Earlier this month, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey appointed Daniel Gregory Sakall ’95 to the Pima County Superior Court.
Sakall fills the vacancy created by retiring Judge Carmine Cornelio. He will hear criminal, civil, domestic, juvenile, and probate estate cases as judge of general jurisdiction in the state’s second most populous county.
Before being appointed to the bench, Sakall clerked for two federal district judges in Tucson, Arizona, and then worked as a staff attorney with the Goldberg and Osborne law firm for 12 years. He also served as chair of the Rules Committee of the Pima County Bar Association and has served as adjunct law professor at the University of Arizona since 2004.
“The county in which I live has a ‘merit selection process’: Tucson doesn’t have contested judicial elections for our superior court,” Sakall said. “They select from the candidates a slate of names that then goes to the governor’s office.”
While at Hillsdale, Sakall, who had a double major in Spanish and history and a minor in politics, impressed politics department chairman Mickey Craig, who described him as “happy-go-lucky,” smart, and hardworking.
Mark Kalthoff, chairman of the history department, got to know Sakall because both were involved with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s ministry on campus. During his time at Hillsdale, Kalthoff said he would go to Ray’s Tavern in Reading to get burgers with him and that Sakall was often a guest in his home.
“I’m not in the least bit surprised to see him go a ways,” Kalthoff said.
Alumna Deanna Ducher ’95, who took a number of classes with Sakall while at Hillsdale and now teaches history at Hillsdale Academy, described him as fair-minded and intellectually curious.
Since graduating Hillsdale summa cum laude, Sakall attended law school at the University of Arizona, where he also graduated summa cum laude in 2001.
“Greg is an intelligent and impressive litigator, and has demonstrated his commitment to the citizens of Pima County,” Ducey said in a statement. “His service as an adjunct law professor at the University of Arizona College of Law for the last 13 years is especially impressive, given that he also maintains a busy law practice.”