Established in 1988, the Award of Special Merit is  presented by the Board of Governors to members of the State Bar of Arizona who have made significant contributions to the furtherance of public understanding of the legal system, the administration of justice,  and confidence in the legal profession.

The Honorable Ann A. Scott Timmer  was appointed to Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals in 2000.She served as Vice Chief Judge from 2006 to 2008 and Chief Judge from 2008 to 2011. Before her appointment to the court, Judge Timmer practiced law with private Phoenix law firms. Her practice focused primarily on commercial and employment litigation, and she practiced before state and  federal trial and appellate courts, and administrative tribunals. Judge Timmer also tried capital murder cases as a defense attorney and later as a special prosecutor. From April 2010 through June 2011, Judge Timmer chaired the Arizona Supreme Court's Commission on Improving Judicial Oversight and Processing of Probate Court Matters, culminating in recommendations for legislative and rule changes. Judge Timmer currently serves on the boards of many professional and community activities, including Arizona Foundation for the Handicapped, Arizona Women Lawyers Association, National Association of Women Judges, Council of Chief Judges of the State Courts of Appeal, City of Glendale Judicial Selection Advisory Board, and the Supreme Court's Commission on Judicial Education and Training. She received her B.A. in political science from the University of Arizona and her J.D. magna cum laude from Arizona State University, College of Law. Judge Timmer left the Court of Appeals in November of 2012 when she was appointed to the Arizona Supreme Court.