Career Path



John Tuchi had an internship with Hughes Aircraft in Arizona during his last two summers in our IE Program.  After he graduated from WVU, he returned to Arizona and Hughes.  During this time he also earned a master’s degree in Management Information Systems. After working for a few years, he decided that he wanted a career with more human interaction.  John decided to enroll in law school at Arizona State University.

While the transition from the working world to law school was tough financially, he excelled academically.  “I strongly recommend that anyone going to law school work for a few years before applying.  You will have more personal discipline and will treat law school like a job.”  John was selected by the faculty as the outstanding law school graduate for 1994 as well as the Editor-in-Chief of the Arizona State Law Journal.

After serving as a law clerk for a federal circuit judge and working three years in private practice, John joined the United States Attorney’s Office in Arizona, where he prosecuted federal drug, fraud and computer crimes, and then managed other federal prosecutors.  John says that not a day goes by that he doesn’t use the thought processes he developed as an Industrial Engineer. “What I did as a prosecutor  required sorting through a lot of information, organizing the information in a coherent manner, and applying the logical method to think through options and reach an objective decision.” His attorney colleagues referred to him known as “the engineer “ because of the disciplined  thought and problem solving process he brought to his cases.

One of John’s final assignments in the U.S. Attorney’s Office was to serve as the Tribal Liaison for the 22 Native American tribes in Arizona.  He won an award from the U.S. Justice Department for his work with Native American elected officials.  This was one of the activities that brought John visibility with the White House.

John was nominated to be a federal Judge for the U.S. District Court of Arizona by President Barack Obama.  He was also supported by Arizona’s two Republican Senators.  He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on a 96-0 vote.

John describes his work as a federal judge as a facilitator of resolutions to legal disputes, either through trial, settlement or judicial decision as a matter of law.  “Very few cases that come to our court—less than two percent–actually resolve in a trial,” John describes.  The vast majority are decided by the judge applying the law and rules of procedure to decide the motions the parties file during the course of a case. As a federal judge, John’s job is to apply the law as it exists, not as he wishes it to be.  “A significant percentage of the cases that come before me result in decisions that might not be what I would like to see happen on a personal level, but what I prefer personally doesn’t matter. The goal of our judicial system is to fairly, consistently and predictably apply the law as it exists, so the people who depend on it know what to expect and can have trust in an even-handed process,” John says.  “That’s where the logic and objectivity of my engineering background are most helpful.”



United States District Court – District of Arizona

United States District Judge, May 16, 2014 – present.  Appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the United States Senate.  I manage a caseload of approximately 275 federal civil cases and 150 federal criminal cases.

United States Department of Justice, United States Attorney’s Office – District of Arizona

United States Attorney, August – September 2009.  Appointed by Attorney General Eric Holder for the interim period between presidential appointees.  I managed and represented to the public the four offices and 320 employees of the District of Arizona.

Chief Assistant United States Attorney, December 2012 – May 2014.  I managed all aspects of the District’s headquarters office in Phoenix and its Flagstaff and Yuma branch offices, including their approximately 200 attorneys and support staff.

Senior Litigation Counsel and Tribal Liaison, November 2009 – December 2012.  As SLC I  developed all of the District’s Criminal Division policies, including the DOJ-mandated new criminal discovery policy, and trained every AUSA and over 1200 federal agents in the District on their obligations under that policy.  As Tribal Liaison, I managed the Office’s relationships with the elected officials, courts, police chiefs and prosecutors of Arizona’s 22 tribes, and developed initiatives to improve public safety in Indian Country.  In December 2010 I received a Director’s Award for Outstanding Performance in Indian Country, one of the highest awards given by the Department of Justice’s Executive Office of United States Attorneys.

Criminal Division Chief, November 2006 – July 2009; October – November 2009.  I managed 170 prosecutors and support staff in the Phoenix, Yuma and Flagstaff offices.  I was responsible for all criminal investigations, charging decisions and the courtroom performance of all prosecutors, and for maintaining our relationships with federal, state and tribal law enforcement agencies.

Acting First Assistant U.S. Attorney, October 2008 -April 2009.  I served as Chief of Staff to the United States Attorney, running day-to-day operations of the District’s four offices.

Phoenix Appellate Chief, May 2005-November 2006.  I supervised and edited all Phoenix, Yuma and Flagstaff office AUSAs’ appellate work; drafted briefs and handled oral argument in matters designated a priority by the United States Attorney.

