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Judges' Biographies

SECOND DISTRICT COURT JUDGES


PRESIDING JUDGE DAVID M. CONNORS

PRESIDING JUDGE DAVID M. CONNORS

Judge David M. Connors was appointed to Utah's Second District Court by Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. and took office in January 2008. He serves Davis, Morgan, and Weber counties. Judge Connors earned a law degree from Brigham Young University's J. Reuben Clark Law School where he was a member of the Law Review and graduated magna cum laude. He received his bachelor's degree from Yale University. Immediately after law school, Judge Connors served as a law clerk with the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York. After his clerkship, Judge Connors was in private practice for nearly 30 years, most of which with the Utah office of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, L.L.P., where he served as head of the Utah litigation group. Judge Connors is a past chairman of the Business Law Section of the Utah State Bar and has served as a board member of the Wasatch Front Regional Council, the Davis County Council of Governments, the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, and several charitable foundations, including the Davis Education Foundation. He also served as Mayor of Farmington City from 2002 to 2006, after previously serving eight years on Farmington's city council. He is presently (2018-2020) the presiding judge of the Second District Court, and also serves as an officer of the ABA Judicial Division's National Conference of State Trial Judges. 11/18 

ASSOCIATE PRESIDING JUDGE MICHAEL D. DIREDA

ASSOCIATE PRESIDING JUDGE MICHAEL D. DIREDA

Judge Michael D. DiReda was appointed to the Second District Court by Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., in December 2008. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology in 1990 and a Juris Doctor degree in 1993 from Pepperdine University. He served as a judicial law clerk in the Second District Court from 1994-1995 before joining the Davis County Attorney's Office. From 1995-2008, Judge DiReda worked as a Deputy Davis County Attorney, where he served as the Litigation Section Chief in the criminal and juvenile divisions. He was a Special Assistant United States Attorney from 2001-2007 and a prosecutor for the cities of Centerville and Clinton. Currently, Judge DiReda is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Utah where he teaches trial advocacy. He is a member of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, an editorial board member of the Utah Journal of Criminal Law, and a past member of the Standing Committee for Self-Represented Parties. 2/19  

JUDGE JOSEPH BEAN

JUDGE JOSEPH BEAN

Judge Joseph M. Bean was appointed to the Second District Court in March 2014 by Gov. Gary R. Herbert. He serves Davis, Morgan, and Weber counties. Prior to his appointment, Judge Bean served as a Justice Court judge for Syracuse City. He was also president and managing partner of Bean & Micken, P.C. Judge Bean received a Juris Doctor from the University of Utah College of Law in 1989. 11/14 

JUDGE ROBERT J. DALE

JUDGE ROBERT J. DALE

Judge Robert J. Dale was appointed to the Second District Court in May 2010 by Governor Gary R. Herbert. He serves Davis, Morgan, and Weber counties. He graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Utah in 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Utah in 1976, where he was a member of the law review and graduated Order of the Coif. Judge Dale was in private practice for 34 years, litigating real property, real property title, commercial, contract, construction, banking, and other cases. In addition to all Utah state and federal courts, Judge Dale was admitted to practice before the Sixth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeal, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He received an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell. He was a partner in the firm of McKay, Burton, McMurray and Thurman, a founding shareholder and board member of McMurray, McMurray, Dale and Parkinson, P.C., and a shareholder and board member of Fabian & Clendenin, P.C. Judge Dale served on the Layton City Planning Commission, on the Board of Governors of the Utah Trial Lawyers' Association, on the Board of Directors of the Utah Wildlife Federation, and as co-chair of the Utah State Institutional Trust Lands Nominating Committee. He was also a judge pro tem in the Salt Lake Circuit Court, and served on the Utah State Bar Fee Arbitration and Needs of Children Committees. He also served on the Utah State Real Estate Division committee responsible for drafting state real estate forms. 9/11 

JUDGE MICHAEL S. EDWARDS

JUDGE Michael S. Edwards

Judge Michael S. Edwards was appointed to the Second District Court in September of 2018 by Gov. Gary R. Herbert. He serves Davis, Morgan, and Weber counties. Judge Edwards received his law degree from Brigham Young University's J. Reuben Clark Law School in 1999. Prior to attending law school, Judge Edwards received a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Brigham Young University. Judge Edwards' practice before being appointed to the bench included a judicial clerkship, criminal prosecution, military law (with service in the United States Army Reserve and the Utah Army National Guard), family law, personal injury law, and criminal defense. Judge Edwards received both an AV rating and a Client Champion award from Martindale-Hubbell. 7/19 

