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70 Years of Admission: Admitted in 1952
Leonard H. Bielenberg
Leonard H. (Len) Bielenberg of Moscow graduated from the University of Idaho with a business, and then law degree. Upon receiving his law degree in 1952, he was appointed Assistant Attorney General by Robert E. Smylie, who was a great mentor. After two and a half years in this position, he returned to his roots at the invitation of Tom Felton where he held private practice for nearly 50 years. Bielenberg practiced various types of law, later focusing on estate planning, trusts, probate, and real estate. He served three terms as Prosecuting Attorney of Latah County and from time to time was a lecturer of various courses at University of Idaho School of Law.
Bielenberg served as a member of the Selective SVC Civilian Review Board, and was President of several community service organizations, including Lions Club, Jaycees, and Knights of Columbus, among others. Early in his practice and thereafter Len was rated AV in Martindale-Hubbell.
Len and his wife, Fern, of 69 years have 4 children, Terry, Anne, Paul, and Mary, 2 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren. In their younger years, they motorcycled many of Idaho’s backroads and enjoyed camping, water and snow skiing as well as spending many years as snowbirds in Green Valley, AZ. Len continues to be active in the Moscow Lions Club and Friendly Neighbors senior club and will be celebrating 95 years in July!
Reginald R. Reeves
Lieutenant Colonel Reginald Reeves enlisted in the Army in August 1945 at the age of 17. He graduated from the University of Idaho college of Law in 1952. Honored with the Nathan Burkham Memorial Competition award in 1954, his military awards include National Defense Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Commander’s Award for Public Service and Outstanding Civilian Service Medal. In 1968 Reginald was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and retired from the Army. He is revered for his pro bono work with veterans and efforts to assist local and international soup kitchens and charities. He is most proud of developing a local, national, and international program to build computer schools and a free dental clinic in Guatemala and supplying millions of dollars’ worth of medical supplies and equipment to Vietnam, Haiti, Ghana and the Virgin Islands. Reginald is the recipient of the Idaho State Bar Service Award in 2012, an honoree of the University of Idaho Alumni Hall of Fame and recipient of the Governor’s Brightest Star Award for Public Service. He currently is involved in many social service activities and continues to practice family law in Idaho Falls. He and his wife Donna operate the Sun Valley Charitable Foundation.
Wilber L. Rowberry
Bill took the suggestion and urging of his father and made the decision to apply to law school. He graduated from the University of Idaho and with the recommendation from Professor George Bell, went to work for 37 years with the US Atomic Energy Commission which became the Department of Energy. Bill took two cases to the US Supreme Court which took considerable time and effort. He cites his greatest personal accomplishment as raising his two sons with wife Jeanene. He suggests new attorneys “identify the area of law you enjoy the most. Try to obtain a mentor in that field of the law and work diligently to become one of the best attorneys in your chosen field.” Since his retirement in 2012, Bill enjoys tennis, fly fishing and travel.
Fred A. Schwartz
Fred Schwartz is a graduate of the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. He and his wife Gwynne life in Sacramento, California.
Jay H. Stout
Jay Stout is a graduate of the University of Idaho College of Law. He lives in Encinitas, California.
65 Year Attorneys: Admitted in 1957
John R. Coleman
John was born in 1933 in Rexburg, Idaho and attended University of Idaho College of Law during which he was also working at First Security Bank. Coleman’s first job in the field of law was as an associate in the firm of Parry, Robertson & Jacobson in Twin Falls, Idaho in 1957. He then became partner of the firm in 1960 and continued working there into it divided in 1979. The three senior active partners at the time formed a new partnership Larson, McIntrye & Coleman.
During his 46 years of practice, he represented banks, canal companies, irrigation districts, general contractors, farmers, ranchers, doctors, accountants and many individuals who have become dear friends. He also represented First Federal Savings Bank from 1958 until retirement.
In 1964 John was appointed by Governor Smylie to be one of five members of the Board of Trustees for the new College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls and served on the board until 1980. John was instrumental in the construction of what is now a beautiful and wonderful college. In 1982 he was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme court while being sponsored by Senator James McClure. He is very proud of his 65 years spent as an Idaho Attorney.
After retirement in 2004 John and his late wife Marjory served a full time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He served in the Boise LDS Temple until 2008 and since has served in the Twin Falls Temple. Currently John is farming, ranching, and raising beef cattle to occupy his time. He served for 10 years as a 4-H leader of youth with livestock projects.
John’s oldest daughter, Sue, was born 16 days before he entered law school, followed by his second daughter, Kathleen, the day after his last final of law school. In the time after they moved to Twin Falls, John and his wife had three more children John A., Diane and David A. who has since taken over as a partner of the firm now known as Coleman, Ritchie & Jacobson that John originally started in 1979. John is immensely proud of his family and will always love his wife Marjory of 59 years, 5 months and 19 days who gave him a happy and wonderful marriage.
Wayne P. Fuller
Judge Fuller received his juris doctorate from Stanford University. He always felt that law was a natural fit and was often settling disputes between classmates. He served as District Judge for nine years, spending most of his career practicing general law. Judge Fuller retired in 1995 but is still active as a volunteer attorney for Idaho Legal Aid. He enjoyed the challenges, opportunities and independence of being an attorney. In 1982 Wayne received the ISB Service Award, in 2009 the Pro Bono Award and is a past member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section. He and his wife Margaret have five children and seven grandchildren. His daughter Leslie K. Smith is an attorney practicing in Eagle, Idaho. Judge Fuller enjoys hiking, cross country skiing and spending time with his family in their cabin in the Sawtooth Mountains.
Wallace M. Transtrum
After completing his undergraduate degree in sociology at the Utah State Agricultural College, Judge Transtrum entered the U.S. Air Force flight training program where he worked with members of the Judge Advocates Staff. Upon his discharge after his tour of two years, he decided to pursue a legal career which eventually took him to serve as a Caribou County Prosecuting Attorney, Magistrate Judge and District Judge. He passes on the same advice he was given, “Do your work the very best that you can, and on time. Treat your clients with respect and honesty.” Judge Transtrum enjoys spending time with his family 4 wheeling in the Island Park area, traveling, golf, playing guitar. He and his wife Glenna spend five month of the year in Yuma, Arizona. They have two children, three stepchildren, sixteen grandchildren and thirty (!) great grandchildren.
60 Year Attorneys: Admitted in 1962
Phillip M. Becker
Phil graduated from Gonzaga University School of Law in 1961. After graduation he started off in private practice for several years before transitioning to a Public Defender for Gooding, Camas, Lincoln, and Jerome Counties from 1965-1977. He did a short year stint at a Prosecuting Attorney for Gooding County in 1978 before being appointed Magistrate Judge. Phil was given the position of District Judge for the Fifth Judicial District in 1983. Finally, retirement came in 1996. Well so he thought. Three days after retirement Phil got a call from Chief Justice Robert Bakes. Some sort of emergency had happened, and Chief Justice Bakes was in desperate need of a judge. Phil told him he was retired and no longer on the bench. At this point Chief Justice reminded him of his title and appointed Phil the title “Special Senior Judge”. Phil made himself immediately available to start working that Monday.
Phil is very proud of his time spent as a Tribal Court Judge for Shoshone-Paiute Tribe in Nevada as well as being on the Tribal Court of Appeals. He now enjoys spending time with his wife, Louise and his three wonderful grandchildren Elissa, Camas, and Kenneth. When asked about his life, Phil said it was one full of excitement and fulfillment. “As the carnival people would say – it was a hell of a ride.”
Larry R. Duff
Larry Duff is a graduate of the Williamette University College of Law. Larry and his wife Merry live in Rupert.
J. Dennis Faucher
After high school in Boise and two years in the Marine Corps, Dennis earned his bachelor and law degrees from the University of Idaho. He then stayed at the College of Law for a year as a Visiting Assistant Professor and then practiced in Boise for eight years. In 1971 he left Boise and for the remainder of his career he practiced in Philadelphia, where he still resides.
Among his accomplishments as a lawyer is his pro bono representation of an Alabama death row inmate, and being a lead attorney in representing people who were World War II slave laborers in their litigation against major German companies. He has also been active in supporting the University of Idaho. He is a Jim Lyle Awardee, and is an Emeritus Director of the University of Idaho Foundation and an Emeritus Member of the College of Law Advisory Council. Sigma Chi Fraternity has honored him as a “Significant Sig.”
Dennis was married for 59 years to fellow native Boisean and Vandal Michael Beglan Faucher, until her death in 2019. He has three sons, including Boise lawyer Bob Faucher, and eleven grandchildren. He is proud of having been a member of the Idaho State Bar for 60 years.
Edward G. Johnson
Edward Johnson is a graduate of the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law. He and his wife Janice live in Boise.
Hon. Edward J. Lodge
Judge Edward Lodge is a graduate of the University of Idaho College of Law. Lodge and his wife Patty live in Boise.
Paul D. McCabe
Paul was raised in St. Maries, Idaho where he says was a good place and time to experience the “Wonder Years”. He graduated from University of Idaho College of Law in 1962, later in that same year he passed the bar and was sworn in. He then entered the military after receiving a commission through ROTC. He served for two years as lieutenant in the infantry and then was honorably discharged. After being stationed in Benning, George and then at Fort Ord in California he separated from the military in 1964.
After the military he moved to Coeur d’Alene and have never left. He started his law practice in the office of Wm. Hawkins. He later partnered with David Frazier to open their own firm. Thereafter they separated and Paul was the sole practitioner until he, Sidney Smith and Charles Hosack established an office in Coeur d’Alene. He often did general practice including Court and Jury Trials an appearances before the Idaho Supreme Court and the Idaho Court of Appeals.
In 1987 McCabe took a position as Magistrate Judge in the First Judicial District which he held until his retirement December 31, 1999. Thereafter he worked part time at the same position for an additional six years.
Paul has been married to his wife, Beverly for 59 years. He praises her for being a good sport and putting up with his for all these years. He says he has been blessed with two children, Melinda, and Russell. All four of them graduated from the University of Idaho and are avid Vandal fans. Although he is fully retired Paul has maintained his membership to the Idaho State Bar for the last 60 years. He says it doesn’t seem possible that all this time has gone by.
William F. Ringert
Bill started practicing law in 1962 with a monthly salary of $300. His primary practice areas being Desert Land Entries, agriculture, and water law. He was a part of several large projects including Sailor Creek, Black Mesa and Grindstone Butte. Bill also served on the Bureau of Land Management Board I the 70s as well as six years in the Idaho Senate in the 80s.
