President's Award

Awarded, at the discretion of the president, to that attorney(s) who has contributed enormous effort towards the furtherance of the president's goals and priorities during his or her year as president. (Award established in 1996).

2022 Recipient

Samuel J. Saks

Commercial and tort litigator Sam Saks co-founded Guidant Law PLC in 2019, bringing extensive experience in complex business, insurance, personal injury, and wrongful death cases to the multidisciplinary firm.

During his nearly 20-year legal career, Sam has successfully secured multi-million-dollar verdicts, judgments, and settlements and has worked on cases at the U.S. Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Arizona Supreme Court, Federal District Court, as well as the superior courts in Arizona.

A respected member of the legal community who is recognized by Southwest Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America© and Arizona’s Finest Lawyers, Sam is a member of the State Bar Board of Governors and currently serves as chair of its Strategic Planning Work Group. He is also a member of the Judicial Performance Review Conference Team and volunteers his time as a pro tem conducting settlement conferences in civil cases.

Founder of Legal Aid for Referrals, Sam previously served on the board of the Arizona Foundation of Legal Services and Education as well as various other organizations. Prior to starting private practice, he clerked for two years for Hon. Sheldon Weisberg, Chief Judge of the Arizona Court of Appeals.


Previous Recipients

The award has been presented to:

2002     Janet Napolitano
Hon. Robert B. Van Wyck
Hon. Barry C. Schneider
2003 Craig Y. Fujii
Danny R. Ortega, Jr.
Neal Kurn
Barry Wong
Michael R. Rooney
Richard H. Whitney
2004 Art Hamilton
Kathleen A. Mayer
Thomas M. Thompson
2005 Colleen A. Lomax, Esq.
Hon. Rebecca A. Albrecht
Paul Bennett
Edward F. Novak
2006 Diane L. Drain
Jenae R. Naumann
Michael L. Walker
Rawuel Centeno-Fequiere
David B. Rosenbaum
2007 Michael L. Gallagher
Michael Allen Berch
2008 Herbert I. Zinn
Mari I. Valenzuela
Sal J. Rivera
Larry J. Cohen
John W. Rogers
William G. Klain
2009 Pamela A. Treadwell-Rubin
Patrick J. McGroder III
Jessica Gifford Funkhouser
2010 Saji Vettiyil
Brigadier General Richard Gregg Maxon
2011 Maret Vessella
Amy K. Rehm
2012 Senator Jon Kyl
Alan P. Bayham, Jr.
2013 Hon. Janet Napolitano
Lawrence F. Winthrop
2014 Patricia Lee Refo
2015 Robert E. Schmitt
William C. Porter
2016 Thomas M. Ryan
Alex Lane
2017 Thomas L. Hudson
Sheena S. Chiang
2018 Larry W. Suciu
2019 Charles W. Wirken
Laura Zeman-Mullen
2020 Dr. Kolette A. Butler
Hon. Donn G. Kessler (ret.)
2021 Lonnie J. Williams, Jr.
2022 Sam Saks
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