Judge Douglas Rayes currently serves as a District Court Judge. He was nominated in 2013 by President Obama and confirmed in 2014 by the United States Senate. Judge Rayes has sat by designation with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He is a member of the Ninth Circuit’s Capital Case Committee. He is also a faculty associate at ASU.
In March 2000, Judge Rayes was appointed by Governor Jane Hull to the Maricopa County Superior Court, where he served until he was appointed to the United States District Court in 2014. As a Superior Court Judge, he presided over cases in Family Court, Complex Civil Court, and Criminal Court. From March 2010 through December 2012, Judge Rayes served as the Criminal Presiding Judge.
Judge Rayes co-chaired the creation of the Veterans Court for the Maricopa County Superior Court. He introduced the Superior Court to Phoenix’s annual Homeless Veteran Stand-Down, which allowed homeless veterans to resolve outstanding criminal warrants, charges and fines.
Judge Rayes served on the Commission on Victims in the Courts, which advises the Arizona Judicial Council on procedures to improve victim access and ensure fair treatment during their involvement in the criminal justice system. In conjunction with the Phoenix Police Department, he helped create an e-search warrant procedure. He served on the Capital Case Oversight Committee, established to examine the availability of resources for processing capital cases in Maricopa County and the Arizona appellate courts. He also served on the Court Leadership Institute of Arizona and was a member of the Statewide Judicial Performance Review Commission.
Judge Rayes sat as a Judge Pro Tem in Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals. In 2011, Judge Rayes was named Judge of the Year by the Phoenix Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates.
Judge Rayes worked in private practice from 1982 until he was appointed to the Superior Court bench in 2000. For most of that period he was a partner in the firm of McGroder, Tryon, Heller and Rayes, which later became Tryon, Heller and Rayes. His practice involved primarily personal injury and medical malpractice matters. He tried cases in many of the counties of Arizona, as well as in New Mexico.
Judge Rayes was in the Army JAGC from 1979-1982. He graduated from the Army JAG School as a distinguished military graduate. He was assigned to the Third Armored Division in Frankfurt Germany, where he prosecuted and later defended military personnel charged with major felonies before military jury panels.