Judge Stephen L. Nelson was appointed to the Third District Court in November 2023 by Governor Spencer J. Cox.  He serves Salt Lake, Summit, and Tooele Counties. Judge Nelson graduated from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law in 2002 and graduated from the University of Utah with a Ph.D. in Political Science in 2010.  Immediately prior to his judicial appointment, Judge Nelson was an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah.  In this capacity, Judge Nelson was assigned to the Criminal Division where he prosecuted organized crime, violent crime, narcotics trafficking, and wiretap conspiracy cases, and also served as the District’s Anti-Gang Coordinator and National Security/Cyber Security Coordinator.  Prior to his federal service, Judge Nelson was a Deputy District Attorney with the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office where he prosecuted neighborhood narcotics offenses, gang crime, and homicides.  Judge Nelson also serves as an instructor in the University of Utah’s Department of Political Science and has taught thousands of undergraduate and graduate students over the course of his 20+ year teaching career.     3/24