Judge Richard C. Davidson has been named presiding judge of the Utah Court of Appeals.

He replaces the court's first presiding judge, Regnal W. Garff Jr.Also, court officials said this week that Judge Russell W. Bench was named the new associate presiding judge.

Davidson, 47, was appointed to the Court of Appeals when it was created in 1987, serving as the associate presiding judge. He previously served five years as a judge in the 7th District Court, serving Daggett, Duchesne and Uintah counties.

Prior to his appointment to the bench, Davidson was a deputy Salt Lake County attorney, a Vernal city attorney and a Utah County criminal deputy attorney. He also is a member of the Board of Appellate Court Judges and the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Appellate Procedure.

The presiding judge of the Court of Appeals is elected to a two-year term by the other judges of the court. Garff remains on the court, and Davidson's term as presiding judge will expire in 1991.