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JUDICIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS



Superior Court, Pima County



The Superior Court in Pima County is requesting comments no later than Monday, November 15, at 3:30 p.m. regarding five applicants for a new Hearing Officer position to address the expanding need of its family law bench. The following candidates will be interviewed on Friday, November 19, 2021.

• Aaron, Michael, Esq.

• Emerson, Jordan E., Esq.

• Flynn, Joey A., Esq.

• Harris, M. June, Esq.

• Pones, Terri L., Esq.

Written remarks may be forwarded to Pima County Superior Court Human Resources via e-mail: scjobs@sc.pima.gov (cc: isaar@sc.pima.gov), or through the mail: 110 W. Congress, 9th Floor, Tucson, AZ. 85701. You may also fax (520) 724-4253. Anonymous comments will not be considered.

Please direct verbal comments to the Nominating Committee members: Hon. Danelle Liwski, Chair; Hon. Greg Sakall; Hon. Kellie L. Johnson; Hon. Renee Bennett; Joi Hollis, PhD.; Kristin Fitzharris, Esq.; Marissa Sites, Esq.; Stefan Niemiec, Esq.; and public members Pastor D. Grady Scott and Joe Peterson.

Pima County Presiding Judge Jeffrey T. Bergin will make the appointment.


MARICOPA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDICIAL NOMINEES ANNOUNCED


 
The Maricopa County Commission on Trial Court Appointments has recommended 11 candidates to Governor Doug Ducey for two openings on the Superior Court in Maricopa County.
 
Nominees for the openings created by the retirement of Judges Sherry K. Stephens and David K. Udall are:
 
Michelle Carson, Democrat, of Phoenix, Commissioner with the Superior Court in Maricopa County.

Quintin H. Cushner, Democrat, of Phoenix, a Partner at Dentons US LLP.

David W. Garbarino, Republican, of Phoenix, Commissioner with the Superior Court in Maricopa County.

Gregory J. Gnepper, Independent, of Phoenix, Commissioner with the Superior Court in Maricopa County.

Amy M. Kalman, Democrat, of Tempe, Commissioner with the Superior Court in Maricopa County.

James R. Knapp, Independent, of Phoenix, Section Chief of Financial Crimes at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona.

Suzanne J. Reed, Democrat, of Phoenix, Staff Attorney at the Arizona Supreme Court.

Michael F. Valenzuela, Independent, of Mesa, Assistant Attorney General with the Office of the Arizona Attorney General.

William R. Wingard, Independent, of Queen Creek, Commissioner with the Superior Court in Maricopa County.

Kirsten J. Wright, Democrat, of Phoenix, a Sole Practitioner at Law Offices of Kirsten Wright, PLLC.

Melissa M. Zabor, Democrat, of Tempe, Commissioner with the Superior Court in Maricopa County.
 
Governor Ducey will make the appointments.


Governor Ducey Appoints James Drake, Ashley Villaverde Halvorson and Keith Miller to Maricopa County Superior Court



October 1, 2021

PHOENIX – Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointments of James Drake, Ashley Villaverde Halvorson and Keith Miller to the Maricopa County Superior Court. These appointments are to fill vacancies created by the retirement of Judges Roger E. Brodman, Connie Coin Contes and Karen A. Mullins.

James “Jim” Drake has been serving as the nonpartisan, elected Chief Clerk and Counsel for the Arizona House of Representatives since 2015. In addition to overseeing 14 staff members, he works on questions of law regarding public records, parliamentary advice, constitutional issues, financial disclosure, and election law matters. Jim also works as of-counsel for Shannon and Fleming, P.C. in civil matters, particularly evidentiary hearings with self-represented litigants.

Prior to being elected Chief Clerk, Jim was the Assistant Secretary of State in the Secretary of State’s Office from 2009 to 2015. He oversaw approximately 140 employees under the State Law Library, State Elections, Business Services, and Archives and Public Records Divisions.

From 1996 to 2009, Jim held several positions in the Arizona House of Representatives, including Rules Attorney, Counsel to the Ethics Committee, Judiciary Committee Analyst, and Banking Committee Analyst/Staff Attorney. During his tenure as the nonpartisan Rules Attorney, Jim’s work was devoted almost exclusively to constitutional analysis under the Arizona and United States Constitutions. In addition, he has recommended and crafted amendments to cure constitutional infirmities on bills, consistently rendering nonpartisan opinions.

