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2012 Hall of Fame Inductees
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2012 Maricopa County Bar Hall of Fame - Pioneers

 

Jubal Early Craig - 1874-1974

Jubal Craig was admitted to practice in 1895 at the age of 21. He tried his last jury trial at age 95 and was a regular at his office at Fennemore, Craig, Allen and Bledsoe, now Fennemore Craig, until a few months before his death—a month short of his 100th birthday. Craig’s father, grandfather and two other close relatives were lawyers, all alumni of the University of Virginia, from which Jubal also graduated. But his most famous relative was another lawyer, Gen. Jubal Anderson Early, a Confederate hero for whom he was named.

Craig was the father of three children with his first wife, including federal district Judge Walter Craig (Hall of Fame 2010). He remarried several years after his first wife’s death when he was 80 years old.

Born in San Francisco, Craig began his career there with his father’s firm. At age 30, having earned a reputation as an able and ethical trial lawyer, he ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat (in a Republican state) for the California Supreme Court. Two years later in 1906, he and his family, but not his law office, survived the San Francisco earthquake. In 1919, at age 45, Craig moved to Phoenix, where he practiced for another 55 years, initially a generalist handling everything from the prosecution of cattle rustlers on the Mexican border to unraveling the intricacies of water rights.   

In 1927, he joined the pioneer firm of Chalmers, Fennemore and Nairn. At Fennemore, Craig focused on representing corporations in a variety of matters, but ultimately, he became best known for his role in helping create the State Bar of Arizona and as a charter member of its first Board of Governors, earning him the title "Dean of the Arizona Bar.”

As a member of the Council of the American Bar Association, he helped reorganize it in 1936 and became a charter member of the ABA House of Delegates, where he served until 1945. He actively served on ABA committees for many years. Craig also helped formulate the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1937) and was instrumental in securing the adoption of substantially the same rules of practice in Arizona two years later. He was instrumental in the
organization of the Maricopa County Legal Aid Society in Phoenix.   

Characterized as a soft-spoken, humble man, Craig was described by his Fennemore partner Philip von Ammon as compassionate, brilliant, witty, warm and patient. "But all I really know is that partnership with a man like Jubal Craig is a reward few men deserve.”

 

Hon. Ernest McFarland - 1894-1984


Hon. Ernest W. McFarland was a lawyer with an excep-tional number of credits to his name: assistant attorney general and later judge of the Pinal County Superior Court; defense lawyer in the sensational Winnie Ruth Judd trial; Democratic U.S. senator; "Father of the G.I. Bill”; successful promoter of the  Central Arizona Project bill in the U.S. Senate (with Sen. Carl Hayden); founder of the Arizona Television Company and later KTVK television; Arizona governor; chief justice of the Arizona Supreme Court; and progressive businessman.

McFarland was born the son of Oklahoma pioneers, served stateside in the Navy during WWI, and arrived in Phoenix jobless and homeless, finally finding work as a bank bookkeeper. He saved enough money for initial tuition at Stanford University, where he received a degree in political science and a JD.

His first elected office was as Pinal County attorney in 1925. Afterwards, while in private practice, he became an authority in agricultural and water-use law and legislation. In particular, he made a name for himself when he took on the defense of "trunk murderess” Winnie Ruth Judd, who had been declared guilty and sentenced to death. He and his partner were able to secure an insanity defense that saved her from the death penalty.

While building his career, he suffered personal tragedies when both his son and infant daughter died, and shortly after his grief stricken wife became ill and died. In 1933 he remarried and adopted his second wife’s daughter.

In 1940, after serving as a Pinal County judge, McFarland was elected to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat, where he served until 1953. During those years, he helped draft land and water-use legislation and pushed for the Central Arizona Project, which eventually became law in 1968. He is best known for his behind the scenes drafting and successful promotion of the GI Bill, but he also co-chaired a committee on Navajo-Hopi Administration which shaped legislation to provide roads, hospitals and schools for the two reservations.

Defeated for reelection to the U.S. Senate by Barry Goldwater in 1952, McFarland founded his television company and later KTVK, and went on to serve as governor from 1955-1959. After an unsuccessful attempt to unseat Goldwater in 1958, he returned to his legal career, eventually joining the Arizona Supreme Court in 1964 and becoming chief justice in 1968. Until his death in 1984, McFarland continued to be active, working to modernize Arizona education, irrigation systems, and broadcasting.

