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Gov. Gary R. Herbert has appointed Judge John A. Pearce to serve as a justice on the Utah Supreme Court. Judge Pearce will fill the vacancy created by Justice Jill Parrish when she was confirmed a United States District Court Judge for the District of Utah on August 16, 2015.  

“I am very pleased to have the opportunity to appoint Judge Pearce to the Utah Supreme Court,” Gov. Herbert said. “John has proven himself to be an exceptional legal talent in every aspect of his career and an exemplary jurist on the Utah Court of Appeals. He has a brilliant mind and is dedicated to the state of Utah.  I am confident Judge Pearce is the right choice.”

Pearce currently serves as a judge on the Utah Court of Appeals. He was appointed to the position in 2013. In this capacity, he hears appeals of criminal, civil, juvenile, domestic and administrative matters. He also chairs the Judiciary's Standing Committee on Technology and co-chairs the Bench-Media Subcommittee of Judicial Outreach Committee. In addition, he is an adjunct professor at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah.

"I am humbled and honored by this nomination,” Pearce said. “Having worked on both sides of the bench, I know what happens in a courtroom matters deeply to the people of Utah. The state deserves a judiciary that gives every case its full attention and performs its constitutional duties openly, fairly and efficiently. If confirmed, I will strive to give the people of Utah the judiciary they deserve."

Pearce was born and raised in Magna, Utah and graduated from Cyprus High School. Prior to his service on the Utah Court of Appeals, he was the general counsel for the Office of the Governor (2009-2013) where he advised Gov. Herbert, his staff and cabinet on legal and policy issues. He was also a shareholder at Jones Waldo Holbrook & McDonough (1999-2009).

Judge Pearce graduated magna cum laude from the University of Utah in economics. He received his Juris Doctorate from the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley.

The governor’s appointment of Judge Pearce is subject to confirmation by the Utah Senate.