PHOENIX (October 16, 2023) – Two judges with the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County have recently been recognized for their achievements as members of the judiciary.
Judge Peter Thompson, assigned to the Civil Department, has been recognized as Judge of the Year by the Phoenix Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, an invitation-only national association of trial lawyers and judges dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the Seventh Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
“A core part of that mission is to ensure independence of the judicial branch, which continues to be under threat from a variety of different sources. Our organization seeks to ensure that the Courts remain fair and impartial, accountable to the Constitution and laws of the various states, and not to politicians, ideologies, or special interests. The truly independent judiciary best safeguards individual rights and liberties,” said the chapter’s president, Chris Hanlon.
Judge Thompson has been on the Bench since 2007 when he was appointed as a commissioner; he was appointed as a judge in 2010.
“I am honored and humbled to receive this recognition from such a highly regarded and prestigious organization committed to the preservation of judicial independence,” Judge Thompson said.
Also being recognized is Judge Pamela Dunne (Svoboda), who is assigned to the Juvenile Department, for her work with system-involved youth who had been sex trafficked. Judge Dunne was honored with the “Game Changer Award” from the Arizona Anti-Trafficking Network.
According to the organization, Judge Dunne was recognized for her empathic, trauma-informed and victim-centered approach in STRENGTH Court, a specialty program which stands for Succeed Through Resilience Empower New Growth Through Hope.
“She is a compassionate advocate for the most vulnerable among us. Her work is instrumental in guiding these children toward healing and a brighter future through recovery and restoration,” according to the organization, noting that she was among the first judges to help establish STRENGTH court in Maricopa County. “You play a vital role in empowering survivors and shaping their future for the better. You have turned a courtroom from a scary place to a place of healing and new beginnings where survivors’ voices are heard.”
In Arizona, 300 children were confirmed victims of sex trafficking between 2017 and 2020, according to a report by the Arizona State University Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research.
“I am deeply honored to receive this award,” said Judge Dunne, who joined the Bench in 2005 as a commissioner and was appointed as a judge in 2012. “Helping these trafficked youth go from merely surviving to thriving is one of the greatest joys of my career.”