Samuel Anderson Thumma


Sam has served on the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One, since 2012, serving as Chief Judge for two years ending June 30, 2019, and Vice Chief Judge for two years ending June 30, 2017. As Chief Judge, he served on the Arizona Judicial Council, the policy-making body that oversees the Arizona judicial system. Before being appointed to the Court of Appeals, Sam served as a Judge on the Arizona Superior Court, Maricopa County, for nearly five years, presiding over criminal and juvenile matters (including nearly 250 trials) and serving as an elected member of the Judicial Executive Committee.

Nationally, Sam is a Uniform Law Commissioner, where he chairs the Study Committee on Jury Selection and Service; is a member of the Committee to Monitor Developments in Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution and chaired the Drafting Committee for the Uniform Employee and Student Online Protection and Privacy Act (2016). He has been a member of the American Law Institute since 2003, where he serves as an Advisor to the Restatement of the Law (Third) of Torts: Liability for Economic Harm. He is Secretary of the American Bar Association’s Judicial Division Appellate Judges Conference and the Appellate Judges Education Institute, Inc., Board of Directors and chairs the Education Committee for the 2019 AJEI Summit. He is co-editor of The Judges’ Journal Editorial Board and is a member of the American Bar Foundation. By appointment of the National Center for State Courts, he serves on the Joint Technology Committee, a cooperative effort of the NCSC, the Conference of State Court Administrators and the National Association for Court Management.

In Arizona, Sam chairs the Arizona Supreme Court’s Task Force to Supplement Keeping of the Record by Electronic Means; is a member of the Arizona Supreme Court’s Committee on Juvenile Courts and is Co-Editor of the Arizona Appellate Handbook. Previously, Sam served as co-chair of the Arizona Supreme Court’s Committee on the Rules of Evidence (2012-2019) and chair of the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee (2017-2019). Sam also chaired the State Bar of Arizona’s Civil Practice and Procedure and Fee Arbitration Committees and served on the State Bar’s Civil Recommended Arizona Jury Instructions and Rules of Professional Conduct Committees.

Sam is a frequent lecturer and author, having presented at more than 340 seminars and published 12 law review, and 50 other law-related, articles. Before joining the bench, Sam was a partner at Perkins Coie Brown & Bain, P.A., in Phoenix, and an associate at Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C. He served as a law clerk for Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Stanley G. Feldman and Judge David R. Hansen, United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa. Sam graduated Order of the Coif from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1988, where he was a Note & Comment Editor on the Iowa Law Review, and from Iowa State University in 1984, where he was a Harry S. Truman Memorial Scholar.