Arizona Court of Appeals

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The Arizona Court of Appeals is the intermediate appellate court for the state of Arizona. It is divided into two divisions, with a total of twenty-eight judges on the court: nineteen in Division 1, based in Phoenix, and nine in Division 2, based in Tucson.

History[edit]

The Arizona constitution was amended in 1960 to authorize a court of appeals, which the legislature created in 1964. The original judges were elected in November 1964. The first judges were James Duke Cameron, Henry S. Stevens, and Francis J. Donofrio for Division 1,[1] and Herbert F. Krucker, John F. Molloy, and James D. Hathaway for Division 2.[2] Only one judge after the original six received their seat by election. After the introduction of merit selection in 1975, judges are appointed by the governor to fill vacancies or new positions.

Three-judge panels were added to Division 1 in 1969, 1974, 1982, and 1989. Another judge was added in 1995 "so that the Chief Judge could devote time to the court's increasing administrative workload."[2] Division 2 added three judges in 1985.[2] Six more judges were added in 2022, three for each division.

Jurisdiction[edit]

The Court of Appeals has jurisdiction to consider appeals in civil cases, including juvenile and domestic relations matters, from the Arizona Superior Court. The court also reviews workers’ compensation and unemployment benefits decisions, tax court decisions, and certain corporation commission decisions.

The court also has jurisdiction over appeals in criminal matters from superior court, except for cases in which a death sentence has been imposed. Death penalty cases go directly to the Supreme Court of Arizona.

The court may also decide "petitions for special action," which is Arizona's term for petitions for special writs, such as certiorari, mandamus, prohibition, and interlocutory appeals.

Procedures[edit]

Selection of judges[edit]

Judges are selected by a modified form of the Missouri Plan. A bipartisan commission considers applicants and sends a list of nominees to the governor. The governor is required by law to appoint from this list based on merit, without regard to party affiliation. Judges are then retained for an initial period, after which they are subject to a retention election. If the judge wins the election, his/her term is six years.

Deciding cases[edit]

The Court of Appeals decides cases in panels of three judges, called "departments." Each department chooses a presiding judge from among the three. Division 1 also has a Chief Judge and Vice Chief Judge, elected by all judges in the division.

Divisions[edit]

While the Court of Appeals is divided into two geographic divisions in Phoenix and Tucson, the superior courts are bound by all of the Court of Appeals decisions, regardless of the division they are issued in. An Arizona trial court is not required to give greater precedent to a Court of Appeals decision from the division it is located in then a decision from the other division.[3]

  • Division 1 consists of Maricopa, Yuma, La Paz, Mohave, Coconino, Yavapai, Navajo and Apache counties.
  • Division 2 consists of Pima, Pinal, Cochise, Santa Cruz, Greenlee, Graham and Gila counties.[4]

At least ten judges of Division 1 must be residents of Maricopa county and five residents of the remaining counties. Four may be from any county. At least four judges of Division 2 must be residents of Pima county and two residents of the remaining counties. Three may be from any county.[5]

Division 1 has statewide responsibility for appeals from the Industrial Commission and unemployment compensation rulings of the Department of Economic Security.[6] One department of Division 1 is responsible for appeals from the Tax Court.[7]

Court members[edit]

The members of Arizona Court of Appeals Division 1, by order of seniority,[8] include:

