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Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings AZ.gov Arizona's Official Web Site
Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings


Distinguished Alumni

Richard Blair

Richard N. Blair graduated from Loyola School of Law in Chicago in 1979 and was in private practice from 1979 to 1992. In 1993, Mr. Blair became a Hearing Officer with the Arizona Corporation Commission where he served until January 1995. In 1995, he served as an Administrative Law Judge and the Director of the Administrative Hearings Section for the Arizona Department of Real Estate. On January 1, 1996, Mr. Blair joined the Office of Administrative Hearings as an Administrative Law Judge.Mr. Blair is now a mortgage broker.


Michael L. Barth

Administrative Law Judge Michael Barth received his Bachelor of Arts degree with Distinction from Ohio Northern University in 1983. Judge Barth attended Ohio Northern University College of Law, receiving his Juris Doctorate degree with Distinction in 1986. While attending Ohio Northern, Judge Barth earned numerous awards including membership in the Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society of History, Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society of Education, Willis Society ( awarded to top 10% of 3rd year law school class), Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and Order of Barristers. In addition, he was named to the Philip C. Jessup Moot Court Team and was awarded 3rd place oralist honors in the regional competition. Judge Barth also earned an appointment as an Associate Justice on the Law College's Moot Court. After 16 years of trial practice in the areas of medical malpractice defense, medical licensure, governmental liability and construction litigation as an associate and then shareholder member of the law firm of Olson, Jantsch & Bakker, formerly known as Weyl Guyer MacBan & Olson, Judge Barth joined the Office of Administrative Hearings in June 2002. He joined the Maricopa County Superior Court as Commissoner in August 2006.

Eric Bryant

Judge Bryant joined the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings on May 5, 1997. He is a graduate of the University of Utah (BA, English, 1985) and the University of Arizona College of Law (1988). Since then, he has served the State of Arizona in several different capacities. In 1988, he was a law clerk for Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals. Following that, from 1989 to 1996, he was an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Arizona in the Criminal Appeals Section, the Administrative Law Section, and the Licensing Enforcement Section. After about two years in criminal law, he moved to the Civil Division, handled a variety of regulatory matters, primarily in the health care area, and distinguished himself in the administrative law field. In 1996, he moved to the Arizona Department of Revenue, working as a tax analyst in Arizona transaction privilege and use tax. Judge Bryant has taught legal assisting courses, including Administrative Law, at Phoenix College since 1990. He has been a presenter for Arizona CLE programs and has also edited Language Arts home school curricula for a small publisher. Judge Bryant now serves as an Administrative Law Judge with the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting as of September 29, 2014.


Mike Douglas

Judge Douglas graduated from Utah State University and J. Reuben Clark College of Law, Brigham Young University and the National Judicial College, Reno, Nevada.

Judge Douglas currently serves as an Administrative Law Judge with the Office of Administrative Hearings and presides over a full calendar of cases referred for hearing by various State Agencies with his primary case load consisting of Registrar of Contractors cases.

Prior to being transferred to the Office of Administrative Hearings, he was an Administrative Law Judge with the Registrar of Contractors. He has worked for the State of Arizona since 1984. Judge Douglas retired on June 1, 2016.


Lewis D. Kowal

Lewis D. Kowal is an Administrative Law Judge with the Office of Administrative Hearings and has served in that capacity since the agency’s inception in January 1996. Administrative Law Judge Kowal presides over various matters including but not limited to licensing and disciplinary matters for state agencies. Judge Kowal received his undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University and his Juris Doctorate from Pace University School of Law. Judge Kowal was admitted to practice law in Arizona and New York. He has prosecuted cases for the New York State Insurance Department, worked in personal injury, commercial, administrative and general practice law firms, interned in the New York State Attorney General’s Office and clerked at the Arizona State Attorney General’s Office dealing with administrative law matters. Judge Kowal completed the Advanced Course of Administrative Law sponsored by the National Judicial College. He has published several articles concerning liquor laws in a liquor trade publication and was a member of an ad-hoc committee for the Arizona Liquor Board which assisted in the revamping of the Board’s liquor rules. Immediately prior to becoming a member of the Office of Administrative Hearings, Judge Kowal was the Chief Administrative Law Judge for the Arizona Department of Insurance. Before retiring from State service in February of 2015, Judge Kowal served as the assistant presiding administrative law judge for the agency.

