APPLICATIONS PUBLIC ASKED FOR INPUT ON CANDIDATES FOR MARICOPA SUPERIOR COURT VACANCY
February 15, 2018
The Maricopa County Commission on Trial Court Appointments is seeking public input on 11 candidates for an opening on the Superior Court in Maricopa County.
The candidates are:
Scott A. Blaney
Melissa Iyer Julian
Joseph S. Kiefer
Margaret B. LaBianca
Julie A. LaFave
Sigmund G. Popko
Andrew J. Russell
Aryeh D. Schwartz
Annielaurie Van Wie
Tracey J. Westerhausen
Sara R. Witthoft
Their applications can be viewed online at the Commission’s website, http://azcourts.gov/jnc.
The Commission will meet to interview the candidates on March 21, 2018. The meeting will be held in room 345 of the Arizona State Courts Building, 1501 W. Washington, Phoenix, AZ 85007, starting at 8:30 a.m. The interview agenda will be posted on the Commission’s website at least 7 days prior to the meeting.
Citizens may address the Commission on the day of the meeting or send written comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or to 1501 W. Washington, Suite 221, Phoenix, AZ 85007. It is not necessary to submit multiple copies of written comments, and email is preferred. Comments must be received no later than March 16th to be considered. Anonymous comments cannot be considered.
After the interviews, the Commission will recommend at least three nominees for the opening to Governor Doug Ducey, who will appoint the new judge.
APPLICATIONS BEING ACCEPTED FOR A VACANCY ON THE PIMA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT
January 31, 2018
Applications are being accepted for a vacancy on the Superior Court in Pima County, created by the retirement of Judge Richard S. Fields.
The Pima County Commission on Trial Court Appointments will review applications, interview selected applicants, and recommend at least three nominees for the vacancy to Governor Doug Ducey, who will appoint the new judge.
The most current judicial application form (revised January 2017) can be downloaded at the Judicial Department website: www.azcourts.gov/jnc. Applications may also be obtained from the Administrative Office of the Courts, Human Resources Department, 1501 W. Washington, Suite 221, Phoenix, by calling (602) 452-3311, or by sending an electronic mail request email@example.com.
Applicants must be at least 30 years of age, of good moral character, admitted to the practice of law in Arizona, as well as a resident of Arizona, for the past five years and a resident of Pima County for the past year.
Applicants for the recent vacancies in Pima County must reapply to be considered for the new vacancy.
A signed original application with all attachments and a searchable .pdf version of the application and attachments must be submitted to the Administrative Office of the Courts, Human Resources Department, 1501 W. Washington, Suite 221, Phoenix, AZ, 85007, by 3:00 p.m. on March 2, 2018.
The Commission may, at its discretion, use the applications filed for this vacancy to nominate candidates for any additional vacancies known to the Commission before the screening meeting for this vacancy is held.
All meetings of the Pima County Commission on Trial Court Appointments are open to the public. Meeting dates will be announced.
The new judge will be paid $149,382.60 annually.
GOVERNOR DUCEY APPOINTS FIVE JUDGES TO FILL CRITICAL VACANCIES AT MARICOPA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT
January 3, 2018
PHOENIX– Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointments of Sara J. Agne, Suzanne Scheiner Marwil, Justin Beresky, Lisa VandenBerg and Kevin Wein to the Maricopa County Superior Court. These appointments are to fill vacancies resulting from the retirement of five judges.
Sara Agne is a partner in the special litigation and compliance practice group at Snell & Wilmer. She has practiced at the firm since her graduation from the University of Michigan Law School, and has served on the firm’s hiring and ethics committees. While at Snell & Wilmer, Sara litigated commercial disputes, election law and constitutional issues before Arizona and federal courts at all levels. A former journalist, Sara worked for the East Valley Tribune and the Associated Press before attending law school. While in practice, she concentrated her pro bono service efforts on work for immigrants and refugees.
“Sara’s demonstrated commitment to the improvement of the judicial system and the law makes her a perfect fit for the bench,” said Governor Ducey. “I am pleased to appoint Sara Agne to the Maricopa County Superior Court.”
