McGeorge School of Law

Profile: Arthur Scotland

Arthur G. Scotland
Arthur Scotland

Class of 1974

Of Counsel, Nielsen Merksamer Parrinello Gross & Leoni

After serving as Deputy District Attorney for Sacramento County, California Deputy Attorney General, and Cabinet Secretary to the Governor, Arthur G. Scotland was appointed a Superior Court Judge in 1987. He then served as Associate Justice of California's Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, from 1989-1998, appointed by Governor George Deukmejian. From 1998-2010, he was the court's Presiding Justice, appointed by Governor Pete Wilson.

A native Californian, he became a law enforcement officer following his graduation from University of California, Davis, and then earned his JD with Honors from McGeorge School of Law in 1974. He also has been an instructor of judicial education and has held leadership roles in various organizations and committees created to improve the administration of justice, including the Judicial Council of California and the Council of Chief Judges of the State Courts of Appeal.

In 2004, Scotland was named Judge of the Year by the Sacramento County Bar Association. The SCBA also recognized him as Humanitarian of the Year in 2002 for his volunteer work on behalf of the Sacramento Children's Home, and he has been honored for his service to the community several times since. In 2010, the Judicial Council of California presented him with the Ronald M. George Award for Judicial Excellence, honoring a member of the judiciary for "extraordinary dedication to the highest principles of the administration of justice." After his retirement from the bench, he joined the Nielsen Merksamer law firm in 2012.

Scotland was selected to receive the prestigious 2018 American Inns of Court A. Sherman Christensen Award. The award was presented to Scotland by Judge Consuelo M. Callahan '73 at the organization’s annual Celebration of Excellence at the Supreme Court of the United States on October 20, 2018, which was hosted by United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas.