Commissioner Recruitments

The Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County accepts applications for appointment as a Commissioner approximately one time per year and only during specifically advertised periods. Commissioners may function as a Plea Officer, or be assigned to the Early Disposition Court, Initial Appearance Court, or Juvenile Advisory Hearings. The selected Commissioners may also be assigned and/or assist with work or hear matters in other Court departments, including Civil, Family Court, Juvenile, Criminal, Probate, Mental Health, Tax, or Justice Courts. As Judicial employees of the Court, Commissioners are not permitted to practice law.

What you need to know:

The online application is only available on our website during our open recruitment period. We typically have one posting per calendar year. The last application period was Monday, April 3rd, 2023 to Wednesday, April 26th, 2023.

Starting in 2022 all submissions will be electronic. We will not be utilizing or accepting any of our previous word document forms.

  • The link to apply will only be available during the open recruitment period.
  • We have a Commissioner Applicant Mentor Program for applicants! Please see below for more information.
  • Completed applications and completed personal history statements must be received by the deadline.
  • You will need to submit a lengthy online personal history statement. The information you can expect to be collected can be found in this document.
  • You are welcome to submit up to 6 letters of reference with your personal history statement, but we will provide you with information on how to solicit feedback from your supporters through our electronic feedback system which is our preferred way to receive feedback.
  • The initial review of candidate submissions is done by the Commissioner Nominating Committee and referred to the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court.
  • A list of qualified applicants from which future vacancies may be filled will be created.
  • The Presiding Judge will make the final appointments.
  • Applicants not selected by the time a new recruitment is announced will need to re-apply for each recruitment in order to receive consideration.

Commissioner Applicant Mentor Program

Looking for insights into the role of a court commissioner, details on the application process, or practice with mock interviews for the commissioner recruitment? The Maricopa County Superior Court has a new resource available to assist prospective commissioners. 

Supported by volunteers who are current judicial officers, the applicant mentorship program is designed to bolster an applicant’s readiness for the commissioner hiring process. Mentors may meet with applicants and answer questions about the process. While the mentor will not serve as an advocate in the formal hiring process before the committee, the mentor will provide feedback to the committee and will be available to guide prospective commissioners through the recruitment steps. 

The role of the court commissioners is critical to the Maricopa County Superior Court. With more than 60 commissioners serving the Bench, the Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County seeks experienced and motivated applicants to fill these important roles in helping to uphold the principles inherent to the rule of law for every person, every day, every time.

To obtain a mentor, please click here to send an email request.

Interested in learning what it's like to be a Commissioner? 

The Requirements:

Candidates for this position must be:

  • A United States Citizen
  • A duly licensed member of the State Bar of Arizona, for a period of not less than five years preceding appointment
  • A resident of the State of Arizona, for a period of not less than five years immediately preceding appointment
  • Applicants need not be a resident at the time of their application, however, under A.R.S. 12-211 (B) must be a resident of Maricopa County when appointed

Achievement or distinction in various areas of the law and litigation consistent with the duties of this Commissioner position is desirable.

Commissioners serve from time to time as judges pro tempore in the course of their regular duties. The Arizona Constitution, Article VI, §22 requires that judicial nominees must be at least 30 years of age, of good moral character, and admitted to the practice of law in and a resident of the State for five years immediately preceding appointment. 

The Superior Court operates from a number of locations throughout Maricopa County. Commissioners are subject to assignments in various departments and for various periods of time to one or more locations of the Court. Commissioners share supervision of their Judicial Assistants with Court Administration.

Note: Commissioners are required to file an annual financial disclosure statement.

The Pay and Benefits:

The salary for the position will be established by the Presiding Judge. It is currently set at ninety percent of the salary of a Superior Court Judge of $148,220.80 annually. Additional benefits include medical and dental insurance, life insurance, paid sick and vacation time, ten paid holidays, and participation in a state-sponsored retirement program. Commissioners serve at the pleasure of the Presiding Judge and are subject to periodic assessment through a judicial performance review program administered by the Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County.

