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2017 Women to Watch: Elizabeth Fitch

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Elizabeth Fitch
Managing partner
Righi Fitch Law Group
Phoenix
Age: 57

Insurance defense attorney Elizabeth Fitch grew up on a ranch in Arizona and applies what she calls “cowgirl pioneering values” to the practice of law.

“The one word that I would use that has sustained me during the hard times and propelled me forward is grit. I define grit as three character traits combined, and that would be resilience, tenacity and integrity. I use and rely on those character traits every day in every way in my career,” said Ms. Fitch.

Ms. Fitch, who has been practicing law for 32 years, serves as managing partner at Phoenix-based Righi Fitch Law Group, which she and her law partner launched in 2009. Previously, she was an attorney at Turley Swan Childers Righi & Torrens P.C., where she had worked since 1988.

Her day-to-day responsibilities include overseeing, supervising and training associates, as well as making strategic decisions on cases and serving as the relationship partner for the firm’s clients.

Over the course of her career, she has been a legal pioneer. During the 1980s, Ms. Fitch successfully tried two legal malpractice claims to a defense verdict. At the time, legal malpractice was an emerging risk with little case law. She also won one of the first multifamily construction defect cases filed in Arizona. She already has an eye to the next emerging risk.

“The practice of law is always evolving, there is always something new ... now what’s coming my way is cyber liability. An insurance carrier asked me to get certified as an information privacy professional, and I’ve been pioneering in that area,” she said.

Deborah Saunders, senior director of claims and global risk management for Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal unit, said one of the things that impresses her most about Ms. Fitch is her ability to manage a highly successful career while devoting time to mentoring the next generation of women.

“She spends an incredible amount of time on an organization that she founded called Ladder Down, which provides support to young women pursuing careers in the legal profession,” said Ms. Saunders. “She is remarkably energetic and focused and aware of what she feels is a real obligation to help women achieve what she has been able to achieve professionally,” she said.

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