December 9, 2004
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Barbara Rodriguez Mundell has been named the court’s next presiding judge, the first female and Hispanic to be so honored.
Mundell, who will assume her new position on July 1, will take over the responsibilities of Judge Colin F. Campbell, who is finishing his fiveyear term in that position.
The presiding judge oversees an annual budget of more than $192 million and is responsible for managing court programs, educating and training judicial officers, various administrative initiatives and a range of court services.
"Judge Mundell is an excellent choice. She brings to the position a significant depth of understanding of this court, its needs and its future," Campbell said.
Traditionally, the name of the presiding judge designee is announced one to two weeks before taking over the position, said Mundell of Phoenix.
At Campbell’s suggestion, the Arizona Supreme Court announced her appointment early so she could learn the job with the help of Campbell, Mundell said.
Her job will be challenging, given the growth in the number of cases being filed annually, Mundell said.
With growth outstripping resources, the county needs to find different ways to handle the cases or ask for more resources, Mundell said.
The fact she is the first woman and first Hispanic named as presiding judge proves everyone has access to the courts, Mundell said.
Mundell has served as a Superior Court judge since 1991. She received her law degree in 1981 from Arizona State University.