Arizona Lawyer Discipline Program Reforms Include Dedicated Full-time Presiding Judge

Top Quote Arizona Attorney magazine, the official bar journal for the State Bar of Arizona, profiles first-ever Presiding Disciplinary Judge William O'Neil in January 2011 issue. O'Neil will hear cases referred by the Lawyer Regulation program. End Quote
  • Phoenix-Mesa, AZ (1888PressRelease) January 07, 2011 - Arizona Attorney magazine's first issue of 2011 features a profile of Judge William O'Neil, Arizona's first-ever Presiding Disciplinary Judge.

    O'Neil assumed his post as the Judge who rules on lawyer discipline matters on Jan. 1, 2011.

    Tim Eigo, Editor of Arizona Attorney magazine, wrote the article that details how Judge O'Neil will tackle the new role that will shape a new lawyer discipline system in Arizona. O'Neil says that his enthusiasm is driven by his love for a challenge and his passion for the legal profession.

    "Re-engineering a discipline system from the ground up is a huge undertaking," said Editor Tim Eigo. "The Presiding Disciplinary Judge serves as a linchpin of the new regime, and that position has been filled with someone with significant experience as a judge and as a lawyer."

    O'Neil cites transparency and public involvement as two challenges he will face in his new role. Taking a collaborative approach, the new system will have a probable-cause committee comprised of lawyers and laypeople that will offer transparency, efficiency and fairness.

    Judge O'Neil refers to the old system as Byzantine-an outdated regime that may have served its purpose once but no longer does.

    As Presiding Disciplinary Judge, O'Neil will draw on his experience as a practicing lawyer and his decades as a trial judge. He likens the changes to a "healing process" and a focus on "restorative justice."

    O'Neil is greatly supported by friends and colleagues in his new role. Judge Robert Carter Olson, Presiding Judge for the Superior Court in Pinal County, expects that O'Neil will deliver consistency and predictability and praised the Supreme Court for its selection of O'Neil.

    Arizona Attorney magazine is published 11 times per year by the State Bar of Arizona. It provides articles on substantive legal issues, professional trends and feature profiles.

    The full article is available at

    About the State Bar
    The State Bar of Arizona is a non-profit organization that operates under the supervision of the Arizona Supreme Court. The Bar includes approximately 16,000 active attorneys and provides education and development programs for the legal profession and the public. Since 1933 the Bar and its members have been committed to serving the public by making sure the voices of all people in Arizona are heard in our justice system.

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