Bill moved to Hammett, Idaho in 1996 intending to still make his commute in Boise two or three days a week for work. This plan did not last long. He joined Rotary in 1997 and served on the board and as president in 2001. He was also apart of the Idaho Community Foundation for two years, Board of the Elmore Medical Center for twenty years, and Idaho Hospital Association Board for six years. Admitted into the Idaho Water Users Hall of Fame in 2001.
In 2000 Bill built Cold Springs Winery and planed 33 acres of wine grapes. During that time, he spent six years on Idaho Wine Commission Board. The board also awarded him the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021. The winery was sold in 2020 when Bill moved back to Boise and finally retired.
Bill has been married to his lovely wife, Bing, for 63 years. They have two children John and Beth. Bill has two grandchildren he is very proud of, Billie a student at Oregon State University and AJ a cross country runner at Eagle High School. Bill also has a brother, Gary, who is a retired Air Force Pilot and Vietnam Veteran whose last assignment was flying Air Force One.
Larry D. Ripley
Larry Ripley was determined to leave the small city lifestyle he had come accustomed to growing up in Wardner, Idaho; a small city in the northern Panhandle. He enrolled at the University of Idaho and completed law school in 1962. Afterwhich he joined the Army Reserve as a private on active duty for six months at Ford Ord in California. This is where he made his first appearance as legal representation.
Ripley moved to Idaho for a job as an Assistant Attorney General spending 7 years at the Idaho PUC. He was the only full time utility lawyer in the state of Idaho and remained so for a number of years. After his time there he made an impact at the firms of Elam & Burke, Evans, Koontz and Ripley. In later years of practice he became an in-house regulatory attorney for Idaho Power until retirement from practice in 2003.
The most memorable parts of Larry’s career were the many cordial friends and acquaintance who were executives, judges, attorneys and consumers residing throughout the United States.
In 1968 Larry married his wife Judy and remained married for 54 years. They raised two sons who have each have two children. Larry has enjoyed traveling and exploring the world with his wife.
50 Year Attorneys: Admitted in 1972
Dennis L. Albers
Dennis Albers, U of I Law School graduate, worked for Paul Keeton in Lewiston for the first year after graduation. Then, moving to Grangeville he has practiced there since and is now “mostly retired”. He was Idaho County Prosecuting Attorney for eight years and Depute Prosecutor for seven both before and after his election. He had a general practice but specialized in Real Estate and Municipal work for many towns, serving thirty-five years as Grangeville City Attorney.
He spent 30 years as a member of the Grangeville Border Days Rodeo Committee and was later named Border Days Grand Marshall in 2021.
Albers has two children and three grandsons. His daughter, Kim, is a VA Administrator and is admitted to practice in Idaho and CA. his son is a construction manager. Albers and his wife Margaret have been married for 52 years and have a hobby farm in Grangeville as well as a cabin on the Salmon River. They started a Title Company in 1976. They travel whenever they can which included a cruise for the family of 9 to Venice and Greece.
Stephen F. Bell
Stephen Bell is a graduate of the University of Montana School of Law. He and his wife Karen life in Coeur d’Alene.
Donald L. Burnett
A native of Pocatello, Don received his baccalaureate degree magna cum laude at Harvard, his J.D. degree at the University of Chicago, and his LL.M. (Master of Laws) degree from the University of Virginia. He also graduated on the “Commandant’s List” of the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College. As a reserve officer in the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, Don’s assignments included service as the reserve deputy commandant and academic director of The Judge Advocate General’s School in Charlottesville, Virginia. He received the U.S. Armed Forces Legion of Merit Award and retired as a Colonel.
Don’s civilian career began with service as a law clerk to the Chief Justice of the Idaho Supreme Court, followed by service as an Assistant Attorney General for Idaho. He entered a general private practice in Pocatello; served as a judge of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Court, as executive director of the Idaho Judicial Council, and as a Commissioner of the Idaho State Bar. He ultimately received the Bar’s professionalism and distinguished lawyer awards.
In 1982 he was appointed as one of the original judges of the Idaho Court of Appeals. In 1990 he received a faculty appointment, including a decade of service as the dean, at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, University of Louisville, where he taught criminal procedure, professional responsibility, law and economics, and judicial decision-making. While at Louisville, he co-founded the Kentucky Institute for the Environment and Sustainable Development, and he served as presiding member of the Kentucky Governor’s Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy.
In 1999-2000, while still in Louisville, Don was asked to serve on a University of Idaho Select Committee on Strategic Directions for Idaho Legal Education. In 2002 he returned to his native state to join the faculty and serve as dean at the UI College of Law. He chaired the university’s Ethical Guidance and Oversight Committee, served as the coordinating dean for university-wide interdisciplinary programs, and chaired the university’s Steering Committee on Diversity and Human Rights. He chaired the Professionalism Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. Within the College of Law, he established the 1L orientation professionalism program, and he worked to broaden the curriculum, promote diversity, enhance fundraising, and create a branch location of the College of Law in Boise. In 2013-14 he served as interim president of the University of Idaho; in that capacity he also chaired the Idaho Higher Education Presidents Council.
Upon resuming faculty status at the College of Law in Moscow, Don taught Professional Responsibility along with Civil Procedure & Introduction to Law. He served as the initial program coordinator for the Idaho Law & Justice Learning Center in Boise, a collaborative undertaking of the Idaho Supreme Court and the University of Idaho. He co-founded annual institutes for schoolteachers and journalists, focusing on the rule of law and the work of an independent, impartial judiciary.
In 2016 Don received emeritus status at the University, and in 2018 law faculty bestowed upon him the Sheldon A. Vincenti Award for Exemplary Service. In 2019 the University of Idaho awarded him an honorary Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) degree. In 2022, recognizing Don’s role in fulfilling a vision for statewide public legal education, the largest classroom at the College’s building on Front Street in Boise was named for him. In retirement he remains active in continuing legal, judicial, and civic education.
Don’s wife of 52 years, Karen Trujillo Burnett, is another Pocatello native. A writer, she holds degrees from the University of Chicago, Idaho State University, Boise State University, and the University of Idaho. Don and Karen have two adult sons. Jason, an actuary and funds manager, is the father of two children. David, a professional photographer. Don has one brother, Howard, a lawyer, and partner in the Pocatello office of Hawley Troxell Ennis & Hawley.
Robert A. Bushnell
Robert Bushnell is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Law. Robert lives in Boise.
Steven E. Clayton
Steven Clayton is a graduate of the University of Idaho College of Law. Steven lives in Las Vegas.
Terry E. Coffin
Terry Coffin is a graduate of the University of Idaho College of Law. Terry and his wife Nancy live in McCall.
Darrel R. Ellis
Darrel Ellis isa a graduate of the University of Idaho College of Law. Darrel and his wife Charlene live in Cle Elum, Washington.
William D. Faler
William Faler has over 37 years of experience in representing parties in product liability, commercial law, toxic tort/ environmental law, personal injury and wrongful death and employment law. He has been involved in cases in both the federal court system and several state courts in the Intermountain West. He is admitted to practice in the State of Idaho and before the federal court in the District of Idaho and the United States Circuit Court for the Ninth Circuit. He is a member of the Idaho Bar Association, American Bar Association, Defense Research Institute, American Trial Lawyers Association, Idaho Trial Lawyers Association, and the American Inns of Court. Mr. Faler served for 5 years on Evidence Rules Committee for the Idaho State Bar and played a substantial role in the complete rewriting of those rules. He has lectured on parts of the Rules of Evidence and document control in complex litigation. His interests include fly fishing and photography. He served as a volunteer for the American Cancer Society for 25 years, including a 10 year stint as a representative on the National Board of Directors.
Patrick W. Fanning
Patrick Fanning is a graduate of University of San Francisco School of Law. Patrick and his wife Margaret live in Eagle.
Jay R. Friedly
Jay Friedly graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Law and passed the Nebraska and Idaho Bar Exam in 1972. He then moved to Idaho to work for Perce Hall as a JAG Officer for the United States Air Force in Mountain Home.
He has served as the attorney for the City of Mountain Home, the Mountain Home Highway District, Elmore Medical Center Hospital District, the City of Glenns Ferry, Grand View, and the Mountain Home School District No. 193. He recently scaled down his practice to estate planning, probate and contracts.
Jay enjoys the outdoors and scaling mountains. He has climbed all nine 12,000-foot peaks in Idaho. He has also climbed the highest peaks of the Sawtooth Mountains, White Clouds, Boulder Mountains, Pioneer Range as well as the highest point in Elmore County. When he is not climbing peaks he enjoys sailing, cross country and downhill skiing, biking and scuba diving.
Jay says that one of the most wonderful things he discovered in Idaho was his wife Sandy. They were married in 1988 and raised two children. They now have three grandchildren who continue to amaze and bring joy to their lives.
Michael A. Greene
When asked about his law career, Mike Greene says “I won much, lost few, and learned a lot.”. After graduating from Stanford University, he practice trial and appellate law primarily in California, Idaho and Oregon. His first case was against the Idaho State Bar and the Idaho Supreme Court for failing to admit all out of state graduates except himself.
Greene was the president of the Multnomah Bar Association and founder and chair of the MBA Community Foundation. He was a Circuit Judge Pro Tem and handled over 400 cases pro bono. Being a diabetic, he is very proud of his work as a volunteer for the American Diabetes Association included service as National and Oregon Chair of Diabetes Legal Advocacy and primary Amicus Counsel for the ADA. Community service and pro bono opportunities played a huge role in Mike’s life and law practice.
Mike has earned awards from many organizations, including The Distinguished Trial Lawyer, The Wendell Mayes Jr. Award for outstanding service in the Cause of Diabetes, and the Father of the Year Award. He also published many articles and Oregon publication, including the Journal of the American Medical Association. He was frequently asked to be an expert witness on legal malpractice, ethics, trial practice, an civil rights.
Mike has been married to his wife Alice Radcliff for 48 years year with much joy between them. They had a set of twins as well as an adopted daughter. They have 5 wonderful grandchildren. Mike loves spending time with his family and often reflects of his time teaching his children and grandchildren how to fish for trout.
Quentin F. Harden
Judge Quentin Harden is a graduate of the University of Idaho College of Law. Harden and his wife Katheryn live in Bonners Ferry.
Clinton J. Henderson
Clinton Henderson is a graduate of University of Idaho College of Law. Clinton and his wife Joann live in Moscow.
Terry Hollifield is a graduate of the University of Idaho College of Law. Terry and his wife Carol live in Hansen.
