Senior Arizona judges visit Parker for appellate update

Three senior judges from the Arizona Court of Appeals and the Arizona Supreme Court were in Parker for an ‘appellate update’ Friday.

Justice Andrew W. Gould of the Arizona Supreme Court was joined by Judges James P. Beene and Kent E. Cattani of the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One. The justices spoke to a courtroom of lawyers and other legal professionals, updating them on the various precedent-setting cases that have been decided in the last year at the highest courts in the state.

The categories addressed include criminal cases, civil cases, juvenile cases, family cases, rules amendments, petitions, ethics and court updates and questions. Each case has a possible bearing on future cases that may be heard at the La Paz County Superior Court, and handled by the County Attorney, Public Defender and private counsel.

Cases reviewed by the judges included:

  • State v Scott, which holds that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence of Scott’s prior conviction for aggravated indecent assault to show lack of mistake under Rule 404(b) and to rebut Scott’s consent defense. The trial court properly gave a limiting instruction to the jury, stating the jury could only consider the evidence to establish Scott’s intent, plan, or “absence of mistake or accident.”
  • State v Hon. Hegyi/Rasmussen, which holds that the privilege against self-incrimination is waived when an insanity defense is asserted because the defendant is offering evidence intended to rebut the presumption of sanity and under Rule 11.7(a) this is an expressly permitted purpose.
  • State v Havatone, which holds that the “unconscious clause” in Arizona state law ARS § 28-1321(C), which allows law enforcement officials to make or direct nonconsensual blood drafts from unconscious DUI suspects, is unconstitutional as applied to the facts of the case and good-faith exceptions to the exclusionary rule was not shown.
  • State v Primous, which holds that reasonable suspicion requires individualized reasonable suspicion that the particular person to be searched is engaged in criminal activity and may be armed and dangerous.
  • Stambugh v Killian, which holds that Arizona law prohibits the Department of Agriculture from recording two brands of the same design, regardless of their location on the animal.
  • Rodgers v Huckelberry, which holds that a county board of supervisors need not comply with competitive bidding procedures when it leases property pursuant to its economic development authority.
  • Lunney v State, which holds that a state agency must search multiple databases if necessary to adequately respond to a public records request.
  • Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association v Arizona Department of Health Services, which holds that the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act does not prohibit the DHS from imposing conditions on the use of medical marijuana for conditions added to the list of debilitating medical conditions.
  • Ryan v Napier, which holds that a police officer may be liable for negligence if the officer’s evaluation of whether to use force falls below the stands of care.
  • ACRI v State, which holds that the State owed no duty to protect Yarnell residents from property damage caused by naturally occurring wildfires and that no duty is created by efforts to suppress the fire.

At several points, the judges debated with each other over the merits of these legally contentious cases, and gave a good-humored presentation about the ways these cases may impact upon the Arizona justice system, as well as a more general review.

The event was hosted by retired superior court judge Samuel E. Vederman, who visited his former courtroom for the event.

“Every year La Paz County gets the best of the best judges to visit and review Arizona’s major appellate cases, and this year was no different,” he said. “Judges Cattani and Beene from the Arizona Court of Appeals were gracious enough to present this year and did a remarkable job. Justice Gould is a tremendous ambassador for the judiciary in Arizona. He has presented every year La Paz County has had the appellate review and has been the driving force behind it. He works tirelessly to make the courts more accessible and understandable to the citizens of Arizona. I also want to thank Clerk of the Court Megan Spielman, the training coordinator Amy Putnam, Judge Newman’s judicial assistant Juana Flores and Judge Newman for setting up the program and allowing the court to be used.”


  1. Amy Putnam

    Thank you for joning us John! See you next year!

  2. Ambrose Buford

    “I was asked three times directly in the hearing before the board of the judiciary whether or not I would continue to acknowledge God if I were to resume my position as chief justice. And I said I would.” – Roy Moore

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