2019 Board of Governors Candidate's Statement

Many of the 2019 Board candidates have submitted statements in support of their candidacy. You can read those statements below.


The Board of Governors elections are conducted online. Does the State Bar have your email address of record? (Rule 32(c)(3), Ariz.R.S.Ct.)

Elections will be held this year in the following Board Districts:

  • District 1:  Apache, Coconino, Mohave and Navajo Counties will NOT hold an election as President-Elect Brian Furuya will automatically ascend to the office of president in June 2019
  • District 2:  1 Board Seat Available: Yavapai County will elect one Governor to a two-year term
  • District 3:  1 Board Seat Available: Gila, Graham and Greenlee Counties will elect one Governor to a three-year term
  • District 4:  1 Board Seat Available: Cochise County will elect one Governor to a one-year term
  • District 5:  2 Board Seats Available: Pima and Santa Cruz Counties will elect one Governor to a one-year term and one Governor to a two-year term
  • District 6:  7 Board Seats Available: Maricopa County will elect two Governors to one-year terms, two Governors to two-year terms, and three Governors to three-year terms
  • District 7:  1 Board Seat Available: La Paz and Yuma Counties will elect one Governor to a two-year term
  • District 8:  1 Board Seat Available: Pinal County will elect one Governor to a three-year term

Recent amendments to Rule 32, Ariz.R.S.Ct.:

  • Effective January 1, 2017, Active out-of-state Members may vote in the District of their most recent Arizona residence or place of business or, if none, in Bar District 6. (Rule 32(e)(2)(D))
  • Effective 2019, all sitting Governors’ terms conclude and elections will be held in all eight Board Districts.  In Districts with more than one Governor, and in certain Districts, the Governors’ terms will be staggered.  Incumbents would be eligible to run for re-election. (Rule 32(e)(2) and (4))

The online election will launch on March 26, 2019 and will close at 5 p.m. on April 9, 2019.

For questions, please contact Carrie Sherman at 602.340.7201 or mailto:carrie.sherman@staff.azbar.org.

(* = incumbent candidate)


District 2: Yavapai County

Photo of Sharon Marie Flack
*Sharon Marie Flack
Musgrove Drutz Kack & Flack, P.C.

Dear Fellow Bar Members:

Except for District 1, the Board of Governors ‘re-sets’ in 2019, with the election to be held in March of 2019.  Therefore, my brief one-year term will be fulfilled in June of 2019.  I would be honored to continue to serve as your District 2 elected representative for the 2019-2021 term.

A summary of my personal and professional biography is found below and can also be viewed in the May 2018 edition of Arizona Attorney at page 64.   Feel free to call me if you have any questions, or you may visit our firm’s website at www.mdkflaw.com for more information.  Additionally, I invite you to contact my partners, Mark W. Drutz and Thomas P. Kack, to attest to my character and fitness to serve on the Board.  They can be reached at 928-445-5935.

Biography:  I was born in Detroit and attended college in Michigan.  After moving to Phoenix, I began working for the Surprise City Attorney’s Office.  Upon my early graduation from Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, in 2002 I began my career in private practice in Cottonwood, Arizona.  I have been with Musgrove Drutz Kack & Flack in Prescott since 2004.

In addition, I have been involved with several local, non-profit, and volunteer organizations, including the Yavapai County Bar Association (past President); Navajo Nation Bar Association; White Mountain Apache Tribal Court; Arizona Trial Lawyers Association; Federal District Court Local Rules of Practice Committee Consultant; Prescott Chamber of Commerce; State Bar of Arizona Military Legal Assistance Committee; Yavapai County Superior Court Pro Tem Judicial Appointment Committee;  Desert Harbor Doberman Rescue (Volunteer);  Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters Board of Directors (2014-2016 term); Yavapai County Women Lawyers association; and Every Native Vote Counts (2018 Election).

Candidate Statement:  It would be an honor to continue my service as Board of Governors delegate for Yavapai County and its growing, diverse group of lawyers.  Although ‘online legal services’ are creating competition with the traditional ‘brick and mortar’ model, people will always need personalized legal representation.  This means lawyers who understand the intricacies of law, possess the skills to wisely apply the law to the client’s unique circumstance, and – when necessary – change the law.  Consequently, it is important that the State Bar offer both mentoring services and educational resources to its Members, not only in an online format, but also in-person, including hosting live seminars in the more rural counties.  This is a critical component of fostering professional working relationships among the Members so they can interact on a personal level and create an atmosphere of mentorship for our colleagues who are new to the profession.  This also advances the State Bar’s mission to “to serve and protect the public with respect to the provision of legal services and access to justice,” including the State Bar’s goals of seeking to improve the administration of justice and the competency, ethics, and professionalism of lawyers practicing in Arizona.  Please visit https://www.azbar.org/AboutUs/Mission-Vision-andCoreValues/ .  This was an important goal for me during my term as Yavapai County Bar Association President, and it remains so today.  As a Board delegate, I will advocate for such programs to ensure the well-being of our profession into the future which will enhance the State Bar’s mission to protect the public and provide greater access to justice.

