ALI Council
Elected Member

The Hon. Scott Bales

Denver, CO
Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at Univ. of Denver
Michigan State University
Harvard Law School

Scott Bales is the Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court. He was appointed to the court in 2005 by Governor Janet Napolitano and was retained for a six-year term in 2008. He was elected by his peers as chief justice effective July 1, 2014.

Before his appointment, Justice Bales practiced law in Arizona as both a private and public lawyer. From 2001 to 2005, he worked at Lewis & Roca, where his practice focused on appellate and complex litigation. As Arizona’s Solicitor General from 1999 to 2001, he handled major appeals in state and federal court, oversaw the enforcement of Arizona election laws, and supervised the preparation of legal opinions on issues concerning state government.

Justice Bales also was a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Phoenix, a Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Policy Development and a Special Investigative Counsel for the Justice Department’s Inspector General. He clerked for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Joseph T. Sneed III on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Justice Bales has taught as an adjunct professor at Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law.

He was elected to the ALI in October 2007 and serves as an Adviser for Principles of Election Law: Resolution of Election Disputes and Principles of the Law, Police Investigations projects. He also is on the Members Consultative Group for the Restatement Third, Employment Law, and is a member of the Regional Advisory Group for the Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada region.

EDUCATION: Michigan State University, B.A.; Harvard University, M.A.; Harvard Law School, J.D.  

The Hon. Scott Bales Image
Areas of Expertise
Criminal Law
Appellate Practice & Procedure (Litigation)
Public Law (Administrative)