Criminal Defense Attorney Seeks Solace in Working for Justice — and in the Great Outdoors

Recently appointed alternate judge stands out in garb for the special occasion

Dick Stout, a criminal defense attorney in Jackson, dresses up as Santa Claus and jumps off a tram at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort on Christmas Eve. (Courtesy photo by Jackson Hole Mountain Resort)

By Shen Wu Tan

Special to the Wyoming Truth


Jackson criminal defense attorney Dick Stout enjoys dressing up, whether it’s skiing in a tusked mammoth costume or repelling from a tram in a Santa Claus suit.  

But most of the time, Stout, 42, is the epitome of the sharp-dressed man, sporting tailored suits as he represents clients facing prosecution for everything from burglary to embezzlement. While his practice areas span a wide range, he specializes in offenses related to DUIs and controlled substances. 

“I learned that I enjoy the interactions with clients and found that most of the time I was helping good people through a personally difficult situation,” said Stout, a partner at the DeFazio Law Office who was sworn in as the alternate municipal court judge of Jackson earlier this month. “I’ve always taken the approach that I can help make the community safer by having discussions with clients that need to make changes in their life related to substance abuse. And I really enjoy that aspect of it as well.” 

Stout’s interest in representing clients with substance abuse issues dates back to his undergraduate days at the University of Kentucky. Prescription pill and opioid abuse skyrocketed in the early 2000s, Stout said, and he has lost some friends to addiction over the years. While still enrolled in college, Stout spent a few summers as a white-water rafting guide in West Virginia, which he described as a hotbed of opioid prescription drug abuse. 

“I’m a big proponent of the principle that we should not do harm,” Stout said. “And certainly, the criminal justice system is primarily involved in protecting the safety of the community. You’re going to handle a situation where someone murdered someone a lot differently than you would a first-time DUI. And making sure the resolutions to these cases and protecting the community, but also letting people go forward and be good members of the community, productive individuals – that’s something I like to focus on.” 

Stout added, “And of course the interactions with my colleagues, attorneys on the other side of cases, and working to reach resolutions that work for my client but also protect the community — to me, that’s what justice means.” 

Alec Lever, an attorney at Jackson Hole Law, met Stout in the summer of 2017 when Lever was an intern for Steve Weichman in the Teton County and Prosecuting Attorney’s office. Lever has since battled in court against Stout many times. 

“I think Dick is a great guy,” Lever said. “As a young attorney, he has shown me that not all criminal cases have to be an adversarial battle. It is better to work together to come up with a solution that benefits our community and the defendant.” 

Dick Stout on the morning he is sworn in as the alternate municipal court judge in Jackson. (Courtesy photo by Hannah Greene)

He added, “I think Dick has a great work ethic, and he is proactive in representing his clients. He is mindful of the hardship that criminal prosecution puts on a person and works expeditiously to address each case’s issues. Dick also spends a lot of time working with his clients to help them understand their situation. I find that he genuinely advocates for solutions for the betterment of his clients, and that helps make sure his clients do not find themselves in the courtroom again.” 

Stout became interested in law as a senior in high school when he participated in a mock appellate hearing at the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort. 

After earning an undergraduate degree in political science, Stout moved out west and worked as a white-water rafting guide in Jackson for three years. He also lived in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., for a bit, and took a job skiing as Woolly the Mammoth mascot for two winters.  

Stout earned his law degree from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law in 2007 and began handling civil and criminal cases at the DeFazio Law Office in 2008. In 2009, he switched to practicing criminal defense law full time.  

When he’s not representing clients, Stout is a magistrate judge for the Teton County Supervised Treatment Program, an alternative to incarceration. He also serves on the board of directors of the Teton County Chamber of Commerce. 

In his free time, Stout explores the outdoors with his girlfriend, Hannah Greene, 38, a human resources manager at the law firm Long Reimer Winegar LLP in Jackson. During the summer months, the couple enjoy hiking up Blacktail Butte as a way to decompress from work. On the weekends, they like to get away from the Jackson crowd, whether that’s backpacking along the Gros Ventres Range during the warmer months and exploring hiking trails or skiing during the winter time. 

“Jackson can get a little bit overwhelming, especially with all of the tourists,” Greene said. “I think we both like the feeling of being out in nature and kind of feeling like we are away from it all.” 

Dick Stout (right) and Hannah Greene go skiing on the weekends during the winter months. (Courtesy photo by Anna Welle)

For Stout, being outdoors allows him to rejuvenate. His love of nature began during childhood, when he stumbled on a small creek in the woods tucked behind his family’s home in Shelbyville, Kentucky.  

“I have always loved being outdoors,” Stout said. “It really helps refuel the tank, so to speak.”  

As an adult, Stout still tries to take advantage of the great outdoors whenever he can. In fact, he took the job as Woolly the Mammoth so he could spend as much time as possible on the slopes.  

And whenever Greene and Stout ski during the cold months, Stout dresses in green from head to toe. The assembly of the all-green outfit occurred randomly, Stout said, starting with the purchase of a green jacket and ending with the purchase of a green helmet. 

“He does not keep a low profile,” said Greene, chuckling. “Dick is kind of famous around town.”  

She noted that Stout seems to know someone everywhere they go in Jackson, whether that’s because of his days as a white-water rafting guide or because he is an attorney or because he dresses up as Santa Claus. 

For the last few winter holiday seasons, Stout has masqueraded as Father Christmas and jumped out of the tram at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. 

“It’s so much fun and so special to see the magic it brings for the kids and families,” Stout said. “It just really is a joy.” 

And he doesn’t plan to hang up the jolly red suit anytime soon.  

“Just to take a few moments to help people have a great holiday, it warms my heart,” Stout said. “It’s special to me.”

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