Arizona Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness
Application Deadline: Friday, September 6, 2013 for attorneys
Friday, August 23, 2013 for non-attorneys
Purpose: The Committee members are responsible for the investigation andrecommendation of applicants for admission to the practice of law inArizona. Committee members review all applications which total approximately 1,200 per year and attend hearings for further investigation of applicants.
Openings: Six appointments will be made by the Arizona Supreme Court. Attorneys Cary Sandman (Federal Public Defender’s Office, Tucson), John Tuchi (U.S. Attorney’s Office, Phoenix), Stephen L. Weiss (Law Office of Stephen L. Weiss, Phoenix) and Laura Zeman-Mullen (Zeman-Mullen & Ford LLP, Prescott), are completing their terms and may be eligible for reappointment. Public members Florence Brooks (Phoenix) and Wanda Moore (Tucson) are also completing their terms and may be eligible for reappointment. The State Bar Board of Governors is asked to submit three nominations per opening to the Court for its ultimate selection.
The continuing Committee members from Maricopa County are:
Susan E. Anderson, Federal Public Defender’s Office
Frederick C. Berry, Jr., Frederick C. Berry PC
Lisa J. Counters, The Counters Firm PC
Ed Novak, Polsinelli PC
Anica P. Parker, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office
Yvonne E. Tagart, Ronan & Tagart PLC
Raymond K. Woo, U.S. Attorney’s Office
Public members Dr. Melvin Hall, Dr. Michael Little and Gloria Wyatt
The continuing Committee member from Pima County is Gabriel D. Fernandez, Law Offices of Gabriel D. Fernandez.
The continuing Committee member from Yavapai County is Ray A. Hanna, Brown Hanna & Mull PLLC.
The continuing Committee member from Coconino County is Public Member Bennie Click.
Candidate Criteria/Qualifications: Committee members must possess the time, skill and patience to review confidential detailed reports of background investigations into financial, criminal, civil, employment, disciplinary and academic matters. Committee members must have the ability to marshal and present evidence, examine witnesses and write clear, concise and well-reasoned findings and recommendations when required. Committee members must understand the importance of applying the Supreme Court Rules pertaining to this process consistently and fairly. Communication with Court staff and other Committee members is encouraged and expected. Applicants should describe prior experience with regulation or discipline of professionals, and their views on the observance of an attorney’s professional ethical obligations, on their application. Applicants who currently serve or have served within the past two years as law school faculty (including adjunct) at one of Arizona's accredited law schools shall not be considered if such service could give rise to significant conflicts of interest regarding their duty to the Supreme Court to review and evaluate the character and fitness of their current or former students.
The Committee conducts at least one formal hearing monthly in Phoenix. Members are expected to participate in each formal hearing. Members must also participate in one or more informal hearings per month held throughout the state on an as-needed basis. In addition, each member is assigned several applicant files for independent review each month. Between file review and hearings/business meetings, members devote an average of about 25 hours per month to their Committee responsibilities. Mileage is paid for any members residing outside Maricopa County, but there is no other compensation for service as a Committee member.
Term: Initial term of four years, with the possibility of reappointment.
An application form must be submitted to the State Bar by Friday, September 6, 2013. For additional information contact Nina Benham at 602.340.7329 or Nina.Benham@staff.azbar.org.
Attorney application form.
Non-Attorney application form.