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  • McKinley sworn in as Superior Court judge

    The mood was lighthearted, even humorous on Aug. 17, when folks filled a Pima County Superior Court courtroom to attend the investiture of the Hon. Casey F. McGinley. 

    Gov. Doug Ducey appointed McGinley to the bench earlier this year. McGinley has served as judge pro tempore in Pima County Superior Court since 2013. Judge pro tempore refers to a judge appointed by the presiding judge of the court to fill vacancies on the bench, sometimes for extended periods of time.

    Representatives from state and County governments and the majority of the Superior Court bench attended the ceremony. Among those who spoke at the event was McGinley’s wife, Laura McGinley, who poked fun at the judge during her remarks, noting his penchant for pro wrestling, among other peccadillos. 

    “I only agreed to do this if I could give him a hard time,” Laura McGinley said. “In fact, I intended for it to be a roast but I’m told that’s not what it’s called.”

    During his remarks, Judge McGinley reiterated the investiture was not a roast.

    Judge McGinley’s brother, Michael McGinley, spoke about the judge’s early penchant for rhetoric and legal argumentation. Michael McGinley reminisced about how as a teenager the future judge convinced security staff at a concert to release the brothers’ friends after an altercation with unruly concertgoers landed them in custody.

    Judge McGinley earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Arizona State University and a law degree from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. 

    He interned as a law clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s office, the Pima County Attorney and later Pima County Superior Court Judge Christopher Browning.
    Presiding Judge Kyle Bryson and Judge Casey McGinley
    Judge McGinley then went to work as a deputy Pima County attorney. In 2013, Superior Court’s prior presiding judge, Hon. Sarah Simmons (ret.), appointed him judge pro tempore to the Pima County Superior Court bench. 

    He has heard cases on the criminal bench along with presiding over Restitution Court and Drug Treatment Alternative to Prison (DTAP), two specialty courts in Pima County. 

    Fellow Superior Court Judge Howard Fell spoke of his fondness for Judge McGinley, noting he presided over Casey and Laura McGinley’s wedding.

    “It was done in terms of a change of plea,” Fell said. “I told them this was a sentence for life.”

    Judge McGinley thanked Fell, explaining that it was Fell who advocated for him, convincing Judge Browning to hire McGinley as a clerk.

    “I am a man who is so lucky it should be illegal,” Judge McGinley said.

    The judge is currently assigned to the criminal bench and will transfer to the Juvenile Court bench at the end of August.

    Photo: Presiding Judge Kyle Bryson (left) after swearing in Judge Casey McGinley.
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