Sara is a current member of the Arizona Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules of Evidence and of the State Bar of Arizona Civil Practice and Procedure Committee. Sara often served as a proxy for members of the Arizona Supreme Court’s Committee on Civil Justice Reform and its Task Force on the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure, assisting with the rules reform and restyling efforts of both groups.
Before becoming a lawyer, Sara graduated magna cum laude from Arizona State University with a B.A. in Journalism and served as Editor in Chief of the University’s morning daily, The State Press, while completing her senior year of college.
Justin Beresky is a Commissioner at the Maricopa County Superior Court. He graduated from the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor of Arts in Education. In 1997, Justin earned his law degree from the University of Idaho College of Law.
Justin began his legal career in 1998 in a small civil practice prior to becoming a felony prosecutor in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. In 2001, Justin formed Beresky & Fish where he practiced criminal defense law, family law, personal injury, bankruptcy, and general civil litigation.
In 2013, Justin began serving as a Maricopa County Superior Court Commissioner. He has been assigned to the Probation Violation Court, designated a Special Assignment Commissioner, assumed two family calendars over the course of one year, completed an assignment on the criminal bench, and is currently assigned to a family calendar.
“Justin’s versatility and ability to pick up any assignment and work to improve it is admirable,” said Governor Ducey. “He will be a great addition to the court.”
Suzanne Scheiner Marwil graduated summa cum laude from the University of California-Berkeley in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. In 1997, she obtained her law degree from Yale Law School. Following law school, Suzanne clerked for the Honorable Vaughn R. Walker at the District Court for the Northern District of California.
After her clerkship, Suzanne joined the law firm of Pillsbury Madison & Sutro in San Francisco, and in 2001 moved back to Phoenix to work for Brown and Bain. In 2005, Suzanne left the private sector to serve as a staff attorney for the Industrial Commission of Arizona and was appointed an Administrative Law Judge at the Industrial Commission in 2011. Since 2015, Suzanne has been an Administrative Law Judge at the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings, hearing cases involving various agencies, including the Registrar of Contractors, Department of Real Estate, Department of Insurance, and Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System.
During the course of her career, Suzanne has practiced in the areas of appellate, intellectual property, probate and consumer protection litigation. She also has experience in tribal, contract, election, employment and antitrust law.
“Suzanne’s experience in various areas of the law will be an asset to the Maricopa County Superior Court,” said Governor Ducey. “I am honored to appoint Suzanne to the Court."
Lisa VandenBerg serves as a Commissioner at the Maricopa County Superior Court, currently in the Juvenile Division where she leads the Family Treatment Court. Lisa was previously a prosecutor for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for five years, where she worked in the Juvenile Division, Preliminary Division, and handled jury and bench trials. Lisa then served as a Staff Attorney for the Arizona Corporation Commission for three years, where she handled legal issues associated with utility regulation, community meetings, the Office of Pipeline Safety and employment law.
“I have no doubt that Lisa will work hard as she jumps into her new role,” said Governor Ducey. “She will be an asset to the citizens of Maricopa County and the judiciary.”
In 2005, Lisa was appointed a Maricopa County Superior Court Commissioner. Lisa recently rotated from the Probate Division where she proudly served as Presiding Commissioner, in addition to handling civil, family, and criminal cases. She has presided over pre-trial hearings, jury/bench trials, probate and criminal settlement conferences, initial appearances and arraignments, changes of plea, orders of protection, injunctions against harassment, and lower court appeals, and served in various problem-solving courts.
Lisa received a Bachelor of Science in History from Lyon College in Arkansas in 1994. She graduated from Widener University School of Law in Pennsylvania. She has been licensed to practice law in Arizona since 1997.
Kevin Wein also currently serves as a Commissioner on the Maricopa County Superior Court assigned to the criminal bench. Prior to serving as a commissioner, Kevin was an associate at Brown and Bain and Steptoe & Johnson. He worked as an attorney for Doyle Raizner LLP and served as Special Counsel at Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh Jardine prior to being appointed as a Commissioner in 2015.
