Kent E. Cattani

Judge Kent Cattani was appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals on February 9, 2013.  After serving for 2 years as Vice Chief Judge, he was elected Chief Judge in June 2021. 


At the time of Judge Cattani’s appointment to the court, he was serving as Arizona’s Solicitor General, overseeing criminal appeals, capital litigation, and civil appeals at the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.    


Judge Cattani earned his J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1986, and he worked as an associate at Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, and Beus, Gilbert & Morrill in Phoenix prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office in 1991.  For the next 22 years, he represented the State of Arizona in state and federal court, handling death penalty post-conviction proceedings in trial courts throughout the State, briefing over 200 appellate cases, and arguing more than 95 cases in the Arizona Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.  He also assumed supervisory responsibilities as a Unit Chief, Section Chief, Division Chief, and Solicitor General. 


As an Assistant Attorney General, Judge Cattani provided testimony to the United States Senate and House of Representatives Judiciary Committees regarding federal habeas and death penalty issues, and he helped draft legislation and worked with the Arizona legislature in addressing a variety of criminal law issues.  He has also lectured extensively both locally and nationally on criminal law and federal habeas issues, and he is a co-editor of the Arizona Appellate Handbook.


Judge Cattani led the Attorney General’s efforts to collaborate with the defense bar in studying lessons learned from DNA exonerations.  Additionally, he chaired the Attorney General’s DNA Task Force from 2006 – 2008, and he is the Vice Chair of Arizona’s Forensic Science Advisory Committee formed as a result of recommendations by the Task Force.  He also serves at the federal level as Vice Chair of the Legal Resources Committee of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees, which is tasked with promulgating standards for forensic science disciplines in the United States.