CHEYENNE -- Gov. Matt Mead appointed Catherine "Kate" Fox to the Wyoming Supreme Court on Thursday.
Fox is a 58-year-old partner in the Davis and Cannon law firm in Cheyenne.
She will succeed Justice Barton Voigt who is retiring after a dozen years on the state’s high court.
Fox graduated from the University of Wyoming College of Law in 1989 at the top of her class, was editor-in-chief of the Land & Water Law Review, and was inducted into the Order of the Coif.
She has a broad practice with an emphasis on employment and natural resources law.
Mead picked her over two other attorneys, Patrick R. Day and Robert W. Tiedeken.
The three had been nominated by the Judicial Nominating Commission.
Fox is the second woman named to the Wyoming Supreme Court.
The first, Marilyn Kite, is the current chief justice.
Kite, who is chairman of the commission, said all three nominees were "stellar candidates."
"It was a tough call for the governor," she said Thursday afternoon. "All across the state I got that feedback that they were three outstanding lawyers.
"We're very sorry to see Justice Voigt leave," she added. "It's hard for us to picture this court without him, but we're also happy for him because he was ready for retirement.
"We're excited to have a new justice and I'm obviously excited to have another woman justice but mostly because she is a fine lawyer and will make a great addition to the court," Kite added.
Lucas Buckley, a Cheyenne attorney speaking for himself and his law firm of Hathaway and Kunz, said the governor had a strong slate of attorneys nominated for the high court.
Fox, he said, will make a very good justice.
Mead, meanwhile, has filled a dozen judiciary vacancies in the past year,which is a record in recent history.
According to Fox's profile on the Davis and Cannon website, she worked on her family's dude ranch near Dubois, edited a smalltown newspaper and a restaurant magazine and was a ski bum for several years before going to law school.
The Judicial Nominating Commission includes three lawyers elected by the Wyoming State Bar: Robert M. Shively of Casper, Bruce A. Salzburg of Cheyenne, and Jeremy Michaels of Gillette, and three non-lawyers appointed by the governor -- Shelly Larson of Lusk, Gina Monk of Gillette and Janine Thompson of Cheyenne.