University of North Texas (Bachelor of Arts, 1968). University of Houston (Juris Doctor, 1974). Member of Faculty, Western Trial Advocacy Institute, 1990.
Member, Wyoming Intergovernmental Judicial Study Commission, 1989.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Downes received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Texas in 1968 and served in the United States. Marine Corps from 1968 to 1971. He received a Juris Doctor from the University of Houston Law Center in 1974. He was in private practice in Green River, Wyoming from 1975 to 1978 and in Casper, Wyoming from 1978 to 1994.
On May 5, 1994, Downes was nominated by President Bill Clinton to a new seat on the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming created by 104 Statistics
5089. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 15, 1994, and received his commission on June 16, 1994. He became chief judge in 1999 and retired in 2011.
His official portrait was painted by artist Michele Rushworth and hangs in the federal courthouse in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Natrona County and American Bar Associations. Wyoming State Bar (Chairman, Continuing Legal Education Committee, since 1986). Defense Lawyers Association of Wyoming (President, since 1988).