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Judges' Biographies


FOURTH DISTRICT COURT JUDGES


Judges' Biographies

PRESIDING JUDGE DAVID N. MORTENSEN

PRESIDING JUDGE DAVID N. MORTENSENJudge David N. Mortensen was appointed to the Fourth District Court in September 2006 by Gov. Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. He serves Juab, Millard, Utah, and Wasatch counties. Judge Mortensen graduated from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University in 1993. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Mortensen was in private practice as a trial attorney. He is a member of the A. Sherman Christensen Inn of Court (America Inns of Court I) and serves on the Utah State Bar Fee Arbitration Committee. Judge Mortensen is a member of the Utah Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Rules of Evidence. Judge Mortensen is currently a member of the Utah Judicial Council and has previously served as a member of the Board of District Court Judges. Judge Mortensen also served on the Judicial Council Study Committee on Technology Brought into the Courtroom. He is an adjunct professor at the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. Currently, Judge Mortensen is the Presiding Judge of the Fourth District. 7/14


ASSOCIATE PRESIDING JUDGE THOMAS LOW

ASSOCIATE PRESIDING JUDGE THOMAS LOW Judge Thomas Low was appointed to the Fourth District Court in December 2009 by Gov. Gary R. Herbert. He serves Juab, Millard, Utah, and Wasatch counties. Judge Low received a juris doctorate, with honors, from Brigham Young University, where he was admitted into the Order of the Barristers. He also received a bachelor of arts degree from Brigham Young University. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Low served six years as the Wasatch County Attorney. He was named County Attorney of the Year in November 2008, and was identified as a member of the 2009 Utah Legal Elite by Utah Business magazine. Prior to his service as a county attorney, he served as a deputy Wasatch County attorney, where he prosecuted felony cases, and as an attorney in private practice in Provo. Judge Low is a member of the Utah Sentencing Commission and of the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. 10/13


JUDGE JAMES BRADY

JUDGE JAMES BRADYJudge M. James Brady was appointed to the Fourth District Court in May 2010 by Gov. Gary Herbert. He serves Juab, Millard, Utah, and Wasatch counties. Judge Brady graduated from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University in 1982. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Brady was in private practice as a trial attorney with the firm of Bradford & Brady for 26 years. He served as a Deputy City Attorney for Provo (1982-1984) as City Attorney for Mapleton (1990-2003), and later served as on the Mapleton City Council (2005-2006) and as Mayor of Mapleton (2006-2007). He served on the Utah County Board of Adjustment for many years, and as chairman of the Board of Adjustment for a few of those years. He currently serves as judge in Juab and Millard counties, and also hears matters in specialty courts in Juab, Millard and Utah counties. 3/11


JUDGE LYNN W. DAVIS

JUDGE LYNN W. DAVISJudge Lynn W. Davis was appointed to the Fourth Circuit Court in April 1987 and the Fourth District Court in June 1992 by Governor Norman H. Bangerter. He serves Juab, Millard, Utah and Wasatch counties. He received a law degree from J. Reuben Clark College of Law at Brigham Young University (BYU) in 1976. From 1976 to 1979, Judge Davis was in private practice and served as a deputy Utah County Attorney from 1979 to 1987. He is a past chair of the Board of Circuit Court Judges and is chair of the Board of District Court Judges. Judge Davis has received the Utah State Bar Judge of the Year Award, the Excellence in Public Service Award, the Utah State Bar Distinguished Service Award, the Freedom of Information Award, and was recently named a 2007 Honored Alumnus at BYU. He is the chair of the Utah State Court Interpreter and Translation Panel and also serves on a national Advisory Committee on Court Interpretation. 05/08


JUDGE DONALD J. EYRE, JR.

JUDGE DONALD J. EYRE, JR.Judge Donald J. Eyre, Jr., was appointed to the Fourth District Court in November 1994 by Gov. Michael O. Leavitt. He serves Juab, Millard, Utah, and Wasatch counties. He received a law degree from the University of Utah College of Law in 1976 and was in private practice from 1976 until his appointment to the bench. Judge Eyre was appointed Nephi City attorney in 1978 and concurrently served as Juab County attorney from 1979 until his appointment to the bench. He served on the Jury Education Committee, the Justice Court Standards Committee, and the Children and Family Law Standing Committee. Judge Eyre served as the presiding judge of the Fourth District Court from 1999 to 2000, and on the Board of District Court Judges from 2000 to 2003. In 2004, he helped establish drug courts in Juab and Millard counties. He served on the Utah Judicial Council from 2008 to 2011. 9/11


JUDGE ROGER GRIFFIN

 


JUDGE FRED D. HOWARD

JUDGE FRED D. HOWARDJudge Fred D. Howard was appointed to the Fourth District Court in July 1995 by Gov. Michael O. Leavitt. He serves Juab, Millard, Utah, and Wasatch counties. He received a law degree from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University in 1979. Before his appointment to the bench, Judge Howard was a partner with the law firm of Howard, Lewis & Petersen. In addition, he served as deputy county attorney for Carbon County from 1979 to 1982. Judge Howard serves as counselor of the A. Sherman Christensen Inn of the American Inns of Court. He has served as presiding judge of the Fourth District Court, on the Board of District Court Judges, and on the Utah Surpeme Court Advisory Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct. 09/08


