Laramie attorney Tori Kricken will succeed District Court Judge Jeffrey Donnell in Wyoming’s Second Judicial District, according to a Friday morning news release from the Office of Gov. Matt Mead.
Kricken, a staff attorney for the Second Judicial District, was appointed by Mead to fill the vacancy on the bench following Donnell’s anticipated retirement Jan. 2. In early October, Kricken was named one of three finalists for the position, along with Peter H. Froelicher, a hearing examiner for the Wyoming Office of Administrative Hearings, and Robin Sessions Cooley, a member of the Wyoming State Board of Equalization.
“Tori is deeply committed to Laramie and to her family,” Mead states in the release. “She has brilliance in the law and has earned respect for her community commitment, legal acumen, and work ethic. I have no doubt Tori will continue to work hard and serve the people of Albany County well.”
In addition to her work as staff attorney, Kricken has served as a District Court commissioner, DUI/Drug Court judge and Circuit Court magistrate — a part-time official who handles judicial duties when a presiding judge is absent — in the Second Judicial District. She has been a Laramie Municipal Court magistrate since 2014 and has past experience as a Second Judicial District law clerk, a hearing examiner for the state administrative hearings office and a private practice attorney in Laramie.
Kricken has a law degree and bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Wyoming, both with highest honors.
For the past 12 years, she has been a visiting or adjunct professor at the UW College of Law, and she has also authored multiple published law articles and served on Wyoming State Bar committees.
“I’ve been a part of the judiciary for 12 years of my career, and throughout that time, working with the judges that I have had the pleasure to work with, I always knew that that was a path I ultimately wanted to pursue,” Kricken said.
She said she plans to work closely with Donnell during the next few months to ensure the transition to the bench is seamless.
“I hope that I can be fair, impartial and accurate in my application of the law, and also do that in a prompt and efficient manner,” Kricken said. “I hope that my temperament also is one that is conducive to being respectful of our attorneys and of those that appear in court, and being able to listen to their arguments and understand their positions and rule accordingly.”
Albany County Commissioner Tim Chesnut said he thought Kricken would be the “best thing that’s happened to the District Court” in his lifetime.
“I think she has a good head on her shoulders,” he said. “She’s fair and listens to both sides of an argument without making judgment until it’s all over.”