Casper Hires Full-time Municipal Court Judge
The Niobrara County Attorney has been named as Casper new municipal court judge, a move that reversed many years of the city hiring part-time municipal judges who also were local attorneys.
“Ms. (Cally) Lund will be a valuable asset and leader at the Casper Municipal Court,” Mayor Ray Pacheco said in a prepared statement.
Lund will begin on June 25, pending the City Council's approval of her at its meeting June 19.
"I'm very humbled and appreciative of being appointed to this position, and looking forward to serving the residents of the City of Casper and doing the best job that I can," Lund said Tuesday.
Lund, a native of Lusk, graduated from the University of Wyoming College of Law in 2012. Before that, she studied for a year at Casper College and earned a bachelor's degree in behavioral science and health at the University of Utah.
After law school, she started her career in private practice in Lusk, and as a deputy county attorney in Lusk, she said.
In 2014, Lund was elected to be the Niobrara County Attorney. That job included criminal prosecution and civil government work, she said.
Lund also worked for the Young Williams Law Firm, which Wyoming employs to conduct child support enforcement in Douglas, Wheatland, Torrington and Lusk in the Eighth Judicial District.
As a Municipal Court Judge, she will preside mostly over cases involving traffic violations and driving while intoxicated, she said.
Unlike Natrona County Circuit Court and District Court judges, she is not up for public votes for retention.
Instead, Lund will be an at-will employee of the City of Casper and answers to the city council, she said.
Her hiring marks a change in the operation of the municipal court, which meets on the fifth floor of the Hall of Justice.
Decades ago, the city hired full-time judges and they worked for one year then were replaced by another judge, according to a city council work session memo in January. The city went to part-time judges because of the burnout rate of full-time judges and the lack of capable applicants.
While the Wyoming Supreme Court agreed that attorneys can serve as part-time judges, they must recuse themselves if there is a conflict of interest in which the attorney represents a client who later appears in municipal court.
Earlier this year, council decided to hire one full-time municipal court judge instead of three part-time judges.