Please give me a call or send me an email if you have any questions; 928-445-5935 or sflack@mdkflaw.com.  I look forward to serving as your Board Delegate for the 2019-2021 term.

District 3: Gila, Graham and Greenlee Counties

Photo of Hector M. Figueroa
*Hector M. Figueroa
Town of Payson Attorney

The candidate chose not to provide a statement.

District 4: Cochise County

Photo of D. Christopher Russell
D. Christopher Russell
The Russell's Law Firm, P.L.C.

The candidate chose not to provide a statement.

District 5: Pima and Santa Cruz Counties

Photo of Thomas J. Bouman
Thomas J. Bouman
Bouman Law Firm

Thank you for taking the time to review candidate statements prior to voting in the Board of Governors election.  Many colleagues have asked me why I have decided to pursue this opportunity even though I have a thriving law practice to attend to.  My wife and four children (and counting) have noted that I already volunteer a substantial amount of time at my church and to the board of a nonprofit organization.  My response is that I want to give back to the legal community in exchange for what the legal profession has provided to me and my family over the past 19 years.  I appreciate our State Bar’s mission statement, “The State Bar of Arizona exists to serve and protect the public with respect to the provision of legal services and access to justice.”  Its brevity and call-to-action resonates with me and I want to be a part of that.  There is no doubt that each individual member of the State Bar plays an important role in achieving this mission, but I also know that we need a group of leaders to constantly evaluate whether the State Bar is meeting its own objectives in an efficient manner.  Of course, I know the State Bar and legal profession will march on whether I am a member of this group or not.  But among other things, I recognize the State Bar’s renewed efforts to adapt to new technology in the marketing and practice of law and want to contribute my passion, skill, and experience toward meeting this objective.  For me and my family, this is time well spent.

Photo of Chris Gast
Chris Gast
University of Arizona College of Law

Dear Fellow Members of the Bar,

It is my honor and pleasure to ask for your vote in the upcoming Board of Governors election. I am running as a younger attorney representing Pima and Santa Cruz counties – a large area with diverse perspectives and direct needs from the State Bar.

I currently serve as the Director of Special Projects and as the Director of the Foreign Diplomat Training Program at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. In my role, I develop training programs in American Law for foreign missions (embassies and consulates) to the United States. I strongly believe in the duty of service and the great experiences that can come from working in educational and public environments. As a member of the Board, I will bring a passion for service and a commitment to improve our communities – whether it is local, regional, or global.

As you may have read in my candidate statement, I have faced many health hardships to be here today. I have a great deal of respect and support for the member services division of the State Bar. I am committed to the principles of civility, support, and encouragement within our profession. New attorneys needs resources to grow their own practices. Seasoned lawyers need a resource for challenges and ethical considerations. I am not advocating to increase costs – rather I want to see that our resources in the bar are being used effectively to support a high quality legal community.

I decided to run for the Board of Governor because of the constant calls by leaders in the profession for new and younger members to step up and join in. And here I am stepping up! I have served on the Pima County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division for years as a member and as the Treasurer. I also serve on the City of Tucson Planning Commission and the United Way Young Lawyers Society. With your vote and your confidence, you are electing someone who is enthusiastic about of our profession and the potential to come. 

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you have at cgast@email.arizona.edu during this election cycle. I thank you for taking the time to consider me as your representative for the State Bar Board of Governors.


Chris Gast

Photo of Leticia Marquez
Leticia Marquez
Federal Public Defender's Office

With gratitude and humility, I am running for the Board of Governors, District 5 seat. I have lived and worked within the borders of this district for decades, and understand the concerns of its constituents. As such, one priority would be to strengthen the relationship between the State Bar and its Tucson members; at times, the State Bar seems farther from Tucson than the 100+ miles on the map.

By way of introduction, I am a supervising attorney with the Federal Public Defender’s Office. I work in the area of appeals, with experience at all stages of the appellate system, both in state and federal courts. I have argued in the United States Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and I am barred and have represented individuals in the Fourth, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeals. I am a proud government lawyer.

Years ago as a law student, I committed myself to service in my legal community beginning with my involvement in the Arizona Minority Bar Association, an organization I am involved with to date. Some of the highlights of my bar and legal community service include but are not limited to: Past Chair, Bar Leadership Institute Selection Committee, Chair of the 2011 State Bar Convention, Inspiring Trust and Delivering Service, Past Member, Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct (Ethics), and Past president and current Treasurer, Arizona Minority Bar Association.

