Monique Branscomb Wilhite
Education: Juris Doctorate, May, 1991
Arizona State University College of Law
Graduate Academic Scholarship, 1988; Chester H. Smith Memorial Scholarship,
1989-1991; United States Information Agency Intern, 1989; Jenckes Cup Closing
Argument Finalist, 1989; Frederick Douglas Moot Court Team, 1990-1991;
Executive Moot Court Board Scholarship, 1990-1991.
Bachelor of Arts, English, May 1988
Arizona State University
Sun Devil’s Advocate, 1985-1988; Resident Assistant, 1985-1987; Regent’s
Scholarship, 1986-1988; Omicron Delta Kappa - Leadership Honor Society,
1986; Sigma Tau Delta - English Honor Society, 1986; Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.
- Public Service Sorority, 1987.
Employment: Director, Homeowner Advocacy Unit, Tempe, Arizona
Sandra Day O’Connor of Law
Civil Justice Clinic – July 1, 2012 to Present
Supervise student lawyers as they represent clients facing foreclosure,
victims of mortgage fraud, and clients who have been denied
unemployment benefits. Also teach litigation and trial skills.
Branscomb Wilhite Law Firm Phoenix, Arizona
Sole practitioner - April 2010 to June 2012
Own and operate law practice.
Represent clients charged with criminal offenses, litigate civil matters, and
represent victims of mortgage fraud. Member of the Federal Criminal Justice
Phoenix College of Law Phoenix, Arizona
Adjunct Professor of Law – August 2010 to May 2012
Teach Trial Practice course. Instruct law students on how to develop a theory of the
case; effectively present opening statements and closing arguments; and, conduct
direct and cross-examination of lay and expert witnesses.
Office of the Legal Defender
Senior Trial Attorney August 2002 to Present – June 2012 Phoenix, Arizona
Defend persons charged with felony offenses. Determine defenses and constitutional
violations; negotiate pleas; meet with clients; explain criminal justice system to clients
and family; investigate family background for mitigation at sentencing; and, conduct
evidentiary hearings and trials.
Branscomb Law Offices Phoenix, Arizona
Sole practitioner - June 1995 to August 2002.
Own and operate law practice. Maintained criminal defense contracts with the City of
Phoenix and City of Scottsdale from 1995-1999. Arizona Subrogation Attorney for
Chubb Group of Insurance Companies 1995-1999. Criminal Justice Act Panel
Member from 1998 to 2002. Appointed in 2001 as second-chair in a death penalty
case, by the Honorable Dale P. Nielson, Navajo County Superior Court Judge, in State
v. Brian, CR 2001-338. General Counsel for New Destiny Christian Center of
Arizona, Inc. and Gold Bar Espresso Coffee House. Practice areas include Criminal
Defense, Personal Injury, Small Business Representation, Medical Malpractice, Family
Law, Landlord Tenant, and General Civil Litigation.
*Lead Counsel on approximately 60 jury trials and 100 non-jury trials in city, state and
federal courts. Presented briefs and oral argument before the United States Court of
Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on the following cases:
United States v. Villa Senor Lopez, C.A. No. 00-10010, October 31, 2000;
United States v. Henderson, C.A. No. 00-10168, January 12, 2001(243
United States v. Long, C.A. No. 01-10084, March 14, 2002; and
Branscomb v. Group USA, C.A. No. 11-15067, February 15, 2012.
Sanders & Parks Phoenix, Arizona
Associate - July 1993 to June 1995.
Litigator in Medical Malpractice defense section. Conducted depositions. Prepared
disclosure statements, interrogatories, and settlement conference memoranda.
Prepared and argued various pretrial substantive and procedural motions.
Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Phoenix, Arizona
Deputy County Attorney - October 1991 to July 1993
Criminal Trial Lawyer with General Trial Group. Prosecuted defendants charged with
felony offenses Aggravated Assault, Robbery, Burglary and Theft. Negotiated plea
agreements and prepared and conducted jury trials and evidentiary hearings.
