Judge Charlene Barlow was appointed in October 2010 by Governor Gary Herbert. Her 30 plus years as a prosecutor prepared her well for the challenges of her West Jordan caseload. Judge Barlow prosecuted for Orem City, Provo City and Utah County before joining the Utah Attorney Generals’ office in 1988. While at the AG’s office she worked in Criminal Appeals, prosecuted Financial Crimes and was the Division Chief of the Consumer Enforcement Unit.
Judge Barlow grew up on a farm in Idaho with two siblings. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University where she graduated with a degree in English. She taught school for five years before returning to school to pursue her law degree at the J. Reuben Clark Law School.
She was always drawn to criminal law and has worked in that area of law for most of her career.
Her attraction to a career in the judiciary arose from a belief that her litigation and life experiences would allow her to assist people with their problems. Consequently, her greatest satisfaction with this job has been the ability to help the parties who appear before her to resolve their legal matters or at least engage in a fair process. The most challenging part of the job has been making decisions in homicide cases, where the stakes are so high, and dealing with the emotions in her domestic relations calendar.
Tips for the practitioners who appear before her: She appreciates attorneys who are well-prepared, have narrowed the issues and have resolved those that can be resolved, prior to the court hearing. Her biggest pet peeve is lawyers who continue to talk well after they have made their point. Judge Barlow values efficiency in her court room, as a result she dislikes anything that wastes the valuable time of those appearing before her. She recognizes the importance of the transition to e-filing and has become comfortable with viewing court documents on the computer on her bench.
Away from the courthouse, she enjoys reading and watching her grand-nephews play sports. Judge Barlow is an avid fan of the BYU Cougars and has a reputation as a fabulous baker, often sharing her baked goods with court employees.