I have contributed to my community as well as my profession, serving on the board of the Imago Dei Middle School, which provides a private school education to children from low-income families. The school’s guiding principle is “we never give up on a child” and it follows a child through high school and beyond, providing mentorship and guidance.

I believe in the power of mentorship and the reciprocal benefits that relationship provides. I am grateful for the mentors in my life and the generosity have afforded me. Likewise, I am and have been a mentor to younger attorneys. In addition, I am a member of the 2007 charter class of the Bar Leadership Institute. This mentoring institute is a testament to the vision of our Bar and a personal source of pride for me.

My objectives for our Bar are ambitious; to promote better communication between the Bar and voluntary bar organizations; to increase participation and diversity of Bar involvement and leadership; to address mental health and well-being issues, and to reconcile the inevitable technological advances within in the practice of law.

In addition, I would like to see the Bar address more issues affecting government lawyers; issues ranging from the low pay to the crushing student loan debt, to the lack of professional staff, the constant threat of budget implosion, and the overall impact of these issues on the quality of services offered to the public. I hope to work with Bar leaders to address if not long-range solutions to these issues, the need for support in these areas.

We are diverse in thought, background and practice. We need to harness our community to propel our Bar into the future with confidence. I respectfully request your vote as I will listen to your concerns, try to address your objectives, and serve as your representative at the State Bar of Arizona.


Photo of Dee-Dee Samet
*Dee-Dee Samet
Dee-Dee Samet P.C.

I am concerned about the future of the State Bar and its ability to be responsive to those in the legal profession and the public given the proposals by the Court and the Legislature. Arizona is admired and stands for a progressive legal system and a judiciary and bar dedicated to improving access to the courts. Changes to our rules and other information need to be widely circulated in enough time to obtain input from all the various constituencies. Southern Arizona’s input should be considered.  The State Bar needs to find ways to make our lives as lawyers more rewarding. With my experience I can be a strong voice with the Bar to make us proud to be lawyers, to enjoy what we do and to gain the respect of the public. Working together we can improve the legal field and our lives, as well as benefitting the public. It is important that the public understands as the Young Lawyers from the American Bar Association have indicated, “Freedom, Justice and Liberty...Without Lawyers They Are Only Words.” As a member of the Board of Governors I plan to be effective representing District 5 in attaining the goal of making our lives better while helping the public have access to the courts.  Please vote and allow me to do so.

District 6: Maricopa County

Photo of Kellen W. Bradley
Kellen W. Bradley
Levenbaum Trachtenberg, P.L.C.

I am running for Board of Governors to advance the practice of law in Arizona and enhance access to justice. 

Today, members face issues including access to courts and justice for their clients, the economics of law practice, work and life balance, ethics challenges, and technology changes.  If elected, I would bring all of my background and experience working in small and large law firms to address these issues and others. 

Over seven million Arizonans need lawyers to provide the opportunity for justice.  Helping Arizonans find the right lawyer to navigate the legal landscape is of the utmost importance.  Recent developments from the Bar itself now include offering lawyers the ability to search for potential clients with specific needs.  This progress dovetails with technological advancement and communication tools now available to lawyers, clients, and the courts.  Such growth should continue in the future to further promote the State Bar’s Mission to serve and protect the public.

As a member of the Board of Governors, I will champion the Mission of the State Bar under the supervision of the Arizona Supreme Court in helping to oversee thousands of practitioners.

I would greatly appreciate your support and the privilege to serve.

Photo of Trent R. Buckallew
Trent R. Buckallew
Law Offices of Trent R. Buckallew

What has the State Bar of Arizona done for you lately? If you have difficulty answering that question then I ask that you consider my candidacy for election to the State Bar Board of Governors.

I am running with the support of two other candidates: Lawrence Koplow and David Fuller. The three of us share common values and have a similar vision for the future direction of your State Bar. If you agree with our vision I hope that you will cast your vote not only for me but also for Lawrence Koplow and David Fuller.

After graduating law school in 1998, I became licensed in Arizona in 1999 accepting a position as a Deputy Public Defender at the Mohave County Public Defender’s Office in Kingman. In 2000, I accepted a position as a Defender Attorney at the Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office. I initially served in the Adult Criminal Division, and then later served in the Civil Mental Health Unit of the Public Defender’s Office where I was promoted to Senior Defender Attorney. In 2004, I started my own law practice and have been a solo practitioner for the past 15 years with a law practice focused on criminal law, DUI law and civil mental health law. I have been Board Certified in Criminal Law by the State Bar of Arizona Board of Legal Specialization since 2013.

