APRIL 8, 2015

Governor Doug Ducey announces two appointments to the Superior Court in Maricopa County

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PHOENIX – Governor Doug Ducey recently announced the appointments of James D. Smith and Dewain D. Fox to the Maricopa County Superior Court.

James D. Smith is a Phoenix native with substantial ties to the area.  He attended Camelback High School and then Arizona State University, where he graduated summa cum laude.  In 1995, James graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame Law School.  James clerked at the Arizona Court of Appeals with Judge Edward C. Voss, III, before entering private practice.  He began practicing at the firm founded by James A. Teilborg before Judge Teilborg joined the federal bench, and James then spent the overwhelming majority of his career in the Phoenix office of Bryan Cave LLP.  At Bryan Cave, James focused on class action defense and complex commercial litigation, handling cases in trial and appellate courts across the country.  

James likewise is committed to the community, and he most recently served on the advisory board of the Salvation Army in Phoenix.  He also spent a number of years as a member of the State Bar's Civil Practice and Procedure Committee.  He studies the history of our judicial system to understand how best to keep improving our outstanding Arizona courts.

"James Smith is an accomplished attorney who is known for his intellect and for being a skilled advocate and dedicated practitioner," said Governor Ducey. "His many years in private practice and experience handling complex litigation matters make him well-qualified to be a superior court judge."

After being raised nearly his entire life in Arizona, Dewain D. Fox graduated from Arizona State University in 1989 with a B.S. degree in accounting.  In 1992, he received his J.D., summa cum laude, from the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona.  From 1992 to 2009, he practiced law at Fennemore Craig, P.C.  Since 2009, he has practiced at Sherman & Howard L.L.C.  Dewain has more than 22 years of experience representing companies and individuals in a broad range of business disputes and creditor's rights matters, including fraud and racketeering claims, contractual disputes, real property disputes, breach of fiduciary duties claims, defamation and false light claims, abuse of process and malicious prosecution claims, and other business torts. Dewain has been committed to law-related education throughout his entire professional career.  Early in his career, he coached teams in the Arizona High School Mock Trial program.  Since 2006, he has served on the law-related education committee of the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education.  He currently serves as the Legal Counsel Coordinator overseeing all aspects of the Arizona High School Mock Trial program.  Since 2012, Dewain also has served as Chair of the Board of Directors of National High School Mock Trial Championship, Inc., the organization that sponsors the National Championship. He served as the Host Director for the 2011 National Championship hosted in Phoenix.

Dewain's wife, Kim, has been a kindergarten teacher for more than 30 years. Dewain and Kim both are active in their local church.

"I am very impressed by Dewain's commitment to the community and mock trial programs, an area in which he has become a leading national figure," said Governor Ducey.  "Dewain's deep knowledge of the law and the judicial system, as well as his experience in private practice and as a court-appointed arbitrator make him an excellent addition to the bench."  

Governor Ducey added, "I am honored to appoint James and Dewain to the Maricopa County Superior Court, and I am certain they will serve the citizens well."

These appointments were made to fill the vacancies created by the retirement of the Honorable Emmet Ronan and by the voters' decision not to retain the Honorable Benjamin Norris.

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