Hon. Charles “Chuck” W. Hosack
Hon. Charles Hosack began his legal career in September 1972 in Boise with Moffatt, Thomas, Barret, and Blanton. The first couple of years, the firm had him pegged for an office practice. His desire to do trial work, combined with an inability to generate billable hours as a transactional attorney, led to a quick transition into trial work. The rest of his legal career was in trial work, first as an attorney in civil litigation, and then as a district judge. He was appointed by Governor Batt to fill a newly created district judge position in the First District, chambered in Coeur d’Alene, and began his judicial career on January 1, 1988, serving three terms and surviving a contested judicial election. Judge Hosack moved to senior status in 2010, until fully retiring as of June 30, 2020.
Judge Hosack mentions the notable career achievements are his admission as an attorney to practice in the state and federal courts in Idaho, including admission to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1978 and to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1995; his appointment to First District Judge position in Kootenai County; and getting reelected to serve two additional terms. While sitting as District Judge, he also held the position of Administrative District Judge for the First Judicial District. Given his dual career as a trial attorney and as a trial judge, he has served as president of the First District John P. Gray Bench Bar Forum. He was a long time members of the Idaho Association of Defense Counsel, and had an insignificant, but highly treasured, membership in the American Trial Lawyers Association.
Robert Korb is a graduate of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.
Donald W. Lojek
Don began his Idaho law practice in 1972 with the now defunct but then prestigious firm of Moffatt, Thomas, Barrett and Blanton for a salary of $10,000. A University of Denver graduate, Don was privileged to work with the firm’s excellent trial attorneys, Dick Fields and Jack Barrett among them — a great education. He brought with him bar review outlines from Colorado. There was then no Idaho bar review course so the Colorado outlines were shared with Craig Storti and Don Burnett who were clerking for the Idaho Supreme Court. The many evening hours of study paid off as all three passed The bar exam when the pass rate was 40%. A grand total of ten lawyers were sworn in that winter.
An insurance defense practice was not comfortable for Don so he set out in another direction becoming University counsel for BSU for approximately 11 years while maintaining an eclectic civil trial and appellate practice. He earned an AV rating from Martindale Hubble and was admitted to the Colorado and Utah bars to accommodate client needs. He is admitted to practice before the US Supreme Court, numerous US District Courts and the Ninth and Tenth Courts of Appeals.
Don is a long time pilot and has now concentrated his practice in aviation matters. He taught Business Law and Aviation Law at BSU one evening per week for about 20 years.
He has lectured at the Stanford Law School and taught a full course in Employment Law at the University of Idaho Law School in Moscow flying himself there each week For a three hour class.
Don’s background includes service as an Army officer where he was Airborne and Ranger qualified, a master’s degree in Latin American Studies, and work as an investigator for the EEOC. He also served in Viet Nam with the US State Department.
Married to Cecelia, Don has three children – one now an Ada County Magistrate – and seven nearly perfect grandchildren with whom he flies, hikes, fishes and camps at every opportunity.
John K. Looze
John Looze is a graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law. John and his wife Donna live in Boise.
John S. McKinney
John McKinney is a graduate of the University of Idaho College of Law. John and his wife Pat live in Salmon.
Wayne V. Meuleman
For more than 40 years, Wayne has focused his practice in construction law, business law, real estate law, and litigation. In 1980, Wayne formed a law firm in Boise, Idaho to meet the specialized needs of the construction and real estate industries which continues today. His experience includes representing clients in matter involving federal, state and local government construction, negotiation of commercial construction contracts, complex real estate transactions, project financing, claims and dispute resolution including dispute review boards, mediation and arbitration, business formation and advise, and extensive experience in complex litigation in state and federal court throughout the western United States, including practice before U.S. Courts of Appeals and the U.S. Court of Federal Claim.
Kenneth L. Pedersen
Ken graduated from the law school in 1972 and joined the firm of Parsons & Smith and was later made a partner in 1973. He is well known for his zealous courtroom advocacy on behalf of his clients. He is proud to have with fine lawyers in Idaho and other states both as partners, associates, co-counsel and adversaries and have appeared before committed dedicated and honest judges and justices. Pedersen represented injured and other aggrieved people most of his career, which he saw as a great privilege. He is proud to be apart of our great judicial system.
He was honored by his peers by receiving the Idaho Trial Lawyers Trial Lawyer of the Year in 2007, the Idaho State Bar Distinguished Lawyer Award and he also served as President of the Idaho Trial Lawyers in 1983-1984 where he also served on the Board of Governors for over 35 years.
Ken has been married to his wife, Trudy, for over 50 years. He admires her sacrifice to quit college to play a major role in raising their 3 children who are now fine adults with families of their own. They know have eight grandchildren.
Michael G. Pierce
Mike Pierce is an Idaho native and graduate of the University of Idaho and Oregon with nearly 50 years of experience in the general practice of law. He is a member in good standing of the Idaho State Bar. Mike and his family have resided in Cascade for over 30 years.
Richard A. Poplack
Rick Poplack graduated law school and passed the Oregon State Bar exam in 1969 after which he became an attorney with the Volunteers in Service to America. As a VISTA attorney, he was assigned to Western Idaho Legal Aid in Caldwell for a little over two years. He later took the Idaho State Bar Exam in 1972 and became staff attorney with the WILA and then Idaho Legal Aid Services.
In 1978 Rick left the legal services position and began working with Internal Revenue Service in Boise as an Estate Tax Attorney. As a tax attorney he primary worked on estate and gift tax as well as spent many years traveling speaking before groups of attorneys, accountants and appraisers explain the IRSs’ current position on a variety of tax issues. He remained in this position until 2007. Before and after retirement Rick was on the board of historic preservation organizations.
Rick has two children as well as two lovely grandchildren.
Paul T. Smith
Paul Smith is a graduate of the California Western School of Law. Paul and his wife Kimberly live in Twin Falls.
William R. Snyder
William is a graduate of the University of Idaho College of Law. William and his Wife Dianne live in Boise.
Hon. Richard T. St. Clair
Richard St. Clair was admitted to the Idaho State Bar in 1972 and then attended the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s school in Charlottesville, Virginia. He completed three years of service in the Army JAGC initially at the Pentagon and then practicing military criminal appellate law before the U.S. Army Court of Military Review and the U.S. Court of Military Appeals in Washington D.C. He then completed a LLM Degree at the George Washington University’s National Law Center in 1975.
From 1976 to 1996 he practiced commercial and personal injury defense law in Idaho Falls, Idaho. 1996-2007 he served as an Idaho District Judge in the 7th Judicial District. From 2007-2022 he served as an Idaho Senior Judge in the 5th, 6th,, and 7th districts.
Richard is the proud father of three terrific children, and is presently married and enjoying retirement in Sun Valley, Idaho and Vero Beach, Florida. He travels frequently to Europe, South American and Africa. He has summited Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Rainier, and Mount Borah. Ken has also finished a Marine Corps Marathon and floated the Kobuk River in northern Idaho.
Donald G. Stone
Donald is a graduate of the University of Idaho College of Law. Donald lives in Spokane, Washington.
Hon. Michael E. Wetherell
Mike was born in Redding, CA. and was admitted to practice law in Idaho in 1972 after studying at George Washington Law School.
Wetherell has spent his career ensuring the rights of people who suffer from epilepsy as well as numerous worker’s compensation cases and modified doctrine of social host liability under Idaho’s Common Law. In one of Johns notable cases, he established that a mother’s epilepsy could not form the basis for a denial of children’s custody. He is most proud of his ten years working for Senator Frank Church in Idaho and Washington D.C. From 1989 to 2022 he was a partner of the firm Hyde, Wetherell, Bray & Haff in Boise until he was made president of Boise City Council. Mike spent 12 years as District Court Judge in the Fourth Judicial District of Idaho until he retired in 2015.
Mike has been the recipient of many awards including Idaho State Bar Association Award for Outstanding Public Service to the Community and the Bar 1981, Who’s Who of Emerging Leaders in America 1988, Epilepsy Foundation of America Outstanding Personal Achievement 1988, and Idaho Trial Lawyers Award for Outstanding Service to the Bar 1989.He has also taught several programs as well as been published many times.
The last couple years Mike has spent time on the Editorial Board of The Idaho Statemen from 2016-2021 as well as the Board of Directors of Opera Idaho from 2016-2020. Mike and his wife have three daughters Kelly, Kristen and Katherine that have given them 14 grandchildren! They are proud of each one of them.
Hon. Darla S. Williamson
Judge Darla Williamson is a graduate of the University of Idaho College of Law. Williamson and her husband Max live in Boise.
Theodore V. Wood
Theodore (Ted) was an active member of the Idaho State Bar from 1972 to 1989. During that time he was a partner at the firm St. Clair, Hiller, Wood and McGrath in Idaho Falls. During those years he was a trial lawyer specializing in both plaintiff and defense work in the areas of personal injury, property damage and product liability. From 1982 to 1983 he was president of the 7th Judicial District Bar Association.
In 1989 he was selected as District Judge for the 7th Judicial District. During this time he served on the Idaho Rules of Civil Procedure Committee. In July 2000 he retired from the position of District Judge.
Since retirement he been active in scenic and wildlife photography, golf, backpacking in the Teton Range in Idaho and Wyoming and travel. Most recently he traveled to Antarctica and Iran.
For the past 20 years he has been married to his wife Eileen. They enjoy spending their winters in Rarotongo, Cook Islands. Together they have a blended family of 6 children, 12 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.
Published August 2022
The individuals selected for this years’ Service Awards include attorneys and non-attorneys alike who have committed their time and expertise to the service of the legal profession. Whether it is serving in leadership or in a more intimate setting, these individuals are dedicated to the betterment of the profession. In addition to providing biographical information, the recipients were asked to answer the following two questions:
First, why is serving your community, personally or professionally, a priority to you?
And, what advice would you give your younger self as you entered your law practice or began your career?
Kimmer W. Callahan – Coeur d’Alene
Why Service: “In my career, and personal life, I have had the benefit of those who have gone before me, who have chosen to give and serve, willing to invest time and effort in helping me along the way. It is an honor to be able to do the same for others. The Idaho Bar that I joined years ago felt more like the joining of a fraternal order than of a group of advocates or competitors. It is my hope and desire that I have and will do my part to continue that legacy.”
Advice: ”Advice I wish I had received and followed was, get involved in the legal community, serve, and get to know your fellow attorneys outside of the courthouse. If we respect each other as people first, it will be easier to respect each other as advocates of clients. Advice I was given and have tried to follow: Look in the mirror every day and make sure that you are okay with the person/professional you are becoming.”
