12/19/2010 9:59:00 PM New presiding judge for Yavapai County embraces change
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
The Honorable Judge David Mackey was appointed presiding judge of the Yavapai County Superior Court taking the place of Judge Robert Brutinel, who was appointed to the Arizona Supreme Court.
Lisa Irish The Daily Courier
PRESCOTT - Yavapai County Superior Court Judge David L. Mackey, who will soon be the county's new presiding judge, said the court is going through a lot of change right now.
The court is selecting a new family law commissioner, a new pro tem judge, as well as waiting to see who Gov. Jan Brewer will appoint to fill the Division 2 opening now that Judge Robert Brutinel soon will join the Arizona Supreme Court, Mackey said.
"I see change as a way to bring new ideas and new developments to the court," Mackey said.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch appointed Mackey on Dec. 7 as the new presiding judge effective Jan. 7, 2011, replacing Brutinel.
"Judge Mackey, who will become the new Presiding Judge in Yavapai County Superior Court is also a highly respected jurist who will carry on the tradition of excellent leadership," Berch said.
Mackey, an Arizona native, received his law degree from the University of Arizona, was admitted to the Arizona and Federal Bar in 1983, and practiced law in Tucson before moving to Prescott in 1986 where he worked a private practice before joining the Yavapai County Attorney's Office in 1988. In 2001, Gov. Jane Dee Hull appointed Mackey to Division 1 of the Yavapai County Superior Court where was re-elected in 2002, 2006, and 2010.
Mackey currently judges civil, probate, and domestic cases and oversees marriage counseling services and medication services for people involved in domestic relations cases. Until the right person is found, Mackey also will take over the juvenile cases Brutinel used to preside over as well.
"A presiding judge is an administrator of the court system," Mackey said. "We work for the people of the county, the taxpayers are our boss and I keep that in mind each day."
Mackey said in the long-term he plans to find ways to keep cases moving expeditiously through the system, which saves money in jail expenses, and determine how to make the system better.
"We have a great relationship with all the judges in Yavapai County, with the juvenile court system, volunteers, law enforcement, and private attorneys and I don't want to change that," Mackey said. "Judge Brutinel built a lot of good relationships in this community and I want to see those continue."
Mackey said he and his wife, Peggy, raised their three children in Prescott and that their youngest now goes to college, their daughter is in graduate school, and his oldest attends law school.
Mackey, who volunteers with the Prescott YMCA and Big Brothers/Big Sisters, said he and his wife enjoy the outdoors including hiking around Prescott and up in the Grand Canyon area as well.
Mackey has served on several state-wide committees, including a Probate Rules Committee in 2006, the Supreme Court's Committee on Superior Court, and earlier this year, the Supreme Court's Committee on Improving Judicial Oversight and Processing of Probate Court Matter.
Mackey also served as a faculty member for the 2007 Judicial Conference and General Jurisdiction New Judge Orientation, teaching other judicial officers about probate issues. He was a faculty member for the National Business Institute's fall 2009 seminar entitled, "What Civil Court Judges Want You to Know" and the spring 2010 seminar entitled, "What Probate Court Judges Want You to Know."