Utah Courts



Find important information on what to do about your case and where to find help on our Alerts and Information Page due to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

En nuestra página Información y alertas encontrará información importante sobre qué hacer en cuanto a su caso y dónde encontrar ayuda debido al impacto del brote de COVID-19.

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Finding Legal Help

You are not required to hire an attorney, but legal matters can be complicated. Consider talking to an attorney to go over your options. See the Finding Legal Help page for information about free and low cost ways to get legal help. 

Como encontrar ayuda legal

Usted no está obligado a contratar un abogado, pero los asuntos legales pueden ser complicados. Considere la posibilidad de hablar con un abogado para hablar de sus opciones. Para información sobre cómo obtener ayuda legal vea nuestra página Como encontrar ayuda legal.

Judges' Biographies




Chief 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  



Thomas R. Lee was appointed to the Utah Supreme Court by Governor Gary Herbert in July 2010. Justice Lee has a B.A. in Economics (summa cum laude) from Brigham Young University and a J.D. (with high honors) from the University of Chicago. After law school, Justice Lee 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. He 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. 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 - 2005, Justice Lee served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Justice Lee currently serves as Associate Chief Justice of the Utah Supreme Court. He also serves on the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and teaches on a part-time basis as a lecturer in law at Brigham Young University, Harvard Law School, and the University of Chicago Law School. 11/19  



Justice 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 for over 10 years. 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. He currently serves on the Utah Judicial Council, as the Chair of the Supreme Court's task force for Licensed Paralegal Practitioners, the Chair of the Judicial Council's task force on Online Dispute Resolution, the Co-chair of the Supreme Court's regulatory reform task force, as well as on a number of national committees. Justice Himonas has taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law and has been honored by the College of Law as an Honorary Alumnus of the Year. He is a recipient of the Judicial Excellence award from the Utah State Bar and is a Life Fellow of the American Bar Association. 8/20 



Justice 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. Between 2009 and 2013, Justice Pearce served as General Counsel to Governor Gary R. Herbert. Justice Pearce teaches Legislative Process and Statutory Interpretation 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 Juvenile Indigent Representation Task Force, and the Governmental Records Access and Management Act Working Group. Justice Pearce is the proud recipient of the Utah Minority Bar Association's Jimi Mitsunaga Excellence in the Law award. 11/21 



Justice 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  

The Utah State Courts mission is to provide the people an open, fair, efficient, and independent system for the advancement of justice under the law.

Page Last Modified: 1/27/2020
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