Kimmer Callahan graduated from Gonzaga University School of Law in 1995, and received his LL.M. (Taxation) from the University of Denver in 1996. He was admitted to the Idaho State Bar in 1995. After a few years of practicing as an associate attorney in the areas of income tax, and then estate planning, Kimmer opened his own firm, Callahan & Associates, Chtd., in Coeur d’Alene. His practice has primarily focused on the areas of estate planning, probate, and elder law. He received his Estate Planning Law Specialist designation in 2014 and was established as a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) in 2019. He has been an active member in a variety of leadership roles in the Idaho State Bar’s Taxation, Probate & Trust Law Section.
Catherine A. Freeman – Boise
Why Service: “I love being a lawyer and I consider it a privilege to practice in our community. Because of this, I want to do whatever I can to improve the legal system for my fellow Bar members and for other individuals involved in Idaho’s legal system.”
Advice: “Keep showing up and being prepared. This will get you father than you’d guess.”
Catie Freeman is a trial lawyer with Gjording Fouser, representing businesses, public entities, and professionals in complex business, employment, and insurance defense litigation. Catie is the current Secretary of the Idaho State Bar’s Professionalism & Ethics Section and the current chairperson of the Section’s Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Committee. Catie is also a member of Idaho Women Lawyers and American Inns of Court No. 130.
Tracy W. Gorman – Idaho Falls
Why Service: “Serving on the character and fitness committee and the magistrate commission has taught me so much about the professional process. I know that I am a better practitioner because of it.”
Advice: “You do not have to take every case that comes through the door, and you should not if you do not believe in the client’s goal.”
Tracy Gorman is from Seattle, Washington. She started out in the Army Nurse Corps and after leaving active duty, attended law school at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. She relocated to Idaho Falls in 2002 with her family. Tracy took the Idaho Bar Exam in 2007 and began practicing family law – in her mid-forties. Being in a small community like Idaho Falls has given her so many opportunities – personally managing her caseload, taking cases to trial, and sometimes even the Idaho Supreme Court. She is grateful for the career that he has had and for practicing in an area where members of the bench and bar actually seem to like each other.
Jennifer A. Hearne – Boise
Why Service: “I have realized SO many great benefits from serving my community. Perhaps, the most rewarding aspect has been the satisfaction that comes from helping people. There is a special type of intrinsic compensation that comes from assisting someone who would not otherwise have access to an attorney. I’ve also discovered a number of practical benefits to volunteer service. For example, grading bar exams or serving as an office with the Fourth District Bar Association is much more fun than spending a bunch of money on law firm advertising. Volunteer service has been instrumental to establishing an incredible network of likeminded attorneys. We regularly consult one another and share referrals, something not always easy to do as an attorney in solo practice. Whether intrinsic or practical, the benefits I’ve received from serving my legal community are invaluable to my law practice and to my personal sense of self-worth.”
Advice: ”Hello Young Jen – Please don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are many, smart attorneys out there who are willing to lend a hand. As you gain experience, you will have the opportunity to give back by helping others!”
Jennifer Hearne is a lifelong Idahoan and the principal of Hearne Law, PLLC where she practices employment law. Jennifer’s legal clients include small business owners with a desire to become or maintain their status as an employer of choice, and individuals with an employment-related conflict. Jennifer attended Boise State University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration. Fifteen years later, she was admitted to the University of Idaho College of Law where she earned recognition as a Dean’s list scholar and served as the Senior Blue Book editor for “the Crit,” the law school’s critical legal studies journal. After graduating from law school in 2011, Jennifer spent six years as In-House Counsel and Director of Human Resources for a private post-secondary college before taking an Associate position with a law firm in Boise. In 2017, Jennifer opened Hearne Law, PLLC, allowing her the opportunity to focus her practice on employment law matters.
Jennifer is an active member of the Employment & Labor Law and Business & Corporate Law Sections of the Idaho State Bar. She currently serves as Vice President for the Fourth District Bar Association and the Treasurer for Idaho Women Lawyers. Jennifer is also a member of National Ski Patrol and has been a volunteer for Bogus Basin for the past nine years. Jennifer is the proud mother of two amazing sons. Together, they enjoy boating, skiing, hiking, cooking, and laughing at every opportunity.
Jolene C. Maloney – Boise
Why Service: “As attorneys we work in what is often a high stress and high stakes environment. Our clients, many of them in crisis, are under tremendous pressure. I believe these challenging and difficult realities are better managed, and better outcomes achieved, when we as professionals support and assist each other when opportunities present themselves. Support may manifest itself in many ways: simple encouragement, checking in which each other, addressing mental health, addiction and trauma, or being brave enough to be vulnerable to share our personal struggles so our colleagues feel connected in this community. Service to our legal community is important to me because I am the beneficiary of such professional kindness and grace. I have experienced its life changing impact. I must thank Bill Wellman, Anthony Geddes, the criminal defense bar, and certain members of the judiciary for their professional support and encouragement in my times of need.”
Advice: “Practicing law as a criminal defense attorney is an intense and demanding career. The circumstances and cases we deal with matter a great deal to those affected. Doing this work demands significant attention and commitment. While we invest ourselves in our cases and clients, we must not lose ourselves in them. We must remind ourselves that our disagreements are not personal but professional. We should work hard to cultivate cordiality and respect. Recognize the good work of your colleagues. Take the time to celebrate their triumphs with them and offer encouragement at times of disappointment. The professional community that you develop will likely have an impact on how satisfied you are in your career. Managing professional stress appropriately will give you the space to be present for your children, spouse, and friends.”
Jolene Maloney graduated from the University of Idaho College of Law and was admitted to the Idaho State Bar in 2004. She has spent her career in the area of criminal law. She has a private practice in Boise, Idaho and her primary practice is working with indigent clients throughout the Treasure Valley.
Sherry Montosa (NL) – Boise
Why Service: “I worked with esteemed attorney Merlyn Clark, for 32 years and he set a fine example of giving back to the community as well as having the highest legal standards. He taught me the standards of professional conduct and I believe it is extremely important to see that our legal community meets the highest standards. I enjoy serving on the Professional Conduct Board to help the Bar assure that those standards are met.”
Advice: “I grew up in Boise and my younger self did not have the experience to realize that women could have a career other than housewife, teacher, nurse, or secretary. I would tell my younger self to dare to do other than the conventional. I was not exposed to the legal profession until I had embarked on my working career, knowing what I know now, I would have enjoyed pursuing a career as an attorney.”
Sherry Montosa attended Boise High School and after gradation in 1966 moved to Moscow, Idaho where she worked in the Physics Department and was secretary to eight professors and 15 graduate students – all with no computer. Her work was done on an electric typewriting with carbon paper. Sherry was excited when she got her first IBM with correction tape! She worked in the Alumni Office at the University of Idaho, then at Boise Cascade, for the Adams County Prosecutor, and then for Merlyn Clark at Hawley Troxell for 32 years. Sherry retired in 2017, was accepted to serve on the Professional Conduct Board, and has served since retirement.
Jamie C. Shropshire – Boise
Why Service: “I learned early in life from my mother the importance of sharing your resources and time with the community and your profession. She was always my best example. For many years, she operated a care house for her church that supplied food and clothing for free. She taught my brothers and me that giving to others brings joy to the giver and the receiver. As a government attorney for most of my practice, I had to find ways to volunteer for the Idaho State Bar. I chose grading and writing bar exams and volunteering on the Lawyer Assistance Program Committee. Both have been very rewarding. I was also honored to serve for 12 years on the Domestic Violence and Victims Assistance Council and was an initial member of the Juvenile Corrections Custody Review Board. As the daughter of a WWII Army Air Corps pilot and the surviving spouse of an Air Force veteran, I especially enjoy volunteering with veteran’s organizations and projects. One of which was the Wills Clincs sponsored by the Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program and the Idaho Military Legal Alliance. While in Lewiston, I worked with veterans, veteran’s organizations, and the Courts in the Veterans’ Treatment Court where it was rewarding to see men and women who had honorably served this country overcome serious setbacks.”
Advice: “Do what you love and don’t’ worry about a paycheck. As attorneys, we spend too many hours at the office and too often bring work home. Learn to take care of yourself. The profession is stressful enough if you don’t enjoy your work. It affects your family and friends when you suffer from stress and anxiety. You will live longer and happier if you care about your health. As a new attorney, find someone who you can talk to about the areas of your practice with which you may be less familiar.”
Jamie Shropshire is a native Idahoan, born in Boise and raised in Nampa. She graduated from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon and majored in biology with an emphasis on genetics. She then graduated from Santa Clara University Law School in 1983 and was admitted to the California State Bar that same year. She was later admitted to the Idaho State Bar in 1988. Jamie retired in 2015 and is now an Emeritus attorney. She lives with her four-legged only child, Allie, who brings her great joy and keeps her looking ahead. Jamie loves having time for photography and writing.
T. Matthew Stoppello – Boise
Why Service: “I am an Idaho native who grew up in Eagle, Idaho with my parents and younger sister. I was given the opportunity from them to thrive growing up with a very active outdoor lifestyle. My parents always encouraged me, our surrounding neighbors, and friends to enjoy life and pursue every opportunity we could. Whether it be sports, academics, agriculture, or anything in between. I love this state, the community, and opportunities it holds for anyone who is willing to work for it. It has been a really tough couple of years for everyone, but this community has resilience and I am lucky to be a part of this community going forward.”
Advice: “The advice I would give myself would be to just ‘slow down.’ There are really good members of the Bar and this community that are mentors and people that are willing to sacrifice their time and energy helping you be successful. Listen to them and learn. I was very lucky as my career started as an Ada County Deputy Prosecutor under Greg Bower. From day one, I was provided with the hands on training, assistance in learning, and opportunities to grow.”
After Matt graduated from high school he joined the United States Marine Corps. His dad, both of his uncles, and his grandfathers has served honorably in the military prior to his enlisting. After he returned to civilian life, he went to school to complete his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Upon completion he attended the University of Idaho College of Law and graduated in December of 2000. Upon graduation he joined the Ada County Prosecutor in the criminal division as a Deputy Prosecutor. He spent approximately four years with Ada County before he joined his dad’s firm for another four years. In 2008, Matt started his own firm which he currently owns and operates with wonderful colleagues and staff that he couldn’t do without.