Articles in OAH Newsletter
Top Ten Things Not to Do At An Administrative Hearing
October 2000

Scope of the Administrative Hearing
July 2001


Anthony F. Halas

Born and raised in Arizona, Anthony Halas returned to state service on August 31, 1998, as an Administrative Law Judge with the Office of Administrative Hearings. After serving as a senior staff attorney for the State Compensation Fund for several years, he spent 5 years as an Administrative Law Judge for the Industrial Commission of Arizona. He is a graduate of Gonzaga University (B.A. Psychology) and Arizona State University College of Law. He has worked and traveled as a commercial fisherman, lumberman, and restauranteur. Licensed in Arizona and Colorado, he has been a Certified Specialist since 1991 in Worker's Compensation, a subject matter in which he has enjoyed lecturing and writing. In between state service, he has practiced disability and injury law, representing plaintiffs and defendants in civil and administrative forums, both as a partner in a Phoenix law firm and of counsel to a number of firms statewide. On April 30, 2004, Judge Halas left the OAH to serve as an Administrative Law Judge with the Industrial Commission.


Neal H. Jordan

Former assistant attorney general for the State of Connecticut and in private practice of law for twelve years specializing in litigation, commercial transactions, construction and real estate development. Extensive experience as trial and appellate attorney. Served as Vice President and General Counsel to a major New England real estate development, construction and property management company for eight years before relocating to Arizona and becoming an administrative law judge for the Registrar of Contractors. Recently have returned from Florida where owned a mediation practice and taught law, government and business courses as an adjunct professor at a local college. He was reappointed as an administrative law judge in July, 1999 at the Office of Administrative Hearings. Judge Jordan retired in April 2001.


Kip Micuda

Kip M. Micuda is the Director of the Attorney/Consumer Assistance Program for the State Bar of Arizona. Mr. Micuda obtained his BSPA and JD from the University of Arizona. Subsequent to working for a small general practice firm in Phoenix for two years after law school, he served several federal courts as a law clerk: U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. After working more than a year on federal habeas corpus petitions in death penalty cases, Mr. Micuda accepted a position as an Administrative Law Judge for the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings in 1996. In 1999, he joined the firm of Jerome, Gibson, Stewart, focusing on personal injury, workers compensation, and administrative law cases. Since 1998, Mr. Micuda has served as a Judge Pro Tem for the Maricopa County Superior Court and Phoenix City Court. In 2000, Governor Jane Dee Hull appointed him to the Arizona Structural Pest Control Commission and the Arizona Board of Naturopathic Medical Examiners, and the Arizona Department of Health Services appointed him to the Maricopa County Human Rights Commission. Mr. Micuda is a trained mediator and volunteers his time to conduct mediations in several contexts.

Daniel G. Martin

Daniel G. Martin joined the Office of Administrative Hearings as an Administrative Law Judge on October 4, 1999. Judge Martin received a bachelor's degree from The Colorado College and a master's degree from the University of Arizona prior to attending law school at the University of Arizona College of Law where he served as Managing Editor of the Arizona Law Review. While in law school, Judge Martin worked for a semester in Washington, D.C. as a legal extern in the office of Senator Dennis DeConcini, where he assisted in Senate Judiciary Committee matters. Between 1991 and 1992, Judge Martin served as law clerk to the Honorable James Moeller, Vice Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court. After completing his clerkship, Judge Martin worked for two Phoenix law firms prior to joining the Office of Administrative Hearings. Judge Martin's private practice experience includes both complex litigation and transactional work. Judge Martin is active in the community and the bar; he is the past chair of the State Bar's Public Lawyers Section, a member of the Lorna Lockwood Inn of Court, and is involved with several local charitable and youth organizations, including the Arizona Sudden Infant Death Foundation and the Ahwatukee Foothills Soccer Club. In June 2006, Judge Martin received the 2006 Judicial Award of Excellence from the Public Lawyers Section of the State Bar. Judge Martin joined the Maricopa County Superior Court in September 2007.

Articles in OAH Newsletter

Continuances
July 2003

After the Hearing
October 2003

Rehearing and Appeal of Final Administrative Actions
July 2004

Representation in ROC Disciplinary Proceedings
July 2004

Putting Your Best Case Forward
May 2006


Wendy S. Morton

Prior to joining the Office of Administrative Hearings, Judge Morton served for nine years as a Deputy Maricopa County Attorney where she prosecuted Vehicular Crimes and Sex Crimes in the Major Crimes Division and also served in the Juvenile, Pretrial and Trial Divisions. Judge Morton was awarded several Special Recognition awards while at the Maricopa County Attorney's Office and in 1997 was named Juvenile Attorney of the Year.

