Clark Waddoups

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Clark Waddoups
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Utah
Assumed office
October 21, 2008
Appointed by George W. Bush
Preceded by Paul G. Cassell
Personal details
Born 1946 (age 70–71)
Arco, Idaho, U.S.
Alma mater Brigham Young University
S.J. Quinney College of Law

Clark Waddoups (born 1946) is a district judge of the United States District Court for the District of Utah.

Education and legal career[edit]

Judge Waddoups received his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University in 1970 and his juris doctorate from S.J. Quinney College of Law in 1973. He was most recently a partner in the law firm of Parr, Waddoups, Brown, Gee & Loveless where he was a trial lawyer specializing in commercial litigation, including antitrust, securities, labor/employment, banking, construction, environmental and insurance claims. Clark Waddoups has represented clients in industries such as heavy manufacturing, broadcasting, banking and finance, automotive, oil, and real estate.

Community and professional involvement[edit]

Waddoups practiced for O'Melveny & Myers, a large California law firm for seven years in Los Angeles before joining Parr Waddoups in 1981. Prior to that, he served as a law clerk for Hon. J. Clifford Wallace, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, from 1973 - 1974.

Prior to his appointment, Judge Waddoups, who is admitted to practice in California and before all state and federal courts in Utah, was a registered lobbyist in the State of Utah, an active member of the Utah Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Rules of Evidence, and past President of the A. Sherman Christensen American Inn of Court.

Federal judicial service[edit]

Waddoups was nominated by President George W. Bush on April 29, 2008. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 26, 2008.[1] He received his commission on October 21, 2008

Tenure as federal judge[edit]

Judge Waddoups has been the presiding judge in over 600 cases since his confirmation in 2008, involving contract, real property, torts, civil rights, labor, bankruptcy, intellectual property, social security, and more.[2]

Notable rulings and selected opinions[edit]

Kody Brown, et al. v. Gary Herbert, Governor of Utah, et al.[edit]

On July 13, 2011, Kody Brown and family, from the TLC reality television show Sister Wives, filed a complaint in the United States 10th District Court, District of Utah, to challenge Utah's polygamy laws.[3] Jonathan Turley of George Washington University represented the plaintiffs in the case. The plaintiffs were found to have legal standing, though no charges have been filed against them. On December 13, 2013, approximately eleven months after he heard oral arguments in the case, Judge Waddoups rendered a 91-page decision[4] striking down the cohabitation clause of Utah's polygamy statute as unconstitutional, but also allowing Utah to maintain its ban on multiple marriage licenses.[5][6][7] Unlawful cohabitation, where prosecutors did not need to prove that a marriage ceremony had taken place (only that a couple had lived together), had been a major tool used to prosecute polygamy in Utah since the 1882 Edmunds Act.[8]

HB 497[edit]

Judge Waddoups recently blocked an immigration law signed by Gov. Gary Herbert in March 2011 that would require police to check citizenship status upon arrest. According to ABC News, Waddoups "issued his ruling in Salt Lake City just 14 hours after the law went into effect, saying that there is sufficient evidence that at least some portions of the Utah legislation will be found unconstitutional.[9]

United States v. John and Susan Ross[edit]

In December of 2009, Judge Waddoups sentenced two Davis School District employees, John and Susan Ross, for money laundering and fraud. The couple pleaded guilty and received 36 months probation, 3,000 hours of community service, $10,000 in fines, and $350,000 in restitution. Waddoups issued no jail time, against the prosecutors request, causing some to ask whether the judge was "going easy" on white-collar crimes.[10]

United States v. Claud R. Koerber[edit]

Judge Waddoups is also currently presiding over the Rick Koerber case, in which Koerber is accused of running an investment scam, or Ponzi Scheme, involving over $100 million.[11] In 2009, Koerber was initially charged with three counts—mail fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion. The first indictment was eliminated because of a document that could not be used in court. In September 2011, a federal grand jury returned a second indictment, charging Koerber with six counts of fraud, 10 counts of wire fraud, two counts of money laundering, and two counts of tax evasion. According to the Press Statement, released on September 29, 2011, by the U.S. Attorney's Office: There are no substantive changes in the superseding indictment. Changes were made to the section of the indictment describing the scheme and artifice to defraud. In addition, Count 1 of the previous indictment was eliminated following a ruling by U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups that documents which formed the basis of Count 1 were protected by the attorney-client privilege.[12][13]


  1. ^ Senate confirms new judge for Utah, Deseret News, 9/27/2008
  2. ^ Justia Dockets & Filings
  3. ^ Brown v. Herbert
  4. ^ Waddoups, Clark (December 13, 2013), Memorandum Decision And Order Granting In Part Plaintiffs' Motion For Summary Judgement, Case No. 2:11-cv-0652-CW 
  5. ^ Schwartz, John (September 14, 2013), "A Law Prohibiting Polygamy is Weakened", New York Times, retrieved 2014-01-13 
  6. ^ Mears, Bill (December 14, 2013), "'Sister Wives' case: Judge strikes down part of Utah polygamy law",, CNN, retrieved 2014-01-13 
  7. ^ Stack, Peggy Fletcher (December 14, 2013), "Laws on Mormon polygamists lead to win for plural marriage", The Salt Lake Tribune, retrieved 2014-01-13 
  8. ^ Embry, Jessie L. (1994), "Polygamy", in Powell, Allan Kent, Utah History Encyclopedia, Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, ISBN 0874804256, OCLC 30473917 
  9. ^ [1], 5/10/2011
  10. ^ Ross Sentence, 12/15/2009
  11. ^ [2]
  12. ^ Press Statement, 09/29/2011
  13. ^ The Official Franklin Squires and Rick Koerber Federal Lawsuit Blog, 09/30/2011

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Paul G. Cassell
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Utah