Lawyers honor Southern Utah judge who presided over high-profile cases

Judge Eric Ludlow of the 5th District Court, St. George, Utah, Aug. 28, 2017 | Photo courtesy of the Utah court pool, St. George News

ST. GEORGE  Fifth District Judge Eric Ludlow was honored this week with a Judicial Excellence Award from the Utah State Bar.

Along with 11 state court judges, a Utah Court of Appeals judge and a Utah Supreme Court Justice, Ludlow will receive the award during the Utah State Bar Litigation Section conference in Moab Friday.

“This award is given to recognize the judges who promote an orderly and civil litigation process and have demonstrated exemplary character and competence in performing their judicial duties,” said Heather Thuet, of the Litigation Section of the Utah State Bar.

Judge Eric Ludlow speaks during the sentencing hearing of Brandy Jaynes, of Toquerville, who pleaded guilty to locking her son in a bathroom for an extended period of time, St. George, Utah, Aug. 28, 2017 | File photo by the Utah court pool, St. George News

“I am honored to receive this prestigious award, as it is voted upon by the many experienced litigators from throughout the state of Utah, who appear before the court on a regular basis,” Ludlow told St. George News. “I am humbled to be recognized by my peers for this Judicial Excellence Award.”

Ludlow was appointed to the 5th District Court in 2003 by Gov. Michael O. Leavitt. Before that, he had been the Washington County Attorney beginning in 1991 and deputy county attorney for four years prior to that.

The 5th District covers Beaver, Iron and Washington counties.

Current Washington County Attorney Brock Belnap, who worked under Ludlow prior to his appointment, said the award was “very well deserved.”

“He is an extremely good judge,” Belnap said. “He’s just and fair and has an extremely good judicial temperament.”

Among recent cases Ludlow has been involved in was one in which he sentenced a woman to prison for giving her newborn baby heroin through breastfeeding.

He also oversaw the 2017 child abuse case involving a Tocquerville woman who was sentenced to up to 45 years in prison. The woman was accused of keeping her son locked away in a bathroom for an estimated year or more, a case that drew national attention.

Thuet said that in 2014, she realized Utah judges were not receiving the recognition they deserved from lawyers, so she initiated the awards program. Each year, the 2,000 members of the Litigation Section cast their vote.

Last year 5th District Judge G. Michael Westfall received the Judicial Excellence Award.

Ed. note: It was originally reported that Judge Eric Ludlow currently presided over the Martin Farnsworth case. This was incorrect and has been removed. While Farnsworth made an appearance in Ludlow’s courtroom in July, the case has since been assigned to Judge G. Michael Westfall.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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