Jim also volunteers in the community, including as an active supporter of the Foundation for Blind Children. He has regularly participated with and guided blind and visually impaired children in a sailing expedition, Rim-to-Rim Grand Canyon hike, and swimming challenge from Alcatraz.

“Jim’s devotion to serving the public will serve the bench well. I am delighted to appoint him to the Maricopa County Superior Court,” said Governor Ducey.

Jim received his law degree from the California Western School of Law and his bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Arizona.

Ashley Villaverde Halvorson has spent her career at Jones Skelton & Hochuli, where she currently is a Partner. She primarily defends insurance companies in complex breach of contract and bad faith litigation. She also defends persons and businesses in personal injury/wrongful death litigation, including auto, premises, and dram shop liability. Additionally, Ashley was appointed as a Maricopa County Superior Court judge pro tem in 2018.

Ashley has been named a Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Star from 2013 to the present. In 2017, she was named one of the Top Lawyers Under 40 by the Hispanic National Bar Association.

Ashley has been a leader in improving diversity in the legal profession. She has been significantly involved with the Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association, including serving as its President. Ashley has been a part of the Latina Mentoring Project since she was in law school and was its very first judicial pipeline candidate. She has also been an active member of the Hispanic National Bar Association and the State Bar of Arizona Committee on Minorities and Women in the Law. In 2020, she received the State Bar of Arizona’s Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Award, which annually recognizes an attorney, judge, employer, organization or bar association that significantly advances diversity and inclusion in the Arizona legal community through creative, strategic, or innovative efforts.

“Ashley’s civil litigation experience and involvement in the community will allow her to be a strong contributor, and I am pleased to appoint her to the Maricopa County Superior Court,” said Governor Ducey.

Ashley received her bachelor’s degree cum laude in Political Science and her law degree from Arizona State University.

Keith Miller has been serving as an Associate Attorney at Fennemore since January 2020, where he primarily practices in business litigation representing a variety of clients in matters pending in state and federal courts, as well as in mediation. Additionally, he has represented clients in matters pending before state and local administrative agencies.

From 2015 to 2019, Keith was an Assistant Attorney General at the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. He initially was part of the Federalism Unit in the Solicitor General’s Office, where he was involved with several pieces of high profile litigation involving constitutional issues. In addition, he served on the Opinions Review Committee and Ethics Review Committee. He then worked in the Environmental Enforcement Section as counsel to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

Keith also worked as an Assistant Legal Counsel and Assistant Director of Career Services for Hillsdale College in Michigan from 2011 to 2015. During this time, he also coached the college’s mock trial team for 2 seasons, finishing a season with the college’s highest ranking ever.

Prior to that, Keith was a law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge James Teilborg in Phoenix from 2009 to 2011. Upon graduating from law school, Keith was an Associate Attorney at O’Melveny in Newport Beach, California from 2008 to 2009.

“Keith has a broad amount of legal experience from the private to public sectors, and I am thrilled to appoint him to the Maricopa County Superior Court,” said Governor Ducey.

Keith received his law degree from Columbia Law School and his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in Mathematics and History from Hillsdale College.



Governor Ducey Appoints Angela Paton To The Arizona Court Of Appeals



October 11, 2021
 
PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointment of Angela K. Paton to fill a vacancy on the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division I. The vacancy on the Court of Appeals was created by the retirement of Judge Lawrence F. Winthrop, who was named to the Court in 2002.

“Angela’s extensive experience in the public sector, commitment to her community, and profound respect for the separation of powers prepare her to serve the people of Arizona,” said Governor Ducey. “I am pleased to appoint her to the Arizona Court of Appeals.”
  
Angela’s appreciation for the separation of powers is rooted in her experience working in all three branches of government. Her respect for the rule of law is grounded in the Alexander Hamilton quote, “the first duty of society is justice,” which motivates her daily. 

“This quote reminds me daily why I became an attorney, and why I want to be a judge,” Angela Paton said. “My diversity of public service, love for the state in which I was raised, and respect for the rule of law will bring substantial value to the Court.”

Angela has spent the majority of her career at the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. Currently, she is a Special Assistant Attorney General, in which she is responsible for providing legal counsel and policy advice to the Attorney General’s Office’s six divisions.

