Judges' Biographies


THIRD DISTRICT JUSTICE COURT JUDGES


Judges' Biographies

JUDGE CLINTON E. BALMFORTH

JUDGE CLINTON E. BALMFORTHJudge Clinton E. Balmforth was appointed as the South Jordan Justice Court judge in January of 1998 and also as the Alta Justice Court judge in November of 2002. He received a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Utah Law School in 1968 and is a current member of the Utah State Bar. Judge Balmforth has worked as a Prosecuting Attorney for Salt Lake City, Deputy County Attorney for Salt Lake County and as the City Attorney for South Salt Lake. Prior to his judicial appointments, Judge Balmforth worked as the part-time prosecuting attorney for the City of South Jordan. He also served as an instructor for Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training. In 2005 he was recognized and received an award from the South Jordan Chamber of Commerce for exemplary service and commitment to the community. 4/10


JUDGE JOHN BAXTER

JUDGE JOHN BAXTERJudge John Baxter was appointed to the Salt Lake City Justice Court in 2002 where he serves as the domestic violence court and drug court judge. Judge Baxter created and presides over the Salt Lake City Justice Court Homeless Outreach Project, the Homeless Court. He received his undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Utah in 1990 and a law degree from Golden Gate University School of Law in 1994. He is a member of the Utah State Bar and the State Bar of California. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Baxter worked for the Salt Lake Legal Defender Association. Judge Baxter has served as a member of the Utah Supreme Court's Committee on Privacy and Public Access to Court Records, and currently serves on the Advisory Committee on Professionalism, the Standing Committee on Judicial Outreach, the Salt Lake County Criminal Justice Advisory Council (CJAC), and the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ) Mental Health Initiative. Judge Baxter is the recipient of the Utah Judicial Council's 2005 Quality of Justice Award and his court was the 2004 recipient of the Salt Lake Area Domestic Violence Council Peace on Earth Award. He served for several years as a volunteer attorney at the Sunday morning homeless breakfast in Salt Lake City and served in the United State Marine Corps. 4/10


JUDGE DANIEL F. BERTCH

JUDGE DANIEL F. BERTCHJudge Daniel F. Bertch has served as the Draper City Justice Court Judge since 1992. He has been a practicing attorney since 1984, currently with Kevin K. Robson in the firm of Bertch Robson. Judge Bertch graduated from B.Y.U. Law School in 1984, cum laude, and was awarded the Order of the Coif. He currently serves on the Uniform Fine and Bail Committee.


JUDGE GREGORY L. BOWN

JUDGE GREGORY L. BOWNJudge Gregory L. Bown was appointed to the Riverton City Justice Court in October 2007. He earned a Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of Utah Law School in 1971 and was admitted to practice law in Utah that same year. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Bown practiced law for 31 years as Deputy District Attorney for the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office before retiring from the office in 2005. 4/11


JUDGE DAROLD BUTCHER

JUDGE DAROLD BUTCHERJudge Darold "Dar" M. Butcher has served the Grantsville City Justice Court since February 2009. Judge Butcher earned a bachelor degree in Psychology from Utah State University and an associates degree in Instrumentation from Salt Lake Community College. He has been a Licensed Social Service Worker since 1999. Judge Butcher served for four years in the Navy and 11 years in the Army as an Air Flight Combat Medic. He has also worked as a production controller for the Tooele Army Depot and as a juvenile probation officer for the Third District Juvenile Court. Judge Butcher served as a Grantsville City councilman, on the Legislative Advisory Committee, the Salt Lake City Urban Development Board, Tooele County Sheriff's Advisory Committee, and the Tooele County Hospital Board. In addition, he served three terms as president of Mosquito Abatement, two terms as chair of the Division of Children Family Services Citizen Review Board, and two terms as chair of the Local Interagency Committee. 04/10


