Kenai Courthouse is photographed on Feb. 26, 2019, in Kenai, Alaska. (Clarion file)

Kenai Courthouse is photographed on Feb. 26, 2019, in Kenai, Alaska. (Clarion file)

Kenai Superior Court vacancy draws 11 applicants

The Superior Court vacancy is created by the upcoming retirement of Judge Jennifer K. Wells

After a vacancy was announced in September, 11 attorneys applied for a seat on the Kenai Superior Court.

A press release from the Alaska Judicial Council, dated for Monday, describes the applicants. They boast a range of backgrounds, including public defenders, district court judges, private practice, victim rights’ attorney and a district attorney. Their law experience ranges from eight years to 26.

The applicants, as named in the release, are Lacey Jane Brewster, Amanda L. Browning, Katherine Ann Elsner, Kelly J. Lawson, Elizabeth Leduc, William T. Montgomery, Gustaf W. Olson, Curtis Patteson, Alicia Porter, William W. Taylor and Nicholas Torres.

Brewster, Elsner, Leduc, Taylor and Torres are from Kenai. Other applicants are from Palmer, Bethel, Kodiak, Anchorage and Sitka

The Superior Court vacancy is created by the upcoming retirement of Judge Jennifer K. Wells, who served on the Superior Court since being appointed in 2017.

The release says that applicants will be evaluated by the Alaska Judicial Council — which is made up of three attorneys, three non-attorneys and the chief justice of the Alaska Supreme Court. The evaluation will include “comprehensive background investigations, a survey of Alaska Bar members, and personal interviews with the applicants.”

Following the evaluation, a public hearing will be held in January. Following the hearing, two or more applicants will be nominated by the council, and the governor will have up to 45 days to appoint one of the nominees to the position.

The release says that public comment on applicant qualifications is encouraged during the evaluation phase. For further information, or to submit a comment, call the Alaska Judicial Council at 907-279-2526.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at

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