Gov. Ducey Appointed Six New Judges to Appeals Court in Final Days of Administration

Gov. Ducey Appointed Six New Judges to Appeals Court in Final Days of Administration

By Corinne Murdock |

As one of his last acts as governor, Doug Ducey appointed six judges to the Arizona Court of Appeals. 

Ducey appointed Michael Catlett, Anni Hill Foster, and Daniel Kiley to Division I, and Lacey Stover Gard, Michael Kelly, and Christopher O’Neil to Division II. 

In a press release, Ducey cited the increasing popularity of Arizona as a new home state as the reason for this large slate of appointments.

“These new judges will provide the much needed resources for the Court of Appeals to handle its growing caseload as more and more people choose Arizona as a place to live, work, and start a business,” said Ducey. “Each of these individuals are exceptionally talented and principled. They will faithfully uphold the law, defend the Constitution, and respect the separation of powers. I am proud to have these judges serve the State of Arizona on the Court of Appeals.”

Catlett was the former deputy solicitor general under former Attorney General Mark Brnovich. Prior to that, Catlett was a partner at a law firm, Quarles & Brady. Catlett offers pro bono legal services to Paralyzed Veterans of America, the U.S. District Court’s self-represented litigant clinic, and the Ninth Circuit’s pro bono program. 

Foster served as Ducey’s general counsel, and formerly served as deputy general counsel. Prior to that, Foster served as general counsel for the Arizona Department of Public Safety, and the assistant attorney general at the attorney general’s office. Foster is involved with the Arizona State Bar and the Maricopa County Bar Association. She also serves as a commissioner for the Arizona Commission on Access to Justice, and volunteered in the past with the Arizona State University (ASU) Law Pipeline Program. 

Kiley has been the Maricopa County Superior Court judge for over a decade, currently serving as the presiding judge of the Lower Court and Administrative Appeals Department. Prior to the superior court, Kiley practiced at the law firm Sherman & Howard, and prosecuted for the attorney general’s office. Kiley volunteers currently with Maggie’s Place, a nonprofit for homeless pregnant women, and formerly volunteered with My Sister’s Place, a domestic violence shelter.

Gard has served as a Pinal County Superior Court judge since 2021. Prior to that, Gard worked in the attorney general’s office as deputy solicitor general and chief counsel of the Capital Litigation Section as well as assistant attorney general in the Criminal Appeals Section. Gard also taught at the University of Arizona College of Law. 

Kelly comes from the Hollingsworth Kelly law firm. He formerly worked with the Pima County Attorney’s Office as a prosecuting attorney. Kelly volunteers pro bono legal services for Step Up to Justice. He formerly served as a board member for the Southern Arizona Legal Aid organization, which provides free legal services, as well as the Tucson Village Farm, an urban farm support organization. 

O’Neil has served as a Pinal County Superior Court judge. Prior to that, O’Neil was a Casa Grande Municipal Court judge, a staff attorney for the Pinal County Superior Court, and then an attorney for the Haralson, Miller, Pitt, Feldman, & McAnally law firm. O’Neil volunteers as City of Casa Grande Youth Soccer League coach, Cactus School Mock Trial Team advisor, and Casa Grande pastor. 

Ducey’s work as governor is available on a new archiving site, “The Ducey Years.”

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.