Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski has selected Clemens Landau as her nominee for the Justice Court vacancy. Landau was chosen by the Mayor, from a pool of five strong candidates, for his abilities as an attorney but also for helping those who have been disenfranchised.
“Clemens Landau has a mind for the law but a heart for the community,” said Mayor Biskupski. “I was impressed with his legal knowledge and compassion. So many people see he ‘walks the walk and talks the talk’ in his personal and professional life.”
The Salt Lake County Nominating Commission selected five nominees for an upcoming vacancy in the Salt Lake City Justice Court. The position will replace Judge Catherine E. Roberts who retired effective Dec. 31, 2017. The Justice Court handles misdemeanors, traffic violations and small debt disputes.
“Mr. Landau believes the Justice Court is the most important layer of our judicial system,” added Mayor Biskupski. “He is a team player, visionary, and is someone who understands the inequities of our overall justice system. He is eager to learn from his colleagues and interested in using data to help make the justice system a fairer place for everyone.”
Landau had a unique career path before becoming an attorney. He worked as a paramedic in Boston and then managed a woodworking and instrument making company in Germany before going to law school at the University of Utah. He worked as a civil litigator at Parr, Brown, Gee & Loveless, and is now an appellate attorney at Zimmerman Jones Booher, a boutique law firm specializing in criminal and civil appeals.
Landau is also particularly active in serving the community. He is a board member of the ACLU of Utah, the Salt Lake County Bar Association, and the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the goals of equity and inclusion in Utah’s legal profession. In addition to these legal roles, Landau also serves on the Madeleine Choir School’s Diversity Committee and has helped restart the boy scout troop at Salt Lake City’s Calvary Baptist Church.
“I am humbled by Mayor Biskupski’s decision to nominate me to this position and look forward to working through the next steps of the process with the members of the Salt Lake City Council.”
Landau received endorsements from some of Utah’s top legal minds, community leaders and legal advocates. Here are some examples of the nomination letters sent on his behalf:
- “The crimes charged in Justice Court may be labeled minor but the consequences of convictions in that court can follow a person for life. Clem has a strong desire to serve that system and the people who appear in it.” Michael Zimmerman, former Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice
- “As a woman of color working at a primarily white institution, I frequently find myself working with white men who dismiss my knowledge, creativity and perspective. What is so completely refreshing about Mr. Landau is…he genuinely expects that others have more information and knowledge about particular issues than he has.” Roni Jo Draper, BYU Professor
- “Not only is Clem a superb lawyer and thinker but he has a heart of gold. He genuinely cares about people and does what he can to help them, especially the least advantaged members of our society.” Fred Voros, former Utah Court of Appeals Judge
- “He has a unique ability to hear all sides of an issue and to carefully weigh opposing viewpoints. I believe his dedication to obtaining justice, especially for vulnerable community members, would position him to be an excellent addition to the Salt Lake City Justice Court.” Brittney Nystrom, ACLU of Utah Executive Director
- “Clem was involved in outreach to underrepresented communities in the legal field. He contacted me to see if there was something we could work on together to increase the number of Latino students considering a career in the law.” Burton Rojas, Latinos in Action Director of Development
- “I support Clemens nomination because he is one of the sharpest legal minds I know and is supremely technically qualified. Additionally, I support Clemens nomination because he has the perfect temperament to be a judge.” Theresa Foxley, Economic Development Corporation of Utah President/CEO
- “He is an extremely intelligent and gifted attorney. I wish I could write as well as he does. I think Clem would be patient with the witnesses, police officers and parties that appear before him.” Walter Bugden, Bugden and Isaacson
- “He is slow to anger and quick to think through problems. People who appear in his court will feel heard and understood, even if he rules against them.” Marshall Thompson, Utah Sentencing Commission Director
The appointment is subject to advise and consent by the Salt Lake City Council. The Utah Judicial Council must then certify the appointment.