On Monday morning, December 23, Governor Gary R. Herbert named Sean D. Reyes, Esq. as attorney general to replace recently resigned John Swallow. Reyes will serve as Utah’s attorney general through 2014. “Sean is one of the most recognized lawyers in Utah and the country,” said Governor Herbert. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table that will help reestablish the public’s trust in the Attorney General’s Office.”

“I have a great respect for what the office stands for and I’m deeply appreciative to the governor for the trust that he has demonstrated in me,” said Reyes. “I hope to be able to win the trust of all the citizens of the State of Utah in restoring their confidence in this office. I’m excited and energized to get started and tackle both internal issues, rebuilding public perception and taking on some very serious social issues for our state and nation.”

After 14 years with Parsons Behle & Latimer as an attorney and litigation partner, Reyes stepped away to begin a new chapter. He started Reyes Legal Management and became a partner in Accelerate Ventures, overseeing legal strategy and execution for venture funds. In 2012, he ran for attorney general against John Swallow in the Republican primary. As a litigation attorney, Reyes has litigated some of Utah’s largest and most high-profile cases. In addition, he has appellate experience in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, Utah Supreme Court and United States Supreme Court on briefs and oral arguments, as well as trial experience at the federal and state level. 

Reyes has been recognized and praised over the years not only for his work, but also his community service. In 2008, he was named the American Bar Association’s “Outstanding Young Lawyer for the Nation,” the highest national award for a young lawyer. The Utah State Bar recognized him for a similar award in 2006 as the “Utah Young Lawyer of the Year.” Reyes has also received numerous national business awards. 

Political involvement is not new for Reyes. In addition to having been a candidate for attorney general in 2012, he has served as a county, state and national delegate for the Republican Party and as an ex officio member of the State Bar Commission. He was also involved with the National Commission on Museum for American Latino and the State Judicial Nominating Commission. Additionally, he was a small claims judge for the Third District Court and a co-founder and board member for Fraud College, an education entity to combat white-collar fraud. His community involvement includes serving on the Utah State Bar, helping found both the Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Utah Asian Chamber of Commerce, and being a board member of Utah Fast Past, Fight the New Drug, and the Hale Centre Theatre. 

Reyes received his Juris Doctorate, with honors, from the University of California Boalt Hall School of Law. He graduated from Brigham Young University summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Reyes resides in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, with his wife and six children.

Reyes also announced that General Brian L. Tarbet, currently serving as acting attorney general, will remain on staff as a chief deputy attorney general. “I’m pleased Gen. Tarbet has agreed to stay with me during a transition period,” said Reyes. “We will build on the good work of the many talented public servants we have within the office and also make some hard decisions about reorganization and leadership change.”