BOISE — Idaho Supreme Court Justice Warren E. Jones will retire Dec. 31 because of personal and family health circumstances, he announced Oct. 6.
“It has been an extraordinary pleasure and privilege to serve the State and all Idahoans,” Jones said in a prepared statement.
Gov. Butch Otter appointed Jones to be the 55th justice of the Idaho Supreme Court in July 2007.
Jones has spent almost 40 years as an attorney and judge.
“I can think of no better way to finish out a legal career than by serving as a Justice on the Court,” he stated. “It has been a professional highlight and I have derived great personal satisfaction from my working relationships with the fellow Justices over the last ten years.”
In accordance with the procedure for filling midterm vacancies, a new justice will be appointed by the governor to replace Jones from a list of two to four names provided by the Idaho Judicial Council. This justice will serve out the remainder of the unexpired term, which ends in January 2021. A nonpartisan election to elect a justice for the next six-year term will be held in May 2020.
According to his biography on the Supreme Court website, Jones was born in 1943 in Montpelier. He attended grade school in Ogden, Utah, and spent summers with his grandparents on a farm in Burley. He attended high school at Butte County High School in Arco, graduating as valedictorian in 1961.
Jones earned a Bachelor of Arts, Magnum Cum Laude, in political science in 1965 from The College of Idaho before attending the University of Chicago Law School, where he received his Juris Doctor degree in 1968. After his second year of law school, he received a Ford Foundation Fellowship for advanced study in criminal law and procedure at Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago.
Following graduation from the University of Chicago in 1968, Jones returned to Idaho to work as a law clerk in 1968-70 for the Honorable Joseph J. McFadden, Chief Justice of the Idaho Supreme Court.
Jones then joined the law firm of Eberle, Berlin, Kading, Turnbow, McKlveen & Jones in 1970, where he later became the firm’s senior litigator, specializing in litigation of all types, including negligence, products liability, professional malpractice and commercial litigation. During 37 years with the Eberle Berlin firm, Jones tried more than 122 jury cases to a verdict in 38 of the State’s 44 counties.
“We will miss Justice Jones’ unmatched trial experience on the Court,” Idaho Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger S. Burdick stated in a press release. “One of Justice Jones’ significant contributions has been enhancing the Court’s consideration of the implications of its decisions on the attorneys.”