Recently appointed state Supreme Court justice looks forward to serving

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Courtesy Photo 5th Judicial District

TWIN FALLS — A judge “who loves the law” is looking forward to serving as Idaho’s newest Supreme Court Justice.

Judge Richard Bevan was appointed by Governor “CL” Butch Otter on Aug. 29 to serve on the Idaho Supreme Court.

Bevan was born and raised in Twin Falls and has been practicing law there since he graduated from the Brigham Young University J. Ruben Clark Law School in 1987 where he earned multiple awards for his legal writing.

“Nobody in my family is a lawyer and nobody had ever been a lawyer but I got into my first year of law school and I just loved the law,” Bevan said. “I loved learning about the law. I loved what the law was seeking to accomplish in our society and decided I just wanted to go be a practicing lawyer.”

Bevan explained he originally planned on using his degree to work on the corporate side of the law as a supplement to his business degree. However, after starting law school, he decided he would rather practice law.

After working at different law firms in Twin Falls, Bevan was elected twice as the prosecuting attorney for Twin Falls County.

In 2003, he was appointed a district Judge in Idaho’s 5th Judicial District where he’s served for close to 14 years.

He said he enjoyed his time as an attorney but found it difficult when he was required to argue for people or positions he wasn’t comfortable with. As a district judge, he didn’t have to worry about that.

“I love the freedom of being able to try to do justice every day,” Bevan said. “Over time I’ve come to really appreciate my role in the problem-solving courts – seeing people change for the better and change their lives. Being an agent for change, in that regard, has been extremely rewarding for me as a judge.”

He explained that over the years he’s spent as a district judge sentencing people has become more difficult.

“Almost 14 years later, taking away people’s liberty is harder than I used to think it was,” he said. “It sort of adds up over time. I think whether it’s a collective notion that you’ve sent a lot of people to prison over those years — that’s really been probably the most difficult.

He added he couldn’t think of a time that he’s lost sleep after making a decision.

“I pretty well make my decision and move on,” Bevan said. “But sometimes looking the defendant in the eye or his wife or kids and saying ‘Daddy’s going away for a few years’ is probably one of the more difficult things you do.”

As a district judge, Bevan said he frequently has 200 cases at any one time he’s working on. He’s looking forward to being able to focus his efforts on doing his best legal writing and working with the four other justices.

“I’m looking forward to the comradery of being able to be with other justices that I really look up to,” Bevan said.

Governor Otter selected Bevan over Boise attorney Rebecca Rainey, 2nd District Judge John Stegner and 7th District Judge Greg Moeller for the position.

“The citizens of Idaho should know that Judge Bevan will be an outstanding addition to the Supreme Court,” Moeller said in a press release. “He is a seasoned and experienced jurist, and I look forward to the fresh perspectives he will bring to the Court.”

Bevan will be sworn in on Sept. 27, in Boise at 1:30 p.m. at the Supreme Court building.

Bevan said he is proud to be a member of the court and is looking forward to standing for election in the spring. He plans to formally announce his candidacy in a few weeks.