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Judges' Biographies


SUPREME COURT JUSTICES



CHIEF JUSTICE MATTHEW B. DURRANT

CHIEF JUSTICE MATTHEW B. DURRANTChief Justice Matthew B. Durrant was appointed to the Utah Supreme Court in January 2000 by Governor Michael O. Leavitt. At the time, he was serving as a trial judge in the Third Judicial District. Justice Durrant has served as the Supreme Court representative on the Utah Judicial Council and as Associate Chief Justice. He was the founding chair of the Supreme Court's Professionalism Committee and has chaired the Judicial Council's Technology Committee. In addition, Justice Durrant chaired the Supreme Court Committee charged with the revision of the Code of Judicial Conduct. Justice Durrant received his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1984. After a clerkship with Judge Monroe G. McKay of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, Justice Durrant joined the Salt Lake law firm now known as Parr, Waddoups, Brown, Gee, & Loveless, where he was a shareholder at the time of his appointment to the district bench. Justice Durrant also has taught as an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University's J. Reuben Clark Law School. 1/12


ASSOCIATE CHIEF JUSTICE THOMAS R. LEE

ASSOCIATE CHIEF JUSTICE THOMAS R. LEEThomas R. Lee was appointed to the Utah Supreme Court by Governor Gary Herbert in July 2010. He currently serves as Associate Chief Justice and as a member of the Utah Judicial Council. He also chaired the Supreme Court's Advisory Committee on Professionalism and Civility during a time in which the court promulgated Standards of Professionalism and Civility for judges in Utah. Justice Lee is a graduate, with high honors, of the University of Chicago Law School. After law school, he served as a law clerk for Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson, III, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and then for Justice Clarence Thomas of the United States Supreme Court. Justice Lee then joined the law firm now known as Parr, Brown, Gee & Loveless, where he became a shareholder. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Justice Lee was a full-time professor at the law school at Brigham Young University, where he continues to serve as Distinguished Lecturer. During his years as a full-time law professor, he maintained a part-time intellectual property litigation practice with Howard, Phillips, & Andersen. He also developed a part-time appellate practice, arguing numerous cases in federal courts throughout the country and in the United States Supreme Court. In 2004 - 05, Justice Lee served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. 1/15


JUSTICE CONSTANDINOS HIMONAS

JUSTICE CONSTANDINOS  HIMONASJustice Constandinos "Deno"" Himonas was appointed to the Utah Supreme Court in February 2015 by Governor Gary Herbert. Prior to his appointment, he served as a trial court judge in the Third District Court for the State of Utah for over 10 years. He also served as the Associate Presiding Judge for the Third District Court from 2012 to his appointment. Justice Himonas graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Utah in 1986 and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1989. Upon graduating from law school, Justice Himonas returned to Utah and spent 15 years working as a litigator for the law firm of Jones, Waldo, Holbrook & McDonough, where he focused on complex civil litigation. Justice Himonas has served as the chairperson of the Litigation Section of the Utah State Bar, co-chairperson of the Third District Court's Pro Bono Committee, and member of the Judicial Conduct Commission. Justice Himonas also has taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. He is a member of the American Bar Foundation. 7/15"


JUSTICE JOHN A. PEARCE

JUSTICE JOHN A. PEARCEJustice John A. Pearce was appointed to the Utah Supreme Court in November 2015. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Justice Pearce served on the Utah Court of Appeals. Justice Pearce started his legal career as an associate at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto, California. For many years, Justice Pearce was a shareholder and member of the Executive Committee at Jones Waldo in Salt Lake City and has served as General Counsel to Governor Herbert. He has also been an adjunct professor at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah. Justice Pearce graduated from Cyprus High School in Magna, Utah, holds a degree in economics from the University of Utah, and received his Juris Doctor from the University of California, Berkeley. Justice Pearce has served on a number of boards and committees, including the Salt Lake County Bar Executive Committee, the Guardian ad Litem Oversight Committee, the Salvation Army Citizen's Advisory Board and the Governmental Records Access and Management Act Working Group. 2/16


JUSTICE PAIGE PETERSEN

JUSTICE PAIGE PETERSENJustice Paige Petersen was appointed to the Utah Supreme court in December 2017 by Governor Gary Herbert. Before joining the Supreme Court, she was a district court judge in the Third Judicial District, which serves Salt Lake, Summit, and Tooele counties. Justice Petersen graduated summa cum laude from the University of Utah in 1995, after first obtaining an associate’s degree from the College of Eastern Utah in Price. She received her law degree from Yale Law School in 1999. After graduation, she clerked for two years in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. After her clerkship, she joined the law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York City, practicing civil litigation. She then transitioned to criminal law, serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn. There, she handled cases involving organized crime and international narcotics trafficking. Petersen then prosecuted war crimes at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands, where she was a member of the trial team responsible for successfully prosecuting the former Serbian Chief of Police for ethnic cleansing and mass murder in Kosovo. She then returned to Utah and joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Salt Lake City, where she prosecuted violent crimes for three years before taking the bench. 11/17

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Page Last Modified: 1/19/2017
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