David B. Gass

JUDGE DAVID BRUCE GASS grew up in central Pennsylvania but spent a year taking classes in Chihuahua, Mexico. He served as a law clerk to the Honorable Ruth V. McGregor before joining the Phoenix law firm of Lewis and Roca, LLP. He spent seven sessions working as Counsel at the Arizona House of Representatives, before going to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

In 2009, Judge Gass was appointed to the Superior Court in Maricopa County. He served on all four major assignments. He sat on the Arizona Bar Association’s Civil Jury Instruction Committee and served as President of the Arizona Judges’ Association. He and Judge Pamela Svoboda established the STRENGTH Court in Maricopa County. STRENGTH Court works with victims of sex trafficking who are in the juvenile justice system.

In 2019, Judge Gass was appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One. He began serving as the Vice Chief Judge in June 2021. He is a member of the Arizona Supreme Court Commission on Diversity, Equality, and Justice. He chaired the 2022 Child Support Guidelines Review Subcommittee.

Judge Gass was awarded the 2005 Arizona State University College of Law Alumni Association recognition for outstanding service, the 2014 Michael D. Ryan Award for Judicial Excellence from the State Bar of Arizona Public Lawyers Section, the 2018 Pete Dunn Above and Beyond Award as outstanding ambassador of the Judges in Arizona, and the 2018 Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Judicial Officer of the Year. The State Bar of Arizona awarded him its 2020 Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Award. In 2021, the Arizona Supreme Court’s Committee on Judicial Education and Training awarded him the Excellence in Education Award.

Judge Gass is on the Arizona Town Hall Training Committee and has worked with Arizona Anytown Youth Leadership.

Judge Gass is a member of the LGBTQ+ community. He focuses and speaks on diversity and inclusion issues. He has been active in many related projects. Several are listed here. He developed a training module to unpack and demystify the judicial application process to encourage diversity in Arizona’s courts. He also developed an undergraduate internship program at the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One to give diverse undergraduate students experience working in the courts and to encourage them to go to law school.

Most notable, Judge Gass felt strongly that Arizona should officially recognize the Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution so that we never forget the wrongs done to persons of Japanese descent and their families. He spent five years making it a reality so we always remember our constitution and our civil liberties are fragile and require our constant attention.

And he saves stray dogs on the side.