OGDEN -- Judge Michael Lyon has announced his retirement from the bench in 2nd District Court in Ogden, effective Sept. 1.
Before his appointment by then-Gov. Norm Bangerter in 1992, Lyon spent 18 years as the judge for South Ogden City Court, now called justice court.
"So I've had 39 years of judging people in this community, and maybe that's long enough," said the 70-year-old. "There are other things I'd like to do, as far as service, and I don't want to wait until my age catches up with me."
Lyon said he plans to take occasional cases as a senior judge, "so I don't expect to go too far away."
"I feel like I still have a lot of oomph, I'm in good health, and there gets to be a point when one asks oneself, 'When is the right time to retire?' "
Lyon's impending departure leaves only Judge W. Brent West with longer tenure on the district bench among the seven judges in 2nd District Court in Ogden, as well as all 14 judges in the entire 2nd District, which covers Weber, Davis and Morgan counties.
West was appointed in 1984. Next in line as to seasoning is Judge Glen Dawson, in Davis County, appointed in 1994, followed by Judge Michael Allphin, also Davis, appointed a district judge in 1995 after six years as a court commissioner.
In Ogden, with 13 years on the bench, Judge Ernie Jones will become No. 2 in seniority when Lyon steps down.
"I have loved this job," Lyon said. "It exceeded my expectations in terms of job satisfaction. I've felt wonderfully fulfilled and satisfied."
He said he has never had a day when he didn't look forward to going to work on the bench.
"Even 'facing down the dragon,' so to speak, in a very difficult case, there was still a sense of exhilaration and anticipation."
Lyon has twice served as presiding judge of the 2nd District and has also served on the Utah Judicial Council, the Governor's Child Support Guidelines Advisory Committee and Utah's Board of District Court Judges, the latter both as a member and as chairman.
He was founding president of the Rex E. Lee American Inn of Court, an organization dedicated to promoting ethics and professionalism in the legal profession.
Before becoming a judge, he worked with the law firm of Lyon, Helgesen, Waterfall & Jones in Ogden, where his practice emphasized civil litigation.
He is a former Clinton city attorney and deputy Weber County attorney.
He is a past member of the Ethics and Disciplinary Committee and the Courts and Judges Committee of the Utah State Bar.
He received his B.S., cum laude, from Weber State College and his law degree from the University of Utah.