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. AWLA members are in BLUE.
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.
NOMINEES FOR ARIZONA COURT OF APPEALS ANNOUNCED
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: (AWLA members in BLUE)
· 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.