Arthur G. Scotland, ‘74
Justice Arthur G. Scotland, ‘74

After graduating with honors in 1974 from McGeorge School of Law, Arthur G. Scotland was a Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney prosecuting defendants in over 30 jury trials, then a California Deputy Attorney General representing the state in appeals and writs in California’s Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal and serving in the Legislative Unit. In 1982, he worked in the policy office of Attorney General George Deukmejian’s successful gubernatorial campaign, and, in 1983, he became the Governor’s Cabinet Secretary, the liaison between the Governor’s Office and the heads of state agencies and departments regarding administrative policy and programs. 

He was appointed a Judge of the Sacramento County Superior Court in 1987 and an Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, in 1989 by Governor Deukmejian, then Presiding Justice of the court in 1998 by Governor Pete Wilson. As Presiding Justice, he started an award-winning outreach program holding oral arguments before students in high schools within the court’s jurisdiction. 

Scotland was named “Judge of the Year” by the Sacramento County Bar Association in 2004, and having served on the Judicial Council of California, the policy-making body for the state’s courts, he received the Judicial Council’s Ronald M. George Award for Judicial Excellence in 2010 for “extraordinary dedication to the highest principles of the administration of justice.”

As a past president of the Council of Chief Judges of the State Courts, a nationwide organization created to improve the administration of justice and operation of state intermediate appellate courts, he was inducted into its Hall of Fame for his “notable and extraordinary service” to the organization. 

Upon retiring from the court in 2010, he represented the President pro-Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the Assembly in a successful lawsuit against the State Controller, then joined Nielsen Merksamer Parrinello Gross & Leoni as Of Counsel in 2012, specializing in government law and land use matters. In 2014, he was honored as “Distinguished Attorney of the Year” by the Sacramento County Bar Association.  

Other honors include the Asian/Pacific Bar Association of Sacramento’s President’s Award for his “unwavering support of diversity, inclusion, and equality; commitment to justice and civility; and steadfast dedication to making our community a better place,” and SacLEGAL’s Founders’ Award “in recognition of his contributions to the legal profession and support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.”  

Scotland is the past President of the Anthony M. Kennedy American Inn of Court, an organization of jurists, attorneys, and law students dedicated to promoting ethics, civility, professionalism, and excellence in the law. He serves on the national American Inns of Court Board of Trustees and received the AIC’s prestigious A. Sherman Christensen Award “bestowed upon a member of the American Inns of Court who, at the local, regional, or national level, has provided distinguished, exceptional, and significant leadership to the American Inns of Court movement.” 

Having served on the Board of Regents of the University of the Pacific, Scotland continues to support his law school alma mater as an enthusiastic advocate and benefactor. 

Throughout 2024, the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law will celebrate members of its vast alumni network in honor of the school’s 100-year anniversary. This post is the first in a series highlighting 100 exceptional McGeorge School of Law alumni. 

Stay tuned for more blog posts as we celebrate the law school’s centennial anniversary.