At the American Judges Association’s recent annual conference, Arizona Chief Justice Scott Bales was recognized. He is again recognized by JMI:
Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Scott Bales has been selected by the Justice Management Institute (JMI) Board of Directors as the recipient of its 2018 Ernest C. Friesen Award of Excellence to recognize his leadership and achievements in enhancing and improving the administration of justice.
Chief Justice Bales has demonstrated exemplary leadership throughout his career. While serving as Chief Justice, Scott Bales has taught at Arizona State University College of Law and the University of Arizona College of Law. Before his appointment to the Arizona Supreme Court in 2005, Justice Bales practiced law in Phoenix, served as Arizona’s Solicitor General, a Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Policy Development, a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office in Phoenix, and a Special Investigative Counsel for the Justice Department’s Inspector General. Justice Bales also clerked for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Joseph T. Sneed III on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Chief Justice Bales graduated summa cum laude in 1978 from Michigan State University, earned a M.A. in economics from Harvard University in 1980, and received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1983. He is the vice chair of the Council of the American Bar Association’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar and a member of the Council of the American Law Institute. He also served on the Board of Directors for the Conference of Chief Justices and chaired the American Bar Association’s Appellate Judicial Conference. He wrote in 2006 for the Stanford Law Review, “Justice Sandra Day O’Connor: No Insurmountable Hurdles,” to commemorate her service to the Supreme Court and the Arizona judiciary.
As the leader of the Arizona Courts, Chief Justice Bales has worked to advance the administration of justice statewide. His initiatives include using technology to promote access to justice, supporting a comprehensive revision of Arizona’s civil rules and civil justice reform measures, and promoting an array of “Fair Justice” reforms with respect to criminal fines and fees and pretrial detention. Superior Court Presiding Judge Kyle Bryson, for Pima County, Arizona, said, “Chief Justice Bales has focused on making the courts more accessible through his strategic agenda, Advancing Justice Together, and his Fair Justice for All initiative has placed Arizona among the leaders in the country in ensuring all have equal and ready access to the courts.
JMI is a non-profit organization that provides training, technical assistance, and applied research to courts and other justice agencies. In support of this mission, the JMI Board annually presents the Ernest C. Friesen Award of Excellence to an individual who has demonstrated vision, leadership, and sustained commitment to the achievement of excellence in the administration of justice.
The award is named for Ernie Friesen because he has epitomized a passion for justice combined with keen observation and analytic ability, extraordinary skills as a teacher, and a sustained commitment to improving the leadership and management of courts. Ernie was, among other things, the first executive director of the Institute for Court Management, the first dean of The National Judicial College, and a director of the United States Administrative Office of the Courts. He also co-authored the first major text on court administration. Beginning with Ernie Friesen, there have been fourteen recipients of the Friesen Award. Past recipients include trial court administrators, judges, state court administrators, judicial educators, academics, and court consultants.
The Friesen Award will be presented to Chief Justice Bales at the annual conference of the National Association for Presiding Judges and Court Executive Officers (NAPCO) in St. Louis, Missouri on October 16, 2018. JMI’s Vice President, Tim Dibble, will present the award to Chief Justice Bales.