Name Appointment Law school Appointed by County Age Source
Michael J. Brown[a] Jan. 2, 2007 Arizona State University College of Law Janet Napolitano Navajo 57–58[9] MJB
Peter B. Swann[a] Nov. 5, 2008 University of Maryland School of Law Janet Napolitano Maricopa 57–58 12
Randall M. Howe April 11, 2012 Arizona State University College of Law Jan Brewer Maricopa 59–60[10] 12
Samuel A. Thumma[a] April 11, 2012 University of Iowa College of Law Jan Brewer Maricopa 60–61[9] 12
Kent E. Cattani[b] Feb. 9, 2013 UC Berkeley School of Law Jan Brewer Maricopa 65–66[9] 12
Paul J. McMurdie Nov. 14, 2016 Arizona State University College of Law Doug Ducey Maricopa PJM
Maria E. Cruz April 12, 2017 University of Arizona College of Law Doug Ducey Yuma 12
Jennifer B. Campbell April 27, 2017 University of Texas School of Law Doug Ducey Yavapai JBC
Jennifer M. Perkins Oct. 30, 2017 SMU Dedman School of Law Doug Ducey Maricopa 12
James B. Morse Jr. Nov. 6, 2017 University of Virginia School of Law Doug Ducey Maricopa 12
David D. Weinzweig Dec. 29, 2017 Arizona State University College of Law Doug Ducey Maricopa 1 2
David B. Gass Sept. 13, 2019 Arizona State University College of Law Doug Ducey Maricopa 12
D. Steven Williams Nov. 1, 2019 Arizona State University College of Law Doug Ducey Navajo 12
Cynthia J. Bailey April 24, 2020 Arizona State University College of Law Doug Ducey Maricopa 1 2
Brian Y. Furuya Dec. 23, 2020 J. Reuben Clark Law School Doug Ducey Coconino 1 2
Angela K. Paton Oct. 8, 2021 Arizona State University College of Law Doug Ducey Maricopa 1 2
Michael S. Catlett Dec. 29, 2022 University of Arizona College of Law Doug Ducey Maricopa 1 2
Anni L. Hill Foster Dec. 29, 2022 Gonzaga University School of Law Doug Ducey Maricopa 1 2
Daniel J. Kiley Dec. 29, 2022 Arizona State University College of Law Doug Ducey Maricopa 1 2

The members of Arizona Court of Appeals, Division 2 include:

Name Appointment Law school Appointed by County Age Source
Peter Eckerstrom[a] 2003 Stanford Law School Janet Napolitano Pima 62 PJE
Garye L. Vasquez[b] 2005 University of Arizona College of Law Janet Napolitano Pinal 64 GVL
Christopher P. Staring 2015 Tulane University Law School Doug Ducey Pima CPS
Karl Eppich 2017 Stanford Law School Doug Ducey Pinal 12
Sean Brearcliffe Sept. 20, 2017 Golden Gate University School of Law Doug Ducey Pima 12
Jeffrey L. Sklar Dec. 12, 2022 USC Gould School of Law Doug Ducey Pima 12
Lacey S. Gard Dec. 29, 2022 University of Arizona College of Law Doug Ducey Pinal 43–44[11] 12
Michael F. Kelly Dec. 29, 2022 University of Arizona College of Law Doug Ducey Pinal 42–43[12] 12
Christopher J. O’Neil Dec. 29, 2022 University of Arizona College of Law Doug Ducey Pima 12

Former judges[edit]

Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor served on the court from 1979 to 1981

Several court of appeal judges were elevated to the Arizona Supreme Court, including: James Duke Cameron (1965–1971), Robert J. Corcoran (1981–1988), Ruth McGregor (1989–1998), Michael D. Ryan (1996–2002), Rebecca White Berch (1998–2002), Ann Timmer (2000–2012), Andrew Gould (2012–2017), and James Beene (2017–2019).

Other notable former judges include:

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Former Chief Judge
  2. ^ a b Current Chief Judge

References[edit]

  1. ^ History of the Court
  2. ^ a b c Irvine, Hon. Patrick. "The Arizona Court of Appeals (1965-2005)" (PDF). myazbar.org. Arizona State Bar. Retrieved 15 June 2022.
  3. ^ State v. Patterson, 218 P.3d 1031, 1037 (Ariz. App. 2009)
  4. ^ A.R.S. § 12–120
  5. ^ A.R.S. § 12–120.02
  6. ^ "Court of Appeals".
  7. ^ A.R.S. § 12–170
  8. ^ 2018 Annual Review
  9. ^ a b c Seven finalists named for state supreme court
  10. ^ State appeals judge challenged biases as first person with cerebral palsy to argue before SCOTUS
  11. ^ "Lacey S. Gard Judge". Pinal County Judicial Bio. Pinal County. Retrieved 31 December 2022.
  12. ^ "Michael Kelly Certified by State Bar of Arizona". Hollingsworth Law. August 17, 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2022.

External links[edit]