Presiding Judge David L. Mackey is pleased to announce his selection of Debra R. Phelan as Judge Pro Tem effective January 7, 2019. This appointment will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Jeffrey Paupore, Division Pro Tem A.
There were 11 applicants for this full-time position. After reviewing applicant qualifications and conducting interviews, the Selection Committee provided Presiding Judge Mackey with three finalists. Judge Mackey reviewed applications, qualifications and public comments prior to making his decision. Judge Mackey stated, “Debra Phelan has been a well-respected attorney in this community for over eleven years and moved to Prescott after having served as a law clerk with the United States District Court, the Arizona Supreme Court and the Arizona State Legislature. Her main areas of practice have involved domestic relations, elder law and child dependency. Ms. Phelan has a strong work ethic and a dedication to doing what is right for those who cannot protect themselves. In addition, she is very involved in her community. She has served as the Northern Arizona High School Mock Trial Regional Coordinator since 2015, and in 2017 she was the recipient of the Arizona State Bar’s Top Pro Bono Attorney award. Her experience, work ethic and commitment to our community will serve her well as she begins her duties as a Superior Court Judge Pro Tempore for the citizens of Yavapai County. I am pleased to seek her appointment.
Presiding Judge Mackey is requesting the Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court’s formal appointment of Judge Phelan be effective January 7, 2019 and the appointment is subject to the approval of the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors. Judge Phelan will serve primarily in the Verde Valley Judicial District.
Judge Mackey also stated, “I would like to thank the Members of the Selection Committee, the Honorable Michael Bluff, Associate Presiding Judge and Selection Committee Chair; Sabrina Shaw, Esq.; Paul Roberts, Esq.; Debbie Lopez, County HR Manager; Tom Taylor, CLU, CFP of Taylor & Huntley Financial Group; and C. Rolf Eckel, Court Administrator. I also would like to thank all the inpiduals who provided public comment to me on behalf of Debra Phelan and the other outstanding applicants.”