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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Jun 10, 2015

Although the outlaws get all the fame and attention from Hollywood, there were several lawyers who played major roles in the settlement and development of the Old West. Here’s a look at attorneys in the Wild West who played an influential role in our state’s history.

Sarah Herring Sorin

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Mrs. Sorin was Arizona’s first woman attorney who began her practice alongside her father, Colonel Herring in the firm “Herring & Sorin.” The firm opened its doors in Tombstone originally before moving to Tucson. Sorin was the first woman to try a case in front of the United States Supreme Court unassisted by a male attorney, and every year during the Arizona State Bar Convention, the Arizona Women Lawyers Association bestows an award named after Sorin. Sorin is also a member of the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame.

Marcus Aurelius “Mark” Smith

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Not only was Smith known for his legal skills in the Tombstone area (he prosecuted the Earp brothers and “Doc” Holliday), but he was also known for being one of the early champions of statehood for Arizona. Smith was one of the first attorneys in Cochise County when he was admitted to the territorial bar in 1881. Once establishing a practice, he quickly gained a reputation for having a lively courtroom style. Afterwards, he served eight terms as Arizona Territorial Delegate and became one of the first two senators from Arizona.

Granville Henderson Oury

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When Oury first moved to the area in 1856, he began his law practice and presided as judge of the district court for Arizona and New Mexico at Mesilla, NM. Oury was the only man to serve as a Territorial Delegate to both the Confederate States Congress and the United States Congress. After the end of the Civil War, Oury resumed his law practice in Tucson. He was then elected to the Territorial Legislature in 1866, serving as Speaker of the House and Arizona Territory Attorney General in 1869. Upon moving to Phoenix in 1871, he became district attorney for Maricopa County. At that time, his brother, William S. Oury was involved in the Camp Grant Massacre.