Assistant United States Attorney, October 1998 -May 2005.  I handled a high volume caseload, trying illegal re-entry, drug courier and distribution matters in the Immigration and Narcotics Trafficking group. I later served as the office’s Computer/Telecommunications Crime prosecutor.  As a member of the White Collar group from 2000 to 2005, I tried several lengthy and complex investment and financial fraud cases, as well as some corruption matters.

Arizona State University College of Law, Tempe, Arizona

Adjunct Faculty Member, August 2000 -December 2007.  I taught the required Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility  course seven semesters and Business Associations one semester.

Brown & Bain, P.A. (now Perkins Coie LP), Phoenix, Arizona

Associate Attorney, September 1995 – October 199.  Practiced in the areas of intellectual property law, general business litigation, federal and state securities law, insurance law, federal and state constitutional law and election law.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Honorable William C. Canby, Jr.

Law Clerk, August 1994 – August 1995.  Prepared bench memoranda for the Court; researched and prepared draft opinions and dispositions.

Arthur Andersen/Andersen Consulting LLP, Chicago, Illinois and Phoenix, Arizona

Staff Consultant/Senior Consultant, September 1989 – August 1991.  As part of a team of engineers, developed and tested a production planning and control software system for defense contractors with complex products; installed and maintained the system at several clients.

Hughes Aircraft Company, Missile Systems Group, Tucson, Arizona

Project Engineer, May 1987 – August 1989.  Developed high-technology processes and systems to improve the efficiency of manufacturing processes for Hughes’s product missiles.


Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, Tempe, 1991-94

Juris Doctorate, magna cum laude, May, 1994

Honors, Awards, Activities:

Armstrong Award (outstanding law graduate as selected by the faculty) 1994

Editor-in-Chief, Arizona State Law Journal, 1993-94

Sandra Day O’Connor Award for top student in Constitutional law courses

Book awards for Constitutional Law I, II, Corporations, Federal Jurisdiction 

University of Arizona, College of Business and Public Administration, Tucson, 1987-89

Master of Science in Management Information Systems, August 1989

Honors, Awards, Activities:

Hughes Aircraft Fellowship 1987-89

West Virginia University, College of Engineering, Morgantown, West Virginia, 1982-87

Bachelor of Science in Engineering, May 1987

Honors, Awards, Activities:

National Merit Scholarship 1982-86

University Honors Program 1982-87

President, Sigma Chi Fraternity 1986-87

Fowler Award for the Outstanding Senior Design Project 1987


25 Arizona State Law Journal 695 (1993), Creditors Take Heed: The Interpretation of Arizona’s Community Property Management and Control Statute and its Effect on Partnership Debts

Binational Conference on Firearms Trafficking, Cuernavaca, Mexico, April 1-3, 2009, featured presenter: United States Federal Firearms Laws and Evidentiary Obstacles to Prosecutions in Cross-Border Cases.  Presented to Mexican and United States Attorneys General


Ninth Circuit Committee on Jury Trial Improvement, member, October 2010 – December 2013

District Court Committee on Local Rules of Procedure, member, August 2006 – 2016; chair 2016 – present; chair, Criminal Rules Subcommittee, 2008-10

Arizona Supreme Court Committee on Character & Fitness, member, November 2006 – May 2014; chair, November 2011 – May 2014

Arizona Supreme Court Attorney Regulation Advisory Committee, member, June 2011-May 2014; chair, Admissions Subcommittee, June 2011 – May 2014

Arizona Supreme Court Commission on Trial Court Appointments, November 1999 – May 2006

State Bar Attorney Fee Arbitration Committee, member, 1996 – 2008


Grand Canyon Council, Boy Scout Troop 401, Assistant Scoutmaster, April 2010 – present

Grand Canyon Council, Cub Scout Pack 107, Cubmaster, March 2007 – March 2010; leadership committee, August 2006 – March 2010

Saint Francis Xavier Athletic Association, boys’ and girls’ soccer coach, August 2005 – November 2009; girls’ softball coach, February 2011 – April 2013

Madison Futbol League, boys’ and girls’ soccer coach, August 2008 – November 2009

RAMMS Athletic Association, girls’ volleyball coach, August 2013 – present

Arizona State University Law Society, member, 1995 – 97; 1998 – 2009

Saint Thomas More Society Board of Directors, member, 2001 – 2008; 2005 Red Mass Chair

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