Lawrence Koplow, David Fuller and I believe that fiscal responsibility is paramount to the success of any organization including the State Bar and we will advocate for fiscally conservative approaches to expenditures. We believe the cost of CLE is too high and will seek to rein in those costs while
continuing forward with the Bar’s ongoing efforts to expand delivery options of CLE programming using the latest technologies in dissemination.

We believe that the State Bar needs to treat all lawyers with fairness and dignity in their dealings with its members in whatever context those encounters might occur.

We believe that the Board of Governors should be much more proactive in raising the visibility of both existing services available to lawyers, and the Board should also create more volunteer opportunities for lawyers who want to volunteer but need less demanding time commitments – thereby creating opportunities for busy lawyers to be able to contribute to worthy causes within the constraints of their busy schedules.

If you agree with this vision for the future of the State Bar then I ask that you cast your vote for me: Trent R. Buckallew, as well as for Lawrence Koplow and David Fuller for the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Arizona.

Photo of Tyler J. Carrell
*Tyler J. Carrell
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie, L.L.P.

If re-elected, I will continue my commitment to increasing the Bar's value to members and the general public.  I believe my service on the Bar's Budget and Finance Committee as well as the Strategic Planning Committee gives me a unique perspective on the challenges for the Bar and how to address them. 

The legal profession is facing many issues that require our attention.  I will continue to support policies that focus on:

• Controlling the Bar's expenses
• Protecting the independence of the judiciary
• Addressing concerns including technology, wellness, and succession planning

I believe the State Bar can play an important role in providing efficient, transparent, and valuable services to its members—without imposing additional regulations or interfering with judicial independence. 



Photo of David R. Fuller
David R. Fuller
City of Phoenix Public Defender’s Office

Have you ever asked yourself, “what can the State Bar of Arizona do for me”? If you have difficulty answering that question, then I ask that you vote for me, David Fuller, for election to the State Bar Board of Governors. Trent Buckallew and Lawrence Koplow are also running and we have similar visions for the future direction of your State Bar. I encourage you to vote for them as well.

We need to be there for our members. I would welcome the opportunity to serve on the State Bar Board of Governors and advocate for those in public service and private practice. We all spend our time and resources to assist others navigate the legal landscape. I have worked both as a public defender and a private practitioner during my 29 years of practicing law. For approximately 15 years, I operated a successful small firm, where keeping the doors open and lights on were often a challenge. So, I am keenly aware of the struggles and difficulties of both public and private practice.

I have practiced in Federal Courts, Superior courts (in Maricopa and Pinal counties), along with numerous Municipal and Justice Courts around the valley. I am a member, and on the Board, of the Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice (AACJ). I am a frequent CLE presenter in the areas of criminal law, ethics and improv for lawyers. I help to coordinate the annual Veterans Stand Down and the annual Arizona Public Defenders Association (APDA) Conference. I am an active member of our State Bar, on several boards and committees. Perhaps more importantly, I am also actively involved in some of our non-legal community groups and organizations. I embrace the diversity of life and am committed, in everything I do, to finding innovative and interesting ways to reach out and touch the lives of people.

In my current position as the Assistant Director of the City of Phoenix Public Defenders Office, I feel fortunate to be able to regularly help those in Veterans Court, Homeless Court, Mental Health Court and so many others in our most underserved communities. I feel that many of us would like to be more active in community assistance, but we just don’t have the time. I recognize that time is a scarce commodity in our profession. However, I envision a way to offer opportunities for us to assist in ways that don’t require a large time commitment, and that are easy. It may sound idealized but I sincerely think we get more out of helping others than the folks we serve. I think the Board of Governors would benefit from my perspective.

There are many State Bar resources available that are not taken advantage of, or simply unknown to our members. Trent, Lawrence and I all feel that the State Bar can be a more robust and utilized resource for our members. I would also like to hear from you directly if you have ideas of how our State Bar can help you. Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at David.Fuller@phoenix.gov with your ideas or concerns.

In short, I want to serve on the Board of Governors to make our State Bar better for you. I encourage you to vote for myself, David Fuller, Trent Buckallew and Lawrence Koplow. Thank you for your consideration.

Photo of Mark I. Harrison
Mark I. Harrison
Osborn Maledon, P.A.

