William R. Jones, Jr., 78, of Phoenix, AZ passed away on May 7, 2017. Bill was born on January 9, 1939 in Somerset, Kentucky and was raised at the knee of his “country lawyer” father William R. Jones, and mother Jane Kemper. Bill went on to earn his undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Upon graduating, Bill moved to Phoenix to begin his legal career with Jennings, Strouss, Salmon, and Trask, where he thrived in the courtroom, trying over fifty civil jury cases in his first ten years of practice. He represented a diverse range of clients, including the state of Arizona, the city of Phoenix, and the major state universities; became a respected leader in general liability law; and was the first Chairman of the Arizona State Bar Workers’ Compensation Committee. With Ninth Circuit Judge Ozell Trask, Bill overhauled the workers’ compensation statutes and helped write Arizona’s Workers’ Compensation Rules of Practice. In 1974, Bill became a senior partner in the law firm of Jones, Teilborg, Sanders, Haga, and Parks until 1983, when Bill and others formed Jones, Skelton, and Hochuli. In the last 34 years of his career at JSH, Bill focused his practice on representing hospitals and physicians in the medical malpractice arena, was certified by the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation, and successfully tried over 250 civil jury cases in Arizona and other states. Over the course of his distinguished career, Bill held many professional leadership positions, donated his time to many legal associations, and was the recipient of a host of prestigious awards. Bill was State President of the American College of Trial Lawyers (1991 to 1993), a Diplomate for the American Board of Trial Advocates, a frequent lecturer for the American Board of Trial Advocates, and an Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University. He was also the recipient of the Samuel E. Gates Litigation Award from the American College of Trial Lawyers (2003), and was voted the 2014 Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year for Phoenix Medical Malpractice Defense. Bill is survived by his wife, Ellie; sister Margaret Kobler; cousin Nancy Jo Kemper; children William R. Jones III and Lisa Campodall’Orto; and four grandchildren, Max and John Campodall’Orto and Brynn and Patrick Jones. He will be sorely missed by his family, partners and friends at JSH, and the entire Arizona legal community. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Francis Xavier Church, 4701 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix on Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Bill’s name to UMOM New Day Centers, 3333 E. Van Buren Street, Phoenix, AZ 85008. The Veterans Programs were especially dear to Bill’s heart. Arrangements entrusted to Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home.
It took only the one time I saw him in action to appreciate the deep respect the surgeons I work with had for Bill. I had many conversations and emails with Bill for any potential concerns, as he was our go-to malpractice attorney.
Beyond these matters if we had questions about the insurance industry, workers comp or politics in general his commentary was solicited and his wisdom enlightening. We were very well served by Bill, he always exceeded expected outcomes in representing us. Bill had just donated to a charity our family has in memory of my grandson, our event was our best year yet allowing for us to fill a summer camp with congenital heart kids. He spoke of his children and grandchildren in particular with great affection. I always looked for him when I attending performances at Gammage, hoping to have a chance to greet him with a handshake a hug. I will miss him so very much but cherish the many emails of our exchanges. Much love and comfort to his family during this difficult time, he leaves quite a legacy for them that I hope help to mend their grief. LoveIAM
To the family,
My deepest condolences on the loss of your loved one. May you find comfort in the words at Revelation 21:3,4 where God promises soon to do away with sickness and death.
To Mr Jones Family,
Please accept my most heartfelt condolences on the loss of Mr Bill Jones. I will always be appreciative for all his effort, time, and dedication as an excellent attorney. He will be missed dearly, but not forgotten. I hope that you find peace and comfort in knowing that he has touched so many peoples lives.
Please know you are in my prayers and thoughts especially during this time of mourning.