Prior to her current position, she served as Assistant Solicitor General from 2017 to 2019. In this role, she was the Ethics Counsel, advising about ethics issues in her office, and the Opinions Counsel, drafting legal opinions on questions of statewide importance requested by public officials. She began her career as an Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Appeals Section from 2010 to 2013. In 2011, she received the Attorney General’s Office’s Emerging Star Award.

Angela’s public service expands throughout her career. Before rejoining the Attorney General’s Office, Angela worked as a policy advisor to Commissioner Bob Burns at the Arizona Corporation Commission from 2013 to 2017. There she handled complex utility regulation and constitutional law matters. During this time, Angela was a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). As a volunteer expert for NARUC and the U.S. Department of State, she created several presentations on utility law and policy that have been utilized by regulators in developing nations in Africa and Asia.

Angela is returning to the Court that she clerked for after law school. After graduating from law school, Angela clerked for Arizona Court of Appeals Judge Patrick Irvine.

Angela has consistently given back to the legal community. Since 2016, Angela has been serving on the Arizona Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness, where she reviews applications from prospective attorneys. She also participates in informal and formal hearings as an investigating attorney member or part of a judicial panel.

Outside of the legal community, Angela is involved with mentoring college-aged women through Chi Omega, including serving on the Mock Trial and Risk Management Committees. From 2017 to 2020, she served on the Board of Directors of Audrey’s Angels, which enriches the lives of the elderly living in small group homes through live music and interactive craft programs.

Angela received her Bachelor’s Degree in History, minoring in Spanish and Political Science, from the University of Arizona. While in college, she interned at the White House and for Senator John McCain. She then received her law degree from Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, where she was a member of the Arizona State Law Journal and served as President of the Women Law Students Association.



Governor Ducey Appoints Lacey Gard To The Pinal County Superior Court



September 16, 2021

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointment of Lacey Gard to the Pinal County Superior Court. This appointment is to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Stephen McCarville.

“Lacey has dedicated herself to serving the public and protecting the community,” said Governor Ducey. “I am delighted to appoint Lacey Gard to the Pinal County Superior Court.”

Lacey has spent nearly her entire career serving at the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. She is currently Deputy Solicitor General and Chief Counsel of the Capital Litigation Section. This Section represents the state in all post-sentencing lawsuits filed by death row inmates. Lacey also oversees all federal habeas corpus litigation filed by all other inmates. In addition to her caseload, she supervises fifteen attorneys in the Section.

Prior to becoming Chief Counsel of the Capital Litigation Section, Lacey was the Section’s Unit Chief Counsel from 2010 to 2015 and an Assistant Attorney General in the same Section from 2007 to 2010. From 2004 to 2007, she served in the Criminal Appeals Section. In 2013, she received the Arizona Attorney General’s Office Attorney of the Year Award.

While working in the Attorney General’s Office, Lacey decided to give back to her alma mater - the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. As an adjunct professor, Lacey taught advanced legal writing and appellate advocacy from 2012 to 2016.

Lacey began her career as a law clerk to Judge J. William Brammer in the Arizona Court of Appeals.

Lacey is also a member of the Arizona Supreme Court’s Capital Case Oversight Committee, where she participates in rule or statutory change debates and proposals. She has presented numerous internal, statewide, and national trainings on topics of criminal law, appellate practice, capital sentencing, and federal habeas corpus proceedings. She was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the Association of Government Attorneys in Capital Litigation.

Lacey graduated from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Arizona’s Honors College with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in political science and minoring in psychology.


Governor Ducey Appoints Megan A. McCoy To The Mohave County Superior Court



August 20, 2021

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointment of Megan A. McCoy to the Mohave County Superior Court. The vacancy on the Mohave County Superior Court was created by the retirement of Judge Charles W. Gurtler, Jr., on June 30, 2021. Under the Arizona Constitution, judges of the Superior Court in counties with a population of less than 250,000 persons are elected by the voters. When a judge retires or resigns prior to a general election, the vacancy created by the retirement or resignation is filled by gubernatorial appointment until the next general election.

“Megan’s career shows her dedication to Mohave County and she will bring that dedication to the bench to improve her community,” said Governor Ducey. “I am delighted to appoint Megan McCoy to the Mohave County Superior Court.”