 

2012 Maricopa County Bar Hall of Fame - Modern Era

 

Hon. Rebecca White Berch

Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch was appointed to the Arizona Supreme Court in 2002 and became its 23rd chief justice in 2009. She holds bachelor’s, master’s and juris doctor degrees from Arizona State University. Following grad- uation from law school in 1979, Justice Berch practiced law in Phoenix with the firm of McGroder, Tryon, Heller, Rayes & Berch. She served as director of the legal writing program at the ASU College of Law from 1985 to 1991 and again from 1994 to 1995.

She served as solicitor general for the state of Arizona from 1991-94, and in 1995 was special counsel to the Arizona attorney general.  She first joined the bench as a judge on the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division 1 in 1998 and served until her Supreme Court appointment.

Chief Justice Berch has authored several law review articles, magazine articles, and books. The law school textbook she co-authored, Introduction to Legal Method and Process, is now in its fifth edition and is used in law schools throughout the nation. She serves on the U.S. Conference of Chief Justices and the Board of Trustees of the National Conference of Bar Examiners, among other boards, committees and commissions.

Chief Justice Berch has remained active in legal education, having served as dean of the Arizona Judicial College, as a member of the Committee on Judicial Education and Training, and on the Supreme Court’s Bar Examinations Committee. She maintains several other public service positions and speaks regularly on law-related topics to students, civic groups and legal organizations. In addition, she and her husband, ASU emeritus professor of law Michael Berch, have endowed awards that have supported more than 50 ASU law students over the years.

A strong proponent of pro bono work, Chief Justice Berch participates in and strongly encourages lawyers to engage in volunteer work. The Pro Bono Suite at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law is named in her honor.

A nominator wrote: "It would surprise no one to learn that Chief Justice Berch is the consummate professional to work with. She is open-minded, smart as whip, and respectful of others’ viewpoints. It might surprise some to learn she has a wry sense of humor, loves shoes more than most, and developed her stage presence by literally performing on stage and television as a child in Phoenix. We’re lucky to have someone as accomplished as Chief Justice Berch to lead our judiciary and legal system.”

 

Walter Cheifetz


Walter Cheifetz established a reputation as one of the best trial attorneys in the South-west, and especially as a devastating cross-examiner. Attorneys would come to his major trials to watch him work.  Over the years, he represented doctors, lawyers, hospitals, insurance carriers, and large corporations, both as defendants and plaintiffs. At Lewis and Roca from 1952 until 1989, he was for many years the firm’s most successful rainmaker.  

Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1927, Cheifetz was raised in poverty during the Depression. Following high school, he enlisted in the Navy during World War II, after which the GI Bill allowed him to attend Columbia University. After graduation, Cheifetz realized he was able to answer most of the questions on a friend’s law school exam and decided he would go too—but in his case at the University of Arizona, which at the time had the lowest tuition of any law school in the country.

Walter and his wife Ruth moved to Tucson in 1949, where their first child was born in 1950. While in law school, Walter sometimes had four jobs at a time—tutoring athletes, selling insurance, selling wholesale liquor, and selling popcorn at football games. But he still could not afford to buy law books and compensated by taking extremely detailed notes of class lectures.

Sans law books, Cheifetz received his law degree in 1952 and scored fourth on the Arizona bar exam. At that time, Jewish young men were not offered jobs at the so-called "good firms,” but Walter Scoville of Lewis, Roca and Scoville hired him anyway. After Ed Beacham joined the firm, he became Cheifetz’s mentor and encouraged him to get involved representing hospitals.  Eventually he represented most of the hospitals in the state.  

In 1962, Cheifetz landed in the national public eye when he represented a Phoenix hospital in connection with Sherri Finkbine (Miss Sherri on the "Romper Room” TV show). Finkbine sought a legal therapeutic abortion on the advice of her doctor because of inadvertently taking thalidomide while pregnant. The ensuing public controversy brought both a mention in a Life magazine cover story on August 10, 1962.

