District Judge Norman E. Young is set to retire on July 3, 2019, after serving the citizens of the state for almost four decades, including the past 16 years as a district judge. He was appointed to the district court bench in 2003 by Governor Freudenthal.
Judge Young received his B.A. and Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma. After moving to Wyoming and being admitted to the State Bar in 1980, he engaged in private law practice from 1980-1995, during which time he also served as a Fremont County Public Defender (1981-1993). From 1995-2003, Judge Young served as the Fremont County Attorney.
When Judge Young was recently asked to comment about a fellow judge’s retirement, he stated, “We all have strengths and weaknesses. When I sit in the room with my colleagues, I see some with brilliant legal minds; some with compassion, heart and courage; others with great common sense.” According to what his work colleagues say about him, it appears that Judge Young himself possesses all of these qualities. Kristi Green, the District Court Clerk, commented, “It has been an honor to have known and worked with Judge Young for the past 36 years. He has touched many lives in Fremont County as a public defender, county attorney, civil practitioner and district judge. He has mentored new attorneys and helped shape their careers with his vast experience and knowledge of the law. He is always willing to explain the why and not just the how in any given circumstance.” Ms. Green added, “Judge Young will be greatly missed and forever held in the highest regard.”
Judge Young’s chamber staff, Sherry Oler, Rachelle Fontaine, and Jennifer Glassburn, offered, “If you ever have had an opportunity to be in Judge Young’s courtroom, you immediately sense his deep respect for the Court and his desire to maintain civility between the parties and in the courtroom. He has a deep desire to always do the ‘right thing’ while staying within the confines of the law. Judge Young’s ability to master this balance is admirable.”
District Judge Tim Day, Teton County–a fellow jurist in the Ninth Judicial District–remarked, “One of the great tributes to Judge Young is that he is held in high esteem by his colleagues.” He notes that Judge Young has a nearly supernatural power to divine the simple truths buried in complex cases. “One of Judge Young’s greatest gifts as a jurist,” he says, “is never forgetting to treat every single person who appears in his court with courtesy, dignity and respect. Judge Young always remembers that he is serving the public in his commitment to seek justice, and he considers that privilege as a district court judge to be the great honor of his life.”
Governor Mark Gordon appointed Jason Conder to fill the vacancy created by Judge Young’s retirement. Mr. Conder is currently serving as the Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Wyoming in the Lander Branch Office.