Judge Morton is the author and illustrator of "Court Story", a coloring book designed to assist young witnesses and victims who have to testify in court. "Court Story" won a National Association of Counties Award in 1997 and has been published by the Governor's Office Division for Children. In 1997, Judge Morton was honored as the Arizona Bar Foundation's Attorney of the Year for Law Related Education. She has served as a member of the Bar Foundation's Board of Directors since 2000 and was appointed as chair of the Law Related Education Committee as of January 2003.

Judge Morton also serves her community as a Maricopa County Regional Coordinator for the Arizona High School Mock Trial program and serves on the faculty of various Bar Foundation programs, including INVEST, the LRE Academy and the International Symposium on Democracy and the Rule of Law. She serves as an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University's Morrison School of Agribusiness and is a Certified State Agricultural Mediator. Judge Morton is licensed to practice law in Arizona, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Upon moving to Arizona nine years ago, she served as a Special Deputy County Attorney in Pinal County. Prior to moving to Arizona, she served in the Office of the Burlington County Prosecutor in New Jersey and clerked for the Honorable Mary D. Colins, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and the Honorable James G. Colins, Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. She received her Juris Doctorate from Widener University School of Law and her undergraduate degree in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science from Syracuse University.

While at the Office of Administrative hearings, Judge Morton presided over a varied docket and wrote and directed educational videos about the hearing process.

On January 3, 2006, Judge Morton joined the Scottsdale City Court as an associate judge presiding over a criminal docket. On October 25, 2010, she joined the bench in Phoenix Municipal Court as a judicial officer, and serves as a Maricopa County Superior Court Commissioner.

Articles in OAH Newsletter

Lights, Camera, Action...At Studio OAH
October 2004


Casey J. Newcomb

Casey J. Newcomb joined the Office of Administrative Hearings as an Administrative Law Judge on October 13, 1997. Born in Iowa, Judge Newcomb earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and Juris Doctor from the University of Iowa. As an undergraduate, he spent a semester in Washington, D.C. as a Legislative Assistant on the United States Senate Judiciary Committee. In law school, he served as an Articles Editor for the prestigious "Journal of Corporation Law." Judge Newcomb also served as a research assistant to the prominent death penalty author, Professor David C. Baldus. After graduating from law school, he joined a general litigation law firm in Tucson, Arizona where he specialized in the areas of civil litigation, real estate, landlord/tenant and domestic relations law. In 1993, after three years in private practice, Judge Newcomb joined the Attorney General's Office specializing in civil litigation and domestic relations law. He is currently an active member in the Volunteer Lawyer's Program serving as an Advisor for landlord/tenant workshops. He is currently licensed to practice law in Arizona and is a member of the Arizona State Bar. Judge Newcomb is currently an Officer with the Executive Council of the Administrative Law Section of the Arizona State Bar and serves as a commissioner with the Maricopa County Superior Court. He is an active volunteer with the Valley Big brothers and Big Sisters program and the Habitat for Humanity, Valley of the Sun Organization.

Articles in OAH Newsletter

Order of presentation, Manner of Presentation and Conduct During Proceedings
July 2002


Allen W. Reed

Judge Reed graduated from Wayne State University and Detroit College of Law. Hecurrently serves as an Administrative Law Judge with the Office of Administrative Hearings and presides over a full calendar of cases referred for hearing by various State agencies. Prior to becoming an Administrative Law Judge, Judge Reed was a Hearing Officer with the Arizona Department Of Liquor Licenses and Control and the Motor Vehicle Division. He has worked for the State of Arizona since 1984. Before moving to Arizona, Judge Reed practiced law in Michigan. Judge Reed retired in March 2008 and continued to serve as a Administrative Law Judge pro tem through October 2010.

Articles in OAH Newsletter

Questioning Witnesses
January 2003


George A. Schade

George A. Schade, Jr. received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University (1968), and his law degree from The American University, Washington, D.C. (1971). He has taken graduate courses at Arizona State University and has attended the National Judicial College, where he also served as an advisor. He has been in Arizona since 1972, when his legal career began as a Law Clerk for the Arizona Court of Appeals. He worked in legal services for indigents and was in private practice. From 1980 to 1995, he worked at the Arizona Department of Water Resources, where he was a hearing officer and a program supervisor. In 1996, he was assigned to the Office of Administrative Hearings. He has served as an arbitrator in civil litigation, securities and futures cases, has written legal and investment articles and contributed to the editing of two books. He has had extensive training in the conduct of arbitration matters. George Schade was sworn in as Special Master for the Arizona General Stream Adjudication in the Superior Court by Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Zlaket on April 3, 2001.


