Utah's judiciary honored a Supreme Court justice, a retired court employee and a Salt Lake attorney at the annual Judicial Conference Friday.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Gordon R. Hall received the Distinguished Jurist Award, which is given each year to a judge who has demonstrated extraordinary dedication to the highest principles of the judiciary.Presenting the award to Hall, 4th District Judge Cullen Christensen said, "In a large measure, due to Justice Hall's efforts, the position of the judiciary in state government has been enhanced and cooperation with other branches of government has reached a new high."
Hall is chairman of the Utah Judicial Council. On a national scale, he is President of the Conference of Chief Justices and chairman of the board of the National Center for State Courts. He was a 3rd District Court judge before his Supreme Court appointment in 1977.
Robert A. Olsen, a retired 3rd District Court calendar clerk, received the Meritorious Service Award.
Olsen graduated from the University of Utah in 1941 and began working as a typist in the Salt Lake County clerk's office. In 1946, he became the calendar clerk, managing the master calendar for 3rd District Court. He was also responsible for jury management. Olsen retired in 1981 after 40 years of service.
Third District Judge Bryant Croft commended Olsen's service to the courts, saying, "Bob was always well liked among attorneys and judges. He was dedicated to the judicial process, very capable and well qualified for the job."
Attorney Norman S. Johnson received the Amicus Curiae or Friend of the Court award.
This award is given each year to an individual, other than a judge, who has made significant contributions to Utah's judicial system.
Johnson is an attorney with the law firm of Van Cott, Bagley, Cornwall and McCarthy. Throughout his career, he has contributed much to the legal profession and to the court as well.
In 1986, he served a year term on the Judicial Council as the Utah State Bar representative. He has volunteered many hours as a member of the Utah Task Force on Gender and Justice, and was recently named chairman of the Jail Study Task Force established by the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. He has also been an advocate of the courts before the Legislature.
Third Circuit Judge LeRoy Griffiths applauded Johnson's accomplishments. "Norman Johnson is a leader with unusual vision, a man very generous with his time and energy."