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Fri, Oct. 18

Former local judge elected Arizona’s vice chief justice
Robert Brutinel replaces John Pelander

Robert M. Brutinel

Robert M. Brutinel

Robert Brutinel has been elected as Arizona Supreme Court’s new vice chief justice.

The Arizona Supreme Court consists of a chief justice, a vice chief justice and five associate justices.

Brutinel, a former Prescott resident, started his career as a judge in Yavapai County.

After practicing law for 15 years, he became a juvenile judge for the Yavapai County Superior Court in 1996. In 2004, he transitioned to the county’s adult court, where he stayed for six years.

In 2010, he was appointed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to the Arizona Supreme Court to fill a vacancy created by former Justice Michael Ryan’s retirement.

Recently, Justice John Pelander announced he would be stepping down as vice chief – but remaining on the court – because he would not be able to serve as chief justice for a sufficient period of time due to mandatory retirement requirements, said Dave Byers, the Administrative Director of the Courts, in an email.

Pelander “thought it best to have another justice take his place who could serve a regular term as the next chief justice,” Byers wrote.

Brutinel officially started his term as vice chief justice on Wednesday, Jan. 24.

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