Governor Brewer appointed Justice John Pelander to the Arizona Supreme Court in July 2009. The appointment came after he served 14 years with Division Two of the Arizona Court of Appeals, where he also served as Chief Judge from 2004 to 2009. In July 2014, he became Vice Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Justice Pelander retired from active service on the bench in March 2019, and since then has periodically sat on cases with the Court in a call-back status.
Justice Pelander is a former shareholder with Slutes, Sakrison, Grant & Pelander, PC (currently Slutes, Sakrison & Rogers, PC), where he practiced insurance defense, employment law, commercial litigation, and appeals for 18 years. Before joining Slutes Sakrison, he clerked for Judge Richard H. Chambers of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 1976 to 1977.
Pelander was an associate with the American Board of Trial Advocates, has taught at numerous state and county bar association programs, and has served as a faculty member of the Arizona College of Trial Advocacy. He also has served on the Arizona Commission for Judicial Performance Review and the Arizona Judicial Council, and previously chaired the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee. Pelander was elected to the ALI in 2015.