Arizona Governor – Appointment Of Michael Valenzuela

Governor Ducey Announces Appointment Of Michael Valenzuela To The Maricopa County Superior Court

PHOENIX, AZ (STL.News) Governor Doug Ducey announced the appointment of Michael Valenzuela to the Maricopa County Superior Court.  The appointment fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Teresa A. Sanders.

“Michael Valenzuela’s dedication to the state and his volunteerism in the community show he has what it takes to serve as a Judge,” said Governor Ducey.  “I am happy to appoint him to the Maricopa County Superior Court.”

Michael Valenzuela has worked as an Assistant Attorney General in the Arizona Attorney General’s Office Criminal Appeals Section since 2016.  In this role, he represented the State of Arizona reviewing appellate arguments from convicted defendants.  As sole counsel in the majority of these matters, Michael reviewed the trial court record, researched legal theories, and composed written and oral arguments in support of the defendant’s convictions and sentences.  Michael also served on an interoffice committee tasked with reviewing and editing Attorney General Opinions prior to their release to the public.

Michael also represented the State in federal habeas corpus litigation, reviewing criminal defendants’ arguments, and defending the state courts’ resolution of criminal convictions and sentencing.

Prior to joining the Criminal Appeals Section, Michael worked for the Child and Family Protection Division at the Attorney General’s Office for six years where he represented the Department of Child Safety in juvenile dependency matters.  In this role he conducted oral arguments before the Arizona Court of Appeals.  He assisted in the drafting of an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the State of Arizona and 17 other states.  He reviewed cases that the trial unit wished to appeal and presented recommendations about the merits of potential appeals to the Solicitor General.

Michael received his Bachelor’s and his law degree from the University of Arizona, becoming the first lawyer in his family.

Michael has dedicated himself to public service – a value he learned from his dad, who worked as a firefighter for the City of Mesa for 33 years.  Michael has given back to the legal community, volunteering his time to serve as a judge for a moot court competition from 2014 to 2020.  Michael is also a member of the Hispanic National Bar Association, which named him one of their Top Lawyers Under 40 in 2018.  Michael has also held leadership positions within Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association.  He has worked to encourage students to attend law school by offering scholarships through Los Abogados.