Thursday, March 4, 2021 by Superior Court
Pima County, AZ. — Pima County Presiding Judge Kyle A. Bryson and Juvenile Court Presiding Judge Peter W. Hochuli announce the appointments of Randi Burnett, Jennifer Espino, and Lisa Schriner Lewis as Commissioners to the Pima County Superior Court. They will fill the vacancies created by the elevation of Hon. Lisa Abrams and Hon. Laurie San Angelo to retained Superior Court judges and the retirement of Commissioner Susan Kettlewell.
“Each is eminently qualified in her own right,” notes Presiding Judge Bryson. “They have an impressive depth and breadth of experience. I am confident they will serve the bench with honor and dignity.”
Randi Burnett is an attorney at The McCarthy Law Firm representing individuals in dissolution, paternity, child support, post-decree, and third-party rights cases. She is also a volunteer attorney and former founding member of Step Up to Justice, a Pima County-based pro bono civil legal services organization. Additionally, Burnett has served as a Pima County Superior Court judge pro tempore and an arbitrator for civil law cases.
Before joining the McCarthy firm, Burnett was a partner/shareholder at Waterfall Economidis Caldwell Hanshaw Villamana PC, where, in addition to her direct representation of clients, she supervised, mentored, and trained new attorneys in the practice of domestic relations law and litigation.
Previously, Burnett spent five years as staff attorney and law student coordinator at Southern Arizona Legal Aid. There she trained attorney volunteers in domestic relations and developed new pro bono programs while assisting clients with bankruptcy, consumer protection, landlord/tenant, and guardianship matters.
In 2019 Burnett was named one of Tucson’s 40 under 40 and, in 2015, was the recipient of the Champion for Children and Families Award from Arizona’s Child and Family Resources organization recognizing those whose “hands-on efforts” have been an “inspiration…for a better world for children and their families.” Additionally, Burnett was chosen as one of the 50 Top Pro Bono Attorneys in Arizona by the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education in 2014 and 2015.
Burnett continues to dedicate considerable energy to pro bono cases through Step Up to Justice, focusing on family law concerns. She has also presented on numerous occasions regarding child custody issues, some specifically addressing the unique concerns of autistic children in custody matters.
Burnett graduated cum laude from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Management. She then earned her law degree from the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law, where she was a Dean’s Achievement Award recipient.
Jennifer Espino is the Acting Deputy Attorney General for the Tohono O’odham Nation, serving tribal government employees, elected officials, and appointed committee members. Within that capacity, her focus is Federal Indian Law, advising and representing tribal governmental departments, working with gaming-related matters, and acting on behalf of the Enrollment Committee during administrative hearings.
Before her appointment to Acting Deputy Attorney General, Espino had been an Assistant Attorney General with the Tohono O’odham Nation since 2007. She represented tribal departments and individual Native American adults and juveniles during administrative proceedings, in tribal and state courts, and during public hearings. She also worked to amend tribal laws and codes. Prior to her legal career, Espino was, for three years, a Financial Auditor with the Office of the Arizona Auditor General.
For more than ten years, Espino has been an active presenter at conferences, court-based educational training classes, law school forums, and continuing legal education seminars. Her primary focus of instruction has been the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), its impact on Native American youth, our community and the courts, and its application in day-to-day legal matters.
Espino is an active volunteer with Wills for Heroes, the Volunteer Lawyers Program, and the Disabled American Veterans Legal Clinics, is an appointed member of the Indian Child Welfare Act Committee on the State, Tribal, and Federal Court Forum, and a member and former Writing Program Coordinator for the Arizona Minority Bar Association. She has also acted as a judge pro tempore for the Superior Court’s criminal bench.
Graduating from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law with her Juris Doctor in 2005, Espino holds undergraduate degrees with honors in Accounting, Latin American Studies, and Business Administration.
Lisa Schriner Lewis is a shareholder at Waterfall Economidis Caldwell Hanshaw & Villamana, where she has practiced since 2012. Her caseload is devoted to all aspects of family law, including dissolution, custody matters, child support, paternity, pre-and post-decree matters, appeals, and collaborative divorces.
Throughout her career, Lewis has also represented children as a Best Interests Attorney, Court Appointed Child’s Attorney, and Family Court Advisor. Additionally, since 2012 she has acted as a judge pro tempore for the Superior Court’s family law bench.
In 2010, Lewis was named Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year by the Arizona Bar Association. She has also been recognized, both statewide and locally, for her longstanding pro bono service. Southern Arizona Legal Aid selected Lewis as their Attorney of the Year in 2008 and named her their Family Law Attorney of the Year in 2007. Lewis was also chosen a Top 50 Pro Bono Attorney in 2007, 2011, and 2013 by the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education.
Between 2011 and 2012, Lewis was an associate with Udall, Shumway & Lyons, and from 2005 to 2011, a family and civil law practitioner with DeConcini McDonald Yetwin & Lacy, handling contract disputes, collection matters, replevins, and lease enforcements along with all aspects of family law matters.
Lewis currently conducts family law clinics through Step Up to Justice, where she provides pro bono counsel for low-income and self-represented litigants. She also volunteers with Southern Arizona Legal Aid’s Volunteer Lawyer Program (VLP), representing low-income clients in dissolution and custody cases and supervising law students assisting clients with various family law matters.
Lewis earned her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the University of Arizona’ James E. Rogers College of Law, where she was a member of the Arizona Law Review editorial board. Her Bachelor’s degree was earned in Microbiology/Pre-Med from Northern Arizona University, where she graduated on the Dean’s List.