JUDGE CHRISTINE S. JOHNSON

JUDGE CHRISTINE S. JOHNSONJudge Christine S. Johnson was appointed to the Fourth District Court in October 2008 by Gov. Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. She serves Juab, Millard, Utah, and Wasatch counties. Judge Johnson received her Juris Doctor in 1996 from the J. Reuben Clark School of Law at Brigham Young University. She worked as a judicial clerk in the Fourth Judicial District before beginning her practice as a criminal defense attorney at the Utah County Public Defenders Association in 1997. Judge Johnson was ultimately designated as that office's deputy director and served in that capacity from 1999 through 2003. She was employed as the assistant city attorney and city prosecutor at Spanish Fork City from 2003 until her appointment to the bench. Judge Johnson serves on the Standing Committee on Judicial Branch Education, which oversees the continuing education of judges and court staff in Utah. 9/09


JUDGE CLAUDIA LAYCOCK

JUDGE CLAUDIA LAYCOCKJudge Claudia Laycock was appointed to the Fourth District Court in January 2001. She serves Juab, Millard, Utah, and Wasatch counties. She graduated from Brigham Young University in 1974 and then taught at Dixon Junior High School in Provo. She received a law degree from Brigham Young University and was admitted to the Utah State Bar in 1985. She practiced law in Provo for three years with Aldrich, Nelson, Weight & Esplin, specializing in criminal defense and family law. She joined the Utah County Attorney's Office in 1988 as a prosecutor, remaining there until her appointment to the bench. Prior to her appointment, she served on the board of the Women and Children in Crisis Center in Provo for 12 years. Judge Laycock served on the Standing Committee on Judicial Branch Education for six years, the Utah Supreme Court's Code of Judicial Conduct Committee for two years, and now serves on the Utah State Bar's Mentor Training and Resource Committee. 9/11


JUDGE DAROLD J. MCDADE

JUDGE DAROLD J. MCDADEJudge Darold J. McDade was appointed to the Fourth District Court in July 2007 by Gov. Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. He serves Juab, Millard, Utah, and Wasatch counties. He graduated from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University in 1990. Prior to his appointment to the bench, he was a section chief in the Provo section of the Utah Attorney General's Office, Child and Family Support Division, representing the Office of Recovery Services. He served as a volunteer judge pro tem in the Fourth District Court-Small Claims Division-from 2004 to 2007. Judge McDade was also an elected member of the Pleasant Grove City Council from 2000 to 2007 and is a member of the Navajo Nation Bar Association. 7/07


JUDGE SAMUEL MCVEY

JUDGE SAMUEL MCVEYJudge Samuel D. McVey was appointed to the Fourth District Court in April 2004 by Gov. Olene Walker. He serves Juab, Millard, Utah, and Wasatch counties. Judge McVey graduated with distinction from the United States Naval Academy and the Naval War College. He received a law degree magna cum laude from Brigham Young University Law School and was admitted to the Utah State Bar that year as well as the California Bar. He was Order of the Coif and law review note and comment editor in law school. Judge McVey is a retired Marine Colonel. He was a partner in the law firm of Kirton & McConkie and volunteered as a judge pro tem. Judge McVey received the Outstanding Young Military Lawyer Award from the American Bar Association and the Legion of Merit from the Marines. Judge McVey has served on various Utah State Bar and American Bar Association committees. He was chair of the Bar Section on Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law and was the section's 2006 Distinguished Service Award recipient. He served as chair of the Standing Committee on Judicial Outreach and is currently the presiding judge of the Fourth District. 9/11


COMMISSIONER THOMAS PATTON

 


JUDGE DEREK P. PULLAN

JUDGE DEREK P. PULLANJudge Derek P. Pullan was appointed to the Fourth District Court in September 2003 by Gov. Michael O. Leavitt. He serves Juab, Millard, Utah, and Wasatch counties. He received a law degree from Brigham Young University's J. Reuben Clark Law School in 1993, graduating cum laude. Judge Pullan worked as a law clerk at the Utah Supreme Court from 1993 to 1994. He served as a deputy county attorney in Washington and Wasatch counties from 1994 to 1999. Judge Pullan was appointed and subsequently elected to serve as the Wasatch County Attorney from 1999 to 2003. As county attorney, he acted as the elected felony prosecutor and as legal counsel to the county legislative body and executive branch. Judge Pullan was elected presiding judge in 2007 and served two terms. He is an adjunct professor at J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University where he teaches the law of evidence. Judge Pullan has been a member of the Utah Supreme Court Committee on the Civil Rules of Procedure since 2008. During the past three years, that committee has proposed substantial revisions to the civil rules aimed at reducing the cost of litigation and providing increased access to the courts. 7/11


JUDGE JAMES R. TAYLOR

JUDGE JAMES R. TAYLORJudge James R. Taylor was appointed to the Fourth District Court in February 1999 by Gov. Michael O. Leavitt. He serves Juab, Millard, Utah, and Wasatch counties. Judge Taylor has presided over an adult Drug Court in Utah County since 2002. He was named Adjunct Professor of the Year for the School of Business at UVSC in 2006. Judge Taylor was previously the presiding judge for the Fourth District Court and presently serves on the Board of District Court Judges. Judge Taylor was a Joseph Fielding Smith Scholar at Brigham Young University in 1973. He graduated from the University of Utah College of Law in 1980. He was in general private practice and served as Spanish Fork City Attorney before becoming a Deputy Utah County Attorney in 1987. 10/13



Page Last Modified: 3/27/2014
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