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Passing judgment

Landry appointed to fill Kenai court vacancy

Posted: Tuesday, March 08, 2005

 

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  New Kenai District Court Magistrates Anna M. Moran and Jerry D. Anderson pose for a photo during an installation ceremony for David S. Landry, the new Kenai District Court Judge. Photo by Phil Hermanek

Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander O. Bryner, left, administers the oath of office to newly appointed Kenai District Court Judge David Landry, right, during an installation ceremony in the Kenai Courthouse Friday. Seated at the table between the two are Kenai judges, from foreground, Harold M. Brown, Charles T. Huguelet and Charles K. Cranston and magistrates Anna M. Moran and Jerry D. Anderson.

Photo by Phil Hermanek

Friends and associates of Kenai District Court Judge David Landry packed a courtroom to standing room only Friday to witness the oath of office being administered to the newly appointed judge.

Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander O. Bryner said that, like Landry, he too started his judicial career as a law clerk and eventually worked his way up to the state's highest court.

Landry, who has been a district court magistrate in Kenai for the past five years, began as a law clerk for the late Kenai Superior Court Judge Jonathan Link in 1991. Link, 59, died after a short illness in March 2003.

During Landry's installation ceremony Friday, Superior Court Judge Charles K. Cranston related a story about the new judge and Link.

"Judge Link asked you what you knew about the position of law clerk," said Cranston.

"You replied, 'Nothing,' and Judge Link said, 'Well, we'll learn together,'" he said.

Cranston told an audience of more than 50 people that Landry would always be admired for his "respect for the litigants, the attorneys and for the judicial process."

After Landry took the oath of office Friday, his lifelong friends Rita and Jim Goff put his black robe on him and he moved to a seat of honor on the judge's bench next to Bryner.

Kenai Superior Court Judge Harold M. Brown, the Kenai administrative judge, said, "What's really neat about (Landry's) appointment is he's local.

"He knows all of you," he said.

 

New Kenai District Court Magistrates Anna M. Moran and Jerry D. Anderson pose for a photo during an installation ceremony for David S. Landry, the new Kenai District Court Judge.

Photo by Phil Hermanek

Brown also commented on Landry's notable deep voice saying, "If I only had a voice like that ... how far could I go ... to the Supreme Court?"

Superior Court Judge Charles T. Huguelet also quipped about Landry's distinguished voice.

"After the first trial I conducted here, one of the jurors said, 'Judge Huguelet's good, but his voice doesn't carry. He should spend some time with Judge Landry,'" Huguelet said.

Huguelet also commented on the workload of the Kenai District Court, which until now functioned with only two magistrates.

In 2004, the Kenai District Court conducted 29 trials, according to Huguelet, compared to 59 conducted in Anchorage, which has four times the number of judicial officers.

"This is a pretty cool day," said Landry, after the others had spoken.

"This is a community I hold very near and dear to my heart.

"I'm glad to have the opportunity to continue to do the job I love more than anything," Landry said.

"As I see Millie (Mildred Link, Judge Link's widow) and Lydia (their daughter), I know Judge Link would have gotten a big kick out of this," said Landry about his appointment.

Landry said what the Kenai District Court does from now on will be the work of three judicial officers, referring to himself and the two newly appointed district court magistrates, Anna M. Moran and Jerry D. Anderson.



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