Mark. A. Silver

Mark Silver is a graduate of Michigan State University and Wayne State University Law School. Judge Silver has worked in the Administrative Law field since 1974 and has been an Administrative Law Judge with the Office of Administrative Hearings since its inception on January 1, 1996. Prior to that, he was an Administrative Law Judge with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors from 1985 through 1995. From 1974 to 1985 he was a Hearing Officer with the Michigan Secretary of State. Judge Silver retired on June 29, 2009.

Articles in OAH Newsletter

HEARING PREPARATION
July 2001


Brian E. Smith

Brian E. Smith joined the Office of Administrative Hearings on May 3, 2004. Originally from Chicago, Administrative Law Judge Smith earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with distinction in psychology from Northern Arizona University and attended Arizona State University College of Law. Judge Smith began his legal career as an associate with the Phoenix firm of OConnor Cavanagh, et al. with a concentration in the areas of insurance defense and general civil litigation. He later joined the firm of Carmichael and Powell where he focused on commercial transactions and litigation as well as landlord/tenant law. After ten years as a sole practitioner in the areas of commercial transactions and litigation and domestic relations law, Judge Smith served over three years as an Arizona Assistant Attorney General specializing in child abuse and neglect, adoption subsidy and developmental disabilities before joining the Office of Administrative Hearings. Judge Smith left the OAH on November 13, 2009, and is currently an attorney for the Arizona Corporation Commission.


Gary B. Strickland

Judge Strickland is with the Office of Administrative Hearings, having previously been assigned for almost eight years as a Hearing Officer with the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System. Mr. Strickland came to Arizona from St. Louis, Missouri where he had been with a litigation firm for a number of years, specializing in medical negligence and product liability law. A University of Notre Dame and Washington University, St. Louis, legally trained adjudicator, Judge Strickland also owns graduate degrees in history (M.A.) and theology (M.Div.). Additionally, he completed a Ph.D. course through his comprehensives at Saint Louis University in Historical Theology, and has taught at the high school (Latin and Greek), undergraduate (Latin and various courses in History) and post-graduate levels (Ancient Languages and Law). The Judge brings a wealth of extracurricula experience, having served as a hockey and baseball coach at the Varsity and Junior levels, is the father of seven children, and is a frequently invited guest speaker on various topics including law, religion and history. Judge Strickland is licensed to practice law in Arizona, Missouri and Illinois, the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri and the Southern District of Illinois. Judge Strickland joined the civil division of the Maricopa County Attorney's office in August 2007.

Articles in OAH Newsletter

MOTION PRACTICE AT THE OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS
April 2002


Brian Brendan Tully

Brian Brendan Tully is an Administrative Law Judge assigned to the Arizona State Office of Administrative Hearings. He previously had been assigned to the Arizona Registrar of Contractors as an Administrative Law Judge. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Judge Tully earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Psychology from The University of New Mexico and his Juris Doctorate from The University of Tulsa College of Law. He is licensed to practice law in Arizona and Oklahoma. Judge Tully has held positions as Municipal Judge, City Prosecutor, City Attorney, general practitioner, senior oil and gas landman/attorney and senior arbitrator. His real life experiences also include having been an assistant director of a city/county pre-trial release project and a steamfitter. Judge Tully has taught oil and gas contracts law at the junior college level and real estate transactions at a private paralegal school, and also worked as a nursing skills laboratory technician in a university baccalaureate of nursing science program. Judge Tully has also served as a judge pro tem in the Maricopa County Justice Courts. Judge Tully resigned/retired from State service on July 9, 2015.

Articles in OAH Newsletter

A Brief Overview of the OAH Hearing Process for Parties
April 2000


Sondra J. Vanella

Sondra J. Vanella joined the Office of Administrative Hearings as an Administrative Law Judge on October 12, 1999. Originally from Oyster Bay, New York, Judge Vanella graduated magna cum laude with her Bachelor of Arts in English with dual minors in Spanish and Sociology, from the State University of New York at Albany. She earned her Juris Doctor from Pepperdine University School of Law. Prior to becoming an Administrative Law Judge, Judge Vanella served as an Assistant Attorney General. She also practiced in the private sector in the area of Domestic Relations.

On September 15, 2014, Judge Vanella joined the Arizona Department of Transportations Executive Hearing Office as an Administrative Law Judge.
Articles in OAH Newsletter

DISCOVERY-THE KEY TO UNLOCKING THE "MYSTERY" BEHIND AN ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING
October 2001


Cliff J. Vanell

Cliff J. Vanell is the founding director of the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings. He has served as a prosecutor, defense attorney and judge. Mr. Vanell's management vision can be stated:

"To quote Aristotle: 'We are what we do repeatedly. Excellence is therefore, not an act, but a habit'. It is this predictable degree of performance that we seek. I believe:

There is no limit to what we can contribute if we are properly selected, well-trained, appropriately supported and committed.