Mesa City Court
Student Prosecutor - August 1990 to December 1999
Prosecuted misdemeanor crimes as a third year law student. Prepared and conducted 5
jury trials and over 30 non-jury.
Merten & Associates Portland, Oregon
Summer Associate - July 1990 to August 1990
Researched Title VII discrimination issues. Composed legal memoranda, interviewed
clients, prepared witness statements; and, investigated and screened discrimination and
sexual harassment cases.
International Trade Commission Washington, D.C.
Summer Associate - May 1990 to August 1990
Researched international trade and professional responsibility issues for the
International Trade Commission’s General Counsel’s Office. Composed legal
memoranda to defend Commission decisions regarding unfair trade practices.
Reported results of Commission and Congressional hearings to the General Counsel
Senator John McCain Washington, D.C.
Legal Intern - September 1989 to December 1989.
Specialized in tax and health legislation. Assisted in the preparation and proposal of
the Line Item Veto and Catastrophic Health Care bills. Composed original constituent
correspondence in response to current issues.
Professional Activities, Presentations & Honors:
State Bar of Arizona
Committee on Minorities and Women in the Law - 2001 to 2004.
Convention Committee 1999.
State Bar of Arizona, Young Lawyers Division
Executive Council, 1992-1997.
Chair Public Relations Committee, 1996-1997.
Chair Outstanding Young Lawyer Committee, 1996-1997.
Co -Chair Arizona Legal Skills Seminar, 1993-1994.
Co Chair Minority Outreach Program, 1993.
American Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section
Assistant Editor/Issue Editor - 1999 -2000.
Tort & Insurance Section Fellow - 2000 – 2001.
Assistant Editor/ Writer - The Affiliate, 1996 -1997.
Resolutions Committee, 1995 -1997.
Executive Council-District 23 Representative, 1994-1996.
Vice Chair, Awards of Achievement Committee, 1993-1994.
Judge, Sub grant Competition, 1992.
Hayzel B. Daniels Bar Association, member 1991 -1998.
Arizona Thurgood Marshall Inn of Court, member 1994-1995.
American Red Cross, Grand Canyon Chapter
Board of Directors - 1997 to 2004.
National Resolutions Committee - May 2001 – 2002.
National Convention Delegate - May 2000.
Long Range Planning Committee - 1999 to 2001.
Minority Bar Convention, Panel Member and Presenter - April 5, 2002.
Breakout Session # 3, What Senior Attorneys Will Never Tell You: Strategies
for Success Sponsored by the State Bar of Arizona.
Disparity in Sentencing, Presenter - October 28, 2000.
Lectured regarding disparity in sentencing at the national A.N.N. conference held
in Phoenix, Arizona. A.N.N is a partnership of the Arizona Black Law
Enforcement Employees, the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice,
and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.
DUI Breakout 1999, Presenter - February 26, 1999.
Instructed lawyers on the basics of defending a DUI at a continuing legal
education seminar sponsored by the Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office
and the City of Phoenix Public Defender’s Office.
Anatomy of a DUI, Co-Producer and Host – 1997.
Co-produced and hosted a series of programs designed to educate the public on the
punishment for drinking and driving. The series was broadcast on public access
television and sponsored by the Arizona State Bar, Young Lawyers Division,
Public Relations Committee.
Educational Management Group, Host, Co-producer, and Actress 1994 – 1997.
Hosted and Co-produced the Home Empowerment Show - an educational
program for elementary school classes across the country. Performed opening
monologue, interviewed guests, and performed various educational skits. Hosted
special segments entitled African American Women in History, Due Process,
Jury Duty, and various other educational shows. Also interviewed NBA star
A.C. Green to promote his book and his position on abstinence.
Outstanding African American Woman Business Award - March 6, 1999.
Featured in the Business Section, Arizona Republic, March 31, 1999.