At Kinerk, Schmidt & Sethi, PLLC, our attorneys are devoted to securing our clients' futures by helping them receive maximum compensation in their injury claims, but our passion goes beyond the scope of our Tucson practice as we are equally devoted to the Arizona Constitution and the pursuit of justice.
To illustrate our passion for preserving the Arizona Constitution, our very own Ted A. Schmidt was one of the petitioners in Dobson v. State, which was heard by the Supreme Court of Arizona.
Some background on this case, in 1974 Arizona voters approved Proposition 108, which amended the Arizona Constitution and introduced merit selection to the state's judicial selection process. Proposition 108 created the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments which is made up of ten non-attorney and five attorney-members. The Commission is charged with evaluating applicants for appointment to the Arizona appellate courts in an impartial and objective manner but with a focus on merit during the selection process.
Under the Arizona Constitution, the Commission is to recommend not less than three nominees to the governor. But, in April of 2013, the legislature passed and the governor approved H.B. 2600 which would alter the state's judicial nomination process.
In Dobson v. State, attorney Schmidt, along with the other petitioners argued that H.B. 2600 conflicted with the Arizona Constitution. Instead of the Commission nominating not less than three persons for each judicial vacancy, H.B. 2600 directs the Commission to submit a minimum of five nominees, unless the Commission rejected an applicant by a two-thirds vote. It was the petitioners' argument that this requirement under H.B. 2600 fundamentally changes the selection process that was established by the Arizona Constitution.
The Supreme Court Hands Down Opinion
The case came to conclusion when the Arizona Supreme Court held that H.B. 2600 was unconstitutional because it directly conflicted with the Arizona Constitution. The Supreme Court awarded reasonable attorney's fees to the petitioners in compliance with Arizona Rule of Civil Appellate Procedure 21.
At Kinerk, Schmidt & Sethi, PLLC, we want to congratulate attorney Ted A. Schmidt for his hard work and dedication in Dobson v. State and for ultimately prevailing with the Arizona Supreme Court – we are very proud that a member of our very own legal team was a part of this memorable moment in Arizona's legislative history!