International Society of Primerus Law Firms

Tucson Attorney
Denise M. Bainton

Phone: 520.322.5000


Languages: English

Denise M. Bainton is a Shareholder in the Firm’s Tucson office.  Her practice emphasizes school law and employment matters.  Ms. Bainton joined the Firm in 1984 after serving as Law Clerk to the late Judge William P. Copple of the United States District Court.  From 1971 through 1980, she taught in the Flowing Wells schools in Tucson.

Ms. Bainton has represented public school districts on a wide variety of issues including litigation involving disabled students, personnel matters and environmental litigation.  She also has represented public and private entities before federal and state administrative agencies and in state and federal court.  

She has successfully defended Arizona public school districts in several important cases including Endangered Species Act litigation brought in federal court by environmental groups to try to stop the construction of a new high school; open meeting law litigation; and a lawsuit by several administrators who maintained that they should have been offered contracts as tenured teachers when they failed to sign their administrative contracts.  She has extensive experience in representing public school districts in special education due process hearings and before state and federal administrative agencies such as the Arizona Civil Rights Division, the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, the EEOC, and various state licensing boards.  She is a member of the NSBA Council of School Attorneys and has served on its national Board of Directors.  She is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law and Best Lawyers in America.  She holds an AV® rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

Ms. Bainton has a Bachelors and a Masters in Music Education and is a graduate (with the highest distinction) of the University of Arizona College of Law.  She received an Outstanding Graduate (alumni) Award from the University of Arizona College of Law in 1988.  While in law school, she served as an editor of the Arizona Law Review, and received the Dannie Lee Chandler Award for Special Contribution to the Advancement of First Amendment Values, the Lorna E. Lockwood Memorial Award for Outstanding Female Law Student, and the American Jurisprudence Award for Constitutional Law.  She was admitted to the Arizona Bar in 1983 and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court.

Practice Areas:

  • Government and School Law
  • Labor and Employment


  • Arizona (1983)
  • United States Supreme Court (1988)

Education, Honors, and Awards:

  • B.Mus. and M.Mus., University of Arizona
  • J.D. with Highest Distinction, University of Arizona College of Law
  • Editor, Arizona Law Review
  • Member, Order of the Coif
  • Dannie Lee Chandler Award for Special Contribution to the Advancement of First Amendment Values
  • Lorna E. Lockwood Memorial Award for Outstanding Female Law Student
  • Outstanding Graduate (Alumni) Award, University of Arizona College of Law
  • Listing in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Law
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America
  • AV® Rating, Martindale-Hubbell  (AV is a  registered certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.)

Reported Cases:

  • Defenders of Wildlife v. Bernal, 204 F.3d 920 (9th Cir. 2000)
  • Paczosa v. Cartwright Elementary Sch. Dist. No. 83, 222 Ariz. 73, 213 P.3d 222 (App. 2009)
  • Tanque Verde Unified Sch. Dist. No. 13 v. Bernini, 206 Ariz. 200, 76 P.3d 874 (App. 2003)
  • Williams v. Tucson Unified Sch. Dist. No. 1, 158 Ariz. 32, 760 P.2d 1081 (App. 1987)
  • Glaze v. Marcus, 151 Ariz. 538, 729 P.2d 342 (App. 1986)
  • McKee v. Peoria Unified Sch. Dist., 236 Ariz. 254, 338 P.3d 994 (App. 2014), co-counsel

Contact This Firm

DeConcini McDonald Yetwin & Lacy, P.C.

2525 East Broadway Boulevard
Suite 200
Tucson, AZ 85716
United States

Law Firm Contact: Nathan Hannah

Tel: 520.322.5000



Member Since: 2019

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