We must constantly identify and eliminate unnecessary procedures and paperwork.

We must never allow our policies and procedures to demean human dignity or stifle creativity.

Our management positions must always be considered positions of service.

We must invest in our human capital as much as hardware. Training and retraining must be provided to ensure our personal and professional growth so that we can better serve the public.

We must listen constantly, share ideas and information, and recognize achievement.

We all must be evaluated on our contributions, sense of teamwork and love of change.

We will always remember that each case is the most important case to the parties.

Everyone is entitled to respect and courtesy.

We are here to serve.

Director Vanell retired from state service on January 1, 2015.

Articles in OAH Newsletter

An Open Letter from the Director
January 1997

Fiscal Year Ends, A Look Back (and Forward...)
July 1997

Our Commitment
January 1998

New Developments
May 1998

The end of a fiscal year...
September 1998

OAH Values
November 1998

OAH Progress
January 1999

Recognition of Excellence
April 1999

The OAH at the Threshold of the New Millennium
July 1999

AHCCCS Hearings Make Smooth Transition to the OAH
October 1999

An Open Letter From the Director to the OAH
January 2000

Helping us help you: www.azoah.com MAKING THE MOST OF THE OAH WEBSITE
January 2002

Full, Fair, Impartial, Independent and Prompt
February 2004

Certification of Administrative Law Judge Decisions
May 2004

Open Letter to the Administrative Law Judges
January 2005

Videoconferencing in Registrar of Contractors Hearings
August 2005

Interview with the Director
November 2005

The Administrative Law Judge
August 2006

Homeowner Petitions Against An Association
June 2007

"Ship Shape Bristol Fashion"
December 2014


Michael G. Wales

Michael G. Wales joined the Office of Administrative Hearings on March 24, 2008. Originally from Cooperstown, New York, Judge Wales received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Albany in 1988 and earned his Juris Doctor at Arizona State University College of Law in 1991. Prior to becoming an Administrative Law Judge, Judge Wales served as a judge pro tem for the Scottsdale Municipal Court, as a Deputy County Attorney in Anaheim, California, and as a Deputy County Attorney in Maricopa County, Arizona. Judge Wales has also practiced in the private sector in the areas of construction law, business law, and criminal law. Judge Wales is now a member of the Tempe City Court.


Grant Winston

Grant Winston joined the Office of Aministrative Hearings on October 1, 1996. From 1989 to 1992, he was an assistant attorney general for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and from 1992 to 1996, he served as an administrative law judge. Previous to that, he had been a law clerk for both the Kentucky Court of Appeals and the Kentucky Supreme Court, as well as a Legal Services staff attorney for low income persons in civil matters. In Kentucky, Judge Winston presided over a wide gamut, and multitude, of administrative matters. As an example, from 1992 to 1996, he served in over 120 licensure and/or disciplinary matters for the Kentucky medical and nursing boards. Additionally, he handled matters in Social Services and entitlements, Transportation, Education, Insurance, Occupational Safety and Health, and Real Estate. Judge Winston was one of two administrative law judges who served in OAH's Tucson office, which served primarily the southern portion of Arizona, Judge Winston presided over all types of administrative matters within OAH jurisdiction. However, due to his previous varied experience, his case load has an emphasis on statewide medical and nursing matters, Registrar of Contractors, and Revenue. The Tucson office closed on November 10, 2009, due to budgetary contraints.


Robert. I. Worth

Robert Worth currently serves as an Administrative Law Judge for the State of Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings, presiding over a full calendar of matters forwarded by several different State agencies. Receiving his undergraduate bachelor's degree from Stanford University and his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Stanford Law School, he subsequently became a member of the State Bars of California, New York and Arizona. During his period of military service, he served as an Army Judge Advocate, primarily engaged in court martial trials. Judge Worth conducted a general law practice in New York as part of a firm and, subsequently, as a sole practitioner. After moving to Arizona, and after a period during which he conducted a general law practice in Scottsdale, Judge Worth joined the staff of the Registrar of Contractors as a hearing officer, ultimately holding the position of the Registrar's Chief Administrative Law Judge for twelve years. Judge Worth retired in March 2003 and continued to serve as a Administrative Law Judge pro tem through October 2010.

Articles in OAH Newsletter

SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS -TAKING THE PEN OUT OF THE JUDGE'S HAND
April 2001