For the past few weeks we have shared with you our excitement about our Centennial Homecoming Week in October and summer centennial receptions.  While we have been busy celebrating the College's 100th year, friends and colleagues of Judge Stephen McNamee have been planning a landmark celebration of their own.

Today the current and former clerks, colleagues, and friends of Judge McNamee ('69) are gathering to celebrate his 25th year on the bench.  The entire College joins me in sending our congratulations and thanking him for his lifelong service to the community, the University, and the College of Law. 

This week's newsletter is dedicated to Judge McNamee and the 25 years he has spent serving the people of Arizona. Congratulations Judge!


Until the Footnotes,



Judge Stephen McNamee ('69)

Many of you know Judge McNamee.   


He is a die-hard Wildcat fan, a Bobcat, and a longtime member of the Law College Association.   


Judge McNamee, who graduated from the College in 1969, is also a founding member of the "Carpenters."  The Carpenters are a group of students from the Class of 1969 who were charged with the goal of becoming "architects of the law," and who responded by embracing the idea that they were carpenters of the law, "building and advancing the law in whatever endeavor they undertook."  The Carpenters memorialized their commitment to the College by creating the longstanding Carpenters Scholarship.  






Originally from Ohio, Judge McNamee received a BA from the University of Cincinnati in 1964 before he found his way west to become a Wildcat.  He received an MA at the UA in 1967 and his JD in 1969.   


Prior to joining the bench, Judge McNamee served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona from 1974 to 1980, as the Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney from 1981 to 1985, and as the U.S. Attorney from 1985 to 1990.


On February 20, 1990, Judge McNamee was nominated as a federal judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona by President George H. W. Bush.  He was confirmed by the United States Senate in May and received his commission in June.  He served as Chief Judge from 1999-2006, assuming senior status in 2007.  Judge McNamee continues to serve today.


If you know Judge McNamee, you know that -- while his service record is exemplary -- it is the lives he has touched and the people he has mentored along the way that really embody his legacy.  Here are some firsthand accounts and photos:



"Judge McNamee is one of the kindest, most thoughtful people I know.  And, if you are fortunate enough to be one of his clerks, you have hit a career and personal home run. Judge McNamee invests considerable time in his clerks while they are with him.  I can think of few more worthy mentors for a new attorney.  As proof, you need only look at the attorneys who have excelled after working with Judge McNamee: Quintin Cushner, Alison Bachus, Janey Henze, to name a few, and notably, Diane Humetewa, now a District Court Judge, and former intern when the Judge was the US Attorney.  These are all extraordinary lawyers, and more importantly, good people.Judge McNamee will always be remembered as an outstanding US Attorney and jurist.  But, there is a kind of immortality in someone like Judge McNamee who leaves a legacy of goodness in those he mentored." -- Paul Charlton ('88)



"Dear Judge McNamee, Congratulations on celebrating your 25th anniversary on the bench!  It seems like just yesterday that we celebrated your 20th anniversary while I was clerking for you.  I am so grateful that you provided me with the opportunities to summer extern with you, clerk for you, and then extend my clerkship by another year.  I will never forget how special you made my swearing into federal court by hosting my family and friends in your courtroom.  Needless to say, my externship and clerkship experiences with you have been both career-changing and life-changing.  I am even more grateful for your continued mentorship and support.  I know that you were instrumental in my selection to the board of the Law College Association.  And, I really appreciate your support of my involvement in the community with Sojourner Center and the Arizona Asian American Bar Association. You have touched so many lives and have made an indelible mark on mine.  I look forward to celebrating many more years with you." -- Nicole Ong ('08)



"Because of Judge McNamee's support of the law school's federal judicial externship program, I was able to work for him in the summer following my 1L year.  The experience was amazing, from the time he spent with his externs after every hearing, to the substantive writing assignments, to the terrific stories he would tell.  Naturally, I jumped at the chance to serve as one of his law clerks upon graduation from UA Law.  Although he was Chief Judge and presided over many complex and weighty matters, he remained humble, and he made everyone feel valued and part of the team.  Judge McNamee is a tremendous jurist, teacher, mentor, and friend.  His commitment to service has inspired me and countless other clerks, as well as his colleagues and the attorneys who appear before him.  Above all, he is a fundamentally good person who truly cares about everyone he meets.  UA Law is fortunate to count Judge McNamee among its alumni, and I am honored to call him a friend." -- Alison Bachus ('05)



"Judge McNamee has been the consummate professional as a lawyer and a judge.  I remember practicing against him as a very new lawyer.  Even as an adversary, Judge McNamee was patient and helpful, while still representing his client, the United States, admirably." -- Judge Sally Simmons, Pima County Superior Court









Centennial Snapshot -- Judge Thomas Tang ('50)


In this week's Centennial Snapshot, we highlight the career of Judge Thomas Tang, a 1950 graduate of the College of Law and the first Asian Pacific American Judge to be appointed to the federal bench.

1950 Desert, UA Yearbook


Prior to attending the University of Arizona, Judge Tang served the U.S. Army in World War II and the Korean War.


Upon graduation, he clerked for Justice Evo DeConcini of the Arizona Supreme Court.  He later served as a prosecutor for the Maricopa County Attorney's office, Assistant Arizona Attorney General, Phoenix City Councilman and Vice Mayor.


