Patrick Shea (Utah lawyer)

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Patrick Shea
Born Patrick A. Shea
(1948-02-28) February 28, 1948 (age 69)
United States
Alma mater Stanford University (B.A.)
University of Oxford (M.A.)
Harvard University (J.D.)
Occupation Attorney
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Debbie Kern (1980-present)
Children Michael

Patrick A. Shea (born February 28, 1948) is a Salt Lake City based lawyer who has taken on many cases related to freedom of the press. He also held office in the United States Department of the Interior.

Shea co-authored with Rodney K. Smith Religion and the Press: Keeping First Amendment Values in Balance, a book which argued that Freedom of the Press had been taken too far in allowing the media to publish unsubstantiated claims that demean religious leaders.[1]

Shea served as the Assistant to the Staff Director of the Special Senate Committee which investigated the United States Intelligence Community, 1975-76. Shea was Counsel to the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee which handled the Taiwan Relations Act, the Camp David Accord and the attempt to ratify the SALT II Treaty. Shea was the General Counsel for Standard Communication, a private communication company which owned twelve television, twelve radio stations, several newspapers and cable system from 1985 to 1993. Shea also represented Massachusetts Democratic Party in seeking to gain enough information to exclude Mitt Romney from running for governor in Massachusetts.[2] He represented Skip Knowles in his case involving being fired by the Salt Lake Tribune for plagiarism.[3] He represented Steven Greenstreet's defense against Kay Anderson's attempts to prevent Greenstreet's use of an interview with Anderson in a documentary film This Divided State.[4] Shea also was one of the lawyers for Brent Jeffs in his sexual molestation suit against his uncle Warren Jeffs.[5] He is admitted to the bar in the District of Columbia and Utah.


Shea received his bachelor's degree from Stanford University. He then was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. He received his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1975. He has taught courses at Brigham Young University, University of Utah, Kansas State University, and Westminster College. Since his return to Utah in 2001 Shea has been a member of the University of Utah political science department's faculty. Shea was an adjunct faculty member of the Department of Agronomy at Kansas State University from 2001-2009. Shea was a Fellowship Adviser to Honors Program at Westminster College, Salt Lake City in collaboration with 'The Living Arts Experience: A Seminar in Liberal Ideals'. Shea is a Research Professor of Biology at the University of Utah and serves as consultant to the Dean of the College of Science. He teaches a course for seniors and first year graduate students entitled "Biography of an Urban Stream". The course exams the interaction between the geology, hydrology and biology of the Canyon which is next to the University of Utah.

Political career[edit]

Shea became chairman of Utah Democratic Party in 1983 and chaired state presidential campaigns of Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, and Bill Clinton. he ran for Governor of Utah in 1992 (lost in the primary by a margin of 57% to 43%[6] to Stewart Hanson, who finished third behind Republican winner Mike Leavitt and Independent Merrill Cook in the general election), and was the Democratic nominee for the United States Senate against Orrin Hatch in 1994 (lost by 68.8%-28.3%).

Shea served as A Commissioner on the Gore Commission on Aviation Safety and Security, 1996-97 which investigated the TWA 800 crash of August 1996.

In 1997, Shea was appointed as the national director of the Bureau of Land Management. he served as the director of the Bureau of Land Management and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management under President Clinton.

Prior to becoming head of the BLM, Shea was the head of City Creek Canyon Park in Salt Lake City.

Shea is an Irish Catholic.



  1. ^ Jarvik, Elaine (April 26, 2003). "Media's treatment of religion targeted". Deseret News. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  2. ^ Welling, Angie (June 17, 2002). "News reporter must testify". Deseret News. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  3. ^ "S.L. Trib outdoors writer fired". Deseret News. July 24, 2003. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  4. ^ Decker, Marin (January 25, 2005). "Film footage is disputed". Deseret News. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  5. ^ Reaves, Joseph A. (August 1, 2004), "Troubles dogging polygamy prophet", Arizona Republic, retrieved 2013-09-10 
  6. ^
Party political offices
Preceded by
Brian Moss
Democratic nominee for United States Senator from Utah
(Class 1)

Succeeded by
Scott Howell