Anne M. Stirba has been appointed by Gov. Norm Bangerter to the 3rd District Court bench to replace Judge Leonard Russon, who resigned to accept an appointment to the Utah Appellate Court.

Stirba, 39, has been an assistant United States attorney for the district of Utah since May 1987. She headed the Financial Litigation Enforcement Unit and was responsible for collecting on judgments and defending the federal government on tort claims.Her appointment must be confirmed by the state Senate.

She served as an administrative law judge for the Public Service Commission from 1986 until taking the position with the U.S. attorney's office. Before that, she was an assistant Utah attorney general for six years, primarily in the area of natural resources.

Stirba graduated from the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, and received her law degree from the University of Utah in 1978. She was the youngest attorney and first woman ever elected to the Utah State Bar Commission.