“Kevin is a great addition to the court," said Governor Ducey. "His commitment to the rule of law will serve the citizens of Arizona well.”
Kevin’s law practice focused on commercial litigation and representation of plaintiffs in insurance bad faith and catastrophic personal injury actions. During his time at Steptoe, he conducted internal investigations for large public agencies and was part of a team that conducted an 18-month internal investigation on behalf of a public pension fund in California.
Kevin graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a focus on International Relations from York University in Toronto, Canada in 1997. Kevin earned his Master of Arts degree in International Affairs from George Washington University in 1999 and then attended the Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law, earning his law degree magna cum laude in 2003.
PIMA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDICIAL NOMINEES ANNOUNCED
December 19, 2017
The Pima County Commission on Trial Court Appointments has recommended five candidates to Governor Doug Ducey for one current and one future opening on the Superior Court in Pima County.
Nominees for the opening created by the appointment of Judge Sean E. Brearcliffe to Division Two of the Arizona Court of Appeals are:
John Hinderaker, Democrat, Partner at Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie, LLP.
Scott D. McDonald, Independent, Director at Fennemore Craig, P.C.
Casey F. McGinley, Republican, Judge Pro Tempore with the Superior Court in Pima County.
Lee Ann Roads, Republican, Hearing Officer with the Superior Court in Pima County.
Laurie B. San Angelo, Democrat, Commissioner with the Superior Court in Pima County.
These candidates are also nominated for a vacancy that will occur on January 23, 2018 with the retirement of Judge Sarah R. Simmons.
Governor Ducey will make the appointments.
NOMINEES FOR ARIZONA COURT OF APPEALS ANNOUNCED
December 5, 2017
The Commission on Appellate Court Appointments has recommended seven nominees to Governor Doug Ducey for an opening on Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals.
The nominees for the opening created by the retirement of Judge Margaret H. Downie are:
David B. Gass, Democrat, a Judge at the Superior Court in Maricopa County.
Jay M. Polk, Republican, a Judge at the Superior Court in Maricopa County.
Adele G. Ponce, Republican, Assistant Attorney General at the Office of the Arizona Attorney General.
Patricia A. Starr, Independent, a Judge at the Superior Court in Maricopa County.
Timothy J. Thomason, Republican, a Judge at the Superior Court in Maricopa County.
Randall H. Warner, Democrat, a Judge at the Superior Court in Maricopa County.
David D. Weinzweig, Independent, Partner at Ellman Weinzweig, LLC.
Governor Ducey will appoint the new judge.
Division One of the Court of Appeals hears cases arising in Apache, Coconino, La Paz, Maricopa, Mohave, Navajo, Yavapai and Yuma counties.
PINAL COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDICIAL NOMINEES ANNOUNCED
OCTOBER 20, 2017
The Pinal County Commission on Trial Court Appointments has recommended five candidates to Governor Doug Ducey for an opening on the Superior Court in Pinal County.
Nominees for the opening created by the appointment of Judge Karl C. Eppich to Division Two of the Arizona Court of Appeals are:
Barbara A. Hazel, Republican, Deputy Public Defender with the Pinal County Public Defender’s Office.
DeLana Jacobs Fuller, Democrat, Commissioner with the Superior Court in Pinal County.
Christopher J. O’Neil, Republican, Presiding Judge of the Casa Grande Municipal Court.
Megan K. Weagant, Independent, Commissioner with the Superior Court in Pinal County.
Lawrence M. Wharton, Republican, Commissioner with the Superior Court in Pinal County.
Governor Ducey will make the appointment.
GOVERNOR DUCEY APPOINTS MICHAEL MANDELL TO THE MARICOPA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT
OCTOBER 19, 2017
PHOENIX— Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointment of Michael Mandell as a Judge on the Maricopa County Superior Court.
Michael has served as a Commissioner for the Maricopa County Superior Court since 2013. He has presided over family court and civil calendars and also served as the Presiding Family Court Commissioner.