JUDGE AUGUSTUS G. CHIN

JUDGE AUGUSTUS G.  CHINJudge Augustus G. Chin was appointed to the Holladay Justice Court, which serves the cities of Holladay and Cottonwood Heights, in August 2011. Judge Chin received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Utah College of Law 1995. He also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a minor in Spanish from the University of Utah. Prior to attending law school he was a production controller - planner at the Tooele Army Depot. He worked as a law clerk-bailiff and law clerk for 3rd District Judge Tyrone E. Medley. Judge Chin also worked as a prosecutor for the Salt Lake City Prosecutor's Office and the Summit County Attorney's Office. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Chin worked for Wasatch Advocates and Rasmussen and Miner as a criminal defense attorney. Judge Chin served as president of the Utah State Bar from 2006 to 2007, as a Utah State Bar Commissioner from 2001 to 2008, as president of the Utah Minority Bar Association from 1998 to 1999, and as president of the Law-Related Education Board 2011-2013. Currently, he serves as president of the Utah Bar Foundation and is a member of the Utah Supreme Court's Advisory Committee on Professionalism and Civility. He received the Minority Bar Association Lawyer of the Year Award in 2007, the Scott M. Matheson Award for Service to Law-Related Education in 2003, and the University of Utah College of Law Young Alumnus of the year Award in 2000. 9/12


JUDGE L.G. CUTLER

JUDGE L.G.  CUTLERJudge L.G. Cutler has served the Salt Lake City Justice Court since 2004. He earned a bachelor's degree in History from the University of Utah in 1975 and a J.D. from the University of Utah College of Law in 1979. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Cutler served as staff attorney with Utah Legal Services and provided legal representation to indigent children, parents, and families in Juvenile Court. As a sole practitioner, his work focused on domestic law, guardian ad litem representation of children, and criminal defense. Judge Cutler also contracted with Salt Lake County communities to provide prosecution services for more than 20 years. 4/10


JUDGE JOHN M. DOW

 Judge John Mack Dow was appointed to the Tooele County Justice Court in May 2010. He attended Dixie College and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science from the University of Utah. He earned a Juris Doctorate Degree from Pepperdine University School of Law. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Dow worked for the Tooele County Attorney's Office where he prosecuted felony, misdemeanor, and juvenile cases for 15 years. Prior to this, he maintained a private practice that focused primarily on criminal defense and family law. Judge Dow worked for the Tooele County Sheriff's Office while attending college and has been a volunteer firefighter for Tooele City. He has served as president of the Tooele County Bar Association, on the Citizen's Review Board for the Division of Child and Family Services, on the Utah Firefighter's Museum Board, and was counsel for the Utah State Firefighter's Association. 5/11


JUDGE PAUL FARR

JUDGE PAUL FARRJudge Farr was appointed to the Sandy City Justice Court in 2012. Judge Farr received an A.S. in History from Dixie State College, a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Weber State University, and a J.D. from Brigham Young University. Judge Farr has been a member of the Utah State Bar since 2000. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Farr was a partner in a Salt Lake City law firm. He has previously worked for the Utah Attorney General's Office, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and in private practice. 2/13


JUDGE SHAUNA GRAVES-ROBERTSON

JUDGE SHAUNA GRAVES-ROBERTSONJudge Shauna Graves-Robertson was appointed to the Salt Lake County Justice Court by the Salt Lake County Commission in January 1999. Judge Graves-Robertson is a Salt Lake City native and a graduate of West High School. She graduated from Arizona State University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. Judge Graves-Robertson received a Masters in Public Administration in 1987 and a law degree from the University of Utah in 1990. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Graves-Robertson worked for the Salt Lake Legal Defenders Association. She graduated from the National Judicial College with a certificate in judicial studies. Judge Graves-Robertson is a life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., a member of the National Association of Women Judges, Women Lawyers of Utah, Minority Bar Association, the National Bar Association, and the Supreme Court's Advisory Committee on Diversity. Judge Graves-Robertson is currently the presiding judge in Salt Lake County. 4/10


JUDGE CATHERINE M. JOHNSON

JUDGE CATHERINE M. JOHNSONJudge Catherine Johnson was appointed a Justice Court Judge for the City of South Salt Lake in 2001. She graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor's degree in communication, with minors in philosophy and anthropology. She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Utah College Of Law in 1991. As a law student, she was a member of the Utah Law Review and served a judicial externship with the Utah Supreme Court. After receiving he law degree, Judge Johnson practiced law with the Utah Department of Commerce and later represented the State of Utah in the Criminal Appeals Division of the Utah Attorney General's Office. Prior to her appointment to the bench, she was employed as a staff attorney for the Utah Court of Appeals.


