First District Judge Venoy Christoffersen, 67, is retiring effective Dec. 31 after 27 years in Utah's judiciary.

"Judge Christoffersen's pending retirement marks the end of a long and distinguished career in the law, as both a practitioner and a highly respected member of the judiciary," Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice Gordon R. Hall said. "It has been my privilege and pleasure to associate with him through the years and I wish him well in his retirement."Christoffersen was appointed to the 1st District Court in 1969 by Gov. Calvin Rampton, after serving as a judge in the Brigham City Court for eight years. During his time on the bench he served on numerous committees, including the Utah Judicial Council, the Advisory Committee on the Utah Rules of Practice and Procedure and the Utah State Bar Legislative Committee. He was named District Court Judge of the Year in 1987 by the Utah State Bar.

After graduating from the University of Utah College of Law in 1952, Christoffersen worked as an attorney in a Las Vegas law firm and also served as a deputy district attorney and assistant attorney general for the state of Nevada.

"Serving as a judge has been a challenge, and I have enjoyed very much my time on the bench," Christoffersen said. "There comes a point, however, when someone else should have the opportunity to do what I've done for the past 27 years."

Christoffersen has requested to be placed on senior judge status, which will enable him to hear cases periodically as needed.