The Commissioner Nomination Committee Process:

  1. Application Deadline: All applications are due as stated in the announcement and on the application form. 
  2. Screening Meeting: At the screening meeting the Committee reviews all applications received and the results of any investigation conducted by Committee members. The Committee then decides which of the applicants will be selected for interviews. The Screening Meeting is set for June 5th, 2023.
  3. Notification to Applicants: Applicants selected for interviews are notified by phone and email letter of the date, time, and location of the interviews.  Applicants not selected for an interview are notified by email letter.
  4. Investigation: Further investigation of the applicants to be interviewed is conducted.  The applicants' credit, criminal, and professional discipline histories are requested, and the results are given to the Committee. The Committee seeks comments from judges, attorneys, and the community. 
  5. Interviews: Interview times will be available for all Candidates selected to move to this round. After all the interviews are completed the Committee discusses the relative qualifications of all applicants.  A list of the questions used in the 2021 cycle can be found here. Interviews will be held on July 27th and 28th, 2023.
  6. Nominations: The names of the final selected interviewees are submitted to the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court.  

Feedback on Candidates

The feedback period is open for our Spring 2023 Superior Court Commissioner candidates. Please use this link to provide feedback on any of the candidates.

First Name Last Name Employer
Richard Baek Arizona Attorney General's Office
Lisa Boddington Arizona Attorney General's Office
Matthew Burow Maricopa County Office of the Legal Advocate
William Cawthon Maricopa County Public Defender's Office
Mary Dreyer Pinal County Public Defender's Office
Jason Easterday Arizona Attorney General's Office
Kyle Ewing Pinal County Public Defender's Office
Ashley Fritz Arizona Attorney General's Office
Mayra Galindo Goodyear Municipal Court
Esmeralda Gaxiola Federal Public Defender's Office
Gregg Gibbons Gregg Clarke Gibbons, P.C./Current Judge Pro Tem
Biagio Gingo Gila River Indian Community
Jami Goldman My Arizona Lawyers
Dan Hernacki The Hernacki Law Office, PLLC
Chad Heywood Riggs Ellsworth and Porter
Pamela Hostallero Maricopa County Attorney's Office
Lindsay Huckaby Arizona Attorney General's Office
Lindsay Hughes Arizona Attorney General's Office
Teresa Hunt Apache Junction Municipal Court
Dawnese Hustad Maricopa County Public Defender's Office
Michael Irish iLaw, PLLC
Kinda Johnson-Hurd Maricopa County Office of the Legal Advocate
Savita Kasturi Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections
Brad Keogh Arizona Department of Corrections
Michael Kielsky Fred Loya Insurance Group/Current Judge Pro Tem
Michelle Lawson Maricopa County Public Defender's Office
Monica Lindstrom Chandler Municipal Court/Justice Courts Judge Pro Tempore
Linda Lory Paradise Valley Municipal Court/Tempe Municipal Pro Tem
Thomas McDermott Pinal County Attorney's Office
Doreen McPaul Navajo Nation
Lisa Montes Dominguez Law Firm
Karen Nagle Paradise Valley Municipal Court/Current Judge Pro Tem
Wayne Nelson Arizona Department of Economic Security
Kristin Nordeen Maricopa County Attorney's Office
Jeremy Rovinsky Maricopa County Attorney's Office
Vineet Shaw Arizona Attorney General's Office
Lonny Sheinson Hildebrand Law, P.C.
Michael Somsan Michael S. Somsan and Associates P.L.C.
Kimberly Staley Law Office of Katherine Kraus PLLC

The Commissioner Nomination Committee - Spring 2023

Committee Member Seat
Judge Pam Gates Associate Presiding Judge, Chair
Judge Danielle Viola Civil
Judge Jennifer Green Criminal
Judge Bruce Cohen Family
Judge Lisa VandenBerg Probate/Mental Health
Judge Lori Bustamante Juvenile
Judge Joseph Kreamer Tax
Commissioner Barbara Spencer Presiding Commissioner
Commissioner Phemonia Miller Commissioner - at Large
Commissioner Janette Corral Commissioner - at Large
Ray Billotte Superior Court Administrator
Dwayne Burns Maricopa County Bar Association Representative
Barbara Pashkowski Maricopa County Bar Association Diversity and Inclusion Representative
Adriana Genco Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association Representative
Rosemarie Pena-Lynch AZ Collaborative Bar/Arizona Women Lawyers Association Representative

Judicial Branch of Arizona logo

Sheila Jewell

Commissioner Recruitment Coordinator


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