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  • Meet the legends behind the law – Interviews with Arizona attorneys

University of Arizona Law,
class of 1932

State Bar of Arizona
member since 1932

Featured Case
Pepsi-Cola metropolitan Bottling Co. v. Romley
NO. 1 CA-CIV 3401. 118 Ariz. 565 (1978( 578 P.2d 994

(b.1909 - d.2001) Elias Romley was born on New Year's day, 1909 in Phoenix, Arizona. He was first in his family to attend college. He completed Phoenix Junior College in 1928 and then completed his undergraduate and law degree from the University of Arizona in 1932.  His early years as a lawyer was under the wing of a law office, Moore and Shimmel. In 1937 he began the firm of Moore and Romley which grew to Moore, Romley, Killingsworth and Kaplan and later to Moore, Romley, Kaplan, Robbins & Green.  Over the years, with merger offers pending and not wanting to be a part of a big firm, Elias Romley chose to leave the firm he started and join in partnership with his son, Arthur E. Romley. 

 

 

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La Salle Extension University,
class of 1936

State Bar of Arizona
member since 1936

Wesley Polley was born in Bisbee, Arizona, in 1912. His father, J.E. 'Bert '' Polley, was a rancher and law enforcement officer. Polley spent his early years on ranches in Southern Arizona and in Bisbee, where he attended the public schools. He finished at Bisbee High School in 1928. After school he worked in the mines for Phelps Dodge. When the mines closed in 1930, he got a job as an accountant, first for Dorris Hyman and then for Union Oil Company in Los Angeles. With his decision to study for the legal profession, Polley moved his family back to Florence, Arizona, where they lived with his parents. He studied law and worked part time as a prison guard in the state penitentiary. He was encouraged and helped in his studies by friends of his father: Judge William C. Truman; Arthur T. LaPrade; and, Charles Reid. After passing the bar exam in 1936, Polley worked on the election campaign of Attorney General Joe Conway. 

Polley was drafted into the army in 1943 and served until 1945. He then returned to private law practice in Bisbee. He also served as Cochise County Attorney from 1950 through 1957.

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Northwestern University,
class of 1939

State Bar of Arizona
member since 1970

Featured Case:
Arizona Bd of Regents v. Superior Court In & For County of Maricopa
106 Ariz. 430 (1970) 477 P. 2d 520

Willard Hiram Pedrick was born in Ottumwa, Iowa in 1914. He received his B.A. from Parsons College in 1936 and his JD from Northwestern University in 1939, being accepted to the Iowa Bar that same year. Following a one year clerkship with Judge Frederick Moore Vinson at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, he taught for one year at the University of Cincinnati and then taught at the University of Texas at Austin from 1941 to 1942. He returned to Washington D.C. to work in the tax section of the Justice Department and subsequently in the Office of Economic Stabilization. In 1943 he joined  the U.S. Marines Corps and served as an Intelligence Officer until 1945, earning the rank of First Lieutenant.

Mr. Pedrick taught at Northwestern University Law School in Chicago for twenty years beginning in 1946. Arizona State University sought him in 1966 to organize their newly created Law School and he stayed on as Founding Dean until 1976 and then as professor of law until his retirement in 1983. He has written a number of noted books and articles in his specialties,tort and tax law, and in Australian law, a subject of personal interest for him.

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University of Arizona Law,
class of 1936

State Bar of Arizona
member since 1936

Joseph C. Padilla, born in 1902 in Morenci, Arizona, belongs to a fast-disappearing breed of law practitioners : those who came into the profession by way of individual study, rather than through formal law school education. He completed his school education in Clifton, in 1921, and worked in various capacities for Phelps Dodge, including mine cost accountant, and assistant metallurgist until 1932. During this time, he studied correspondence courses in law, accounting and mining engineering. In 1925, he married Sophia Doak, and they eventually had three children.

In 1932, when Phelps Dodge suspended operations, the Padilla family moved to Tucson, where he worked for the Alianza Hispano-Americana as an accountant. He studied for the bar examination, passing it on the third try, and was admitted to the State Bar of Arizona in 1936. Padilla served as a Spanish court interpreter, law librarian, and practiced law until World War II, when he was appointed to the Government Accounting Office, and served as a Chief Investigator and Auditor in Puerto Rico and California. After the war, he returned to Tucson, where he practiced law and worked for Tucson Title Company.

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University of Arizona Law,
class of 1972

State Bar of Arizona
member since 1972

Featured Cases:
Bates and O'Steen v. State Bar of Arizona
433 U.S. 350 (1977)]

Bernard Van O'Steen, Jr. was born in 1945 in Sweetwater, Tennessee. His father was a career military person and was sent to Arizona in 1959 to serve as an advisor to the Arizona National Guard. Bernard attended California Western University for his undergraduate degree. He spent a year in active duty with the Navy and then began studying the law at Arizona State University graduating in 1972.  The first two years of his legal career, O'Steen worked for Maricopa County Legal Aid. Mr. O'Steen is a founding partner of O'Steen & Harrison, PLC.  

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