From Superbowl to Super Attorney

Edward G. Hochuli is a man with two high-stake careers. Phoenix Attorney & NFL referee.

People across the nation are scheduling tailgate parties, making travel plans and upgrading to the latest high-definition TVs in preparation for this year’s Super Bowl.  Although over 100 million viewers regularly watch the Super Bowl each year, not everyone may be aware of what happens behind the scenes once the game is over and the uniforms are sent to the cleaners.

In fact, one of the most loved referees in the NFL has another life outside the gridiron, and it’s not what you’d expect…

“You have to follow these rules, and there’s a win-or-lose outcome. You’re on a stage.”

– Ed Hochuli, Phoenix Attorney and NFL Official

Edward G. Hochuli is a man with two high-stake careers. In the courtroom, he is an experienced trial attorney who has tried 150+ civil cases. On the football field, he is an NFL referee with 26 seasons and two Super Bowls under his belt.

Coming from a football family, Ed played linebacker at the University of Texas-El Paso before completing his JD at the University of Arizona in 1976. After launching a successful career in 1983 as a founding partner at an eminent Phoenix law firm, Ed was able to leverage his love of the game into the professional world, joining the NFL in 1990.

Since then, Ed Hochuli has become a sensation. Although his friends call him “Ed,” on the playing field he is often affectionately referred to as “Hoch-ules,” a play on his muscular physique. Thanks to social media, Ed’s popularity has ballooned.  Eager fans have created websites, YouTube videos and entire Twitter profiles devoted to him. There are even WWEHD (“What Would Ed Hochuli Do?”) coffee mugs.

As you might imagine, Ed Hochuli is an obscenely busy man. As an attorney, Ed specializes in complex litigation, general, professional and social host liability cases, insurance coverage, and retail and transportation defense. He works around 100 hours a week, spending at least 50 hours on legal work and 30-50 on NFL prep work, including 15 hours devoted specifically to reviewing video-taped game recordings. Former NFL Vice President of Officiating Mike Pereira once described Ed as “the most knowledgeable rules expert in the entire league,” despite having expressed criticism over some of his calls in the past.

The Courtroom and the Turf

While you might think of the courtroom as worlds away from the AstroTurf, Ed Hochuli has a well-developed skill-set that he has managed to apply to both. As both an Arizona attorney and a referee, Ed has a reputation for clear, concise explanation of the facts. He even compares his experiences in court to those in the NFL: “As trial lawyers, one of the reasons we [like trying] cases is the adrenaline rush. You love that challenge the competition, if you will — of it. It’s a game. It’s obviously a very important game to people, and I don’t mean to diminish the importance of it. … You have to follow these rules, and there’s a win-or-lose outcome. You’re on a stage.”

While your favorite referee might have missed that off-sides call, our team of professionals here at Gillespie, Shields, Durrant & Goldfarb rely upon years of experience and legal knowledge to ensure that nothing is missed in your case.

Contact us Today.

Alexander Strub is a legal assistant and the lead content writer at Gillespie, Shields, Durrant & Goldfarb. He has a B.A. from Brigham Young University and an M.A. from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (both in History). He and his wife Annalee have been married for 11 years and have one daughter. Together they enjoy reading, listening to classical and world music, and visiting museums, cultural events, and world heritage sites.


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