Toll Gate High School graduate and former law clerk for U.S. Senator Spencer Abraham, Samuel Vederman, 44, has been appointed as a judge for the Superior Court in La Paz County, Ariz., and is thrilled of the opportunity.
According to the Parker Pioneer, an Arizona publication,
Governor Jan Brewer made the announcement Sept. 6.
In the article, Brewer noted that she views Vederman as the perfect person for the job.
"Samuel has proven himself as an exceptional candidate to serve the Court and the community, both through his Arizona courtroom experience and his public service as an elected official," she said. "In addition to possessing a strong legal background, he exhibits the managerial skills, integrity and evenhandedness necessary for a role in which accountability to the public is ever-important."
Vederman said her praise means a great deal to him. He is happy to have her blessing.
“It’s a great honor the governor has bestowed on me,” Vederman said during a phone interview Saturday afternoon. “I hope that I will carry out the will of the people in the manner that she hopes I will. I’m glad that she has confidence in me.”
Vederman will succeed Judge Michael Burke, who will retire on his 70th birthday in December of this year, as Arizona Superior Court judges are required to retire at age 70. Before Burke, Judge Michael Irwin was Superior Court judge.
“We only had two Superior Court judges in the last 30 years here – I’ll be the third,” Vederman said. “It’s quite a privilege to serve on the Superior Court and I plan to do the best I can do, as I always have, and carry out the legacy of my predecessors here in La Paz County.”
At the moment, Vederman is the County Attorney for La Paz County, a position he has filled since 2008. He is responsible for a felony caseload on top of managing a 22-member staff. He was running unopposed for re-election, with a term set to expire Dec. 31.
In 1999, Vederman earned his law degree at Michigan State University College of Law, and in 1991 received an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Rhode Island. He’s been practicing law in Arizona since 2000.
While he has been an attorney for the last 12 years, he said he never thought about being a judge until the last year. Nevertheless, he’s looking forward to his new role.
“I enjoy public service, so this is basically a continuation of what I’ve been doing since law school,” he said.
As a 1986 Toll Gate graduate who grew up in Warwick, Vederman said he has many pleasant memories of his hometown, whether they are from his days playing baseball and hockey at TG, or his younger years at Winman Junior High and Cedar Hill Elementary School.
Also, he played Little League baseball at St. Gregory’s as a child, and was a member of the Warwick Police Athletic Hockey League.
He keeps in touch with his parents, Susan and Irwin, as well as his younger brother, Harris, also a Toll Gate graduate, plus childhood friends.
“I have great memories of Warwick,” said Vederman. “It’s an excellent place to grow up and it’s a great community of friendly people. To this day, my friends are the kids I grew up with. Four or five of us still try to get together once a year.”
These days, he’s happy to be living in Arizona.
“I really like it here,” he said. “It’s my home now.”