SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert has appointed John Pearce to fill a vacancy on the Utah Court of Appeals.

Pearce serves as general counsel to the governor, a post he has held since 2009, where he advises the governor and Cabinet on legal, legislative and policy issues. He is also an adjunct professor of law for the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah.

“John’s extraordinary legal acumen, successful background and keen intellect well qualify him to serve on the bench,” Herbert said. “His solid judgment and integrity will benefit the people of Utah. I am pleased to appoint an individual of his caliber to the court.”

Pearce fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge William A Thorne Jr. on Sept. 15. The appointment is subject to confirmation by the Utah Senate.

“It has been as honor to serve the state for the past four years in the governor's office," Pearce said. "I am grateful the governor has provided the opportunity to continue that service on the court of appeals.”

Pearce received his Juris Doctor in 1996 from the University of California, Berkeley. In 1992, he completed his Bachelor of Science in economics magna cum laude from the U., after graduating from Cyprus High School in Magna.

Pearce also litigated class-action securities fraud and trade secret cases for the California firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati from 1996 to 1999.