Friday, May 30, 2014
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Alumna, Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch (’79), was selected by the State Bar of Arizona to receive this year’s James A. Walsh Outstanding Jurist Award. This award is presented to the judge whose career exemplifies the highest standards of judicial conduct for integrity and independence; who is knowledgeable of the law and faithful to it; who is unswayed by partisan interests, public clamor or fear of criticism; who is patient, dignified and courteous to all who appear before him; and who endeavors to improve the administration of justice and public understanding of, and respect for, the role of law in our society. The award was established in 1989, and past recipients include Hon. James A. Walsh, Hon. Mary Murphy Schroeder, Hon. William C. Canby, Jr., and Chief Justice Ruth V. McGregor.
Chief Justice Berch was appointed to the Arizona Supreme Court in 2002 and became the Chief Justice on July 1, 2009. She has served as an appellate judge for more than 16 years.
Before her appointment to the Supreme Court, she served the state as a Court of Appeals Judge (1998-2002), Solicitor General of the State of Arizona, First Assistant (Chief Deputy) Attorney General, and ASU College of Law faculty member.
Following graduation from law school, Justice Berch practiced law in Phoenix, becoming a named partner of her firm in 1984. In 1986, she joined the faculty at Arizona State University College of Law. Justice Berch has authored more than a dozen law review articles, two books, and two chapters for books. She has also authored hundreds of appellate opinions. The textbook she co-authored, Introduction to Legal Method and Process, is now in its fifth edition.
Chief Justice Berch serves on the Board of Trustees of the National Conference of Bar Examiners, as Vice-Chair of the ABA Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, and in several other public positions.
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