Meet an Attorney: Lisa Skozen
By Zachary Mushkatel on January 29, 2019
For Lisa Misner-Skozen and her husband, Joe, the notorious “Groundhog Day Blizzard” in 2012 was the final straw. They had lived and practiced law together in the Indiana portion of the Chicago metropolitan area for more than 20 years, but when that storm dumped more than 21 inches on Chicago, the third worst in the city’s history, they knew it was time to pack up and head to Arizona.
Lisa and Joe had purchased a house in Sun City West in 2005, so that’s where they decided to permanently locate to Arizona. Joe, who was a probate judge in Indiana as well as an attorney, has retired. Lisa is enjoying the same area of law practice that has been her love for many years: estate planning, estate litigation, probate, and family law.
After the move to Arizona, she practiced in two other firms before joining Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker in November 2017, working in the firm’s Surprise office. Her practice focuses on the same areas in which she’s developed extensive expertise over her long career.
Typically, she says, her clients are people who need to sort out estate matters that are causing disagreements within families.
“Oftentimes, I’m dealing with people who are dealing with very stressful events, . . . If it’s a guardianship, they’re usually in a situation where there’s an emergency—somebody’s having health issues that require immediate assistance and they don’t have anybody who’s properly named in order to make those decisions for them and somebody is stepping up and needing to be educated on what to do.”
Another common situation, she says, is when an estate plan surfaces that nobody expected. “Sometimes mom or dad create the drama unwittingly when they misrepresent what their estate plan is because they just didn’t want the stress of people asking nosy questions,” she says. “And sometimes people are absolutely taken advantage of. I’ve had a number of cases where people are taken advantage of by friends, supposed caregivers who have finessed their way into this person’s life.”
“The reason why I like this area of the practice, quite honestly, is because I feel that I can accomplish something good for people, either giving them advice to help them avoid these situations or helping people get out of ugly situations and fixing those things.”
Misner-Skozen relishes her work, but also enjoys exploring Arizona and hiking with her husband.
“Moving to Arizona was a big transition,” she says, “but we have never questioned it or second guessed it.”
Zachary Mushkatel is an Arizona native who earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona in 2001 and his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2004. After serving as a public defender, he entered into private practice and, ultimately, joined forces with Mathis Becker to form the law firm known today as Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC. In addition to criminal law, Mushkatel practices civil litigation, with a focus on estate litigation and personal injury cases. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce and Sun Valley Lodge, and he is an executive officer and member of the Board of Directors for the West Maricopa County Bar Association.