2023 Arizona Justice of the Peace and Arizona Magistrates Conference

Faculty Biographies

Charles Adornetto is the Judicial Education Officer for the Maricopa County Justice Courts and a Judge Pro Tempore in several courts. He has been the Wickenburg Town Magistrate, the Chief Hearing Officer at the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, and an Assistant Chief Administrative Law Judge at the Arizona Department of Transportation. Adornetto graduated from Stanford Law School and has received numerous awards including Strategic Agenda Awards from the Arizona Supreme Court: in 2015 for Best Practice for Ensuring Access to Justice for Self-Represented Litigant, and again in 2020 for Best Practice and Webinars for Eviction Actions.

Lloyd Y. Asato is an experienced public leader having served in both state government and national non-profits. He previously served as the Deputy Director of the National Council of AAPI Physicians supporting the Council’s health care reform portfolio. Prior to that he led the policy and capacity building programs for the Health Forum based in Washington, D.C. Mr. Asato began his career in public service as the Director of the Hawaii State Office of Rural Health. He is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona.

Kerri Barnes has been involved in the criminal justice community since graduating with her bachelor’s in criminal justice from Northern Arizona University (NAU). After spending several years working in the Arizona Department of Corrections prison system, she began her career in workforce development in 2006 at a local non-profit as a Program Director. She managed multiple grant programs focused on assisting specialized populations.  Kerri has been a speaker and a panelist on various workforce development topics on many occasions. In her first few positions at the City of Phoenix, she co-managed a workforce center and was promoted to manage the Quality Assurance team for the ARIZONA@WORK City of Phoenix Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Program.  Kerri has earned her Master of Organizational Leadership from NAU along with several credentials, including Certified Court Manager, Global Career Development Facilitator Instructor, Certified Career Services Provider, and Certified Workforce Development Professional.  She is also certified to teach one of the Institute for Court Management modules in the Certified Court Manager curricula.  Additionally, she is a Department of Labor and Department of Justice peer grant reviewer. In her free time, Kerri spends time with her family and enjoys traveling abroad.

Charlie Barrett

Marianne T. Bayardi became the Presiding Judge of the Scottsdale City Court on March 21, 2022.  Prior to joining the City of Scottsdale, she served for 15 years both as an Associate Judge and, from 2019 – 2022, as the Assistant Presiding Judge of the Phoenix Municipal Court.  In both courts, she presides over criminal misdemeanor and civil protective order cases.  She is a member of the Arizona Supreme Court Committee on the Impact of Domestic Violence and the Committee on Limited Jurisdiction Courts as well as the Judicial Conference Planning Committee. Marianne was born near Chicago, Illinois and raised in Phoenix. She graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science in 1987. She earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Arizona College of Law in 1991. Among other things, she was a published law review author and served as an Executive Note Editor. Judge Bayardi joined the Robbins & Green law firm after law school where she engaged primarily in plaintiff and defense wrongful death and personal injury litigation. She later worked at Steven J. Wells and Associates as in-house counsel for State Farm practicing insurance defense. Marianne also served as a Deputy Maricopa County Attorney where she prosecuted felonies. She later returned to civil practice defending the Arizona Department of Transportation in wrongful death and personal injury cases at the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. Following that, she served as an Administrative Law Judge at the Office of Administrative Hearings before being appointed to the Phoenix Municipal Court bench and then as Presiding Judge of the Scottsdale City Court.  Marianne and her wife Jenni have been married for 27 years and have three children.

Judge James G. Blake has been an Associate Scottsdale City Judge since he was sworn in on September 11, 2001.  Currently he handles a criminal court docket in a limited jurisdiction court.  He has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Arizona Magistrates Association and has served as its Vice-President as well as its President in the past.  He also served on two boards of directors for the Arizona State Bar; those boards were the Public Lawyers Section and the Legal Services Committee.  He is licensed to practice law in the State of Arizona and inactive in the State of Colorado.  Judge Blake has been awarded a judicial award for excellence.  Judge Blake received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Arizona in 1983.  He received his Bachelors’ of Science Degree in History from Arizona State University in 1980, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.  At Arizona State University, he was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.  In 1993, that university awarded him its A.S.U. Young Achievement Award. After graduation from Law School, Judge Blake was a prosecutor at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office from 1984 to 2001.  At that office, he tried cases ranging from Murder to Possession of Marijuana.  He also managed attorneys as the head of the Gang /Repeat Offender Bureau, Southeast Division and also as the Criminal Trial Division Chief.  His specialty was prosecuting White Supremacy cases.  He was also appointed a special prosecutor in Yuma, Pima and Yavapai counties.   Judge Blake has also drafted proposed legislation and lobbied at the Arizona State Legislature for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.   In 1994, the State Bar of Arizona awarded him the Law Related Education Award and he also received the Distinguished Public Lawyers Award.

