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Our Team

From construction law to corporate law we have you covered.

Karen Palecek


KAREN A. PALECEK is a co-managing member of Palecek & Palecek PLLC where she has more than 34 years of experience in the areas of construction law and litigation. Her clientele includes specialty trade contractors, suppliers, general contractors and owners.

Her practice and experience is focused on every aspect of the construction industry including but not limited to contract review and negotiation, mechanics liens, bond claims, arbitration, mediation, bench trials, jury trials, payment and performance issues, claim evaluations, litigation from complaint through to collection on judgments and appeals.


She also makes frequent appearances at the Office of Administrative Hearings for matters involving the Registrar of Contractors. Karen obtained her Juris Doctorate degree from Arizona State College of Law in December 1987 and was licensed to practice in the State of Arizona in 1988. She received her undergraduate degree in Political Science Cum Laude from the University of Dayton in 1983.

Reported cases include the following:

  • In re Mortgages Ltd, 482 B. R. 298 (Bankr. Ariz. 2012)
  • Fagerlie v. Markham Contracting Co. Inc. 227 Ariz. 367, 258 P. 3d 185 (Ariz. App. 2011)
  • Western Insulated Glass v. Mckay 174 Ariz. 597, 852 p.2d 412 (App. 1993)

Memorandum decision:

  • Markham Contracting Co., Inc. vs First American Title Insurance Company, 2013 WL3838690 (Ariz. App. Div 1)


  • American Subcontractor’s Association, Since 1991, Attorneys’ Council, Membership Committee, Board of Directors, Outstanding Associate Member Firm (2016 – 2017)
  • State Bar of Arizona Construction Law Section



James Palecek


JAMES J. PALECEK is a co-managing member of Palecek& Palecek, PLLC. Mr. Palecek received his Political Science degree from Duke University in 1988 and received his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Denver, College of Law in 1993. He started out his legal career in Ohio as an associate in a law firm founded by his father, and, for the last 26 years in Arizona, he has advised construction and other corporate clients in business transactions and in litigation. His clientele has included suppliers/vendors, subcontractors, general contractors, developers, consultants, and owners in both the commercial and residential construction arenas and in both the public and private sectors.

In addition to a focus on construction law, he has also led the Firm’s corporate transactional and real estate practice areas for over 21 years.


Construction Law Transactions
His practice includes all areas of construction law, including reviewing, drafting, and negotiating small to large-scale contracts, including Consensus Docs and AIA contracts. He has developed several Master Contracts over the years, including Owner – GC, GC – Sub, and Sub –Sub.

Construction Law Litigation
Jim has argued numerous construction cases in both federal and state court within the State of Arizona, before the Arizona Registrar of Contractors, in AAA Arbitration / Mediation, and at the Court of Appeals over the last 26 years. He has also argued and mediated cases in Chicago, Miami, and Las Vegas.

Corporate Transactions and Disputes
Mr. Palecek leads the Firm’s corporate transactions, including the organization of entities, stock purchase transactions, reviewing, drafting, and negotiating Operating Agreements, By-Laws, Non-Compete Agreements, Non-Solicitation Agreements, Non-Disclosure Agreements, Confidentiality Agreements, Minutes, and other corporate dealings. He has been involved in shareholder dispute negotiations and litigation, shareholder buy-out issues, negotiations related to breaches of fiduciary duty within an organization, corporate dissolution negotiations, and in other transactions and dealings between and among business owners in the corporate setting.

Real Estate Law
Jim also has led the Firm’s Real Estate practice, having handled real estate transactions, real estate disputes, and real estate litigation, including claims of misrepresentation and breach of implied warranties.

Speaking Engagements
Mr. Palecek’s speaking engagements over the years have included national and local seminars on a variety of construction law topics including: Bid Terms and Conditions, Red-flag contract clauses, Legal Mechanisms to Effect and Protect Payment, the Fine Art of Obtaining Final Payment, Indemnity Clauses, No Damage for Delay Clauses, Statutory Waivers of Rights, Condition Precedent Payment language, Change Order issues, Arbitration / Attorney’s Fees Clauses, and Liens and Bond Claims.

Volunteer Activities in the Construction Industry
Mr. Palecek has also volunteered his time for the past 26 years advising contractor groups on legal issues and participating in indemnity and retention reform at the Arizona State legislature. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Arizona Subcontractors Association for a number of terms. Jim is also a member of the Arizona State Bar Construction Law Section. 

Jim has practiced with his sister, Karen, for 26 years. He has been married to Jennifer for 25 years, and they are raising their one daughter Payton who is 14 years old. He is personally interested in youth education and sports and in developing the hearts and minds of young people to grow their confidence in their daily lives and to develop their character to lead in the future.

Jim has been a Director at Hunkapi Programs, Inc., an Arizona non-profit organization, for the last 7 years. Hunkapi is an equine therapy farm in Scottsdale, Arizona that serves the needs of children and adults with brain injuries and other trauma-related disorders. 

Sara Mills

Senior Paralegal

Sara G. Mills is the senior paralegal at Palecek & Palecek PLLC. Sara joined the firm in July of 2006. She has worked in the legal field for over 16 years and has prior experience in Criminal Defense.

Sara has significant experience in construction litigation, real estate, and corporate transactional work. Her responsibilities include case file management, legal research, drafting pleadings, and other legal documents, client management, trial preparation, deposition preparation, incorporation and formation of entities, and any ongoing corporate matters, such as amendments to articles of incorporation. Sara is proficient at eDiscovery and trial management software. 

Sara has considerable experience in State and Federal Courts, in arbitration proceedings with the American Arbitration Association (AAA), in Registrar of Contractors’ proceedings, and in administrative hearings.

Sara earned her Associates Degree as a Paralegal in 2005 and continued her education in Western International University’s B.S. in Legal Studies program. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management.

Sara is also a current member of the American Subcontractors Association of Arizona.


Rachel N. Foltz


Rachel N. Foltz joined Palecek & Palecek in 2015. She earned her B.A. from Metropolitan State University, Denver in 2012, and continued her education to obtain an Associates’ Degree/Certification in Paralegal Studies in 2015 from Phoenix College.

Rachel has significant experience in construction and business litigation in Superior Court, Federal Court, AAA Arbitration, and Registrar of Contractors’ proceedings, and administrative hearings. Her responsibilities include preliminary notice research and drafting, preparation of demand letters, stop notices, bond claims, and Mechanics Liens. Rachel’s other paralegal responsibilities include legal research, case file management, drafting pleadings, trial preparation, incorporation, and formation of corporate entities.