It has been 43 years since I was privileged to serve as President of the State Bar.  The experience was extraordinary: it gave me the unique opportunity to gain insight into how the bar functions, how it can and should serve its members and perhaps most important, to form lifelong friendships with other members of the Board.  Since serving as Bar President, I have had the opportunity to serve as President of the Western States Bar Conference, the National Conference of Bar Presidents and in the ABA House of Delegates as State Bar Delegate, State Delegate and Delegate at Large.  My practice has been primarily in civil litigation and appellate matters but for the past thirty+ years much of my practice also has focused on the representation of lawyers and judges.  That “specialty” inevitably led to teaching the required course in Legal Ethics at both law schools for 15 years and in the mid-90s to the appointment by the Supreme Court to represent the Commission on Judicial Conduct in the prosecution of judges who violated the Code of Judicial Conduct -- an appointment that lasted until it became obvious that the Commission merited full-time counsel.  In the early 1990s, I served as President of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and as President of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers.  

My interest in legal and judicial ethics led to my appointment to ABA committees dealing with those subjects and to the chairmanship of the ABA Commission to Revise the Code of Judicial Conduct – an assignment that lasted more than three years and which culminated in the unanimous adoption of the current Model Code of Judicial Conduct by the ABA House of Delegates in 2007.¹  For the past several years, my practice has increasingly involved service as an expert witness in legal malpractice cases and in cases involving legal and judicial ethics.  It seems unlikely that you would want more information about me but if you do, it is available on our firm website at “www.omlaw.com”.  Many of my contemporaries understandably think I’m nuts for running for the Board of Governors (“BOG”) at this stage of my career.  The explanation submitted with my nomination package states: “I want to serve because of my admittedly immodest belief that my experience will add value to the work of the BOG.”  My decades in private practice and national bar activities, especially in legal and judicial ethics, provide a perspective that for better or worse, comes only with age. 

One cannot predict with certainty what issues the BOG will face in the coming year, but some issues are perennial:  How can the Bar better serve its members and the public?  How can the discipline system be improved?  How can we achieve greater diversity in the profession?   How can the Bar help increase the number of diverse applicants applying for judgeships?  We have also been forewarned that an effort will be made to transform the Bar from a “unified” (i.e., mandatory) organization to a voluntary organization.  All of these issues merit serious discussion and leadership by the BOG.  If elected, I would use my experience to encourage the BOG to make its decision-making process as transparent and democratic as possible by soliciting and listening to the views of as many lawyers and specialty bars as possible.
¹ It is my understanding that the 2007 Model Code has now been adopted in whole or part by the highest court in 45 states.

Photo of Christopher R. Kaup
Christopher R. Kaup
Tiffany & Bosco, P.A.

Attorneys face numerous challenges today from technology, the growth of the profession, competition from alternative legal providers, client expectations and demands on pricing.    Even state bar associations are facing litigation over mandatory membership dues arising from the Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. American Federation of State and Country Municipal Employees.  Our State Bar is in a unique position to assist lawyers, whether new or experienced, private or public interest, and in all types of practice settings with understanding and adapting to these changes. 

I want to serve on the Board of Governors to assist with the development of programs and practice tools in order to help attorneys meet the challenges presented by today’s business world.  Through my work with the ABA, I learned about difficulties confronting lawyers and the clients they serve.  Attorneys in all practice areas face increasing competition from technology and non-legal providers as well as pressure from clients on pricing and alternative fee structures.  Many clients avoid lawyers due to cost fears and a general lack of familiarity with the benefit of quality legal assistance over “do it yourself” web-based services.  This changing dynamic has made traditional training for incoming associates difficult, forced numerous firms to reduce staff, and now requires attorneys to synergize their efforts with those of the business community to a greater extent and at a greater rate than ever before.   

If elected to the Board, I envision developing voluntary courses on firm operational and financial management in the current business environment and intense practice skills programs in diverse fields for new attorneys, wherever they may practice, run by the State Bar which are priced reasonably.  In addition, I would like to build programs for consumers and small business persons to educate the community about the options for and benefits of quality and cost effective legal services.  Finally, I want to work with the State Bar and technology vendors in order to provide more affordable software and hardware to end user attorneys.

I have worked effectively in leadership on boards, committees, and groups for several organizations including that of my firm and the ABA.  I look forward to using the knowledge gained from those experiences for the benefit of the legal profession and attorneys in Arizona.  


Photo of Michael Kielsky
Michael Kielsky
Udall Shumway, P.L.C.

Michael Kielsky, Professional Contrarian, Practiced Dissenter, Unrepentant Rebel, Candidate for Board of Governors:

www.ReformTheBar.com  |  #ReformTheBar  |  facebook.com/ReformTheBar

Dear Colleague:

Why are you interested in who serves on the Board of Governors? Do you fear that someone might rock the boat? Is the status quo what you wish to maintain? Then I’m not the candidate you are looking for … move along, nothing to see here.

