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Utah Bankruptcy Judge William T. Thurman has been named chief judge of the 10th Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel.

The panel, located in Denver, handles the majority of appeals that arise from bankruptcy court decisions within the federal 10th Circuit, which includes Utah.

He has been serving as a member of the panel since May 6, 2003. He will serve a three-year renewable term as the panel's chief judge.

Thurman also serves as the chief judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Utah, which handled 18,414 cases in 2011. He was sworn in to the bankruptcy bench on Sept. 4, 2001 and has been serving as chief judge in Utah since Jan. 5, 2009.