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BURLEY — A lawyer from Rupert has been appointed to the bench.

Michael Tribe has been appointed by the governor to replace retiring Cassia County Judge Michael Crabtree.

Tribe is the lawyer for the cities of Rupert and Heyburn and for the Minidoka and Cassia county school districts. He is also a deputy prosecutor in Minidoka County, handling felonies, and he has experience working on water rights disputes as a municipal lawyer.

Tribe said in a statement his prior experience as a law clerk for Fifth District Judge Barry Wood inspired him to apply for Crabtree’s seat.

“The range of legal issues Mike has handled — both civil and criminal — has prepared him well to be a district judge,” Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter said. “He is well-known and respected in his community and committed to administering justice professionally and impartially. I’m confident Judge Tribe will be a credit to the Fifth Judicial District and the people of Cassia County.”

Tribe will be up for election next year, and said he plans to run.

“In filling the vacancy created by Judge Crabtree, I hope to continue and emulate his practice of fairness and kindness to all who appeared before him,” Tribe said. “I welcome the opportunity to associate more closely with judges I’ve admired my entire professional career.”

Tribe said he plans to wind down his law practice and step away from his current municipal clients.

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