Bill Thorne, appointed as a judge to the Utah Court of Appeals in May 2000, is a Pomo/Coast Miwok Indian from northern California. He received a BA from the University of Santa Clara in 1974 and a JD from Stanford University in 1977. For over 25 years, Thorne has served as a tribal court judge in Utah, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Wisconsin, South Dakota, California, Nevada, and Michigan on a part time basis. He served full time as a state trial judge for 14 years.
Thorne has been active locally and nationally in issues related to children, racial and cultural fairness, and justice. He is currently vice-president of the National Indian Justice Center, after having served as president for 20 years. Thorne is also chair of both the Racial and Ethnic Fairness Commission for the state of Utah and of the Judicial Councilís technology committee. In addition, he is a member of the board of directors for the North American Council on Adoptable Children, and he co-chairs that organizationís policy committee.
Thorneís other memberships include the board of directors for the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, an organization that seeks to improve the level of research and practice related to adoptions; the board of directors for WestED, Inc., a nonprofit organization devoted to enhancing equity and excellence in education; the Initiative on Utahís Foster Children, Utahís Court Improvement Project that focuses on the juvenile court system; the education committee for the Utah judiciary; and the Tribal Court Advisory Committee for National CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), an organization that provides volunteers to represent abused and neglected children in court. He previously was a commissioner with the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care and a member of the board of directors for National CASA.
Thorne played soccer in high school and college and has coached soccer at the little league, university men, and adult women levels for 25 years.