But, if you know of me, you know that I am not shy about speaking out, standing up, and pursuing what is right. Too often, I despair the feeling that mine is a singular voice crying out for what is right, while almost everyone rushes by and pretends not to notice. Will you pretend not to notice?

The State Bar must squarely face that it will either change or it will be ordered to change.

The signs are there and can no longer be ignored: Fleck v. Wetch, U.S. Supreme Court case 17-886, petition granted, judgment vacated, remanded in light of Janus, 585 U.S. ___ (2018). A mandatory, integrated bar, especially one (such as ours) doing anything outside of the core functions of regulating the legal profession and improving legal services is soon to be history.

Do you want the State Bar to be prepared, ready, even eager for the day all Bar Associations must comply with the Constitution? Shall our State Bar be ahead of the curve and already have ended compelled trade association membership as a condition of earning a living in our profession? Shall our State Bar be ahead of the curve and already have stopped compelling our members to subsidize speech?

The Bar needs leaders who are focused on the future, the changes that are coming, who are willing to make the difficult decisions. I will be one of those leaders.

It is in that spirit that I’m writing to ask for your vote for the State Bar Board of Governors, as your quiet, subtle, and discreet support for REAL REFORM, not mere tinkering or window dressing. I promise to be a vocal and persistent advocate for true and transformational reform.

I will advocate a set of significant proposals to improve our State Bar, but the first effort will be getting elected the Board of Governors. As such, I ask you to consider the one-shot strategy, cast only one vote for me, so as to minimize diluting your dissenting vote, and to maximize the chance of success.

I propose to reform the State Bar by:

• Dramatically reducing the cost of the State Bar by slashing every optional program
• Immediate termination of the misnamed and misrepresented Public Service Center
• Transforming to a voluntary bar

As a long-time board member of the Maricopa County Bar Association (MCBA) and President of the East Valley Bar Association (EVBA), I know the good a Bar Association may achieve. Complacency, looking solely to the past, repeating what has been done because that’s the way it has always been done, practically being in denial about the present reality, these are simply insufficient cause to continue business as usual.

As a member of the State Bar Board of Governors, you will have a voice consistently and zealously advocating for those changes which must be started, and sooner rather than later, for the benefit of all. Allow me to be the voice, even if often merely in dissent.

Elect me to the Board of Governors – Maximize your vote for me, ONLY vote for me.

Elect Michael Kielsky – ReformTheBar.com #ReformTheBar

Photo of Lawrence Koplow
Lawrence Koplow
Koplow Law Firm

We can do better. There are too many people that feel completely disconnected from our State Bar. There are too many people that only think about the Bar when our dues statement comes, or when we see someone we know in the back of its magazine.  For too many people, these events are their only connection to our Bar.
To be candid, I don’t know how we got here - a time when so many people feel the State Bar is like an exclusive club within our profession.  Regardless of whether these feelings match the reality of what actually happens at the State Bar, too many of its members feel this way.  Too many people feel they are not part of the club.
However, it does not have to be this way.  We are not obligated to keep the status quo.  We are self-governing.  We choose what we are.  We have the privilege of electing who we want.  If you feel the same as I do, let’s act to ensure that we all feel we are in the club.  Let’s do better.
I am running with David Fuller and Trent Buckallew.  They share these concerns.  More importantly, they share the same vision of a state bar that works for all of us. Please vote for David, Trent and me in order to help make a meaningful change.
Lawrence Koplow

Photo of Michael Mainwold
Michael Mainwold
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community

For many of us, the Arizona State Bar is not involved in our daily rituals.  We arrive at our office, read through the fast-growing list of emails in our inbox, and begin to plan our day: respond to this email, attend that meeting, jump on a conference call, etc.  Perhaps we occasionally glance at an email from the State Bar regarding the most recent addition to the CLE curriculum.  And then February or June rolls around, and it’s time to pay dues or submit a CLE affidavit.  We then make it a point to add those activities to the Outlook calendar.  At that point, the State Bar has made our list of priorities, but often times, not a moment before.

I seek to change this approach to the State Bar.  The Bar can and should be a source of support for all Arizona attorneys.  The current mission statement asserts that the Bar as an organization exists to serve and protect the public.  However, it should also exist to serve attorneys.  The legal profession covers a vast array of subject areas, of which no individual attorney is an expert.  In my experience, I have found that the best way to grow as an attorney is to reach out and communicate with attorneys in different practice areas and from various backgrounds. 

My vision for the State Bar is to foster this type of interaction and communication among all of its members.  As the Bar faces upcoming challenges, the most fundamental of which is whether the Bar shall remain mandatory, I believe it is necessary to ensure that all members have a voice at the table.  If elected, I would ensure that the BOG utilized a decision-making process that seeks input from the membership as a whole.  I would like to see the Bar continue its efforts towards diversity by encouraging membership among its sister bars.  Equally if not more important, the Bar should embrace those differences that are reflected in our diverse membership and ensure different perspectives have a voice in the process.  I seek to be one of those voices.

