This week, Judge James Shumate, a Fifth District Court judge in St. George Utah retired. I have had the pleasure of representing many clients in his courtroom and I always found him to be a very reasonable and fair figure on the bench. Judge Shumate served in the Fifth District for more than 23 years. Prior to being appointed as a judge, Judge Shumate worked as both a public defender and prosecutor in Cedar City. Judge Shumate’s experience as an attorney on both sides of the adversarial process, I believe, gave him a unique ability to balance the interests of the state and the interests of many defendants which appeared before him.
Judge Shumate was instrumental in bringing drug court to Southern Utah. This alone has helped hundreds if not thousands of individuals struggling with substance abuse who would have otherwise ended up in prison. This is one of the great accomplishments of Judge Shumate’s time on the bench. Nationally, Judge Shumate might be most well known for presiding over the Warren Jeff’s trial. We wish Judge Shumate all the best in his retirement.