Traci J. Whelan – Coeur d’Alene
Why Service: “It is important for each of us to be invested in rooting for and supporting the success of others. We succeed or fail as a group. I think we can see that in the current affairs in our nation. We lose our humanity when we refuse to serve those we don’t know or don’t agree with. This has not brought our society success but rather we can see the destruction and division. That is why serving each other is important.”
Advice: “I would assure my younger self that we picked the right career. Although there is a lot of exposure to the heartbreaking actions of our fellow human beings, there is also a lot of exposure to redemption and success.”
Traci J. Whelan is an Assistant United States Attorney and the Branch Manager of the Coeur d’Alene Branch of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho. She graduated from the University of Nebraska Law College in 1991 and was admitted to the Idaho State Bar in September of that year. Traci joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1998 after seven years as a Deputy County Prosecutor in Idaho. She has served as the tribal liaison for the Coeur d’Alene, Kootenai, and Nez Perce tribes for 23 years. Traci has received the U.S. Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement and commendations from the Director of the F.B.I. She is a member of the Idaho State Bar Professional Conduct Board. Traci’s commitment to public service is based upon a belief that we have an obligation to treat people fairly and with respect.
Published August 2022
The late Denise O’Donnell Day, and namesake of this award, was a titan of pro bono service to underrepresented Idahoans. Her legacy of service, dedication to her community, and overall standard of professionalism in practice are pillars for any member of the Idaho State Bar to aspire to. Each year, we honor Denise’s legacy by awarding attorneys in each judicial district with the Denise O’Donnell Day Pro Bono Award, recognizing their admirable decisions to prioritize pro bono service in their practices. In addition to providing biographical information, this years’ recipients were asked the following two questions:
First, why is pro bono work important to you?
And, what advice would you give your younger self as you entered your law practice or began your career?
Mariah R. Dunham – First District
Why Pro Bono: “In addition to being imperative to the functioning of our system of justice, if given freely and without expectations, pro bono work allows the attorney a real sense of commitment to the practice of law and community.”
Advice: “Accept pro bono cases willingly, without regret or expectation, when you are able to both personally and professionally. It will be one of the most rewarding things you do.”
Mariah was born and raised in Benewah County. She received her B.S. at the University of Idaho in 2002 and graduated law school from Gonzaga University in 2005. She was admitted to the Idaho State Bar, U.S. District Court – District of Idaho, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005. She has been practicing with the firm of Dunham & Wolff, P.A. (formerly Morris & Wolff, P.A.) located in St. Maries, Idaho since 2010. In addition to her private practice, Mariah also serves as the Benewah County Prosecutor, having been appointed to the position in December 2021. When not working, Mariah enjoys spending time with her family, including her husband, Larry, and son, Aiden.
Jennifer S. Franz – Second District
Why Pro Bono: “Everyone should have access to quality, affordable legal services.”
Advice: “Enjoy! You are still your younger self!”
Jennifer graduated from the University of Idaho College of Law in December of 2019. She was admitted to the Idaho State Bar in the Spring of 2020. She is committed to public service and is grateful for the Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program’s organization and efficiency in helping her to provide pro bono services for all Idahoans.
George Bevan – Third District
Why Pro Bono: “There are so many Americans who are struggling to get by – food, housing, transportation costs to and from their job site, especially day labor jobs that oftentimes pay minimum wage. So when they encounter an issue or situation in their life, often not of their own doing, where attorney services could easily resolve the situation, they simply don’t have the means to obtain professional help. They just give up, figuring there is no affordable alternative. My believe is that pro bono legal services – a life line to those in that situation – are life altering in so many ways. Not only will the client experience a deep sense of relief and motivation to go forward with their everyday life and challenges, the pro bono attorney will be rewarded, knowing that his/her assistance made a positive, impactful difference in the client’s life. There is no better feeling than that.”
Advice: “To be aware of those who are less fortunate, and to be willing to set aside time to step up and make the necessary commitment to assist in a meaningful way and make a difference in others’ lives.”
George Bevan graduated from Stanford University in 1969 with a bachelor’s of art in economics. He served for three years in the U.S. Marines from 1969 to 1972 as an infantry platoon commander, including combat service in Vietnam followed by a post of duty training Marine recruits in San Diego, California. He then graduated from the University of San Diego with a J.D. in 1975. Thereafter, George graduated from the Georgetown Law Center with an LLM in taxation in 1977. He was employed as a tax attorney for the Internal Revenue Service from 1975 to 1982 and then worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California. He retired in January 2008 with 35 years of government service.
Tricia J. Daigle – Fourth District
Why Pro Bono: “I had the great good fortune to be born of two of the best parents in the world. When you come from that background there is the tendency to believe everyone else is equally blessed. Then you get out in the world and realize that isn’t necessarily the case. My parents believed in the idea of service, and they modeled that practice for their four children. […] I believe in the dignity of others, no matter their financial circumstances. I don’t vet human beings – I care for people. As a result, a significant portion of my practice is dedicated to pro bono work. I do because I can. My greatest joy is knowing that I make a real and valuable difference in the lives of others and my aspiration is to continue to be able to fortify my own corner of the world. It’s the way I can pay tribute to my mother and father.”
Advice: “Be gentle with yourself and others. Be involved in your community. Be grateful for the advice and wisdom of others but be true to your own ideas and values.”
Tricia Daigle graduated from the University of Idaho College of Law in 2014. Prior to law school, she graduated from St. John’s College with a master’s degree in the Classics, and from Boise State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science. Before becoming an attorney, Tricia lived overseas and lectured at the university level and owned and operated a trading cooperative. Before that, she helped to establish a charter school for the study of technology and the classics.
Sarah J. Clemens – Fourth District
Why Pro Bono: “I think we all recognize that concepts like ‘access to justice’ are important in society, but to come anywhere close to reaching that requires a commitment from those of us who can do more. Pro bono work is important to me because I know that, for such a small commitment of my time, I can help someone attain that access. Even if I can only help one person, the advice and the time that I give them could have a tremendous effect on their life – maybe they aren’t evicted, or they keep custody of their child. The pro bono cases I have worked on have been some of the most rewarding experiences I have had.”
Advice: “Remember your why. On my first day of orientation at law school, a professor told our incoming class that we would face struggles throughout the next three years, and it was important for us to remember why we were there, why we wanted to be attorneys. Though none of us could have anticipated then how much we would all go through, remembering why we were there, why we get up each morning, what we were striving to achieve, and who we were aiming to be a voice for, helped keep me grounded and inspired.”
Sarah Clemens attended Concordia University School of Law for her first two years, and graduated from the University of Idaho College of Law. She was admitted to the Idaho State Bar in 2021. She is a law clerk to Chief Justice G. Richard Bevan at the Idaho Supreme Court. She also serves on the board to the Idaho State Bar’s Appellate Practice Section and Young Lawyers Section.
Kris J. Ormseth – Fourth District
Why Pro Bono: “I have been very fortunate in my life and pro bono service is a way to help others who have been less fortunate.”
Advice: “Be involved in the community, be respectful of others, and have confidence in yourself.”
Kris Ormseth graduated from law school at U.C. Berkeley in 1991 and was admitted to the Idaho State Bar in 1992. He started at Stoel Rives in their corporate law department in 1993 and has remained there ever since.
Alex S. Grande – Fourth District
Note: Alex was traveling out of the country at the time of publication and was unable to provide answers to these questions.
Alex Grande is an associate in the Boise office of Holland & Hart practicing in a range of complex employment and commercial disputes. She graduated from the University of Idaho College of Law cum laude in 2014. During law school, Alex was the Chief Symposium Editor the Idaho Law Review, a member of the D. Craig Lewis Trial Team, and has since received the University of Idaho Alumni Excellence Award. Prior to law school, Alex received a B.A. from the College of Idaho, graduating magna cum laude in 2011. Alex’s career has include practicing employment litigation, human resources counseling, compliance, and risk management, unfair competition, and commercial litigation. She dedicated over 200 hours of pro bono service in 2020 and continues to make pro bono service a top priority.
Paul N.J. Ross – Fifth District
Why Pro Bono: “The majority of my pro bono work is for elderly clients. It is a privilege to return the favor and feel like I am serving them.”
Advice: “Get a clerkship. It will give a peek behind the curtain of how a court or firm works. I didn’t have that privilege and appreciate the advantage it gave to others.”
Paul Ross blossomed in the Magic Valley, served in England and Wales, and graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelors in Law & Constitutional Studies. He worked in press relations, mortgage underwriting, and theater management in Washington D.C.; Richmond, Virginia; and Branson, Missouri. He received his Juris Doctor at Oklahoma City University. Paul gained bankruptcy in the three districts of Oklahoma and Northern Texas. He gained admission into the Idaho State and Federal Courts and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2011. He opened a solo firm which operates Idaho Bankruptcy Law. His main areas of focus are bankruptcy, criminal, municipal, probate, and guardianship/conservatorship law. Paul is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. Paul seeks anthropological spelunking, enjoys historical research and writing, aids habitat renovation and reconstruction, drives classic American automobiles, contemplates religious studies, and expends excessive time at his law practice and insufficient time with his beautiful wife and four children.
Craig W. Parrish – Sixth District
Why Pro Bono: “An opportunity to use my professional skills to benefit others.”
Advice: “Be more patient, listen more, ask more questions.”
Craig Parrish graduated from Highland High School in 1983 and immediately began attending Idaho State University. He put college on pause to serve his LDS Mission in Peru from 1984 to 1986 and upon his return transferred to Brigham Young University, from which he graduated with his undergraduate degree in 1990. Craig then went on to law school, graduating from the University of Idaho College of Law in 1993. He clerked for the Honorable J. Woodland in 1994 and then moved to solo practice, which he has maintained ever since. His focus is on juvenile law, private criminal and conflict public defense, small businesses, family law, guardianship, estates, and probate.
Leland K. Faux – Seventh District
Why Pro Bono: “I like representing people who genuinely need pro bono assistance because the cases are typically more meaningful than just disputes over money. There are instances where you can help families avoid homelessness or fight against systemic abuse. And if you pick the right cases you can make money doing it.”
Advice: “Find joy in the journey, practice being optimistic, and don’t be too much of a hermit (not that I would follow it).”
Leland Faux attended law school at Brigham Young University and graduated in December of 2010. He was admitted to the Nevada Bar in 2011, where he practiced insurance defense in the niche area of public works and consumer protection bonds. Leland moved to Idaho in 2016 for a change of pace and was admitted to the Idaho State Bar in 2017. He then began a solo practice focused on consumer rights cases such as auto fraud, debt collection abuse, and tenant rights. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he began receiving more and more calls regarding housing matters. He noted, many of the stories were very disheartening. In February of 2022, Leland sold his practice and joined Idaho Legal Aid where he currently focuses exclusively on housing matters under a federal grant.
