3 Tucson lawyers appointed Pima judges

Vacancies caused by 2 retirements, appellate appt.
2013-05-09T00:00:00Z 2013-05-09T11:53:19Z 3 Tucson lawyers appointed Pima judgesVeronica M. Cruz Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
May 09, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Three Tucson attorneys have been appointed to the Pima County Superior Court.

Gov. Jan Brewer announced Sean Earl Brearcliffe, Michael Joseph Butler and Brenden James Griffin as the newest judges to join the Superior Court on Wednesday.

Brearcliffe, a partner at Rusing, Lopez & Lizardi, has practiced law in Arizona since 1996. His areas of practice include commercial, construction, employment, bankruptcy, probate and intellectual property litigation.

He has also served as a member and president of the Pantano Rotary Club, treasurer of the Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, chairman of the Rules Committee of the Pima County Bar Association and as chairman of three reappointment committees for U.S. District Court magistrate positions, according to a news release from the Governor's Office.

He was inspired to become a judge by working on projects with U.S. District Judge John M. Roll, one of six people killed in a mass shooting on Jan. 8, 2011, the release said.

"I am confident the fine legacy of Chief Judge Roll will be carried forth by Sean, and that he will be a tremendous asset to the people of Pima County," Brewer said in the release.

Butler, a senior partner at Butler, Oden & Jackson, specializes in real estate and business litigation.

He was admitted to the State Bar in 1993 after graduating from the University of Arizona School of Law and has worked at several small firms in Tucson and a large firm in Phoenix.

Since 2008, Butler has been part of the the Volunteer Lawyers Program, which offers legal help to low-income clients. He has also served on the board of governors of St. Michael's Parish Day School. To help pay for college and law school, Butler worked as a paramedic and an EMT instructor, according to his application for judicial office. He was nominated Tucson Paramedic of the Year four times in a row, the news release said.

Brewer said in the release, that Butler's "experience outside the legal realm, including his time as a certified emergency paramedic, will bring a unique perspective to the Court that will allow him to serve the citizens of Pima County well."

Since 2011, Griffin has been a partner of the firm Gabroy, Rollman & Bosse, PC and has served as a Judge Pro Tempore for Superior Court.

Griffin graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1994 and was admitted to the Arizona state bar in 1996.

Organizations he has been involved with include Catholic Community Services and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona, the Pima County Bar Association board and the local chapter of the National Association of Legal Support Professionals which gave him a "Boss of the Year" award.

"Brenden's legal background - including commercial, personal injury, trust and estate, insurance law and employment litigation - have well-equipped him to serve in this distinguished role," Brewer wrote in the release.

The vacancies at the Superior Court were caused by the retirement of Judge Terry. L. Chandler and Judge Jan E. Kearney, and Judge Michael O. Miller's appointment to Division 2 of the Arizona Court of Appeals.

Contact reporter Veronica Cruz at vcruz@azstarnet.com or at 573-4224

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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