Peter Stirba



Mr. Stirba is a graduate of the S.J. Quinney College of Law and was admitted to the Bar in 1976. He practices in Salt Lake City with his firm colleagues at Stirba, P.C., a law firm Mr. Stirba started 22 years ago. He is President and sole shareholder.

Mr. Stirba also is one of only a handful of Utah lawyers who have had the privilege of arguing before the United States Supreme Court. He successfully argued the 2009 case of Pearson v. Callahan, which was a unanimous decision in his clients’ favor. That case established important precedent concerning the defense of qualified immunity in federal civil rights litigation. Since the decision in 2009, the Pearson decision has been cited over 19,000 times.

Mr. Stirba was recently honored as 2013 Utah Lawyer of the Year. The Utah State Bar Commission each year recognizes one lawyer for this honor based upon the lawyer’s professionalism and excellence.

Mr. Stirba is presently an Associate Adjunct Professor at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, where he has taught the Pretrial Practice course. Mr. Stirba has also been a frequent lecturer on various topics of trial and appellate advocacy including having taught civil advocacy techniques at the U.S. Department of Justice, the Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School, and in numerous presentations before many organizations including the Utah State Bar and the Texas State Bar.

Professional Experience

  • Stirba, P.C., 1991 to present – President and Owner
  • Rural Utah Alliance – CEO, 2016 – Present
  • City of Gunnison, City Attorney, 2002 – 2010
  • Town of Centerfield, City Attorney, 2002 – 2005
  • McKay Burton & Thurman, 1986-1990 – Partner and Chairman of the Litigation Section
  • Salt Lake County, 1986 – 1987 – Special Counsel to the 1986 Special Salt Lake County Grand Jury
  • United States Department of Justice, 1983 to 1986 – Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah
  • McKay Burton & Thurman, 1980-1983
  • Peter Stirba, Esq., 1976 – 1980

Professional Activities

  • Chairman, Utah Sentencing Commission, 2015 – 2019
  • Member, Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, 2015 – 2019
  • Third Judicial District Court Nominating Commission 2010-2014
  • Associate Adjunct Professor of Law, S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah, 2008 – 2021
  • University of Utah S.J. Quinney School of Law, Board of Trustees Member, 2010 to 2012
  • Third Judicial District Court Nominating Commission, 2003-2007
  • Ad Hoc Judicial Application Review Committee, 2007
  • Utah Appellate Court Nominating Commission, 1994-96
  • Advisory Committee to the Rules Committee Support Office of the Office of Judges Program District of Utah, 1994
  • Member, American Board of Trial Advocates, 1994
  • Utah Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Criminal Procedure, 1991-93
  • Teacher – Lecturer, United States Department of Justice, Civil Trial Advocacy, 1986-87
  • Member, Utah State Bar Legislative Affairs Committee, 1985-86
  • Member, Law Related Education and Law Day Committee, Utah State Bar, 1982-83
  • Chairman, Utah State Bar Fee Arbitration Committee, 1981-82
  • Pro Bono Advocate for the Utah Advocates for the Developmentally Disabled, 1980-81
  • Chairman, Utah State Bar Young Lawyer’s Administration of Justice Project, 1979
  • Judge Pro Tempore, Salt Lake Small Claims Court, 1978

