Margaret H. Downie was appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One, by Governor Janet Napolitano in 2008. Previously, Judge Downie spent 11 years on the Maricopa County Superior Court, where she served as Associate Presiding Judge and Civil Presiding Judge. She also served as chair of the superior court’s Commissioner Selection Committee, Judge Pro Tem Committee, Jury Committee, and Judicial Education and Training Committee.
Judge Downie graduated with a B.A. degree in Radio, TV, and Film, magna cum laude, from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She received her J.D., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. in 1984—graduating in the top 10% of her class. At Georgetown, she served on the staff of the American Criminal Law Review.
After graduation, Judge Downie worked in the civil litigation department of Jennings, Strouss & Salmon in Phoenix. Thereafter, she spent almost ten years in the discipline department of the State Bar of Arizona, ultimately serving as Chief Bar Counsel. Before her appointment to the superior court by Governor Jane Dee Hull, Judge Downie served as a court commissioner.
In 2006, Judge Downie was named “Judge of the Year” by the American Board of Trial Advocates, Phoenix Chapter. She received the Distinguished Service Award from the Arizona Association of Defense Counsel in 2008. Judge Downie has served on numerous Arizona Supreme Court Committees, including the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee, the Court Leadership Institute of Arizona (CLIA), the New Judge Orientation Committee, the Arizona Achievement Award Selection Committee, and the Committee on Superior Court. Judge Downie has served as adjunct faculty at the Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law and is a frequent speaker at State Bar of Arizona CLE programs and New Judge Orientation for both limited and general jurisdiction judges. She volunteers as a reading tutor for elementary school children and, in her spare time, shoots skeet competitively.