Award of Special Merit

Established in 1988, the Award of Special Merit is  presented by the Board of Governors to members of the State Bar of Arizona who have made significant contributions to the furtherance of public understanding of the legal system, the administration of justice,  and confidence in the legal profession.  

2014 Recipient

Owsley, WilliamWILLIAM W. OWSLEY received his B.S. degree from Arizona State University and his J.D. degree from the University of Arizona.  Mr. Owsley has practiced almost exclusively in the area of juvenile law for the past nineteen years.  He is currently the managing attorney in the Dependency Unit of the Office of the Legal Advocate, responsible for the representation of children in dependency, severance and guardianship proceedings in Maricopa County.  Prior to becoming a Deputy Legal Advocate, Mr. Owsley was the Unit Chief Counsel in the Protective Services Section, Child and Family Protection Division, of the Office of the Attorney General.

Mr. Owsley currently serves on the Joint Legislative CPS Oversight Committee, the Court Improvement Advisory Workgroup, AOC Parent Representation Committee, Best for Babies Court Team, Children’s Action Alliance Arizona Youth Operatives Initiative Community Advisory Board and CAA Child Welfare Committee.  He is also a member of numerous Juvenile Court committees including the C2C Steering Committee, the Crossover Youth Practice Model Committee, Court Orientation for Dependent Youth, and Reunification Day Planning Committee.  He is also a volunteer trainer for AOC and numerous foster care and licensing agencies responsible for educating attorneys, foster parents, relative placements, foster children, and the general public about the juvenile court system.

Prior Recipients

The award has been presented to:

1988     Hon. Frank X. Gordon, Jr
1989 Not awarded
1990 Hon. L. Ray Haire
1991 Prof. Charles M. Smith
Hon. Morris K. Udall
1992 Not awarded
1993 Mark I. Harrison
Charles T. Stevens
1994 Hon. Nikki A. Chayet
Patricia A. Sallen
John M. Schlosser
1995 E. Calvin Fuchs II
Duke Nordlinger Stern
1996 Christopher Johns
1997 Michael M. Grant
1998 Not awarded
1999 Hon. Norman S. Fenton
2000 Sen. Marc L. Spitzer
Hon. Thomas A. Zlaket
2001 Timothy M. Hogan
Norman L. Miller
2002 Daniel Cracchiolo
2003 Walter Cheifetz
2004 Hon. Edward E. Davis (posthumously)
2005 Frances L. Johansen
2006 Anthony W. Clark
Susan R. Agrillo
Norma L. Classen
2007 Theodore Campagnolo
Hon. Gary E. Donahoe
2008 Larry C. McVey
Sidney T. Marable (posthumously)
2009 John W. Rogers
2010 Gary R. Stickell
Alex E. Navidad
2011 Hon. Daniel A. Barker
James W. Richardson
2012 Hon. Ann A. Scott Timmer
Stephen Weiss
2013 Mark E. Meltzer