Kenai attorneys, magistrate apply for Superior Court judgeship

Eight candidates are vying to replace Kenai Superior Court Judge Anna M. Moran after she retires in July.

A number of the applicants applying for the judgeship are well known in the local legal community.

Kenai Magistrate Judge Martin C. Fallon, Assistant Attorney General Lance Joanis, Kenai District Attorney Scot H. Leaders and Assistant Public Defender William W. Taylor have all thrown their name in the hat for the role, according to a Feb. 5 Alaska Judicial Council press release.

Palmer Magistrate Judge Tara Logsdon, Valdez District Court Judge Daniel Schally and Fairbanks attorneys Gary L. Stapp and Thomas I. Temple have also applied for the Kenai position.

Alaska’s 42 Superior Court judges have a broad authority to decide on legal matters in the state — both criminal and civil. Judges can hear all cases 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 Alaska Judicial Council’s seven members — made up of the Chief Justice, three public members and three attorney members — will evaluate candidates for the judgeship. The council will do comprehensive background checks, survey Alaska bar members and conduct personal interviews with the applicants. The public will have a chance to weigh in on the candidates during public hearings. The final candidates will be chosen by the council by May 18, and then the names will be forwarded to Gov. Bill Walker. The governor has 45 days to make an appointment after the names are submitted.

The new judge will be seated anytime after Moran’s last day on July 13.

Reach Erin Thompson at erin.thompson@peninsulaclarion.com.

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