In 1989, Cheifetz, winding down his practice, began to volunteer at the Squaw Peak Senior Center and continued for the next 13 years. He assisted seniors with legal problems and would occasionally represent them in court on a pro bono basis. Soon he recruited other attorneys to help, receiving an Award of Special Merit from the State Bar of Arizona for his community service. Today, he is retired and resides in Phoenix with his wife of 63 years. They have three children.

 

Hon. Robert L. Gottsfield


Judge Robert Louis Gottsfield has served with distinction for 32 years as a Maricopa County Superior Court judge, including service as the presiding judge of Family Court from 1981-83. Though mandatorily retired in 2005 at age 70, he has continued to serve as a full-time pro tem judge. Upon his official retirement, he received the Outstanding Jurist Award from the Phoenix Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates.

Judge Gottsfield received his LLB from Cornell Law School in 1960 and served as a law clerk at the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, for three years. Before beginning his judicial career, Judge Gottsfield was a partner with the firm of Rawlins, Ellis, Burrus & Kiewit from 1963 to 1980. During his first years as a judge, he went back to school and earned a master’s in counseling from Arizona State University in 1981.

A prolific and influential author, he has written more than 130 law-related articles for numerous publications—15 published in the past two years. His writings have contributed to the improvement of the judiciary and management of the court system, particularly by emphasizing the importance of settlement conferences in criminal cases—an innovation developed in Maricopa County that courts elsewhere have begun to embrace (Judicature magazine); by addressing, with co-authors, the county’s capital case crisis (Arizona Attorney and Judicature); and by comprehensively assessing the death penalty process at the time (Arizona Attorney).

Judge Gottsfield has been a panelist/lecturer for CLE and judicial seminars for several organizations on more than 100 occasions. In 1988, he was given the Continuing Legal Education Award from the State Bar of Arizona, where he was also a co-founder and chair of the Dispute Resolution Committee (which has since become a section).

A nominator wrote: "He is not only our most senior . . . judge, he is by the account of virtually every lawyer who appears before him, one of the best.”  He has also been described as bright, analytical and energetic, with a reputation for fairness and for approaching legal issues with an open mind.   

Judge Gottsfield’s community service includes more than 35 years of involvement with the Arizona Youth and Government Program of the YMCA. He was a founder of the Phoenix University Club and, more recently, the Maricopa County Justice Museum and Learning Center. Since 1991, his Monday evenings have been reserved for volunteering at Andre House, where he serves meals to the homeless.

 

Hon. Michael Daly Hawkins


A native of Winslow and a third generation Arizonan, Judge Hawkins received his bachelor’s in political science and, in 1970, the juris doctor cum laude from Arizona State University. In 1998 he added the LLM from the University of Virginia. Nominated by President Clinton and unanimously confirmed by the Senate, he began serving as a U.S. District judge for the Ninth Circuit in 1994, taking senior status in 2010.

Judge Hawkins has been recognized throughout the court as one of its leading members. He demonstrates excellent judicial temperament, scholarship, judgment, courage, and genuine understanding of his colleagues and the parties and attorneys who appear before him.

Immediately upon law school graduation, Judge Hawkins entered the Marine Corps, serving from 1970-73, including as a Special Courts Martial Military judge. He was discharged with the rank of captain. He engaged in private practice from 1973-77 and again from 1980-94, interrupted by service as U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona (1977-80). While in private practice, he also frequently served as a judge pro tem on the Arizona Court of Appeals.

Judge Hawkins was 31 and the youngest person in Arizona history to serve as U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona. A colleague, Judge Barry Silverman, wrote: "U.S. attorneys are usually more at home in a press conference than a courtroom. A skilled prosecutor from his days as a Marine Corps lawyer, he carried an actual caseload while in office and actually tried jury trials himself—unheard of!”

Judge Hawkins was formerly a president of the Maricopa County Bar Association, the Arizona Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and the National Association of Former U.S. Attorneys. A former Uniform Law Commissioner for Arizona, he also served as a member of the Appellate Courts Nominating Commission for Arizona, and chair of the Governor’s Task Force on Juvenile Corrections.

Judge Hawkins has written and lectured extensively on trial practice, criminal procedure and evidence issues and is a student of early American history. He also has an active interest in Arizona legal history, frequently speaking and writing about those who achieved statehood. Judge Hawkins continues to teach in a variety of venues, including at American universities in Europe and closer to home. He maintains chambers in Phoenix and San Francisco. He has been married for 47 years to Phyllis Hawkins, a well-known Phoenix legal recruiter, and they have two sons.

