Law graduate Justice Ryan to step down
Arizona Supreme Court Justice Michael D. Ryan, a 1977 graduate of the College of Law, will retire on Aug. 6, according to an announcement made on Tuesday, June 1. Ryan, who received his first assignment to the bench 24 years ago, will leave the court three days after his 65th birthday.
Ryan told Arizona Republic reporter Michael Kiefer he wants to spend more time with his wife, three sons and two grandchildren, and that he expects to continue with volunteer work and court projects. He is the most experienced of the five justices, as he has been a prosecutor, a Superior Court judge, an Appeals Court judge and a Supreme Court justice.
“Justice Ryan has been a selfless public servant for nearly all of his life,” said Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch (College of Law, Class of 1979). “His service to our country, our state and this court is to be commended. Arizona is losing a wonderful judge who is thoughtful, patient, courageous and kind. He is a quiet colleague, but he has a wonderful sense of humor and has been an absolute pleasure to work with. It has been an honor to serve next to him.”
Ryan came to Arizona after serving in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, where he was wounded twice in five months and after the second injury began using a wheelchair. Among the cases he prosecuted was the retrial of a Marine Corps vet who was convicted of murder, but was granted a retrial because he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. The defendant was from Ryan’s own Marine Corps unit.
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Janie Magruder, Jane.Magruder@asu.edu
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law