SALT LAKE CITY (Legal Newsline)--Utah Supreme Court Justice Michael Wilkins has said he plans to leave the high court next year.
Wilkins, who joined the state Supreme Court in 2000, submitted a letter last week to Gov. Gary Herbert announcing his intention to leave the bench May 15, 2010.
Before his appointment to the five-member state Supreme Court, Wilkins served for six years on the Utah Court of Appeals.
"Public service, as you obviously know, is a double-edged sword," Wilkins wrote to the Republican governor. "The chance to utilize one's skills and talents in pursuit of public betterment is enormously rewarding. On the other hand, the temptation to stay too long may diminish one's contribution, at least in my view. A close and respected friend recently told me that it is always better to leave too early than too late. That is good counsel."
The justice's retirement will mark the first opening on the Supreme Court since 2003, when Justice Ronald Nehring was appointed by Gov. Michael Leavitt.
Wilkins earned a bachelor's degree and law degree from the University of Utah, and an advanced law degree from the University of Virginia.