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Chief Justice W. Scott Bales

Arizona Supreme Court

Scott Bales joined the Arizona Supreme Court in 2005 and became Chief Justice on July 1, 2014.  He regularly teaches courses as an adjunct professor at the law schools at Arizona State University and the University of Arizona.  He is also a member the ABA’s Law School Accreditation Committee, the Executive Committee of the ABA’s Appellate Judges Conference, and the Council of the American Law Institute.

Before his appointment to the Court, he had practiced law in Arizona for nearly 20 years as both a private and public lawyer.  From 2001-2005, he worked at Lewis and Roca LLP, where his practice focused on appellate and complex litigation.  As Arizona’s Solicitor General from 1999-2001, he handled major appeals in state and federal court, oversaw the enforcement of Arizona election laws, and supervised the preparation of legal opinions on issues concerning state government.  Justice Bales also was a Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Policy Development, a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office in Phoenix, and a Special Investigative Counsel for the Justice Department’s Inspector General.  He clerked for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Joseph T. Sneed III on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  After graduating from Michigan State University with degrees in history and economics, he received a master’s degree in economics and his law degree from Harvard.