Superior Court Division V

Judge Cathleen Brown Nichols was elected Superior Court Judge, Division V, and took office in January 2013. Her current caseload includes criminal and civil cases, Veterans’ Court, mental health, family law, limited jurisdiction court appeals and appeals of administrative decisions.

From January 1, 2005, to December 31, 2012, Judge Nichols served the citizens of Coconino County as a Judge Pro Tem with the Flagstaff Justice Court, and as a Judge Pro Tem with the Coconino County Superior Court, having been appointed to these positions by the Coconino County Board of Supervisors. As a Judge Pro Tem with the Coconino County Superior Court she presided over felony criminal cases and cases in the Coconino County DUI/Drug Court Program. As a Judge Pro Tem with the Flagstaff Justice Court, she handled a large caseload of civil and criminal matters.

Between June of 1987, and October of 1995, Judge Nichols was an attorney in private practice, specializing in civil litigation. She represented both plaintiffs and defendants in personal injury matters, and represented parties in other types of litigation matters, including real estate disputes, construction defect matters, vehicle warranty disputes, landlord/tenant matters, insurance coverage issues and subrogation cases.

Between October of 1995, and April of 2003, she was employed as a Deputy County Attorney/Prosecutor with the Coconino County Attorney’s Office in Flagstaff. As a prosecutor in the felony trial unit, she handled the following types of cases: homicide; sex offenses; child abuse; domestic violence; aggravated assault; robbery; theft; drugs; and aggravated DUIs.

Judge Nichols was also a partner in the Law Offices of William P. Ring, P.C., where she was employed from May of 2003, to December of 2004, and her practice consisted of representing clients in civil litigation cases and land use matters, including planning and zoning cases.

Judge Nichols received her Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego School of Law, in 1986. She also attended Trinity College, University of Dublin, Institute on International and Comparative Law, in the summer of 1984. She received her B.A. in Political Science and History, from the University of California, San Diego, in 1982.

She is also a Member of The Order of Barristers, and a recipient of American Jurisprudence Awards in Criminal Procedure and Insurance, and the Matthew Madnick Insurance Law Award, awarded in law school in May of 1986. She was also on the Provost’s Honor List, at the University of California, San Diego.

In 2009, Chief Justice Ruth McGregor, of the Arizona Supreme Court, appointed Judge Nichols to the Arizona Supreme Court’s Committee on the Impact of Domestic Violence and the Courts, and she served as a member of this committee from 2009 to 2014. She has also participated on the Coconino County Adult Probation Department’s Domestic Violence Impact Panel since 2005.

In 2015, Chief Justice Scott Bales, of the Arizona Supreme Court, appointed Judge Nichols to the Arizona Supreme Court’s Committee on Superior Court, and she has served as a member of this committee since her appointment.

Judge Nichols is a member of the Arizona Judges Association. She also served as the President of the Coconino County Bar Association in 2006.

She was also an Associate Faculty member at Coconino Community College, from 1998 to 2004, where she taught Constitutional Law and Rules of Criminal Procedure. Judge Nichols has also met with students in local public schools and educated them on various legal subjects, and she has spoken to students in the CASA Challenge program which is designed to prevent teenage drinking and driving.

Judge Nichols is married and has two children. She has resided in Coconino County since 1994.