Judge Patrick E. Lambert is retiring after 39 years as North Ogden’s Justice Court Judge.
BY KATIE GERARD
As a young man getting his education, Pat Lambert never planned to be a judge, much less a judge for almost four decades. A lifelong resident of North Ogden, Judge Lambert attended local schools and graduated from Weber High School. After he married his wife, Sheri, they settled in North Ogden and raised their family here.
Pat went on to graduate from Weber State College with a degree in Sociology. Though jobs were hard to come by in the early 70s, he found employment as an orderly at St. Benedict’s Hospital in Ogden, where he eventually became the Director of Social Work. After working in this position, Pat realized that he did not enjoy the medical field and began to look for other job opportunities. He started working in the juvenile court as a probation officer and became a supervisor there. This led to employment with Adult Probation & Parole, where he started in probation and then moved into parole. Later, he worked as a pre-revocation hearing officer for the Utah Board of Pardons.
All this experience and training did not go unnoticed by others. Pat started working for the Division of Youth Corrections. He was approached by North Ogden City in 1982 to see if he would be interested in being the municipal justice court judge. At the time, he was doing administrative disciplinary hearings for Youth Corrections at the State Youth Development Center. Initially, Pat was not interested. He was busy in his career and had a young family. Pat was approached again and finally agreed to what was then a very part-time job. Pat continued in Youth Corrections, eventually becoming an administrator there.
The years sped by, and his family grew. Judge Lambert was now a seasoned judge and still a very young man. More courts in Weber County sought his experience on the bench. He was appointed to the bench in four other jurisdictions: Washington Terrace/Marriott-Slaterville (1994), Farr West (2002), Pleasant View (2003), and Uintah/Huntsville (2007) Justice Courts.
After 23 years as an administrator with the Division of Youth Corrections and a total of 32 years with the State of Utah, Judge Lambert retired from state service in 2004 but remained on the bench. His “part-time” job as a judge had become a full-time job.
Judge Lambert is known far and wide for his informed, fair, and consistent presence on the bench in his many jurisdictions. He strives to promote understanding of the law to citizens. He is unfailingly kind, patient, and calm to all who come before him in court.
Judge Lambert is an excellent administrator and inspires the best in all his clerks. He leads by example. When a change in the law or a change or update in court programs affect procedural change in the court, he is swift to make the change and educate himself and his staff to ensure compliance and comprehension.
Judge Lambert is an understanding and compassionate supervisor, which makes his staff want to work even harder. He interacts well with attorneys, bailiffs, prosecutors, probation agencies, and other city employees. He is well liked by all and brings with him a presence which commands respect.
Many citizens have commented over the years on how happy they are with how they have been treated in court and that, because Judge Lambert takes the time to explain the law, defendants are much calmer as they finally understand more about their charges and their options. Judge Lambert also has a sense of humor that has diffused more than one tense moment in court.
We at North Ogden City wish Judge Lambert well. His presence will be greatly missed, but he has earned this time to be with his family and doing more of the things he loves.