Sam Coppersmith

Former Member of Congress Sam Coppersmith (D-AZ) is an attorney specializing in business and real estate law with and managing partner of the law firm of Coppersmith Gordon Schermer & Brockelman PLC in Phoenix (http://www.cgsblaw.com/). He represents both local and national firms with business planning and contract negotiations, especially in real estate, health care, and corporate governance.

During 1995-97, Coppersmith chaired the Arizona Democratic Party, leading the party as the Clinton/Gore ticket carried Arizona, for the first time by a Democrat since 1948. He also headed the Arizona delegation to the 1996 Democratic National Convention. Since 1999, he has written a weekly political column for the Sunday "Perspective" section of The Tribune newspapers in suburban Phoenix, with those columns also available at http://liberaldesert.blogspot.com/.

From 1993 to 1995, Coppersmith served as the U.S. Representative for Arizona's 1st Congressional District. While serving in Congress, he kept a campaign promise by returning a congressional pay raise he opposed by writing a check each month to the U.S. Treasury. Congressman Coppersmith also gained national attention with his leadership of the effort to eliminate the Advanced Liquid Metal Reactor program, an effort that united a surprising (and surprisingly successful) coalition of budget-cutters, environmentalists, and nuclear-proliferation experts. Through his efforts, the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education ended shortsighted interpretation of labor laws that kept parents in some Arizona schools from participating in their children's classrooms. In 1994, Coppersmith also was the unsuccessful Arizona Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate, and in 2006, he co-chaired the transition team for newly-elected Rep. Harry Mitchell (D-AZ).

A member of the national Board of Trustees of the Devereux Foundation, the nation's largest nonprofit provider of behavioral health services, Coppersmith also chairs the Devereux Arizona Advisory Board. In 2005, he was appointed as a public member of the Governor's Regulatory Review Council. Coppersmith also previously served as Chair of the City of Phoenix Board of Adjustment and as President of Planned Parenthood of Central and Northern Arizona, and in 2007 received PPCNA's Peggy Goldwater Award to recognize his contributions to the organization.

Born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Coppersmith attended public schools, graduated magna cum laude in Economics from Harvard, and received his law degree from Yale. Prior to attending law school, he was a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. State Department, assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain, Trinidad. After law school, he clerked for Judge William C. Canby, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and also served as an assistant to the Mayor of Phoenix.

Sam and his wife Beth Schermer, an attorney specializing in health care law, have practiced together at the same firm for over eight years and are still married. They have three children: Sarah, a junior at Washington University in St. Louis; Ben, a freshman at Pomona College; and Louis, a freshman at Arcadia High School. They live in Phoenix.