PHOENIX - John Bouma, a towering legal figure in Arizona for three decades and Gov. Jan Brewer’s attorney on the landmark SB 1070 case, was killed Tuesday night while crossing a street in central Phoenix, according to Phoenix police.
Bouma, who was 82, was struck by two vehicles on N 7th Street near Orangewood Avenue about 9 p.m., apparently while trying to recover an item in the roadway, according to police.
He was later pronounced dead at a hospital. Police say neither impairment nor speed appears to be factors in the accident.
Bouma was a former chairman of the Phoenix law firm Snell & Wilmer and a former Arizona State Bar president. A State Bar spokesman confirmed Bouma’s death.
Under Bouma’s leadership for more than 30 years, Snell & Wilmer expanded far beyond its Phoenix roots.
Bouma, an Iowa native who moved to Arizona in 1962, stepped down as Snell’s chairman in 2014.
Former Gov. Jan Brewer provided this statement to 12 News:
“I am deeply saddened by the news of John Bouma’s passing. He was an extraordinary man and excellent attorney. As governor, John represented me and the State of Arizona in the SB 1070 litigation. His commitment to the state extended to his long-time effort to help the indigent with legal representation. My heart goes out to his family and colleagues at Snell & Wilmer. His impact on the legal profession in Arizona will not be forgotten.”
Jeffrey Willis, president of the State Bar of Arizona and Bouma’s partner at Snell & Wilmer, said in a prepared statement:
“John is recognized nationally as one of the finest lawyers in America. More importantly, his service to our shared community has made Arizona better in countless ways. We are truly saddened to lose such an important friend and leader. John will be sorely missed by all those who knew and respected him."
12 News will provide more information on services for Bouma as it becomes available.