Michael started his law career as a law clerk for Arizona Court of Appeals Judge Noel Fidel and has extensive legal experience, including complex commercial litigation, constitutional law, election law, and business transactions. He practiced at the Phoenix law firms of Perkins Coie Brown & Bain and Burch & Cracchiolo prior to his appointment as a court commissioner. Michael also worked as legal counsel for the minority caucus in the Arizona House of Representatives and the Arizona State Senate. Michael’s responsibilities as a legislative staffer included legislative drafting, statutory interpretation and constitutional analysis.
Michael graduatedsumma cum laudefrom Arizona State University in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and he graduatedcum laudeand Order of the Coif from Arizona State University College of Law in 1998.
“Michael’s breadth of experience in the legal profession makes him well-qualified for the bench,” said Governor Ducey. “I am pleased to appoint Michael Mandell to the Maricopa County Superior Court.”
This appointment was made to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Edward Bassett.
GOVERNOR DUCEY APPOINTS JENNIFER PERKINS AND JAMES MORSE TO THE ARIZONA COURT OF APPEALS, DIVISION ONE
September 29, 2017
PHOENIX— Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointments of Jennifer Perkins and James Morse to the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One.
Jennifer Perkins is an Assistant Solicitor General in the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. Her responsibilities include serving as trial and appellate counsel on litigation matters involving the State of Arizona. She manages the drafting, editing and issuance of formal Attorney General advisory opinions on legal issues of first impression relating to the operation of state government. She also serves as ethics counsel to Attorney General Mark Brnovich and his staff of approximately 400 attorneys.
Jennifer began her legal career at the New Mexico firm of Browning & Peifer and as a law clerk for the Honorable James O. Browning in the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico. After relocating to Arizona, Jennifer worked at the Arizona Chapter of the Institute for Justice where she handled litigation involving property rights, First Amendment issues and economic liberties. Jennifer later served as disciplinary counsel at the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct and was of counsel with Mandel Young PLC, an appellate specialty firm in Phoenix.
Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs from George Washington University in 1999 and her law degree from the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, graduating in 2002.
“Jennifer has devoted her professional career to defending constitutional principles and upholding the highest standards of ethics in the legal community. Jennifer will be a fantastic judge on the Court of Appeals,” said Governor Ducey.
James (Jim) Morse is an Assistant United States Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and has substantial experience in federal criminal investigations and prosecutions. Jim is currently the Section Chief of the Southwest Border Crimes Section. He has also worked in the office’s Organized Crime and Drug Prosecutions Unit.
Jim began his legal career in private practice at Baker & Botts in Dallas, Texas. After returning to Phoenix in 1999, he joined Snell & Wilmer L.L.P. While in private practice, Jim practiced in the area of employee benefits, federal income and excise tax, employment and executive compensation law. He drafted pension, stock option, deferred compensation and welfare benefit plans for employers.
Jim served as a law clerk for Judge James Teilborg of the U.S. District Court, District of Arizona in 2003. He began his career in law enforcement in 2004 at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, where he prosecuted special crimes, probation violations and preliminary hearings and was later promoted to Assistant Bureau Chief for the Drug Enforcement Bureau.
Jim is a native Arizonan, who attended elementary school on Mt. Lemmon and high school in St. Johns, Arizona. He is a 1991 graduate,magna cum laude, of Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a 1995 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law.
“Jim has demonstrated a commitment to pursuing justice and upholding the rule of law,” said Governor Ducey. “I am pleased to appoint Jim to the Arizona Court of Appeals.”
The appointments of Jennifer Perkins and Jim Morse were made to fill the vacancies created by the retirement of Judges Donn Kessler and Patricia K. Norris.
JUDGE SEAN BREARCLIFFE APPOINTED TO THE ARIZONA COURT OF APPEALS, DIVISION TWO
September 20, 2017
Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointment of Judge Sean Brearcliffe to the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division Two.
Judge Brearcliffe graduated in 1991 from California State University-Hayward with a Bachelor’s of Arts in English. Prior to attending California State, Judge Brearcliffe enlisted in the Air Force and served until 1989. He obtained his Juris Doctor at Golden Gate University School of Law where he was the President of the student chapter of The Federalist Society.