Megan A. McCoy is a Kingman native whose career has been defined by public service to her community. She currently handles juvenile and family law cases in Mohave County Superior Court as a full-time Commissioner and Judge Pro Tem. Before this, Megan served the people of Mohave County as a prosecutor at the County Attorney’s Office for 13 years. Her career saw her representing the state of Arizona in thousands of cases, ranging from white-collar crimes to crimes against children. As a prosecutor, Megan also helped to draft model legislation allowing for felons to be prosecuted for “unlawful flight” when they evade marked and unmarked police cars.

Megan has received recognition on many occasions for her work as a prosecutor, and for her time spent in community involvement. In 2010, Megan was presented with the Community Partnership Award by the City of Kingman Police Department, and in both 2013 and 2014, she was the recipient of the Outstanding Task Force Award, presented to her by the Arizona High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). In 2013, Megan was named the Arizona Narcotic Officers Association Prosecutor of the Year.

Megan is a native of Mohave County, having graduated from Kingman High School in 2000. She remains involved in her community in several volunteer roles. Among them, Megan is a Troop Co-Leader for the Girl Scouts, as well as a member of the Crossover Youth Governance Board. She also volunteers at local schools where she gives presentations about the law.

Megan graduated with her law degree from Georgetown University in 2006. Prior to this, she graduated from the University of California San Diego in 2003, where she majored in Political Science, with minors in Legal Studies and Literature/Writing.


Governor Ducey Appoints Glenn Allen, Andrew Russell and Lisa Wahlin To The Maricopa County Superior Court



July 23, 2021

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointments of Glenn Allen, Andrew Russell and Lisa Wahlin to the Maricopa County Superior Court. These appointments are to fill vacancies created by the retirements of Judges Arthur T. Anderson, Dawn M. Bergin and John C. Rea.

Glenn Allen has been serving since 2016 as a Commissioner for the Maricopa County Superior Court, where he currently presides over criminal matters. He previously served on the juvenile bench and was in charge of the Family Treatment Court for parents in substance abuse-related dependencies.

Prior to being a Commissioner, Glenn was a criminal defense attorney as a sole practitioner and in small firms. He also handled personal injury cases, with an emphasis on assisting cyclists injured in car accidents. In addition, he has handled real estate transactions, general business law and litigation, and product liability cases. From 2015 to 2016, he also served as a Judge Pro Tem for the Maricopa County Superior Court. Glenn began his career at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office from 2002 to 2003.

Moreover, Glenn was a small business owner, as his family owned and operated a cycling and triathlon retail business in Scottsdale called Tribe Multisport from 2011 to 2016. From 2003 to 2011, Glenn held his real estate license and was an officer at Lawyer’s Realty of Arizona.

Glenn is a board member of the Maricopa County Bar Association, and he currently serves as its Secretary.

“Glenn brings a unique perspective to the bench from his experiences as a judicial officer, attorney, and small business owner. I am delighted to appoint him to the Maricopa County Superior Court,” said Governor Ducey.

Glenn received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Utah. He then received his law degree summa cum laude from the Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law.

Andrew “Andy” Russell has been serving as Commissioner for the Maricopa County Superior Court since 2014. He currently serves as a Special Assignment Commissioner, in which he covers judge calendars as needed and must be able to adjudicate all types of cases. He has broad judicial experience having previously presided over civil, criminal, family, juvenile and probate matters.

Prior to being a Commissioner, Andy practiced commercial and appellate litigation at Kutak Rock, LLP for 8 years. Before that, he worked at Lieberman Dodge Gerding & Anderson, Ltd. and Cavanagh Law Firm.

Andy began his legal career by clerking for Judge Noel Fidel of the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One.

Andy is actively involved with the Thurgood Marshall Inn of the Court, including serving as its President from 2010 to 2011. He also served on the Executive Committee of the Arizona Judges Association and the State Bar’s Elder Law, Mental Health, and Special Needs Planning Executive Council.

“Andy is trusted to be a pinch hitter for the Maricopa County Superior Court. His broad judicial and commercial experience will allow him to be a strong contributor, and I am pleased to appoint him to the Maricopa County Superior Court,” said Governor Ducey.

Andy graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, majoring in Music. He subsequently taught music in public schools in California. He then received his law degree from the Washington and Lee University School of Law.

Lisa Wahlin has been serving since 2017 as General Counsel for the Arizona Department of Public Safety, where she provides legal advice on decisions impacting the agency. Previously, she served as General Counsel and Deputy Director for the Arizona State Lottery from 2016 to 2017. From 2015 to 2016, she served as an assistant city attorney for the City of Goodyear, where she provided day-to-day legal advice to various city departments and reviewed city contracts.

Lisa also worked in private practice as a civil litigator for 8 years, including at Jones, Skelton & Hochuli and at Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. During this time, she also served as a Judge Pro Tem for the Maricopa County Superior Court from 2011 to 2014.

Lisa began her career in the public sector and over a 15-year period, she worked for several agencies including the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office’s, Arizona Attorney General’s Office and Phoenix City Prosecutor’s Office. During this time, she was also an adjunct professor for Grand Canyon University in the Public Safety Administration Programs and an instructor for the Arizona Law Enforcement Academy.

Among other organizations, Lisa has been active with the Arizona Law Enforcement Legal Advisors Association, including serving as its President. Lisa also serves on the Robinson Ranch Board of Directors, which provides equine-assisted learning and horse therapy.

“Lisa’s devotion to protecting the public will serve the bench well. She brings a plethora of experience from public safety to contracts to civil litigation. I am thrilled to appoint her to the Maricopa County Superior Court,” said Governor Ducey.

Lisa graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from Texas A&M University. She subsequently worked as a substitute teacher and microbiologist. She then received her law degree from Arizona State University.



Governor Ducey Appoints Kimberly Ortiz To The Pima County Superior Court


July 23, 2021

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointment of Kimberly Ortiz to the Pima County Superior Court to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Paul E. Tang.

“Kim has given so much to the Southern Arizona community as a Judge Pro Tem, as a prosecutor, and as a professor. I am pleased to appoint her to the Pima County Superior Court,” said Governor Ducey.

Kimberly “Kim” Ortiz has been serving as a Judge Pro Tem on the Pima County Superior Court since November 2018. She is one of three full-time Judges Pro Tem permanently assigned to the criminal bench. In this role, she handles a full criminal docket and regularly hears appeals from the Tucson City and Pima County Justice Courts.

Kim also teaches as an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona College of Law, her alma mater. She has been teaching Sentencing Law since 2011 and previously taught at the Arizona Attorney General Rule 38(e) Prosecution Clinic from 2005 to 2018.

Prior to being appointed as a Judge Pro Tem, Kim was a prosecutor at the Arizona Attorney General’s (“AG”) Office for nearly 20 years. She ultimately served as Section Chief Counsel for the Southern Arizona White Collar & Criminal Enterprise Section from 2011 to 2018. As Section Chief, Kim managed all criminal cases initiated by the AG’s Office in Southern Arizona. She reviewed and approved felony charges against more than 1,700 defendants, and helped more than 3,000 victims recover restitution totaling over $34,000,000. She additionally handled personnel, budget, legislative and grant writing matters. Kim also served on the Wiretap, Ethics and Brady Committees. During her time as an Assistant Attorney General, she also handled civil forfeiture cases and defended medical malpractice claims in the Liability Management Section.

Kim began her career working at the Santa Cruz County Attorney’s Office from 1994 to 1999. She was a Drug Enforcement Unit Supervisor and prosecuted drug cases in high intensity drug trafficking areas.

In 2018, Kim was recognized by the State Bar of Arizona through the prestigious Michael C. Cudahy Criminal Justice Award. This award recognizes one criminal law prosecutor per year in Arizona who has worked tirelessly to advance the principles of criminal justice by representing the public’s interest with integrity, fairness, tenacity, creativity, brilliance and, above all, professionalism.

Kim received her Bachelor’s degree in English from Columbia University. She then received her J.D. from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law.






FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 8, 2021

Governor Ducey Appoints Kathryn Hackett King To The Arizona Supreme Court




PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointment of Kathryn Hackett King, a member of the Arizona Board of Regents and University of Arizona College of Law graduate, to the Arizona Supreme Court.

King brings a breadth of private and public experience to the bench, from her background in complex civil litigation to her work in all three branches of government. King is the fifth woman in Arizona history to serve on the Supreme Court.

