Judge Richard D. McKelvie

Senior Judge Richard D. McKelvie has over 40 years of judicial, litigation and trial experience. He was admitted to the Utah State Bar and the Utah Federal Bar after graduating from the University of Utah College of Law in 1981.

Judge McKelvie began his legal career as a Deputy Salt Lake County Attorney, where he developed his skills as a renowned and respected trial lawyer and negotiator. In 1988 he was selected by the state attorney general to head a new drug prosecution program. In that capacity he became cross-designated as a Special Assistant United States Attorney, and in 1990 was employed full-time as an AUSA.

During his 25-year career with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Judge McKelvie handled a wide variety of cases, including RICO prosecutions for violent gangs, major narcotics cases, white collar crime, violent crimes including homicide, trafficking in stolen, sacred Native American cultural artifacts, and even the theft of a fully articulated Allosaurus fossil.

In 2008, Judge McKelvie was appointed as Director of Trial Advocacy at the S.J. Quinney University of Utah College of Law. In that capacity, Judge McKelvie supervises several other adjunct professors, coaches the law school’s trial team, which competes in national mock trial competitions, and created a new class in the area of direct and cross-examination . Judge McKelvie was honored by the College of Law with the “Excellence in Teaching” award in 2011 and the “Adjunct Faculty Service Award” in 2023. Judge McKelvie also teaches a class in Criminal Law and Procedure for the College of Law’s Masters of Legal Studies program.

Appointed by Governor Gary Herbert in April 2014, Judge McKelvie has presided over cases in Salt Lake County. His judicial experience includes several lengthy jury trials, both criminal and civil (covering a broad range of topics from wrongful death claims, property disputes, probate disputes, family law disputes, torts, among many), as well as a very active calendar of judicial settlement conferences. Judge McKelvie received record-high scores in his last Judicial Retention report, scoring 4.9 out of a possible 5 in two of three categories.

Education: Bachelor of Science – Weber State College, 1978 (cum laude)
Juris Doctorate – University of Utah 1981 (William H. Leary Scholar, 1981)

Memberships, Honors and notable achievements:

  • Utah State Bar 1981 – present
  • Federal District Bar 1981-present
  • 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Bar-1988-present
  • Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Rules of Evidence 2018-present
  • Author, “Federal Narcotics Prosecution” (with others)
  • S.J. Quinney College of Law Excellence in Teaching Award, 2011
  • S.J. Quinney College of Law Adjunct Faculty Service Award 2023

Alternative Dispute Resolution: Judge McKelvie has successfully presided over and participated in countless judicial settlement conferences prior to his retirement in June, 2024.