Bryan Galloway nominated as the new judge in the First District Juvenile Court.
LOGAN — A defense attorney who has spent most of his career representing some of the most heinous criminals was appointed as a judge to the First District Juvenile Court this week. The 50-year-old longtime public defender will replace Angela Fonnesbeck, who was appointed as a First District Judge last year.
In a press release, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said, “Bryan’s years of experience in this district will serve him well as he makes wise and balanced decisions to help our young citizens.”
Galloway said he is excited about the change and is honored to be given the opportunity to serve. He explained that the application and interview process for any judgeship is very extensive and emotionally draining. Over the last few days, there have been feelings of nostalgia, realizing that he won’t have the chance to connect with people like he used to.
“Public defense is difficult,” explained Galloway. “It’s time for me to move on and let some other people come in and hopefully inject some enthusiasm and energy into it. I’ve been proud of what I’ve done. I’ve enjoyed doing it, but I’m definitely ready to change lanes and try something a little bit different.”
For the past 20 years, Galloway has been working as a public defender, appearing as counsel in juvenile, district, and justice Courts. In this position, he has been an aid to various agencies and has been involved with the mental health courts. During that time, he has had to defend some of the most terrible criminals, including Alex Whipple who sexually abused and killed his niece, Lizzy Shelley. He also represented the family of Jayzon Decker, who was convicted of attempting to kill Deserae Turner.
Galloway has loved the time he has spent defending people’s rights in court. He said that moving from attorney to judge will mean he won’t have the same connections with people, since judges have to keep themselves insulated from personal interactions. He still hopes to have a positive impact on the youth that appear in his courtroom.
“Judges, even though they don’t get that chance to interact a whole lot, what they say to the individuals in their court has a long lasting effect. So, even though I’m probably not going to be able to have that connection quite as deep and quite as often, I still hope to be able to have that effect on people’s lives as they come into the court, as a role of a judge. My real goal and philosophy in all this is to put people in a better position going out of the system, than they were coming into the system.”
Galloway received a J.D. from the University of Nebraska School of Law. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Utah State University. He loves fishing and the outdoors.
This appointment is subject to confirmation by the Utah Senate.