“Kate’s strong belief in the separation of powers and experience serving in all three branches of government will serve the people of Arizona well,” said Governor Ducey. “I have witnessed her intelligence and wisdom firsthand, and I know she is well-respected in the legal field. I am delighted to appoint Kate to the Arizona Supreme Court.”

King is currently a partner at BurnsBarton PLC, a woman-owned law firm made up of big firm attorneys. Her practice is dedicated to representing private and public employers in employment litigation and related civil matters. She has worked on a wide range of legal matters including those involving discrimination, harassment, disability law, wage and hour law, drug testing, medical marijuana, restrictive covenants, torts and breach of contract claims. She routinely drafts employment agreements and other contracts and conducts investigations of allegations of discrimination, harassment and other workplace misconduct. She has also represented clients before administrative agencies, such as the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. King began her private practice career at Snell & Wilmer LLP, where she practiced in the areas of employment law and commercial and business litigation.

From 2015 to 2017, King served as Deputy General Counsel to Governor Ducey, where she assisted with legal issues involving the Governor’s Office and executive agencies. She advised Governor Ducey on constitutional, statutory and other legal requirements of the Office.

King is returning to the Court that she clerked for after law school. She clerked for Arizona Supreme Court Justice Michael D. Ryan from 2007 to 2008. During law school, among other positions, she was a Legal Fellow for Senator Jon Kyl and an extern for federal Judge Earl Carroll of the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.

King gives back to the community in several ways, including currently serving on the Arizona Board of Regents, which is the governing body of Arizona’s public university system. She was a member of the Arizona Civil Rights Advisory Board from 2016-2020, serving as Vice Chair from 2019-2020. In that role, she helped draft legislation creating a civil cause of action and remedy for human trafficking victims, which Governor Ducey signed in March 2021.

In addition, King is a member of the Arizona Women Lawyers Association and a mentor for the Latina Mentoring Project. She has provided pro bono legal services to non-profit organizations serving the homeless and through the Volunteer Lawyers Program of Community Legal Services. In 2011, the Volunteer Lawyers Program awarded her the Consumer Litigator of the Year for her pro bono representation.

King was also recently recognized as a Southwest Super Lawyer in the area of Labor and Employment.

King graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Political Science and minoring in History. She then obtained her law degree from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, where she served as the Note and Comment Editor on the Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law.

This appointment fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Justice Andrew Gould.



Governor Ducey Appoints Stasy Click And David McDowell To The Maricopa County Superior Court



March 9, 2021

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointments of David McDowell and Stasy Click to the Maricopa County Superior Court. These appointments are to fill vacancies created by the retirement of Judges Douglas Gerlach and Jeanne Garcia.

Stasy Click is an experienced family law practitioner who has had her own firm since 2009. She also takes on pro bono cases representing victim’s rights in criminal proceedings and preparing wills for first responders through Wills for Heroes. In addition, Stasy has been serving as a Judge Pro Tempore for the Maricopa County Superior Court since 2018, presiding over family and criminal law cases. While managing her firm, Stasy also worked as a family law attorney with the ASU Alumni Law Group from 2015 to 2017. Additionally, she was a Family Law Clinic Supervisor, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Family and Community Property Law, for Arizona Summit Law School from 2012 to 2015.

Prior to opening her firm, Stasy was a civil and family law associate at Burch & Cracchiolo from 2005 to 2009. Prior to that, she was the Director of ASU’s Victim’s Legal Assistance project from 2001 to 2004, where she implemented the nation’s first pro bono legal clinic representing crime victims. During this time, she also served as a Judge Pro Tempore for the Gilbert Municipal Court and as an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Law for the University of Phoenix. Stasy also has a strong criminal background, having worked in both the Maricopa County and Pima County Attorney’s Offices, as well as a criminal defense attorney for local firms.

Stasy has been recognized as a Southwest Super Lawyer for several years. Currently, she serves on the Board of the Family Law Section for the Maricopa County Bar Association. She has volunteered for many years with Operation Stand Down, aiding homeless veterans in family and criminal court matters, and with the Children’s Law Center, assisting the Court in determining if child abuse has occurred in family law matters.

“Stasy’s vast experience and passion for giving back to the profession and local community in a multitude of ways makes her an excellent addition to the bench. I am pleased to appoint her to the Maricopa County Superior Court,” said Governor Ducey.

Stasy majored in Philosophy and minored in Political Science at Drake University in Iowa, graduating cum laude. Thereafter, she graduated from the University of Arizona College of Law.

