Utah Governor's Office
John Pearce

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert has tapped one of his top legal advisers for a judgeship in the Utah Court of Appeals.

John Pearce has served as general counsel to Herbert and his cabinet since 2009, advising on legal, legislative and policy issues. He has been nominated to fill the seat vacated by Judge William A Thorne Jr., who retired in September.

Pearce's nomination must now be approved by the Utah Senate.

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"John's extraordinary legal acumen, successful background and keen intellect well qualify him to serve on the bench," Herbert said. "His solid judgment and integrity will benefit the people of Utah."

Pearce is an adjunct professor for the University of Utah's S.J. Quinney College of Law, after spending 10 years with the Salt Lake City-based firm Jones Waldo Holbrook & McDonough. He received his Juris Doctor in 1996 from the University of California, Berkeley.

In 1992, Pearce graduated magna cum laude from the U. with a bachelor's degree in economics after attending Cyprus High School in Magna.

— McKenzie Romero