JUDGE DAVID R. HAMILTON

JUDGE DAVID R. HAMILTON

Judge David R. Hamilton was appointed to the Second District Court in July 2010 by Governor Gary R. Herbert. He serves Davis, Morgan, and Weber counties. Judge Hamilton received a law degree from the University of Utah, School of Law in 1978 after completing a bachelor's degree at the University of Utah in 1975. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Hamilton was in private practice for 32 years, most recently as a solo practitioner at David R. Hamilton, P.C. His practice concentrated in insurance defense, collections, family law, and mediation. For more than 10 years, Judge Hamilton has been the chair of the Fund for Client Protection (Client Security Fund) with the Utah State Bar. He is the past president of the Weber County Bar Association. 11/10 

JUDGE NOEL S. HYDE

JUDGE NOEL S. HYDE

Judge Noel S. Hyde was appointed to the Second District Court in July 2010 by Gov. Gary R. Herbert. He serves primarily Morgan and Weber counties. Judge Hyde received a law degree from Brigham Young University. Prior to his judicial appointment, Judge Hyde worked as a sole practitioner for nine years in South Ogden, emphasizing business bankruptcy and complex commercial litigation. He also handled domestic cases and business reorganization matters for 19 years with the firm of Nielsen & Senior in Salt Lake City and Ogden. Judge Hyde is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and the Commercial Law League of America, and was a charter member and past president of the Utah Bankruptcy Lawyers Forum. He serves on the Board of District Court Judge and presides over the Weber County Mental Health Court. 12/13  

JUDGE ERNEST W. JONES

JUDGE ERNEST W. JONES

Judge Ernest W. Jones was appointed to the Second District Court by Gov. Michael O. Leavitt in August 2000. He received a law degree from the University of Utah School of Law in 1974. He serves Davis, Morgan, and Weber Counties. He was the Clinton City attorney, worked at the Utah Attorney General's Office, the Weber County Attorney's Office, and the law firm of Olmstead, Stine and Campbell. Judge Jones was employed with the Salt Lake County District Attorneys Office (1980 to 2000) at the time of his appointment to the bench. Judge Jones received the Most Valuable Prosecutor Award and Salt Lake County Employee of the Year award while employed by the county. Judge Jones is LTC (Ret.), Staff Judge Advocate, U.S. Army Reserves, 87th LSO, Ft. Douglas. He served on the Supreme Court's Advisory Committee on Criminal Jury Instruction and was a member of the 2003 Judicial Conference Planning Committee. Judge Jones serves as a Drug Court judge in Weber County and is a member of the Board of District Court Judges. 9/08  

JUDGE THOMAS L. KAY

JUDGE THOMAS L. KAY

Judge Thomas L. Kay was appointed to the Second District Court in June 1998 by Gov. Michael O. Leavitt. He serves Davis, Morgan, and Weber counties. He received a law degree from Brigham Young University in 1979 where he served as a Note and Comment Editor of the BYU Law Review. After a 1 1/2 year clerkship with U.S. District Judge David K. Winder, he maintained a civil trial practice with Ray, Quinney & Nebeker and Snell & Wilmer until his appointment to the bench. Judge Kay served on the Utah Supreme Court's Advisory Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct, was a mediator in U.S. District Court, and a judge pro tem in the Third District Court. He has served in the Litigation Sections for the American Bar Association; and on the committee on Professional Liability Litigation of the American Bar Association. Judge Kay is the Associate Presiding Judge in the Second District. He is a Master of the Bench for the Rex E. Lee American Inn of Court. Judge Kay currently serves on the Utah Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Evidence, the Jury Improvement Committee, the Alternative Sentencing Committee, and the Board of District Court Judges. Judge Kay is a frequent presenter to youth and school groups. 09/09  

JUDGE JOHN R. MORRIS

JUDGE JOHN R. MORRIS

John R. Morris was appointed to the Second District Court in September 2004 by Gov. Olene S. Walker. He serves Davis, Morgan, and Weber counties. Judge Morris received a bachelor's degree in astrophysics from Princeton University, an M.B.A. degree from Brigham Young University, and a law degree magna cum laude from Brigham Young University. He was admitted to practice law in Utah, California, and with the U.S. Patent Office. Judge Morris practiced law in California with Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro before returning to Utah with LeBoeuf, Lamb, Leiby & MacRae, where he subsequently became a partner. Most recently, he was a founding partner with Snell & Wilmer L.L.P's Salt Lake Office. Judge Morris has extensive experience representing businesses in a wide variety of domestic and foreign technology, corporate and financial transactions, and has served as a director of several financial institutions and as a commissioner with the Utah State Digital Health Commission. Judge Morris has published and has been a frequent presenter on corporate, intellectual property, technology, e-commerce, and computer law topics. Judge Morris is chair of the online Court Assistance Program Policy Board and a member of the court's Standing Committee on Technology. 05/08 

