Court Logo Court Logo
Arizona Superior Court in Pima County

Two New Commissioners, Michael Vampotic and Nathan Wade, Welcomed to Superior Court in Pima County


Nathan Wade and Michael Vampotic Appointed to Superior Court Bench

Wednesday, June 28, 2023 by Arizona Superior Court in Pima County

Pima County Presiding Judge Jeffrey Bergin and Juvenile Court Presiding Judge Michael Butler are pleased to announce the appointments of Michael J. Vampotic and Nathan T. Wade as commissioners to the Superior Court. They will fill the vacancies created by the elevation of Hon. Randi Burnett to retained Superior Court judge and the retirement of Commissioner Deborah Pratte.

Michael J. Vampotic is an attorney, team leader, and unit mentor at the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, representing the Arizona Department of Child Safety in dependency proceedings.

Before joining the Attorney General’s office, Vampotic worked with Pima County’s Office of Children’s Counsel. During that period, he was often appointed to be a family law Best-Interest Attorney or guardian ad litem in juvenile delinquency cases.

In his capacity as a mentor and trainer for the AG’s office, Vampotic organized and presented training on issues as diverse as dependency law, trial advocacy, and trial preparation and execution, while maintaining a caseload of up to 130 active cases.

During his tenure, Vampotic received the Arizona Attorney General’s Exceptional Advocate Award as well as its Leadership in Action Award.

Additionally, Vampotic has been a guest speaker for the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law, presenting for both their Child and Family Law Clinic and Child and Juvenile Law Association. He is a member of the Pima County Bar Association and the Morris K. Udall Inn of Court and has worked with Arizona State University’s Master of Social Work Program, providing education and training to students through mock cross-examinations and evaluations.

Vampotic graduated cum laude from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, with a Bachelor of Arts in History, and earned his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law, where he was the recipient of the Outstanding Performance in Oral Advocacy award, and a board member of the Fegtly Moot Court competition.

Nathan T. Wade is a deputy public defender and senior attorney in Pinal County, where he supervises a trial caseload and advocates for statewide criminal justice reform through his work with the Arizona legislature as well as the Arizona State Bar’s Criminal Practice and Procedure Committee.

Prior to his tenure in Pinal County, Wade was an assistant public defender in Pima County, where, along with representing clients, he served as Legislative Advocate for the Public Defender’s office, a position he created in 2018.

In addition to his affiliation with and membership in the Arizona State Bar, Wade is co-chair of the Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice legislative committee, and a board member of the University of Arizona’s Law College Association. His collaboration on criminal justice reform issues is far-reaching, including work with agencies such as the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, Americans for Prosperity, and The Justice Collaborative.

Wade has presented for the Arizona Association of Drug Court Professionals, the Arizona State Bar, and the Arizona Public Defenders Association, among others. He also lectures regarding criminal justice reform and the legislative process for organizations including the Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice, League of Women Voters, and Greater Phoenix Leadership.

Moreover, Wade has contributed to or been interviewed by publications and media outlets with state and nationwide audiences, including Pro Publica, The Arizona Republic, KGUN9, The Capitol Times, and The Marshall Project.

Graduating from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law with his Juris Doctor, Wade holds his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Mary Washington College (now, University of Mary Washington) in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Said Presiding Judge Bergin, “We are excited Michael and Nathan will be joining the bench soon. They will be great additions to our court.”