Governor Doug Ducey Makes Six Appointments To The Maricopa County Superior Court

News Release

September 29, 2015

PHOENIX —  Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointments of Alison Bachus, Greg Como, Kerstin LeMaire, Joshua Rogers, Howard Sukenic and Roy Charles (“Chuck”) Whitehead to the Maricopa County Superior Court.

Alison Bachus currently works as senior counsel for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Previously, she worked as an assistant U.S. attorney, clerked for Chief Judge Stephen McNamee of the U.S. District Court of Arizona and counseled veterans at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  Alison has served as a lawyer-representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference and as vice-president for the Ninth Circuit of the Federal Bar Association. 

Alison graduated from the University of Illinois in 1999 and received her law degree from the University of Arizona College of Law in 2005. 

 “Alison’s background, achievements, and understanding of the law speak volumes about her qualifications to become a judge,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “She is a welcome addition to the bench and will continue to be a strong public servant to the people of Arizona.”

Greg Como has been a partner at the law firm Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith since 2005.  Previously, Greg practiced at Lewis and Roca for 15 years.  Greg practices primarily in the areas of complex insurance coverage and bad faith litigation.  Greg has been actively involved in the American Bar Association’s Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee. 

Greg obtained a Bachelor of Science in Education, magna cum laude, from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1986. He graduated from Arizona State University College of Law, magna cum laude, in 1990.

“Greg has an impressive background in complex civil litigation and is also known for his knowledge of the ethical rules of the practice of law,” said Governor Ducey.  “I am confident these qualities will make him an excellent addition to the Maricopa County Superior Court.”

Kerstin LeMaire currently serves as a commissioner for the Maricopa Superior Court. She has served in the Probate/Mental Health and Family Court divisions since 2013.  Previously, she practiced at her own firm, LeMaire and Kennedy, where she practiced in the areas of juvenile law and civil litigation.  She also served as the chief judge for Cocopah Tribal Court.

Kerstin obtained a Bachelor of Arts in German Literature and Language from Tufts University in 1990 and graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1993.

“Over the span of her law career, Kerstin has gained a wealth of knowledge in juvenile, probate, tribal, family, bankruptcy, criminal and civil law,” said Governor Ducey.  “She will be a tremendous addition to the Maricopa County Superior Court bench.”

Before being appointed to the bench, Joshua Rogers was a partner at the law firm Kunz, Plitt, Hyland & Demlong, where he worked from 2003 to 2015 and practiced in the areas of insurance coverage and insurance bad faith litigation.  Previously, he practiced at Shughart, Thomson, & Kilroy.  Joshua co-wrote a chapter in the Arizona Tort Law Handbook on Insurance Bad Faith Claims and has served on the Arizona State Bar’s Civil Practice and Procedure Committee for the past five years.

Joshua graduated, summa cum laude, from The Masters’ College in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies.  In 2001, he graduated, cum laude, from Pepperdine University School of Law.

In law school, Joshua co-founded the Corporate and Securities Law Society and was a member of the Pepperdine Law Review.

“Joshua is an intelligent and capable lawyer who has dedicated a tremendous number of pro bono hours to his church, the local youth, and the people of Arizona,” Governor Ducey said. “He’s a stellar member of this community and will be an excellent and impartial judge.”

Howard Sukenic is an assistant U.S. attorney who works in the Financial Crimes and Public Integrity Section, where he prosecutes cases involving fraudulent investment schemes, money laundering, taxation violations, and public corruption. He was formerly chief of the Southwest Border Section and chief of the Financial Crimes and Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  Howard was also a prosecutor for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for 13 years.

Howard graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Arizona State University in 1984, and received his law degree from Pepperdine University School of Law in 1987.

“Howard has earned widespread respect as a prosecutor in the State of Arizona,” said Governor Ducey. “Prosecutors and defense attorneys agree that he is honest, ethical, professional, and has excellent judgement.”

Chuck Whitehead is a native Arizonan.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree with a Management Information Systems major from the University of Arizona in 1982.  In 1994, Chuck received his law degree from the University of Arizona College of Law. 

Chuck is a criminal defense attorney who has practiced at his own firm, the Law Office of RC Whitehead, since 2011.  Previously, he worked at the Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office.  Chuck serves as a Judge Pro Tempore for the Maricopa County Superior Court and the Tempe Municipal Court.

“Chuck has served his community not only as a lawyer, but also as an adjunct professor at Arizona Summit Law School where he taught an externship for students interested in criminal defense,” said Governor Ducey.  “Chuck is an impressive lawyer and a principled individual, and he will make an outstanding addition to the bench.”

 “I am honored to appoint Alison, Greg, Kerstin, Joshua, Howard, and Chuck to the Maricopa County Superior Court,” said Governor Ducey. “I am confident they will serve Arizona well.”

The appointments of Alison Bachus, Greg Como, Kerstin LeMaire, Joshua Rogers, Howard Sukenic and Chuck Whitehead to the Maricopa County Superior Court were made to fill the vacancies created by the retirements of Honorable Judges Mark Aceto, Norman Davis, Bethany Hicks, Gerald Porter, Thomas LeClaire, and A. Craig Blakey, II.

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