JUDGE CAMILLE L. NEIDER

JUDGE Camille L. Neider

Judge Camille L. Neider was appointed to the Second District Court in November 2017 by Governor Gary R. Herbert and began serving in January 2018. Judge Neider serves Weber, Davis and Morgan Counties. Judge Neider graduated from J. Rueben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University in 1995 and also received a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from BYU in 1992. At the time of her appointment, Judge Neider had been in private practice since 2007 at Hutchison Neider, P.C. where she specialized in criminal defense throughout Northern Utah. While in private practice, Judge Neider was appointed and had served on the Utah Sentencing Commission and the Bail Bond Oversight Committee. Judge Neider was a deputy prosecuting attorney in Weber County from 1998-2007 and a staff attorney with the Utah County Public Defender's Association from 1996-1998. Judge Neider also completed legal internships at the Fourth District Court, the Utah County Attorney's Office and in London, England. Judge Neider has been a member of the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, the Utah Prosecution Council, the Women Lawyers of Utah, the Weber County Bar Assoc. and the Utah County Bar Assoc. 11/18  

JUDGE REUBEN J. RENSTROM

JUDGE REUBEN J.  RENSTROM

Judge Reuben J. Renstrom was appointed to the Second District Court in March 2019 by Gov. Gary R. Herbert. He serves Davis, Morgan, and Weber counties. After receiving a bachelor's degree from Weber State University, he earned a law degree from the University of Kansas. Prior to becoming a judge he maintained a general litigation and mediation practice with the law firm Helgesen, Waterfall, and Jones, while concurrently teaching constitutional law as an adjunct professor in the Criminal Justice Department at Weber State University. Preceding his appointment to the district court, he served as a Justice Court Judge for the cities of Harrisville, Riverdale, South Ogden, South Weber, and Woods Cross. Judge Renstrom formerly sat on the Utah Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure, the Technology Committee, and as education director for the Justice Courts in the Second Judicial District. In 2011, he was elected to the Board of Justice Court Judges, and later chaired the Board for four consecutive terms. 7/19 

JUDGE JENNIFER L. VALENCIA

JUDGE JENNIFER L. VALENCIA

Judge Jennifer L. Valencia was appointed to the Second District Court in May 2017 by Governor Gary R. Herbert. She took the bench in August 2017 and serves Weber, Davis and Morgan Counties. Judge Valencia attended Weber State University on a Presidential Scholarship, graduating magna cum laude with Departmental Honors in Political Science in 1994. She was awarded her Juris Doctorate in 1997 from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. After graduation, she served as an Assistant Utah Attorney General in the Northern Region of the Child and Family Support Division for 10 years and then as a Salt Lake County Deputy District Attorney in the Criminal Division beginning in 2008. She was appointed the Director of the Utah Sentencing Commission in 2013. Prior to her appointment to the bench, she served as a member of the University of Utah Criminal Justice Center Board; the Utah Judicial Council's Pre-Trial Practices Committee; and the Executive Committee of the National Association of Sentencing Commissions. She also received the Governor's Award of Excellence for Outstanding Public Service in 2016 and the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice's Award for her contributions to the Justice Reinvestment Initiative in 2017. 12/17 

JUDGE DAVID J. WILLIAMS

JUDGE David J. Williams

Judge David J. Williams was appointed to the Second District Court in October 2018 by Governor Gary Herbert. He serves Davis, Morgan, and Weber counties. Judge Williams received a Bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, from Brigham Young University in 1998 and graduated magna cum laude with a Juris Doctor degree from the J. Reuben Clark Law School in 2001. Prior to his judicial appointment, Judge Williams worked briefly for the Salt Lake City law firm of Kirton & McConkie and later as a law clerk to then Chief Judge Dee V. Benson at the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah. After clerking, Judge Williams joined the law firm of Stoel Rives, where he practiced in the litigation section until his appointment. Judge Williams has served as Stoel Rives' firm-wide Pro Bono Coordinator, as a member of the Third District's Pro Bono Committee, and as a board member and vice-president of the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center. Judge Williams continues to co-chair the Utah State Bar Modest Means Committee. 7/19 

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: 2/23/2018
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