Hon. Michael D. Zimmerman
Chief Justice in the Utah Supreme Court (Ret.)
Michael D. Zimmerman is a partner in Utah’s appellate boutique law firm, Zimmerman Booher, which was founded in August of 2011. Michael also serves as an arbitrator and a mediator. From 2000 until 2011, he was a partner in the Salt Lake City office of Snell & Wilmer, specializing in commercial litigation.
Michael was a justice on the Utah Supreme Court from 1984 until early 2000, serving as Chief Justice from January 1994 until April 1998. He was vice-chair of the Utah Judicial Council Task Force on Gender and Justice, chair of the Utah Judicial Council Task Force on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Judicial System, and was chair of the board of trustees of the Utah Council on Conflict Resolution. Before taking the bench, Michael practiced law in Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, was an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Utah College of Law, and served as Special Counsel to the Governor of Utah.
Michael attended the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, and graduated from the University of Utah. He received his J.D. from the University of Utah College of Law in 1969 and served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren E. Burger.
Michael first began meditating in 1993, later studied Zen, and, in 2006, received dharma transmission in the Soto Zen lineage from Dennis Genpo Merzel, Roshi. He was Vice-Abbot and taught at the Kanzeon Zen Center in Salt Lake City under Genpo Roshi until July of 2010. With his wife, Diane Musho Hamilton, Sensei, another dharma successor of Genpo Roshi, he now teaches at Two Arrows Zen in Torrey, Utah, and at its City Center in Salt Lake City. Michael has made a number of presentations to lawyers and judges on meditation, the benefits it offers to lawyers, and the science underlying those benefits.