On a personal note, when I am away from the office, I enjoy spending much of my free time with my family.  My wife is a professor at ASU and teaches psychology.  Our nights typically consist of trying to get our 13-month old to walk and our 3-year-old to limit her Starburst intake.  An ideal weekend typically starts with Bosa donuts and ends with pizza.  When I’m not focused on the kids, I enjoy playing softball, home bartending, and am (finally) learning to golf.  Standard attorney hobbies.

I appreciate the time that many of you have given towards choosing your elected representatives.  Having two small children, I understand the value of time (and sleep).  Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to bringing a fresh voice to the State Bar. 


Photo of Robert J. McWhirter
*Robert J. McWhirter
The Law Offices of Robert J. McWhirter

Certified Specialist in Criminal Law

I once again ask for your vote. 

For the last year I have seen the Board of Governors work hard to better the lives every lawyer and client.  It has been an honor to contribute and I ask you to entrust me again.

I want to the State Bar to continue to work for “the little guy” – the solo-practitioner, the public defender, the public interest lawyer.  Good governance and transparency are key.  I am committed to these goals. 

As many of you know, I am a nationally and internationally known speaker and author on trial advocacy, immigration law, and the history of the bill of rights. 

The American Bar Association published my book BILLS, QUILLS, AND STILLS: THE HISTORY OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS (2015) after having published THE CRIMINAL LAWYER’S GUIDE TO IMMIGRATION LAW: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS, 2nd Ed. 2006 and THE CITIZENSHIP FLOWCHART, 2007.  I have served on the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section and on the Standard Committee writing the CRIMINAL JUSTICE STANDARDS as well as several Arizona State Bar committees.  I have also extensively taught in Latin America on comparative criminal procedure and trail advocacy. 

So, please give me your vote, and trust, again.

Robert J. McWhirter

Photo of Pouria Paknejad
Pouria Paknejad
Paknejad Law, P.L.C.

Protect the independence of the Bar.

Protect the independence of the judiciary.

This has been my pledge to you and it will continue to be my mandate if elected again to the Board of Governors.

In addition to fighting to preserve our independence, I have saved money by helping eliminate the Bar’s antiquated email system, helping increase the quality of good leaders by elevating programs like the Bar Leadership Institute, and ushering increased opportunities for new business by voting to implement the Bar’s lawyer referral program.

This is a crucial time for the Bar.  Your vote matters.  If you agree with my position on these issues, then I ask for your vote.

Photo of Greg Patterson
Greg Patterson
Munger Chadwick

The legal profession is undergoing the same types of fundamental changes that have already disrupted professions such as journalism, accounting, retail sales and healthcare.  Meanwhile, the profession also has to contend with the public’s increasing distrust in institutions that used to be considered fundamental to an organized society. As a result of these fundamental shifts, members of the Bar are facing increased economic and societal pressure.  If elected to the Board of Governors, I would work to broaden the level of service that the Bar provides to members while working to keep fees a low as possible.  I would also work to increase the standing of the legal community.  In addition to being an attorney, I am a CPA with nearly 30 years of public policy experience.  I served four years in the State House of Representatives, four years as Director of the Residential Utility Consumer Office, four years on the board of Maricopa Integrated Healthcare System and five years on the Board of Regents. I believe that I can use this experience to help the Board of Governors work with other stakeholders in order to increase the Bar’s responsiveness to members as well as its standing in society.

Photo of Jennifer R. Rebholz
*Jennifer R. Rebholz
Perry Childers Hanlon & Hudson, P.L.C.

The candidate chose not to provide a statement.

Photo of Sam Saks
*Sam Saks
Smith Saks, P.L.C.


This Election Matters

The Bar has a new CEO for the first time in over ten years.  With 18 candidates running for 7 seats, the upcoming Board of Governors election is the most important one in years and can change our Bar for the better.  The Board considers important issues like dues increases and modifications to the CLE system.  The voting on these issues has been close. 

Now is the time to move the Bar forward in a positive direction. 

My Goals

I will continue working to increase the Bar’s value to its members and the public.  Among other things, I will continue working to:
• Keep dues low
• Enhance education opportunities for attorneys and the public by making selected CLEs and publications free
• Simplify CLE reporting requirements
• Collaborate with the business community to increase free networking and professional development programs
• Support the independence of the sections and voluntary bar organizations
• Control the Bar’s expenses

With the first new CEO in over ten years, electing Board members with experience is important.  I have served the Bar for over twelve years, most recently as a member of the Board of Governors, a member of the Rules Committee, and chair of the Technology Committee. 

