risk management and assists clients with risk transfer strategies.

Beth focuses her time working with clients on mitigation of cyber risks and strategic planning for the complex cases. Recognizing that clients are best served by quick case resolutions, at the outset of every case, she looks for innovative solutions to bring about the client’s desired result in an economical and expedient manner.

Beth is a third-generation Arizonan and comes from a long line of entrepreneurs. Her family started several successful retail businesses and owned cattle ranches. As a result, she understands the business needs of clients and applies entrepreneurial principles to her practice.

Representative Matters

Professional Liability

  • Prevailed on Arizona Rule 12(b) (6) Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction and obtained an attorney’s fee award where a Missouri attorney was sued in Arizona Superior Court by his client for unethical billing, breach of fiduciary duty, and misrepresentation
  • Prevailed on a Motion to Dismiss the Complaint and obtained an award of attorney’s fees where the State of Arizona was suing a law firm whose members were serving as attorneys and trustee of multiple family trusts; the State was claiming that the attorneys aided and abetted a family member in fraudulently transferring assets from his deceased wife’s trust to avoid his creditors
  • Obtained a dismissal of a bodily injury claim against a massage therapist where the plaintiff claimed that she suffered serious back and right lower extremity injuries as a result of improper therapy techniques
  • Negotiated a favorable settlement agreement for an attorney in a probate action where the trial court had referred the attorney to the state bar and county criminal prosecutor for allegedly conspiring with family members to kidnap an incapacitated person; the settlement resulted in the dismissal of the probate action and declination of the state bar and prosecutor to file charges against the attorney
  • Negotiated a tolling agreement to extricate attorneys from an underlying complex commercial loan foreclosure action; monitored the underlying action to ensure the attorneys’ interests were protected; client prevailed on underlying commercial action, negating the malpractice claim

General Liability

  • Prevailed on a Motion to Dismiss of a wrongful death lawsuit seeking $10 million against a private K-12 school; a pedestrian was crossing a six-lane public roadway to attend a football game at the school when he was struck and killed by a vehicle
  • Secured a defense verdict through the strategic use of surveillance video footage in a personal injury case; since the defendant made an offer of judgment, the plaintiff paid monies to avoid the imposition of sanctions by the court
  • Secured a dismissal with prejudice of a premises liability claim where the plaintiff claimed he sustained permanent orthopedic injuries when he slipped on soapy water in a laundry room
  • Secured a dismissal with prejudice of premises liability claim where the plaintiff claimed he sustained a head injury when he tripped over a raised sidewalk edge and fell off a planter to the sidewalk five feet below

Data Privacy & Cyber Practice

  • Breach Coach: Lead breach response coach for a security personnel staffing agency, which suffered a data incident involving approximately 20,000 records in 7 states
  • Breach Coach: Lead breach coach for a medical practice that suffered a data breach involving in excess of 15,000 infiltrated patient records in 37 states and 5 foreign countries, which resulted in the OCR investigation closure without penalty or fine assessments
  • Breach Coach: Lead breach response coach for a non-profit organization that suffered a data incident as a result of a stolen hard drive
  • Privacy Counsel: Directed a complete cyber risk assessment for a regional accounting firm; conducted a cyber risk assessment of the firm’s physical, technical, and administrative security; drafted policies and procedures relating to cyber issues; and implemented Cygeine™ training for the entire staff in social engineering recognition and prevention
  • Breach Coach: Lead breach response coach for cloud service provider that suffered Ryuk ransomware attack resulting in the encryption of 450 servers; successfully negotiated ransom and oversaw restoration of network and negotiated resolution of third-party claims asserted by numerous clients affected by the temporary network shutdown
  • Breach Coach: Lead breach response coach for a non-profit organization, in which the human resources director fell victim to a phishing scheme; this resulted in the exfiltration of employee PII
  • Breach Coach: Lead breach response coach for remediation efforts and investigation for a domestic manufacture whose controller fell victim to a wire transfer social engineering scheme initiated by Chinese supplier, which resulted in a financial loss of $500,000
  • Privacy Counsel: Directed complete cyber risk assessment for international professional service provider; conducted cyber risk assessment of company’s physical, technical, and administrative security; drafted policies and procedures relating to data privacy and cyber security; developed risk transfer program to shift cyber related financial exposures to vendors and insurance; and implemented Cygeine™ training for entire staff in social engineering recognition and prevention
  • Privacy Counsel: Directed complete cyber risk assessment for nationally recognized plaintiffs’ personal injury law firm; conducted cyber risk assessment of firm’s physical, technical, and administrative security; drafted data privacy and cyber security policies and procedures for compliance with Professional Rules of Responsibility; and implemented Cygeine™ training for entire staff in social engineering recognition and prevention

Education

  • Arizona State University, College of Law, Tempe, Arizona, Juris Doctor, 1985
  • Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science (cum laude), Accounting, 1982

Bar Admissions

  • Arizona
  • New Mexico
  • Pennsylvania
  • Utah

Professional Associations & Memberships

  • Arizona Association of Defense Counsel, President, 2000; Executive Committee, 1996 – 2000
  • CLM Cyber Claims College Co-Dean
  • International Association of Defense Counsel, Vice-Chair Data Privacy and Technology Committee
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel
  • Ladder Down, Co-founder
  • Themis Advocates Group, Strategic Action Committee Chair