Ricky “RC” Brown

Dennis Dowling was elected Constable of the Bagdad/Yarnell Justice Precinct in 2014.  During that term he was elected to the Arizona Constable Association Board (2015-2018) and recognized by his peers as Constable of the Year in 2018.  In 2018, he was elected Justice of the Peace for the Bagdad/Yarnell Justice Precinct and currently serves in that capacity.  In 2019, he was appointed to be the Justice of the Peace representative on the Constable Ethics, Standards, and Training Board by the Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court.  In 2022, he was nominated and elected to serve Chairman of the C.E.S.T.B for a two year term.

April P. Elliott currently serves as the Executive Director of the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct and the Staff Director for the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee, and she previously served as the Commission’s Disciplinary Counsel. Ms. Elliott was a judge on the Pinal County Superior Court from 2005 – 2006, and she served as a pro tem judge for both Pinal County Superior Courts and Justice Courts from 2002 to 2005. Before becoming a judge, Ms. Elliott was in private practice for ten years in Casa Grande, Arizona, handling a variety of case types. Following her service on the bench, she spent almost eight years with the Pinal County Public Defender’s Office until she joined the Commission in October 2014.  She received both her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Arizona, serving as Managing Editor for the Arizona Law Review in 1994-95.

Delonne Escoffery

Alison Ferrante has served as an Associate Judge at the Gilbert Municipal Court since December of 2019.  She assisted with implementing, and currently presides over, the Gilbert Municipal Court’s Domestic Violence Court.  After graduating from Florida State University College of Law in 1996, she was an associate with Daniel J. Hochuli & Associates practicing in municipal, civil and criminal law.  She then clerked for the Honorable John E. Davis in Pima County Superior Court while he was on his juvenile court rotation.  She then served as a Deputy Pima County Attorney from 1999 through 2001, an Assistant Gilbert Town Prosecutor from 2001 through 2017, and an Assistant Mesa City Prosecutor from 2017 through 2019.  She is also an Adjunct Professor at Chandler-Gilbert Community College.  Throughout her tenure as a prosecutor, she became aware of the link between animal cruelty and interpersonal violence.  In addition to handling animal cruelty prosecutions, she also presented on the Link at the State Bar Convention and other State Bar Continuing Legal Education Programs, the Judicial Conference, APAAC Conferences, the National Animal Cruelty Prosecution Conference, the Mesa Police Academy and Advanced Officer Training.  She was the Recipient of the 2018 National Humane Law Enforcement Award as well as the Recipient of the 2020 Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Top Ten Animal Defenders Award.  She attended the Bar Leadership Institute September of 2018 through May of 2019, has served on the State Bar of Arizona’s Appointments Committee 2019 through 2021, and has served on the Executive Council of the State Bar of Arizona’s Animal Law Section in various capacities (chair-elect, chair, outgoing chair, secretary and member-at-large) since 2014.  She was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Humane Link from 2012 through 2019 and founded the Arizona Professionals’ Animal Cruelty Task Force in 2012.     She is also a member of the Florida Bar.  She enjoys traveling with her husband and spending time with her five rescue mutts.

Liana Garcia is the Director of Government Affairs for the Arizona Supreme Court. She has headed up the Government Affairs team at the Administrative Office of the Courts since January 2020. She and her team act as the judicial branch’s voice at the legislature and the governor’s tower. She received her J.D. from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University and her B.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Washington. Before coming to the judicial branch, she practiced as a civil litigator at Gallagher & Kennedy and Jones Skelton & Hochuli. She likes working with judges better than appearing before them. When Liana’s not working, you can probably find her on the tennis court, at a baseball game, or at the dog park with her three Weimaraners.

Michele Gillich

Gabe Goltz is the Judicial Program Manager in the Education Programs Unit of the Administrative Office (AOC) of the Arizona Supreme Court. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science and has taught and researched intensively in areas ranging from ethics, American government and constitutional law to feminism and the politics of difference, literature, and congressional behavior. He has developed and taught courses in adult education/theory, diversity-related topics and court responsibilities.