A nominator concluded: "He’s a small town boy with a big brain and a big heart. His Ninth Circuit opinions form an important collection of scholarship, thoughtful judging, and profound compassion, no matter how controversial or complex the issues.”

 

William R. Jones, Jr.


William Jones is one of a handful of highly respected, preeminent lawyers who has had a significant impact on the legal profession. His leadership in legislative issues affecting lawyers and the judiciary and his civic outreach attest to his integrity and commitment to the highest principles of the profession.

Jones received his JD from the University of Michigan, beginning his law career in 1962 with the firm of Jennings Strouss Salmon & Trask. He tried lawsuits in the first year after his admission, he says, under the tutelage of the best trial lawyers in the country. By his tenth year, he had tried more than 50 civil jury cases, representing clients such as the state, county, city, and all three major state universities. He also established a flourishing automobile and general liability practice.

In 1972, Jones became a senior partner in the firm of Jones, Teilborg, Sanders, Haga & Parks, and in 1983 with others, he formed Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, PLC, where he actively practices today. Over the years, he has tried more than 250 civil jury cases in Arizona and other states.

In 1968-69, Jones assisted soon-to-be federal judge Ozell Trask in lobbying through and participating in the writing of a total revision of the workers’ compensation laws for the state. He was the first chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Committee of the state bar, and participated in writing the Workers’ Compensation Rules of Practice. He also has been the author or co-author of other significant legislation affecting the legal profession.

A frequent lecturer and author, Jones has been a faculty member of the Arizona College of Trial Advocacy since its inception. He has been honored by the American Board of Trial Advocates, the State Bar of Arizona, the American College of Trial Lawyers, and many more. His recognitions as "best of” in various years and publications are numerous.

Jones has been a member of many state bar and Supreme Court committees, most notably the committee that created the innovative "Zlaket Rules.” These rules were implemented to slash delays that plagued civil litigation and to instill the process with more truth-finding and less game-playing. His community activities include the position as director and former chairman of the Board of Scottsdale Memorial Health Systems, Inc. and his work on behalf of its Foundation.  

With all of his professional accomplishments and recognitions, one of his partners added a personal note:  "Bill is as kind-hearted, loyal and trustworthy a friend as one could hope for. He is a source of wisdom for all and he freely shares his knowledge.”

 

Alan A. Matheson


Alan Matheson is the Dean Emeritus and professor of law at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, ASU. He has been a leader of the college since 1967 when he became associate dean to Willard Pedrick, the college’s founding dean and a 2009 Hall of Fame inductee.  His own term as dean of the college was in 1979-84, but even after returning to teaching, he was called upon to serve as interim dean on four separate occasions.

Growing up in Salt Lake City, Dean Matheson followed his father into the law, receiving three degrees at the University of Utah, including the JD in 1959, with post graduate work at Columbia University. Returning to Utah, Professor Matheson served as assistant to the president of Utah State University before beginning his career at ASU. Said one nominator, "[He] is a man of extraordinarily good judgment, uncommon civility and great intellect…and he has the rare ability to lead and forge consensus when others are unable to do so….”

Unlike many academics, Dean Matheson partici-pated actively in the practicing bar. He served as an ex-officio member of the state bar and MCBA governing boards. Dean Matheson also served on the board of the Judicial College of Arizona for five years (and as a pro tem judge on the Arizona Court of Appeals), and several ABA committees.  His community service includes the DNA-Navajo Legal Services board; the Tri-City Citizens Mental Health board (president); the board of the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education; and the Center for Law in the Public Interest, among others.

But Dean Matheson is perhaps most often characterized as a beloved master teacher, with a particular interest in Constitutional Law. "No one is better at teaching the fundamentals of our Constitution and the principles of tolerance in a multifarious society than Alan. In his former students, Alan’s dedication to the rule of law spreads to the larger society.”  He has been the law school’s Outstanding Professor Award recipient at least four times, and in 1995 received the highest faculty award, the ASU Alumni Association Faculty Achievement Award for Service.

