Home » Alumni Profiles, Spring 2010

The Hon. John Pelander ’73

3 June 2010 No Comment

Earns Appointment To The Arizona Supreme Court

JohnPelanderBelieving that a career in the legal profession is “a noble call that carries with it a precious responsibility,” John Pelander embodies the best in American law, a fact Arizona Governor Jan Brewer clearly recognized when she appointed him to the state’s highest court last year.

“I was truly honored and humbled by the appointment,” Pelander says. “Good fortune and timing no doubt contributed to my selection, but certainly years of hard work, dedication, and trying to treat others, including my adversaries, with dignity and respect all played a part.”

Initially in private practice for 18 years, Pelander was first appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals in 1995, where he served as that court’s chief
judge from 2004-2009 prior to his latest appointment. A distinguished graduate of the University of Arizona law school and highly successful in all the paths he has pursued, including being a certified specialist in the field of personal injury and wrongful death, and obtaining a master of laws in judicial process from the University of Virginia College of Law, Pelander often reminds himself and others of the traits that mark one’s professional and personal life – character, integrity, consistency, perseverance, humility and compassion, to name but a few.

“Every decision you make, action you take, personal contact you have, and word that you speak or write will shape and define you as well as others’ perception of you,” he says. “Professionally speaking, your reputation will be the most important asset you have. Cherish and protect it!”

Looking at his own career journey, Pelander also fully understands that “from one to whom much is given, much is expected.”

“A career in law provides opportunities to perform intellectually stimulating and challenging work while at the same time help others in solving  problems,” he says. “On a broader and probably more profound level, I love this nation and am deeply grateful for its roots, heritage and
fundamental principles on which it was founded – including the rule of law which we must jealously guard and not take for granted…. Absent
the rule of law, the liberty and justice for all of which the Pledge of Allegiance speaks are empty promises and unachievable ideals.”

At the same time, “as judges, we are vested with power and authority over the lives and well-being of others,” he says. “We must always be mindful of the corresponding, awesome responsibilities that accompany such power and the judicial oath of office we swore to uphold.”

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