In 2021, former Commissioner Bernie Owens retired from the Superior Court bench after 20 years.
Bernie graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of Iowa where he was sports editor of the Daily Iowan. He worked at the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Joliet Herald-News, and Des Moines Register as a sportswriter.
Bernie earned his Juris Doctorate with honors in 1983 from Drake Law School. During his legal career, he clerked for Justice Harvey Uhlenhopp of the Iowa Supreme Court, was associated with law firms in Chicago and Tucson, and was a partner at a firm in Scottsdale where he was a certified family law specialist.
During his judicial career, he served for seven years in the Juvenile Department, seven in Family, four in Criminal and two in Civil/Probate. When he retired from the bench, he acknowledged and appreciated all the people who work for the Judicial branch and the good work they do.
Upon Bernie’s retirement, Presiding Judge Joseph Welty said, “He always treated those before him with fairness, respect, and dignity. Like so many judicial officers in Maricopa County, he strived every day to serve the needs of the whole community. His contributions made us a better organization and he will be missed”.
Although enjoying frequent travel since his retirement from the bench, when in Arizona Bernie helps Praesidium Law with probate litigation, having been recruited to do so by Lou Silverman, his longtime friend. He enjoys digging into the facts and law of the litigation puzzles presented by firm clients.
Bernie and his wife, Diane, have been married for 50 years; they have four daughters – Kate, Kari, Kali, and Kimberly. Since 2018, Bernie has ridden in the Pan-Mass Challenge (“PMC”) to raise money for cancer research. The PMC is a 165- to 195-mile, two-day bike ride across eastern Massachusetts to the tip of Cape Cod that supports cancer research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
For the past several years, PMC riders have raised more than $60 million yearly for Dana-Farber. In 2024, the PMC’s total donation to Dana-Farber is expected to surpass $1 billion since the first PMC in 1980.
Bernie also spends extended time each year in Valencia, Spain, where his oldest daughter lives, and makes yearly drives from Arizona to Massachusetts visiting friends and relatives and exploring new golf courses.
Drake Law School
- Juris Doctorate with Honors
University of Iowa
- Bachelor of Arts in Journalism
- Sports Editor of the Daily Iowan
4450 S. Rural Rd., Ste. C-120, Tempe, AZ 85282