Governor Appoints Judges to 4th District Court

Gov. Gary R. Herbert has appointed Robert Lunnen, Anthony Howell and Kraig Powell as judges of the 4th District Court.

Robert Lunnen has served in the United States Attorney’s Office (District of Utah) since 2002, and is currently the chief of the Criminal Division. Prior to his work for the United States Attorney, Lunnen was assigned by the Department of Justice to be a Judicial Attache’ for the United States Embassies in Kabul, Afghanistan and Bogota, Columbia. Lunnen began his career with the Utah Attorney General’s office, and spent several years in private practice. He received a Bachelor of Arts in english, political science and Spanish literature from Brigham Young University, and a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University.

“I am deeply humbled and grateful for the opportunity to serve as a Judge in the 4th Judicial District Court,” Lunnen said. “I thank Gov. Herbert for his confidence in me, and vow to serve the citizens of Utah with fairness and compassion.”

“Robert Lunnen has dedicated his legal career to the service of this state and the United States. His immense talents have been recognized repeatedly, as evidenced by the weighty roles he has been tasked with throughout his career,” Gov. Herbert said. “The people of the 4th District will be fortunate to have access to his service and broad background experience.”

Anthony Howell has served as chief counsel and attorney for the Utah Public Defenders Association in Utah County since 2003. Prior to his experience there, Howell was an instructor for the Leavitt Institute for International Development where he taught Moldovan law students about US jury practices. He received a Bachelor of Science in political science from the University of Utah and a Juris Doctor degree from the J. Reuben Clark Law school at Brigham Young University.

“I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve my community as a judge,” Howell said. “My career in public service has been deeply rewarding, and I am thrilled to continue to work for the good people of the 4th District.”

“Anthony is a proven leader who cares for the people of this state, and has a strong desire to do what is right,” Gov. Herbert said. “As evidenced by his longstanding career with the Utah Public Defenders Association he is a man of character, dedicated to seeking justice for those he serves.”

Kraig Powell is currently the owner and manager of a solo law practice in Heber City and Park City. His practice is focused on municipal, real estate and probate law. Powell has been a member of the Utah House of Representatives representing District 54 (Heber, Midway, parts of Park City and surrounding areas) since 2009. He is currently an adjunct faculty member of the Utah Valley University Department of Political Science, where he teaches courses on government, business law and history. He received his Bachelor of Arts in political science and english from Willamette University, holds a M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the Woodrow Wilson School of Government at the University of Virginia, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Powell also spent time as a law clerk to Chief Justice James D. Heiple of the Illinois Supreme Court.

“I have a firm conviction of the beneficial role that courts play in our system of government,” Powell said. “I am eager to do my part in upholding the rule of law as a district court judge, and am honored that Gov. Herbert has afforded me this opportunity.”

“Kraig’s impressive academic background, together with his careful and thoughtful approach to the law, makes him well suited to become a district court judge,” Gov. Herbert said. “His respect for the process, unique appreciation for the role of each branch of government, and thoughtful demeanor will provide him exceptional foresight in this new role.”

Subject to confirmation by the Utah Senate, Robert Lunnen will fill the vacancy created by the appointment of Judge David N. Mortensen to the Utah Court of Appeals, Anthony Howell will fill the position of Judge Fred D. Howard upon his retirement on December 1, 2016, and Kraig Powell will fill the position of Judge Claudia Laycock upon her retirement at the end of this year.