Justice Eismann was raised in Owyhee County and graduated in 1965 from Vallivue High School near Caldwell, Idaho. He enrolled at the University of Idaho, and in 1967 he left the University to enlist in the United States Army. He served two consecutive tours of duty in Vietnam where, as a crew chief/door gunner on a Huey gunship, he was awarded two purple hearts for being wounded in combat and three medals for heroism.
After being honorably discharged from the military, he returned to the University of Idaho where he received his undergraduate degree and then graduated cum laude from law school in 1976. After practicing law for ten years, Justice Eismann was appointed as the Magistrate Judge in Owyhee County. As a magistrate judge, he was a member of the Region III Council for Children and Youth; he helped create Children’s Voices, Inc., an organization to recruit, train and oversee guardians ad litem to represent the interests of neglected and abused children in court proceedings; he organized and served upon a community diversion board to handle outside the judicial system first-time juvenile offenders who committed minor crimes; and he chaired the Canyon County Juvenile Justice Task Force.
In 1995, he was appointed as a district judge in Ada County. Convinced that there must be a more effective way to deal with the burgeoning drug problem, Justice Eismann began working to set up a drug court in Ada County. In 1998, Ada County was awarded a federal grant, and the drug court began receiving participants in February 1999. Justice Eismann presided over that drug court until just prior to taking office as a Justice of the Idaho Supreme Court. The Ada County Drug Court has proved effective in reducing recidivism and getting addicts off drugs so that they can restore their lives, rebuild their family relationships, and become productive members of the community. In 1998, the other district judges elected Justice Eismann as the Administrative District Judge for the Fourth Judicial District, consisting of Ada, Boise, Elmore, and Valley Counties. While a district judge, he also served on the Ada County Domestic Violence Task Force.
In 2000, the people of Idaho elected Justice Eismann to the Idaho Supreme Court, where he began serving on January 2, 2001. He also serves as chair of the statewide Drug Court and Mental Health Court Coordinating Committee, and has served on and chaired various other Supreme Court committees. He is a member and past-president of the Boise Chapter of the Inns of Court and has served on the boards of the Idaho State Bar Lawyers Assistance Program, which provides assistance to lawyers with substance abuse or mental health problems, and of the Idaho Law Foundation. He also served as co-chair of Idaho Partners Against Domestic Violence and on the Criminal Justice Commission, and is a member of the Law Advisory Council for the University of Idaho College of Law.
Justice Eismann served as the Chief Justice of the Idaho Supreme Court from August 1, 2007, to July 31, 2011, and he also served on the Board of Directors for the Conference of Chief Justices. In 2009, he was inducted into the National Association of Drug Court Professionals Stanley M. Goldstein Hall of Fame, and in 2013 he received the Faith, Family, and Freedom Award from the God & Country Association, Inc.
Promoting Openness In The Courts
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