Federal Judge David Winder Dies, Renowned for Kindness & Fairness

A retired federal judge renowned for his kindness, hard work and fairness in the courtroom died yesterday after a long illness. David Winder, a former chief judge of the U.S. District Court in Utah, was 76 years old.

Asked by a juror after a complex intellectual property rights case had concluded whether all federal judges were as nice as Judge Winder, a court clerk replied “My mother isn’t as nice as Judge Winder,” recounts the Salt Lake Tribune. The newspaper’s article originally was published in 1997, when the judge took senior status.

Winder stopped hearing cases two years ago, the Tribune reports in another article today, and has been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and dementia.

A graduate of Stanford Law School, Winder was appointed to the federal bench in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter, after a two-year stint in state court. A former federal prosecutor who also had been in private practice before becoming a judge, Winder routinely started work in his chambers at 6 a.m., was well-informed about his cases, and did what he thought was right when it came time to decide the issues, according to those who knew him.

“He was known for his decency, his humanity, his keen intellect and his fairness. He was the real deal, both on and off the bench,” says Paul Warner, a former U.S. Attorney who appeared before Winder.

Additional coverage:

Deseret News: ” ‘Decent Dave’ Winder dies at 76”

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