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Laurie San Angelo named as new Pima County judge

Laurie San Angelo, a commissioner for the Superior Court in Pima County, has been named a judge here by Gov. Doug Ducey, filling a vacancy created by Judge Scott Rash's confirmation to the federal bench.

San Angelo, a Democrat, has been serving as a court commissioner hearing uncontested cases involving divorces, child support, and probate matters, since 2013.

Her appointment as a full Superior Court judge was announced by the governor on Friday.

San Angelo was chosen from among five candidates recommended by the Pima County Commission on Trial Court Appointments in August.

Rash was nominated to the federal bench by President Donald Trump in 2019, and confirmed by the Senate earlier this year.

San Angelo, formerly a top lawyer with the Attorney General's Office overseeing child abuse cases in Southern Arizona, had previously sought appointments to the bench in 2017 and 2018.

From 2016 to 2018, she served as a coordinating commissioner for the Superior Court, responsible for policy input and special projects for the family law court.

"Laurie's lifelong service protecting Arizona families and work experience as a judge pro tem and assistant attorney general make her a noteworthy candidate for the bench," Ducey said.

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From the Governor's Office:

Prior to her appointment to the bench, Laurie worked at the Arizona Attorney General’s Office from 1984 to 2013, where she most recently served as the South Unit Chief Counsel for the Protective Services Section and managed nearly 45 attorneys and staff members in three offices. During her time at the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, she represented the Arizona Department of Child Safety throughout southern Arizona by handling child welfare matters, including dependency and severance of parental rights actions. She also handled juvenile mental health proceedings and family law matters.

Laurie was also one of three Assistant Attorney Generals selected to serve on the Model Court Project in 1997. This was a groundbreaking project that assured each family would have timely court hearings, and its procedures were eventually adopted as state dependency law.

Laurie is an active member in her community. She is a regular volunteer with the Lawyers for Literacy program through the Pima County Bar Foundation, where she has tutored an elementary student in reading every week. She has volunteered for the American Lung Association, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and Courts R Us program. Laurie also volunteers her time to the legal community, including as an active member of the Pima County Bar Association for which she served as President from 2012 to 2013.

Laurie received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Baylor University. She went on to earn her law degree from the University of Arizona, where she served on the Arizona Law Review. Following the completion of her law degree, Laurie clerked for Chief Justice William Holohan of the Arizona Supreme Court.

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