JUDGE SHAUNA L. KERR

JUDGE SHAUNA L. KERRJudge Shauna Kerr was appointed to the Summit County Justice Court in 2009. She received her Juris Doctorate degree from Pepperdine University School of Law in 1980, is a current member of the Utah State Bar, and previously admitted to the California State Bar. Judge Kerr received her undergraduate degree from Utah State University in 1977 in Political Science. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Kerr worked as the Tooele City Attorney and as Assistant Park City Attorney. Judge Kerr has also served as an elected local government at both the city and county level as a member of the Park City Council and the Summit County Commission. 9/11


JUDGE RONALD E. KUNZ

JUDGE RONALD E. KUNZJudge Ronald E. Kunz was appointed as the West Jordan City Justice Court Judge in April 1990. As a resident of West Jordan, he has been actively involved in various civic and community service organizations, including serving as a trustee for the Utah Boys Ranch. Judge Kunz earned a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Utah College of Law in 1979. Prior to his judicial appointment, he worked as a general law practitioner for 11 years handling a wide variety of cases before various levels of state and federal courts. Judge Kunz served as a contract legal defender for the Third Circuit Court and the City of West Jordan. He also served as the attorney for the towns of Woodruff and Kamas during the early years of his practice. Judge Kunz has served on two different Judicial Council Committees to help improve the state's trial by jury system. Under his direction, the West Jordan Justice Court has proactively implemented domestic violence programs that have resulted with Judge Kunz receiving the 2006 "Freedom Award" from the Salt Lake Area Domestic Violence Coalition and being named the 2008 "Advocate of the Year" by the Utah Domestic Violence Council. 4/10


JUDGE MICHAEL KWAN

JUDGE MICHAEL KWANJudge Michael Kwan has served the Taylorsville Justice Court since 1998. Judge Kwan received a law degree from Whittier College School of Law and was certified in Chinese law by the East China University of Politics and Law in 1993. Judge Kwan served as pro tempore judge in Third District Court from 1996 through 1998. He received the Quality of Justice Award in 2001. His Domestic Violence Program was awarded the Peace on Earth Award from the Salt Lake Area Domestic Violence Advisory Council in 2002. He started one of the first DUI/Drug Courts in the nation in 1998. This program received the Governor's Award for reducing drug and alcohol abuse and related crimes in 2008. He is currently serving on the Utah Substance Abuse and Anti-Violence Council and previously served on the Utah Rules of Evidence Committee. Judge Kwan was editor of the National Conference of Special Court Judges journal, was chair of the Board of Justice Court Judges, and served on the Utah Judicial Council. Judge Kwan has taught judicial education courses across the country for the Utah Judicial Institute, ABA, and National Drug Court Institute focusing on traffic, evidence, Constitutional law, and criminal procedure and law. 4/10


JUDGE SYDNEY MAGID

JUDGE SYDNEY MAGIDJudge Sydney Magid was appointed to the Salt Lake City Justice Court in 2004. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1990 and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Utah College of Law in 1993 where she was a William H. Leary Scholar. Prior to her appointment to the bench, she worked as an attorney in private practice. She currently serves on the Justice Court Judges Education Curriculum Subcommittee.


JUDGE BRENDAN P. MCCULLAGH

JUDGE BRENDAN P. MCCULLAGHJudge Brendan P. McCullagh was appointed to the West Valley City Justice Court in July 2002. He previously served six years as the Deputy District Attorney for Salt Lake County. Judge McCullagh received a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Utah College of Law in 1995. Judge McCullagh served three years on the Board of Justice Court Judges. He has served on the Utah Supreme Court's Advisory Committee on the Rules of Evidence and the Judicial Council's Standing Committee on Interpreters. Judge McCullagh currently serves on the Utah Supreme Court's Advisory Committees on the Criminal Rules of Procedure and Criminal Jury Instructions. In 2007, he was elected by his peers to serve a three-year term on the Judicial Council. Also in 2007, Judge McCullagh received the Utah Judicial Council's Quality of Justice award for performance of judicial responsibilities with outstanding dedication to the highest quality of justice. In 2008, Judge McCullagh was awarded the Scott M. Matheson Award by the Utah State Bar for outstanding service to law-related education. 1/09


JUDGE SCOTT J. MICKELSEN

JUDGE SCOTT J. MICKELSENJudge Scott J. Mickelsen was appointed to the Bluffdale Justice Court in May 2012. He is a 36-year veteran of law enforcement. Judge Mickelsen earned a Master of Criminal Justice Degree and has served as an adjunct professor at two Utah universities, teaching ethics, management, and other courses. He is a former hostage negotiator with particular expertise in conflict resolution. Judge Mickelsen has worked as a division commander in patrol, court security, administrative support, and many other assignments and special projects, and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He has worked with youth in the community teaching principles of law enforcement and citizenship. Judge Mickelsen created "Officer Friendly" programs for implementation into elementary school curriculum and taught criminal justice to youth in area high schools. 9/12