A tribute to him several years ago said: "Alan Matheson is a near-mythical character, brilliant but humble, a leader with no ego, a husband and father who never raised his voice, a man distressed by injustice who dedicates his life to the law, a man who has lived a life in service to his family, church, community and students.”

 

Hon. Janet Napolitano


Janet Ann Napolitano was raised in Albuquerque, where she was an accomplished clarinetist and voted "Most Likely to Succeed.” At Santa Clara University in California, she graduated as valedictorian with a degree in political science. She then received her JD from the University of Virginia Law School in 1983.

After graduation, she clerked for Judge Mary Schroeder (Hall of Fame 2010) of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals until she joined the Phoenix firm of Lewis and Roca.

During her time in private practice, she served as president of the Community Legal Services board, was a member of the state bar’s Civil Practice and Procedure Committee, and served on the Board of Trustees of her California alma mater. She was also an early and active member of the Arizona Women Lawyers Association.  

In 1991 she gained national attention as one of two attorneys for Anita Hill during her Senate testimony against then-U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Hill. In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed her U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona. In 1998, Napolitano won the office of Arizona attorney general, where she focused on consumer protection and general law enforcement and defended Arizona’s death penalty law all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Napolitano won the governorship of Arizona in 2002 and in 2005 Time magazine named her one of the top five U.S. governors. During her six years in office, she supported voluntary all-day kindergarten programs and historic pay raises and training for school teachers. An outspoken critic of the federal government’s immigration policies, she pushed for tougher penalties for employers who hire illegal immigrants.

In 2009, President Obama nominated her and she was confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. As the third official in that position, she reorganized a fragmented department of 240,000 employees while she forged new partnerships with international allies and expanded information-sharing with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.  

She is credited with increasing deportations of illegal immigrants, restoring the image of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), helping create a new airport screening system for U.S.-bound planes at foreign airports, and creating a national system to detect and thwart cybersecurity threats.

Those who know her personally describe Napolitano as an energetic, outgoing woman who loves sports and the outdoors. She is a diehard Diamondbacks fan, a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts of America, an unabashed Monty Python fan, and an avid reader. She enjoys river rafting and hiking trails and mountains around the world, including Mt. Kilimanjaro.

 

Hon. Robert W. Pickrell


With deep roots in Arizona and a family history of service to the state, Judge Pickrell carried on the family tradition through his career as an attorney and judge and a dedicated public servant through his career-long pro bono service.  Born in Prescott, his family soon moved to Phoenix, where he received his schooling. When his father, Charles U. Pickrell, Sr., was appointed as director of Agricultural Extension, he moved the family to Tucson. There, Judge Pickrell finished high school and entered the University of Arizona.

His education was interrupted by WWII, in which he served as a corporal in the 45th infantry division that fought its way from Anzio to Rome. Judge Pickrell was among the first wave of combat troops to land in Operation Dragoon, the Allied invasion of Southern France on August 15, 1944. After the war, he reentered the University of Arizona, where he received his undergraduate degree in 1947 and his JD in 1949.

IUpon graduation from law school, he began his career as a lawyer with the Bisbee firm of Gentry & Gentry and also practiced briefly in Willcox. In 1951, he returned to Phoenix as attorney for the state Industrial Commission. From 1953 to 1955, he was an assistant attorney general representing the Land Department and the Corporation Commission.

For five years he was in private practice with the firm of Pickrell, Hunter, Bartlett & Penn. Long active in Republican Party politics, he was elected in 1960 and served from 1961 until 1965 as Arizona attorney general. In addition, Judge Pickrell held positions as executive director of the Maricopa County Legal Aid Society and was city attorney of Avondale.

In 1974, he was appointed a judge of the Maricopa County Superior Court, where he served until 1991. Judge Pickrell held positions in civil, criminal, juvenile, and domestic relations areas. He also played an instrumental role in the development of the county court into the sophisticated system it is today.

Not least, Judge Pickrell from the very beginning of his career devoted himself to pro bono services and assistance to the indigent and underrepresented. His commitment to public service contributed significantly to organizations such as Community Legal Services (CLS) and the Salvation Army Legal Aid Program. In 2002, CLS awarded him the newly-created Lifetime Commitment to Justice Award, which now bears his name.
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