Please consider supporting me as one of your representatives on the Board of Governors.

About Sam Saks
Sam Saks has served the Bar for over twelve years. He has been active in the Maricopa County Bar Association, the Thurgood Marshall Inn of Court, and the Solo and Small Firm section. Sam practices commercial litigation at Smith Saks Kuzmich, PLC. Before entering private practice, Sam clerked at the Arizona Court of Appeals for Chief Judge Sheldon Weisberg. Sam graduated from the University of Michigan and Wayne State University Law School, where he was the executive articles editor of the law review. Sam believes the Bar should make the lives of attorneys easier so they can focus on representing their clients, not Bar regulations.

For more information about Sam and to view his voting record, visit www.SamForBOG.com

Photo of Jessica S. Sanchez
*Jessica S. Sanchez
Udall Shumway, P.L.C.

Members of the Bar:

My name is Jessica Sanchez, and I would be honored to be re-elected to serve on the Board of Governors.  Our members face a diverse array of challenges including but not limited to: increased competition for work; limited resources; maintaining a work-life balance; and finding purpose and ways to contribute to the greater good and society.  I believe in the mission and in the work of the State Bar to continuously evaluate and innovate programs and resources to meet all those challenges.  I feel that my unique experience equips me to assist the Bar in moving forward.

I am a proud native of Arizona.  I received my undergraduate degree from Northern Arizona University and my juris doctor from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.  Since 2007, I have focused my practice in the area of education law, representing school districts and charter schools throughout the state.   I am a partner at Udall Shumway PLC, and have also served as in-house legal counsel and as the general counsel for several Arizona school districts.  My experience in advising governing boards has greatly assisted me in how to be an effective member of the Board of Governors. 

Outside of my legal practice, I have served in several mentoring programs and on other non-profits geared towards education and building a bright future for our State.  I am an active member of Los Abogados and served as the President in 2016.  In addition to my time with Los Abogados, I have served several law-related organizations such as the Maricopa County Bar Association, the Hispanic National Bar Association, the Arizona and National Council of School Attorneys, and with the Arizona Collaborative Bar.  My experience with a diverse array of groups and organizations have provided me with a number of perspectives about how to best serve the Bar and community.
In 2012-2013 I participated in the Bar Leadership Institute (BLI) and became aware of how truly valuable the program and services are at the State Bar for both its members and the community.  After BLI, I served on the Bar’s Appointments Committee for almost five years, and as the chair in 2017-2018.  In 2017, I had the privilege of being elected to the Board of Governors.  In addition to my service on the Board, I have participated on several Board committees and working groups to further advance the mission of the Bar to serve and protect the public and to improve the administration of justice and the competency, ethics, and professionalism of lawyers practicing in Arizona.
I hope to be re-elected to the Board of Governors so that I can continue to serve District 6, the Bar, and the community.  If elected, I will continue to be an advocate for all members of the Bar, and for the community.  I will continue to ensure that members voices are heard and that all stake holders have a place at the table to enable the Bar to meet the challenges of the future.

Thank you very much for your consideration, and I hope that I continue to have the honor of serving you.


Jessica S. Sanchez

Photo of Sara A. Siesco
*Sara A. Siesco
Jones Raczkowski, P.C.

The candidate chose not to provide a statement.

Photo of Benjamin P. Taylor, II
*Benjamin P. Taylor, II
Taylor & Gomez, L.L.P.

Are you interested in making sure the Board of Governors is focused on the members? Do you want to ensure your dues are managed carefully and spent to benefit you?

If so, vote to re-elect Benjamin Taylor. I am committed to elevating the Bar’s role as a resource for attorneys, including both seasoned and new attorneys. My top goals will be to:  
1) Make sure the Bar is here to help attorneys, not hurt them.
2) Fight to make sure Bar dues are NOT increased.
3) Ensure Bar dues promote and help attorneys.
4) Increase communication with other Sister Bars.
5) Increase the working relationship with the Maricopa County Bar Association.
With your vote, I will make sure that members are the priority. I will not be afraid to speak out and stand up for your rights as attorneys, as you stand up for the rights of your clients.

District 7: La Paz and Yuma Counties

Photo of Jimmie Dee Smith
*Jimmie Dee Smith
Attorney at Law

The candidate chose not to provide a statement.

District 8: Pinal County

Photo of Denis M. Fitzgibbons
*Denis M. Fitzgibbons
Fitzgibbons Law Offices, P.L.C.

The candidate chose not to provide a statement.

Copyright ©2004-2019 State Bar of Arizona