JUDGE RONALD E. POWELL

JUDGE RONALD E. POWELLJudge Ronald E. Powell was appointed to the Stockton Justice Court in 2004. Judge Powell served two tours of duty in Vietnam with the United State Navy. He has nine years of law enforcement experience in the State of California, where he studied the administration of justice. After retiring as a supervisor from the City of Los Angeles, Department of Water and Power, Judge Powell moved to Utah. Judge Powell earned a certificate in legal studies from the Legal Institute for Justice Court Judges. 4/10


JUDGE CATHERINE E. ROBERTS

 Judge Catherine E. Roberts was appointed to the Salt Lake City Justice Court in September 2011. Before her appointment, Judge Roberts was a trial attorney with the Salt Lake Legal Defender Association (LDA), representing indigent clients in felony and misdemeanor cases in Salt Lake County. She has served as the LDA attorney at the West Jordan Felony Drug Court. In addition, Roberts is an editor of the Utah Bar Journal, and has served as a small claims judge and as a mentor for the Utah State Bar's Lawyer Training Program. Judge Roberts received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Smith College in Northampton, Mass., and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Utah College of Law. She is the recipient of the Edward Spurgeon Public Service Fellowship, the David T. Lewis Clinical Award, and was a Leary scholar. 12/11


JUDGE JEANNE ROBISON

JUDGE JEANNE ROBISONJudge Jeanne Robison has served the Salt Lake City Justice Court since 2005. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Robison worked as an assistant city prosecutor for Salt Lake City from 1995 through 2005. She earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Brigham Young University in 1986 and a J.D. from the University of Utah College of Law in 1994. Judge Robison has been an adjunct professor for the University of Utah and University of Phoenix. She has served as a member of the Utah State Bar's Needs of Children Committee and the Board of Directors of the Multi-Cultural Legal Center. Judge Robison currently serves as chair of the Justice Court Education Curriculum Subcommittee. She also presides over cases referred to Passages, which is a collaborative restorative justice program. 4/10


JUDGE MARSHA C. THOMAS

JUDGE MARSHA C. THOMASJudge Marsha C. Thomas serves the City of Taylorsville Municipal Justice Court. She earned a law degree from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. After graduating from law school, Judge Thomas worked as a reference librarian at the S.J. Quinney Law Library where she assisted the public in accessing legal information and taught legal research to law students. She then opened a solo practice and later was founding partner of Thomas Tax & Law, Inc. Judge Thomas is co-author of the book "Utah Legal Research." She has served as chair of the Utah Justice Court Education Committee, received the Utah Judicial Council 2011 Quality of Justice award, the Justice Court 2011 Judge of the Year award, and 2010 Justice Court Service award. 11/13


JUDGE PAUL THOMPSON

JUDGE PAUL THOMPSONJudge Paul Thompson was appointed to the Murray City Justice Court in 2008. He has served as an active or senior judge since 1992. Judge Thompson received a degree from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University in 1976. He served as the mayor of Sandy City from 1978 to 1982, and is a former city attorney for South Salt Lake, Alta, and South Jordan. Judge Thompson is a former chairman of the Salt Lake County Council of Governments, member of the Wasatch Front Regional Council, and trustee of the Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau. He was the founding chairman of the Third Judicial District Victim's Rights Committee. Judge Thompson has been a member of the Utah State Bar since 1976. 4/10


RONALD C. WOLTHUIS

  RONALD C. WOLTHUISJudge Wolthuis was appointed to the Midvale City Justice Court in March, 2008. He graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree from Weber State College in June, 1978, with departmental honors in Zoology. Judge Wolthuis received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Utah College of Law in June, 1985. During law school, he was an editor on the Journal of Contemporary Law and the Journal of Energy Law & Policy. Judge Wolthuis was admitted to the Utah State Bar in 1985 and practiced law until his appointment to the bench in 2008. Judge Wolthuis served as the West Jordan City Prosecutor for nine years and as the South Jordan City Prosecutor for three years. Judge Wolthuis has lectured for the Utah Department of Corrections, Utah State Bar Association, various police agencies and community groups. 4/10


Page Last Modified: 3/27/2014
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