Alumna elected Chief Judge
Ann A. Scott Timmer, a 1985 magna cum laude graduate of the College of Law, recently was elected Chief Judge of the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One. Her one-year term began July 1.
Timmer, who was appointed to the Court of Appeals by former Gov. Jane Dee Hull in 2000, said she is looking forward to the challenge of managing and continuing to improve the efficiency and quality of the court during Arizona’s economic downturn.
“My big goals are not to lay anyone off and to do what we can within our budget to keep moving forward with improvements to the court’s electronic filing system,” she said. “The state court system lags behind what the public and law firms are accustomed to in federal courts, but it is transitioning to a new system, which will ultimately save the state money, improve the efficiency of transferring files from court to court and reduce costs for court users.”
Timmer said she enjoys serving as an appeals judge because it is among the most “purely legal jobs” in the field and serves the public interest.
“When you’re in private practice, there’s a lot of business to that – bringing in business, dealing with clients and considering the economic realities of cases – that you don’t realize when you’re in law school,” she said.
“As a judge, you’re no longer doing the business part of the law. Instead, you’re researching, writing, hearing arguments and conferring with very bright colleagues on cases. I’m also very lucky to have 16 judges who are all nice, hard-working people, and to have the support of law clerks who are bright and enthusiastic.”
Before joining the court, Timmer practiced law at private firms in Phoenix, focusing primarily on commercial and employment litigation, and appearing before state and federal trial and appellate courts, as well as administrative tribunals.
Timmer is a board member of the Arizona Foundation for the Handicapped and the Arizona Women Lawyers Association. She was appointed by the Arizona Supreme Court to its Capital Case Task Force, to CourTools, a court-assessment program, and to the Commission on Minorities, and she also serves as vice chair of COJET, the Committee on Judicial Education and Training.
A graduate of the University of Arizona, Timmer participated in several extracurricular programs at the College of Law. She was Notes and Comment Editor for the Arizona State Law Journal, and was a member of the National Appellate Advocacy Team and of the National Moot Court Team. Timmer also received the American College of Trial Lawyers’ Medal for Excellence in Advocacy and was elected to the Order of the Coif and the Order of Barristers.
Timmer said her time at law school was filled with interesting courses, great professors and fond memories. She frequently advises law students to step outside their comfort zone while in law school and to make the most of the opportunities offered them.
“Even if you don’t want to do criminal work, do the prosecutor's (Criminal Practice) clinic, where you’ll try case after case after case and get wonderful experience in front of juries and judges,” Timmer said. “Be on the Law Review, if you can, or join moot court. These experiences stood me in better stead than simply getting good grades in the classroom.”