For over 30 years, Bob has been an active member of the Arizona Bar and currently serves on the Bar Board of Governors. He is a Certified Specialist in Criminal law. He is also a nationally and internationally known speaker and author in both English and Spanish on trial advocacy, criminal law, immigration law, constitutional law, and the history of the Bill of Rights.
During more than 17-years as an Assistant Federal Public Defender, Bob handled over a thousand criminal cases in Federal District Court including homicide, assault, fraud, bank robbery, and criminal immigration. He has served as lead attorney in over 40 jury trials. He has extensive experience in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, having argued 4 to 5 cases a year, several of which resulted in published opinions. Additionally, Bob handled numerous cases involving complex jurisdictional issues while representing Native Americans from various Indian reservations.
As an expert on various aspects of criminal immigration law and the United States Constitution Bob is a frequent guest on Arizona Horizon, KJZZ, and other media outlets discussing constitutional issues and the history of the Bill of Rights. Bob is a prolific author on criminal justice and constitutional topics.
- Over 30 Years of Legal Experience
- Personal, One-on-One Attention
- Certified Specialist in Criminal Law
- Former Federal Public Defender
In 2015, the American Bar Association (ABA) published his history of the Bill of Rights, Quills, Bills, and Stills: An Annotated, Illustrated, and Illuminated History of the Bill of Rights (2015).
- Robert J. McWhirter, Molasses and the Sticky Origins of the Fourth Amendment, Arizona Attorney, June 2007;
- Robert J. McWhirter, How the Sixth Amendment Gave us Lawyers, Trials and a Chamber Pot, Arizona Attorney, December 2007;
- Robert J. McWhirter, Going Courting: Where We Got Courts and the Rule of Law, Arizona Attorney, October 2008 and November 2008;
- Robert J. McWhirter, Baby Don’t Be Cruel: What’s So Cruel and Unusual about the Eighth Amendment? Arizona Attorney, December 2009 and January 2010.
Bob is currently writing a history of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, Fixing the Framers Failure: An Illuminating History of the Civil War Amendments (Working Title).
- Robert J. McWhirter, The Thirteenth Amendment: Fixing the Framer’s Failure, Parts I and II, Arizona Attorney, February and March 2019.
- Robert J. McWhirter, The Supreme Court vs. the Gettysburg Address: How the Supreme Court Gutted the Fourteenth Amendment and the Cause of Racial Equality for 100 Years, Parts I and II, Arizona Attorney, July/August and September 2017.
Bob has actively served the legal community throughout his career. As part of his service to the legal community Bob has written three major bar complaints. On behalf of Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice (AACJ) Bob wrote the bar complaint against then Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas for which the Arizona Supreme Court subsequently disbarred him. Also on behalf of AACJ, he wrote the bar complaint against prosecutor Juan Martinez for which the Arizona Supreme Court reprimanded him.
Bob currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Arizona Justice Project. For nearly 20 years, he served on the board of Catholic Charities Arizona. He has served as President of Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice and served nearly twenty years on the Arizona ACLU Board of Directors. Bob has twice served as president of the St. Thomas More Society of Phoenix Arizona. In 2010, Bob received the St. Thomas More Award in recognition of service to the community.
Bob continues to volunteer at the Arizona Legal Center and, as stated above, serves on the Board of Governors.
Every year Bob presents at numerous Continuing Legal Education programs and other courses on a variety of criminal and constitutional topics throughout Arizona and the United States. He has extensive experience training prosecutors, including yearly presentations for the Arizona Prosecuting Attorney’s Advisory Council’s Criminal Law Year in Review where he gives The U.S. Supreme Court Update and the Dueling Perspectives presentation on changing Arizona Law. Bob has presented at The Workshop for Judges of the Ninth Circuit on January 27-29, 2003 in Santa Barbara, California. Every year he co-presents to the Arizona Judicial Conference the Criminal Law Update.
Constitutional Lawyers in the Southwest