SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert has appointed Keith Barnes to fill a vacancy in the 5th District Court, which serves Beaver, Iron and Washington counties.

Since 2004, Barnes has been owner and lead attorney for Barnes Law Offices P.C. in Cedar City, specializing in civil litigation, criminal defense and adoption law.

“For nearly 20 years, Keith has practiced law in southern Utah, with the guiding principle that all people should be treated fairly,” Herbert said. “I am proud to appoint him and have complete confidence that his abilities and experience will benefit the people in the 5th District.”

Barnes received his Juris Doctor in 1994 from Oklahoma City University and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Brigham Young University in 1988.

Barnes fills the vacancy created by Judge Michael Westfall, who is filling the position left open by the retirement of Judge James Shumate, effective March 31. The governor’s appointment is subject to confirmation by the Utah Senate.