David McDowell has been a partner at Rose Law Group pc since 2014 and serves as the head of Litigation, managing the department and overseeing all of the firm’s litigation. His practice is focused on civil litigation matters, consisting of premise and product liability litigation, contract and real estate disputes, administrative agency proceedings, and employment claims. His practice also includes transactional matters, encompassing commercial real estate purchase and sale agreements, financing documents, contracts with governmental agencies, company governance documents, and employment agreements. Since 2017, David also has been serving as a Judge Pro Tempore for the Maricopa County Superior Court handling civil settlement conferences.

Before joining Rose Law Group, David was co-managing shareholder of Renaud Cook Drury Mesaros, PA, where he managed a firm of 110 employees. Throughout his career, he has practiced in nearly every major area of the law.

From 2016 to 2018, David served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Phoenix Zoo/Arizona Center for Nature Conservation. He has been a Fiesta Bowl parade volunteer and donated his time with various nonprofit organizations such as UMOM and Big Brothers and Big Sisters. He also volunteered with the State Bar of Arizona’s program aiding Hurricane Katrina victims who had relocated to Arizona in 2006.

“David’s leadership and complex commercial experience will make him a valued member of the judiciary. I am delighted to appoint him to the Maricopa County Superior Court,” said Governor Ducey.

David received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with honors from Washington State University. He then received his law degree from the University of Idaho, graduating with honors.



Governor Ducey Appoints Stacy Krueger To The Coconino County Superior Court


2/25/21

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointment of Stacy Krueger to the Coconino County Superior Court to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Mark R. Moran.

In 2018, Coconino County voters opted to move from elections for judges on the Superior Court to merit selection where the Coconino County Trial Court Commission makes recommendations to the Governor for appointments to fill judicial vacancies. Stacy is the Governor’s first appointment to the Coconino County Superior Court through this new process.

“Stacy’s dedication and service to the Coconino County community is an asset to the bench,” said Governor Ducey. “I am pleased to announce Stacy’s appointment to the Coconino County Superior Court.”

Stacy Krueger
Stacy has devoted her life to public service as a prosecutor with the Coconino County Attorney’s Office. She prosecutes felony cases and manages an average caseload of 50 to 80 cases at any given time. Although she handles a wide variety of felony cases, her focus is on prosecuting domestic violence cases. In addition, she supervises prosecutors who serve in Coconino County’s specialty courts including Veterans’ Court, Recovery Court, Mental Health Court, and Page Drug Court.

Stacy’s service extends outside the office through volunteer work for the High Country Stand Down for Veterans and for Wills for Heroes events. Additionally, she has volunteered her time with the Northland Family Help Center, Big Brothers & Big Sisters, and the Flagstaff Family Food Center events. Stacy graduated from Coconino County’s Executive Leadership Academy, which trains future leaders. In 2018, Stacy was named the Arizona Prosecutor of the Year by Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Citizen of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers - Arizona Chapter, Branch 3.

Stacy graduated cum laude from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with a Bachelor of Arts in History, minoring in Women’s Studies. While in college, she played on the Division I women’s basketball team with a full athletic scholarship. She then obtained magna cum laude a Master of Science in Education from Youngstown State University in Ohio. She subsequently received her law degree magna cum laude from the University of Toledo in Ohio.



Governor Ducey Appoints Jeffrey Sklar, Lisa Abrams And Gary Cohen To The Pima County Superior Court



1/19/2021

PHOENIX⁠ — Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointments of Jeffrey Sklar, Lisa Abrams and Gary Cohen to the Pima County Superior Court to fill the vacancies created by the appointment of Judge John Hinderaker to the United States District Court, District of Arizona and the retirement of Judges Gus Aragón and Leslie Miller.

Jeffrey Sklar is a Partner at Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie, where he has been a commercial litigator since 2010. He represents businesses and business owners in various legal disputes, and he has experience in eminent domain, antitrust, receiverships, and bankruptcy law. He also serves as outside general counsel to the Metropolitan Domestic Water Improvement District and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. In addition, Sklar has been serving since 2018 as a Pima County Superior Court Judge Pro Tem, where he handles civil and family law related settlement conferences.