Anna “Kristi” Hageman who is better known as Kristi and not Anna, joined the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) Consolidated Collection Unit in March of 2022 as the Deputy Operations Manager. Kristi spent over 22 years with the Maricopa County Justice Courts beginning her career during her Senior year in a work/study course, when she worked as an on-call. She was hired on full-time after graduation and worked her way to the Court Manager of the San Marcos Justice Court where she spent the last 12 years before joining the CCU team.  In September 2021, Kristi started a pilot program called the Inmate Release Court (IRC) in conjunction with the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry (ADCRR) that focuses on resolving open cases in a limited jurisdiction court for persons participating in the ADCRR Second Chance Program. Resolution of cases could include quashing outstanding warrants, releasing driver’s license suspensions, modifying or mitigating monetary obligations as permitted by law or suspension or credit for all or a portion of any outstanding jail sentence. 

Philip Hansen

Chris Holly

Tim Holt

Hon. Sherwood Johnston was appointed as the San Tan Justice Court - Justice of the Peace in 2023. Prior to that appointment, Judge Johnston had served on the bench in the Paradise Valley Municipal Court since 1991. Additionally, he served as a Justice of the Peace Pro Tem, working in many of the Justice Courts throughout Maricopa County and Gila County. A member of the Arizona Magistrates Association for more than 25 years, and serves as its current president. He also serves as the treasurer of the Arizona Justice of the Peace Association. Judge Johnston has been involved with judicial education for many years, serving as a mentor for limited jurisdiction New Judge Orientation, a mentor for new Maricopa County Judges, and the conference planning committees for the annual Judicial Conference, the GOHS Traffic Conference, and the JP/Magistrates Conferences. In addition to his judicial career, Judge Johnston has been involved at the senior levels of commercial real estate management, as well as a volunteer for a variety of charitable causes and interests.

Paul Julien is Judicial Education Officer for the Arizona Supreme Court and works with judges throughout the state in all phases of educational and professional development. He practiced law for 17 years, and managed Southern Arizona Legal Aid. Prior to that, he taught at Northern Arizona University and the Flagstaff Public Schools. He has served in volunteer leadership roles with the Arizona Board of Regents and the Catalina Foothills School Board, among others, and has been a member and chair of the State Bar Professionalism Committee.

Ken Kung currently serves as the Court Administrator for Chandler Municipal Court and has been with the Arizona Judiciary for over two decades. Starting his career as a clerk for the Justice of the Peace courts, then as a Supervisor for Maricopa County Superior Court – Criminal Court Administration, and later as the Manager for Court Operations Review Unit for the Arizona Supreme Court – Administrative Office. Ken also serves as a member of the Arizona Supreme Court’s Committee on Limited Jurisdiction Courts and is also an active member with the Limited Jurisdiction Court Administrators Association.

Jerry Landau

Katie Lavery is the Court Administrator for the Phoenix Municipal Court’s Courtroom Operations Division.  She joined the Municipal Court in 2017 after working for the Maricopa County Clerk of Superior Court and the Oregon Department of Transportation.  Her roles at Phoenix include serving as Court Supervisor and Assistant Court Administrator for both the Courtroom Operations and Customer Service Divisions.  Katie earned her bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University and is credentialed as a Certified Court Manager.  She has been involved with the implementation of remote video hearings for civil traffic cases and hybrid staffing sessions for Phoenix’s Behavioral Health Court.  Katie was also active in incorporating  Case Center’s Digital Evidence Portal for civil non-traffic cases and was a panelist on the National Center for State Courts webinar on Remote Proceedings, Participant Instructions, and Safety and Privacy considerations. 

Hon. Monica Lindstrom was appointed as the Chandler Municipal Court Commissioner in February 2022.  Prior to her appointment, she was a judge pro tem for Chandler and the Tempe City Court.  She continues to be a judge pro tem for the Maricopa County Justice Courts helping courts with their judicial review in the early morning or during her lunch hour. From 2007-2022 Monica was involved with the media as a legal analyst and host appearing on both national and local programs including KTAR News, Arizona Sports, AZFamily, Fox 10 Phoenix, Court TV, Fox News, HLN CNN, and MSNBC.  She has also been featured on various programs on Investigation Discovery and the Oxygen Network. Monica was admitted to the Arizona Bar in 1998 and the California Bar in 2000.  She received her Juris Doctorate from California Western School of Law and her Bachelor of Science from Northern Arizona University. Go Jacks!

Eric Logvin

Lucia Luna has worked with the Administrative Office of the Court (AOC) for approximately two years as a case management specialist.   She previously spent just shy of eight years as a clerk for the Surprise Municipal Court where she was senior clerk.  In what feels like another life now, Lucia spent time as a 911 operator and police dispatcher for the Scottsdale Police Department and prior to that had a background in finance.  She graduated from Arizona State University in 2007 with a degree in Social and Behavioral Science.

