Judge Maria Teresa Bonifacio Cenzon was appointed as judge to the Superior Court of Guam on September 11, 2012 by Governor Edward B. Calvo. She was confirmed by a unanimous vote of the Thirty First Guam Legislature and sworn into office on December 20, 2012. She is the first Filipina-American judge to serve in the Unified Judiciary of Guam.
Judge Cenzon has over a decade of experience in the private sector, where she served as counsel to large local and international corporations as well as some of the largest agencies of the government of Guam. As a private lawyer, her area of practice was concentrated on commercial and transactional law, with a focus on real estate, due diligence, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and civil litigation; however, she favored the areas of practice that exposed her to administrative and constitutional law and procedure, aviation laws and regulations and other regulatory practice.
Judge Cenzon’s extra-curricular activities are numerous and varied. She has been a member of the Board of Governors of the Guam Bar Association since 2006 and served as its Secretary since 2008 until her resignation in 2012. She was on the Board of Directors of the Guam Legal Services Corporation – Disability Law Center since 2003 and recently resigned as its President, following her nomination and confirmation. While in private practice, she was a member of the Guam Chamber of Commerce and of its subcommittee, the Armed Forces Committee, as well as an allied member of the Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association. She has also been appointed to and served on many judicial committees and subcommittees prior to her recent appointment to the bench, where she serves as a General Jurisdiction judge. She has also been a member of the Soroptimist International of the Marianas, an organization whose mission it is to improve the lives of women and children in Guam and the Northern Marianas through service, fundraising and scholarships.
Judge Cenzon is a 1987 alumnae of the Academy of Our Lady of Guam. She attended Marquette University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in English (Writing Intensive) and minors in Business Administration, Philosophy and Criminology in 1992. In 1993, she attended Loyola University Chicago School of Law in Chicago, Illinois and received her Juris Doctorate in 1996. While at Loyola, she was selected to be a Cases Editor on the Loyola Consumer Law Review (formerly the Loyola Consumer Law Reporter).
After graduating from Law School, Judge Cenzon returned to Guam and began her career as a law clerk at Barcinas & Terlaje, P.C. In 1997, she joined the law firm of Mair, Mair, Spade & Thompson, and eventually became a partner in its commercial transaction division. In 2008, Judge Cenzon joined Cabot Mantanona, LLP, as a partner before becoming Of Counsel in the law firm of Carlsmith Ball, LLP in 2009. She left the private sector in 2010 to become the Director of Policy, Planning & Community Relations for the Unified Judiciary of Guam and subsequently became Governor Calvo’s Chief Legal Counsel in 2011, where she was serving at the time of her appointment.
Judge Cenzon was born on Guam and grew up in village of Dededo. She is the daughter of Ed and Nita Cenzon who originally hail from the Philippine city of Baguio (via Pampanga province) and Manila (via Cavite), respectively. She is the proud mother of Amalia and Ricardo Duenas.