The Alaska Judicial Council listens to public testimony during the public hearing held as part of the selection process for a new Kenai Superior Court Judge on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, at the Kenai Courthouse in Kenai, Alaska. Members include (from left to right) Geraldine Simon, Lynne Gallant, Dave Parker, Chief Justice Daniel E. Winfree, Kristie Babcock, Patricia A. Collins and Jonathon Katcher. They would ultimately name Kelly J. Lawson as one of the four nominees for the role. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

The Alaska Judicial Council listens to public testimony during the public hearing held as part of the selection process for a new Kenai Superior Court Judge on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, at the Kenai Courthouse in Kenai, Alaska. Members include (from left to right) Geraldine Simon, Lynne Gallant, Dave Parker, Chief Justice Daniel E. Winfree, Kristie Babcock, Patricia A. Collins and Jonathon Katcher. They would ultimately name Kelly J. Lawson as one of the four nominees for the role. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Lawson named to Kenai Superior Court

Lawson is a victim rights’ attorney from Anchorage

Kelly J. Lawson was appointed to the Kenai Superior Court by Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Monday.

The vacancy on the Kenai Superior Court was created by the retirement of Judge Jennifer K. Wells, first announced in September.

Lawson was one of four nominees to the role named by the Alaska Judicial Council in January, following a monthslong evaluation process, as well as a public hearing and an interview held at the Kenai Courthouse.

The Council received 11 applications, but only nine candidates were considered during the hearing and the interview.

Of the four nominees, Lawson was the only one who wasn’t approved unanimously by the council.

Lawson split the council evenly, requiring a tie-breaking “yes” vote by former Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Daniel E. Winfree.

According to information included in an October press release from the council, Lawson is a victim rights’ attorney from Anchorage who has lived in Alaska for more than 45 years, practicing law for around 19 — since graduating from the University of Montana School of Law in 2002.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

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