Jared Nishimoto, M.A. holds a Master’s degree in Emergency Management and Homeland Security with an emphasis in Cybersecurity Policy and Management.  He has over 20 years of Information Technology experience, and for the past 15 years, he has worked as the Court Information Systems Coordinator and Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for Coconino County Courts in Northern Arizona.   Jared currently teaches classes in cybersecurity, and emergency preparedness to employees of Coconino County and other entities across the state of Arizona.  For the last 14 years he has overseen continuity planning for the courts.

Debra Parker

Kaela Purcell has been at the AOC for almost five years.  She spent three years on the AJACS Rollout Team as an automation trainer. Once the project was complete, she joined the Court operations team as a Financial Specialist. Prior to joining the AOC, she was a Court Clerk in a La Paz County Justice court for four years.

Kay Radwanski is a senior court policy analyst in the Court Services Division, Administrative Office of the Courts, Arizona Supreme Court. At the AOC, she staffs the Committee on the Impact of Domestic Violence and the Courts (CIDVC) and the Committee on Superior Court (COSC). Prior to joining the AOC in 2007, Kay was employed in the New Jersey Judiciary as Domestic Violence Unit supervisor at the Cumberland County Superior Court, Bridgeton, N.J. Before that, she practiced law at South Jersey Legal Services, a public interest law firm, where she represented low-income clients in domestic violence, divorce, child support, parenting time, custody, and other types of civil matters. Kay earned her J.D. degree from the Rutgers University School of Law, Camden, N.J. She is licensed to practice law in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. She also has a bachelor’s degree in English from Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, Pa.

Hon. David Seyer

Hon. Alicia M. Skupin is Presiding Magistrate for the Chandler Municipal Court. Appointed in 2021 after serving as an associate judge for seven years, s she is a member of the Commission on Diversity, Equality, and Justice in the Judiciary; faculty member for the annual Limited Jurisdiction New Judge Orientation program; an editor for the Limited Jurisdiction Bench Book and was recently appointed to the Commission on Technology. Prior to joining the Chandler bench she was as a hearing officer for the Scottsdale City Court. While in private practice, Judge Skupin volunteered with Los Abogados and served on its executive board for six years.

Nichoel Smith

Alan R. Solot

Hon. Sam Thumma has served as a judge since 2007 and has been a member of the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One since 2012, where he also served as vice chief judge from 2015-17, and chief judge from 2017-19. He was a judge with the Arizona Superior Court from 2007-2012 in criminal and juvenile rotations. He is a Uniform Law Commissioner and currently chairs the ULC’s Study Committee on Updating the Uniform Determination of Death Act. In Arizona, he has chaired various committees, commissions and task forces for the Arizona Supreme Court and the State Bar of Arizona. He is co-chair of the COVID-19 Continuity of Court Operations During Public Health Emergency Workgroup (the “Plan B” Workgroup).

Johnny Tse is the Court Administrator of the Maricopa Municipal Court. Until this year, the court was co-located with the Western Pinal Justice Court located in Maricopa, Arizona in Pinal County. The court processes over 6,100 cases per year.  Prior to joining Maricopa, Johnny was the Court Administrator for the Buckeye Municipal Court for more than seven years.  Mr. Tse has served the courts throughout Arizona.  Mr. Tse serves as the Chair of the Defensive Driving Board and is also a member of the Committee on Leadership and Workforce Excellence (COLAWE). He is Fellow of the Institute for Court Management, Certified Court Executive, Arizona Court Executive, Certified Court Manager, Arizona Court Manager, and Certified Public Manager.

Nathan Wallace is the constable for the San Marcos Justice Court since 2019.  He also serves as the presiding Maricopa County Justice Court Constable.  Prior he served as Associate Presiding Constable from 2020-2022.

Hon. Gerald Williams was appointed North Valley Justice of the Peace in 2004, and last re-elected in 2018. and is the former Associate Presiding Justice of the Peace of the Maricopa County Justice Courts. Prior to his appointment, he was the staff attorney for the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct. He has also served as a staff attorney for the Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Counsel's Office in Phoenix, having begun his legal career in the United States Air Force. He has served on committees that wrote the Justice Court Rules of Civil Procedure, the Rules of Procedure for Eviction Actions, and the rules for the Constable Ethics, Standards, and Training Board, and was named the 2013 Arizona JP of the Year.

Webmaster Email: sjohnston@paradisevalleyaz.gov

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