Published August 2022
This year’s Professionalism Award recipients have devoted their careers to the practice of law in a way that upholds the highest standards of civility and professionalism. Each of these individuals embodies a reputation of mutual respect and camaraderie with their colleagues. In addition to submitting biographical information, each recipient was asked to respond to the following questions:
First, what ideals or values do you let guide your professional life?
And, what advice would you give your younger self as you entered your law practice or began your career?
Fonda L. Jovick – First District, Priest River
Values: “Grace and patience must come before short-sided and short-tempered both in our personal interactions and in our written word. We all view the world through the lends of our own past experiences. Every person that we as legal professionals interact with is viewing us and their experience with us through their own lens and filter. When we learn to look through other people’s filter and lens, we can see a whole new world.”
Advice: “Relax! You are smart enough, you are wise enough, and you can work harder than anyone. So, take a breath and enjoy the privilege of doing this work. Be aware, this profession can be rewarding and aggravating all at the same time. But, the ability to spend each day helping others through scary and difficult life experiences is a meaningful way to spend your days.”
Fonda Jovick graduated from Gonzaga School of Law in 2004. She became a member of the Idaho State Bar later that year and then the Washington State Bar in 2009. After working in the world of Family Law for a couple of years while she was an associate attorney, she felt ill equipped to deal with the vast array of personality issues, addiction, and parenting dynamics, so Fonda obtained a Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology in 2013 from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Fonda recalls it being a challenge to practice full time, be a mom, and work on nights and weekend to complete the program. But, she says, with the help of an amazing support system, she is thankful that she persevered. Fonda has practiced in many areas of the law over the years, often being kindly referred to as a “utility infielder.” After almost 20 years in the legal industry, Fonda has narrowed her focus to Estate Planning, Probate and Trust work as well as representing municipalities and governmental entities in addition to maintaining a mediation practice. Fonda has only worked in two law firms since she began her career; Paine Hamblen, PLLP from May 2003 to December 2014 and Lake City Law since January 2015, where she was a founding member and partner.
Joseph A. Wright – Second District, Grangeville
Values: “We have an outstanding group of attorneys, judges, and court staff in the Idaho Second Judicial District which makes it easy to keep things courteous and professional. On the rare occasion that I do have to deal with a ‘difficult’ opposing counsel, I stay focused on their message and don’t get too concerned about the manner of its delivery. I always carefully listen to and consider the viewpoints of the opposition – even if I think they are wrong, a judge may think they are right about some things.”
Advice: “It took me awhile to figure out that the best solution to a legal problem isn’t always found in law books. Understanding the human factors involved is often more important to resolving a legal dispute than anything.”
Joseph Wright and his wife, Leslie, currently live in Grangeville. They have three adult children, Halley, Brennan, and Cooper, and two amazing young grandsons, Oliver and Cameron. Brennan and Cooper are both also attorneys and work with Joseph has his associates at Wright Law Group in Grangeville. Their daughter, Halley, lives and works in Long Beach, California. Joseph received his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from the University of Idaho in 1984. He worked as a process engineer for a silicon wafer manufacturer in Vancouver, Washington for a few years before returning to Idaho to attend law school in 1988. Joseph attended law school at the University of Idaho College of Law in Moscow and graduated magna cum laude in 1991. After graduation, Joseph started working as an associate with Randall, Blake & Cox in Lewiston in 1991. He and Leslie moved to Grangeville in 1997 when he took a job as deputy prosecutor for Idaho County. Joseph also established his local private practice in Grangeville at that time. Around 2005, he started working as an associate for Olds & Associates handling product liability defense cases in the U.S. and Canda for a major ATV/snowmobile manufacturer while also continuing his local law practice part-time. He went to full time local law practice around 2012. Brennan and Cooper both joined the firm as associates upon their graduation from law school.
Robert P. Tilley – Third District, Nampa
Values: “It seems trite to claim that the golden rule is the value that guides your life. But I can’t think of a more important idea than to treat everyone with dignity and respect.”
Advice: “As a lawyer, especially in the areas you will practice, you will represent people experiencing some of the worst moments of their lives. Many at the end of their rope. Always keep that in mind when you work with them. Keep your eyes open and be wise, but also, always, be empathetic.”
Robert Tilley has lived in nearly every corner of this great State – Harrison in the North, Henry’s Lake in the East, Wendell, Hazelton, and Twin Falls in The South, and finally Boise with his office in Nampa. After receiving his B.A. and M.A at Boise State University, Robert was an Upward Bound teacher at both Nampa and Skyview High Schools. He then went on to the University of New Mexico School of Law for his J.D. There, he was Managing Editor of the U.S.-Mexico Law Journal. Returning to Boise after law school, Robert was admitted to the Idaho State Bar in 2002. He then briefly worked at Charlie Herrington’s immigration firm before becoming an Associate at Wiebe & Fouser in Caldwell, where he learned to be a true advocate for his clients. In 2006 he began his criminal defense and family law practice in Nampa. Along with him on this ride is his wonderful wife and son and daughter, now in college.
Sandra L. Clapp – Fourth District, Boise
Values: “Strongly advocate and protect the position and interests of the client while being respectful to everyone involved. Write all words as if the letter or message will be on public display. Be a mentor to other attorneys or support staff because the goal is to provide the best legal services and better the legal environment as a whole. The practice of law is difficult, but cooperating with other counsel will more likely achieve the best for all involved. Surround yourself by people who have strong integrity and values and model your decisions through the example of those you admire.”
Advice: “Work hard but leave work at the office (something I still struggle with). It is easy to take a client’s legal problems personally, but it is emotionally difficult if a line is not drawn between professional services and the problems of the individual client. Sometimes you have to remember you can’t fix all problems and outcomes of a case can be outside of your control. Protect your reputation with ethical decisions because your good reputation is the best asset you have. Find a strong mentor (even if outside of your practice area) to watch and learn from. It’s okay to ask for help.”
Sandra Clapp attended the University of Idaho, receiving her bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in political science in 1988. She went on to the College of Law, graduating in 1991 and gaining admission to the Idaho State Bar later that same year. She has served as Chair of the Idaho State Bar’s Taxation, Probate & Trust Law Section, Chair of the Idaho Law Foundation’s CLE Committee, and Chair of the Boise Estate Planning Council. Sandra clerked for the Honorable Stephen Trott on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and has been in private practice since 1992. She established Sandra L. Clapp & Associates, P.A. in 2004 based in Eagle, Idaho and has been there ever since. Sandra practices in trusts, estates, probate, guardianship, conservatorship, and general business matters. She is a previous recipient of the Idaho State Bar’s Service Award.
Melanie G. Rubocki – Fourth District, Boise
Note: Melanie was traveling at the time of publication and was unable to provide answers to these questions.
Melanie Rubocki is Perkins Coie’s Boise office managing partner and heads the firm’s Corporate practice for the Boise office. With a foundation in finance and entrepreneurial studies from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Melanie brings a business sensibility and reasonableness to her client relations and any negotiated transactions. She represents business clients through their entire life cycle, from startup formation to exit. Melanie graduated from Notre Dame Law School with her J.D. in 1997, where she was the executive editor of the Journal of College and University Law Review. She moved to Boise in 2009 and started her career in Boise as an associate at Holland & Hart before joining Perkins Coie. Melanie is also active in her community and serves on several nonprofit boards.
Brian P. Kane – Fourth District, Boise
Values: “A sense of service guides everything that I do. I also think that honesty and kindness are polestars of how I try to live and practice. I’m not perfect by any means, but I think these are reliable values to continue to work toward.”
Advice: “Be patient, establish your credibility, and invest in your personal and professional relationships. A legal career is a marathon and not a sprint, it’s easy to lose sight of that. Today’s adversary may be tomorrow’s ally.”
Brian Kane received his Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science from the University of Idaho. He earned his law degree from the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Brian began his career with the Idaho Attorney General’s office in 2001. In 2005, Brian was promoted to Assistant Chief Deputy Attorney General and in 2021, he was promoted to Chief Deputy. Brian serves as Chief Legal Counsel for the Idaho Legislature as well as legal counsel to the Secretary of State, and other statewide elected officials. He acts as a liaison between the Attorney General and local, state, and federal governments. Brian is a member of the state’s IDEAL 529 Plan Board and 457 Deferred Compensation Board. Brian has authored legislation, constitutional amendments, and numerous legal articles. He serves as a faculty member for the National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute (NAGTRI). He also serves as Adjunct Faculty for the University of Idaho College of Law, teaching Administrative Law, and the Idaho Legislative Process. In 2012, Brian was recognized by the Idaho State Bar with an Outstanding Service Award, and by NAAG through his selection as an International Fellow. In 2013, Brian received the NAAG NAGTRI Faculty of the Year award and the Nelson Kempsky Award for Management and Leadership from the Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG). In 2017, Brian received the NAAG Attorney General Senior Staff of the Year Award. Brian served 4 years in the 1st Calvary Division of the U.S. Army. Most recently Brian co-created “Counsel for the State,” a podcast about the Idaho Attorney General’s Office.
Lisa B. Rodriguez – Fifth District, Twin Falls
Values: “I believe in having respect for others which includes not only clients, but opposing counsel and clients and the court. This includes being honest and forthright (even when it’s not what the client wants to hear). I also think that you need to have a healthy sense of humor and perspective in dealing with difficult situations.”
Advice: “It’s important to have a healthy work/life balance and know your own value. You want to work hard but work smart so that you can also enjoy your family and life. Also, don’t be afraid to ask more experienced practitioners for advice as most are willing to share their knowledge and experience.”
Lisa Rodriguez attended the University of Idaho College of Law and graduated in 2004. She was admitted to the Idaho State Bar in September of 2004. She clerked for District Judge G. Richard Bevan in Twin Falls County which brought her to Twin Falls. After her clerkship, she went into private practice and has done primarily family law and civil cases and in more recent years has added criminal defense. Lisa is currently a partner in Migliuri & Rodriguez, PLLC in Twin Falls, Idaho. She enjoys helping clients navigate the legal system and getting them through difficult life situations.