After law school, Judge Brearcliffe worked in Tucson for the Law Offices of Richard D. Burris for 2 years, and then practiced for 15 years at Rusing, Lopez & Lizardi as a Senior Litigation Partner. While in private practice, he generally practiced civil and commercial litigation with a focus on business and contract disputes and construction law.
In 2013, Judge Brearcliffe was appointed to the Pima County Superior Court by Governor Brewer. He served three years on the family bench, and is currently serving on the criminal bench.
Judge Brearcliffe is a member of the Arizona Judges Association, Arizona Supreme Court Access to Justice Committee, The Federalist Society, and DM-50. Judge Brearcliffe is a past-President of the Tucson Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and former Chairman of the Federal Bar Association's Professional Ethics Committee.
“Judge Brearcliffe has earned a reputation as an outstanding attorney, judge and leader. His service to the citizens of Arizona is very impressive,” said Governor Ducey. “I am pleased to appoint Judge Brearcliffe to the Arizona Court of Appeals.”
The appointment of Judge Brearcliffe was made to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Michael O. Miller.
PIMA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDICIAL NOMINEES ANNOUNCED
August 21, 2017
After the Pima County Commission on Trial Court Appointments voted on the slate of nominees in July, it was discovered that a nominee’s political affiliation had changed. Consequently, the list did not meet the requirements of article 6, § 37(B) of the Arizona Constitution.
The Commission voted on a new list and has recommended five candidates to Governor Doug Ducey for two openings on the Pima County Superior Court.
Nominees for the openings created by the retirement of Judges Jane L. Eikleberry and Richard Nichols are:
- Renee T. Bennett, Republican, Volunteer with Tucson Charities including, Southern Arizona Greyhound Adoption, Keeling Elementary School and other groups.
- John Hinderaker, Democrat, Partner at Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie, LLP.
- Mark D. Lammers, Democrat, Partner at Rusing Lopez & Lizardi, PLLC.
- Nanette C. Morrow, Republican, Assistant Attorney General with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.
- Wayne E. Yehling, Democrat, Commissioner with the Pima County Superior Court.
Governor Ducey will make the appointments.
GOVERNOR DUCEY APPOINTS JOHN NAPPER TO THE YAVAPAI COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT
Aug 8, 2017
PHOENIX— Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointment of John D. Napper to the Yavapai County Superior Court.
John currently serves as a Judge Pro Tem for the Yavapai County Superior Court, a position to which he was appointed in December 2016. He currently presides over civil and family law matters.
John has extensive criminal law experience. He previously served as the Yavapai County Public Defender from 2014 to 2016, where he managed a team of more than 30 staff members, including attorneys and support staff.
Before that, John worked in private practice at the law firm he founded, The Napper Law Firm, and was Of Counsel at Boyle, Pecharich, Cline, Whittington & Stallings in Prescott.He also worked as a Senior Capital Attorney at the Maricopa County Office of the Legal Defender (2004 - 2006) and as an attorney at the Coconino County Office of the Public Defender.
John received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Greensboro College in 1996. In 2001, he graduatedcum laudefrom John Marshall Law School, where he was a member of theJohn Marshall Law Reviewand was a quarterfinalist in a national mock trial competition. John clerked for the Maricopa County Public Defender’s office and the Honorable Judge James Paddish of the Maricopa County Superior Court.
“John’s extensive experience in criminal law, in addition to the management and judicial responsibilities he currently has, make him an excellent candidate for this vacancy,” said Governor Ducey. “John is widely respected in the community and is known for his willingness to collaborate with all parties involved in legal matters in order to best protect the public interest. His commitment to vulnerable Arizonans, including his work on drug abuse and addiction, has not gone unnoticed. I am proud to appoint John to the Yavapai County Superior Court.”
The appointment of John Napper was made to fill a vacancy on the Yavapai County Superior Court created by the appointment of Judge Jennifer Campbell to the Arizona Court of Appeals Division One.