Salt Lake City, UT — Utah State Court judges and administrators took time to honor the passing this past weekend of a long-time leader of Utah’s judicial system.
Judge James Z. Davis was appointed to the Utah Court of Appeals by Gov. Michael O. Leavitt in November 1993. He served two terms as presiding judge of the court of appeals and retired in November 2015. He was the first judge appointed to the court of appeals who was not among the original appointees when the court was organized in 1987.
“The Court of Appeals family will miss our beloved colleague and friend, Judge Jim Davis. He was a towering presence with a personality to match,” said Utah Court of Appeals Presiding Judge Fred Voros. “His legal learning, common sense, and practical wisdom allowed him to cut right to the heart of even a complex case.”
“It was my pleasure to serve with Jim Davis for nearly 22 years,” said Utah Court of Appeals Associate Presiding Judge Gergory Orme. “He was a great guy and a treasured colleague. His thorough preparation, consistently hard work, and keen sense of humor were the hallmarks of his service on the court. He will truly be missed.”
In addition to his distinguished service on the Utah Court of Appeals, Judge Davis had a long and exemplary career in law. He received his law degree from the University of Utah College of Law in 1968. He served in military intelligence in the U.S. Army until 1970. Judge Davis was in private practice from 1971 to 1977, served as Deputy Weber County Attorney and Weber County Police Legal Advisor from 1973 to 1982, was a partner in Thatcher, Glasmann & Davis from 1977 to 1982, and a shareholder and director at Ray, Quinney & Nebeker from 1982 until his appointment to the bench. Judge Davis was president of the Utah State Bar from 1991 to 1992, served as Bar representative on the Utah Judicial Council, and was also selected by the court of appeals on three occasions to serve as that court’s representative on the Utah Judicial Council.
In 2014, Judge Davis received the Lifetime Service Award from the Utah State Bar.
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