Articles & Publications

  • “Peeling Another Layer of the Onion: Are You Crying or Savoring the Sweet Taste of Consent Judgment?” – Themis Advocate, summer 2018
  • “Digital Disruption and the New Normal: Reducing Cyber Exposures through Collaboration” – Westlaw Journal, September 2017
  • “Def Con Hacker Conference: An Accidental Tourist’s Observations” – IADC Newsletter, August 2017
  • “Cyber-Broker Insurance Coverage Conundrum” – WIN Magazine, 2017 Summer Issue
  • “Incorporating Technology into the Management of the Work Processes at the Firm” – IADC Committee Newsletter, April 2017
  • “The First Thing We Do, Let’s Kill All the Lawyers” – IADC Newsletter, February 2017
  • “The Attorney-Client Relationship in the Electronic Age” – IADC Newsletter, August 2016
  • “Surviving the Cyber-Liability Avalanche” – WIN Magazine, 2016 Spring Issue
  • “Cyber Armageddon: Survival or Annihilation” – IADC Newsletter, December 2015
  • “The Year of the Cyber Breach” – IADC Newsletter, March 2015
  • “Law Firms Beware: Data Privacy Laws and Best Practices” – The Arizona Association of Defense Counsel – Common Defense Magazine, Fall 2014 Issue
  • “Business Risk Transfer Fundamentals in Uncertain Economic Times” – The Arizona Accountant Magazine, 2013

Presentations & Speaking Engagements

  • 2019 Arizona State Bar Annual Conference: “Tone from the Top: The Importance of Law Firm Leadership to Reduce Cyber Risk”
  • 2019 CLM Claims College: “Claims Handling and in the Age of the Internet of Things”
  • 2018 Chicago Cyber Seminar: “Digital Disruption: How Exposed is Your Bottom Line?”
  • 2018 PLRB Eastern Conference: Impact of Consumer Electronics Data on Liability Claims
  • 2018 Arizona State Bar Conference: “Artificial Intelligence”
  • 2018 Rise: Mentoring
  • 2018 PLUS Cyber Liability Symposium: Cyber Monsters: “Did You Really Think You Were Safe? (Almost Everything You Need to Know About Cyber Risk”
  • 2018 IADC Webinar: “The First Thing We Do Is Kill All the Lawyers”
  • 2018 Woman of Themis Leadership Forum: “Leveraging Your Emotional Intelligence”
  • 2017 Prime Global Webinar: “Health Care Data Privacy and Cyber Exposures”
  • 2017 CLM Cyber Conference: Digital Disruption and the New Normal: “Reducing Cyber Exposure Through Collaboration”
  • 2017 Themis Annual Conference: “Anatomy of a Data Breach”
  • 2017 CLM Annual Conference: “The Cyber Insurance Broker Conundrum”
  • 2017 North American Society of Periodontist Annual Meeting: “Cyber Liability and HIPAA Best Practices”
  • 2017 Fusion CEO-CIO Symposium: “Understanding the Rapid Changes & Complexities of Underwriting Cyber Insurance”
  • 2017 IADC/FDCC Joint Law Firm Management Conference: “The 21st Century Law Firm – Managing the Practice”
  • 2017 IADC Webinar: “Professional Liability & Technology”
  • 2016 London Insurance Market Conference: “Cyber Risks Seminar: The Risks, The Liabilities, The Cover”
  • 2016 Perrin Conference National Webinar: “Surviving Cyber Armageddon”
  • 2016 The Legal Intelligencer’s In-House Counsel CLE Program Cyber Liability: “Emerging Trends and Best Practices to Mitigate Harm to your Organization”
  • 2016 Annual Central Coast Conference: “Fraud, Cyber Crime and How to Protect Your Winery from Risk”
  • 2016 IADC Annual Conference: “Cyber Armageddon: Ten Ways to Protect Your Law Firm from Annihilation”
  • 2016 Themis Annual Meeting: “Surviving Cyber Armageddon”
  • 2015 CLM Annual Conference: “Dealing with Heavyweight Coverage Issues”

Contact Beth today at (602) 483-6352.

Education
  • Bachelor of Science (Cum Laude), Accounting Arizona State - University Tempe, AZ 1982
  • Juris Doctor Arizona State - University Tempe, AZ 1985
Community Involvement

Ladder Down

Ladder Down is the crown jewel of Righi Fitch Law Group’s community service efforts. Beth Fitch is the co-founder of this program which launched in 2013. The program is designed to equip female lawyers in leadership, business development, and mentoring so that they can fulfill their career potential.

Ladder Down won the DRI Diversity Award in 2013 and Beth Fitch was selected in 2018 as a Business Insurance Women to Watch Honoree due in part to the success of this program. Ladder Down is rolling out nationally through the FDCC Foundation and is currently running in Phoenix, Seattle, and Cleveland. The program has graduated over 500 women. Righi Fitch Law Group has financially supported and dedicated significant human resources to the program.

More information can be found about Ladder Down at http://www.ladderdown.org/or at https://thefederation.site-ym.com/page/LadderDown2018.

Locations
  • Arizona Office
    2111 E Highland,
    Suite B440

    Phoenix, AZ 85016
  • New Mexico Office
    500 Marquette Avenue NW,
    Suite 1200

    Albuquerque, NM 87102
  • Utah Office
    2150 S 1300 E,
    Suite 500

    Salt Lake City, UT 84106