Frederick G. Zundel – Sixth District, Pocatello
Values: “There have been three great influences in my life. The first were my parents. My dad was a family physician and my mom was a nurse who worked with my dad. A significant part of my dad’s practice was providing care for those with limited ability to pay for that care. According to my mom, he never turned anyone away who was in need. My dad’s defining qualities were hard work, honesty, and compassion for the less fortunate, along with a weakness for lame jokes, to which I am sometimes prone. The second influence is Jesus of Nazareth, whom I take seriously as God’s son and promised messiah, and both of whom I worship and try to follow as a member of the LDS Church. Their teachings have deeply influenced me and given my life a richer meaning than I believe I would otherwise have had. And the third is my wife, Lorna, who shares and has supported my desire to work in a legal aid setting. She has inspired me from the moment I first met her to be a better person and has been a wonderful mom for our six children.”
Advice: “To a young attorney I would start with Michelangelo’s statement that trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle. Never stop trying to master your craft in your knowledge of the law and improving your skills in advocating for your client. Be humble and invite criticism from others with more experience. Be scrupulously honest. Be kind to all you meet and care about others, and especially your client. Be respectful to opposing counsel and their clients. If you have a partner in life and children, take regular time to nourish your relationship with them while wading through the demands of a law practice. If your practice is starting to undermine these relationships, consider finding another job. They are more important.”
Fred Zundel received his undergraduate degree at the University of California at Davis in philosophy and Greek, and his masters degree at the University of Arizona in legal philosophy. In 1983, he graduated from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University and then spent two years as an associate in the Idaho Falls law firm of Hopkins Roden Crockett Hansen and Hoopes. Fred mentions he will always be grateful to Skip French and Tim Hopkins for hiring him and letting him see first class lawyering up close. In 1985, he joined Idaho Legal Aid Services in their Idaho Falls office and transferred to their Pocatello office in 1988. As a legal aid attorney, Fred has practiced primarily in representing survivors of domestic violence and over the past 15 years in drafting Indian wills for members of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and serving as a GAL in high conflict custody cases in Tribal Court. Fred notes that he has been blessed to have been able to have a genuinely meaningful and rewarding life as an attorney.
DeAnn Casperson – Seventh District, Idaho Falls
Values: “Although it sounds simplistic, I’ve found that following the golden rule, to treat others with the same professional courtesy as one would like to be treated, solves many problems. Litigation is difficult. It can bring out the best in us, and the worst in us. I’ve always tried to recognize in the heat of the battle that other lawyers are just doing their jobs – zealously advocating for their client. I’ve certainly had moments that required an apology afterwards and accepted similar apologies from others. In spite of the adversarial nature of our profession, I strive to not sink into a tit-for-tat relationship, i.e. if you won’t give me an extension, I won’t give you one either. Even when I’m convinced that another attorney does not deserve the courtesy, I try and give it and remember the golden rule reflects the type of attorney I strive to be.”
Advice: “If I could speak to my younger self, I would tell myself to embrace every time I felt that I had been thrown in the deep end of the pool. In hindsight, I realize how lucky I was to be getting real litigation opportunities early in my career. At the time, I felt I wasn’t ready, that I needed more experience, and it was wrong to assign this task to me. I would tell myself to set aside the fear of failure and not knowing what to do, and just get to work and figure it out. Actually performing litigation tasks is the only way to learn. Along with that advice, I would tell myself that there are resources all around you – attorneys who are willing to give you advice. Most attorneys, no matter how seemingly busy and important, will help. Ask for their advice by telling them the issue and what you think is the best way to address it and why. They will give you valuable input. Finally, I would tell myself it gets easier, and my choice to become a lawyer was a good one.”
DeAnne Casperson attended law school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She graduated in 1999 with honors and began a federal court clerkship with the Honorable Dean Whipple of the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri. After her clerkship she worked for Shook, Hardy & Bacon in Kansas City before returning to her native state of Idaho. Ms. Casperson became a member of the Idaho State Bar in 2003. She practiced at Holden, Hahn & Crapo for several years. In 2018, Ms. Casperson and two of her partners started their own firm, Casperson Ulrich Dustin, where she practices employment law on behalf of employees and employers. Ms. Casperson has tried numerous cases in federal and state court. She has arbitrated many cases on behalf of unions, as well. She is currently serving as an emeritus Lawyer Representative for the federal court.
Outstanding Young Lawyer 2022
Published August 2022
Kolby Reddish is a fifth-generation Idaho native, born in Pocatello and raised in Nampa. His father and grandfather opened a family pharmacy in Nampa where Kolby worked during law school. Kolby lightheartedly jokes that he is the family disappointment, going into the law instead of taking over the family business.
In 2014, Kolby graduated from Provo’s Brigham Young University with his undergraduate degree in micro and molecular biology. Toward the end of his undergraduate work, Kolby took a general class taught by one of the professors at the law school. It was at this time that he began more seriously considering applying to law school; the more he thought about it, the more he thought it’d be the perfect fit. Kolby attended Concordia University School of Law, graduating and gaining admittance to the Idaho State Bar in 2017.
After law school, Kolby clerked for Justice Joel Horton after having interned in his chambers. Kolby recalls this as being a formative experience for his approach to reconciling legal problems; he notes Justice Horton as one of his most valued mentors, admiring his objectivity, ability to analyze complicated issues, as well as his love and overarching knowledge of the law. Upon Justice Horton’s retirement, Kolby made the switch to the Ada County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and after a year moved to the Attorney General’s Office and then the Legislative Services Office where he works today.
In addition to his commitment to his practice, Kolby possesses a deep passion for Idaho’s civics education. He enjoys reading about civics, learning about history and governmental systems, and studying political theories and human behaviors. He has been involved in Attorneys for Civic Education since he was a law student, currently serving as one of the chairs. One of the projects that is important to Kolby that ACE has been working on is a video series in conjunction with the judiciary to provide videos for teachers to use in their classrooms – the most recently filmed video focuses on the importance of an independent judiciary. Kolby is also currently serving as Chair of the Idaho State Bar’s Government & Public Sector Lawyers Section.
Kolby credits his father and grandfather as perhaps his most important role models; “they are both incredibly hard working, honest people.” As he got into the legal profession, in addition to Justice Horton, Kolby mentions Judge David Manweiler, Chief Judge Jessica Lorello, Edith Pacillo, Tenielle Fordyce-Ruff, Chad DeVeaux and Latonia Keith as being his other guiding influences. He often also relies on his former classmates from Concordia: Brit Kreimeyer, David DeRoin, and Alexandra Breshears. When asked what he would tell current law students as they prepare to enter the profession, Kolby says he has two things:
“First, advice. Don’t be afraid to jump in and do a project you’ve never done before. And know you might not do it perfectly.” And second, “Some encouragement would be to recognize that sometimes you’ll need to stick to your guns.” He recalls that oftentimes new attorneys will hear the phrase “that’s not how we’ve ever done things here;” he encourages law students to remember that you can read the rules and follow the rules, while not being afraid to push back on the thought that things can’t ever be done differently.
Kolby lives in Nampa with his wife and three children, ages eight, six, and three. They enjoy playing board games and hiking together.
Kolby would like to thank his parents, siblings, and in-laws for their support during law school and beyond.
Outstanding Young Lawyer 2022
Published August 2022
Jessalyn Hopkin was born and raised in Pocatello. Though she moved away for a short period of time for school, she returned to her hometown and has committed herself to helping the youth of Southeast Idaho.
Jessalyn attended the University of Idaho for her undergraduate studies; she graduated in 2010 and received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Communications. Upon graduating, Jessalyn decided to take five years off during which she intended to become a counselor for youth. She worked in psychosocial rehabilitation, helping both youth and adults with mental health illnesses to do normal, daily functions. As she did this work, she came across a lot of children who were either currently in the foster system, recently out of the system, or bouncing in and out. This prompted a decision to return to school and tackle the big goal of changing the way the foster system works in Idaho. She returned to the University of Idaho College of Law, attending one year in Moscow and her final two years in Boise. Jessalyn received her J.D. from the College of Law in 2018 and was admitted to the Idaho State Bar in 2018.
After graduating, Jessalyn moved back to Pocatello and spent a short time in private practice for a few different firms. She developed an interest in criminal defendant’s rights and volunteered for both ACLU Idaho and the Idaho Innocence Project up until she got her current job at the Public Defender’s office. She requested to work in the juvenile division and has remained there for the past three years focusing mainly on juvenile criminal matters and child protection cases.
When asked about her hobbies and interests outside of the legal profession, Jessalyn mentions that she has intentionally built her life around her work because she is so passionate about what she is doing. Much of her free time is spent either with her husband and son, or working on one of the several projects of which she is a part. Most notably, Jessalyn has spent time working with local juvenile probation officer, Todd Mauger, to get a Teen Assessment Center in Pocatello. Through a grant from Idaho’s Juvenile Department of Correction, they have worked to gather information and recruit individuals to the board – the goal: to move lower offenses like vaping and truancy to the Center so they can stay out of the court system entirely. She notes, “Once you’re in the court system, it’s really difficult to get out.”
Jessalyn sits on the Board for the Pocatello Free Clinic, a nonprofit medical clinic for individuals with no health insurance or means to pay for medical services. She has also recently been invited to serve as a State Coordinator for Idaho to the National Association of Counsel for Children, through which she will serve as a liaison between the community and Idaho practitioners.
As she stepped into her practice, Jessalyn credits Pocatello attorney Mary Shea as perhaps one of her biggest mentors; “we worked together a lot and she does great work – seeing her in Court has been a great inspiration.” Jessalyn also mentions, of course, the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg as a champion and role model. Through and through, Jessalyn has been continually inspired by her juvenile clients – their resilience and optimism fuels much of her work.
Jessalyn coaches her son’s soccer team and enjoys spending time focusing on the things he is passionate about. Along with her husband, their recent trip to Disneyland was a joy to experience together!
Jessalyn is most grateful for her husband and son, as without their support, she would not have the time or energy to put into her passions. She is also grateful for the many wonderful people she has met in the legal profession, her friends who pick her up when she is feeling overwhelmed, and all of her family who raised her to always speak out against injustices.
Distinguished Jurist 2022
Published August 2022
The Honorable Judge Candy Dale is perhaps best known for her status as the first woman to serve as a federal judge in the District of Idaho. Her contributions to the bench and bar transcend that accolade. During private practice, Judge Dale dedicated herself to zealously representing clients as a staunch advocate and litigator, while championing civility. She has long been a member and leader on a number of professional and community organizations, and is a willing mentor to law students and new attorneys. These attributes continued upon her appointment to the bench where Judge Dale has committed herself to fairness, professionalism, and the impartial interpretation and application of the law.
