Local finalists have come up short in their bid for appointment to vacant positions on the Divison One Arizona Court of Appeals. Mohave County Superior Court Judge Rick Williams of Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City-based private practice attorney Ken Moyer will keep their current jobs, at least for now.
Governor Doug Ducey has announced the appointments of Judge Maria Elena Cruz and Judge Jennifer Campbell to the vacant Appellate Court positions.
Judge Cruz is Presiding Judge of the Yuma County Superior Court. She has served as a Yuma County Superior Court Judge since 2009. Prior to joining the Superior Court, Judge Cruz served as a judge for the Cocopah Indian Tribe, practiced at her own firm, Law Office of Maria Elena Cruz, and worked for the Yuma County Attorney’s Office and Yuma County Legal Defender’s Office.
Judge Cruz is a member of the Arizona Judges Association, where she has served in a number of leadership positions, including as President and Vice President. She is also a member of the Arizona Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice and the Supreme Court Commission on Victims in the Courts. Judge Cruz has also been a member of the Hispanic National Bar Association and Los Abogados.
Judge Cruz graduated from the University of Arizona in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She received her law degree from the University of Arizona College of Law in 2001.
“Judge Cruz has earned a reputation as an outstanding attorney and leader. Her service as Presiding Judge of the Yuma County Superior Court and as President of the Arizona Judges Association is very impressive,” said Governor Ducey. “I am pleased to appoint Judge Cruz to the Arizona Court of Appeals.”
Judge Campbell is a Yavapai County Superior Court Judge, and she has served in this position since 2011. Before joining the bench, Judge Campbell worked in private practice at her own firm, The Campbell Law Firm. She also practiced at Vakula & Kottke and Mounger & Campbell, and worked as a Deputy County Attorney in the Yavapai County Attorney’s Office.
Judge Campbell currently serves as Vice President of the Arizona Judges Association. Previously, she served as President of the Yavapai County Bar Association and as President of the Northern Arizona Chapter of the Arizona Women’s Lawyer Association.
Judge Campbell graduated magna cum laude from Colorado State University in 1999 and received her law degree from the University of Texas School of Law in 2002.
“Judge Campbell has dedicated herself to the citizens of Yavapai County. As a Yavapai County Superior Court Judge, she has served with distinction and developed innovative programs at the court. As an attorney, she volunteered pro bono services to homeless veterans and others in need of legal services in Yavapai County,” said Governor Ducey. “I am pleased to appoint Judge Campbell to the Arizona Court of Appeals.”
The appointments were made to fill the vacancies created by the appointment of Justice Andrew Gould to the Arizona Supreme Court and the retirement of Judge Patricia Orozco.