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2022 Election Candidates

The Board of Governors online elections launch on Wednesday, March 23 and will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6.

Questions?  Contact Carrie Sherman at Carrie.Sherman@staff.azbar.org or at 602.340.7201.

Meet the Candidates

District 3: Gila, Graham and Greenlee Counties
Preston Pollock
Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center

I am an Arizona native and have lived in Gila County for the past six years. I graduated from law school in 2013 and became a member of the Bar the following year. Since graduation I have worked almost exclusively as an in-house legal counsel for two different organizations. The first company was in Mesa and specialized in non-profit consulting. My current employment is at Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center, the hospital in Globe. My experience in interacting with the State Bar primarily relates to having been a regular attendee at CLE by the Sea for the past 5-6 years. My interest in becoming a member of the Board of Governors is to ensure that rural areas have local representation.

Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

As the primary source of regulation to Arizona’s significant legal force, the Board of Governors has a duty to consider all its members including those whose employment may be considered non-traditional and those who work and reside outside of Phoenix/Tucson. As a member of the Board, my hope is to provide an opinion and prospective that represents the non-traditional and rural members of the State Bar who provide such valuable and vital services to their clients, employers and organizations.

District 6: Maricopa County
Jena Decker-Xu
Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen and Loewy LLP

Jena Decker-Xu completed both her undergraduate and law school education at the University of Arizona. She practices Business Immigration Law at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP. Within the State Bar of Arizona, she is a member and Past Chair of the Immigration Section and current Past President of the Young Lawyer’s Division. She formerly served on the State Bar of Arizona’s Board of Governors as the Young Lawyer’s Division Representative. She is a member of the Arizona Asian American Bar Association. She is committed to Pro Bono, providing assistance to many local immigration organizations and was previously recognized as a top pro bono attorney in Arizona. In addition, she is the Vice Chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association Pro Bono Committee.

Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

During my term as Member and Young Lawyer’s Division (YLD) Representative on the Board of Governors (BOG), I was empowered to influence and improve my local community. The BOG is essential to ensuring our attorneys in Arizona are the best they can be and the local community is protected. My past experience with the BOG, YLD, and outside organizations has given me the experience needed to tackle some key issues facing our members today.

Diversity and inclusion is one such issue. I would like to be an advocate and ally in the promotion of diversity and inclusion within the Bar. More can be done to gather data and identify areas where real change is needed and engage with those who are truly impacted. Mere statements are not enough; action and subsequent metrics must be put in place.

Another issue is engagement and support, especially for young lawyers. The BOG should partner more with the YLD to strategize on reaching new Bar members early, work with law schools, develop programs for young lawyers, and partner with senior lawyers to provide mentorship. The bar has some outstanding programs, like the Ethics Hotline, which should continue to be promoted.

Diandra Benally (Incumbent)
Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation

Diandra Benally joined the Board of Governors in June 2021 to fill the remaining term of Mark Harrison, Osborn Maledon, who unfortunately passed away in 2021. Diandra is the General Counsel of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and the first woman to hold this position. Previously, she was an attorney with the Navajo Nation Department of Justice. Diandra has served the Arizona legal and Native American communities for 15 years. She is a co-founder of the Arizona Collaborative Bar, the former President of the National Native American Bar Association, the Native American Bar Association of Arizona, and the Navajo Nation Bar Association. She served on DNA People’s Legal Services Board. Diandra graduated from Dartmouth College, Vermont Law School, and Arizona State University College of Law.

Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

As our profession and Bar pivot and change in the face of advancing technology, other sciences, and globalization, I will advocate to keep our bar dues low and control Bar expenses. I will also work to increase communication and collaborations with sister bar associations and other Arizona bar organizations. They provide support and value to our members in addition to the Bar. Further, as an attorney licensed to practice law in several tribal jurisdictions in Arizona, I will support and assist with opportunities for interested members to learn about the practice of law on tribal lands and the complexity of areas of law associated with such practice.

If I am elected to serve on the Board of Governors, I will work hard to serve and support our members. Thank you for considering my candidacy. I respectfully ask for your vote.

Benjamin Taylor (Incumbent)
Taylor & Gomez LLP

Benjamin Taylor is partner at the law firm of Taylor & Gomez. Taylor's practice focuses on personal injury, family, criminal, and has handled death penalty cases. He has been a media legal analyst. Taylor earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Arizona and a B.S. in Finance from Arizona State University. He's worked for the Pima County Attorney's Office and the Maricopa County Public Defender. He is a board member of the Maricopa County Bar Association. Taylor was recognized as a top 35 entrepreneur under 35 by the Arizona Republic. He has volunteered at the Veteran's Stand Down. He was a 40 Under 40 National Bar Association & Phoenix Business Journal recipient. Taylor serves on the State Bar Board of Governors as Vice President.

Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

Too many attorneys view the State Bar as punitive rather than supportive. If re-elected to the Board of Governors, I will work to elevate the Bar's role as a resource for attorneys, especially for new attorneys. I will continue to bring value and new ideas to the Board of Governors and further relationships with other legal and community organizations. My door will be open to make sure all attorneys are heard. I will listen to our members and put attorneys first so that they can fulfill their legal and professional obligations to their clients and society.

My top goals will continue to be:
1) Make sure the Bar is here to help attorneys, not hurt them. Many attorneys feel that the bar is only about discipline.
2) Fight to make sure that Bar dues are NOT increased.
3) Increase communication with other Sister Bars.
4) Increase a working relationship with the Maricopa County Bar Association.
5) Make sure that attorneys feel appreciated and know about resources that can help them succeed in their practice and personal life.

District 8: Pinal County
Denis Fitzgibbons (Incumbent)
Fitzgibbons Law Offices PLC

Educational Background:
1986 Graduate of Columbia College in New York
1989 Graduate of Arizona State University College of Law

Work Experience:
1989 to 1993 Associate with Snell and Wilmer, Phoenix, Arizona
1993 to present Fitzgibbons Law Offices, P.L.C.

Judge Pro Tem for Pinal County Superior Court

Memberships and Associations:
American Bar Association; State Bar of Arizona, Board of Governors, District 8 representative 2015-2021; State Bar of Arizona Board of Governors President 2020-2021; Pinal County Bar Association (Past President, 1996); Pinal and Gila Counties Legal Aid Society (Past President, 1994); Maricopa County Bar Association; Pinal Alliance for Economic Growth--Economic Development Foundation (Past President).

Why are you interested in running for election to the Board of Governors? What do you believe are the significant issues facing the members today? If elected, how would you hope to address these issues?

For the last seven years, I enjoyed the distinct honor to serve as District 8 representative on the BOG; especially, last year as the President of the SBA. I appreciate the opportunity to serve and hope to continue. The legal profession is one of the greatest professions because, at its core, it is a service profession. As attorneys, we serve our clients, our friends, and our communities.

The SBA faces significant issues and opportunities over the next few years. With my experience on the BOG, I am uniquely qualified to offer leadership concerning these issues and the many issues that will arise in the future.

The SBA must assist our members to effectively manage the evolving economic environment, client demands, advances in technology, and provide everyone fair and appropriate access to our legal system. Our profession evolves rapidly; members need to adapt quickly, while balancing their personal and professional lives.

As your District 8 representative, I promise to work to provide meaningful access to justice, to increase the standing of our professionals, and to continue to listen intently to any concerns you express and address those issues. In service of these pursuits for our profession, I humbly ask for your support.

 

This page is managed by Carrie Sherman