Speaking & Presentations

  • Civil Litigation Law Enforcement: What is Trending, 21st Annual Corrections & Law Enforcement Training Conference “Tough New Challenges – Stronger Resolve” Utah Sheriffs’ Association, St. George, UT, 2016
  • Encounters with Mental Illness – A New Paradigm, Utah Sheriff’s Association Conference, St. George, UT, 2015
  • State And National Trends On Prescribing Opioids, Criminal and Regulatory Issues That Health Care Providers Are Presently Facing – From Both the Attorney and Physician Perspective, Utah State Bar, 2015
  • Contemporary Qualified Immunity Defense: Circuit and Supreme Court Trends, The International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference, Orlando, FL, 2014
  • Proscribing and Regulatory Compliance: How to Help Keep Physicians Out Of Legal Trouble, Association for Utah Community Health: Annual Primary Care Conference, Salt Lake City, UT, 2014
  • Recent Excessive Force Cases from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office- Winter Conference. Brigham City, UT, 2014
  • Recent Developments in Law Enforcement Civil Rights Litigation, Law Enforcement Training and CLE for Hurricane and St. George, Utah, 2012
  • Administrative Rules: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Utah State Bar–Administrative Law Section Intermediate Level Course, Salt Lake City, UT, 2012
  • Government Criteria in Deciding to Prosecute; How to Prevent It From Happening to You, Utah Valley Pain Management Fall Symposium, Provo, UT, 2012
  • Effective Appellate Advocacy, annual lecture, J. Ruben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, 2003- present
  • Courtroom Technology: You Better Learn What It Is and How to Use It, Panel/Discussion Utah Summer Bar Conference, Sun Valley, Idaho, 2012
  • The Case of Pearson v. Callahan before the Utah State Bar Appellate Law Section Salt Lake City, Utah 2009
  • The U.S. Supreme Court, A Clerk’s Perspective and an Advocate’s Perspective, Utah State Bar Annual Meeting, Sun Valley, Idaho, 2009
  • The Callahan v. Pearson Argument Before the United States Supreme Court, Utah Counties Insurance Pool Annual Meeting of the Members, Lehi, Utah, 2008
  • The Experience of Arguing Before the United States Supreme Court, Temple University Law School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2008
  • Mooting the United States Supreme Court Case of Pearson v. Callahan, University of Utah S.J. Quinney School of Law, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2008
  • Personal Reflections in Arguing Before the United States Supreme Court, University of Utah S.J. Quinney School of Law, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2008
  • What it’s Like to Be a Judge and How to Get to Be One, Utah Bar Fall Forum, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2007
  • What it’s Like to Be a Judge and How to Get to Be One, Utah Bar Association, Annual Meeting, Sun Valley, Idaho, 2007
  • First Amendment Issues, Free Speech Zones, Utah Municipal Attorney Association, Annual Spring Conference, Springdale, Utah, 2007
  • Qualified Immunity Without Qualifications, Utah Counties Insurance Pool Risk Management Conference, Cedar City, Utah, 2006
  • How to Treat your Patients’ Pain Without Creating Your Own Legal Headaches, Utah Pain Society Seminar, “Opioid Pain Management,” Salt Lake City, Utah, 2005
  • Kirby Vacuum Litigation Update, Utah Municipal Attorney Association, St. George, Utah, 2005
  • Brief Writing and Oral Argument: Top 10 Tips, lecture, J. Ruben Clark Law School, Legal Writing Class, Provo, Utah, 2005
  • Legal and Ethical Issues in Modern Day Journalism, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2003
  • Legal and Ethical Issues in Modern Day Journalism, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2001
  • The Right to a Fair Trial v. the Right to Know: Public Access Issues in Criminal Court Proceedings, Utah Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists, Panel Discussion, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2000
  • How to Represent a Licensed Professional Before a Regulatory Agency, Utah State Bar Mid-Year Convention, St. George, Utah, 2000
  • Cross-Examination in Criminal Trials, lecture, J. Ruben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University, Criminal Trial Advocacy Course, Provo, Utah, 1998
  • Top 10 Tips in Federal Sentencing, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Winter Meeting, Park City, Utah, 1997
  • Bias in Agency Decision Making: Appearance or Reality . . .and What to Do About It, Utah State Bar Annual Meeting, Sun Valley, Idaho, 1996
  • Juror Misconduct and Judicial Standards to Control It, Federal Bar Association, Seminar on Criminal Law and Procedure, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1995
  • Trial Notebook, Utah State Bar Civil Advocacy Seminar, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1987
  • Is There an Insurance Crisis?, National Legal Secretary Association Meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1982

National and Local Recognition

  • Honorary Sheriff Designation, Utah Sheriff’s Association, 2015
  • Service to the Court Award, Judicial Council of the State of Utah, 2015
  • 2013 Utah Lawyer of the Year
  • Cases handled have been the subject of national media attention including; CBS, (60 Minutes), ABC, (Good Morning America), ABC, (20/20), “The Wall Street Journal”, “The New York Times,” and “Rolling Stone Magazine”
  • Recognized in Utah Business (Legal Elite)
  • Listed in the “Mountain States Super Lawyers Magazine”
  • Has the AV Preeminent™ rating 5 out of 5 with Martindale-Hubbell

Civic Activities

  • The Anne Stirba Cancer Foundation, President and Chairman of the Board
  • Political and Church-related Activities