Judge Dale was born and raised in Boise, and graduated from Borah High School. Her mother was from South Dakota, her father from Missouri. Both found their ways to Idaho in the late 1940s after the Great Depression and after her father was honorably discharged from service in the Navy. They met as young adults in Boise and were married in December of 1950. Judge Dale is the second of three daughters, and her parents are fondly remembered as her earliest mentors.
Venturing just a few miles away, Judge Dale began her undergraduate studies at the College of Idaho in Caldwell and remains a proud Yote to this day. Her initial intention was to pursue a teaching degree in math and English, which she did, receiving her teaching certificate.
In the fall of her junior year, however, she participated in an American exchange program in Oxford, England, where she became aware of the many experiences and opportunities available to her. Toward the end of the exchange program, Judge Dale’s father had a series of two serious heart attacks, requiring her to fly home and finish her studies in what may have been a trailblazing “remote learning” structure. Far from the experience of today’s students, Judge Dale completed her coursework for the Oxford exchange program by pen, paper, and the mail service.
Upon her return to the College of Idaho following the exchange program, Judge Dale enrolled in a political science class which piqued her interest in the law. Two professors wisely suggested that she consider law school, prompting her to take the LSAT. Judge Dale was admitted to the University of Idaho College of Law and graduated cum laude in 1982, where she served as Editor in Chief of the Idaho Law Review.
After graduation, Judge Dale was an associate attorney and shareholder at Moffat Thomas Barret & Blanton, Chtd., where she had the great fortune to work with legal titans and incredible trial attorneys, including Rich Hall and Dick Fields. After quickly realizing her interest was in litigation rather than a transactional practice, her trial work began with medical malpractice defense as some employment law cases trickledinto the firm. Then in the early 1990s as the nation’s legal landscape was shifting with the passage of amendments to Title VII, the inception of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family Medical Leave Act, Judge Dale transitioned to an employment litigation and counseling practice.
In December of 1988, Judge Dale joined a few of her colleagues to form a new firm, Hall, Farley, Oberrecht & Blanton, P.A., of which she was a founding partner. Judge Dale practiced employment law at Hall Farley and remained actively involved in the management of the firm until her appointment to the bench on March 30, 2008.
Her employment law practice brought Judge Dale to federal court frequently, and she soon became involved in several committees and other roles within the federal court. After not being selected as a Ninth Circuit Lawyer Representative in 1993, she was encouraged by District Judge Edward Lodge to continue to apply. Judge Dale did so and was successfully appointed, serving as a lawyer representative from 1996 to 1999, followed by service on the Ninth Circuit’s Advisory Council. In 2007, Judge Dale applied for the vacancies created by the retirements of Judges Larry Boyle and Mikel Williams, making history by being selected as the first woman appointed to the Federal Court in Idaho.
Judge Dale seized the opportunity of her appointment and became one of Idaho’s most well-respected jurists through her intellect, tireless work ethic, and devotion. Her professionalism, integrity, and courage are overshadowed only by her warmth, good nature, and generosity. Judge Dale served as Chief United States Magistrate Judge for eight non-consecutive years and assumed recall (i.e., senior) status on April 1, 2022.
During her career, Judge Dale recalls the many positive influences on her life, both personally and professional. In addition to her parents and husband, she credits Rich Hall with whom she worked for over 25 years as a significant guiding force for how to be a consummate trial attorney, how to connect with people, and how to relate to your clients, opposing counsel, the judge, and the jury. Throughout her years, she mentions the entirety of Idaho’s federal and state judiciary have served as an incredible source of inspiration. In particular, she notes the important contributions of Judges B. Lynn Winmill, Edward Lodge, Mikel Williams, and Larry Boyle.
Among her career’s greatest achievements, Judge Dale notes two distinct moments. First, after she was selected to join the bench in 2008, she was appointed by District Judge Winmill as the Federal Court Representative to the newly formed Idaho Pro Bono Commission. She attended the first organizational meeting of the Commission and worked closely with Justice Jim Jones of the Idaho Supreme Court over several years to promote pro bono work around the state. She recalls their hard work to encourage law firms to allow and support attorneys in their pro bono efforts – “Justice Jones’ support was phenomenal, and it was so rewarding to be working that closely with such a respected member of the state judiciary.”
Second, an appointment that, seemingly to Judge Dale came out of the blue, was her role as the Magistrate Judge Observer to the Judicial Conference of the United States. She was appointed by Chief Justice John Roberts and served in that capacity from 2017 to 2019. She mentions the incredible opportunity it was to watch out for the interests of all the federal magistrate judges, observe the proceedings, and attend other committees within the Conference during what proved to be a pivotal time for the Conference. Through this role, she met the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and notes these were experiences she likely would not have had otherwise.
Judge Dale met her husband, Jim, while they were both in law school; they were married in 1984 and have one daughter, Lindsay. Having recently transitioned to recall status, Judge Dale frequently mentions that she is not finished quite yet. Outside of her professional career, Judge Dale enjoys doing anything outdoors and spends much of her free time with family in McCall, where they are either on the lake or in the mountains.
Judge Dale thanks the Idaho State Bar for this incredibly meaningful award and recognition. She expresses her gratitude and appreciation to all members of the bench and bar, all those associated with the Court and the law firms where she worked over the past 40 years, and, most importantly, her family and friends. Without all this support, “I would not have found such fulfillment and success in my life and career.”
Distinguished Jurist 2022
Published August 2022
The Honorable Christopher Bieter has served as a staple in the Boise community for decades. He and his wife, Nerea, are pillars of the local Basque community and Judge Bieter has focused much of his career on bettering the lives of those in the Treasure Valley. His time on the bench mirrors that local legacy.
Judge Bieter was born and raised in Boise just a few blocks from where he lives now. His mother’s side of the family came from the Basque country and his mother was the first generation of family to be born in the States. The oldest of five siblings, Judge Bieter attended St. Joseph’s Catholic School and then Bishop Kelley High School. The year after he graduated high school, his father, a professor at Boise State University, championed a program of studies in the Basque Country during which his whole family relocated for what was “a remarkable year in a little town.” They traveled with 90 American students and professors and the program is still running, now as part of a consortium of universities all over the United States. Judge Bieter learned to speak Basque with a passable level of proficiency and he recounts this as being a fundamental part of his early years.
After this incredible experience, Judge Bieter returned to Idaho to try and play football for the University of Idaho in Moscow. While his football career did not entirely pan out, he graduated from his undergraduate program in 1979 and began law school at the College of Law later that fall. The legal profession had always been something he had considered, as he felt it would be well suited to his interests and talents. Judge Bieter recalls a story from his youth:
“In the fourth grade we had this old, tough Irish pastor at St. Joe’s and he would give out the report cards by calling you up to the front of the room. One day in front of everybody he accused a classmate of changing her grade; she denied it and he said, ‘No it’s been changed.’ I felt so bad for her. I thought, maybe, if I could ever defend somebody who is accused of something like that, maybe that would be the right fit for me. And that’s obviously a moment that stuck with me for this long.”
During law school, Judge Bieter found very quickly that he did not particularly enjoy it; he mentioned he wasn’t a great student and “it was no big secret.” Beginning to doubt whether this was the right profession for him, Judge Bieter sought out a coveted position to work as a junior law clerk for the late Judge Ray McNichols – “he was kind of a legend; no, there is no ‘kind of’ about it. He was a legend.” Judge Bieter worked for Judge McNichols from 1981 to 1982 and notes this as being the single greatest professional experience of his life. “Ray McNichols was brilliant, hilarious, and we saw the best lawyers in the state practice […] it changed my whole outlook.”
Judge Bieter graduated from the University of Idaho College of Law in 1983 and was admitted to the Idaho State Bar later that year. After working another year for Judge McNichols, who had then become a treasured mentor, several opportunities began presenting themselves. He interviewed for several positions with larger, local firms, but upon the recommendation of his mentor decided to go with a smaller law office. In 1984, Judge Bieter went to work for Louis and Jean Uranga. He became a partner a few years later and continued to practice with them for the next 14 years. During this time his practice encompassed a little bit of everything – family law (though he didn’t much care for it), criminal defense, and immigration work, among other things. Judge Bieter recalls one of his first immigration cases was for the owner of the Yen Ching restaurant in downtown Boise to obtain a visa for a cook.
As he continued through his practice, Judge Bieter never did forget his time working with Judge McNichols and began to revisit how well-suited he felt he may be for the bench. In 1998 he put in his application and began his way through the process of the Magistrate Commission. Judge Bieter remembers that being an experience in and of itself – “You can’t keep all of the commissioners in your field of vision when you get interviewed, so I always felt like I was ignoring about half of the room! I hoped it went well, and it did.” He was selected for the magistrate bench that year and has remained ever since.
When asked about those in whom he has found inspiration and guidance, he wholeheartedly credits the late Judge Ray McNichols. Closely following, he praises Louis and Jean Uranga; “they were so solid in the way they treated people and the way they conducted their practice.” Judge Bieter recalls the early years of his practice when the Bar was making efforts to shape a more positive public perception of lawyers. He remembers thinking that if everyone would just practice law and conduct themselves like Louis and Jean, there’d be no concern at all about the image of lawyers in the State of Idaho.
Judge Bieter and his wife, Nerea, met through a mutual friend at a Basque dancing and music festival in 1988. They dated long distance for a time and later got married in 1993 in Nerea’s hometown in Basque Country. As he recalls, this was “one of those highlight experiences of life you never forget.” Nerea teaches at Boise State University and they have three children; their daughter graduated from the physical therapy program at the University of Montana and will start working in August, their middle son is a nurse working in intensive care in Oklahoma City, and their youngest son graduated from University of Idaho in engineering and will pursue a master’s this upcoming fall.
Outside of the practice of law, Judge Bieter finds a variety of ways to give back to his community and stay true to the familial roots that are so important to him. Much of Judge Bieter’s free time is spent involved in the local Basque community. Every Tuesday they support the Basque Center’s classes for children ages three to four, where there is music education and early language learning. He and his wife also started what they argue is the first preschool in the Basque language for children ages three to five outside of Basque Country. They began this in 1995 and it is still going strong.
In Judge Bieter’s words, “Any success I’ve achieved on the bench is thanks to the examples of (after Judge McNichols and Louis and Jean), Judge Edward Lodge, Judge Duff McKee, Judge Patricia Young, and Judge Michael McLaughlin. I have had world class clerks: Liz Castaneda, Debra Urizar, and Debbie Scott – and America’s best colleagues. I truly appreciate the tolerance and good will of the probate bar who put up with my long period of on the job training.”