Bridget O’Brien Swartz
Bridget has been practicing law in Arizona for 25 years with a focus on planning for individuals with disabilities who are under the age of 65 and their families.
Bridget grew up in the frigid North of Duluth, Minnesota. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame (cum laude), where she was a proud member of the marching band. After college, Bridget volunteered with Covenant House, a shelter for runaway and homeless youth, in Houston, Texas. It is through Covenant House that Bridget met her husband, Jay, and after completing their volunteer commitment, they relocated to Phoenix.
Upon first moving to Phoenix, Bridget worked in the field of mental health with children and adolescents, doing in-home counseling and case management. She then returned to school to pursue her law degree at Arizona State University, where she received her juris doctor in 1995 and Masters in Public Administration in 1997.
Over the span of her 25 year practice, Bridget has had the privilege of practicing with several boutique law firms before becoming a partner at Dyer, Bregman & Ferris, PLLC. Bridget served briefly as a Trust Officer at First International Bank & Trust, and now has been happily practicing again in the area of special needs law since 2015 at Dyer, Bregman & Ferris, PLLC.
Bridget is a second-generation Spaniard and speaks Spanish nearly fluently. She and her husband, Jay, who is a clinical social worker on a local inpatient psychiatric unit, have two children: Jaquelyn who is at the University of Arizona and Kasey who is mid-way through high school.
Practice Areas include all aspects of special needs law, such as estate planning, guardianship and conservatorship, public benefits eligibility planning, and trust administration.
- The “Confidential” Settlement in Probate Court, Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, March/April 2020
- The Wrongful Disregard of SSI Comparability by Some State Medicaid Agencies as it Relates to SNTs, NAELA Journal, Fall of 2009
- ARIZONA CHARITIES POOLED TRUST, INC.: What Is It and Why Should It Be of Interest to You? Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, December 2007
- When do you really need to worry about the impact of a settlement on your client’s eligibility for public benefits? Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, May 2006
- A Primer on Public Benefits for the Personal Injury Lawyer, Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, February 2005
- Bridget frequently authors and presents on topics related to special needs law. Recent presentations include the following: (1) 2019 Arizona Judicial Conference: Court Approval of the Reasonable Settlement; (2) The Nuts & Bolts of Special Needs Trusts and SO Much More sponsored by the Elder Law, Mental Health & Special Needs Planning Section of the State Bar of Arizona; and (3) To MSA or Not MSA: That is the Question sponsored by the Arizona Association for Justice
Associations & Memberships
- Board of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), Secretary 2020-2021 and former Director
- State Bar of Arizona, Probate &Trust Section and Elder Law, Mental Health & Special Needs Planning Section
- Area Agency on Aging-Region One, former Secretary and Director
- Board of Legal Specialization (BLS) of the State Bar of Arizona, former Director
- Special Needs Alliance (SNA), former President
- Arizona Chapter of NAELA, former Officer
- NAELA Journal, former Executive Editor
Recognitions & Awards
- 2019 Hon. John R. Sticht Disability Achievement Award
- Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA)
- Fellow of the American College of Estate and Trust Counsel (ACTEC)
- Arizona State University College of Law, Phoenix, Arizona, M.P.A., 1997
- Arizona State University College of Law, Phoenix, Arizona, J.D., 1995
- University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana, B.A., 1989
- United States District Court, District of Arizona