Before joining Lewis Roca, Sklar practiced at Irell & Manella in Los Angeles, California as a commercial litigator, which included intellectual property litigation. After law school, he clerked for then Justice Scott Bales of the Arizona Supreme Court. Sklar has been repeatedly named to Benchmark Litigation’s 40 & Under Hot List and as a Rising Star by Southwest Super Lawyers.

Sklar dedicates substantial time to pro bono cases through Southern Arizona Legal Aid and Step Up to Justice, focusing on consumer and landlord/tenant issues. In 2019, he was recognized by Southern Arizona Legal Aid as a volunteer of the month and by the Arizona Bar Foundation as one of the top 50 pro bono attorneys in the state. Sklar also serves on the Board of Directors of Interfaith Community Services, a local social services organization devoted to helping people in need achieve healthy, stable and independent lives.

“Jeff’s intellect and dedication to the southern Arizona community will be an asset to the bench,” said Governor Ducey. “I am pleased to announce Jeff’s appointment to the Pima County Superior Court.”

Sklar graduated summa cum laude from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Political Science, minoring in Spanish. He also served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Arizona Daily Wildcat. He then received his law degree from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, where he graduated in the top 10% of his class and served as Executive Notes Editor on the Southern California Law Review.

Lisa Abrams has been serving since 2010 as a Commissioner for the Pima County Superior Court. She is currently on the Juvenile bench and has previously served on the Family Law and Probate benches. She also volunteers as a judge for the Juvenile Court's Dependency Alternative Program, which diverts eligible dependency cases out of the traditional dependency route. Abrams also serves on the Pima County Superior Court’s Security Emergency Preparedness Committee and the Arizona Supreme Court’s Commission on Minorities in the Judiciary.

Prior to joining the bench, Abrams was a Partner at Karp & Weiss, where she practiced primarily in the areas of family, juvenile, and school law. Before that, Abrams was legal counsel for the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD), for which she handled diverse issues in education, employment, and civil matters. She also provided legal training to thousands of TUSD teachers, administrators, and students.

Abrams began her career at the Pima County Public Defender’s Office, where she handled misdemeanor and felony cases ranging from DUI to murder charges. Abrams also served as a judicial law clerk/bailiff for Pima County Superior Court Judge Michael Brown after graduating from law school.

Among her volunteer work, Abrams devotes substantial time to animal rescue organizations, In the Arms of Angels and Humane Society of Southern Arizona. From 2012 to 2015, she served on the Board of Directors of the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.

“Lisa’s broad experience in the public and private sectors, as well as her judicial experience, will allow her to quickly contribute to the Court,” said Governor Ducey. “I am delighted to announce Lisa’s appointment to the Pima County Superior Court.”

Abrams graduated magna cum laude from Smith College in Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Arts in Government, minoring in Economics. She then received her law degree from the University of Arizona College of Law.

Gary Cohen is a Partner at Mesch Clark Rothschild where he has practiced since 1993. His current practice includes government defense, personal injury, commercial litigation, employment, and appellate matters. Over his career, he has also handled class actions, vulnerable adult claims, and minor criminal matters. In addition, Cohen has been serving as a Judge Pro Tem for Pima County Superior Court since 2004, as a mediator for civil cases.

From 2011 to 2017, Cohen was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law teaching pre-trial litigation. Cohen was also on the Executive Committee of the State Bar of Arizona’s Appellate Practice Section from 2006 to 2010, including serving as its Chair.

Cohen has been named to Best Lawyers in America and Southwest Super Lawyers since 2017. In 2012, Cohen was named “Best Writer” in a survey of Pima County Bar Association Members.

Cohen has given back to the southern Arizona community for many years. From 2017 to 2019, he was an Honorary Commander at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, and he has been an Arizona Local Board Member of the Selective Service System since 2010. Cohen has also served as a board member for several non-profit organizations over the years, including the Children’s Museum Tucson (2011-2017), Make-A-Wish Foundation Southern Arizona (2008-2010), Tucson Fiesta Bowl Committee (2005-2008), and Tucson Jewish Community Center (2003-2009).

“Gary’s commercial experience, including in complex civil cases, will bring a unique perspective and skillset to the bench,” said Governor Ducey. “I am happy to announce Gary’s appointment to the Pima County Superior Court.”

Gary graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He then received his law degree from the University of Arizona College of Law. During law school, Gary was a member of the Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law.

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