Utah District Court Judge, retired
David Connors was appointed as a District Court Judge by Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. in October 2007 and began his service as a judge in January 2008, after over 25 years of nationwide private practice experience as a business lawyer and commercial litigator handling complex civil litigation. He retired as a judge in March 2023. While a judge, he handled hundreds of mediations, arbitrations and trials, including Judicial Settlement Conferences (mediations conducted by a judge who is not the assigned judge on a case). In private practice, he was an early advocate of mediation and arbitration as efficient methods for settling high conflict disputes. In addition to his experience as a mediator, his ADR experience includes acting for over 30 years as an arbitrator for the Utah State Bar, both before and during his time on the bench. He is now affiliated with the Utah-based law firm Bennett Tueller Johnson & Deere.
While on the Utah trial court bench, Judge Connors served as a member of Utah’s Judicial Council, the governing body of the Utah judiciary. He also served as Presiding Judge of Utah’s Second District Court, as Chair of a statewide guardianship task force known as the Working Interdisciplinary Network of Guardianship Stakeholders (“Utah WINGS”), as a member of the Long-Range Curriculum Planning Committee for Utah judges, and as a member of the Utah State Bar’s CLE Oversight Committee and its Fee Arbitration Committee. In 2015, he completed a two-year term as President of the Northern Utah Chapter of the American Inns of Court. Judge Connors has also served as a member of Utah’s Board of District Court Judges and served for over ten years as the Board’s designated representative to the ABA Judicial Division. He now serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the ABA Judicial Division’s National Conference of State Trial Judges, having recently completed a term as nationwide Chair of that group.
Immediately prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Connors was a partner heading the Utah litigation practice of Chapman and Cutler LLP, a national firm with headquarters in Chicago. Prior to joining Chapman and Cutler, Judge Connors was a partner with the international law firm LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, L.L.P. (headquartered in New York City), where he served in the firm’s Salt Lake City office as head of its Utah litigation group. He has served as the chair of the Business Law Section of the Utah State Bar and has been an active presenter in many CLE programs, both for the Utah State Bar and for private CLE providers. Earlier in his career, Judge Connors worked with the Kirkpatrick & Lockhart firm (now known as K&L Gates) in their Pittsburgh, PA office.
As a district court judge, Judge Connors handled the full range of cases that are filed in a trial court of general jurisdiction, including major civil matters, domestic matters, probate matters (including guardianships), criminal matters, and anything else. In his decades of private practice, Judge Connors’ experience was largely in the areas of commercial litigation, complex insurance regulatory proceedings, class action defense and bankruptcy-related litigation matters. He has statewide and nationwide experience before state and federal trial and appellate courts.
Judge Connors has previously served as a board member of the Wasatch Front Regional Council, Davis County Council of Governments, and Davis Education Foundation, and as a trustee for the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. He also served as Mayor of Farmington City, Utah, completing his term in 2006, after having previously served eight years on Farmington’s city council (all of his service in city government was while he was actively engaged in the fulltime practice of law).
Education, Judicial Clerkship, and Publications
- Yale University, B.A., Kennedy T. Friend Scholarship Award, Westinghouse Scholarship Award, American Waterworks Foundation Scholarship Award
- Brigham Young University – J. Reuben Clark Law School J.D., magna cum laude; J. Reuben Clark Scholar; BYU Law Review
- Judicial Clerkship: Law Clerk to the Honorable Ellsworth A. VanGraafeiland, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, headquartered in New York City Publications
- “A New Look at an Old Concern – Protecting Expert Information from Discovery under the Federal Rules,” 18 Duquesne L. Rev. 271 “Cellular Mobile Radio Telecommunications: Regulating an Emerging Industry,” Brigham Young University Law Review 305, 1983
- “Improving Adult Guardianship Procedures—Working with WINGS”, The Judges Journal, American Bar Association Judicial Division, Vol 62, No. 1, February 2023
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits
- Utah (All Utah Trial and Appellate Courts)
- Pennsylvania (presently on voluntary inactive status)
- American Bar Association, Judicial Division, National Conference of State Trial Judges, (immediate past Chair and current Executive Committee member)
- American Inns of Court, Rex E. Lee Chapter, President 2013-2015
- Utah Working Interdisciplinary Network of Guardianship Stakeholders (Utah WINGS), Chair, 2015-2018
- Utah State Bar (CLE Oversight Committee, CLE presenter)
- Fee Arbitration Committee, Utah State Bar (arbitrator, 1993-present)
- Litigation Section, Utah State Bar
- Business Law Section, Utah State Bar (former Chair)
- District Court Judge, Second District Court, 2008-2023
- Mayor, Farmington City, 2002 – 2006
- Farmington City Council, 1994-2002
- Wasatch Front Regional Council, 2002-2005, Vice Chair, 2005
- Chairman, Regional Planning Committee, 2004-2005
- Davis County Council of Governments, 2002-2005
- Davis County Jail Expansion Review Committee
- Community Development Block Grant Policy Committee, Gubernatorial Appointee, 2002-2003 (appointed by Gov. Leavitt)
- Economic Development Corporation of Utah, Trustee, 2002-2005
Some Recognitions and Awards
- Chapman and Cutler Firm-wide Pro Bono Achievement Award
- Utah Legal Services Pro Bono Recognition Award
- Martindale Hubbell “AV” Peer Rating (highest possible rating)
- Utah Business Magazine, Utah’s Legal Elite