Judge Tang was a Superior Court Judge for Maricopa County from 1963-70.  According to the Maricopa County Bar Association "100 Women & Minority Lawyers" publication (2000),


"He lost re-election as a judge because of his refusal to yield to public pressure to try two teenagers as adults.  The Arizona Supreme Court affirmed Tang's ruling.  His defeat sparked the movement to merit selection of judges to protect them from punishment for politically unpopular decisions."  



President Jimmy Carter appointed Judge Tang to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 1977, where he served until his death in 1995.


Judge Tang was an active alumnus during his lifetime, serving on the College's Board of Visitors and generously supporting its students and programs. 


His wife, Dr. Pearl Tang, also an accomplished leader during her time in the medical profession, has steadfastly continued that support in his memory through the Thomas Tang Scholarship here at the College.  They dedicated their own career successes to providing opportunities to the disadvantaged, and Dr. Tang continues this legacy.   


Several other awards have been created in his honor, including the Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition, the Thomas Tang Law Scholarship funded by the Arizona Asian American Bar Association, and the Thomas Tang Writing Competition.


Learn more about Judge Tang from Arizona Supreme Court's Legends of the Judiciary page.  


Do you have photos or memories of a legendary classmate?  We would love to hear from you.  Please contact Emily McGovern, Centennial Coordinator, to share your images and stories.  


In Memoriam: Dr. Ned Anderson, Sr. ('73)

The Arizona Law community mourns
Dr. Ned Anderson, Sr. ('73), who passed away in Safford, Arizona, on April 16, 2015.  Anderson spent his career working on behalf of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, including serving as San Carlos Central Arizona Project Director and two terms as Tribal Chairman, spanning 1978-1986.  His funeral service was held on April 25, 2015, in Bylas, Arizona.

In Memoriam: Judge Lillian S. Fisher ('63)

The Arizona Law community mourns the passing of our accomplished alumna, Retired Pima County Superior Court Judge Lillian S. Fisher, on June 7, 2015.  A member of the Class of 1963, Judge Fisher advocated for women in the law, co-founding the Arizona Women Lawyers Association and the National Association of Women Judges

She provided the initial endowment for the Udall Center's
Lillian S. Fisher Prize in Environmental Law and Public Policy, presented annually to an Arizona Law or UA graduate student studying law and public policy.  Judge Fisher was also a very active member of the community, helping to establish organizations such as the Southern Arizona Hiking Club and the Invisible Theater. 

The UA College of Social & Behaviorial Sciences presented her with its first 
Lifetime Achievement Award on April 15, 2015.  Judge Fisher was preceded in death by her spouse Bernard.  She is survived by her daughters Marjorie Cunningham and Anne Segal, both attorneys in Tucson; her son Michael Fisher, a high school science teacher, of West Palm Springs, Florida; eight grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.  Her grandson Paul Cunningham is a member of the Tucson City Council.  Learn more about Judge Fisher's legacy in her interview last month with Arizona Jewish Post or the Arizona Daily Star's photo gallery.

Jenna Karadbil ('00), founder of the Law Offices of Jenna F. Karadbil in New York City, has recently been elected President of the International Technology Law Association.  According to the organization's press release, "With members on six continents, ITechLaw is the premier organization for legal professionals practicing in the global technology sector, bringing them together with industry leaders."


In forwarding her news, Jenna also sent me this snapshot of herself displaying Arizona pride while on safari in Tanzania.




Some of you may remember Jenna from her years on the University of Arizona gymnastics team.  In 2012, Jenna was inducted into the UA Sports Hall of Fame. Her name now hangs from the rafters in McKale.  


Congratulations Jenna

Summer Alumni Receptions


We'd love to have you join us at one of our upcoming alumni receptions.  




  • Phoenix -- all-alumni reception at Arizona State Bar Convention, Thursday, June 25, 6:30-8:30 pm, Arizona Biltmore, Salon F of the Frank Lloyd Wright Ballroom, 2400 E. Missouri Ave. RSVP here
  • Washington, DC -- Wednesday, June 17, 5-7 pm at Morgan Meguire, 1225 I St. NW, Ste 1150. RSVP here
  • Nogales -- Tuesday, June 30, 12-2 pm, details to come.
  • Sierra Vista -- Tuesday, June 30, 5-7 pm, details to come.
  • Portland, OR -- Wednesday, July 8, 5-7 pm at Stoel Rives, 900 SW Fifth Ave., Ste 2600.
  • Seattle, WA -- Thursday, July 9, 5-7 pm at Williams Kastner, Two Union Square, 601 Union St., Ste 4100.
  • Prescott -- Planned for July, details to come.
  • Flagstaff -- Planned for July, details to come.
  • Yuma -- Tuesday, August 4, 12-2 pm, details to come.



And, make plans to return to Tucson and connect with more alumni during this year's special Homecoming-Centennial Week, October 19-25!

RSVP for any alumni reception by contacting
Marissa White or following the links above.



The stories of our alumni are the pages on which our history is written.  To see the careers described in this week's Wildcat Wednesday-Letter of the Law is to realize just how wide and profound an impact the College family has had, and continues to have, on the law, and on communities everywhere.   


Surely there are some times where we should step back and be proud of what our family and our College has done.  This is one of those times.






Marc L. Miller  

Dean & Ralph W. Bilby Professor of Law
Shaping the next century of legal education 
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