Justice John R. Stegner
Justice John R. Stegner was appointed to the Idaho Supreme Court on May 22, 2018, by Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Warren E. Jones. Justice Stegner was sworn in on June 5, 2018, as the 57th Justice of the Idaho Supreme Court.
Justice Stegner is a native Idahoan, having been born and educated in Grangeville. He is a 1977 graduate of Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. He began law school at the University of Idaho College of Law in Moscow in the fall of 1979. During his second year he was a staff member, and during his third year he was Managing Editor of the IDAHO LAW REVIEW. He graduated from the University of Idaho in the spring of 1982 and was admitted to practice by the Idaho State Bar that same year.
Following law school, Justice Stegner clerked for U.S. District Judge Harold L. Ryan for two years in Boise. He then joined the Lewiston firm of Clements, Brown & McNichols and practiced law there for more than twelve years. His practice involved a broad range of civil litigation. He left the practice in January 1997, after Governor Phil Batt appointed him to be a district court judge in Latah County. While a district judge, he established Latah County’s Drug Court (2002) and Mental Health Court (2012). He continuously presided over both from their inception until his appointment to the Supreme Court.
Justice Stegner is a recipient of the George G. Granata Jr. Award given by the Idaho Judiciary and the Distinguished Jurist Award presented by the Idaho State Bar Association. He was the first judge to receive both of these awards and to be so recognized by the Bench and Bar.
John and Laurie Stegner (née Elgee) were married on August 8, 1981, at Seattle’s First Baptist Church. The couple have three daughters, Sarah, Elizabeth, and Katherine, of whom they are fiercely proud. In 2017 their daughter Sarah and her husband, Matthew Purdy, graced them with grandson George Purdy.