Governor Ducey Appoints Five Judges To Fill Critical Vacancies At Maricopa County Superior Court

News Release

January 3, 2018

 

PHOENIX – Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointments of Sara J. Agne, Suzanne Scheiner Marwil, Justin Beresky, Lisa VandenBerg and Kevin Wein to the Maricopa County Superior Court. These appointments are to fill vacancies resulting from the retirement of five judges.

Sara Agne is a partner in the special litigation and compliance practice group at Snell & Wilmer. She has practiced at the firm since her graduation from the University of Michigan Law School, and has served on the firm’s hiring and ethics committees. While at Snell & Wilmer, Sara litigated commercial disputes, election law and constitutional issues before Arizona and federal courts at all levels. A former journalist, Sara worked for the East Valley Tribune and the Associated Press before attending law school. While in practice, she concentrated her pro bono service efforts on work for immigrants and refugees.

“Sara’s demonstrated commitment to the improvement of the judicial system and the law makes her a perfect fit for the bench,” said Governor Ducey. “I am pleased to appoint Sara Agne to the Maricopa County Superior Court.”

Sara is a current member of the Arizona Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules of Evidence and of the State Bar of Arizona Civil Practice and Procedure Committee. Sara often served as a proxy for members of the Arizona Supreme Court’s Committee on Civil Justice Reform and its Task Force on the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure, assisting with the rules reform and restyling efforts of both groups.

Before becoming a lawyer, Sara graduated magna cum laude from Arizona State University with a B.A. in Journalism and served as Editor in Chief of the University’s morning daily, The State Press, while completing her senior year of college. 

Justin Beresky is a Commissioner at the Maricopa County Superior Court. He graduated from the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor of Arts in Education. In 1997, Justin earned his law degree from the University of Idaho College of Law.  

Justin began his legal career in 1998 in a small civil practice prior to becoming a felony prosecutor in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. In 2001, Justin formed Beresky & Fish where he practiced criminal defense law, family law, personal injury, bankruptcy, and general civil litigation. 

In 2013, Justin began serving as a Maricopa County Superior Court Commissioner. He has been assigned to the Probation Violation Court, designated a Special Assignment Commissioner, assumed two family calendars over the course of one year, completed an assignment on the criminal bench, and is currently assigned to a family calendar. 

“Justin’s versatility and ability to pick up any assignment and work to improve it is admirable,” said Governor Ducey. “He will be a great addition to the court.”

Suzanne Scheiner Marwil graduated summa cum laude from the University of California-Berkeley in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. In 1997, she obtained her law degree from Yale Law School. Following law school, Suzanne clerked for the Honorable Vaughn R. Walker at the District Court for the Northern District of California.

After her clerkship, Suzanne joined the law firm of Pillsbury Madison & Sutro in San Francisco, and in 2001 moved back to Phoenix to work for Brown and Bain. In 2005, Suzanne left the private sector to serve as a staff attorney for the Industrial Commission of Arizona and was appointed an Administrative Law Judge at the Industrial Commission in 2011. Since 2015, Suzanne has been an Administrative Law Judge at the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings, hearing cases involving various agencies, including the Registrar of Contractors, Department of Real Estate, Department of Insurance, and Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System. 

During the course of her career, Suzanne has practiced in the areas of appellate, intellectual property, probate and consumer protection litigation. She also has experience in tribal, contract, election, employment and antitrust law.

“Suzanne’s experience in various areas of the law will be an asset to the Maricopa County Superior Court,” said Governor Ducey. “I am honored to appoint Suzanne to the Court.” 

Lisa VandenBerg serves as a Commissioner at the Maricopa County Superior Court, currently in the Juvenile Division where she leads the Family Treatment Court. Lisa was previously a prosecutor for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for five years, where she worked in the Juvenile Division, Preliminary Division, and handled jury and bench trials. Lisa then served as a Staff Attorney for the Arizona Corporation Commission for three years, where she handled legal issues associated with utility regulation, community meetings, the Office of Pipeline Safety and employment law.

“I have no doubt that Lisa will work hard as she jumps into her new role,” said Governor Ducey. “She will be an asset to the citizens of Maricopa County and the judiciary.”

In 2005, Lisa was appointed a Maricopa County Superior Court Commissioner.  Lisa recently rotated from the Probate Division where she proudly served as Presiding Commissioner, in addition to handling civil, family, and criminal cases. She has presided over pre-trial hearings, jury/bench trials, probate and criminal settlement conferences, initial appearances and arraignments, changes of plea, orders of protection, injunctions against harassment, and lower court appeals, and served in various problem-solving courts. 

Lisa received a Bachelor of Science in History from Lyon College in Arkansas in 1994. She graduated from Widener University School of Law in Pennsylvania. She has been licensed to practice law in Arizona since 1997.

Kevin Wein also currently serves as a Commissioner on the Maricopa County Superior Court assigned to the criminal bench. Prior to serving as a commissioner, Kevin was an associate at Brown and Bain and Steptoe & Johnson. He worked as an attorney for Doyle Raizner LLP and served as Special Counsel at Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh Jardine prior to being appointed as a Commissioner in 2015.

“Kevin is a great addition to the court," said Governor Ducey. "His commitment to the rule of law will serve the citizens of Arizona well.”

Kevin’s law practice focused on commercial litigation and representation of plaintiffs in insurance bad faith and catastrophic personal injury actions. During his time at Steptoe, he conducted internal investigations for large public agencies and was part of a team that conducted an 18-month internal investigation on behalf of a public pension fund in California.

Kevin graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a focus on International Relations from York University in Toronto, Canada in 1997. Kevin earned his Master of Arts degree in International Affairs from George Washington University in 1999 and then attended the Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law, earning his law degree magna cum laude in 2003.