Two Sanpete men to be considered for juvenile court judge

Two Sanpete men to be

considered for juvenile court judge


By Suzanne Dean


Nov. 9, 2017


SALT LAKE CITY—Two names associated with justice systems in Sanpete County are among five names that will be submitted to Gov. Gary Herbert for selection as the presiding judge of 6th District Juvenile Court.

The judge would replace Paul Lyman of Richfield, who is scheduled to retire Dec. 31 after more than 16 years on the juvenile court bench. The 6th District covers Garfield, Kane, Piute, Sanpete, Sevier and Wayne counties.

Sanpete County Attorney Brody Keisel and Mark McIff, a justice court judge for several Sanpete communities, are the two candidates with strong Sanpete ties. Other candidates are Dale Eyre, Sevier County attorney; Mandy Larsen, a deputy county attorney in Sevier County; and Todd Sessions, an attorney in private practice in Davis County who is a frequent defense attorney in juvenile court cases.

Written comments on the candidates are being accepted until noon on Monday, Nov. 13. Comments may be emailed to judicialvacancies@utah.gov or mailed to the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ), P.O. Box 142330, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84114-2330.

According to Ron Gordon, executive director of CCJJ, once the comment period ends, all five names will be submitted to the governor, who has 30 days to appoint a judge.

Gordon says he expects the governor’s appointee to go before the Utah Legislature for ratification early in the 2018 session, which means there may be a short gap between Lyman’s retirement and the confirmation of a new judge. Gordon says when such a gap occurs, judges in nearby judicial districts can be called in to preside over cases.

Lyman was appointed by then Gov. Michael Leavitt in 2000. At the time of his appointment, Lyman was serving as part-time deputy county attorney in Sevier County, part-time county attorney in Wayne County and part-time Salina City attorney.

Lyman served on the Richfield City Council from 1989-94 and as mayor of Richfield from 1994-98.

Following are brief profiles of the five nominees:

Brody Keisel, who lives in Manti, graduated from Manti High School in 1993. He received an associate degree from Snow College and a bachelor’s degree in political science from BYU.

He received his law degree from the University of Nebraska in 2003 and returned to Sanpete County, where he was hired as assistant county attorney under Ross Blackham handling juvenile and justice court cases. Over the past 14 years, he has prosecuted nearly all juvenile cases that have arisen in Sanpete County.

In 2010, a Sanpete County Republican convention nominated him for county attorney by acclamation after another attorney who had filed for the post failed to show up for the convention. He was elected to the office in 2010 and reelected in 2014.

Mark McIff of Richfield received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Southern Utah University in 1995 and a law degree from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington in 1998.

Before being appointed as a justice court judge, he served as part-time Piute County attorney, part-time Wayne County attorney, and as a part-time deputy county attorney in Sevier County.

He presently presides over justice courts in Ephraim, Moroni, Fountain Green, Spring City, Mt. Pleasant and Fairview.

Dale Eyre of Richfield graduated from BYU with a bachelor’s degree in English and received his law degree in 1995 from the University of Utah.

He was in private practice from 1995 to 2001 and served as deputy county attorney in Sevier County from 2002-2007. He was elected as Sevier County attorney in 2007 and reelected in 2011 and 2015.

He has served on the Utah Supreme Court Ethics and Discipline Committee, on the board of the Utah Association of Counties and was a visiting professor of international development in Ukraine.

Mandy Larsen of Richfield received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Southern Utah University in 2000 and a law degree from BYU in 2003.

Since 2004, she has primarily been in private practice. She was associated with the firm of Esplin and Weight in Provo from 2004-07 and the firm of Jackman Arredondo in Orem from 2007-08.

In recent years, she has been in private practice in Richfield while working part-time as a deputy county attorney for Sevier County. Her work in Sevier County includes prosecuting juvenile cases.

Todd Sessions received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah and his law degree from Oklahoma City University Law School.

He was in private practice with the firm of Cathcart and Peterson in Bountiful. But for more than 10 yeas, he has been a solo practitioner based on Layton.

One of the focuses of his practice is juvenile court cases. He has represented parents accused of abuse and neglect as well as youth charged with juvenile crimes.