Gov. Bill Walker announced appointments to the Kenai, Juneau and Fairbanks Superior Court judges Monday.
Lance Joanis will replace retiring Kenai Superior Court Judge Anna M. Moran.
Joanis, who currently serves as the assistant attorney general for the Kenai Children’s Protection Section, has lived and practiced law in Alaska for 13 years and is a graduate of the University of Idaho College of Law, according to the Alaska Judicial Council.
He has served in the Alaska Department of Law as an Assistant District Attorney in Anchorage and Kenai and as a District Attorney in Bethel and Kenai. Joanis was one of two nominated to the Superior Court in 2016, when Superior Court Judge Carl Bauman retired, according to previous Clarion reporting. Current Superior Court Judge Jennifer Wells was selected for that position.
Moran, who has served on the court since 2007, is one of two Superior Court judges retiring this year.
Kenai Superior Court Judge Charles T. Huguelet will retire later this year. The Alaska Judicial Council will accept applications to fill the vacancy left by retiring Kenai Superior Court Judge Charles T. Huguelet until July 27.
Alaska Superior Court judges can hear all cases — both criminal and civil — brought before the state courts, excepting cases that go directly to the Supreme Court. The Superior Court also acts as an appellate court for cases that have already been tried in the District Court.
The governor also appointed on Monday Thomas Temple, a private-practice attorney who has specialized in criminal defense and civil litigation, to the Fairbanks Superior Court. Municipal Attorney Amy Mead will fill the Juneau Superior Court seat.
In a release, Walker expressed confidence in the three candidates.
“I know they will bring the integrity, honesty, and fairness that has defined their careers so far to their new roles,” he said. “Alaska is lucky to have them, and I am grateful for their willingness to serve.”