Kerstin LeMaire is a judge in the Maricopa County Superior Court’s civil division.
According to LeMaire, there is no average day when you are a judge.
“Our court can be everything from motor vehicle accidents, to medical malpractice cases, where people were injured or worse during a medical procedure, to contract cases, where it’s just a breach of contract. So, it can be any type of case on any given day.”
LeMaire graduated from Cincinnati Law School in 1993. In 2000, she began worked as a Deputy Legal Defender in Yuma, Arizona. One year later, she held the same job but in Phoenix. In 2011, she became a partner at LeMaire and Kennedy until 2013 when she became a commissioner for the Superior Court.
After three attempts, LeMaire was appointed as judge in September of 2015 by Governor Doug Ducy.
In her time as commissioner and judge she has seen trials with both positive and negative outcomes.
LeMaire remembers, “I had this one involving, at one point, with a wickedly brilliant woman. She had been a high school teacher, went to Stanford. And it was horrible because she had points where even though she had dementia, you could tell she was lucid and knew what was going on. At other points, she couldn’t… Finally, at the end, when she heard all the evidence and I sat with her, I said, ‘this is what I’m going to have to do. You have an illness, it’s progressing, and you’re finally at the point where we have to step in… but you can still help us. Where do you want to live? Which of your pets do you want to take care of? What limits do you want me to put on your brother?’ And, so, we were able to work with her on a solution that met her needs and so I felt we still respected her. It was a good result and we didn’t demoralize her, we actually served her needs.”
However, LeMaire’s favorite part of the job is the social interaction.
“I’m a very social person by nature,” she says.
LeMaire works with multiple clerks as well as her judicial assistant, Erin Kelly.
Kelly says, “I love working with her, she’s one of the funnest and most understanding judges I’ve ever worked for.”
LeMaire plans on staying a judge in Maricopa County for the foreseeable future.