Gov. Spencer J. Cox appoints Blaine Rawson to serve as Second District Court judge

Gov. Spencer J. Cox has nominated Blaine Rawson as a judge in the Second District Court. This is a position created by the retirement of Judge David R. Hamilton. The governor’s nominations are subject to confirmation by the Utah Senate. 

“Blaine Rawson brings a wealth of experience and is highly regarded by his peers in the legal community,” Gov. Cox said. “We’re pleased that he’s ready and willing to serve the people of Utah in this new way.”

Rawson has been practicing commercial litigation, environmental, and natural resources law since 1995 at various local and regional firms, including Fabian VanCott, Holme Roberts & Owen, and Ray, Quinney & Nebeker. He developed an expertise in litigating environmental cases, including Clean Air Act, CERCLA, RCRA, FIFRA, and Clean Water Act litigation, as well as related state issues such as groundwater, underground storage tanks, and state air quality law. 

Rawson has represented energy and natural resource companies in matters related to the federal and state permitting of, and litigation and enforcement actions related to, crude oil and natural gas pipelines, coal-fired power plants, syn-fuel facilities (including bio-gas and tar sands), hard-rock mines and natural gas processing facilities. He also has practiced in many areas of commercial litigation in both federal and state courts related to Indian Law, leaking underground storage tanks, electrical generation, regulated utilities, oil and gas production, transportation, refining, mineral development, and other commercial enterprises. Rawson has published articles regarding Clean Air Act issues, underground storage tank regulation, water rights, “deference” to agency decision-making, injunctive relief in environmental cases, and the “overfilling” authority of the EPA.

“I am grateful and humbled to be appointed by Gov. Cox as a Second District Court judge,” Rawson said. “I appreciate the important duties and responsibilities inherent in this judicial appointment and, if confirmed, will work diligently to apply the law impartially, fairly and faithfully in fulfillment of those duties and responsibilities.”

Rawson has been recognized in Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America©,  Mountain States Super Lawyers, and Utah’s “Legal Elite” for his expertise in environmental litigation.  The Utah State Bar’s Energy, Natural Resources, and Environmental Law Section recognized him as the Section’s “Lawyer of the Year” in 2017. He graduated Order of the Coif from the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah and earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah and an associate’s degree from Ricks College.