Herald Journal staff writer
He is the grandson of an English sheep rancher and once had dreams of being a star basketball player. Instead, Judge Ben Hadfield went to law school and established a longtime career as an attorney — and later, a judge.
After 21 years serving Box Elder, Cache and Rich counties, Hadfield plans to retire later this summer.
Hadfield went to law school at Brigham Young University, graduating in 1978. He went on to practice law at Mann, Hadfield & Thorne in Brigham City and eventually became a partner in the firm.
During that time, Hadfield said he focused on family law, which he described as “good work.”
“Here’s the thing,” he said. “For many people, divorce is the single most difficult thing they will go through in their life. If you can help them navigate through that, it can be very rewarding.”
Hadfield was the first judge appointed to the bench by former Gov. Michael O. Leavitt.
During the interview process, Hadfield said he confessed to the governor that he was a little nervous because he had never been through this process before.
“And he said, ‘Don’t worry, neither have I,’” Hadfield said.
In addition to his courtroom responsibilities, Hadfield has served on the Ethics Advisory Committee, the Board of District Court Judges, and the Utah Judicial Council.
Hadfield served as presiding judge in 1st District Court from July 2004 to July 2006. He then returned to the Board of District Court Judges, and in September 2009 became chairman of the board.
Hadfield, who is currently the presiding judge over the 1st District Court, said there are some misperceptions about being a judge.
Read the rest of Judge Hadfield’s story in this week’s Leader.
Editor’s note: The First District Judicial Nominating Commission has selected nominees to fill the vacancy of retiring Judge Ben H. Hadfield. The nominees for the vacancy are: Thomas Reed Morgan II, T.R. Morgan P.C.; Steven Anthony Combe, Utah Attorney General’s Office; Brandon Maynard, Box Elder County Attorney’s Office; Stephen Reed Hadfield, Box Elder County Attorney; and Roger Griffin, Gregory & Swapp.