Ariz. SC justice plans to retire this month; search for replacement already has begun

By Jessica Karmasek | Sep 2, 2015


PHOENIX (Legal Newsline) - Arizona Supreme Court Justice Rebecca White Berch plans to retire from the state’s high court later this month.

She submitted her formal notice of retirement to Gov. Doug Ducey Monday.

Berch was named to the Supreme Court in 2002 by then-Gov. Jane Hull. She served as its chief justice from 2009 to 2014 and vice chief justice from 2005 to 2009.

Before her time of the court, she served as a judge on the state Court of Appeals, Division One, from 1998 to 2002.

In the years preceding, Berch served as chief deputy and special counsel in the state Attorney General’s Office, solicitor general for the state, and director of Arizona State University’s Legal Writing Program. She also worked as an associate and partner at a private law firm.

The search for Berch’s replacement already is underway.

The Supreme Court stated in a news release Monday that applications are being accepted for the vacancy.

The state’s Commission on Appellate Court Appointments will review applications, interview selected applicants, and recommend at least three nominees to Ducey.

Applicants must be at least 30 years old, an Arizona lawyer and a state resident for the past 10 years. They also must be “of good moral character.”

The new justice will be paid $155,000 annually.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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