The University of Arizona

Alumnus Appointed to Arizona Supreme Court

By Johnny Cruz, July 28, 2009

Gov. Jan Brewer announced the appointment of Arizona Court of Appeals Judge, and UA alumnus, John Pelander to the Arizona Supreme Court.

Gov. Jan Brewer announced the appointment of Arizona Court of Appeals Judge, and UA alumnus, John Pelander to the Arizona Supreme Court.

"It is my privilege today to appoint longtime Tucson attorney and judge, John Pelander, to serve as the newest Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court," stated Gov. Brewer. "He has served with distinction throughout his professional career and will make an excellent addition to our already outstanding Supreme Court."

Judge Pelander was admitted to practice law in Arizona in 1976. He graduated from Wittenberg University in Ohio with a bachelor's degree in 1973 and received his law degree from the UA James E. Rogers College of Law in 1976 with high honors.

He served as a law clerk to the Honorable Judge Richard Chambers of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 1976-77, and spent the next 18 years in private practice with the Tucson law firm now called Slutes, Sakrison & Rogers, practicing primarily in the area of civil litigation where he tried dozens of jury trials.

In 1998, he received an LLM degree (Masters of Judicial Process) from the University of Virginia. He also served on the Judicial Performance Review Commission from 2000-2007, and has been a staunch advocate for reform in this area.

Gov. Fife Symington appointed Judge Pelander to Division Two of the Arizona Court of Appeals in 1995. He served as Chief Judge of Division Two for five years through June 30, 2009. During that time he oversaw the administration of the division.

During his tenure on the Arizona Court of Appeals, Judge Pelander authored more than 160 published opinions and hundreds more unpublished decisions.

"Judge Pelander is one of the most distinguished and experienced jurists in our State," said Gov. Brewer. "Although it will be difficult to fill the void left by the retirement of the Honorable Ruth McGregor, I am certain Judge Pelander is up to the challenge and will help the Arizona Supreme Court as it continues to shape our judicial branch into one of the best in the country."