Stebner takes the bench as Ninth Judicial District Circuit Court Judge

    (Riverton, WY) – The Honorable Judge Daniel M. Stebner had his Robing Ceremony today, March 31. He has taken the bench as the Circuit Court Judge for the Ninth Judicial District serving Fremont County, filling the vacancy left by the retirement of the Honorable Judge Wesley Roberts.

    The Riverton Circuit Courtroom was filled with family, friends, colleagues, and numerous dignitaries to celebrate this momentous occasion for Stebner. The dignitaries included the Wyoming Supreme Court and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon.

    Since 2013, he has served as Deputy County and Prosecuting Attorney in Fremont County. From 2011-2013 he served as Judicial Law Clerk for the Ninth Judicial District Court in Fremont County under Judge Norman Young.


    Six special guests addressed attendees during the ceremony: James Whiting, Patrick LeBrun, Brett Befus, Ann Stebner Steele, Katherine Strike, and Governor Mark Gordon.

    Speaking on behalf of the Wyoming State Bar, James Whiting said: “…I can say having worked with Judge Stebner as a prosecutor and dealt with him as a law clerk and been to his house, met his family, I have no reservations and the State Bar has no reservations or concerns about Judge Stebner…”

    Fremont County Prosecuting Attorney Patrick LeBrun followed Whiting.

    “…He is a true Wyoming lawyer,” LeBrun shared. “He is an everyday man’s kind of lawyer. Not pretentious, very modest, never fails to acknowledge a mistake, and never fails to correct it when he makes one. Always tells the truth. He is charismatic, and he is so funny…He listens, and he thinks, and he does not rush to judgment. Dan is very skilled at case analysis. He can see both sides of the issue as well as any lawyer I know…What makes Dan a fine lawyer and what will make him an even finer judge is that he understands the fourth dimension, which is the human factor, and his ability to articulate it and convey it. Dan recognizes there is no room for politics in any of the dimensions of this system, but especially the fourth dimension. Dan Stebner will simply do what is right…”


    Ann Stebner Steele, Stebner’s sister, shared about their family’s time in the backcountry and a specific trek over Windy Ridge, which he helped navigate, creating a particularly smooth traverse.

    “…Danny, I know that your time in Wyoming’s wild places will serve you well on this new adventure,” she said. “You will bring the same thoughtful, careful consideration to your judicial decisions that you do to choosing backpacking routes. You will treat those who appear before you with the same compassion and fairness you bring to your companions in the country. Listening carefully to what they have to say. You will bring to bear both your intelligence and your sense of humor. You will respect the law as you respect the mountains and the desert as something you are a part of but not in control of. The Wyoming legal community and Wyoming at large are lucky to have you serve in this role. Just as I am lucky to call you my brother and my friend, and when you need to get away from the pressures of your job, you know I’ll be ready to go to the hills with you just like our parents taught us to do.”

    Rounding out the special guests was Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon.


    “The Circuit Court is very often the first opportunity the public has of dealing with the court,” he said. “And it is also the most important interface that the public has in my mind. And it takes character. It takes compassion, and it takes most especially judgment. It’s something I’ve always appreciated in Wes Roberts…I’ve always respected his compassion and his just humanity. Something I saw very much in you. And so it is a great honor to have the opportunity to have appointed you for this position…”

    Administering the Oath today was Wyoming Supreme Court Chief Justice Kate Fox. The Oath was followed by the Robing, conducted by Stebner’s wife Stacy.

    After the Robing, Justice Kari Gray provided remarks on behalf of the Wyoming Supreme Court.


    “…You are described as a highly-skilled, perceptive, sensitive lawyer,” she said. “As a man with a good sense of humor. Someone who enjoys his work and is always prepared. A man of good judgment and good character. Someone who is wise and tenacious, and so while in many respects I do not know you, in some respects, I know you well. And you have hung the ideals and the commitment, the intelligence, the heart, and maybe a little bit of the mischief gifted to you by your dad and your mom. And, of course, your aunt Marilyn. You have established your own brand of excellence. I cannot think of a better choice for this important job. It is, in my view, one of the most important jobs in the judiciary. Courts serve as the hallmark of democracy…The Circuit Court is, for the vast majority of people, their first and only experience with the judiciary, and their experience will become part of a wider view of understanding the importance of the judicial system and whether or not as an institution that can be trusted. For many, you will be the face of the judiciary. The decisions you make will have a direct impact on people’s lives and livelihoods and an indirect impact on the judiciary as a whole. The decisions you make can alter lives and how you deal with those who appear before you can have a lasting impact. Judges must understand the real-world implications of legal decisions and understanding that you have demonstrated throughout your career…The ninth Judicial District and Fremont County and Riverton are blessed to have judges of the caliber of Wes Roberts and Daniel Stebner…”

    An emotional Judge Stebner wrapped up the ceremony by sharing he was humbled and thanked numerous people who have impacted his life.

    “…I just wish to express my gratitude to all of you in this courtroom today and to so many others out there who, for various reasons, couldn’t be here today…I will continue to serve the people of this county for as long as they’ll have me do it. And I give the people my word, like I did the Governor, that they will get my best efforts. I ask everyone to please be a little patient with me. I have a lot to learn. And I’m not very good at this yet. But I intend to be good at it. And I expect to be good at it. But it will take some time…”


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